Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Portland AFSC Support Committee


Our conference call yesterday was a telephonic nightmare, though everyone was in a good humor about it, and we found workarounds on the fly.  The non-office group that started the Star Cafe conference call, including our clerk, patching in from Greater LA, could hear one another, but we in the office could not be heard on speaker, and if anyone picked up the receiver, the phone's speaker would die.

The old phone system, potentially high end, fashionable at Victoria's Secret, had become unusable.  Discontinuities in management left old passwords inaccessible.  Factory resets?  The work fell to Mireaya.

These glitches, and those with the leased photocopier, have nothing to do with landlord relations.

Sharing the building with the IWW is a plus for a number of reasons.  On the whole, it's not a bad situation.  There's wheel chair access and East Burnside is a happening place.  The Catholic Archdiocese and AlbertinaKerr are both in the same neighborhood.

Our agenda was packed as usual.  Pedro and I talked earlier, about some of my correspondence.  I'd been endeavoring to connect Navajo and Wabanaki efforts, or at least raise awareness of parallel / convergent narratives.

Native peoples of North / Central / South America feel they have an automatic right to not have their movements (immigration status) controlled by immigrant populations from other continents.  They're not the immigrants in this picture -- they've been here much longer.  Some of this sentiment will be expressed in the upcoming May 1 festivities.

Links between Hanford and the bombing of Nagasaki in particular were discussed.  Apparently there's some new research available, in the form of an award-winning student project.

These are not official minutes by the way, and I'm not the recording clerk.  My role is to help mind the relationship between our Yearly Meeting (NPYM) and the AFSC.  This is distinct from the MMM - AFSC liaison role, which is linked to Multnomah Meeting's Peace and Social Concerns Committee, currently experiencing turnover as its clerk prepares for a Friends Peace Teams adventure.

The community service interns were generous in letting me photograph some of the squares for the Drone Quilt that's being coordinated at a more national level.  AFSC is just one of many participants in that project.

The Door Project is also benefiting from intern support.  Some Portland Public Schools have a community service requirement, more like scouting (our newest committee member, welcomed last night, is an Eagle Scout).

Speaking of PPS, Cleveland High parents are up in arms over the budget cuts.  As I put it in my written report to our committee:
Regarding the May Day theme of fighting back against oppressors who
are dismantling social services in order to feed their fevered dreams
of imperial domination, parents at Cleveland High School are up in
arms (see below)....

Those who preach austerity and cutting the budget while squandering on
military jobs (because it's easier and lazier to kill for what you
want than to negotiate a peace) have no business representing
themselves as "the USA", a nation that went bankrupt (morally as well
as financially) sometime in the mid-1980s according to Medal of
Freedom winner R. Buckminster Fuller.  Of course some hope for a
reawakening of her democratic principles.

Youth Program Work

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Launch Sequence

...162, 92, 42, 12, 1.  That's a lowering frequency in to a nuclear sphere of 1, where the grammer of Synergetics may locate a point of inside-outing and a corresponding 1, 12, 42, 92, 162 expansion.  Bow tie Universe and all that.

The progression hooks to Coxeter in the recent biography, The King of Infinite Space.  This was a mathematical discovery Coxeter approved of, found merit in, and your mathematics might be only high school grade, and yet still you might prove it.

As I posted to Math Forum, in my posited Lucky Devils Academy (LDA), you have a slow, leisurely, relaxed approach to sequence and series generation.  You may introduce recursion in various ways.

Even fractals are color coded sequences, where those that converge are the black Mandelbrot points (example fractal), while those that diverge are colored according to their rate of divergence.  At Saturday Academy we took advantage of the University of Portland's excellent projector system and watched some Mandelbulb movies (another brand of fractal).

Sooner or later we get to Python, where we explore and implement math objects, including sequence and successive sum generators.  You're using Python for something it's good at.  My recent examples to Math Forum included Bernoulli Numbers and Gregory Coefficients (I'm not claiming to be the first to express those algorithms as generators plus I'd done Bernoulli Numbers before, though less elegantly).

1, 12, 42, 92, 162...

Of course I have an ulterior motive in sharing generators in that 1, 12, 42, 92, 162... describes a growing octet truss, a piece of scaffolding. The bars between the hubs describe tetrahedrons and octahedrons.

With a new model of 3rd powering, demonstrated with a tetrahedron, we get relative volumes of one and four.  Other whole number and incommensurable volumes click into place forming what Bucky will call the "concentric hierarchy".

As a grand central of connected concepts, it's hard to beat the density of relationships within this graphical / lexical matrix of shapes and sequences.   The Lucky Devils come away from this reading / viewing program more savvy about Python, the micro-architecture of the virus, and the geometric facts that will help with their STEM studies.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wanderers 2013.4.17

Today's discussion veered into Intellectual Property.  I think Fuller's universal scholarship, paid for by the benefits accrued to us all by the leading innovators, has been sidelined by a gambling system that walls out most would-be participants.  Safe to say, I'm not a big fan of the current IP regimen and don't really care what the Supreme Court has to say on the matter.  Washington DC is a corrupt little town (OK, major city) that hasn't earned the right to dictate to anyone, about anything.  Actually, it has subsystems with integrity and that complicates matters.  I'm a fan of some offices.  But IP law is BS.  I have no problem with the fact that it's crumbling.

