Wednesday, March 29, 2017

FEMA Loves You

From my angle, this was a short-lived media campaign on Facebook with a thought-provoking premise: that both the heroin epidemic sweeping the nation, and the purge of voter rolls, ala Florida but bigger, might constitute national emergencies to which a response was in order.

We saw what actually happened when New Orleans went under: a lot of disbelief in DC that anything was expected of them right away, as these were mostly poor folks with homes underwater, literally, and therefore of little net worth.

FEMA had some trailers built in a hurry, with formaldehyde issues, and moved on to Rita, a little better organized (learn by doing). Food Not Bombs was on the scene as well, managing logistics from a van (I wasn't there, Melody went later).

The idea that Uncle Sam (US) might develop public programs for drug abusers is just distopian science fiction from the point of view of those hoping to lower the population. We have schools of thought, tracing back through Eugenics (the movement), to Galton and so on, always looking for excuses to dispose of people, accelerating their downfall.

These schools have a lot of hands on a lot of controls and should not be dismissed as fringe cults or sociopaths-in-treatment.

Admittedly, the Euro concept of Sanatorium has gone through many iterations. We also have strong grooves around sending people to camps to either punish them or have them brainwashed (rehabilitated) most likely both, so "FEMA camp" is already a nightmarish meme in distopian scenarios.  That's two strikes against the whole idea:

(1) government should let more people die faster and

(2) we're afraid of government because of how we've been treated in the past.

In other words, we don't have a lot of precedent for a secular institution successfully bettering the lives of people in need.  That's not something we know a lot about.  We know a lot more about enslavement and control, getting people to do stuff, so-called work.  Healing people of their drug addiction is not really a part of our repertoire.

Anyway, back to earth, I was glad to see CBS News taking up the subject and zippering together the debate about insured healthcare, the many plans, and the hitherto missing detail about whether any provision for rehabilitation and drug treatment might be in the works, for the nation's most desperate.

That was last week sometime.  Mostly I've given up on the media as incapable of connecting the dots.

As for the voter purge, I find it beyond believable that such jiggering occurred, given Florida. Also, given tightening control over the media and less diversity in coverage, I could see why something just barely making the radar in Bush vs. Gore would fail to register all together in Trump vs. Clinton.

The Amy Goodman cartoon makes a lot of sense:  those in control of the narrative are not about to surrender it to outsiders who steer the conversation in different directions.

"A discussion of voter suppression right when we're having outbreaks of ethnic violence, heightened awareness of the legacy of a sorry past, just feels like it might get unmanageable so let's keep that on the shelf for now." Not sure to whom I should attribute that quote.

Anyway, FEMA is not about to take over the voting process and put it through extreme vetting, with help from the NSA.

If we want it to be super-secure, we all need to be more educated about encryption.  That means appreciating Edgar Allen Poe more, in my book.

His detective novels helped us all learn about "bread crumbs" though we'd had "treasure maps" before.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pacific Pivot

Cascadian Concept

William Irwin Thompson, mentioned on the above (not glossy) magazine cover, has written extensively on the Pacific Shift.

In our Silicon Forest region, that means more connections within the Pacific Rim economy, which includes parts of Russia, as well as Japan, China and Southeast Asia. The increasing political closeness of Russia, much in the news, has its benefits.

I know some of the billionaire cabals are hoping to increase tensions between the two hemispheres, as that's where the money is from their angle (endless war).

Out here on the Pacific Rim, we have different billionaire cabals with their own agendas.

The "commemorative ruble" below is of course a joke (see latest issue of Mercury), and is a measure of how not concerned we are about the emerging pacifist economy.

Commemorative Ruble

Sunday, March 26, 2017

N8V American

Ghost Church

The Indian Wars are cranking up again, with the Yanqui drive to nail down the borders once and for all. Reclassifying Latinos, from Hispanic to Native American, is not exactly what's going on, as many Pueblo are happy with "Pueblo" and don't need to care what's put on the check boxes.

The US president's visit to the tomb of Andrew Jackson was a signal to the General Custer types to become more militant about reporting when indigenous folk might be migrating in violation of Ranger rules. Incarceration is the big industry, next to human trafficking.  Bounty hunters keep queuing at Information, asking when and where to saddle up.

