Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Base Tours

As some of my readers know, I saw the Occupy camps as a recruiting opportunity.

Here in Portland, we specialize in disaster relief operations.  The explanation for that is somewhat regional in that we live under the threat of impending doom, as a major earthquake is expected, if geology is any guide.

Another explanation is the pioneers who started coming here after the Lewis & Clark troupe were hardy campers and camping has never been far from the surface.  That may be why Portland's was one of the largest Occupy demos, and one of the best organized.

The so-called Elk Club (the people who took the park and lived there in a demonstration community in the shadow of the Elk Statue) is rightly proud of its little window in the sun.  We decided to end the demo before the eviction notice.  When the evictors arrived, the A Camp kitchen and medical tents were already gone, as was the Food Not Bombs tent in B Camp.

You've probably heard of "eco-tours" (already popular) where tourists travel with experts in various aspects of ecology.  They visit both hopeful cleanup sites and disaster sites.  Hanford is of course on the list (there's already an interpretive center) as is OMSI (for a taste of Portland's science mindedness).

There's a different kind of tour I'll call "human rights tours" where you have these international groups coming through looking at the USA's prison systems.  Of special interest are the holding pens for so-called "illegal" immigrants (per Anglo-Euro jurisprudence) and what work is performed there.  The USA is known around the world for its prison-centric militaristic culture and many want to see it first hand, in some cases just to see what they're up against.

Recent meetings with PBI and Amnesty International folks etc., me wearing an AFSC / NPYM hat, have given me some ideas for steering the new recruits.  The workshops will dovetail with the weapons inspector programs, a grad school major expected to be popular in this region, as a part of environmental sciences.  The disaster relief and cleanup industry is already targeting visitation sites, with assistance from whatever agencies.

By this means, I think expanding travel opportunities for campers is in the cards.  It's not "seen one seen them all" by any means.  A given Elk Club veteran might start with some local visitations and then loop through a few more distance locations before returning to a local theater or meeting hall to deliver a report.  We expect hundreds of such reports, becoming thousands as more become involved.  Where the IAEA fits in I'm not sure, given it seems to have been banned from operating in North America (we have queries to State about this).

When monitoring a site, you need to camp out nearby, using whatever gear and sensing equipment the university has provided.  How supply lines are managed depends on the scene of course.  You might just use the local Wal*Mart, and / or you might need off road vehicles, perhaps electric (less noise, less footprint) to navigate to the kitchen.  Some camps will grow a lot of their own food, perhaps with assistance from various biodome models (designed for permaculture).

The medical tent might need special equipment for over-exposure to whatever toxins had been determined to exist in this environment.  GIS / GPS servers will be aggregating this data.

Outfitting all the frack sites with sensors is already jobs aplenty for an FDR-scale CCC.  Anyone who thinks there's a shortage of work opportunities should think again.  Foreign aid agencies, as well as church networks, have their role.  I should draw on more contacts in Vilnius for more church involvement.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Comic Interlude

Smallest Occupy
:: occupation of world's smallest park, Mill Ends Park in Portland, Oregon ::

Sam was pounding the table today, saying we weren't ephemeralizing fast enough.

We were at Laurelwood Brew Pub planning a next gala event, in part a homecoming for those who'd been at RISD this year, for the SNEC event (yeah, insider jargon, I'm full of it).

On the ephemeralization front, Occupy is in the lead, taking over the world's smallest municiple park today, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Hi Cameron.

It'll be a failure of capitalism this Xmas if we don't already have the action figure kits, manger scene scale (like toy army guys), with little anarchists with tents, little riot cops with vans.

Junior can line up the cops around the camp while the anarchists amass.  Depending on political leanings, the narrative may go differently.

Some will put the baby Jesus right inside a tent (Food Not Bombs tent?), complete with straw, cute animals, and a few defectors from the 1% (the three Magi).

Others will have their policemen smash those dirty commies with gusto, MacArthur style (President Hoover as King Herod?), while mom & dad beam proudly.

Koski has been replying to Zubek on Youtube, sharing the war on Poly, where grown children are still grumbly-grumpy about Bucky getting a molecule named after himself 'n stuff, when he really didn't invent anything new.

How can you put a refrigerator in a dome shaped home anyway?

Gimme a break right?

I bet they talk like this at Harvard all the time (snicker, superior Princeton sniff).

Me to David (typo fixed):
This stuff about the fridge:

You should remind folks that many of the architects working with
Fuller came up with more conventional rectilinear "stage prop"
interiors, that would protect privacy, but not have to be weatherized,
as the surrounding dome was doing that.  More efficient, by simple
back of the napkin computations.  More green.  More sustainable.

In fact, Fuller's designs were quite smart and his cultist followers,
e.g Kirby Urner, think the ambient culture just didn't have the IQ.
"It's Planet of the Apes around here" is his usual off-the-kuffka
remark (cuffka.com).

The usual picture, duh:

(duh rectilinear as you like inside -- could be a city)

All this crap about the refrigerator is just teasing at recess, not
serious in any way.  "Hey, your zipper's down!".

I'm something of a misanthropist when it comes to mean little children
that grew up to become mean little adults.
 I've been yukking it up on the Wittgenstein list too.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

POW Camps

A re-gearing may occur when a camp changes status. The Business Plot camps in the Occupy Iraq and Occupy Afghanistan movement have a POW flavor about them. Those caught in these so-called "face saving maneuvers" have become the cosmetology kit for Washington, DC.

