Saturday, October 20, 2018

All Thumbs

Stanley Theater

I'm still all thumbs when it comes to CAD.  I have Rhino3D on a Windows tablet, thanks to C6XTY, and I'm sharing a 3D Animation curriculum through Coding with Kids.  Between the two of these, I imagine my skill set will improve.

When colluders conspire in Buckydom (as one might name it), what do they talk about?  In the case of Koski and myself, last night on Verizon, the topic was the four RTs in Sesame Street Synergetics.  RT = a diamond-faced (rhombus-faced) zonohedron.  I've been writing about it in recent blog posts.

Rhombic Triacontrahedron

Why don't we have IMAX or 4K or whatever large format films going over the basics of a concentric hierarchy of polyhedrons?

Koski's idea: We could go with a Greek motif and employ retro aesthetics, say those of a scrolling slideshow from the 1960s, where you get a cassette in the same box.  When the cassette goes "beep", you advance to roll to the next slide.

Make each frame come alive using contemporary CGI.  A message we're sending:  we've known some of this stuff for a long time.  Lets connect to the near and distant past, as we establish our heritage.

I was writing about such IMAX movies in the 1980s, even before I had any clear conception of a volume 7.5 RT sharing vertexes with a volume 6 RD (rhombic dodecahedron).

I had the Stanley Theater picked out in Jersey City.  Jehovah's Witnesses would buy it later.  At the time, it had no mission and I thought I might insert myself into JCNJ politics.  I phoned the IMAX company, wondering if an IMAX version of Koyannisqatsi might be in the works.  They sent me a PR packet.

Actually, my Stanley Theater idea was more embracing:  students would come by PATH from NYU and other Manhattan-based institutions of higher learning (high schools too, why not), to see these movies for academic credit.

Learning to navigate around "Cosmopolis" as I called it, was part of growing up (the maturation process).  I've continued the theme of having public transportation systems, both the study and use thereof, be a part of a "placed based" curriculum.

Later, my Princeton and Jersey City housemate Selma would work on precisely such a "maturation" program for NYU students.  Help them overcome their fear of New York.  They didn't come over to the Stanley on the PATH though.  That project never materialized.

The RT and RD didn't make it to the big screen.  Nor did my proposed Fuller Projection made of tiny lights ever make it to the back wall of Loew's (also part of my Journal Square environment -- just outside my front door).  Instead, the internet took off, a decade later.  Fuller's stuff would go online, with no need to leave one's dorm room to gain access.

I was fascinated by the internet back then too.  At the nearby New Jersey Institute of Technology, they were testing an early version of an electronic communications system.  I'd read A Network Nation by Starr Roxanne Hiltz & Murray Turoff and even managed to score a guest account on their prototype system.

I didn't have a modem at home, but I could visit St. Peter's College down the street and get on.  This was all pre HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), the protocol later invented at CERN.  However I'd read Computer Lib / Dream Machines by Ted Nelson and was fantasizing about hypertext already.

My larger "Cosmopolis" idea had to do with extending PATH to connect with EWR, the Newark Airport.  NYC was already opening a "Train to the Plane" from WTC to JFK.  I was thinking how passengers might have a seamless rail connection from EWR to JFK and vice versa.  I sent out some letters.  I was continuing in my dad's footsteps, thinking like an urban planner.

Mom and Son

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Learning Modes


When we're all together in a room, that's a time to help each other, if we can.  What have we gotten good at?  Maybe nothing so far?

You can just try stuff, read the docs, watch the instructional Youtubes.  Once you have mastered a skill, you're ready to demo your mastery to someone else.

In practice, "homework" is often reading the docs and watching the videos.  Time helping others directly is a variable.  Sometimes the people we call "teachers" are the ones spending more time showing others than learning himself.

I might be a teacher and student at the same time, which is the work / study picture in GST, the assembly language of the Global U.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hammer Man

What does it mean to develop a meaning "operationally"?  I first answer:  is there any other way?  Sometimes what's hardest to define is that for which we have no counter-example.

Let me switch topics and mention the "hammer man" in Synergetics, whom I tend to think of as an art deco Olympian, somewhat cartoon-like.

He hammers, as when pounding some metal towards greater flatness.  We read about the molecules sliding around in response to these blows.  Sometimes, he hammers it thicker.

He swings his hammer, as an Olympian would, meaning he's to develop a lot of angular momentum as he swings the heavy device in a circular path, himself at the center, and then lets go in the direction of some eigenvector whereon every expended calorie counts for the most.

He sometimes is at the center of a gyroscopic device of many hammers, all radiating in a giant wheel, as he turns in place.  Tugging on the axis of this apparatus tilts the radial path into a dive, meaning the axis yields more at 90 degrees to the direction of your tug.  Such is precession.

The hammer man sees precession everywhere as he tucks himself in, after a long day.  Hammering, anchoring and letting go, getting hammered... time for some rest, before tomorrow's big adventures.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fed Up (movie review)

This movie is in alignment with SuperSize Me and Got the Facts on Milk?.

The vital organs of the USG (Department of Agriculture, FDA, Congress...) are as assaulted and degraded as the vital organs of any hooked-on-nachos-and-fries school child.

A weak and pudgy USA was a pushover when it mattered,  yet it still pretends to be a player, "winning wars" for its donor controllers.

The Smedley Butler era Business Plot against FDR was long ago successful, at least since Reagan's term.  Thinking some porky establishment in Washington DC is going to save us this late in the game seems pretty dated, not to mention unrealistic.

What world capital has that kind of power?  Against Coca-Cola?  Again Nestles?  You've gotta be kidding me, right?

One idea I've clung to over the years:  why don't we have private sector companies that specialize in edgy advertising, employing counter-intelligence the way we need,  and the production of which propaganda the USG is apparently incapable?

I'll keep buying your coffee, and subscribing to your on-line games, if you promise to keep hitting out hard against junk food culture.  Deal?  Why can't it work?

The status quo is we somehow expect private sector media news companies to exercise their juice through channels.  But which such media have such juice anymore?   Who takes up the cause of youngsters against Diabetes Inc?  Pediatricians?

Obnoxico rules the roost and it's hard to see who has enough muscle to challenge the pervasive ideology of a soulless corporate personhood.  Not the World Health Organization it turns out.

Uncle Sam?  Is he still on life support?  Seems to me he flat-lined some decades ago.

I'm getting a strong Morlocks versus Eloi vibe.  A predatory intelligence, some Bell Curve's upper half, is quite willing to exploit its trusting victims, by means of cartoons.

"Eat lots of sugar and become a basket case" say the immortal cartoon characters, not physical beings themselves. We have the makings of a horror film here.

Did you know that FDA nutrition guidelines mandate no upper limit on calories from sugar?

That North Americans are among the most malnourished anywhere is raw ammo for those hoping to suggest some alternative wiring, experiments with other approaches.

Could we experiment more with how we do food in schools?  What about those cooking shows, saved to the school server?

Various talking heads tell us that a foreign power and declared enemy of the USA, hellbent on its destruction, would be hard pressed to do as much harm as the junk food and junk science industries.

The logical conclusion is that some alien ideology is indeed entrenched.

Fed Up offers some hope, but as long as the answer involves looking towards DC for leadership, I question whether that hope is misplaced.

Expecting USG politicians to regulate from on high, to protect citizens and guests against predators, is expecting too much.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Animation Classes

The curated clips of high schoolers walking out in protest, in the Michael Moore film reviewed below, gets me thinking more about possible high schooler lifestyles.  I'm thinking beyond such questions as to whether to arm the teachers.  I look at the role of firearms in other writings.

Lifestyle and curriculum content are not wholly separate, by any means.  Suppose you learn at home three days a week, visiting community school buildings less hours.  Does this make you a "home schooler"?

Maybe some of your time is in a studio for making videos, doing cooking shows.  Video editing, camera work, health and nutrition, kitchen procedures (recipes and algorithms), all mixed together.  Store the videos to the school server.

Not every video has to go to Youtube.