I've been suggesting our Third Party (we could call it that) get advisers among the Born Free (or Free Born) of South Africa, those emerging from a post-Apartheid zone. A spirit of "not waiting for the government to do it" should warm the hearts of church-going citizens, eager to return social services to the pastor class.  Does your Meeting get hip hop yet?

Quakers were never fans of the Indian Wars, preferring to do business among equals and profit all around. They were already heavy into negotiations with the locals when the Indian Wars were declared, and briefly pressed into service afterwards, as minions in charge of Boarding Schools. AFSC got an earful that year in Philadelphia, when I was a corporate delegate from NPYM.

I just got off the phone with Maureen Long. She's a part of the extended Methodist community around Portland and so of course knows Pat, who thought I'd be female when we met, based on my name Kirby (she's a she). I'll join one of their Wednesday feedings at Ghost Church (what I call it) in Sunnyside, when Maureen gets over her "case of the time zones" (she's recently back from west Thailand, visiting a son).

My Third Party, just revving its engines (no candidates yet, more like a record label) cares a lot about voting technology, wants a lot more openness, a lot like the California's Pirate Party, a natural ally.

We care all year around about polling and voting infrastructure and agitate to let US public schools feature said technology as a part of what students learn about and understand. Where are the museums about Vote Tech?

All the more reason to keep it open source.

Quakers tend to use consensus in Business Meeting however that only works when clerks have done sufficient homework ahead of time to smooth a path ahead for whatever minutes.  The process is time-consuming and we call ourselves Friends for a reason. Come role play and discover your own talents.

That being said, among strangers or ships in the night, one expects a different system. Voting has its place, as does polling, and the infrastructure is progressing with leaps and bounds, given WiFi and encryption. Universities don't need to wait for governments to give their student bodies more practice.

Closed source elections with no audit trails have far less legitimacy, and contribute to the Banana Republic quotient, now skyrocketing in North America.

Our Third Party gains an edge simply by pointing to the sullied reputations of the colluding parties, which have aided and abetted, not to mention covered up, the dirty tricks in some cases.  With nothing to lose, we have everything to gain.

Sure, universities here in North America might have some stake in more transparent elections, but don't they depend on the largess of Congress in many districts? How eager is Congress to invite more transparency in the electoral process I wonder?  Do we see any signs of dawning awareness yet?

South Africa, home of Chappie and Die Antwoord is more liberal about sharing the bash shell with more ethnic groups, through Shuttleworth Foundation tuXLabs and so on. North Americans still suffer under the tyranny of TI.

I focus on these more liberal policies in my recent Is Code School the New High School?, which looks at all these connections in more detail.

On another topic, just to clarify: "Project Truckistan" is about more open borders for truck drivers, not just in terms of fewer mandatory check stops along the lanes, but in terms of getting to exchange truck routes more readily.

Get good in Ukraine and South Africa both. Give labor (work-study people) the freedom to move, not just their pseudo-human corporate employers. Cross-trained truckers might also serve as tour guides, two revolving door careers.

True, not everyone drives on the same side of the road, nor in all weather conditions. I was not suggesting dispatching drivers purely randomly was I?  Transcripts matter.

The trucking issue comes up around truck routes in the Americas as well.  How long must trucks sit in line waiting at borders or weigh stations?  People tend to favor a policy of keeping the borders open between states in Lower48.  Other regions of the world would like more of that freedom too.

We may need big data to help us on the metrics, and universities like MIT, or that one in Austin. I've not put any Jupyter Notebooks out on that myself, with or without Bokeh. Perhaps the Google Earth team will show some leadership in this area?  We shall see.

Friday, March 24, 2017

No Immune System?

Excerpts from my postings to Facebook:

People expect so much from politicians. The institutions are what's broken though, starting with voting itself.

A federal contest to come up with the best open source not black box voting system with auditable / analyzable results, which the government would then adopt and own, not outsource, might help resurrect that "democracy" idea.

In the meantime, states need their own foreign policies and workarounds. DC is an obnoxious capital with no legitimacy at this point. Too many irregularities in the voting, per Palast etc.

Not talking about "fraudulent voters", talking about purging voter roles by the millions, Rove-style, thanks to deliberately sloppy matches.

Neither mainstream party wants to look at that (except Black Caucus) ergo USA is dead, long live USSA, the Imposter State.

