Saturday, June 04, 2011

Control Rooms

In the early days of GST, I would write about the personal workspace (PWS), envisioned as a place for "value adding". I also called it an edit/recombine studio, which sounds like it might have something to do with DNA, but I was thinking more of audio and video editing. One takes in snippets, contributes one's own, then splices them together in new and interesting ways. Presto: value added.

The PWS sounds somewhat individualistic. In an endeavor to extend the "knowledge worker" economy, I was drawn to the Star Trek namespace for "away team". Post WW2, North American couples would wander in romantic, war-devastated Europe, as war-torn peoples desperately endeavored to heal. They would take slides using Kodak products and come home to show friends and family. My grandparents were of this generation. One could call it "intelligence gathering" but one didn't. One called it "tourism" (in some ways a prelude to "adventurism").

When I look at my leaky roof office, an amateurish add-on by previous owners, to a house originally placed here around 1905, I think of something more comic book, like with a bat pole for sliding down, and a spiral staircase. LCDs grip metal poles and may be swiveled and angled. Something like that. I'm previewing a Garden of Eden "smart house" of that Other Tomorrow, where people enjoy appreciably better living standards (I've dubbed it Columbia, and pitched it for television).

I was spieling with my edu-sig buddies today, outlining my use of Tractors in place of Turtles, hence Tractor Art. Rather than fight the socialist realism that suggests itself, ala Shepard Fairey, I say embrace it. Tractors rule. The etymology is interesting: to drag, which is obviously to plow, is to work (tractatus), to pull against friction. Gaining traction, as we say. Turtles have it a little easier, if sea turtles, though on land they're quite ungainly. Few of nature's creatures have managed amphibious lifestyles as well as humans with their aqualungs (scuba gear).

Where there's a tractor (worker) you've got to have a field (working environment). The Farm class defines little more than a 2-way array made of ASCII. We might speak of "ascii waves of grain" while conjuring a kind of minimalist xkcd meets Norman Rockwell kind of vista. The socialist realists, their cartoon avatar tractors, are sometimes of the CropCircle type (a subclass). These will plow a Mandelbrot Set left to their own devices. I've already logged that in some detail.

Tonight we looked at the Eddy Crouch / Carol Urner idea of an Area Program Committee for the Region (AFSC jabber). Pending a green light from staff, this looks likely to happen, somewhat imitating the Colorado model.

Focusing on August 6 as an annual Disarmament Day, which might extend to forswearing use of a forked tongue or some other such psychological weapon, if not into carrying guns or knives around town (some do so by permit, and besides knives have generic utility), would be one possible option, as a kind of test drive. The Regional Director helped organize the meeting and staff were present, as the Executive Committee was just starting to convene, meaning MVPs were in town. Was this more like Philadelphia, or just Portland being weird?

Christian Scientists built The Mapparium, the better to play World Game. But we all have Google Earth now. Actually, many of us do not, and libraries are under-served, but enough have used it to know what it feels like to access global data at medium bandwidth. Some of the in-out-around landscapes have a Salvador Dali flavor, with freeways drooping over cliffs, not properly filled in. Gifted engineers like Lew go in and add like the Multnomah Meetinghouse.

A "smart house" was supposed to be highly energy aware and had all kinds of self diagnostic electronics. This dream for the future was postponed for so long that people resigned themselves to "stupid houses" for the indefinite future. We now live in Stupid House World (SHW). We have little sense when it comes to energy. Our need for teacher education is dire.

Speaking of teacher education, Glenn is back to his studies of Megalithic Era cosmologies. The importance of Orion's Belt and the World Tree is evident across many times and cultures. The span of the solstices around the equator, the lunar and solar cycles, the snakes that would try to eat the sun (eclipses)... these mnemonics were all there and tightly organized. They knew of the ~26K year precessional cycle, about 1 degree every 72 years. These people weren't dummies. Idiocracy R Us.