Friday, December 25, 2020

Spy Stories

The Navalny story has gotten cringe-worthy, what with the underwear-borne novichok, ew. The tabloids have their readership, expanded immensely by cable television. Hearst was just the beginning.

The SolarWinds story is more interesting. I'm dubbing it Solaris (Солярис), since everyone has their clever "burst of sunlight" metaphor, and Solaris has the Russian angle, although the original author was Polish.

Will Self got me watching it again recently.

The story stays shallow around the most interesting part, which we can leave to "made for DVD" movies. That's where a basement test lab will imitate one of the Fortune 500. Call it Project 501. 

This is where an elite core of Russian hackers, working for the Russian government, set up SolarWinds Onion (a subtle clone, but with a lethal difference) on a supposedly secure platform.  Get ready to infiltrate.

But don't we have to exfiltrate first, to get the new Cozy Bear payload inside the DLL? Rolling a DLL requires source code tobacco.  Microsoft:  almost 4000 lines.

A dynamically linked library that still does its regular job, if triggered, or at least looks like it will.  

If it's seriously bloated with all these fancy new features, you won't need a SHA sig to see it's been tampered with.  Apparently the cybersecurity whiz team doesn't notice when a DLL suddenly bloats. Nothing goes blip on the radar. Makes sense: that's why the digitally signed certs.

I'm looking forward to some side by side comparisons, of:
 as usual, next to the one with the payload. The museum of clever hacks is readying a display case even now I bet.  Actually, Microsoft is providing some of that.

Indeed, I'm "advising all my clients" to preserve their businesslayer.dll (just make a copy) if they find out they're using Onion (vs Orion), and many would likely be doing that, even if not my clients. 

The compromised configuration is valuable and any Fortune 500 company worth its salt is going to snag a working version of the hacked product for its people to train on, and for its lawyers to write suits about. Actually, without the source code, the raw binary ain't that useful.  Still... a souvenir. 

We're hoping SolarWinds coughs up the source soon (it has, we're seeing some of it), or is the story it was black bagged in a perfume bottle?

Monday, December 14, 2020

A Late Debate

John Bolton is disappointing. If he was my professor, I'd want my money back.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Penalty Box

I got slapped on the wrist for some unfortunate use of "cannibals" and "Tyson" (as in chicken) in the same comment. Some story about the spread of covid in some corporate setting: we get a lot of those stories in our news feeds these days. Our feed bags.

The last time I got a time out, or maybe it was just a deletion, is when I forwarded a political cartoon in which Mickey Mouse appeared in an unflattering light.  Again, covid related.

OK, that's fine. I'm treading on the edge, hitting up against the Facebook electric fences. I'm assuming this is AI all the way, given the blizzard of snowflakes (comments) assaulting the service very second. There's no time for a human censor.  Perhaps these come along after the fact and audit, en masse.... if government were transparent, we'd know more.

Thinking over the situation, I'm pretty content with the ammo anyone would have, thanks to me in particular, if wanting to pursue a positive futurism, probably the best we've got, since for the most part people don't consume themselves with "planning" as a pass time. I was born into a planning + activist family.  My education was appropriately big picture, as was my worldly upbringing.

Part of the promise of the Synergetics philosophy is inherent in its reliance on tension over compression. This isn't about pushing hard to make happen.  Lets see if humanity wants to pull itself together.  We know it could, has the option.  If it doesn't, that looks more like a choice than some tragic heroic failure.  The angels will chuckle.  Or call 'em demons, whatever.

My efforts and curriculum design have been enabled at every turn by the latest technology, so it always feels like my skills might be equal to the task.  To a point.  Then it's no longer about my skills in particular. I'm happy to kick back. Show me what you've got.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Journaling My Day

Today started with my job at Portland Energy Strategies, Patrick's think tank. We'd agreed on 10 AM for a VS Code workout, experiment with collaboration features, but I overslept.

The experiment for me included finding out if staying with OSX 10.10 is fatal, as far as Live Share is concerned.  It is.  Thanks to C6XTY, I had an alternative desktop available and from there forward, everything went swimmingly.

Next I was on the porch with a retired librarian, who lent me, or gifted me with, these novels about one Reverend Bebbe (Lion Country is what I'm reading). These are fictional characters, and I've done most of my life fairly cold turkey when it comes to fiction, with lots of caveats.  These days, I'm ready to feed again on fiction, if only to limber up the imagination, which can always use more libering.

