Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Revenge of the Gnurds

Coming soon, to a theater near you.


Then take a Victory Vacation.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fire and Ice: Korean War (movie review)

This two-DVD set was among the five documentaries we checked out from Movie Madness, for a small fee, due Saturday. We've already watched them all.

I'd been sparring with Cherlin, an OLPC guy, about North Korea in some thread and decided to back fill with some History Channel. Getting the North Korean point of view might take a Clint Eastwood (Korean version), but in any case I learned a lot about the American historians' point of view, colored as it was by the dizzying power of being a superpower, at least in its own head.

I'm tempted to say that Douglas MacArthur and Joe McCarthy were two of the worst things to ever happen to America, but then I temper my armchair viewpoint with the observation that both were products of their times and it's always within the power of the many to rein in the one, or should be, so blame the weak groupthink maybe?

Clearly those Main St. USAers weren't following too closely, as most are not today.

Who has the time?

Let Madison Avenue handle it (let advertisers pay for news, yeah good idea...).

The narrator relives the realization USAers kept having that they were not in charge of world events (such an alluring idea though). Blaming the OSS for "losing China" was as dumb as thinking Russia ("the invisible hand of Moscow") was pulling all the strings in China.

These simple mental models based on a smattering of loosely connected proper nouns just don't serve as reliable guides (don't constitute real thinking). People give in to ideas not because they're correct, but because they're easy to grasp, compact, even cute (the song of the sirens).

Would that intuition have a stronger hand eh?

By the end of the film (made around 1999), MacArthur has been reduced to a thespian. His final speech before Congress is squirmy / uncomfortable in its self-indulgent cliches, many of which he coined (so not cliches then, I realize).

Joe McCarthy was a terror, a bully, and Americans proved hardly able to corral this mad cow, because so infected themselves with their own "anti-communism". Was there any science in that rhetoric at all? Welcome to Planet of the Apes (1950s onward).

Sorry, I'm judging with hindsight and that always looks bad.

Good thing the American people started tuning out after awhile, rather than continuing to treat the Korean War as a spectator sport put on by generals in theater, like some kind of NFL.

That's just tasteless ugliness.

Watching humans blast their own infrastructure apart out of vengeful catharsis is just to watch the death throes of a pathetic species, another life form gone astray. One hopes to tune in later and find something worth watching.

Well made. Good footage. Tightly scripted. What a nightmare.

Speaking of Clint Eastwood, another documentary I got was a.k.a. Cassius Clay, a biography of Mohammed Ali that is rather deftly made given it's in the thick of things (in the midst of wars). It's a film that comes out boxing, dancing. Ali was smart to have this made at the peak of his career. Smart guy all around, a real dancer.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Esozone 2011

:: esozone 2011 ::

My main intent was to catch @mathpunk Tom Henderson in the act, and that I did. We were first introduced by Keith Loftstrom at a Barcamp (#4 in PDX -- I'd been at the first).

I arrived just as he was taking the podium and stayed on through the Duke of Yuke, which I found relaxing.

Dinner with Alex had been a blast.

Now I'm back at the scene but all has gone quiet.

Steve Holden, the Chairman of a small global dictatorship, a virtual state, and myself, an unassuming Minister, would qualify as MVPs in many a diplomatic circle, but our presence here is unannounced. I did not file a resume or advertise as a speaker, as I had no idea when the trip to Silverton would be over.

We came back by Hwy 214 from Silverton, through Woodburn, connecting with I-5 to Wilsonville, stopping at Fry's. Tara had been interviewing for one of her choices of college (I joined at the end), then I united her with her champion debate team (the one she started as a sophomore).

I fondled the Brother MFC scanner / copier / color laser, going for about $500 -- on the high side compared to the others, but so like what I have now... I tore myself away with Holden's help with a recharger for AA/AAA batteries, some of each, and a palette of Red Bull (sugar free), which Tara drinks also (a Taurus family), stocking stuffers (for a vestigial Xmas).