I don't think it makes much sense to have a healthcare debate and exclude public health / CDC type epidemics such as Zika and Oxy.

Or the quality of food in government facilities, be those schools, prisons, hospitals or military.

Focusing purely on the nuclear family and how family physician type medicine will be provided is letting politicians off the hook in too many dimensions.

We need to see if there's any interest in public health.

My impression is the FDA is like in Idiocracy, helpless to protect Americans against the merchants of bad health.

Uncle Sam has no immune system?

Probably a 3rd party would do well if it focused very concertedly on the infrastructure of voting itself. Why don't public schools at least, have voting machines 24/7 that they get to work out with, come to understand?

Or is it that the public should not understand the vital infrastructure of democracy (exactly right, but our party could change that).

As campaign manager, I'd widely show the new Palast film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, about the Rove-style purge of some millions of voters in the build-up to the most recent presidential election, on the pretense that the algorithms were protecting against "double voting", somehow a common practice in a population hard pressed to vote once in most cases. 

This magic trick, like the one in Florida in Bush vs Gore, likely swung the election, but no the Russians are to blame (we'd mock that "look the other way" campaign, to distinguish ourselves from Dems).

We'd probably also talk about Apartheid a lot and advertise our friendly ties with South Africa, home of Die Antwoord (a campaign needs music).

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Note to Translators

Syte of Two Rites (or Two Bites)

Translators might feel OK with simply adopting the simple Synergetics words for them, while supplying various synonyms and equivalents: the Mite, Rite, Bite and Lite. Also Kite, Syte (see below).  Each is one syllable and therefore easily pronounced.

We're in the ballpark of space-filling and tiling, figurate numbers.

Earlier threads trace the convergence of Bridges type art-math content with the mosque patterns, already converged with geodesic architecture in the 1900s.  We might say Humans in Universe by Anwar Dil was a precursor to the Iranian SpaceX, in hindsight.

The TetraBook "job" (Montessori meaning) pays the bills when it comes to adding insightful software to your PWS (a GST term). A page wags back and forth, its altitude the radius of some circle, symmetric "book covers" lying open on XY (Z is "up" except in POV-Ray in most Oregon Curriculum Network chapters, with quadrays more relative and zero-gravity).

The Mite, remember is Aristotle's space-filling tetrahedron. He didn't call it that, nor did Coxeter, which is why translators need to study the source documentation (Synergetics) more directly, if in doubt. The full text, with diagrams, has been online since W3 (WWW) got started, more or less, as many of you well know.

Two Mites face bond in various (not many) ways, one way yielding the Rite, another the Bite, using this namespace of Martian Math.  The Rite explodes into four sections ala quadray quadrants, to give additional not-handed (outwardly identical) space-fillers, identified by Sommerville (1920s). Our K-16 has all that in the pipeline, where and when subject to local jiggering.

I've got the magnetic Mites in my Pergamon Press bag, the kit I carry to local schools sometimes, when yakking up 3D printers.

So far, that mostly happens through the Linus Pauling House, a birthplace of organic chemistry (alpha helix...) in that I meet with teachers and retired teachers at that venue, through weekly meetups going back some years.

During the latest election cycle, I was hoping to expand the number of teachers I get to work with, but the anticipated costs for professional development would have needed Measure 97 funding, so that plan got scrapped, and I went back to working more directly with the students, more like on the Saturday Academy model, some of whom are ESL (not native English speakers).

Given Synergetics and Python are not native English either, but different languages, we have more of that "even playing field" that keeps English from over-dominating.

I did over a year of Python work in California (over the wire, declared as income in Portland), and that included at least showing some of the Jupyter Notebooks at my repo in this area.

The Business Accelerator building has an IVM outside (an octet truss), inviting students to remember about A & B modules. The international school is blocks away.

Sytes (2 Mites): Rite*, Bite*, Lite
Kites (2 Sytes): Kate*, Kat*, Kit*

* space-filler (1/4 Rite also a space-filler, not-handed) -- note that only some of these are tetrahedrons (Rite, Bite and 1/4 Rite).

