Monday, November 22, 2021

Applying to Tlon

Crystal Ball Function in Hoon

I went so far as to zap a resume to Tlon, the Urbit hoster.  Coincidentally, they were looking for a copy writer with React.js skills. My inbox is always humming with job offers, none of them usually at all a good fit.  This one leapt out at me.

Although I've read up on React (the client Facebook pioneered to make their complex update cycle work), the better to teach at O'Reilly (this was years ago), I don't promote myself as a Reactionary (joke, they don't call themselves that, I'm pretty sure).  

The Angular people could call themselves Crooks (as in crooked).  Angular meaning "bent".

I'd say I submitted my resume as a sign of respect.

Although the world domination fantasy is always inspiring, it's the kind of self discipline / self mastery it takes to get there that's appealing, whether one ever gets there or not.  You get a great set of abs by trying (that's a metaphor).  My belly shows off that other kind of six pack.

Linux was the same way, the eternal underdog against the behemoths.  That's somewhat of a romantic telling, as the giants got on board in the Giant Wars.  IBM wanted its revenge against Microsoft, which had veered away from OS/2.  

More to the point, when you're a behemoth with expensive proprietary products (e.g. Tivoli), what you want most is for your clients to run a free open source operating system (low barrier to entry) with no vendor lock in.  All the better to lock them in then.

However Urbit doesn't need to dominate the world any time soon, in order to start making a positive difference in the world.  The joy of Hoon + Nock is you get to think like a computer scientist.  

You have a binary tree in your head as you code ("the subject") and your tiny set of nock codes go against it, computing the effects of your Hoon expressions.  I've only climbed this steep learning curve for a week and already I feel smarter.  Wing expressions.  Runes (like bar-tiz or |=) for starting a generator of one arm, i.e. a gate i.e. a (battery payload) cell.

The effects get applied, in an atomic manner, and your whole machine is now updated, shades of Smalltalk, with its self-saving image.

The new media campaign is around the Crystal Ball Sequence, at OEIS, which links back to my websites. The idea is public schools with sufficient imagination to live up to our American heritage, will also share it (and by American, we're free to mean planetary, the same way we mean Chinese or Russian in the Global U).

Virtual. USA OS.

Some of the Urbit nouns seem to be German.

I already feel somewhat on the hook to a queue of clients and don't think my resume will actually percolate to the top, what with 18 other applicants, especially sans a cover letter, but I'd clear the decks and dive deep into React should a tour of duty call.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Back to Day Camp

We got a ton of boo hoos and bemoanings, of time lost and skills wasted, especially from two income families, which is most of them.  Not all of them get to keep their Zoom jobs, nor the kids.  Enough "remote time", back to school.  Good news for all.

Except a tiny minority of kids had some interesting adventures from the safety of a Zoom job, which is what we gave them, in place of classroom TinyDesks [tm] and a storage locker plan.  They got to be more like adults and in many cases got exposed to more real world relevant learning, sans the bullying, sans the insipid nature of the day care center's fake school.

Now I'm only using that language to empathize with that tiny minority, who had a good experience trying distance education.  We're told the vast majority hated lock down (who wouldn't, that's prison talk) and now have a built in reason to need remediation going forward.  The ones who thrived are not the ones making news, that much seems obvious.

As a teacher during that period, I went from middle to high school level in a hurry.  Drilling down in Python the way the schools envision, in big computer labs, in the day care setting, is different from staying home in a privileged nerd cave with high bandwidth.  We were clearly happier here, with our JupyterLab dashboard, in the high school of tomorrow.  I could use the same pedagogical techniques I used with adults, and andragogy often makes good pedagogy, I think any Muppet lover will tell you.

Some kids have continued with day camp, putting in nonstandard hours and not riding the bus everywhere.  Having kids off the streets, in cubicles, learning, more hours of the day than not, might be a good use of cubicles, if we ever decide the TinyDesks [tm] are not enough.  Shared MakerSpaces.  Elevators to classrooms on other floors, for when debate teams meet.  But debates could be on Zoom as well no?  When exactly do we need an auditorium?

I'm saying only a minority of education planners are given skyscraper type buildings to think about, as mixed use structures.  My model is more people spread about around town in more traditional dwelling units, more like the one I'm in, where the giant walnut trees fall.  High wind today.  One fell.