During our stopover at Blue House, I found Food Not Bombs cooking up a storm for the GA at Colonel Summers. That might be a small one, like Holladay Park was (on my beat).

I know what it's like to show up with enough vegan chili for an army, to find only a few skate boarders with their boy and girl friends (which is fine -- plus sometimes we bring live performers, other entertainment, and blend in).

The temperature may get below water's freezing point tonight. FNB was serving at the same site last night as well, but then we're troopers, were doing the same thing a year ago, and years before, even without an Occupation.

Esozone is on the edge of China Town, or Old Town as we call it. I parked just inside the Chinese Gate so Steve, a citizen of the UK, could see how America is dealing with its problems. Mike D is a skilled worker. I know him from Duke's Landing, one of our hubs (though more of a storage depot in this chapter).

One of the dudes at R2D2 (Right To Dream Too) said "you can take my picture: I'm native American but I not one of those who believes your camera will take my soul". "Only two thirds of it" I bantered, as I snapped the shot. Smile. That was earlier today, while waiting for Tara.

Tom: the general uses everything, the artist makes do with nothing. A sense of self is a temporary matrix holding all together, both convergent / divergent. When narrowly focused, as in a trance, we may lose perspective on what our role may be, in the bigger picture.

Apparently the camera was not recording, so the performance has vanished into our brains and blogs as it were.

The audience was engaged and nurtured I thought.

Silverton was a hoot. I thought of contacting Gus but we were there for such a short time, hanging out at one of the main downtown watering holes (after dropping Tara at Silverton High). We enjoyed two appetizers, a couple drinks, and shoved off, back to Portland (a hub or "base") and Esozone.

Off to a food pod for some occufood next, probably the one at the base of Hawthorne, near Lucky Lab, where I am now, by way of Helium across the street.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tweeting About Maths

:: Ministry of Education banters with Republic of Math ::

Re: "Wittgenstein was a beery swine" (cited clip)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Virtual OPDX

click for larger view

Per my intra Blue Tent memos, I think a mistake of some other occupants is to think the 1% controls with money.

There's money involved, but control is with spin, and the 1%, according to Bucky, are the ones most attuned to something he called "precession" (at which point we trail off, as apparently nobody knows what he meant by that -- the guy was just nuts right?).

On the Wittgenstein list, I make the point that our Jew of Linz had like superpowers in comparison to your average run of the mill Fortune 500 CEO capitalist, and yet he was an unemployed, houseless vet a lot of the time.

Who are these "giants"? "God only knows" right? Reminds me of our "great pirates" discussion on Internet Radio.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Phone Meeting Notes

S Module

Thanks to David, I got clear on three things:

The volume 4 octa in which an icosa is inscribed, faces flush, is the same model Fuller employs to develop his S modules, 24 of which form as the difference between this octa and its icosa. These S mods have a volume close to that of the A, B & T: about 1.08x bigger. Ergo, octa 4 minus x > 1 = 3+ volume of the icosa (where x = 24 S).

The relation between the T & E is a buried gap in Synergetics 2, a 0.9994... that seems too much of a focus (over-amplified?). In 2011, we see E amplified by Phi**3 (volume-wise) giving E3, 120 of which make "super RT", embedded in which, as long face diagonals, is our "most important icosa" (the one from the Jitterbug) with edges 2R. On the T side, we see T amplified by 1.5 (volume-wise) giving K (1.5 T), 120 of which make the 7.5 volumed RT (interlaces with 6.0 volumed RD). The scale factor (volume-wise) to the E3 (E-mod * phi **3) is just 2nd-root(2) ** 3 (linearly: 2nd-root(2)).

The octa scaled up so as to contain the "most important icosa" also embeds a cubocta of edges 1/2 those of the octa. For comparison, the octa 4 (mentioned above) contains the cubocta of volume 2.5. The "most important icosa" is related to the cubocta of volume 20 by Jitterbug Transformation. Interesting factoid: the edge of the cubocta in scaled up octa is 1/10 the volume of the most important icosahedron, looking at PV = 2 (1 D), and icosa-volume = 18.51... with cubocta's edges 1.851... (same digits). That's weird, because we're talking about an edge vs. a volume.