For those mystified by the VS Code talk, that's a running program that many of today's coders are using to write stuff in the many computer languages.  The motif is rectangles within rectangles on a screen, with lots of typing, but also a shared whiteboard if you install the right extensions.  Both Patrick and I did.

Patrick, for those just joining us, designed a new kind of snake trap, with pythons especially in mind, because of the situation in the Florida Everglades.  Pythons have thrived there.  The trap doesn't keep the snake necessarily, but it does have that capability, as once you've gone to all the trouble to identify the species (AI goes here), you want to reserve that option in front of the patent office at least.

Anyway, after Patrick and Rosalie, I got to visit with Glenn, who is deeply immersed in Korzybski at the moment.  He has done some more homework and I can now see a path from my Youtube channel, through Korzybski, back to Alan Watts.  But an even more intriguing link suggested itself around "timelock".  Korzybski as a specific meaning for that work.  Of course I'm thinking of 4D Timelock by Bucky Fuller.

Now I'm back at the Oregon house, one of the campus dots on the world map.  Another dot would be some 47th floor in Singapore someplace.  We have our virtual nationhood, after all.  I've been discussing that on Facebook, in the sense of how curriculums overlap or are distinct.  The "concentric hierarchy" is my focus, and that implies "tetravolumes" without needing to say so.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Revisiting Intelligent Design

Barry at Large

A researcher on one of these Facebook groups I'm monitoring, brought up Intelligent Design (ID) innocently enough, only to be reminded of the religious wars this shield, or logo, was a part of.  

However, far from being a conversation stopper, that's where my interest picks up, as I'm looking for a graph (in the sense of nodes and edges), a map, explaining the battlefield.  What other shields or logos played a part, and as friends or foes?  

"Intelligent Design" was friendly to whom and shunned by whom and so on?  I'm interested in that stuff. 

Not that "shunning" is the only way to counter a devious foe.  Perhaps we belittle or dismiss with a show of force.  Sometimes in battle, we run full on, like those crazy braveheart guys in the movies, swords drawn. Not intelligent at all apparently.

Ditto for the 911 debacle. Just show me the forks and branches. I'm not looking for the truth, not at first. Did the "no planes" branch fizzle, or merge?  It's like on Github.  I'm looking for the Git history.  Schisms. Regroupings.

We the Wanderers, a group in Portland, had our paths crossing ID's through Terry's interest in widening the platform. Terry helped us keep the Pauling House a center of intellectual activity in our Asylum District here in Portland (Odonarotoop)

I'd categorize Terry, president of ISEPP, as anti-scientism, which is not at all the same as anti-science.  However Terry is also anti-science, but from a relatively undefended angle: engineering > science.

The engineering mindset doubles back on the intelligent design mindset.  Then we look around and admit, our best science and engineering is not yet up to either explaining or recreating the technology around us. Nature's tech is higher than ours.  And in saying "ours" just who are we talking about exactly.  Programs?

Bucky Fuller [link]:

In its complexities of design integrity, the Universe is technology. The technology evolved by man is thus far amateurish compared to the elegance of nonhumanly contrived regeneration. Man does not spontaneously recognize technology other than his own, so he speaks of the rest as something he ignorantly calls nature.

Let's agree if there's a vector towards a kinder, gentler humanity, with higher intelligence to boot, then there's an extrapolation of that vector, along which we'd like to move. Saying God wills us to keep moving along that vector is another way of saying we acknowledge a gradient.  

We feel under some time pressure to finish the work, might be another way of putting it.  

A scientist might easily argue such a "teleological sense" is purely glandular (hormonal) and has its analogs in other nonhuman limbic systems.  Another "god gland" bites the dust.  Is that what just happened?

From an intelligent design point of view, the association of a vector gradient with a molecular processes is not considered some reductionistic objection to an empirical claim, but more as reinforcement for our thinking: that even lizards feel it too, the need to better their lot in life, if not to achieve management level responsibilities, as some say the angels have, and to which some humans may aspire.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Quaker High School

:: Advice to Teachers ::

I did another walk through of my slides.  I'm finally starting to use the Youtube feature that lets one embed hyperlinks to other videos, within the video.  

When I talk about Ezra Pound, I like to Graphing the Poets.  

When I mention Sam Hill, I link to Sam Hill's Quaker Legacy.

My Synergetics talks are about Bucky Fuller's Synergetics, not this other Springer-Verlag Synergetics that the Russians are always writing about.  Fortunately, Wikipedia does a good job of disambiguating.