Walnut Falls

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Machine Unlearning

Is tagging by race for ML purposes itself a racist practice, by definition?  ML = machine learning if you didn't know.  In my subculture, that's a given.  ML has taken off in recent years, refueling the dream of RI (real intelligence) ultimately emerging from AI (artificial, phony or mock intelligence).

I'd say in the neural nets of real humans, tagging by race was caught up in self fulfilling prophesy (or poetry -- Paine) of a religious nature, regarding the "place of each race" in some cosmological caste system. Without mechanized agriculture or quarrying, the vast resources had been commanded under threat of a whip in many cases.  Cosmologies (background programs) needed to support that status quo.

Per the book Caste, India's social engineers and Jim Crow have a lot to talk about, in terms of comparing notes.  May the civil rights movement in India continue on an enlightening path.  Obsolete stereotyping is the root of almost all evil (falling behind), whereas sensitive discernment of relevant traits is by definition not obsolete.  The advantage is in having the right models.

The Tower of Babel was the anchor for many civil warriors, up to the "confusion in tongues" part, which people tended to misinterpret from their bully pulpits.  God used extra- and/or epigenetic (outside chromosomal) reprogramming techniques to fix a major bug of the Noah Era.  The bottleneck of Noah's Arc had given rise to groupthink and monoculture, and to an idiocracy expecting its reward in heaven based on some taller-is-better ideology-architecture.  God again saw a need to intervene. Humans were still in fine tuning phase in the Book of Genesis.

Thinking in language runs "a miracle a minute" compared to the miraculous mutant-based morphing associated with geological time DNA coding -- unless you're a bacterium or other such simple-tiny self propagator.  

Humans were split asunder not along genetic lines, but into their philological flows, which helped create the impetus, the mutually frustrating pressure, to wander far afield and start fresh, creating new versions of everything:  New York, Nova Scotia, New South Wales...  

The student body diaspora would eventually spread around the world and finally get that the campus was spherical.  A self conscious humanity would become a university of the meek, humble in its obvious ignorance.  Score one for God then.  The jealous angels could not say "I told you so" that quickly.

The whole US Civil War mentality started falling apart with the continued evolution of mechanized sea, bus, rail, and air travel.  Spaceship Earth became a nomad land, as its next generations of people, with their light-to-dark sun-blocking skin tones, resettled the Americas. 

The newer neural nets started coping with "world around" tourism, with some traveling themselves, others staying put. Either way, people coped with a shocking future, and continuing waves of migration.

The race tag was proving less and less a predictor of whether that stranger sitting next to you was conversant with quantum physics, knew English, had a gun.  Hard to know.  

The race-based language games were about making things simple, a truly uphill battle where human complexity is concerned.

The corollary to ML models drifting off course, perhaps thanks to "foundations of sand" tagging schemes built around race, is the emergence of tagging looking at authentic ethnic attributes (e.g. philological) versus these pseudo-biological ones.  

Nothing in biology precisely maps to the old civil warrior "races" idea because the race concept was forged in the wake of reading Genesis, not in the study of genetics. "Critical race theory" has morphed into "critical of race" theory.

In the evolutionary marketplace of ideas (extra-genetic in large degree, unless you're deliberately inbreeding some royal dead end) race-based ML is going to suffer the slings and arrows of strongly countering intelligence services.  

Their PR will be along the lines of "only the slow think in terms of race" which is condescending I realize.  Condescension is more effective when disguised.  Lets call it "mock pity for those who believe in breeding a master race" i.e. "too bad y'all will never be ruling class, not with crazy beliefs like that".

Friday, November 05, 2021

Explaining My Jargon

JupyterLab Control Panel
I'm not just twiddling my thumbs, though in my defense, if I were, isn't that a big part of being a Quaker?  Expectant waiting we call it.  I'm not the instigator, but wait for a way to open, as the jargon goes.  Is there any truth to the rumor that "Quaker" in American Sign Language is twiddling thumbs?

Describing a role (some still say "job") in terms of its personal dashboards is not a bad idea, especially if one is at liberty to stay highly metaphorical with the dashboard talk.  Recall how the UNIX crowd wanted a "workbench" or even a "bicycle shop" ambience, which went well with the "many tools, each good at what it does" esthetics.

What are the dashboards associated with high school?  A special desk and chair combination?  A locker?  Do you have an auditorium with a stage?  An athletic field?  An indoor gymnasium?  What I'm describing come from a stereotypical high school, a set of buildings, on a campus.  The home based personal workspace was the homework space.  Until the internet made more inroads.  Until social distancing became more of a thing.