Handout from Police
:: opdx 11-10-11 ::

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Adult Discussion

Multnomah Meeting Sign

Our Multnomah Meeting Adult Discussion section (meets 8:30 AM), was all about Occupy Portland and Occupy Together. This was not at my instigation in any way and I had no foreknowledge of the topic, though I can't say it surprised me. The white board note taker listed all of our names as we went around, although one of us (not me) declined to be identified.

Many views were expressed, including the idea that outward violence would inevitably be necessary to make some kind of point. "Mayhem = catharsis" is how I'd characterize this school of thought. One strikes fear in the opposition by seeming "out of control" -- I was thinking of Dick Nixon, who relished the "mad dog" aspect (mask) when dealing with his imagined foes.

Others spoke to the "inward weapons" in play and how the stupid stuff might be less necessary. John Wish cited a Harvard study saying that violence levels were trending down. He also explained about the city tax structure when we got around to discussing the public restroom issue, which I raised.

Lew, a water and sanitation engineer, and a member of our Nicaragua Delegation, joined myself and a few others for some follow-up discussion in the Social Hall, where other Occupiers, some new to our group, were mingling as well.

When it came my turn to talk, I mostly regaled them with stories of Smedley Butler, the Fighting Quaker, and his outreach to the Hooverville in DC. "Moron MacArthur" stormed the place, ensuring FDR's victory in the polls. Could it happen again?

Would a commitment to public infrastructure, not only latrines, but warming spaces, be considered a "victory"? The commitment to regather next year, and perhaps many years thereafter, to showcase the new village-level democracies springing up around the world, out of refugee camps in many cases, prisons and military bases in others, seems to have plenty of inertia behind it.

OPDX itself has reached a point where a phased, planned shut down, with a plan to reboot next year, would be welcomed by several of the institutions involved, not least the social service agencies who treat drug addiction. They haven't shown up around the perimeter in their community service vehicles (for the most part), to do screening and intake, but they have infiltrated and well know what's going on, and aren't shy about informing.

Getting the public restrooms rebuilt, and made sturdier, for OPDX Twenty Twelve, would be part of this plan going forward. In terms of perimeter vehicles, we've mostly had voyeur TV vans serving the passivist spectator flag wavy NFL/NRA stations. The TV vans have not been exotic, just the usual networks we all recognize, except on rare occasions.

The elements for a phased shutdown are already in place, as a part of the built-in DNA. Humans have an inherent sense of community, an ability to internalize. OPDX is not a full protein, when it comes to Village life. There's no mortuary, no place to bury the dead, for example. In future versions of this microcosm, transplanted elsewhere, we'll have those features, much as the larger bases (and universities, like St. John's) have them today.

Many within OPDX are happy to work with the Portland Police on a drag net operation to purge the camp of meth dealers. The social service agencies have the same safety concerns as the public at large, which is the 99% after all.

But then will healthcare become more available, to these people in need?

The Americans may need to outsource such care-taking to subcultures with more compassion, such as doctors without borders and so on.

USAers aren't especially well known for being able to deal with their social ills; getting kids to sign up for a military adventure is one of their biggest social programs, when it comes to government handouts, and that's not necessarily a drug free career either (on the contrary). JFK (a commander in chief) was on lots of drugs.

The devil is in the details.

Big pharma, in making money (profits) the standard, is cheating (cutting corners), thereby cheapening the quality of its proposed solutions.

Lindsey Speaks
:: OPDX 2011 / GA Nov 6 ::

Friday, November 04, 2011

On the Beat

:: brooklyn basement ::

I was pleased to join Glenn around lunch time on his birthday, to chow down at Hopworks and then survey the Brooklyn Basement once again, a project he and Barry have been working on.

I zipped downtown on my bike last night, in case the new trainee showed up, and he did.

I had the classic experience of getting a stranger to tell me his pet paranoia, what we're supposed to expect at Occupy Portland. But later I grew suspicious (more paranoid) thinking this rant was too well rehearsed (what with that baby in his arms and everything), maybe an act?