I entitled this post "Quaker High School" because, speaking as a curriculum writer, in my estimation there's simply no excuse for bleeping over the Bucky stuff, especially given it's had over forty years to mature (Synergetics was published in 1979, Synergetics 2 two years later).  

It's plenty mature now, and highly teachable.  All IVM tetrahedrons have whole number tetravolume, nice.

Ever since Fuller died in 1983, which I learned about on my way to a Friends General Conference, I've connected him to Friends (I wrote an obit in the FGC daily newsletter).  

However, in terms of content, we're talking everyday cultural literacy, as you'll see if you watch the video.

If you feel somewhat comfortable with the content already, as many of my readers already do, I recommend playback at double speed.  

I'm speaking slowly enough that the sped up version isn't incomprehensible, assuming a practiced ear for American English (Amerish).

You'll find in the Youtube notes that I catch myself regarding M.C. Escher's citizenship. He was Dutch. The Canadian connection is through his eldest son.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

On Virtualizing Government

Facebook comment:

Like I'd like Housing and Urban Development to have a whole government cable channel to explain itself and show off its inner workings, major scrutiny, FEMA likewise. We have a long way to go when it comes to shelter. Share those simulations, those computer games. Help us see what you see.

A president is someone to meet with foreign dignitaries and sit in on top level meetings, to interpret, for the American people, what the mega trends are, and to personalize it a little. Fireside chats was a good idea. Someone personable.

The idea that a president is at the same time Captain of State, a Monarch, the Ruler, is one we must hope to stamp out in elementary school, as a pernicious myth circulated by would-be monarchists and other vaguely irrelevant schools of thought. A lot of immigrants come here with crazy ideas, especially from Britain and Europe.

The missing ingredient is "cybernetics" i.e. "self organization" i.e. "ouija board". At first, kids are uncomfortable with idea that "no one is in control" as that sounds like anarchy. But just remind them, Spaceship Earth was a disciplined and smoothly running operation LONG before humans got here. Take comfort. The USA operating system, as an engineering feat, is like a ship in the wind, lots of distributed tension, a tensegrity. I may be accused of heresy for saying that though.

Related Reading:

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Geek Speak

Binary World

:: world domination ::

Geeks were collectively smart enough to start down the World Domination road some decades back, and have since lapped the track a few times, owning a next virtual reality time and time again.  Each time around, we make a great leap forward, to sound Chinese about it.

You know other geeks like you, working for other bosses, using a lot of the same tools, are spreading a global culture, combining many languages and ethnicities.  You've developed a shared namespace, a vocabulary, a set of concepts.  You've been working on Codes of Conduct.

However, like most everyone else, the geeks tend to not distill themselves as a class, as their conditioning is they're nerds, and therefore working to fit in, to gain in popularity, to become more socially accepted.  

As nerds, they may even want revenge, for their outcast status.  But as geeks?  What's the difference?

In my lexicon, a geek is a fully matured nerd, meaning early introvert tendencies have largely been transformed into social and media skills, and increasingly, diplomatic skills.  

Relative idealists sometimes have an easier time communicating, as they're not in need of more secretive agendas. Once you're playing poker, you have to factor in more game theory, including calling a bluff.

Business transactions happen faster against the background of shared values.  You're on the same time, as Humans in Universe.

We've talked about some of the buffer zones, in Germany, in Korea, where a kind of reunification in cyberspace creates new opportunities for identification. Hackers live on the edges, connecting and reconciling. They're regarded with suspicion, because of the invisible worlds they frequent.

If the code is all open source, freely fixable and upgradable, then one has the basis for an economy, in terms of accessible tools and marketable skills.  The hackers found a way to survive, if not always thrive. They inhabit an underground, complete with comics.

We call it a "gig economy" and are working on a safety net layer, as actors aren't always working on a project.  We remember Education Automation by RBF, about freeing us, as scholars, to study.  Andrew Yang and MLK pop up in our conversations.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Attachments (

 I'm still attached to my, a literary venture and obvious allusion to Grunch of Giants, a bold work to begin with.  Today it verged on turning into a 403, but for some serious interventions.  I wasn't finding my backup...

I lot of us pile up a body of work out in cyberspace, or really anywhere.  The attachments criss-cross through time and space. is on a budget server somewhere, not that well protected.  What triggered today's saga was the obvious presence of malware.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Reading Ahead

Quiet Lake

Let's say you're breezing through Heuristics for Teachers, Fall 2020, as a Youtube experience. You're not doing Orientation, Kick Off Talks, Chirality... exactly, but no matter, nevermind. 