I'm picking up two animations classes this week, 2D and 3D, in two different schools.  We think in terms of age levels and running in parallel to existing curricula.  The early grades seem to be plane geometry intensive whereas later we go spatial?  That's a rough approximation.

In 1997 I attended the ISEPP-organized Math Summit at OSU.  There, I heard a talk by Dr. Keith Devlin encouraging more connections between movie-making and calculus.  A tiny delta t is like a frame of film, encapsulating some action.  Literally, action per time frame, in mechanics, is mvd/t, which is energy units (E).  But then how fast is the film playing?  Enter E per t, or Power.

Integration means accumulating small differences as governed by the changing variable, the dx or dt. I think of how Fibonacci numbers are accumulative.  What continuous curve fits those, I forget?

Monday, October 01, 2018

Fahrenheit 11/9 (movie review)

Michael Moore has been following Flint, Michigan through all of his movies.  It's the saga of a city gone bust, amidst rulers who don't have much hope, given the priorities of their higher ups.

The timeline Moore follows starts with the 2016 US election, then jumps over to Michigan in 2010, when the state governor invokes emergency powers in several cities and replaces their local leadership with his people.

Around Flint, the engineering goes south when a working water supply gets monkeyed with.

Television did not turn out to be that medium for public debate we used to hear about, given who paid for it and why.  Will social media be any better?  There's a quick cut to Facebook, suggesting grassroots organizing but the internet and cryptocurrencies are not the order of the day (Alex Jones makes it in, but I was confused about what he was saying in that clip).

Mostly the tech giants get left out of this telling, and there's no attempt to dive deep into hackerdom. Leave Putin another bad guy strongman, the way Trump likes his leaders, and move on.  This isn't Oliver Stone driving.

Anyway it's jarring when we remember this lead poisoning is all happening during President Obama's time, the last great hope.

The Trump presidency is already well established in the movie before we switch to Flint, which is deliberate, as the story is one of "paving the way".

The larger picture is pretty bleak.  Young people need to do their own organizing, and are.  The adults aren't particularly able, when it comes to keeping democracy going.

One of the wise elders reminds us the US only started to experiment with democracy in the 1970s, with on-paper enfranchisement of non-whites and women, and that experiment may have reached its conclusion, in the wake of 911.

The flavor of the film is wistful.  Wouldn't a United States be a good idea?

Filmmaker Steve Bannon says on camera he appreciates Michael Moore's craft, though is at odds with his politics.

It's not Moore's fault that destiny would put him in the eye of the storm, nor Flint's either.  He has already looked at school shootings.  He's trusted to observe the high schoolers in action.

Sure he's heavy handed, because he's expressing his worries in strong terms.  He says out loud what a lot of people are thinking.  Lets get those thoughts on the big screen.  Yep, there's Hitler, buoyed by some of the same vibes; his ghost still haunts us.

The school teachers of West Virginia get a lot of recognition, for trying to hold together the fabric of their society in the midst of an opium crisis and infrastructure bled dry.

The Bernie Sanders campaign, and its call for social programs, gets a lot of focus as well.

Moore is weaving a lot in.  He's curating many "Kodak moments" assuming an audience in the future.

I'm not saying I'm Moore's mouthpiece and would tell all the same stories he does.  We're on rather different trajectories.  That's not a criticism, just an observation bordering on a truism.

Here's another provocative film that is sure to provoke many.  I felt updated on many happenings.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Home Schooling

Probably a lot of kids are staying home from school, with parental permission, because said guardians are persuaded that Coding Train is providing a more personalized experience, in more useful skills, than the local commuter schools.

That sounds paradoxical because how would Youtubes over the wire be "more personalized"? Well, it's not the student teacher interaction that's one-on-one, so much as the task at hand: to customize the personal workspace. Build your own file system.

Students herded from room to room, with or without a locker, don't get the same opportunity to outfit a workspace.

The homeschoolers are telling Dan to try pipenv instead of virtualenv.  That's good feedback for me as well.  I'm one of the home schoolers.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Party Time

Hey, I'm pleased the Idlib scenario didn't go straight to blood, like some shoot out in Westworld, or should I call it the Park?  Remember Punishment Park?  Now there was a dark movie.

I have some Proseco to celebrate, no not especially Islamic of me, but many ethnicities stand to gain, if we're able to move the Global U towards a more constructive set of rivalries.  Congratulations to everyone working on the rebuilding of Aleppo, especially that central mosque.

I'm also celebrating the Fall Equinox.  ISEPP hosted Wanderers at the Linus Pauling House.  Terry explained his research into the history of the philosophy of engineering.  He's on a first name basis with Sadi (Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot) and Lazare Carnot  (Sadi's dad).

The latter was smeared in some circles because of his loyalty to French Republicanism.  Nietzsche respected him for his sticking to his guns.  Laplace was smeared too.  This happens to intellectuals, as their power and influence, including postmortem (especially postmortem), gains them enemies.

Russian and Turkish commanders are working on the Idlib scenario.  Erdoğan and Putin had hours and hours of meetings.

Speaking of Turks, I've been picking on the Gulenists a lot, expecting them to advertise a future-friendly STEM through the charter schools, in tandem with the Quakers.

However that's putting a lot on their shoulders, given they're transplants in many cases.

Raising the flag of some Verboten Math is just going to attract the spotlight, when they've already been the subject of any number of FBI investigations.  Wading blindly into American politics is a recipe for getting in too deeply i.e. "in over one's head" as they say.

I think I'll give those Sufis a break and switch my focus to the Jesuits for a change.  That's another religious sect with a commitment to education.

I've worked quite a bit around Catholic schools (and teaching hospitals) and don't doubt the high level of commitment.  The decision to keep a tight lid on the Bucky stuff must trace to the highest levels.  Surely pure inertia can't be the explanation.

I've taken up the investigation (inquisition?) on for the time being.

Terry has discovered some engineering literature we might have taken for granted would already be translated into English, but has not been.

Take Coriolis for example.  We may have learned about the effect, but what do we know about the actual guy?  A lot of his writings have never been published in English.

I've never been put off by skin color, and mostly get along well with the dead.  I'm not averse to learning more from the "dead whites" (and will soon enough be joining their number -- not to sound morbid or anything).

A long time ago, scientists argued about "vis viva" or the motive force.  They considered it a property internal to a moving body and akin to its inertia.  How to account for it mathematically, in symbols and computations, was a question for that day.

Mass figures into the equations, most certainly, but then so does velocity, and perhaps to a second power?  Is a projectile with twice the velocity thereby empowered to do four times the work?

Jean Bernoulli contributed some clever reasoning showing why E = mvv was more likely to get us somewhere, and indeed it did.

Nowadays we have E = mcc (Einstein), as well as E = hf (Planck).  E is for Energy, v for velocity, m for mass, h for Planck's Constant and f is for frequency.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Random Responder

Youtube's AI recommended I see this, and the reporter was hoping I would share the free information.  Here's me sharing it.

North Carolina was undergoing intense flooding, with the Brunswick Nuclear Reactor in the way of the storm.

Shades of Fukushima.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Big in Japan


Kirsten Dunst 


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ironclad Logic


Proposals to make Idlib a "West Berlin" met with scant attention, as no side could see a way for dissenters to maintain an enclave.  With casinos.  The airstrips would be for humanitarians, and diplomats could make speeches from the permanent outdoor Woodstock style sound stage. Mix in some Arab Spring vibe, some Occupy, and keep the Syrians free of invaders from the sky.

The Syrian refugees are being pushed out by people who covet their lands.  We learn simply by seeing who takes the vacant apartments.  Make everything too violent for a middle class to tolerate, and take over.  That's the streets of New York.  We saw it in Aleppo.  Just arm everyone to the teeth and stoke hostilities and you're in business.

No one suggests turning it off at the spigot, where the factories spew arms by the box car full, day after day.  To pay a fortune for an arsenal and not use it, not need it?  The public needs theater to justify the expense.  They need to see themselves being the good guys.  It's a lot of expensive fireworks, but what else works?  If shareholders are going to stay in the money, we'll need to showcase why our products are truly worth the expense.  How's that for ironclad logic?


