Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Time Management

Fall Garden

People go to school to learn about scheduling in the software sense.  The operating system's primary job is to protect processes entrusted to its care, meaning it gives them each attention.  We hope the OS is not stretched to capacity, as might be USA OS version 0.2, or whatever that is still running in the District. A former image.

Here in Asylum District I talk to a leading expert in concurrency.  Synchronous parallelism with multiple CPU cores is distinct from letting a coroutine sit on the shelf in pause mode, because it has no new work.  A lot of your bureaucracy consists of people waiting for results, and not pressing the matter, because already working with earlier requests.

Case in point:  I'm heading down to county elections this afternoon, on behalf of my mom.  We stopped by in mid September to make sure her ballot would come here and not go to California.  It went to California.

If they try to mail another one today, it will also go to California.  No one in the bureaucracy has gotten that far in the queue.  The request is on file, but there's nothing immediate about updating the main database.


I was trying to strike up a conversation with other businesses on social media about whether gambling for charity is still gambling.  I see these restrictions against gambling over the wire, but in these games, the winnings go to the charity of your choice, and you get to be the one with a hero's profile.

People will commit to your potential winnings on the basis of your wise use (in their eyes) of their commitments.  I've spelled out all the plans and protected them for the public, in this sister blog.

Speaking of being a hero, I understand how people use the I Ching as a mnemonic device.  There's a pattern language to the hero's journey, and in being willing to have the I Ching be the labyrinth, one gets a well trodden, spelled out adventure.

Welcome to LARP.  Live Action Role Playing.  Your life. What's wrong with feeding your inner hero?  Isn't that what psychologists say to do?  Lets be consistent.

The empiricists and frequentists cry foul, saying it's "superstitious" or "magical" thinking to consult the I Ching or look at Tarot decks or whatever.  They're not thinking of how reinforcing a Memory Palace using the events of one's day is simply taking up the raw material of everyday living and applying that as a kind of glue language, to something worth holding together (a model). 

Having a Memory Palace is not in itself a bad idea.

So what if a random billboard reminds you of one of its many rooms?  Would you rather just obey the billboard?  Some would prefer that you would.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Volume Formulas

Martian Multiplication

As a young adult, I was adamant that I wanted a Web to publish within, meaning I was salivating for hypertext, just at the time of its advent.  I was a fan of the Web before it popped up at CERN, my Higgs.

So once HTTP was in vogue, I published to that "medium" (i.e. to cyberspace).  However, my peers in academia were schooled to channel their thinking to subscriber audiences through specific journals.  These were not using hypertext for the most part.  I felt my thinking required hypertext.

Fast forward, and a lot of interesting mathematical results are rattling around in a volatile medium.  I say "volatile" because Forum 206, where I published over a decade of writing, was taken over by the NCTM, which appears to have killed the entire Math Forum website [Followup: it was kept].  The Web is more of a war zone in some ways.

For example, there's a lineage through Piero della Francesca to volume formulas for a Tetrahedron given only its six edges.  Euler came up with something like that too.  On Synergetics-L, a listserv that's gone belly-up, Gerald de Jong came up with something simple we could implement in code (see below). A lot of my tetravolume computations come from there.  Just today I was doing these:

Volume Checks

Koski is on the other end of the line doing some work around the S-factor.  He fed me another test to try, which came out as expected.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018



Yes, I went to Princeton, so maybe you think I've been steeped in Marx, given current stereotypes of what universities are like, cite Jordan Peterson et al.  However way back in the late 1970s, my thing was Freud and Jung.  Even in high school, psychoanalytic literature was my bag.

I found the whole idea of "mental illness" rather fascinating, and I don't think in a creepy way.  What a vast landscape, this inner world, and how weird it could become.  Very Tantric (is how I sometimes think of it).

So yes, when I got to Princeton, I dove into Jacques Lacan, some Adorno, certainly Marcuse.  It's not like I didn't do any homework whatsoever.  I looked at the Hegelian system as a precursor to Marxism. The whole idea of Logic versus History seemed pretty special.

I do remember students protesting the one-sidedness of the Economics curriculum.  We used Samuelson for a textbook in 101.  Stagflation was a problem back then.
Those hoping to get some Marxism in the mix were to be sadly disappointed, or so I gathered from the raging debates, which were printed in various issues of the Daily Princetonian.  I was housemates with the editor.

I do recall roaming the open stacks in the reserve reading room (is that an oxymoron?), and coming across collections of old high school textbooks.  Some of them were so biased, when it came to mentioning Marxism.  Having seen museums filled with textbooks from Nazi days, I've taken to studying the history of ideas through the lens of what we share with kids.

I was focused on philosophy as my long time readers know.  I felt I had a chance at international relations and applied to the Woodrow Wilson School.  However, during my interview I expressed some ambivalence.  I was talking myself into philosophy instead.  Dr. Kahler was disappointed.

My early fascination with psychoanalysis and the inner world is likely what predisposed me to choose philosophy over international affairs, but then I've never really seen these as all that separate, from psychology either.  I learned about James Hillman from Sue and Bryan.

Process Work, as developed by Arnold Mindell, somewhat expresses my own sense of unity in this area.  Logic & History...  Like Alex says, mathematics is everything.

People sound Marxist to me when they see someone getting public sector benefits as being supported by taxes, and in turn by their work.

"Only the work of the working provides any value, so if others get value and aren't working, they're gaining at my expense."  Missing from this equation: (1) the great bounty of the environment, starting with the sun; (2) the fact that we're all working, regardless of our title and job description in whatever role playing capacity.

I'm not saying taxes don't make a difference (I just wrote a check for $4,831.28 for property taxes). I'm saying that World Game is not zero sum and public sector wealth owes more to the sun, wind and rain than to any issuer of debts.  Banks may pretend to loan us our cosmic heritage, but we're only gullible to a point. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

All Thumbs

Stanley Theater

I'm still all thumbs when it comes to CAD.  I have Rhino3D on a Windows tablet, thanks to C6XTY, and I'm sharing a 3D Animation curriculum through Coding with Kids.  Between the two of these, I imagine my skill set will improve.

When colluders conspire in Buckydom (as one might name it), what do they talk about?  In the case of Koski and myself, last night on Verizon, the topic was the four RTs in Sesame Street Synergetics.  RT = a diamond-faced (rhombus-faced) zonohedron.  I've been writing about it in recent blog posts.

Rhombic Triacontrahedron

Why don't we have IMAX or 4K or whatever large format films going over the basics of a concentric hierarchy of polyhedrons?

Koski's idea: We could go with a Greek motif and employ retro aesthetics, say those of a scrolling slideshow from the 1960s, where you get a cassette in the same box.  When the cassette goes "beep", you advance to roll to the next slide.

Make each frame come alive using contemporary CGI.  A message we're sending:  we've known some of this stuff for a long time.  Lets connect to the near and distant past, as we establish our heritage.

I was writing about such IMAX movies in the 1980s, even before I had any clear conception of a volume 7.5 RT sharing vertexes with a volume 6 RD (rhombic dodecahedron).

I had the Stanley Theater picked out in Jersey City.  Jehovah's Witnesses would buy it later.  At the time, it had no mission and I thought I might insert myself into JCNJ politics.  I phoned the IMAX company, wondering if an IMAX version of Koyannisqatsi might be in the works.  They sent me a PR packet.

Actually, my Stanley Theater idea was more embracing:  students would come by PATH from NYU and other Manhattan-based institutions of higher learning (high schools too, why not), to see these movies for academic credit.

Learning to navigate around "Cosmopolis" as I called it, was part of growing up (the maturation process).  I've continued the theme of having public transportation systems, both the study and use thereof, be a part of a "placed based" curriculum.

Later, my Princeton and Jersey City housemate Selma would work on precisely such a "maturation" program for NYU students.  Help them overcome their fear of New York.  They didn't come over to the Stanley on the PATH though.  That project never materialized.

The RT and RD didn't make it to the big screen.  Nor did my proposed Fuller Projection made of tiny lights ever make it to the back wall of Loew's (also part of my Journal Square environment -- just outside my front door).  Instead, the internet took off, a decade later.  Fuller's stuff would go online, with no need to leave one's dorm room to gain access.

I was fascinated by the internet back then too.  At the nearby New Jersey Institute of Technology, they were testing an early version of an electronic communications system.  I'd read A Network Nation by Starr Roxanne Hiltz & Murray Turoff and even managed to score a guest account on their prototype system.

I didn't have a modem at home, but I could visit St. Peter's College down the street and get on.  This was all pre HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), the protocol later invented at CERN.  However I'd read Computer Lib / Dream Machines by Ted Nelson and was fantasizing about hypertext already.

My larger "Cosmopolis" idea had to do with extending PATH to connect with EWR, the Newark Airport.  NYC was already opening a "Train to the Plane" from WTC to JFK.  I was thinking how passengers might have a seamless rail connection from EWR to JFK and vice versa.  I sent out some letters.  I was continuing in my dad's footsteps, thinking like an urban planner.

Mom and Son

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Learning Modes


When we're all together in a room, that's a time to help each other, if we can.  What have we gotten good at?  Maybe nothing so far?

You can just try stuff, read the docs, watch the instructional Youtubes.  Once you have mastered a skill, you're ready to demo your mastery to someone else.

In practice, "homework" is often reading the docs and watching the videos.  Time helping others directly is a variable.  Sometimes the people we call "teachers" are the ones spending more time showing others than learning himself.

I might be a teacher and student at the same time, which is the work / study picture in GST, the assembly language of the Global U.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hammer Man

What does it mean to develop a meaning "operationally"?  I first answer:  is there any other way?  Sometimes what's hardest to define is that for which we have no counter-example.

Let me switch topics and mention the "hammer man" in Synergetics, whom I tend to think of as an art deco Olympian, somewhat cartoon-like.

He hammers, as when pounding some metal towards greater flatness.  We read about the molecules sliding around in response to these blows.  Sometimes, he hammers it thicker.

He swings his hammer, as an Olympian would, meaning he's to develop a lot of angular momentum as he swings the heavy device in a circular path, himself at the center, and then lets go in the direction of some eigenvector whereon every expended calorie counts for the most.

He sometimes is at the center of a gyroscopic device of many hammers, all radiating in a giant wheel, as he turns in place.  Tugging on the axis of this apparatus tilts the radial path into a dive, meaning the axis yields more at 90 degrees to the direction of your tug.  Such is precession.

The hammer man sees precession everywhere as he tucks himself in, after a long day.  Hammering, anchoring and letting go, getting hammered... time for some rest, before tomorrow's big adventures.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fed Up (movie review)

This movie is in alignment with SuperSize Me and Got the Facts on Milk?.

The vital organs of the USG (Department of Agriculture, FDA, Congress...) are as assaulted and degraded as the vital organs of any hooked-on-nachos-and-fries school child.

A weak and pudgy USA was a pushover when it mattered,  yet it still pretends to be a player, "winning wars" for its donor controllers.

The Smedley Butler era Business Plot against FDR was long ago successful, at least since Reagan's term.  Thinking some porky establishment in Washington DC is going to save us this late in the game seems pretty dated, not to mention unrealistic.

What world capital has that kind of power?  Against Coca-Cola?  Again Nestles?  You've gotta be kidding me, right?

One idea I've clung to over the years:  why don't we have private sector companies that specialize in edgy advertising, employing counter-intelligence the way we need,  and the production of which propaganda the USG is apparently incapable?

I'll keep buying your coffee, and subscribing to your on-line games, if you promise to keep hitting out hard against junk food culture.  Deal?  Why can't it work?

The status quo is we somehow expect private sector media news companies to exercise their juice through channels.  But which such media have such juice anymore?   Who takes up the cause of youngsters against Diabetes Inc?  Pediatricians?

Obnoxico rules the roost and it's hard to see who has enough muscle to challenge the pervasive ideology of a soulless corporate personhood.  Not the World Health Organization it turns out.

Uncle Sam?  Is he still on life support?  Seems to me he flat-lined some decades ago.

I'm getting a strong Morlocks versus Eloi vibe.  A predatory intelligence, some Bell Curve's upper half, is quite willing to exploit its trusting victims, by means of cartoons.

"Eat lots of sugar and become a basket case" say the immortal cartoon characters, not physical beings themselves. We have the makings of a horror film here.

Did you know that FDA nutrition guidelines mandate no upper limit on calories from sugar?

That North Americans are among the most malnourished anywhere is raw ammo for those hoping to suggest some alternative wiring, experiments with other approaches.

Could we experiment more with how we do food in schools?  What about those cooking shows, saved to the school server?

Various talking heads tell us that a foreign power and declared enemy of the USA, hellbent on its destruction, would be hard pressed to do as much harm as the junk food and junk science industries.

The logical conclusion is that some alien ideology is indeed entrenched.

Fed Up offers some hope, but as long as the answer involves looking towards DC for leadership, I question whether that hope is misplaced.

Expecting USG politicians to regulate from on high, to protect citizens and guests against predators, is expecting too much.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Animation Classes

The curated clips of high schoolers walking out in protest, in the Michael Moore film reviewed below, gets me thinking more about possible high schooler lifestyles.  I'm thinking beyond such questions as to whether to arm the teachers.  I look at the role of firearms in other writings.

Lifestyle and curriculum content are not wholly separate, by any means.  Suppose you learn at home three days a week, visiting community school buildings less hours.  Does this make you a "home schooler"?

Maybe some of your time is in a studio for making videos, doing cooking shows.  Video editing, camera work, health and nutrition, kitchen procedures (recipes and algorithms), all mixed together.  Store the videos to the school server.

Not every video has to go to Youtube.

I'm picking up two animations classes this week, 2D and 3D, in two different schools.  We think in terms of age levels and running in parallel to existing curricula.  The early grades seem to be plane geometry intensive whereas later we go spatial?  That's a rough approximation.

In 1997 I attended the ISEPP-organized Math Summit at OSU.  There, I heard a talk by Dr. Keith Devlin encouraging more connections between movie-making and calculus.  A tiny delta t is like a frame of film, encapsulating some action.  Literally, action per time frame, in mechanics, is mvd/t, which is energy units (E).  But then how fast is the film playing?  Enter E per t, or Power.

Integration means accumulating small differences as governed by the changing variable, the dx or dt. I think of how Fibonacci numbers are accumulative.  What continuous curve fits those, I forget?

Monday, October 01, 2018

Fahrenheit 11/9 (movie review)

Michael Moore has been following Flint, Michigan through all of his movies.  It's the saga of a city gone bust, amidst rulers who don't have much hope, given the priorities of their higher ups.

The timeline Moore follows starts with the 2016 US election, then jumps over to Michigan in 2010, when the state governor invokes emergency powers in several cities and replaces their local leadership with his people.

Around Flint, the engineering goes south when a working water supply gets monkeyed with.

Television did not turn out to be that medium for public debate we used to hear about, given who paid for it and why.  Will social media be any better?  There's a quick cut to Facebook, suggesting grassroots organizing but the internet and cryptocurrencies are not the order of the day (Alex Jones makes it in, but I was confused about what he was saying in that clip).

Mostly the tech giants get left out of this telling, and there's no attempt to dive deep into hackerdom. Leave Putin another bad guy strongman, the way Trump likes his leaders, and move on.  This isn't Oliver Stone driving.

Anyway it's jarring when we remember this lead poisoning is all happening during President Obama's time, the last great hope.

The Trump presidency is already well established in the movie before we switch to Flint, which is deliberate, as the story is one of "paving the way".

The larger picture is pretty bleak.  Young people need to do their own organizing, and are.  The adults aren't particularly able, when it comes to keeping democracy going.

One of the wise elders reminds us the US only started to experiment with democracy in the 1970s, with on-paper enfranchisement of non-whites and women, and that experiment may have reached its conclusion, in the wake of 911.

The flavor of the film is wistful.  Wouldn't a United States be a good idea?

Filmmaker Steve Bannon says on camera he appreciates Michael Moore's craft, though is at odds with his politics.

It's not Moore's fault that destiny would put him in the eye of the storm, nor Flint's either.  He has already looked at school shootings.  He's trusted to observe the high schoolers in action.

Sure he's heavy handed, because he's expressing his worries in strong terms.  He says out loud what a lot of people are thinking.  Lets get those thoughts on the big screen.  Yep, there's Hitler, buoyed by some of the same vibes; his ghost still haunts us.

The school teachers of West Virginia get a lot of recognition, for trying to hold together the fabric of their society in the midst of an opium crisis and infrastructure bled dry.

The Bernie Sanders campaign, and its call for social programs, gets a lot of focus as well.

Moore is weaving a lot in.  He's curating many "Kodak moments" assuming an audience in the future.

I'm not saying I'm Moore's mouthpiece and would tell all the same stories he does.  We're on rather different trajectories.  That's not a criticism, just an observation bordering on a truism.

Here's another provocative film that is sure to provoke many.  I felt updated on many happenings.