Kates, Kats and Kits build the Coupler of tetra-volume 1 (space-filler). Mite volume is 1/8, A & B both 1/24 (same as T). Typically we'll show ESL classes how Mites make not just Rites, but a Rhombic Dodecahedron (RD) of volume 6, a transition to the "NCLB Polyhedron" (RT) for those into parochial jargon. Montessori Schools are not guaranteed to have 3D printers.  Look on-line for teaching supplies? Koski is supplying the name Kit, for the Syte made of two face-bonded Lites.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pedagogical Artifacts

:: Mites make Rites, space-filling Sytes ::

Ethnographers use fancy words for "educational toys" sometimes, Lux Blox for example. Once a toy becomes a model of something serious, it's no longer a mere toy. Skeletons hanging in the medical school, even if made of plastic, are serious tools of science.  I've used "toyz" to cross that line, as in "toyz for the adult-minded" (but then that has its own connotations).

The TetraBook is my standard example at this juncture. Consider the rhomb (diamond) as two triangular book covers laying flat. A diamond has long and short diagonals, corner to corner, and either could be the book's spine. Then we have a single page that flaps back and forth, a gizmo not unlike the unit circle in that the page tip traces out a circle, but of variable radius.

Getting to build these gizmos in a shop and/or 3D print them is a privilege many of us do not have. I checked out Hedron as a possible studio but 4D Solutions is mom & pop scale-wise, not really NASA or a government lab, in terms of budget.  However one doesn't actually require anything that fancy to construct a Rite, a space-filling tetrahedron.  You may follow the links through to Sommerville (a mathematician).

Another pedagogical artifact is the Adidas soccer ball, the pattern, which in chordal form is called a truncated icosahedron, well known to Leonardo da Vinci.  We're at the heart of so-called Western culture here, the realm of the Platonics, all duals of one another. A rich genesis for geometry begins here, with or without Euclidean definitions. Menger's "geometry of lumps" has equal access, for something more like claymation (what distinguishes points, lines and planes is topological but not dimensional).

Dawn Wicca was the mom in this mom & pop operation and the family is missing her today (and always). We had a family business doing programming and bookkeeping: Dawn Wicca and Associates, with 4D Solutions a DBA (business alias). She kept herself alive through a vicious cancer, pulling her community together for a healing process, wise woman that she was.

Even back when we had DWA as a partnership, I was investing a lot of time/energy into my Oregon Curriculum Network website, as well as Synergetics on the Web. The Wikieducator stuff came later, along with Martian Math (one of four components of a Digital Mathematics curriculum, more developed in my various pilots).

David Koski is working on the TetraBook project. He envisions some of the shop course options, such as motor-controlled, with the cover tip to page tip strings stretched between counter-weights hanging beneath the book's plane.

I've kept it more screen-based, given my skill set, thinking of segments for hypertoons (a Portland Knowledge Lab project, back when Dawn had the annexed office at ActiveSpace).  Making Portland a "toontown" and source of claymations, other technical animations, was and is my goal as a curriculum developer.

These days most "toyz" in the US are for authorized personnel in the military, where most have no clue about the heritage denied, unless a privileged officer from West Point perhaps.  That's where people learn about radomes and the DEW line (Cold War history). I imagine few below the rank of general on active duty have had much time for Grunch of Giants (St. Martins Press).  Don't ask an enlisted US army soldier about A or B modules, or whether MITEs make a RITE.  Standards for K-16 vary.  I don't know any public school math teachers who aren't free to teach this stuff.

Half Coupler

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wanderers 2017.3.15

Jefferson Public School 1928

Wanderers was what I hoped it would be about: public schooling. Barbara, an experienced retired public school teacher, had already started the ball rolling. Dick Pugh was there as well, likewise a high school science teacher from way back, including at Cleveland PPS, where my younger daughter went. Alexia went to Grant PPS.

I didn't bring up anything about the Gulen Schools, not necessarily called that except informally, until towards the end of our meeting, as our discussion was not specifically focused on that particular controversy and I wasn't trying to commandeer the thread.

I'm on that physics listserv, provided a seat by Dr. Bob Fuller, I'm explaining how the 95% conventional XYZ approach, with the added spice of the "IVM", might be more effective at imparting core STEM concepts than convention alone. I call this "thinking outside the box" in my longer essay on Medium.

I've been suggesting that Quaker private schools might be the most influenced by American Transcendentalism ala Margaret Fuller and her grandnephew Bucky Fuller. However the Islamic tradition comes to tiling a plane and filling space as topics, and so could as easily start sharing about Mite, Rite and Kite as we Quakers could.