My shoptalk had long featured the personal workspace (PWS) which could mean anything from a cubicle, to a home office (such as I often had), to the cab of a long hauler truck.  I thought in terms of a cockpit. 

The archetype is often a command center, a mission control, a situation room, a control room.  So here we are, in my Control Room blog.  The PWS is more like a BizMo, complete with captain's log (journal, diary), but on wheels or even just legs.  Control rooms dispatch.  A familiar model.

How should we extend the interior "pattern language" of high school to include our newer Zoom dashboard, with screen sharing?  What "nerd caves" do students and faculty inhabit?  Are we talking about multi-hour courses?  Who scripts them?  The process of passing the torch is ongoing.  Older generations shape the newer ones, but sometimes with push back.  Actions beget reactions, and results.

I've been looking at JupyterLab as a high school dashboard, one of many, compatible with the PWS motif. It's what I look at, when reading and writing Notebooks.  My curriculum flows around by means of these documents.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Curating Russiagate


Saturday, October 23, 2021

Trucker Nation

I bring several associations to the "trucker nation" meme, first and foremost the tendency to tack on "nation" while meaning "space".  Oregon has its Rogue Nation, a brewery, including farms and farming, as beer-making is an agricultural process.  We don't take "nation" literally in the sense of needing to approach the UN on bended knee seeking a seat at the table in NYC and/or Geneva.  There's no need to take it that far.

On top of that, in addition, there's this tendency to add "planet" before or after, as in "Planet Python". I could go on to add "World" as in Disney World (or DisneyWorld in CamelCase).  Trucker Planet would be a fine caption to a Spaceship Earth picture, as is Global University (already in full swing).

These "nations" tend to bind globally, and without regard for contiguous borders. The topology is more complex.  An airline dots the globe with airport gates and counters, facing outward from its native space: data centers, maintenance hangers, office space, the air between tarmacs.  

Airlines have storefronts facing landlubber space, much as do shipping companies.  Many airlines no longer bother to maintain ground-level customer service offices for would-be passengers.  Brick and mortar is passe. 

My point:  the glue that holds a brand and team together may be strong, without the benefit of some lengthy contiguous border to defend.  These "diaspora nations" are more networks of "islands".  One of the oldest forms of diaspora nation is a religious sect, with its temples, churches, mosques and synagogues, but also schools and communities.

At the moment, the movement of container shipping is stalled around the world because of the intermittence of supply chain services, along the shore, and moving inland.  The system was fragile to begin with and with sars2 (a mutant of sars1?) hitting it broadside.  That world shipping hasn't capsized (figuratively) all together bespeaks its resilience if we want to accentuate the positive.

Trucker Nation represents a bloodstream level service, as vital, literally as well as figuratively, as the flow of nutrients through the bloodstream is where it's at.  Along arterials.  Along capillaries.

One of the chief complaints of drivers in the UK, perhaps among the most forthcoming with their grievances, and comprehensible to me, is a lorry will be sent down a country road that really has no business taking such traffic.  We do have a fleet of more intermediately sized vehicles, including designed for delivery.

Another chief complaint is drivers must abide by strict drive time rules, but when the time comes for a mandatory break, there's no pull-off, no parking, no truck services in the vicinity.  Routing software does not pay attention to random elements such as mandatory stop times.  Drivers will therefore stop early if necessary, because a destination has been reached, and then have to start up again at crazy times.

The pull-offs stink, are unmaintained, were not designed for drivers needing to relieve themselves.

In other words, Trucker Nation is both vital and oppressed and is in severe need of a redesign.  I've been forecasting more of a merger with university campus culture, merging a life of work-study, with that of hauling loads, at least intermittently in the course of one's career.  Outside of these blogs, I have more on Medium regarding the Trucker Exchange Program, which includes academic credit possibilities.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Synergetics Dict

Halloween Tetrahedron

 twin cobras

As many of my readers know already, I mix my Python teaching, and learning, with Synergetics teaching, and learning.  

Python is a well known and loved computer language, currently one of the most used.  

Synergetics is a still obscure set of disciplines carved out as a namespace by one Richard Buckminster Fuller and friends.  

I hasten to add the "and friends" because they rescued it from being a private language. As it is, Synergetics is still semi-private, with Fuller famous for his dictum that he'd rather be not understood than misunderstood.  

That he was willing to encrypt, to keep his real meanings out of the wrong hands, might be another way of putting it, shades of Descartes.