We also talked about the impending fluoridation of Portland's water supply.  This is one of the few municipalities not to add fluoride yet.  I'm against doing it, as the environmental impact of higher fluoride levels on salmon runs, such as this impact has been studied (not much), suggests that it's both significant and negative.  I'm tired of humans whining about their teeth, claiming they're too lazy to brush with fluoride and need their dose to be administered through the public water supply.   What lazy good-for-nothing jerks, to risk salmon runs out of inertia.  That sounds exactly like humans though, oblivious to the welfare of any but themselves, ugly stupid ape-like numbskulls that they be.

I didn't have the luxury in wallowing in my misanthropy though.  I was glued to my computer, actually plowing through my case load, or "slaying the queue" as I put it.  Lorri calls me a slayer (blush), which makes me feel buff, whereas I'm anything but, and with two pizza slices for lunch (no breakfast) the situation is unlikely to improve -- and a beer, C-Note by Lompoq Brewery.  We ate after Wanderers at Oasis, right across from the Bagdad, scene of many event in this blog, from OMSI science pubs to movies.

Then I went to Fresh Pot next to Powell's on Hawthorne and slew the queue for many more hours.  By late afternoon, I was ready to take a crowbar to my ceiling again, in the Buddha Room, and pull down more dry wall.  I'm trying to get that room back in shape as my office / studio.  Then I went upstairs and slaved away in Tara's room, turned upside down (figuratively) by my other daughter's crashing there for several weeks, with two pets no less.  That was a fairly smooth interlude actually.  She got launched in a new job, serving in one of these far flung answering services that lets people work from home, kind of like CareWheels was going to be, had that been allowed to take off (Canada said no, I thought stupidly).

I've been reading Wittgenstein's Poker, which so far is good on chronicling the deterioration of the Ludwig-Bertrand friendship.  Bertie did a lot to give Wittgenstein a leg up, but the latter grew disillusioned with "logic" as it was then conceived and pioneered in new directions.  In retrospect, I'm glad the protege outgrew the master, yet I'm quick to acknowledge Bertie's positive impact on me as a boy.  His books, in the parents' collection, helped galvanize my interest in that subject (philosophy).

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Philosophy of Science


Yesterday was a philosophical day, in terms of ethics / aesthetics (some say "esthetics").  "How much shall I eat?" was one of the queries.  Quakerism bases itself on "queries" and "knowing experimentally":  probably a reason Quakers tend to not run away from STEM.

Two philosophy parties were in the Friday night picture.  I went to both.  I ate at both.  Then I went back to the first one and had a (very thin) slice of cake.  I should call them "dinner parties" to be more accurate.  The second was in the Heathman and followed a philosophy of science lecture by John Dupre.

Now today, Saturday, I'm with Dupre again.  We're in the Pauling House listening to Terry bounce around in his namespace, influenced by John Dewey.  If we look at this as the philosophy that steers his choice of lecturers, then I'd consider it elucidating.  We're hearing what makes Terry tick.

I brought two books in my briefcase I don't expect to get to share, except asynchronously, such as here.  Both books were edited by Robert G. Fuller, the physics professor.  He died not long ago.  One book is about Robert Karplus, his mentor, the other about Aung San Suu Kyi, his student from that time he taught in Rangoon, at British Methodist Academy.  He continued to track her trajectory ever since.

We learned more about that region of the world from Peter recently, the other Princeton grad at Elliot's talk (besides me) who therefore knew about Blair Hall and Blair Arch.

Terry casts two archetypes named the Scientist and Engineer, which he contrasts.  In theater or psychology, we could set this up in two minutes as a premise for some melodrama, yet to be unveiled.  That's the suspense:  will there be a plot, after the preamble?  Stay tuned.  In Bucky's namespace the plot is eternal regenerativity, how to keep it all going.

Earlier today I showed Christine, a photographer, the Kenneth Snelson book.  I was wanting to share the 360 degree photographs, but she went through all of it, including his Portrait of the Atom with its curious electrons, sometimes rendered with quirky effects.

Complementarity, experimentally demonstrable, is another of Terry's plot elements.  He says local vs. nonlocal, particle vs. wave, are similar to left and right handed.  We have a minimum of two paradigms, says Terry, and they're not reducible to one another.

At the first party, I received a gift from the scholar who's birthday we were celebrating:  Wittgenstein's Poker.  That's a book I've long been meaning to read.  I will post about it more on Sean's list.

Terry's philo is a lot like Erhard's but presented differently.  He gets to where there's no determining "the meaning" and that's freeing for him more than angst-producing.  Meaninglessness is not heavy but an invitation to create meaningfulness.

Terry's attack on the Scientist archetype coming from the Engineer's angle is in danger of being a straw man argument.  To have straw men, one may need straw worlds.  It's the world of one static truth, a machine, that's made of straw here.  Terry advocates pluralism.  One still needs theories and models though.  To say there's no ultimate final ideal car is not an argument against having cars or developing new ones.