The best way to think of a Mite might be as a 1/8th Coupler, the latter a key shape in the game of filling space with Archimedean Honeycomb Duals. Guy Inchbald maps it out for us, minus any use of said nomenclature, which traces, as I've mentioned, to Transcendentalists in American literature (not just Quakers).

In today's political climate, the Gulen Schools are feeling stigmatized for their Turkish roots. In Turkey itself they're branded as part of a terrorist organization, much as people in Germany and the Netherlands are today considered Nazis by the Ergodan government.

Ergodon sounds a lot like Trump when sounding off about what are supposedly CIA plans to undermine their respective administrations (the failed coup of 2016 is laid at the door of Gulen and his Falun Gong like movement, as well as the CIA's, whom he casts as "working in cahoots with").  The lingua franca of paranoia is becoming more global, thanks to Alex Jones and friends; thanks to Youtube.

What may be paradoxical, too early to tell, is Uncle Sam's ongoing friendliness towards these newfangled public schools (so-called "charter schools") that supposedly introduce much-needed innovation without crossing various fine lines in the sand. Crossing those lines makes you private, no longer qualified for public funding.

The challenges to public schools are somewhat new now that TV has taken much of the burden of providing social cohesion.

I asked the group: could the USG set up thousands of boarding schools with admissions criteria, of course not at all based on race (a dubious concept to say the least)?

They might not take all comers, just as NASA doesn't admit just anyone into astronaut training.  If there's political support for these academies, they could spring into operation overnight.

The military is already such a network, run on the public dime (and borrowed currencies).

Those who see schooling as a way to eradicate niche ethnicities and quake with missionary zeal about doing so, have become niche ethnicities themselves.

Most of us are content to offer choice and be generous with the freedom to create and operate public school facilities. Sure those might have an ethnic focus, by design. In Portland, we enjoy Japanese immersion as one of the magnet school options.

As I wrote on Facebook:
So what you want is choice right? Including the right to home school. Or perhaps they get the Judaism at home but your family purposely chooses something more alien, like Japanese immersion, because of long range ideas about role / career opportunities that open to those with hybrid skills and capabilities.
My parents were quite willing to immerse me in an Italian school when we moved to Italy, to make me bilingual, but I rebelled against the smock and bow kids my age were expected to wear, so they immersed me in an English school instead, where I had to wear blazer and tie.
To be a fully public school, one needs to meet certain criteria, but what criteria? That's a discussion we never have in much depth owing to more superficial topics co-opting all channels.
How Jewish might a school / curriculum be and still count as public? The answer would interest the Catholics as well. Given religion is a huge aspect of the human experience, why not allow any student to go deeply into a religion of her or his choice from an academic perspective. Public schools should not shy away from allowing students to study anthropology (the A in STEAM, if you ask me and not an artist).

I'm fine with a public school offering safe gun use as an elective. No way should it be required. It's like taking a safe driving class. Owning a gun and a car are similar concepts as both are lethal in the hands of an unskilled operator.

I'd keep the guns, skis, snow shoes, snowmobiles, ham radio, tents, stoves, other equipment under lock and key, to be distributed during course work, which may include outdoor survival skills, scouting style.
More outdoor options is what the public boarding schools are about. Many thousand of those. Lets see if the local folks are smart enough to create those opportunities for themselves (lots of good jobs) and their children. Of course we're all skeptics as if they had the smarts they'd be enjoying these already.
Again, I'm simply describing the military, our number one public education facility, by far.

The country wants to have a debate about education, not just health care.  We understand the military, with its six billion a year budget, is the Education King, dwarfing all others. The military has campuses around the world, many of them floating.

However one may serve in the military and still be a Sufi.  Fuller himself was in the USN and distinguished himself as a Cold Warrior during what he called WW3.

Jefferson, Oregon

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Back on the Grid

The above Youtube is sooo cute, these little orange guys with one eyeball.

I was just getting ready to post on Facebook | Quakers, that we should hire this crew of thespians to act out some anti-patterns we get in Quakers. Then I thought, why not blog that thought instead.

But lets not brand every pattern an anti-pattern. When oldster grandparents collude with the youngest to help them wrest power from their middle aged parents, what's that? One could say: evolution doing its job.