What helps bind Python and Synergetics together is the whole idea of a namespace, a set of names paired with objects in the manner of a lookup table, and called a "dict" in Python.  

Then we have (a) the Synergetics Dictionary (Applewhite) and (b) the conscious use of "dictionary" to mean something like "growing realm of experience" (as documented).  

In other words:  dictionaries, as a concept and as implemented as ultimate particulars, are both core to Synergetics and Python.

Although I think the dictionary makes a wonderful image and metaphor for how language glues to the world, each name to its object, what really happens in language is more like "wheels turning" (sometimes smoothly, at times grinding and gnashing).  

What goes on at runtime is way more intricate than any tabular pairing of names with objects would suggest, which maybe accounts for our retarded appreciation for language complexity, by centuries -- at least if we're dyed-in-the-wool Wittgensteinians about it (baaa!).

The dict is apropos, and the dict may get in the way of our appreciating "operational mathematics" i.e. the actual weaving of the fabric of meaning (lots of action, all going on in parallel).  That's where you get both dance, and sleight of hand.  We may get makeshift and improv (hacks), or "exaptations" as Stuart Kaufman calls them, from the front line.

As we get to the chaos of everyday wheels turning, we likely see a need for debugging, for maintenance, servicing. Words like VUCA and FUBAR pick up in frequency.  Runtime is unpredictable, and we anticipate this unpredictability e.g. try, except and finally are built right into the language, as Python keywords.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Tracking Tulsi


I never soured on Tulsi Gabbard in the wake of Joe Biden's gaining the throne in the White House. Perhaps because I had few illusions in the first place.  I see her primarily as a "Hindu-bot" with -bot a suffix one may add anywhere ("Jew-bot"... "Xtian-bot") to hint "set in their ways" and/or "programmed from birth" and/or "high inertia" (and possibly high caliber to boot).

I don't think the Lower48ers collectively have much of an ability to emulate or empathize with the reflexive tension one oft finds, on the Indian subcontinent, twixt Hindus and Muslims.  I'm talking about real Indians here, not about "Indians" in that backward "cowboy" way many sheepish Amerish stick to, as a matter of pride in their homespun namespace.

The Islamic Mogul (Mughal) civilization (Turkish, Persian, Urdu speaking) colonized much of India, and to this day one has a cast of Indian bureaucrats in the Arab-speaking states, so grafted together these subcultures have become.  Pakistan is hardly that secular of a state either.  Lower48ers forget they're children of The Enlightenment (many have no idea what that means in the first place).

One might object that the English superseded the Moguls and the most evident hybridization is thanks to remnants of the UK.  That's a bit of a straw man position though, as of course it's not either / or. The Amerish overlay the Japanese who overlay the Spanish when it comes to archeological layers in the Philippines, and that's only a tiny piece of the story.

I recall taking my computer problems to a Hindu family man, from India, and his letting me watch over his shoulder while he fixed my PC.  He liked talking geek with a guy like me (a geek).  Before long, he was warning me about the nefarious nature of the Muslim type, by which I gather he mostly meant people he remembered from in his homeland.  I doubt he knew many Muslims here in Greater Portland (not that there aren't any).

Tulsi is a militant, in the military, with that patriotic calling to serve her country, in Congress as well.  She's not a WILPF member, not an Ava Helen Pauling. 

She ran for president on the basis of calling for "no more regime change wars" not ending use of weaponized drones, and in doing so she was stirring up the ire of covert operations buffs, the types who count on the Pentagon's collusion going forward, in planning all manner of derring-do operations (drone-based included) designed to harass and disappoint, if not ultimately frustrate, this or that competitor in the market place of ideas.

Tulsi helped disrupt the fragile narrative around Syria, another point on which she is not easily forgiven, as that narrative has continued to crumble, much to the disgrace of various old guards operating mostly in face saving mode these days.  

Disobedience and defiance of the DNC became evident early, in her embracing Bernie Sanders in successive presidential elections.  The Sanders wing seemed too unlikely to prosecute regime change wars in a predictable fashion, with its wavering grasp of a worthy enemy.  At least the Pelosi-Trump axis was unified behind Juan Guaidó, the Wikipedia-ordained acting president of Venezuela.  Bernie does his best to sound sincere.