You've discovered the curriculum is multi-modal, a fancy way of saying multi-medium. 

You've become more of a devotee of the blog genre anyway, and so here you are, let us say.

I'd reward you then, with some previews.  

J. Krishnamurti in particular has a language not unlike Ouspensky's in recognizing the botness of we hubots. We Are the Robots (Kraftwerk). Since we're busy bridging to what Russell Brand calls "some sort of Russian shamanism thing" on the channel, i.e. to Ouspensky & Co., Maurice Nicoll in particular, a Scottish Jungian, why not rope in JK? The insights seem consistent.

The ending of the latest Youtube, featuring a Russian Art Museum, is a bridge back to Minnesota, where you'll remember we're finding Sam Hill and family, escapees from the pro-slavery economy.  Today, your average "abolitionist" is chipping away at the tyranny of the nuke weapons lobby, anti-slavery still the objective.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Homework (Fall Term)


If you're doing Fall Term, Heuristics for Teachers, consider viewing the below with special attention to the word "secondhand" and its context. Get your hands on a copy of No More Secondhand God. Find the essay on the Omnidirectional Halo, which later appears in Synergetics. American Transcendentalism. 

Soon you'll know American Lit better than most English PhDs (who don't know what "IVM" means guffaw).

Friday, September 18, 2020

TikTok Wars 2020

As one of those grandfatherly Boomers with empathy for GenZ, I'm not on the side of the cowards in the TikTok Wars.  Here are some of my remarks on Facebook, copied here to my blog:

The TikTok platform is bringing the world's people together, psychologically, in a way Facebook has been failing to do. 

The cowardly capitalists have a simple solution: make DC politicians bully TikTok into selling itself to a DC-friendly corporation. I can understand why "American" business is now seen as both craven and insidious -- there's nothing American about it.

Save TikTok from the disgusting low life who want access to all its back doors, but can't get it legally, because they're not in control. Poor dears. When the Lebanese turned off Whatsapp, people poured into the streets. Americans though, are relatively meek and obedient in the face of tyranny, as we've seen. Their Constitution was taken away and they didn't lift a finger, poor slobs.

I have a political cartoon about the situation, showing a GenZer feeling beset by the "powers that be". Although I grabbed said cartoon from Facebook, when I tried to share it on, I got dinged. "We know you probably didn't mean it, but next time..." It had a Mickey Mouse face.  You don't mess with The Mouse (as they say in Orlando). 


Friday, September 04, 2020

Global Data Corp Update

Looking back on my science fiction:

Much of the Islamophobia was underwritten by banking establishments fearful that certain Sharia practices might challenge compound interest as the de facto standard.
That North American market consumers might simply enjoy the choice to factor in religious affiliation, looks really troubling to bankers, who count on the Secular look and feel of Roman columns, marble floors, the claptrap of a catholic (liberal) Empire.

The strategy was to pretend there's someone in charge of Islam who forbids innovations in FinTech unless that comes with hand chopping and burning at the stake (taking a page from the Christians there). In fact, none of the world religions are actually organized, as admitting mere mortals are behind the scenes (as the organizers) would undermine the underlying premise: that religions transcend mere mortality and somehow reflect a transcendent will.

In point of fact, enterprising imams have the ability to shape the law to suit local community standards. Rather than allow liberal Islam to flower, drawing even with Christians in having female hierarchies, the strategy has been to trap this world religion in its own bad PR, a strategy similar to the one pursued against Russians, making Putinism (invented for the purpose) akin to Stalinism (no need for discussion, just mimic the attitudes).

Christian sects with a strong background in Capitalism are more likely to see how the rules get made (like sausage), and some, like the Quakers, may co-venture with likewise contrarian Islamic sects, in the realm of FinTech.

None of this venturing precludes the participation of other competing religions of course. No one can beat the Mormons in Las Vegas, as the saying goes. Religions and Fintech have gone together like blood and wine over the eons.

The course I've been pursuing, as a science fiction plot, revolves around creating another tech giant, similar to well-known brands, but inside the jurisdiction of a "different Delaware" meaning the foundational DNA doesn't have the look and feel of British bylaws. We're not that Anglo of an operation (not using Tea Company boilerplate).