Notice the ruling cast has a big mouth but no eyes or ears, while the passivists are just one-eye with ears, have nothing to speak with.

Above the ruling cast (caste) are the controllers, the corporate personhoods, with eyes and multiple arms, very polytheistic. Talk about division of labor!

I bet H.G. Wells would applaud this cartoon, likewise Orwell. Anyway, I do.

Good work Amy Goodman, always love having your voice. She's another Sigourney Weaver type in how she stands up to those Aliens (corporate persons). She's not a cowardly capitalist always picking on the little guy, the defenseless, like True Korea.

I'm eating lots of potatoes today. I bought a whole bag of 'em then let 'em sit in the cupboard, getting all sprouty. I'm trained not to waste.  Waste not, want not, right?

Fried potatoes for breakfast, mashed potatoes for lunch.

We're coming up on St. Patrick's Day and I'm pretending I'm Irish. Time for another Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (true, not Guinness, but then we're pretty mulatto about our beer).

Speaking of ethnic heritage, I've gone to battle for the Turks at some level, defending the right of trained Sufis to help Americans better like math and science. I consider that a wise investment in our collective future as a planet, don't you?  Apparently some do not.

Turkish people seem rather polarized about these folks. I'm reminded of Chinese and their Falun Gong. 

We have a suspicious public that doesn't understand why some Chinese Peace Corps would want to help raise living standards for the people of Flint, Michigan.

Their thinking is more like Lesley Stahl's in the linked 60 Minutes. Why would Americans be getting science from Sufis in this day and age?  She found that counter-intuitive.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Work + Study Space

As we move around in the work place, we may get a private office, a cubicle, or some position on a Star Trek bridge with lots of people doing their jobs.  More of a situation room.

Finding places to concentrate and study becomes a first order of business when landing in a new place.  Where do I charge my devices?  Do we have WiFi?

I understand the need to go off the grid, so to speak, and do that myself.  I'm not always connected. However I do my best to take advantage of certain opportunities.

Twitter is more a message in a bottle in a lot of ways.  Big data farms that sift for a living, might return a string of breadcrumbs.  I seek such trails left by others.

We don't know, in putting ourselves out there, precisely what difference we'll be making. However it's less a matter of humility and more one of shirking responsibility to suggest we're making no difference.  I make a difference.  You do too.

If all you get is a locker and crowded classrooms, TVs blaring, then you're not getting much time to really think on your own.  Some lifestyles afford precious little privacy, if any.

In designing an education system, ask yourself:  if "learning to code" is what I say I encourage, how am I structuring the curriculum to permit plenty of alone time?

Yes, I know, coding is not always done solo.  However one does need that sense of a workbench, of tools.  You'll need your editor, your interpreters... you don't need me to tell you what you need, in most cases.

Does your school help you amass a wealth of tools you know how to use?

Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Clinton Street Crossing

Today was day two of two in my annual pilgrimage to my auditor. Jody Francis used to be my ideal CFO, still is, though we were never in business together. She ran Fine Grind around the corner from me, and was a source of a religious experience that time at a Quaker retreat (just me, and AAA, left my lights on in a camp ground). She appeared to me as a bright star, probably Venus.

In this life, Dawn Wicca ran our partnership, from the ground up. We later married, keeping separate checking, which the business paid into, 50-50. She was a skilled and honest bookkeeper and I kept up my end of the bargain working for myriad non-profits, towards the end a large Catholic hospital system. After she died, I tried to keep the partnership going, an oxymoron I found out. The IRS saw double when I claimed personal income to the partnership as well. Nikki helped me sort it out.

Nikki is my H&R Block accountant. She works with many, which keeps her in shape. Every aspect of the tax code gets exercised. What an amazing pile of code that is, one could spend a lifetime, a career, looking into it. Nikki has done that. I have not. To file a Schedule C, take advantage of this or that, even get a refund by itemizing, is a daunting process. Even the 1040 EZ is quite a chore.  So yes, I ate my costs as a very legitimate business expense, and will claim them next year, if I survive.

