Thursday, January 14, 2010

Message Traffic

The catastrophic events in Haiti have galvanized AFSC into action. I was encouraged by the quality of the email, complete with embedded article, pictures, and donate button, signed by the executive director. This went to various e-lists, was forwarded into the mix. Lots of scam artists have gotten into the act as well. Plus no amount of money is any substitute for real logistics on the ground.

Would these hexayurts help? We'd need a new kind of reality TV to find out maybe.

Yes, another Sleeping Bag Fundraiser is in the works through Laughing Horse Books. Musicians from Portland's legendary scene are focusing attention on human misery here in Portland. Lindsey Walker is planning an all acoustic event (not amplified) at our meetinghouse on March 3, in collaboration with Elizabeth Fischer, our Program Committee clerk. The money is handled transparently. Our musicians aren't getting paid, they're getting exposure as committed and caring for their community.

Good seeing Jeff at Alberta Street Pub, the night of that Spanish language class at Laughing Horse Books (moved over from Liberty Hall). He's a Wanderer with training in international business, including in China.

Other stories I've been tracking: the one about John McLaughlin doing stuff (op-ed) behind the scenes (I recall his making an appearance earlier in my blogs); the one in Scientific American about shutting down the supply chain for all weapons-grade nuclear materials, a blanket ban.

Regarding compassionate engineers just doing the right thing, I think a lot of that goes on. The unsung heroes outnumber the sung, at least in some especially treacherous areas. Waiting for politicians to agree may result in life-threatening delays, dangerous meltdowns, loss of vital services.

Geodesic Domes with a Made in China label? That could be a business. Of course we have room for more than one player.

On the more prosaic side, I've been rave reviewing the 2nd edition of Litvin & Litvin, aka Mathematics for the Digital Age. I showed it to Jeff. I also showed it to Patrick. Rami said he's taken a look at the web site. Robert Hansen is even thinking of marketing angles, a breakthrough as he and I have had some heated arguments on math-teach.

The Wittgenstein list is pretty hot these days. I'll anchor to one of Sean's. Explore in this neighborhood if wanting some juicy posts on the Tractatus. You'll find me quoting a passage from The King of Infinite Space regarding Donald Coxeter's relationship with Wittgenstein. I'm also back to appreciating Henry Le Roy Finch and his book Wittgenstein: The Later Philosophy (Humanities Press, 1977).

So Donald Coxeter's scenario partially overlaps these two others I've studied intensively: Bucky Fuller's and Ludwig Wittgenstein's -- an interesting triangle.

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