As pawns of the privatized security industrial complex, active duty conscripts are prisoners of war-making institutions such as NATO. They are kept in a kind of limbo, akin to refugee status, with a minimum of human rights. The North Americans have developed a prison-minded culture, so spreading this non-democracy to overseas bases is actually just a matter of following the same playbill.

I ranted on the power of prayer in our Quaker adult discussion group this morning, talking about the integrity of a moral vision. This was somewhat in response to the neuroscientific jargon which some Quakers have picked up, part of a meme virus I'd trace to a murky liberalism, by some twisted path.

I also shared about David Koski finally getting to screen cast his work in a way that lets him stay in the environment he's most productive in, a home office setting. That's how my prayers are being answered of late too: in the comfort of the indoors, even though it's the great outdoors that I scheme about (in terms of bringing more interesting work to our state).

Tara came in second overall in the LD category, in the debate tournament just concluded.

I've been sharing about these events on Facebook as well.

I do agree with George Lakoff that people seem easy to program, a two edged sword. The jingo-jihadists who want more war strut out "Republican Guard" as a meme, and the two-stroke thinkers (lawn mower brains) get all fired up, perhaps because "Republican" is "our word" (makes 'em mad just reading about someone else using it).

Stoking hatred for the Pakistanis hasn't been working fast enough either, although WDC's professional hate-mongers have been at it 24/7. As more of this transparent saber-rattling goes on, it becomes easier to isolate the meme viruses to their sources, often tycoon types with out-of-control egos and no use for "checks and balances" -- lots of senile geezers who use their bank accounts to inspire awe among the sycophantic politicos.

OPDX is "bad for business" in the sense of serving with the non-aligned against the self-aggrandizing uber-powers. The camps we're story boarding are not for prisoners so much as for those willing to freely express their conscience by acting on behalf of the Global U, providing food services, sanitation, shelter. How these camps contribute to the betterment of humanity's condition is relatively easy to see.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Kicked Back

I'm in the Michael Jennings Chair of Computer Science, a welcome hand-me-down from a darling FNB couple. This chair was presented pre the Chairman's trip to Brazil, which so far sounds marvelous. They drug it up to the 3rd floor, not far from Hawthorne Theater. Holden chose wisely, among neighborhoods. Welcome to 97214.

I got to Wanderers too late to blog anything about the electric bicycle fashion in Portland. It's a lifestyle option some opt for. My electric ATV and electric snowmobile fantasies somewhat dovetail. Anyway, the speaker had departed well before I got there. Not complaining, as I was having a lovely time down the street, near Angelo's.

I'm back on the front lines of Math Reform again today, an old beat of mine by now, count me as one of the grays. Speaking of which, I was riffling through Powell's on Hawthorne and found an old copy of Everything is Under Control by Robert Anton Wilson.

I bought it for under $13 in part for nostalgia value. Under GRUNCH there's my website teleport.com/~pdx4d/grunch.html
Thank you RAW. The then owner of Teleport married a member of our Quaker meeting (I was at the wedding) and I later bought the domain grunch.net to continue with that work.

Glenn has just arrived, with Amber, his daughter. We're saying good bye to Steve, who departs for Europe tomorrow. Alex Aris came by after, meeting me at the bus stop, bidding our Chairman adieu before he fell asleep.

Friday, December 02, 2011

AFSC Banter

:: federated states ::

Per my squibs to Facebook, there's been much ferment in Quakerdom and old alliances are being supplanted with new ones. Twas ever thus. In the grand scheme of things, Philadelphia is still an important town, and Cherry Street still resonates with some authority. I'm not sure I can say the same for Washington, DC (WDC) however, which seems in steady decline as a world capital.

The new maps have come out, of the new AFSC regions, as devised for North American states commonly considered to be part of a single Federation. That means British Columbia is out, and Hawaii is in. Guam and the Marshall Islands, important foci in my AFSC work, do not seem to have much focus. East coasters especially are not known for their attentiveness to Pacific Rim details and affairs. We take all these maps with a grain of salt therefore. Philly, like WDC, has its characteristic thought patterns.

The timidity of Christians in general is a theme I'd like to take up. I think there's a desperate race to the bottom as each tries to "out meek" the other, in a bid to inherit the Earth. According to Apocalyptic renderings, "the meek shall inherit" meaning if you just keep your head down and do a modest amount of good, then you'll have your reward in Heaven, and perhaps even on Earth, God Willing (InshaAllah). Besides, who wants to be bossy? Just a comfortable "go along to get along" attitude is what most people call "liberalism" these days, and many Quakers would count themselves among them.

"Geek" rhymes with "meek". What if we beat 'em to it? "World domination" was our stated goal as well. Could the prophets have heard wrong, misplaced a syllable? Something for theologians to mull over perhaps.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have your "dangerous Quakers", but then a lot of those are far from Christian (Praise Bob), in terms of branding. These brands have not been well represented as there's a tendency to demonize, forgetting we're still talking about Friends of Christ.

Having a "Christ" outside of Christianity may seem a contradiction in terms, but then Friends are comfortably free of most doctrines and breezily point out that Christ himself was not a Christian, as if that settles the matter.

As an NPYM delegate, I'm supposed to help the AFSC keep up to date on what Friends are doing to fill the vacuum, now that Christianity has dropped the ball.

That's not my only responsibility of course. I represent different lineages. NPYM is an umbrella organization with many branches and sub-types represented. Unless you're intimate with the history, you're probably not aware of how many brands of Quaker there already are.