Monday, September 10, 2018

From the Sidelines

Originally shared on Facebook:

RT is way better than CNN. After Air America closed, a lot of my fave broadcasters moved to RT America. The DNI report talks about RT too.

The problem is, Russians have every right to "meddle" in the sense of sharing opinions, so the key thing is to find (A) something illegal e.g. GRU hacks into private servers and (B) link that to a strategy of the Trump campaign.

It's easy for me to believe the leaks to Wikileaks, whether from Seth or the Guccifers or whatever, were fortuitous for Trump, but not something his extended family could bank on in advance. None of these nefarious doings were in their control.

Sure, Trump could joke about going after Hillary's missing 30K emails (grin), but the notion that GRU hackers took that as their cue, and in a "lets roll" moment sprung into action ("after hours"), hacking Hillary, is a fictional genre stretching to embrace a few measly bread crumbs, an attempt to turn them (the bread crumbs) into a thick juicy plot (a soup). I'm only sensing a thin gruel so far. Got more thickener?

Conservation of energy laws are against this over-reaching ever succeeding. Something from nothing on that scale is too trick or treat, too sleight of hand. Our sense of credulity is over-strained. The idea of GRU hackers glued to their TVs waiting for Trump's secret instructions (encoded as a joke in a public speech), and not even letting it wait until morning (it's not like the DNC would be suddenly competent), appears ludicrous to me.

In other words, the indictment as it stands is too flimsy to base heavy history on (like impeachment), so far.

What the FBI is lacking, is gravitas.

The Theresa May government finds itself in somewhat the same position with its Novichok and White Helmet story lines. Neither are going so well, at the time of this posting. MI5, or is it MI6, is looking silly.

For further reading:
PolySci: A Look Back at Russiagate

And now, with a little help from Alphabet (Google translate):

RT лучше, чем CNN. После того, как Air America закрылась, многие мои любимые вещатели переехали в RT America. В отчете DNI также говорится о RT.

Проблема в том, что русские имеют полное право «вмешиваться» в смысле обмена мнениями, поэтому главное - найти (A) что-то незаконное, например. GRU взламывает частные серверы и (B) ссылается на стратегию кампании Trump.

Мне легко верить, что утечка в Wikileaks, будь то Seth или Guccifers, или что-то еще, была удачей для Trump, но не то, что его расширенная семья могла планировать заранее. Ни один из этих мерзких дел не был под их контролем.

Конечно, Trump, возможно, пошутил, что HRC пропустит 30 000 электронных писем (ухмылка), но мнение, что взломщики GRU взяли его в качестве своего реплики, и вскакивают («послезавтра»), чтобы найти недостающий тайник HRC, это вымышленный жанр, чтобы покрыть несколько крошечных сухарей, попытка превратить их (хлебные крошки) в густой сочный участок (суп). До сих пор я чувствую только тонкую кашу. Получили больше загустителя?

Сохранение законов о энергии противоречит этому процветанию. Что-то из ничего в этом масштабе слишком трюк или лечить, слишком ловкость руки. Наше чувство доверчивости чрезмерно напряжено. Идея русских хакеров, изучающих их телевизоры, ожидающих секретных инструкций Трампа (закодированных как шутка в публичной речи) и даже не позволяющая ей ждать до утра (маловероятно, что DNC будет внезапно компетентным) кажется смешным меня.

Другими словами, обвинительное заключение в его нынешнем виде является слишком хрупким, чтобы основывать тяжелую историю (например, импичмент).

То, чего не хватает FBI, - это гравитация.

Правительство Theresa May находится в том же положении, что и сюжетные линии Novichok и White Helmet. Ничего не происходит так хорошо, во время этой публикации. MI5, или это MI6, выглядит глупо.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Close Encounters

Thanks to Dr. Fuller's actively cultivating his network while alive, something my dad did really well as well, a lot of us never knew each other, even though we closely identified with his agenda, at one time or another.  I'm not surprised that I keep encountering new people who count big time as friends of Fuller.

Patricia Ravasio is such a person.  Per her recent autobiographical The Girl from Spaceship Earth, we know quite a few people in common.  I only met once with Lloyd Sieden, at a Bellvue coffee shop, whereas D.W. Jacobs and I have crossed paths more than that.

Ditto Foster Gamble, who sings Dr. Robert Gray's praises in one of the Youtubes.  Bob and I were both at the SNEC founding, at Russell Chu's rented place in DC, some October as I recall, but what year?  To date, that's the only time I met Bob in person, that I can recall.

Yasushi Kajikawa came all the way from Japan for that SNEC summit.  Applewhite joined us, and Dr. Joe Clinton.

Even though Foster and I both went to Princeton, our scenarios did not intersect.    I learned about his work from Alex, in my Philosophers' Circle.

So instead of "small world" (a cliche of sorts), let's say "big world" for a change.

I stopped off somewhere in the Southwest to visit Dr. Amy Edmondson that one time.  Matthew and I were driving my sister's car from Montclair NJ to Greater LA, visiting Applewhite in route (that's when he gave me a Synergetics Dictionary).  Harvard Business School was still in Amy's future back then.

I also met up with Dr. Arthur Loeb, her mentor, on a hitchhiking trip up to Cambridge, when still at Princeton.  He was friendly.  We had a good talk.

In terms of where I come down regarding energy, I consider World Game a context for facing our energy needs as a species and making some hard choices.  The terminology is maybe messed up, but that's Tower of Babel for ya.  The point is to keep talking about it, in some detail.

I'd think those most interested in phasing out fossil fuels, among those accepting climate change (I accept it), would embrace the language of Peak Oil.  Whether we shift our weight or not, it looks like we're over the hill in that chapter.

We don't have the option to endlessly guzzle, even if the climate didn't matter (which of course it does).  Is commuting smart?  People living campus-based lifestyles don't need to drive as much.

Synergetics Dictionary has no entries under UFO.  I don't think Fuller was banking on any new sources of energy we didn't currently know about in the 1970s and 1980s, not even cold fusion.

He did place a lot of faith in humans staying inventive, however his thesis regarding humanity's possibly attaining a new homeostasis, one we might consider successful, did not critically depend on such deus ex machina Jodie Foster like plot twists (thinking of Contact, a fun movie).

Patricia doesn't talk about UFOs in her book, I wasn't meaning to imply that.  She thinks about C60, and why not.

Foster is wide open to the possibility of a truly alien intelligence and the science that might represent, and I'm not against such speculation.  Fuller speculated too, as was his prerogative, as did Stephan Hawking. We're free to make mistakes.  As a species, omniscience is not our forte.

Patricia's autobiography reminds me of Valerie Plame's in that both writers feel they're undergoing extreme vetting, and choose to be unflinchingly honest about a lot of personal details, giving us insights into their characters to help us assess their respective stories.  Lindsay Moran also takes that path in her retrospective.

By this time, Dr. Fuller is so invisible that bringing his stuff to light really does have the flavor of a spy novel, with a hint of the paranormal now and then.  That's in keeping with Fuller's spirit as Telepathy is in Synergetics Dictionary quite a bit, along with "only the impossible happens" (cue "synchronicity").

Patricia is vetted by a psychotherapist and the whole book seems like a lie detector test.  Did Bucky really say those things?  Weren't her notes lost in a basement flood?  She's not nearly as self erasing as say Carlos Castaneda, who left everyone guessing until his wives wrote their books.

Her psychotherapist doesn't see anything crazy about her wanting Stanford to make better use of what's in its archives (that's where Fuller's papers ended up, much as the Linus and Ava Helen Pauling papers ended up at OSU).  None of Stanford's course offerings took advantage of this fact.  Even Princeton did better.

I'm looking forward to continuing to meet new people with karmic connections to the Bucky stuff, as well as meeting again with the many I've met (Allegra and I had breakfast that time in Portland, when the D.W. Jacobs play was in town).

My continuing to camp out in this area has been a gift that keeps on giving.

