Wednesday, February 12, 2020

American Heritage (MATH)

I tip my hat to the Yang campaign (impressive) at the end of my talk.

Note to self: timeline slightly backward, as the Bucky Symposium at GWU was before the Python conference (Pycon).

I did get to visit with Ed -- including in Georgetown, and take that picture in my blog post: Ayatollah of the Tetrahedron -- but I had to bow out of the ensuing Python conference (Pycon) where I'd been scheduled to talk (on hypertoons).

Ed and I had planned a next dinner, but that one I had to miss. Dawn had just received her diagnosis.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Monday, February 03, 2020

SuperBowl Sunday


I don't know if SuperBowl is really CamelCase, but as a Geek it makes sense to capitalize in that way. We have our ethnic idiosyncrasies too, after all.

I wasn't really expecting to catch the Super Bowl, in that I hadn't scheduled it, but on the other hand I'm a regular at a certain Asylum District "krobar" (a generic for me, Cork & Tap is the legal name) and the game was already in the thrilling 4th quarter.  Kansas City was down, and our dinosaur-friendly bartender is from there.  When they came back to win it, she was ecstatic, which was fun to witness.

Glenn was there to my right.  Dr. D. was on vacation from what we call HH, although that could mean HopHouse (nearby) and HH is all day when the krobar is open.  Cross-eyed crossword puzzling?  Crypticism creeps into American Lit through other sources besides me I'd hazard.

Speaking of "hazard", the Daisy Duke in Dukes of Hazard should not be confused with Patty Duke, who married "Gomez" in The Addams Family.  Patty Duke was a celebrity on the HDTV on an earlier evening, where old game shows are a staple when the SuperBowl isn't showing.  The other screen is always sports.

Then you might think of Daisy Mae, funny how these may all blend together.  Americans' "hillbilly" archetype is a part of the infusion.  I'm not planning to offer any exhaustive treatment here.

Daisy Dukes (safe search setting on, DuckDuckGo) were a type of cut-off popular with some "guys" (gender neutral), a fashion statement.

That's right, we analyze popular culture a lot, as we sip our various brews.

This time, on SuperBowl Sunday, I decided to stick with three consecutive 10 oz. ciders, a blood orange (blew the keg), the replacement peach-raspberry (tint of Vicks candy), and the a sour raspberry, which is really a beer but with cidery overtones.  I was one of the last to cash out.

Today on the day job (OCN) I'm able to apply Miller-Rabin (not a beer) to the problem of filtering out what aren't Mersenne Primes. School of Tomorrow is showing off again, trying to recruit high schoolers into an alternative PWS (home-schooling environment).

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

American Literature Versus Student "Debt"

Of course a truly patriotic president would permanently ban shipping lethal weapons to the front in any outward fight against Russia, and let Ukraine / Russia repair their relationship.

The president needs to stay focused at home, where parasites like Raytheon, Halliburton/KBR, Lockheed Martin, have bankrupted the country, both financially and morally.

Bucky Fuller, a true patriot engineer for social responsibility, took the United States off the hook in the 1980s (and got a Medal of Freedom for so doing), i.e. all this cost plus for profit privatized Murder Inc. going forward would not be the USA at all, just a fake news imposter phony (USA LLC), which the clueless Americans salute every day, pretending their allegiance.

The true loyalists took Uncle Sam off line in the 1980s, keeping his iconography safely blameless for what followed in the name of the American people. A global network of corporate persons (aka GRUNCH) seized control and went blithely ahead with their naked emperor "presidents". Who wants to be the next naked emperor working for "the man"?

Monday, January 13, 2020

Little Women (movie review)

We went to this on request of my sister, visiting from Whittier.  I'm glad she was into it, as I learned a lot from this film, looking through my Anthropology lense especially.  Long movie.  Carol had to go, once we got out, and that's when I learned about the murder plot the Secretary of State was involved in, along with POTUS. Back to the Twilight Zone (oblivion).

I'd never read the book Little Women, and decided to keep myself in the dark until showtime.  I recognized Emma Watson right away, the grownup Hermione of Harry Potter fame.  Her performance was brilliant as was the acting overall.  Speaking of Harry Potter, this was around the time its author came under fire, for some tweets or like that. I wasn't distracted.

These vivacious women had few prospects, when it comes to owning property and achieving financial security, absent a man, are busy doing whatever they might to cultivate their social virtues, as pianists, painters, or even writers.  I started thinking about Dora Marsden.

The writing profession has been especially closed to women, especially if we're talking tabloids or more lurid pulp fiction.  Women writing under their own names were supposed to keep it genteel. Tea-cuppy Victorian puritanism kept the bolder women running brothels, as the class conscious aunt pointed out.

We left reminded, by the end, that we're in some happy ending fiction, a bound book, whereas the author, one of the characters, is likely not exactly like her avatar in the story.  I'd need to read a biography of the actual author of Little Women to figure out the differences.  I'm going to leave that as an exercise for the reader, including me.