4D Solutions is what remains of Dawn Wicca and Associates. I resurrected it in the wake of losing my full time job as a code school mentor at OST.  Since 1980, Dawn and I had been a partnership, then after she died of cancer, I went solo.  I had my eye on a next partner but was too confused.  Then Lindsey Walker moved in, a political refugee from Savannah, Georgia seeking asylum in Asylum District. I actually claimed her as a dependent one year, as more family member than renter (I was never interested in being a landlord per se). She traded digs for a car she no longer believed in driving, so that worked out.  DMV has the records on "torture taxi" (the Nissan).

Even as O'Reilly was closing its code school (OST), I was picking up work with California. A forward-thinking professional development program found me through LinkedIn and picked me up as a Python mentor.  I'm still doing that kind of thing in 2017. I also work with kids, having been certified to do so by the local archdiocese.

I claimed the Buddha Room and Snake Cave as office space, though I think of the Blue House as some moored ship of the line and all business in that sense, even the galley and heads. Those rooms account for about 20% of the floor space and barely paid the fee for the form, but at least I've carved out some self employment space. I did not claim Carol's WILPF office given it doubles as sleeping quarters at least some months of the year.

Perhaps 4D Solutions will be taken seriously, as the Oregon Curriculum Network fountainhead or whatever, you never know.  The 4D story is mostly told in esoteric art history books. I've been proposing to offer more teacher training, other services.  I'm more into a math + code hybrid, something of an exotic butterfly, even in the Silicon Forest context.

Speaking of esoterica, I don't try to reflect Food Not Bombs work on the books. Food slated for the dumpster is not usually accounted as "income". Americans are allowed to have guests, and entertain them, without registering as a BnB. I don't need to claim "movie nights" as a business expense either, as I'm not charging money.

Buddha Room

:: Buddha Room ::

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Learning with Data

In printed textbooks, the need to save paper dictates that data sets remain small, lets say under 1K of data, just to fit. Analysis has a different flavor when you get to look at it and reason about it row by row, and we do that in Python using SQLite, part of the Standard Library.

However lets skip over what flavor of SQL or noSQL and refocus on data, and how it no longer needs to be small.  Nor must it be enormous just for the hell of it.  On edu-sig in, I've been yakking about "rich data structures" such as: the Periodic Table of the Elements; a Glossary of Terms; Assorted Polyhedra.  Recently added: a database on roller coasters.

Let me boast the advantages:  we're taking traditional classroom poster data, stuff already hanging on the walls, and distilling it to reinforcing content that we interact with through our computers, as well as through our own senses.  We read them as files, starting from maybe JSON or XML (those are well known data exchange formats).

Tables are nothing new.  Rows and columns, so-called arrays, became multi-dimensional in the guise of NumPy, or in the computer language J, which has them natively. The data languages all have them now, as a type.  As many axes of address as you like.  A lot like SQL or noSQL, a database in itself.

The complaint that switching to tables and SQL is some severe departure from reading and writing of old is stemming from nostalgia for when we could afford to wait in a long line for our money. ATMs to the rescue. For those, you need the tables to exist electronically, but otherwise it's just like the ledger books of our colorful past.  Lots of people use paper today, nothing wrong with that, has its advantages. Not either / or.

The point being:  now that literacy within industry does require doing homework, the need to pay ourselves to keep learning seems obvious, and as we practice, it helps to have rich data structures to hack on, and many of us have those and are currently hacking away.  I'm not at all as fast as some when it comes to drilling down in some XML file using elementtree or whatever.

Indeed, I'm the king of non sequiturs some might say, however I grew up on film and know about jump cuts, flashbacks, not just plodding linear.  Norman O. Brown and all that.  Ad copy is likewise choppy.

J comes from a collaboration among Kenneth and Eric Iverson, and Roger Hui, not that I know the whole story. I immersed myself in J awhile back, having first cut some teeth on Kenneth's APL (A Programming Language), which I really grooved on.  J did not disappoint, in terms of what it made possible.  I grabbed some of its group theory too, when I pitched my tent in nearby Python Nation.  Kenneth found a couple typos in my Jiving in J essay (I was honored, to have the attention of his genius).

Another double plus for using classroom poster data, as a topic in learning to code, is we're not intruding on anyone's privacy.  Science has shared the Periodic Table with generations already. We don't need Hydrogen to sign a release.  I'm not in denial about security and privacy, on the contrary I'm suggesting data that's the least sticky.  That stuff at least, will be super easy to come by.