Also, I'm pretty autobiographical as well.  None of us are pretending to be objective disembodied narrators like in those old know-it-all documentaries that simply told us what's what.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Archiving Stuff

A followup remark to the post below:  business English is going strong and "Amerish" (emphasis on "mer") was Gene Fowler's moniker for the not-actually-English the Americans have going.  Both of these might co-exist without the LAWCAP emphasis on the King (some private person) owning everything by default.  We shall see.

I'm using Cyberduck FTP client to suck down a snapshot of my website, which has some unused (unserved) content.  I'll probably stash this 255 MB to a thumb drive for safe keeping, but then how "safe" is a thumb drive in the rough and tumble of someone's personal collection? 

As I work on tying off loose ends, I think of Kenneth Snelson and how disciplined he was about archiving.  If our correspondence survives, it's likely thanks to him more than me.

The plan to warehouse a lot of my stuff at one of the schools is an attractive possibility, as in that context I could let go of a lot of it.  I'm also storing for others, mostly in my garage, but also in the basement.

Mel and Lindsey used to live in the basement (as house guests, not renters), per a previous chapter.  I have mostly Mel's stuff by now, and a box or two from Sunanda.  Lindsey did a good job cleaning out when she moved to Corvallis.  I keep her altar going in the back office.  Mel helps tend my altar for Dawn when they swing through.  I've lost touch with Micheal S. (that's how he spells it).

Everyone faces these same questions, about how best to archive stuff in time capsules.  Some stuff we destroy. 

I've sensed the internet was more secure than my personal circumstances so most of my writings and digital pictures went to the cloud.  These blogs for example.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Intellectual Property


Corporations have made it harder, not easier, to share.  Geeks had to fight back by inventing copyleft, which in various derivative forms kept the economy going in spite of itself.  But the FBI still put warnings all over the DVDs saying "no sharing, or else!".

What if you're ideologically opposed to content A, but A is being pumped out to the world by Obnoxico and to counter it, you need to see it.  Are you obligated to give money to those pumping out said content?  That's more of an ethical question than a legal one.

On the legal front, of course you can't show Disney cartoons to Syrian refugees or to Mexican families camped along the border, because the UN and/or USG has no budget for entering the tightly controlled movie business.  Moving digital content around is under the control of LAWCAP, we all know that.  The FBI tells us so.

As engineers, some of us feel leery about artificially creating scarcity where none exists.  It's like Jesus doing the miracle of loaves and fishes, but then the loaf and fish people come in and fine everyone because miracles are not allowed.  The electronic revolution has created a number of miracles, such as perfect, low-cost copying, that are an anathema to those growing up using "private property" as their metaphor for anything intellectual.

My general sense is Anglophone law, i.e. law cast in the English language, has a half life, which could be a lot shorter than predicted given how slowly LAWCAP has been able to adjust in the face of GRUNCH.  That's code language, obviously.  If you've done any homework at all, you know what I'm talking about.  If not, get an education?


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Village Lore


The GST PWS (personal workspace) is typified by researchers comparing notes on telemedia, with Youtube providing the early sandbox for many, who then move on to more virtual environments. I've followed essentially this same path, uploading to Google early (Alphabet) and later giving my Synergetics lectures.

In researcher mode, we go back to Greenwich Village.  My core question is whether Bucky's term there had anything to do with Bohemians using "square" to insult other social classes. Philosophically, that would make sense, while journalistically it's somewhat too good to be true, which is why I'm compelled to play the skeptic.

Lets be clear that I'm not operating entirely outside the realm of possibility, as Fuller was a one of the "village idiots" (meant affectionately) along with "Will and Ariel Durant, e.e. cummings, Theodore Dreiser, John Sloan, Burl Ives, Zero Mostel, Edgar Varese, Brancusi, Isamu Noguchi, Diego Rivera and hundreds of other shining lights of literature, art, theater and academia" (I'm quoting from a blurb on Amazon).  He and Isamu got along famously.  I would later visit the Best of Friends exhibit, set up to memorialize their relationship. We also visited Kenneth Snelson on that trip.

But what about the Ginsberg crowd i.e. William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Patti Smith and like that? Neal Cassady definitely talked about "squares" but where had that started?

Romany Marie, the Queen, established her centers, one might say prototypical of Centers Network (for which I volunteered, later in New York's history), which influenced my marketing around Coffee Shops Network (CSN).  How these centers served more than one generation of "beatnik" is the documentary focus of my research this morning.  I'm not making a podcast out of it, but others might. The radio audience is especially receptive to Village Lore given how much of the output was audio to begin with.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cracking Down on Civil Rights

Freedom of assembly, for the purpose of making views public, by carrying signs, making speeches and so on, is protected by precedent, by the Bill of Rights (US) and so on.  However, the political climate in North America is such that xenophobes get everyone nodding in agreement that a political event is somehow "fake" or "inauthentic" if organized in collaboration with groups not based inside North America.

For example, we Quakers have a close-knit set of relationships connecting the Federated States meetings with those in the United Kingdom.  We might get support from English Friends to divest of our slaves for example.  This happened before the Civil War. 

Many Quakers felt uncomfortable in areas where slavery was still legal in the eyes of the Supreme Court.  They were coached not to tell neighbors what to do, but the neighbors couldn't help but feel some "holier than thou" attitude emanating from Friends in their midst.

By today's standards, if English Friends wanted to help organize an anti-slavery rally in Boston, and set up a Facebook account to help bring that about, the heavy hand of a censor might come along and report the transgression to authorities, and to the media.  Listeners and viewers would learn to vilify anyone colluding on a global basis, rather than on a more narrowly constrained geographic basis. 

Somehow it was to be made illegal for Ukrainians to fund protests in DC regarding their treatment, despite large numbers of Ukrainians enjoying Federation citizenship.

None of this made any sense, as the USG itself was highly leveraged and in debt, needing to collaborate and collude daily just to stay afloat.  Trying to keep its citizens from using social media to organize public protests, while meanwhile engaging in international intrigue itself, was too much of a double standard for brave Americans to take seriously. 

If Facebook wasn't going to champion our rights, we had other options.

We also knew it was our business to protect our right to collude.  The dimwits in DC had picked the wrong friends and enemies too many times to exert much leadership in that regard.  Telling Americans what to do and whom to trade with, was no longer the business of the bankrupt bosses with their obsolete forms of organized gangsterism.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

GST for Truckers

How many long haul truckers listen to podcasts?  I imagine myself chugging along I-whatever listening to satellite radio, but maybe also to some Russian classics, maybe Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy. Having some literary criticism, philosophy, biography, history, mixed in, would count towards my PhD.  Driverless trucks don't support learning in this way.  My fleet is dual purpose, in providing truckers with personal workspaces (PWSs).

What is GST again?  That depends whom you ask.  Out there in the wild, these three letters match a lot of strings.  However, I'm following my Quaker heritage to some degree and connecting with Kenneth Boulding, the economist, and the general systems theory he wrote about.  My spin:  lets compete with economics as a discipline, since economics itself suggests that monopolies give rise to lots of inefficiencies.  Why give economics as a discourse any monopoly say over any aspect of planetary affairs?

Of course my detractors point out that inside economics we have Georgists, Marxists, the Chicago School and so on.  If you're driving right now, maybe punch up a podcast on Henry George after awhile?  OK, we're talking semantics at this point.  If you want to inject GST into the economic sphere as another competing economics, that's fine.  As long as you stay competitive.

What happened next in my story, is Buckminster Fuller came along with his Spaceship Earth meme, and his practice of thinking globally while acting locally.  His idea of "systems" was very structural and geometric, as demonstrated by his elaborations on the octet-truss, a fascination for Alexander Graham Bell as well.  He got his truss to curve and make the triangular panels of a geodesic dome.

At the heart of Fuller's thinking was a shape we all probably recognize when we see it, but might not have its name handy: the tetrahedron.  Fuller went so far as to imagine a civilization which had shifted its weight from the cube to the tetrahedron to such an extent that it often measured units of volume using tetrahedral shapes (four faces, six points, six edges).  He wrote two whole volumes (Synergetics and Synergetics 2) exploring this alternative Universe.