Some weeks after seeing this movie, during the crisis which followed Obnoxico's bad chess (Pompeo et al), I discovered Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton and his mocking attitudes towards Romanticism.  Ironically, a world wherein women were more economically empowered, would likely be more romantic, as relationships would be less "of necessity" or "of convenience".  That being said, many of the pitfalls associated with romanticism, as characterized by Alain, deserve the bright light of critical scrutiny.

I'm not saying Little Women is about preaching romanticism, it's not a corny comedy in that way.  I saw the movie in a more feminist light, and wished these sisters had more prospects.  Hollywood would come later. 

The US never did pass the Equal Rights Amendment, another nail in the coffin as far as some of us were concerned.  Lets hope future operating systems might serve us better, including those with Stars & Stripes decals.  In the meantime, we're stuck with a lot of phony baloney.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Ongoing Wanderers Conversations

Now that Yahoo! Groups is no longer archiving our Wanderers discussions, some of the same threads have meandered over to Facebook, where they gain a different audience.

Here's an example from recent weeks:

Kirby Urner Terry Bristol in this one I give the cosmologists the benefit of the doubt and accept a "heat death of the universe" scenario. Even so, after making that concession (for the sake of diplomacy if nothing else), there's still no justification in physics for the world "going downhill" in the near term. Using "heat death" scenarios to justify poor management is merely farcical, not tragic, and involves extrapolating a misbegotten Malthusianism, coupled with Social Darwinism. I bet Romer would agree.
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  • Terry Bristol The universe is NOT running down. The supposed low entropy beginning is 'impossible to explain – if all processes are entropy increasing. Suggest watching my summer talk in Russia: How the Elements came to be as they are, July 28th, 2019, Mendeleev 150, St. Petersburg

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  • Kirby Urner Only some processes are entropy increasing, not all, in everyday thermodynamics e.g. planet Earth considered as an open system could as easily be syntropic as entropic. To what extent is that difference up to responsible engineering? What difference do the humans make, if any?

    As to whether the universe is ultimately running down, even were we to concede that as a debating maneuver, I would still argue that this has nothing to do with the fate of our Earth for the next million years at least.
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Friday, December 06, 2019

Nobody for Education President

I'm not getting that anyone wants to be the "education president" this election year cycle.  That was a Bush Sr. thing, having come off serving as Reagan's veep.  He wanted to lead us towards the thousand dots of light.

I feel I've learned quite a bit about the veep position, thanks to revisiting Nixon's tenure under president Eisenhower.  That's where Nixon developed his friendship with the various bosses, including Howard Hughes if I'm not mistaken.

A lot of antipathy towards the Castro takeover of Cuba kept building momentum, to where JFK would get the ball.

Back to "education president": those of us in the open source movement (where I take "free software" to be a hard kernel) projected the new accessibility, thanks to lower price, of computing environments, would transform middle and high school mathematics teaching.

SQL would merge with vector graphics.  Polyhedrons would be stored in, and retrieved from, a database, as a routine class exercise.

None of that happened to the extent we expected, as computer science was expected to fend for itself in the harsh turf war jungle.

My idea to go with "lambda" (λ) versus "delta" (Δ) calculus, to stand for computer science versus the older calculus track (each a "calc" of a kind), hadn't yet gained much traction, maybe never would.

Case in point:  a Linux box such as FreeGeek was giving to volunteer recyclers, running Python... or lets say a Raspberry Pi... both already have a tiny SQL machine included, as a part of the "batteries included" Python Standard Library, in the form of sqlite3.

We've had a whole generation go by and maybe some elite prep schools reflecting the new realities. The world needs social engineering, long feared and/or satirized as a bugaboo, but how can we deny the engineering component of designing for a better society?

I'm not surprised the game in my region is keeping current with China | Asia as the trend setter.  True, the Pacific Rim has been like that for awhile.  Japanese culture has strong roots on my town of Portland (Oregon) as well.

Getting more "SQL tea" infusions going in the Silicon Forest is perhaps not the same uphill battle others might face, in less technophile-dominated areas.  We understand engineering has converged with the bureaucracy in the world of operating systems, networking, project management.  Government is not just for lawyers anymore (or perhaps what it means to "program" is changing).

I've not given up on the math-programming hybrid as you might discern from my Youtube channel.

However, I've been over on the PATH side more than STEM recently, working on our bridge over the C.P. Snow chasm (know the one?). Philosophy Anthropology Theater History.  Theater encompasses rhetoric and politics.  Anthropology encompasses architecture and art, and so of course appears likewise in STEAM.  A lot of you know of this wordplay.

Having a philosophy you're clear about, able to defend and explain, is often helpful when it comes to prioritizing STEM projects, either for oneself or others.  People may not share your priorities, but will nevertheless be glad to know what yours are.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Gestalts Matter (School of Tomorrow)

"I've been meddling in the election, as a voter, as a citizen..."

We're looking back at April, 2018 as well.