What's Crazy Mary again? Or was this Monty Python in a parallel universe?

Anyway, he said the chemtrails were really a UN plot to replace the ozone which the 1% had destroyed (yet another coverup). That's the thumbnail version (I'm leaving out the Surgeon General part). When the misses showed up, he said she knew even more of the details, and oh, could I spare a trailer for when the meltdown comes (any day now).

That night, a trailer, SkyBlue, went missing. Or was it later? Sherlock Holmes is on the case.

So while Will took SkyBlue for a test drive behind his bike (he brought her back -- not a suspect; he was cooking today with the others), I yakked with David Koski on my cell about what appears to be a new discovery:
that the "two phi down" version of the rhombic triacontahedron of volume 7.5, which interweaves with the rhombic dodecahedron of volume 6, added to the octahedron-inscribed cuboctahedron of volume 2.5, gives that icosahedron (also inscribed in the volume 4 octahedron) used to introduce the S modules.
I was getting all this while roaming around Occupy Portland, and helping Will with the trailer hitch. Pretty good multi-tasking I thought. Then I biked home, filed my FNB memo, mentioning some that I'd met there (a light night; there's no organized serving from the FNB booth on Thursdays).

Carol is in Philly tonight. Good to hear from Uncle Bill. Looking ahead to Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween 2011 (3 of 3)

:: halloween 2011 ::

A high point of Halloween the-day-itself was getting to tour the basement apartment Glenn and Barry have been working on for so many weeks. Barry is really good with dry wall and does measurements to 1/16th of an inch. There's no texturing to speak of, as there's nothing to cover up. This is craftsmanship beyond what you would get from most contractors, was Glenn's assessment, and as a craftsman himself, he's in a position to know.

Earlier, Glenn and I took Sarah-the-dog to Laurelhurst park. I forgot to take a baggie again, like that time walking with Officer Bader.

Fortunately, a McDonald's cup lay nearby, thoughtlessly dropped by a shopper-consumer (I don't call them "capitalists" usually). Sarah went again at the park, where a nice lady had bags to give out, and a male version of Sarah into sniff testing (that's dogs for ya).

The Laurelhurst Park lake has been remodeled to positive effect. You can see the bottom even. I wouldn't call it "stimulus money" as it's just a day in the life of a city that works, to do maintenance and upkeep.

Wow, some of the Halloween displays are really professional this year, like direct from Hollywood or something.

Sara (Cera) and Satya stopped by, enroute to practice, just as I was shutting off the porch light, now that we were drained of candy (Kit-Kats mostly). We had a dry not-windy night, couldn't ask for much better.

People had a good time. Satya likes the carving part, noted the 3rd eye in our latest work.

I did office work through some of the candy part, which isn't entirely asocial, as there's Skype and the cool people I'm on with for work. Tim Curry and Jim Carrey have more in common than I'd realized.

Sara had trailered my lentil dish to OPDX, our to-the-second intersection occurring in the middle of 28th, as the crew departed the community kitchen for the FNB booth in South Park (downtown ToonTown).

Tara and I consider Halloween probably our main holiday of the year. This was a good one. She got children, boys, bike rides, movies, pie, cooking, family time with me and grandma Carol (Bagdad celebration). Sara got to meet her for the first time, albeit in a hurried way in the night, bike lights flashing.

Synergeo has been a lot about lentils, and now this "dymaxion tesseract", which is really no more than another teaching toy. The Russian Dolls motif is becoming important, for David Koski too.

The meetup with Trevor the night before had been an eye-opener once again. Tom Ellard eh? The brilliant artist-musician. One the of links I shared on Skype was this hilarious one, which Tom might take down at any time, wherein two Protestants pray for the soul of this middle American. You can tell they're American by the shape of their heads.

Full sized video originally here was removed by user. This small embedded screen version is for reference purposes only, good luck finding it full size.  Fast forward to 3:48 for Funky Pervert:

:: reminds me of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts ::