Thursday, August 18, 2022

Thinking with the Ancestors

I rarely talk (or write) about my Uncle Earl.  As is the case with Uncle Bill, I'm using ancestry shoptalk in a shorthand, as both uncles are actually siblings of grandparents, not parents.  

Earl was the in-law of my grandma Margie's sis Betty. I recall the last name was Poole or Poolton, I'll ask Bill if he remembers, probably not.  Carol might.  

My dad's side did not get to meet all of my mom's side, but isn't that usually the case?  We meet the most of our respective clans at weddings and funerals, oft times.

Anyway, I recall this conversation with Earl, who seemed enigmatic, yet good humored, happy to have time with me, asking why we say "the campus" instead of "Campus" or something like that.  Why wasn't Campus a proper name?  But for what?

I have only this dreamy recollection, which includes the room.  Then along comes this "the universe" versus "Universe" talk with respect to the Bucky stuff (R. Buckminster Fuller).  These seem to be grammatical investigations.

Where I come out, almost as a sum of these data points, is with Global University in place of and/or as a synonym for Spaceship Earth.  We say Earth as often as "the earth" it seems to me.  So we might say Campus and mean Earth, as in "the planet" (the one we're on).

Campus in Universe.  Works for me, why not?

I'm fine imputing a subjectivity to these terms, thinking of a passage in Synergetics wherein a Universe is like a complete game of how it might have turned out, something subjunctive flavored like that.  There's a wistful "could have been" to one's own world (shades of Wittgenstein again).

On a rather different subject I'll chronicle here that I got up early and started taking in high volumes.  The complete Silva Ultramind commercial, and then free episodes of the new Showtime documentary on Bill Cosby.

And William James Sidis, the smart kid who just wanted to be left alone to think, therefore to be, not unlike Descartes, always pestered by his "friends".  Later they found a manuscript he'd been thinking on (i.e. writing) and it seemed to be about thermodynamics in some way.  They ran it by Bucky Fuller for his assessment.  Small world.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Social Engineering

Middle Americas
Middle Americas

In case you're curious what social engineering might look like, let me share some science fiction.  For one thing, I come from the viewpoint of the Americas all being delighted with one another.  

That North Americans have a Mexico to enjoy, and vice versa, is a double blessing.  So many North Americans I know, and not just the so-called Hispanic ones, are in love with Mexican culture, whereas others have retired in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, Panama and so on.

I used to tell EJA I was bound for Costa Rica, just to get away from the oppressive MIC, which is AFSC jargon for "military-industrial complex" (to which I give a Jungian spin, i.e. "complex" is a psyche thing). My sister lived there for some years.

Speaking of teaching, I want to introduce high schoolers to Regexes, and not just inside the domain of "computer science".  We're always reminded that Regular Expressions were invented by a mathematician. Lets expand high school math to include them.  What's on my plate for the next couple days.

So the social engineering centers around weather reports, as broadcast over TV stations.  Some of the GPS / GIS maps in the background are fairly TexMex in their makeup, i.e. we're in some Middle America between Mexico City and Las Vegas.  

There's a road net, a set of mountain ranges, some valleys with rivers.  The Colorado, for example, no longer has much of a delta to speak of.  Humans have diverted 100% of that particular river.  I'm getting off topic w/r to TV weather, but not w/r to global climate.

When TV view-voyeurs are as familiar with Middle Americas as with so-called New England, they'll be less prone to fuel the polarizing language factions.  

Again, the Americas are in love with themselves.  We have so much to treasure.  We are the real West after all (plenty wild), not the pseudo-west of the Atlantic-bounded EU East.

Weather maps, as you've noticed, are used to promote a sense of cohesion, of us versus them. That's why you still see these ludicrous masking algorithms, wherein the "weather of interest" is miraculously masked out.  

As if political boundaries trumped nature.  Hilarious right?  

We get more serious around airports, acknowledging there's an ecosphere (aka a biosphere).  

For the most part, though, we're living (mentally) in a house divided, some us versus them.  

That's your model?  Question authority.

Picture a weather map that strays from Oregon to Washington to Vancouver without a pause.  Bellingham is the belly button of this Cascadia place.  Do we need permission from the District to frame our weather reports as such?  Of course not.  

We might obey conventions out of reflex of course.  "Lets do what we've always done!" is the slogan of Darwin Award champions.

Thursday, August 11, 2022


 I've noticed for awhile now that the idea of a "global grid" is nowadays said to be an Asian and, more specifically, a Chinese idea.

Not mentioned here in this Bloomberg vid, is Bucky's World Game making the global grid a top priority.

I guess Bucky is just too scary and troubling a figure to bring up casually in corporate business circles.

The vid also fails to mention one of the oldest HVDC lines, from Oregon to California.

Monday, August 01, 2022

Mind vs Brain

What I'm not expecting the new biography of Bucky Fuller to dive into, given time and space constraints, is Fuller's relationship with P. D. Ouspensky and/or his philosophy. 

We know there was some kind of connection from Linda Darlrymple Henderson's book, on non-Euclidean geometry's influence on modern art.  Apparently Fuller sent a copy of his limited edition 4D Timelock to Claude Bragdon as soon as he self published it, with a note mentioning the importance of Tertium Organum

We may conclude Fuller read Tertium Organum, which gets into the "dimension talk" so pervasive at the turn of the millennium (1800s - 1900s). 

Fuller’s appreciation of trailblazers who rose above their peers with pioneering ideas was also influenced by mystically oriented teachers whom he met in New York City at the beginning of the Great Depression. He gravitated to esoteric teachings in spiritual development by the Russian mystic George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (whom Fuller met in Greenwich Village in the late 1920s) and his pupils P. D. Ouspensky and Claude Bragdon, and, in the 1930s, the controversial French American scientist Alexis Carrel. Drawing on these various sources, Fuller merged the design conceptions of his single-family house with mystical iterations on self-propelled evolution. [source]

The connection I'm seeing is between Gurdjieff's picture of "man, a machine", striving to awaken, and Fuller's own emphasis on automaticity, i.e. on processes not carried out consciously, such as digesting and growing hair... including consciousness itself?  

We don't know how we do it.  Look ma, no hands.

Our automaticity is not something we need to moralize about or feel guilty about, so much as wake up to. Like they said in est:  guilt is that thing you hold on to so you can keep doing that thing you feel guilty about.  

Per Bucky, and just ordinary language, waking up to inappropriate reflexes is more a matter of correcting for awkwardness, once a habit gets way out of whack vs-a-vs the actual challenges.  But doesn't this beg the question as to what's inappropriate?  Who's to judge?

Taking a page from Krishnamurti, is it a matter of seeing the cost?  Or call it sticker shock.  We snap out of it to the extent we catch ourselves falling into it, whatever that is.  The shock of realizing you about to doze off in the driver's seat is what might finally persuade you to pull off, the better practice in these conditions.

Assuming "the Self" in the Jungian sense is an anchoring equilibrium, then a disequilibrium might be a daydream or system, a set of beliefs, a faith and practice.  We accept an aberrational system, always needing Self correction in principle.  But what shocks us into actually shaking off the old habits to make room for new grooming?

I bring est into it because in retrospect it doesn't surprise me that these two philosophers would precessionally orbit one another, but not necessarily converge.  Fuller never did the est Training.  Yet his and Erhard's karma most definitely intertwined.  

I'm pointing to a common lineage:  "esoteric" teachings that begin with the unconscious and/or sleeping and/or habitual nature of the human psyche (including thought), with respect to a possibly unrealized self awareness potential.  

I put "esoteric" in scare quotes because none of the actors mentioned was actively working to make their teachings private and/or secret.  What makes the teachings "hidden" is the need to work on oneself, which can be difficult and may imply a workshop setting, with exercises and self-disciplines.

As Applewhite mentions in Cosmic Fishing somewhere, Fuller was not prone to demonize.  He was not into pointing the finger of blame or indulging in resentment, the paradigm negative emotion.  

He could see what he was up against, in terms of pattern integrities.  Yet he is adamant about having no goodies or baddies at the heart of his mechanics.  He's taking after Nietzsche in that way, in revaluing all values. "Accentuate the positive" was his motto, from that song.

"Man cannot do, because man is a bureaucracy" might be one way to provide a synopsis of the Fourth Way teachings.  

To will the good is to will one thing, according to Kierkegaard.  But how often are we free of ambivalence?  Don't we fragment into numerous "I" types, each with a point of view?  We fight with ourselves, in a battle of self overcoming.

Fuller wanted to accommodate the namespaces he trusted, even where the shop talks diverged.  He'd have his own way to keep Love and Gravity connected, including through ample discussion of Newton's Law.  

There's that one-on-one love, of two black holes, swirling around one another, one day to converge.  Then there's that peeling off from a 90 degree orbit and making one's own way, neither tugging nor resisting, what Fuller labeled "precession".

In Fuller's shoptalk, the "brain bureaucracy" may be semi-paralyzed in an awkward state, looking to pull out of a tailspin.  The mind is able to reshape the aberrational, provided one stays open to it.  Whether it's able to do so in time is touch and go in some cases.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Game Theory

Those into sports know what it means to root for a team.  Sometimes, if coming to a sport from the outside, there's a default sense of neutrality.  Why root for a team so soon?  Why not watch the game for awhile and learn the ropes.  Pick a team later.

Sports tend to be neat and clean in terms of pitting two teams or two individuals against one another.  The action is easier to follow that way, not to mention the rules.  Once the sport goes to three or four bodies, the complexity gets pretty intense, which doesn't mean there's no point thinking about them?  On the contrary, more thought is needed.

Real life often offers this multi-polar prospect:  many teams or gangs or companies or crews, all vying for position, and in some cases seeking to advantage one another, as teams will join meta teams. The vista may contain a lot of roiling and boiling, a lot of dynamism.

What sometimes gets difficult in these multi-player games is figuring out what teams are really fighting what other teams, versus putting on a show.  Team A perhaps makes a big show of fighting Team B, in order to deceive Team C, whereas in actual fact, A and B are on a meta team together, and their seeming opposition is more about outing their adversaries in the C group.

Like if Bob is actually in cahoots with Alice, yet they portray themselves as opposite poles, then if Eve goes to Bob to betray Alice, Bob might tell Alice.  Eve is caught in the middle with nowhere to go, but may not realize it.  She may believe she can play one side against the other.

The matter of secret understandings and hidden alliances is often a source of paranoia.  The computations get too intricate and a player may blow a fuse.  Conspiracy theories break out at this point, widely shared or closely guarded.  If the theory is testable, then it may not be crazy.

These same dynamics play out on soap operas, in families.  

Sometimes a public stance of neutrality, broadcast to all players, is a best way to stay sane, with backdoor attempts to undermine neutrality thereby countered.  Public declarations of transparency open a space for whistle blowers and ongoing revelations.  Exposing truth is more a process more than an end state.

Am I planning to map all this theory to any specific situation on the ground?  Not at this point.  I'm just looking for patterns.  In my minds eye, I'm flitting between situations, some geopolitical, all psychological.

Acts of kindness, without strings attached, no quid pro quo, sometimes come across as confidence building measures.  

Team A wants to reassure Team C that their stance is not adversarial.  That's all find and good and yet who speaks for the team?  Does it have the one captain?  Does it speak with one voice?

Obviously, the big unknown in these equations is the level of trust.  What has an agent (acting party) come to conclude regarding the predictability and consistency, of either an adversary or friend?  

Whether to consider another team adversarial or friendly may come down to decisions based on history, track record.

Friday, July 22, 2022

World Game Museum (WGM)

I've toured a lot of propaganda museums in my day.  We lived in Europe and every chance we got ("we" = my nuclear family), we'd load the car, including the car's rooftop with a family-sized tent (German made), and off we'd go.  

One trip took us across the Adriatic by car ferry from Italy to Greece, I'm guessing that was also the Turkey trip, thence to Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary... probably Prague that time too.  You get the idea.  Along the way, we'd visit museums.  Some were about defunct ideologies, and the social engineering that kept them going in their day.

Such educational touring is itself a world game activity, or call it playing, versus warring.  Warring is deadly serious whereas playing contains a lot of lightness.  

In the gray zone in between, war involves playing with war toys in a simulation (training, playing a game), knowing one is bound for a theater.  There's a whole curriculum about making you a hero.  

That's what a War Game Museum might curate:  the many brands of toy soldier they would factory-make or hand-craft, for the benefit ("") of little children (scare quotes on the side in case any become pawns in someone else's game).

I remember a page from TV and movie star Adam West's auto-bio, cited in a documentary film, in which he's being shot from a cannon, in the circus, in his batman suit, when he realizes his whole shtick is self demeaning. He's allowing his fate to be determined in too passive a tense. He resolves to "play a different character" so to speak.  

An awakening sometimes happens when children find themselves scripted into someone else's fantasy, forced to play along.  They may not have had that perspective at first, initially imagining themselves a co-author, or peer screen writer.  To retain integrity and self respect, they maybe have to drop out or peel off.  Such is their transition to adulthood.

In other words, the transition from war game to world game may involve escaping serious child abuse. 

If you discover you're just a guinea pig in some weapons factory's field testing experiment, in a scenario wherein the factory managers and investors become your commanders through rotation, then you might start looking for an escape route.

An underground railroad usually develops in response to any serious master-slave situation, to help funnel said slaves to freedom while frustrating master power grabs.  The WGM will help memorialize some of these railroads, as a source of new recruits (ex slaves).  

Fighting for freedom is not necessarily a weaponry game, as Muhammad Ali could tell you (along with MLK).  Livingry plays a role too, especially psychologically.

Major General Smedley D. Butler had the courage of his convictions when he penned War is a Racket, more a pamphlet than a book, and a message to future generations.  

He had served in the American-Philippine war, prototypical of the war in Vietnam in testing the readiness of the home folks for Empire. The Anti-imperialist League (Mark Twain & Co.) signaled the home folks weren't ready (and never would be) but signals can be ignored. 

The empire-minded had a New American Century (the 1900s) in their sights, even before any plans for a next Reich in Europe.  The UK had set the bar, with a first globe-spanning example.  Some thought the USA was destined to inherit the UK's mantle.  Others thought said mantle smelled a lot like a dead albatross.  The Revolutionary War had been about escaping, not fostering, an imperial mindset.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Theme Park USA

I'd stumbled upon Defunctland's account of Disney's America, cleverly imitating Ken Burns film making techniques, but little did I know about Freedom Land U.S.A. The two videos do not cross reference the parks specifically. 
Freedom Land U.S.A., developed by graduates of the Disney Academy (an imaginary place, I mean Walt himself and his company), actually ran for five seasons, hoping to meet up with the Robert Moses World's Fair of 1964 on the tourist circuit.  
These longer term dreams did not pan out (a housing project was in the wings as backup), but a lot of kids got to experience American history through a cartoonish carnival experience, the theme park theme.

By the time Disney's company decided to do its own version, under Eisner, partly to counter the Euro Disney disaster, the American public was less enamored of the theme park theme.  The circus sector could not be trusted to coddle the American ego.

Disney and Henson (Muppets) were fighting the same battle:  to make cartoons and puppets a valid means for communicating culture, including adult to adult.  To some extent, this battle was won, in animation and graphic novels, in robots and AI (more semi-autonomous thanks to coding).

Our telling of history has to be fluid.  Committing to one generation's narrative, in the form of a theme park, is to risk becoming obsolete rather quickly, as a future generation comes to mock the quaint views of the past (that's one dynamic).  The world of screens is less of a financial risk.  Keep it virtual.

Speaking of which, I salute C.V. Wood of dubious engineering credentials (at first) for being a great social engineer when it came to selling the theme park idea, which I am personally enamored of to this day.  Dark rides, as well as real train rides, and later roller coasters, have been deeply influential on my own psyche.  Like I can relate.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Arcs of History

What neocons need to counter are narratives such as the one from Chris Hedges.  Chris is very experienced, so when he calls their views naive and childish, there's some gravitas behind it.  He also has a long memory and knows how to trace the lineage.

For now, the neocons have tricked the neolibs into an alliance, or maybe it's not a trick, just the logical extension of certain trends.  Glenn Greenwald has been tracking this alliance, whereby Trump and Cheney policies get absorbed by the District as permanent programming.  The march to expand NATO had no effective counter in the financial sphere, as the weapons makers held all the cards, and continue to.

What happens when the public decides the swamp includes those who cynically used the American people in service of their own narrow ends?

This is not a new story line.  I'm helping catch people up if they haven't been reading or viewing much.  Chris was a bureau chief for the New York Times and an experienced war correspondent, before turning himself into a full time professorial type.  Glenn Greenwald is the one who flew to Hong Kong to interview Ed Snowden.  He also knew what Julian Assange was up against, in terms of deep state interests.

The history so far shows a lot of resistance, in CIA circles, to neocon thinking.  The assumption might be, given the career trajectory of Patraeus and Pompeo, that the agency had been conquered by their faction, but the bureaucracy was way too sprawling to narrow to the views of any one chief executive. The CIA of Ralph McGehee and Ray McGovern wasn't going anywhere either.  You could see George Tenet taking on Richard Perle in the opening paragraphs of his memoir, At the Center of the Storm.