The "Sesame Street" of Synergetics, meaning the core neighborhood wherein we might revisit a lot of partially overlapping topics (much as Children's Television Workshop explored the letters and numbers necessary for cultural literacy) is known as the Concentric Hierarchy, a nesting of well-known polyhedrons.  As a former high school teacher, and computer language teacher to this day, I've devoted a lot of resources towards communicating about this Concentric Hierarchy.  The topic lends itself to sculpture and modeling.  When sharing about it with kids, I'll sometimes use C6XTY, Sam Lanahan's flextegrity construction kit.  I have other kits as well, which I truck out during workshops.

What got me interested in trucking?  Not so long ago, I used a computer language called Visual FoxPro to make my way in the world.  I programmed for hospitals, nonprofits, various clients.  However, that work dried up, partly because FoxPro was shelved by Microsoft and taken off the market.  Meanwhile, thanks to my interest in geometry and Synergetics, I'd been building up my Python skills.  What happened next is I met a transportation engineer whose whole business was about using Visual FoxPro to support scheduling and routing in Trucker World.  He had a thriving business.  He was also interested in using more Python in complement with his Visual FoxPro.  He started contracting with me on the side for some apprentice level coding, and giving me insights into the trucking industry from an applications developer viewpoint.

Another aspect of my childhood and young adulthood, was growing up in areas where Peace Corps volunteers might serve, the Philippines especially.  The whole idea of going to distant lands not as a tourist, but as a worker seeking to develop one's skills, was attractive to me.  I recall my friend Hugh Thomford going to Fiji to help establish growing pearls as an industry.  That might not have been with the Peace Corps, but the idea was similar.  Our family was engaged in a similar business.  My dad was a planner, urban and regional, who worked with various sovereignties on their long term development plans.  These sovereignties included Libya, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Egypt, Bhutan, Lesotho.

What if truckers had a way to swap routes.  As a driver, I could apprentice in someone else's rig until I got the hang of it.  We might have more team driving.  You get to know the other person in your cab.  You're a diplomat, bringing your ideas and viewpoints into the situation.  You're learning about another culture, and another system of roads.  Such work wouldn't be for everyone.  However, I could see where it might be attractive to some.  What better test of GST as a discipline than to apply it to something concrete like this?

That gives you some background on the various Medium writings, podcasts and whatever, that you may stumble across as a trucker, whether in the Trucker Exchange or not.  We also call it Truckers for Peace sometimes.

As I mentioned above, I'm extending a Quaker lineage in my writings about GST and the Quakers are always looking to remove the causes of war before things get out of hand.  Having truckers become more empowered and adept at diplomacy and job sharing is a way of building our shared planetary immune system against meme viruses that lead to outward wars.

We still suffer from inward wars, psychological battles, so in terms of being a warrior and a hero, that's still a calling.  We could use your skills and services.  We just hope you'll not have to fall back on using obsolete outward weapons that have nothing to do with improving your psychological health. Many still make a career out of outward weapons but would prefer to do something more creative.  My advice:  study GST.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Martian Math @ OSCON


During the hallway track (what we call people milling about, randomly engaging one another), I had a couple of opportunities to chat up Martian Math.

I was wearing my 4D Solutions name tag.  One guy asked what additional dimension I brought to the table, clearly thinking in terms of "3D + what?".  We're of course trained to answer "time" and that's legit, however my readers know I go in another direction.

My other discussion was with Peter Scott who wrote the Perl curriculum for O'Reilly School (which exists no longer).  Perl 6 is finally available for download, and is a whole different language.  This year's OSCON was not a catapult for specific languages, except maybe Rust.

Sponsors wanted to talk about what they're doing (often collaboratively) around blockchains and such.  IBM has been working on several flavors of hyperledger.

I told both my first inquisitor, and Peter, about Caltrop Coordinates.  Rays emanate from a common origin, with unit vectors being of definite length i.e. like rays but short.  We have a way to reach points by cloning, scaling and adding unit vectors, sticking them end to end.

In XYZ, the three basis vectors i, j, k define like an eighth octahedron, a volume, and through cloning, scaling and concatenation, they span much of space.  I think of any three non-coplanar edges of a tetrahedron, a zig-zag:  that's 3D too, with the complementary zig-zag implicit.

Just looking at a tetrahedron (of two complementary 3-vector zig-zags), do we want to call that 3D or 4D?

The four tips and four faces suggest "four directional" but then all these directions are codependent if we think of the tetrahedron is a symbol for "any containment".  In the philosophical language of Synergetics, height, width and depth only coexist as contained within an a priori 4D space.  That's before we add time (frequency, subdivisions).

Best practice within the XYZ language game is to admit a kind of rotation called negation which begets 180 degree mirror vectors -i, -j, -k.  Now we have the customary eight octants of XYZ space.

XYZ is more like a jack, with six vectors emanating from a common origin.

Quadrays are similar to XYZ except instead of admitting rotation (negation) so soon, we add one more basis vector to the initial three and adjust their respective directions to define four quadrants (versus XYZ's eight octants).

Instead of a jack, we get the caltrop.  The basis vectors go from (0,0,0,0) to the four corners of a tetrahedron: (1,0,0,0), (0,1,0,0), (0, 0,1,0) and (0,0,0,1).  Space is 4D in this sense.

Linear combinations (cloning and scaling) now reach all the same points XYZ does, but with positive 4-tuples e.g. (2,1,1,0) (1,2,1,0) (1,1,2,0)... all twelve permutations of those numbers define the twelve corners of a cuboctahedon.

Because we're using four basis vectors instead of three, we tend to say space is 4D.  We might say 3D too though, as XYZ language is not out of bounds. We may rely on context, using customary locutions to convey our meanings.

In XYZ language, we would not say all four quadrays are "basis vectors" because one of them (any one) is a linear combination of the the other three.  If, that is, we allow negation as a part of our cloning, scaling and tip-to-tail addition process.

Add any three quadrays and flip the result to get the fourth.  In other words:

(1,0,0,0) +
(0,1,0,0) +
(0,0,1,0) =


-(1,1,1,0) =
(-1,-1,-1,0) =

In the shoptalk of Quadrays, negation (flipping direction) is certainly defined and allowed, but is not required to span space (by means of cloning, scaling, adding) nor to augment the basis vector set.

Scaling without negation just means adjusting a length, making it longer or shorter but with no change in direction.  Negation adds the directional flip.

We can flip Quadrays, however the four basis rays are independent of one another in the sense that no three create the fourth without flipping i.e. through scaling and adding alone.

On the other hand, we may say four quadrays are "codependent" in that the tetrahedron is our primitive conceptual beginning, a first otherness begetting awareness.  Conceptualization begins with containment, a sense of being "within" or "without" (cite Plato's Cave).  XYZ uses a cube as its corresponding hallmark.

"That's a really geeky answer" said the geek by the food truck, awaiting his burrito (as I was).  I nodded.  We were there to geek out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Codes of Conduct

I'd say a lot of energy is going into socializing geeks, and lets not pretend that's a new thing.  Engineers tend to have awesome responsibilities and our justified fears of bad engineering encourage society to put them through rigorous training in people skills, starting with the handicap that they don't have any (that's the stereotype to begin with).

In actuality, engineers end up with lots of people skills, rivaling lawyers, which accounts for some of the contention in the area of licenses.  How do we collaborate on the basis of a clear understanding of the intellectual property rules.  The NSA was at OSCON this year to tell us about it, and to specifically solicit the input of "big companies" whose province our little Portland Hub has become.  This talk, which I attended, was more reflective of Washington, DC's ways of thinking than anything else.  We at OSCON maybe didn't appreciate the growing pains, when it comes to USG mandates (plans to run on 20% open source code is commendable, if maybe an awkward codification of the principle).

More worrisome than the social skills of GRUNCH workers, are the hard coded biases that may sneak into conditioned reflexes we have little control over, always the Terminator Scenario.  Lets step back from nuclear war (the debate team favorite) and just talk about simple face recognition, accepting you're human.  On Planet of the Apes, our AI bots may have a hard time treating us as human, Global U students though we be.

