Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Shooting the Breeze

About Python Properties and Goldberg Polyhedrons... Subgenius, Die Antwoord

Friday, May 21, 2021

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Asylum City Meme

Many an American suffers from a complication of Affluenza:  too much stuff.  If you have a garage or basement, so much the better, but many pay for storage lockers.  The standard way to cut down on stuff: Good Will.

An Asylum City along a train and/or truck route needs warehouses, apartment complexes, and scattered dwelling units.  EPCOT was a model (Walt's version, not the theme park).  We're envisioning "aerospace yurts" and "domed gardens of eden" for the dwelling units (Henry Ford Museum; Cornwall UK).  But do those moving in need to buy new stuff?  For the most part, they do not.  Bring your own stuff through the triage process, keeping most of what you want and contributing much of the rest of it to the commons.  

People come to Asylum City with a mindset of paring down, starting over, lightening up.  Those leaving have typically absorbed more "urban nomad" skills such that they're able to travel without a lot of stuff, but with appropriate gear.  You've got your yoga.  The dwelling units will increasingly go on a timeshare schedule, as original occupants decide to move on.  Golf carts from the bus terminal.  You didn't need to bring a personal vehicle.  Car ownership, like horse ownership, is mostly a drag.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Chinese Peace Corps

CPC is an old meme around here, by now.  The dire poverty of so many in the Western Hemisphere, is sometimes easier to address outside a competing hemispheric power, meaning India.  Getting exchange programs going on the basis of mutual aid, but also shared experience and language training.  Africa is just as worthy as Greater Detroit of course.

Monday, March 29, 2021

More Wikipedia Talk on Facebook

I don't see the A,B,T,E,S modules as an isolated topic in that they're constituents of the concentric hierarchy, itself defined in terms of the sphere packing lattice (IVM). The concentric hierarchy, with its Jitterbug Transformation, provides the beating heart core of Synergetics.

When we call Synergetics explorations of the geometry of thinking, we mean these streamlining, simplifying heuristics that have more whole number memorability than standard fare e.g. 10th grade "plane geometry" with polyhedrons in the back of the book and not always reached.

Descartes Deficit, Euler's V+F=E+2, and the spherical spin networks fit into the same tight little framework of interconnecting ideas, a "memory palace" of useful concepts. We get the language of systems, spheres of relevance (omnidirectional halo), concavity and convexity, frequency (time/size) and angle (eternal shape).

Given Fuller's (a) overall prominence independently of people reading and commenting on Synergetics and (b) folk fascination with polyhedral geometry, I'm somewhat shocked at how few papers since the 1970s, even if only about obscure corners of grade school pedagogy, deign to take up the concentric hierarchy from any angle. The volumes table in Wikipedia is practically nowhere echoed in the culture by any other authors. Yet that volumes table, which includes the modules, is what Synergetics is so much about.

Sure, there're a few of us, but way too few for comfort, who carry the torch. But I find it semi-incredible, yet true, that elementary and middle school teachers across the board have no exposure to A,B,T,E,S in the course of their training, either in math or in the American literature of the 1900s. People treat the concentric hierarchy as something deep that should be left to the specialists, whereas the actual subject matter is closer to kindergarten than college. By now, the 40 year gap in attention, the malign neglect of these innovations, has become the story, as much as the concentric hierarchy itself. What was the reason for this neglect?

A New Englander from Bear Island writes densely philosophical prose ala Poe's Eureka, wherein he celebrates the Individual, over governments and corporations, as the source of wealth and culture, and with a "hotline to God". Very Emersonian. And his great aunt was Margaret Fuller. To not classify Fuller as in the American Transcendentalist lineage would seem an error, not that such a classification is exclusive of other ways to compartmentalize. But for the sake of curriculum coherence, we've got a useful pigeon-hole. I've taken up the matter with a Transcendentalist group here on Facebook and received zero push-back. They're into it.

Probably the best argument that Fuller should not be considered a Transcendentalist is that by convention that chapter in literature has been tied off as a pre civil war phenomenon. The Buddhist idea of a "lineage" that goes for hundreds of years, does not seem to apply when telling America's story. Were it not for the convention of saying the age of the transcendentalists is over already, I'd say including Fuller within that lineage is a no brainer.

To my mind, Bucky waited until towards the end of his life to publish Synergetics because he knew a strong track record would help. Having people willing to work with you and take business risks with you is testament to their not thinking you're full of snake oil. We already have Applewhite and Loeb attesting from their two different angles that Synergetics is not a waste of time.

Ergo I think the Concentric Hierarchy was already sitting in clover (with color plates and everything) when a next generation showed up and maybe decided to neglect its cultural heritage.

This is not an argument from authority. I dove into the subject and checked the math. Koski has showed directions forward e.g. VE:Icosa = S:E isn't that spelled out. The whole game of using phi-scaled E and S modules to fill other volumes shows me his getting the Synergetics Explorer Award was not based on snake oil.

My story of Synergetics: The Invention Behind the Inventions is also plenty compelling, when you stand it up next to all the papers and lectures devoted to far less ambitious topics than Fuller's memory palace.

The reasons for all this malign neglect do not necessarily trace to shortcomings in Synergetics. Fuller himself put his finger on it in what Nature calls one of the most influential works on the topic of sustainability, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth: he said overspecialization was the biggest threat i.e. no academic department sees fit to tackle anything so manifestly multi-disciplinary. Easier to attack the messenger with all these canards about Fuller's lack of intellectual integrity. Smear tactics and character assassination. The car flipped over, the domes leaked, and every idea he had was a popularization of someone else's. He became a target.

I choose to side with Applewhite and Loeb over these featherweight detractors who are losing the battle for hearts and minds.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Martian Math and the Alchemical Tradition (School of Tomorrow)

Part One in Coffee Shops Network (philosophy blog).