In my experience, the agency was spreading out away from the District as long ago as during Casey's tenure.  This was not really a new development however, as the whole point of the agency was to be a global network, self informing. 

Friday, July 08, 2022

Climate Change

Compartmentalized thinking is when one thinks war and/or military operations are not climate change. 

They're more than mere weather change.  

 What the quasi-incoherent seem to mean, by "climate change", is something about global average temperature and ocean sea level.  The "biosphere" on the other hand, goes neglected, as that's the messy theater of viruses and wars, whereas "the climate" is more important.  

As if there's a difference between economy and ecosystem, human health and planet health.  

We may stipulate that there is, i.e. that humans are at war with their own habitat.  Certainly they're at war with themselves, which makes for an unfriendly habitat in many regions.  

Were humans to be less warlike, the biosphere would change for the better.  

Short of that, why should it?  

Nuclear winter is climate change.  

The ash of cities, blown around the planet, obscures the sun, most likely ushering in an ice age as industry won't be available to warm us up again with those greenhouse gases, not to that high a level.  Was this the plan then, to save the planet from further "civilization"? 

When we're facing climate change in the form of returning to coal or before, maybe that has something to do with the price of rice?  Are those "fighting climate change" content with their own views on war?  They insist war must end, right?  But it's not like they're the ones giving orders.

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Rebuilding Ukraine

The billions allocated to Ukraine could be spent on civilian reparations (repairs) in case Ukraine is still a sovereignty.  The choice to not spend that money on a military spectacular is probably not theirs to make however.  Those billions would not even rebuild the army, navy and air force already lost.  But do they need to be?

The number of civilian jobs open to EU, UK and US types would be proportionally higher in a neutral, vs a NATO, Ukraine. In terms of employment, insisting on narrow specialization in weapons training is an anathema, the opposite of diversified growth, more of what brought the USA to the brink of extinction (some would say that brink has been crossed).

Syria is a good example.  After years of civil war, there's been some chance to rebuild in Aleppo.  Not every apartment building has to be restored.  Sometimes the better plan is to finish the demolition, level, and build atop the rubble of what came before.  That's if the new building techniques are any better.  Perhaps people would prefer a Nomadland, featuring semi-mobile vehicles they could live in.

Oregonians have connections to Ukraine and have no reason to withhold from speculation, when it comes to plans to rebuild.  A demilitarized Ukraine could be just as prosperous, with tourism permitted from all corners.  Ecotourists especially.

Of course the big money showcased as passing through Congress, a choreographed maneuver, presupposes this funding is spoken for, and is designed to enter the coffers of NATO's vendors, to pay for new inventory, under the command of their socialized military personnel.  

Ukraine does not have a say in NATO currently, but as the recipient of so much largess, is cast as forever grateful.  Without NATO, where would Ukraine be today?

The Russian side is already starting to rebuild, as winning over a new citizenry implies a trajectory back to civilian normalcy. The best PR is to begin repairs.

Russia does not need the EU to crumble, as basket case neighbors are prone to poor judgement.  Their "nothing to lose" mentality gets the better of them.  Extremists exploit extreme conditions.  Who wants to deal with freezing Germans?  NS2 could be turned on tomorrow.  Of course DC would object.

The challenge has been the challenge of brain surgery:  how to address the issue without killing the patient.  In being a huge part of Europe, Russia has been operating on itself.

Rebuilding Ukraine might not be a high priority for every developer though.  Many on the sidelines, in a cheer leading capacity, are convinced they're in a position to extract their pound of flesh.  Their desire for vengeance is high.  Civilians getting on with their lives takes a back seat.  Perhaps the plan is to keep them as displaced refugees and stoke their resentment?

Allowing Ukraine to carry on without being remotely controllable from Washington DC, goes against what many a control freak requires, to feel secure.  If they don't feel secure, then it's their business to make sure none of us do.  

Stopping the rebuilding of a civilian Ukraine, in favor of more combat and degradation, could be what some of the limited liability boards have in store for us.  They're maybe not in the rebuilding business.

The question is whether the large bureaucracies will follow them, or expel them, as no longer representing the more profitable way forward.  Helping refugees, while rebuilding a humane habitat is potentially one of the biggest businesses of all time.