IBM is encouraging us to focus on natural disasters, if not their prevention, the management of their consequences.  China has some cities waiting for transplants, were the infrastructure in place for population upheavals.  But they're not.  Rubber boats.  Uncooled trucks.  Refugees are not accustomed to much appropriate technology in their camp.  The technology is so far ahead of its deployment potential, and therefore languishes for lack of use.  Prophecies are self-fulfilling.

Translating human language using state of the art deep (or not so deep) neural nets is helping scrub some forms of bias from the stack, versus hard-wiring it in.  That's the good news.  As humans get better at thinking "cross platform", they'll block less on differences that don't make a difference.  That's a kind of "freezing" in thinking we want to root out.  The Narnia book Ice Queen was such an inducer of semi-paralysis.  You'd stop improving your thinking and get lazy relying on what always worked in the past.  Learning is life long now.

The icosahedron is big this year.  I see it in Onnx, Cognitive Toolkit, and I believe HyperLedger, a reference blockchain.  That's good news for Synergetics (an outgrowth of New England Transcendentalism) wherein the Icosahedron symbolizes a kind of Apollonian braininess associated with geeks, software engineers.

"AI Should be Open" is the theme of the talk I'm in.  Blogging while taking in a talk is not considered rude in this culture.  Lots of geeks have their laptops open besides me.  ONNX version 1 would be my slide of the moment, but I've got the camera packed away, having pigged out on photo ops in the booth crawl this morning.

Data sets that pretend to know what "people of color" means without the services of a translator, are pushing it, in terms of thinking they know what the bias is.  One of our keynotes was by a speaker identifying with her female black student labels, and she eldered our group to improve our social skills, not just as individuals, but as managers of data sets.

Don't go home to your insurance company or Capital One (or Home Depot) thinking that just because you're an engineer, you have no standards when it comes to social engineering.  On the contrary, engineers have their guilds with reputations.  If you have unwanted biases, you will need to look at them first.

Left at the WWC booth

Monday, July 16, 2018

Greek Mythology

My standard rap when it comes to marketing and Python, is the Monty Python angle is certainly edgy, a stroke of brilliance on Guido's part, to go with something both snarky, contemporary, and with longevity, as even without the troupe of comedians in the foreground, we have an informative and entertaining backdrop in Greek mythology, with its Python.

I speak, of course, of Mt. Parnassus and the story of the Delphic Oracle.  She and her Cult of Athena temple nymphs were able to prophesy thanks to Python running inside their Virtual Machine (how I think of whatever VM their Python is running on -- a kind of mountain).  Apollo sought to impose rationality on the beast (meant kindly), to slay in the sense of dominate, not render useless (closer to "harness" in English).

People will take it in different directions.  I'm at OSCON again, which I've linked to Gibson Guitar (actually Gibson sent a bizmo some years back, so I'm not saying I acted alone) and the Nashville music scene, noting the proud Temple to Athena in that city, her Python curled in her shield, Nike in hand.

"Just Use It" is one of our slogans, testing reader understanding of the allusions.  I've posted about a sign or poster in the Iceland airport, or somewhere else along a moving sidewalk.  PSF would need to sign off in this use of the logo.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Friday the 13th

Maxi Taxi

I've been working a lot lately, which is good, because I needed money to repair my car.  Some will think I'm crazy to sink way more money into a car than I'll be able to recoup in selling it, but I'm not looking to sell, I'm looking to drive.

Presumably I'll get some more years from this 1997 sedan.  I'm not in the mood to switch horses right now.  I use the car for my business so some percentage of this repair should count as a business expense.  Chassis stuff, not engine stuff.

So today, Friday the 13th, was the big revelation that the FBI has some serious spying powers vis-a-vis Russians after all, perhaps thanks to 3rd party contractors, but what does it matter.  Either that, or we're continuing to read a lot of interesting science fiction (the stuff of spy novels).

Either way, people are much more aware of how the Internet is still a Wild West.  Some degree of paranoia is warranted.  Geeks know that.

The indictment seeks property damages, not extradition.  I'm not sure what amounts would be acceptable, or whom to pay, and whether bitcoin would be accepted, however these are minor details that will come out in the wash.  Perhaps GRU employees are covered by insurance?

The story goes back to the Guccifer 2.0 and APT28 threads (Fancybear etc.), and provides a lot more details. The indictment talks about a server in Arizona for example ("AMS"), a way station between keylogging and screen capturing malware, and those seeking to provide Americans with a much deeper look into their own political underbelly.

Showing "sausage being made" to the lay public is definitely an undermining tactic which left people older but wiser about their dysfunctional so-called democracy (reputable academics have suggested more of an oligarchy by now, more like the Roman Empire).

No one is alleging that the leaked and/or hacked communications were forged, only that they were never meant for the American public.  The DNC's secrets sparked a lot of outrage.  The special counsel is not saying whether the election went the other way because of that.  How could they know?  Maybe voters were just sick of family dynasties?

An earlier special counsel indictment goes back to the "troll factory" story, which alleges it was illegal for Facebook to allow Russians to use its platform for political purposes.

Only Americans are allowed to play politics with Facebook and Twitter, and perhaps the British, owing to a special relationship.  True, Cambridge Analytica had to face the consequences of its own hype regarding its alleged election-swaying powers, however no indictments were forthcoming. 

Mark Zuckerberg had to promise the politicians in DC that social media would stop rocking their boat. However promises extracted under duress may not be all that binding.  Software engineers, Russian or otherwise, cannot stop social media from affecting political careers.

How exactly the Russian troll factory affected the national election remains unclear, as the published memes don't seem to stand out as especially mood-altering.  If there's a secret to election-swaying with psychometrics, its apparently subtle.

What I remember from November 2016 was a lot of Pizzagate hysteria, which I blogged about here.  Many bloggers and tweeters were up in arms about the Clinton Foundation.  Was that the Russians again?

President Obama kicked a bunch of Russians out of their villa (dacha), after Homeland Security and the DNI fingered RT as a foreign agent (much like the BBC in that capacity, on PBS every night).  This was after his party lost in the electoral college.

However the Russian troll farm was not accused of working the Pizzagate vein in particular.  The example posts I saw had more to do with whether war veterans were being sufficiently cared for.

The GU (aka GRU) is accused of spear phishing and then sharing DNC chairman John Podesta's emails, perhaps with Wikileaks, perhaps with others.  Certainly those emails got out, by hook or by crook.  Whether the Russians played a role (as alleged) or not, the content was upsetting to many.

Earlier versions of this election story suggested that Guccifer 2.0 was not actually responsible for these leaks (although he tried to take credit) but the current story makes the case that the DNC was:

(A) certainly vulnerable to cyber-attack (that's clear, from the leaks themselves) and

(B) that Guccifer 2.0 was actually a fictitious persona designed to deflect attention from specific Russian military personnel, the ones who planted the keylogging malware.

The actual indictment tends to bleep over how omniscience was finally achieved vs-a-vs the Russian operation regarding the inner workings of its spy machine.  Skeptics point out that the 3rd parties are partisan.

The Office of Information Awareness, as envisioned by Admiral Poindexter, or some semblance thereof, may have been involved.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Blockchain Memes

I'm suggesting those tasked with evangelizing for Blockchain, take some time tuning in the memes around Rust, the computer language.

The financial industry works to correct mistakes and remove ambiguity from transactions, while those hoping to game the system kick up a lot of ink, to obfuscate their wheelings and dealings.

In writing C++, geeks may corrupt memory, leading to crashes, because the compiler is insufficiently strict.  Rust enforces the disciplines a strong C++ coder would bring to the table, through its compiler.  That's closer to what a blockchain does, when it comes to preventing ambiguities that cover for impossibilities.

Bankers may be reluctant to talk about all the double-spending schemes by which people try to auto-boot their fortunes.  Going into nit-picky detail about scams is counterproductive, as to describe exploits is to encourage them.

The cyber-security industry is already hip to this problem, of announcing a weakness in time for the white hats to apply the patch, before the black hats get wind of a new Achilles heel.