Monday, February 15, 2021

Teacher Training

This short talk gives the flavor of what's in latter day American Transcendentalist Buckminster Fuller's magnum opus. The content is highly geometrical, yet mostly prose and incorporates the word "metaphysical" running counter to trends in philosophy ever since the linguistic turn (Rorty).
This is Margaret Fuller's grand nephew we're talking about, the geodesic dome guy (he also invented a 3-wheeled car and an hexagonal house, the latter on display in the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan). He was Elliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard (1962) decades after getting expelled from same decades earlier, for treating the entire cast of some play to drinks on him, blowing his entire stipend.

Picture me the headmaster of a tiny Quaker school in the Ozarks (I'm making this up, I'm in Portland and teach online for my Oregon Curriculum Network) trying to gain market edge by pushing the Fuller geometry down through the K-16 curriculum, all the way to kindergarten in some activities. 

Can geometry be literature at the same time? The subtitle of Synergetics (the magnum opus) is: explorations in the geometry of thinking.

I believe Edgar Allan Poe is usually considered more of a romantic (in the sense of gothic) writer, but then he wrote Eureka (1848), seemingly out of character. I've seen Synergetics compared to that work.

I share all this suggesting teaching and research opportunities, lectures you could give, that'd be off the beaten track, such as the tracks have been beaten.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Early Bird Special

Space Filling Tetrahedra

I'm being somewhat tongue and cheek in this episode, as the "early bird" is finding a "worm" we've been following since the early 1920s.  Duncan Sommerville was hot on the trail of all space-filling tetrahedrons.

The "early bird" was also me, as I was up around 5:30 AM to get an early start on what I expected would be today's Youtube, for my channel.  I'm doing these things for free because I'm a teacher and I get paid in the cryptocurrency of Universe.

The night before, David Koski and I had the Goldberg Chart on the screen (above). He was looking from Minnesota, me from Oregon.  We also had onlookers around the table, a figurative table as this was happening on Facebook, not literally a book of faces either.

Before he introduces his two new "infinite classes" of space-filling tetrahedrons, Goldberg wants to survey what's known so far, about tetrahedral space-fillers.  He does a good job summarizing.

Now, some decades later, another student of this same puzzle, who'd bitten off a lot, especially considering his life expectancy, managed to apply some fairly memorable nomenclature to this same set, but probably without consulting Goldberg's paper, because he left some holes in his system too.

What Sommerville had known about already, were what Fuller calls the Mite, Bite, Rite (both Sytes, i.e. made of two Mites).  That's three of the total five Goldberg identifies, other than his newer two, not in the same table.

The Rite is the source of two more space-fillers, the quarter rite our "fourth Rite" and the half Rite. This very last, column five, was apparently not known to Sommerville, just as the fourth and half Rite were overlooked by Buckminster Fuller.

Half Rite

What's true about Fuller is he's boring a time tunnel of his own, on his own tour, partially overlapping his fellow time-tunnelers. Whereas Goldberg was able to complete Sommerville's work, and also add to the classification of geodesic spheres, in turn overlapping virology, as Fuller had, he wasn't looking to assign relative tetravolumes. 

Nor was the Goldberg Mite about constituent A and B modules, each of tetravolume one twenty-fourth. Those were Bucky's concerns. Coxeter showed a half Mite in his Regular Polytopes, what Koski calls a Smite, calling it the "orthoscheme of a cube".  


The scenario time-tunnels twist past one another in some multi-dimensional Hinton Space.

When you're planning to follow an author's tunnel, that's when you might at least temporarily adopt her or his nomenclature, at least some of it. You want to be able to follow the thinking, the explorations, and so commit to memory, a set of defined terms.  These may fade away later in some cases, even while leaving some valuable residue.

The myth about Fuller though is that he's always piggybacking on someone else, attempting to "popularize" and given that makes Fuller a lightweight, there's no need to swim alongside him and take in his shoptalk.  

Once that bubble pops, and you see Fuller belongs in the conversation, then it's on with mastering some of the vocab.

Initially, neither David nor I knew the half-Rite's shape.  We started speculating.  That's when I whipped out my green felt tip pen, a Sharpie.  The chart gave us numbers to go on and David focused on those.  We each independently arrived at the same place with our dissection, not surprising given the two (complementary) answers.

With the A and B modules, we may embark upon some interesting explorations of chirality, or handedness.  We may explore additional dissections, leveraging the one twenty-fourth volume. We may explore additional primitive assemblies, with pairs of Mites (Sytes) and pairs of Sytes (Kites).

Under Sytes we have the Bite, Rite and Lite (hexahedron).  Under Kites, we have the Kit, Kat and Kate.  These are the terms Fuller was distilling. If you fine tooth comb through his two volumes, you'll find some inconsistencies. The Bite and Lite switch places.  No version control back then.

Anyway, not so bad, learning these ropes, especially once you have the cartoons, and/or vZome.

I recorded two drafts of the Youtube but wasn't sufficiently pleased with either.  Then I got sucked into the impeachment hearings, about Trump's alienating everyone, turning this into some foreign country, unrecognizable, bankrupt, defunct.  He had a lot of help.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Cyborgs in Cyberia

The realm of true facts (truths), whatever they are, under determines our moral and ethical response thereto, meaning objective facts are insufficient to provide an existential framework. 

We have to supply the interpretation, which is where free will enters the picture i.e. subjectivity, such as there is any. 

Objectively speaking, most thoughts and emotions arise just as mechanically as any other programmed phenomenon. 

Humans should not be afraid of being cyborgs. For the most part, that's what we are. And we're reprogrammable, our saving grace though perhaps insufficient, especially if we have no faith in it i.e. if we deny intuition.