Monday, November 28, 2005

PDX: Open Source Capital

So I'm in a small coffee shop. Terry is at the house, with another business associate and my wife the bookkeepper for ISEPP, as a consultant.

Terry wishes the plan to rennovate the property next to Pauling Campus, the renting office repair store, into a Cafe Philosophicus or like that, might materialize. Just needs the $100K.

Don's asking "how" (his name will appear this time).

So PDX was in some write-up in Christian Science Monitor today, as an up-and-coming hub of the global open source network, thanks to the hard work of so many geeks (aka software and hardware engineers), trying to write some benign-enough science / fiction.

Terry just walked in. Our meeting resumes...

Derek appears.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Quaker Gun

"insanely difficult to use effectively"
(photo by K. Urner @ Europython 2005)

Songs of Non-Violence?

"now playing..."
(K. Urner, Olympus Stylus 500)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

More Map Talk

Just because the Fuller Projection is by definition nationless, at least in its most pristine, least dumbed down form, doesn't mean we don't see the barbed wire, concrete barriers, armed guard kiosks and so on.

World Game players may very well carry passports (complete with RFID) or find workarounds (like staying home). Plus as any pilot knows, the no fly zones don't just follow national boundaries. Our targets of interest may have no visible presence except on our maps.

Whenever people pour into the streets to register their views, in Beirut, Tehran, New York or wherever, that's of course visible to satellites as well. One way we play the game is by massing ourselves in open areas, such as at Woodstock or Burning Man.

So it's not like we're waiting for any political events to occur, before we start displaying global data in the Fuller format. We've been doing it for years.

Once you have your global data sets in compatible electronic format, its fun to mix and match them, including across time. What dinosaurs lived in your local area code? How might we assign zip codes to off shore floating cities? The permutations are endless.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Memo re The Map

In my view, Snyder is a damned good cartographer and I have no problem using his algorithm to populate global data displays making use of Fuller's preferred layout, with uninterrupted landmasses (one layout among many).

I'm aware of cheap imitations of the Dymaxion or Fuller Projection, which slice into Japan or wherever, and I know would-be World Game players would be dismayed by such a dumbing down. Competent players want access to the real deal, I understand that.

I'm also aware that Fuller's algorithm, as computerized by Bob Gray starting with Fuller's simulations, expressed with Polynesian-style artifacts, might be used to replace Snyder's in some contexts, giving different gaussians (i.e. the triangles are still distorted, but in a different way).

Mostly, I'm interested in just cutting through the BS, such that open source global data displays, of relevance to NGOs especially, don't involve diverting precious resources from field offices and control rooms already fully engaged in serious-minded service on the front lines.

We don't have the time/energy to spare to ensure compliance with a lot of complicated EULAs. That's why we use Ubuntu/Gnome and like that: we're short of money on paper, and yet we're performing vital high tech services on behalf of omnihumanity nevertheless.

The Fuller Projection should be immediately accessible to such remotely deployed individuals, as well as to school kids in their safe 'n secure classrooms, complete with relevant data overlays.

Our school's objective is to foster competent planning and collaboration skills, such as we've been learning and benefitting from in the open source community more generally. Let's keep up the good work while making GIS/GPS more integral to our thinking.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Headline: GENI Out of the Bottle

I found a Plone site about the Iraqi economy, including news and views regarding regional hookups, stretching as far away as Europe (e.g. through Turkey). That's encouraging. The global grid gets mentioned in this blog, and in neighboring blogs. The buzz around GENI is not new.

Critical Path project (high priority): network the high voltage long distance distribution grids, to facilitate buying and selling of power. ENRON failed to elucidate the vision, got side tracked into attacking California, getting caught in off shore language games around tropical fish 'n stuff. Maybe not really the smartest guys in the room. More of those at Google.