Thanks to the miracle of metaphor, akin to transposing to a different key in music, we can talk about "corruption" in the C++ context until the cows come home, thinking how writing systems that don't crash is a similar challenge to that confronting the banking industry.  The original bank is a memory bank or bank of memory cells.

What a blockchain does is impose strict auditing such that multiple observers agree, but also may contend for the right to record.  The global network learns of transactions in different orders, thanks to non-simultaneity of information transfer.  So which chronology should become canonical?

The Bitcoin answer is to hold a contest, and may the best bitcoin miner win.  This contention for control over write access is what some in-house blockchains may surrender.  The metaphor here might be unsafe mode.  Insider Rustaceans are allowed to break the rules when creating the means to enforce safety.

In sum, a C++ code base may be crash prone if open to ambiguity, which malware may then exploit.  Browsers live on the front lines in many use cases, in accepting content through their ports.  IE had to be abandoned for Edge for such problems.

Banks, which lend out and take ownership, as in Rust, may find their bookkeeping turning to garbage if the pointers turn out to not point to anything.  You've promised savings to borrowers, and interest on borrowings to savers, what could go wrong?

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Platonic Five

The curriculum we're working on restores polyhedrons to their rightful place, which does not mean we're confined to only Euclidean approaches.

Debate teams understand that mathematics evolves as a dialectic.  It's not all there already, to be chiseled out from stone.  We need those communications.

An issue facing some curriculum writers is where and what to censor.  Do we need the Real Numbers as currently defined?  A computational thinking course spends less time on those, given numbers have discrete digital representations, with symbols like the Greek letter pi suggesting algorithms we might set running indefinitely.

We do want the Platonic Five, that much is obvious, starting early.  V + F == E + 2.  The concept of Duality.  The Platonics are closed under this operation of taking the dual.  However we may also combine duals by criss-crossing edges, begetting new polyhedrons by this process.

Cube + Dual(Cube) == Cube + Octahedron = Rhombic Dodecahedron (RD).

Dual(RD) = Cuboctahedron (1, 12, 42, 92...)

Icosahedron + Dual(Icosahedron) = Icosa + Pentagonal Dodeca = Rhombic Triacontahedron (RT).

These transformations, along with the Jitterbug, are familiar to all our young pretty early.  We'll be sharing these animations in kindergarten in the form of wallpaper and screen savers.

What says Shiraz?

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Schools That Pay

Booth Magnet

Some code schools will offer free training and job search coaching in exchange for a percent of a student's income if and when they get employed.  That's a step in the right direction.

In Education Automation, published in the 1960s, Bucky Fuller suggested scholarships go to create a learning environment, out of which would emerge the geniuses such as himself who more than paid for the whole setup, in terms of making contributions as faculty.

The school gets the scholarship endowment and helps you learn in exchange for access to room and board, or however the campus is designed.  Is this a refugee camp?  Do students live in tents?

You're getting what acts like a cross between a gift card, such as we buy in the supermarket, and a debit card, such as we get from a bank.

The gift card restricts what inventory you're drawing from, perhaps a bookstore or clothing store.  The debit card restricts it to the authenticated cardholder to make the payment.  Your rewards card might give you access to more classes.  Prove you can do X and get a chance to do Y.

Programmable money (cryptocurrencies) could make the bookkeeping easy and verifiable.  Everyone talks about blockchains these days.

I'm in a refugee camp and I study biology several hours a day.  I'm passing various tests, plus learning a new language, and my account gets me access to more time in the microscope lab, which some refugee camps feature.  There's a short cut to becoming a lab technician and studying water specimens.

My hard work as a student is what entitles me to access this or that inventory.  Not every reward is transferable.  I may given the clothes I get to my younger brother, but it's still my account that gets debited.

Some of this circuitry was spelled and under the heading of NetDispenser and showcased at Pycon 2017.  I was an assistant to the main guy, C. Cossé . However, the FSF has not seen fit to give its endorsement.  They may have a problem with Github.
So I've exchanged more than 50 emails with the FSF over the past year, imploring them to help make this project better, or publicly endorse it, or something.  Anything.  After all, a solid 50% of my goal with the project has been to make FS4E development appealing and viable by creating incentive.  (FS4E = Free Software For Education).  Last month Richard Stallman told me that FSF could support the project IF we found an alternative to the Raspberry Pi and didn't use Debian.  Uhh.  Of course that side of the project is not the part that encourages FS4E, exactly, so that feels like overstepping their position just a little.  However, why not keep trying? I asked myself, and so I offered to oblige them on those points as best I could.  Yesterday I got a new transmission from FSF and it turns out that the promotional video I put up last month cannot be on YouTube in order for FSF to support the project.  But that's not all!  They also object to having the project on GitHub!  They advised me to fix all these things and then get back to them and "convince them to support the project".  
I believe this puts the project back on "hold" until further notice.  
NetDispenser is not exactly the same model as described above. It's about students earning more discretionary time on the internet in exchange for passing various tests, running various obstacle courses, designed to be fun and educational by game developers.

The router actually restricts access to only a few websites once the student's account has been depleted. Visit a dispenser site for more credits.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Iran Forum

Portlanders met in Elliot Chapel at the same time as OS Bridge was going on, in the came Elliot Center complex, part of the Unitarian Universalist campus downtown.  We had a panel of speakers and celebrated the lives of commitment of the Huntworks to bettering Cascadia's relationships with Persians.  Here's what I posted to Facebook:
Portlanders gather in a church with Peace Corps vets to strategize regarding Citizen Diplomacy twixt Cascadians and Iranians. The Huntworks, a local couple now deceased, spent a career building connections. Their memory is being honored at this event. Shiraz and Portland have ties. The relationships are strengthening as political leadership is increasingly seen as subservient to tiny psychopath minorities with wars in mind.

OS Bridge (a geek fest) is happening in the same building. Geeks and Peace Corps vets have some commonalities. We know how to collaborate outside of political channels. Engineering is about longer term plans than those concocted by next-term-seeking vote getters who must pander to peoples' basest fears and most negative emotions.

Truckers for Peace has no brochures here. That's like Peace Corps for truckers who wanna get into the Citizen Diplomacy game. Chinese Peace Corps might provide more details regarding opportunities in the Iranian context. OBOR is about infrastructure improvements, including in human relationships (necessary for collaboration).
Swamp City (WDC) is these days quite hostile to the idea of improved relations between itself and just about anyone who doesn't want its weapons.

Swamp City's Banana Republic, a holdover relic, is pretty good at alienating Cascadians these days.

Those of us more interested in people skills have to learned to count on continued clod-like opposition from the Swamp.

Fortunately, the clod-like are pretty awkward.  The more adept find ways to counter the warlord mentality.  Should Portland and Shiraz become sister cities?  We'd need something from our Mayor's Office to make that official, and from Shiraz naturally.

OS Bridge, some might recall, was organized in the wake of OSCON's leaving Portland for San Jose. OSCON later returned, then went to Austin.  This year:  back in PDX.  OS = Open Source (or Operating System in some lexicons).

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Isle of the Dogs (movie review)

I got to see this with Alexia, my late wife's first daughter, nowadays living with her dad and in the process of a career change.  She rarely gets any days off.  I haven't seen her since our trip to visit her younger sister in December of last year.

Isle of the Dogs is a puppet-based animation.  I've watched at least one movie critic's Youtube and agree with his observation:  the timing and rhythm are notable and interesting.  When I found out the director was the same guy who did Budapest Hotel, I thought that made perfect sense.

Isle of the Dogs is billed as a comedy.  I'd call it dark comedy.  The movie critic said the Megacity of the future was dystopian, but it didn't seem all that terrible to me.  People were enjoying life and we saw some semblance of democracy, though it was mostly for show.  I didn't see any homeless or tent cities.

A dynasty of dog-haters was in control and used the office to push an agenda that would obliterate all dogs, first by exiling them to like a concentration camp, followed by plans for genocide.

The Science Party is against genocide and has already found a cure for what ails these dogs in the first place.  The dynasty suppresses this knowledge and continues feeding pubic terror of dogs.  One sees the cats have a subtle role in this program, though it's not spelled out.  The cats never say a word.

