Tuesday, May 08, 2018

End of an Era

Lots of despair in the air.

We knew it was coming:  DC is unilaterally trashing its sacred, signed agreements, going back on its word, with no real evidence that others were acting in bad faith.  Nation-states depend on such agreements for their legitimacy.

We've already seen how "evidence" doesn't mean anything to this post constitutional military junta.  Attacking Syria on false pretenses with no congressional approval, let alone UN approval, was the name of the game, with full backing from the cheerleader media.

Similar to the "evidence" that Iraq had WMDs etc. etc.  Lots of lying.  Once the lies have become deep enough, there's no way to back out of them.  The phoniness of the discourse is readily apparent.  This isn't "good television".

Exactly what happens next is probably less important than what this lack of integrity forebodes more generally, regarding global perceptions of the old world order.  What will we put in the rear view mirror?  What died?  What got run over?

The End of Power was an interesting book.  Individual cities are starting to emerge as the logical unit, taking us back to olden times.  Geoffrey West talks about this in his book Scale. DC is one of those cities, but not nearly as important as it used to be, like when FDR was in office.  Nice museums though.

I had a good time teaching the 2nd and 3rd graders today, just five of them.  We explored the pen blocks in MIT Scratch, having sprites bounce around, leaving a trace, or not.  Scratch is satisfying.

The car seems a bit skittish on the road.  I had new tires put on the back before driving to the memorial service for Howard.  His brother Bill Lightfoot is likely to come down on the train for a visit this Friday.  He's in his 90s.  I'm turning 60 in a few days.

We have all the elements of a think tank around Linus Pauling House but no budget, except for coffee.  I've been pushing hard for the Bucky stuff, the concentric hierarchy of polyhedrons in particular.  But that's philosophy and philosophers have morphed into something else entirely, it now seems.

During my data science class we learned about placing pictures in Jupyter Notebooks and I had them choose from an album with some bus pictures.

One bus was of recent vintage and on its way to Pycon shortly, in Cleveland, Ohio.  The other was a picture of Further, the famous Ken Kesey bus that went back and forth across North America, in an earlier chapter.  It may be in a museum by now.

Speaking of life on the road, I'd like to get more funding for Truckers for Peace.  I'll keep hanging out a shingle.  Not that I'm a trucker or anything, just a Friend.