She also helped unravel the phony Russiagate hypothesis, by taking offense over being labeled as their tool.  The DNC resorted to name-calling too transparently in that case, crying wolf once again.  These were punishable offenses and in recent news cycles the neoliberal wing has done its best to bring down the hammer, and evict Gabbard from the DNC circle of cronies once and for all.

Somewhere, a contained conflict must be instigated, to perpetuate the war machine's profit-taking.  Tulsi is on board with that if that means targeting radical Muslims i.e. the extremobots she has a beef with and sees behind 911. She has plenty of room for a more liberal Islam, sure, but is ready to fight the fanatics, anywhere she's deployed.

The Lower48ers are confused about foreign policy and many of them know it.  Fantasies take hold amongst them and becometh as folk religion, which the priest-witch politicians know how to make roil and boil, to create a potent psychedelic (as in screen-cast) brew. 

Before long, the populace is collectively hallucinating, entranced by those long optical fibers called cable television, stretching back to the studios of mind control (an imprecise art to be sure).

As a Quaker type, I argued with my sister about whether it made sense for a pacifist to support a militant Hindu for president in any way.  However my rhetoric was somewhat nuanced.  I didn't think Tulsi could win, as Lower48ers don't "get" her that well (they can't related, only project).  

What we needed for a president was another crime boss, a mafioso type (not to specify an ethnicity here) which is what we always seem to get at the end of the day. 

Tulsi's way of thinking was too idealistic, more like a soldier's, when said soldier is eager for someone or some ideology to follow.  A tinge of idealism and hope for the future rubbed off, and helped some people stay awake, but most got their optimism through Bernie.

That Ms. Gabbard is currently taking solace from her remaining popularity with the right is not a problem for me.  She's a good antidote to the likes of Trump.  I don't think they understand her either, but they remember she called Hillary "Queen of the Warmongers" and stood up to those DNC juveniles.  That won her some respect at least.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Quadrays as API to XYZ Vectors

Fun with Vectors

We learned the language game of XYZ vectors from Hermann Grassmann, William Rowan Hamilton, Josiah Willard Gibbs and Oliver Heaviside. 

Clifford Algebra branches from Grassmann's Universal Algebra, steers around Quaternions (Hamilton), seeking a bigger slice of the physics pie (Hestenes) perhaps deservedly, because it does more with less.

Quadrays were not my invention. I thought I was getting them from one David Chako (who favored "tet-rays") and I was happy to call them Chakovian Coordinates as a synonym, as that sounds like something Borges might uncover, in one of his scholarly detective-like deep-dives into glass bead game arcana.  

Not that Magister Ludi (Hesse) was by Borges, just they have much in common.  Wikipedia traces the lineage yet further back, to other great minds, thinking alike.

Quadrays may or may not come with an overlay wherein the tetrahedron they define has an unconventional -- from an XYZ standpoint -- unit volume. To have this feature is to sync the Quadrays home base tetrahedron with the IVM of Buckminster Fuller, or "octet-truss" to pick a patented architectural version thereof, or "kite" to go with A.G. Bell.  

Four of them (1, 0, 0, 0), (0, 1, 0, 0), (0, 0, 1, 0) and (0, 0, 0, 1) serve as basis rays to the four corners of a regular tetrahedron (of edges one?) from the origin at (0, 0, 0, 0).

I use quadrays to develop a CCP (close cubic packing), as {2, 1, 1, 0}, meaning all 12 unique permutations of those quadray coordinates, point to the 12-around-1 ball centers surrounding a unit-radius ball center.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Regarding Social Media

Copied from The Ecology of System Thinking group on Facebook, comment by me, just now:

I like philosophies which remove the omniscient organizers who will provide the new game plans, and go back to cybernetic basics ala the invisible hand -- which gets caught red handed and visible sometimes, i.e. we get glimmerings of conspiracies as we grow our own organs of discernment (hypothetical faculties).

But in the final analysis, no management cabal is situated in some uber control room with puppet strings to the rest. The Dr. Evil types all have limited radius, as do the Dr. Goods.

Many reformist philosophies decry the status quo, but do buy the idea of "those at the top" who might institute the new designs "from above" and/or "from below".

More likely, the longer lasting new designs emerge from fragmentary attempts by the many factions, and do not bare the stamp of a conscious consensus. Hence all the complaining and protests by ostensive servants of whatever status quo.

Where we find the more consciously designed social agreements is at a relatively micro size, of under a few hundred humans, some living, some not. These are what I would identify as "ethnicities" which are always surrounded by other ethnicities (partially overlapping).