What's interesting is how languages are dealt with.  The dogs, such as Harvey Keitel, speak their English perfectly complete with accents and dialects, while the humans speak Japanese, without subtitles.  The little boy who goes to rescues Spots, his guardian, is unintelligible to the dogs.  However he and Spots are connected by short range Blue Tooth and do understand each other.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Chaotic Times

I'll wade into the swamp a little and talk about the recent meetups twixt top politicos in their respective nations, namely the G7 in Canada, and Singapore events.

The World Cup is going on now as well.  Rosalie tells me the USA team didn't make the cut, no not a boycott, just didn't qualify.  The sports bars around here are still crowded with soccer fans however.

In summary, that's my own picture of what's going on.  The picture of some superpower moralizing about bad guys and imposing sanctions is getting old, with systems needing to inter-gear and get on with keeping wheels turning.

There's no time to play these games.  India needs its oil from Iran.  South Korea is tired of war games against the northern half of the same peninsula.  The 1900s status quo all seems too silly.

However, to bolster the public perception that political leaders are indeed the leaders, and not the chaotic forces of general systems, there's an instinct to go along to get along.  The politicos need to ride the horse in the direction it's going, as that way they're seen to lead.

The Americans have elected someone allowed to be crazy and unpredictable, which is what the recipe calls for in chaotic times.

World events in the internet age do not bottleneck through customary "halls of power" and yet people in nice suits with lots of accessories need to strut their stuff anyway.  The public figureheads do a kind of dance, put on a show, that helps the rest of us answer a perennial question:  "what time is it, really?"  The politicos (professional scapegoats) help close the loop in various feedback cycles.

"Chaos" used to mean something bad, back in the days before we learned about dynamical systems.  Now we know that rigid rhythms mean rigor mortis.  The politicos show signs of life now and then, to keep from seeming too scripted, too programmed.  I get it.  Celebrities do the same.

We have lots of work to do, around refugees especially (I use the term broadly, to encompass the domestic unsheltered).  Eugene, Oregon is investing in tiny houses.  I don't know if Micheal Sunanda got one.  He and I have lost touch.

My plan to work with MercyCorps to showcase the latest and greatest in emergency housing, somewhere near PDX, a tourist attraction, may be showing signs of gaining traction.  EPCOT West we call it.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Fire Starters

A theme in these blogs lately, has been global IC work (IC = integrated circuits) aimed at keeping violence contained, even as weapons makers stoke the fires.  Keeping old resentments alive is Satan's chief occupation, we all know that.

However, the futurists of the 1900s did a pretty good job sketching out a world Beyond War, like on Star Trek.  Humanity still faces existential threats, like the Borg, but seems far less hell bent on self destruction.  All the shiny new technology has cheered the humans, past the point where they wanna "press the button".  They'd rather live to see the 24th Century and onward.

However, a lot of humans, some with means, are not persuaded that the End Times should be further postponed.  They've put a lot of eggs in their End Times baskets, and are now wanting to see all those efforts pay off.  Before it's too late.

I'm thinking it's getting to be too late, but the fire starters are still at it, getting more brazen and visible in proportion to their sense of panic.  Of course it's oxymoronic to be panicking because the world is not ending, but that's a corner the End Timers paint themselves into.

What feels like a loss of power to many a political leader, is actually the gradual abandonment of various circuits that have carried significant voltage until now.  Attempts to galvanize large populations with a war fighting spirit is what's proving increasingly unlikely to pan out.

I'm guessing the "world domination" meme used by Geekdom is worth inserting at this point.  The "new world order" (NWO) was expected to be political and to have something to do with banking. For certain Christians, we would also be meeting some Antichrist pseudo-hero, a false leader of sorts.

However, with the emergence of cloud services, crypto-currencies, and social media, we're facing a NWO of a different flavor, sponsored by FANG and Microsoft, Chinese giants, Russian research firms.  They code and promulgate coding.  Is this the Borg?  There's lots of engineering.  The culture is global, because the internet is global, and because world problems are world problems.  "Thinking globally" is not a "nice thing to do" (or is it evil?), it's just what makes sense.

The way I'd put it is:  desovereignization is already far advanced, something I believed in the 1990s, but it's not resulting in any great showdown or political climax, more just a lot of vacuous hyperbole.  The atmospherics are not one of End Times.  The sense is more business as usual and Tower of Babelish.  We're not all on the same page (so what else is new?).  We're acting out in different theaters, following different scripts.  We're OK with that.  Multiple namespaces co-exist.

Those who focused more on "context" than "content" had the right idea I think.  We're still struggling with deep misery, hellish conditions, but our impulse is not to give up and blow it all up.

Ushering in some nuclear apocalypse, perpetrated by the Nuke Nations against the others, is not that easy when the IC is quick to learn of any secret plans.  How were you planning to trick us again?  We learn from your mistakes.

Monday, June 04, 2018


Voodoo Economics

I'm making a pun in the title.  OCEAN is / was one of those personality test thingies.  Dime store psychology books (thinking of Lucy, the Doctor is In) traffic extensively in these "discover yourself" batteries of questions, so-called surveys.

Answer thirty questions, and voila, the Machine Learning model lets you know all kinds of stuff about your category.  Better than horoscopes!

I'm not saying personality profiling is sheer bunk, quite the opposite.  Over time, the analysts learn to recognize patterns.  Lets assume those surveyed are taking the test in good faith.

In some fairly convenient on-line venue, such as Facebook, between games of Farmville and that other one I actually played, one fills out some intriguing survey, an OCEAN test.  One's answers go out the back door to a paying Facebook customer.

What especially pissed people off is the customer also discovered who your Facebook friends were.  How embarrassing.  Now they'll target everyone I know.  Pretty soon, we'll all be talking about the Kardashians.

Those of you up on your political layer gossip already know I'm talking about Cambridge Analytica and its supposedly awesome powers to tip an election.

The Russians were flattered they got 2nd prize, but the UK was not about to take a back seat in the psyops department.  When push came to shove, they wanted the world to know of their prowess.

Getting the press accounts out there, the social media, is a big part of the game.  Consider Sophia, the AI bot who got to address the UN and make Saudis proud of their government.  Sophia would not have had nearly such a successful career without all that clever PR.  Yet she's nothing but an audio-animatronic puppet, nothing like the breakthrough Deep Mind game changer.

Supposing the UK or the Russians have such an established social science that they're able to engineer an election almost legally, but for loopholes that Facebook may have closed in retrospect, is supposing a lot, but Hollywood movies have paved the way, for movie-goers to have a hard time assessing the true state of the art.

In an age when even Cubans are able to target diplomats with frequencies beyond the range of human hearing, sewing seeds of suspicion right when the technocrats wanted to dial back to making "America" a bigger bully, who knows what is truly possible?  Time travel is just around the corner, and those in the know harness UFO-derived technologies to... fill in the blank.

Yes, I'm saying I consider the public very gullible, for buying that psychometrics has advanced so far so quickly.  Advertising works, I don't deny it, but then advertising, media campaigns, are more than just a few TV spots.  You need a narrative.

Start with the side show Internet Research Agency based in St. Petersburg, its Fancy Bear staffers barely able to speak English (like Guccifer, but unlike Guccifer 2.0), then cycle back to center ring and realize true English speakers, like Cambridge Analytica and CrowdStrike still dominate the world cyber-game.

Russians can't hold a candle to the truly tech-savvy, such as Dmitri Alperovitch (Crowdstrike CTO). How reassuring, right?  But wait, don't The Americans (deep cover spies in a fiction TV series) speak like perfect American?   Maybe we're not out of the woods yet!

On the positive side, we have evil Russians (connected to the cyber-caliphate and ISIS) maybe tilting Superman's election without firing a shot.

They promised us we'd be entering a world wherein cyber war and cyber weapons would be the new big thing.  As a Quaker, that sounded like a step away from doofus muggle outward weapons, so I haven't necessarily put up a lot of resistance.

Lets make the endless wars all cyber for a change, more like the computer games we grow up on.  Given the hell hole in which we started, that'd definitely be big progress!