Picture something Hopi. A kind of movie-making studio, with data centers a necessary part of its business. I gave it a name and started running some ads, ala some kind of Banksy business, in the 1980s.

Time has been on the march all along, and devout Muslims at least, do have alternatives to compound interest, even in Greater LA. It's not like they give you free money, those Islamic bankers. No, bankers want you to make them richer, that's pretty much true across the board. Yet the permutations are endless. Like casino games.

But banks also compete for high profile clients, the kind that doesn't mind bragging a bit, about having Swiss bank accounts (not something to keep hidden). Remember American Express ads?

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Synergetics Slide Deck with Narrative (4D Solutions)

A lot of geeks I know are already into this stuff and pretty well versed. We didn't waste the forty years and established a track record, including websites, published sources, plays, exhibits.

Then you have a lot of 2nd tier think tanks, a lot of them too derivative and downright lazy to have taken a defined position regarding the design science revolution (which has included free open source backlash against intellectual property inventions).

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Russiagate Recap

Portland Library

Me on Facebook (today), hyperlinks added.

The CrowdStrike narrative included in the Mueller Report is cleverly crafted, regarding timelines, such that Trump's public speech, calling on Russians to find those missing Hillary emails, actually came to GRU's attention in real time, and there and then they got to work on the phishing expedition that led to Podesta's emails appearing on Wikileaks.

How did CrowdStrike know all this, and more? What forensic evidence was presented to the grand jury? We were never made privy to any of this, and the story sounds rather far fetched without evidence. Putin offered to let the FBI do some recorded interviews of any GRU agents named in the report, if, in return, the Kremlin could do some taped interviews of Browder, the UK oligarch behind the Magnitsky Act, the guy who touts himself as Putin's greatest enemy.

Trump thought that sounded like a good idea, as he saw a path to exoneration (this was before the Dems went for impeachment, only to be stopped in the GOP Senate). He was excoriated of course, because it sounded like he trusted Russian intel to get to the bottom of the story more than he trusted the purveyors of the Steele dossier (British meddling and collusion was never far from the surface).

CrowdStrike, for its part, has not done anything impressive to substantiate its case. On the contrary, the word on the street is they don't really have the evidence to substantiate their version of the Guccifer 2 chapter. That's why the common wisdom, as I sense it, is that Russiagate fell apart and re-stoking it with new fuel has become an important priority of the anti-Trump movement. I'm thinking Trump has done enough and should go play golf in Mar-a-lago, but I don't buy that the GRU played an integral role in the Wikileaks chapter. Not until we see some proof, then I'd be willing to reconsider.

I support the repeal of the Magnitsky Act. I know Biden and his cronies are all about pushing Ukraine into NATO and trying to "win the cold war" all over again, but in my book, the USSA lost Cold War 2. That's over already.

I've been reading the report. Mostly it seems to trace to the same indictments found in the Mueller Report. It repeats the allegation that GRU officers took their cues from Trump when he said in a public speech that the Russians should find Hillary's emails. The Russians then set about spear phishing in response, got Podesta's emails among others, and turned everything over to Wikileaks? Proof?

How exactly this story is proved is not discussed. Rather, it's sufficient in the legal sphere to make allegations, make any evidence secret from the reading public, and then later quote these allegations as further proof. If one is skeptical, as I am, including based on counter-evidence and alternative narratives, then there's a nagging feeling of illusionists at work. This doesn't seem like forensic science.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Black Studies

In recent Youtube channel activity, I've been tracing links between Fuller's positive futurism, and the civil rights movement in North America, through the life story of Kiyoshi Kuromiya in particular.

Kiyoshi and Bayard Rustin were also gay rights activists, which comes under the heading of civil rights.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

New Circuit Designs

Always the same mental cartoon about the super rich handing over assets in a "redistribution", if the less super rich get richer (see 23:07 in the above cartoon model).

If your mental picture is motherboard earth the computer is plugged into the wall socket sun, then if neighborhoods start looking better it's not "at the expense of the rich" or "as a result of redistributing wealth" from the rich, it's a matter of redesigning the irrigation system so the daily new flow of wealth, fresh from the solar source, distributes more equitably / efficiently / intelligently than it did before.

I don't want Bezos to have to give up his fancy house. But if other people start living relatively better, in aerospace study-pods, I'm not seeing that as coming from Bezos in the first place. 

Our collective species IQ is learning how to design the motherboard better. Amazon is a part of that circuitry in providing study pods with Amazon Web Services. However the smarts behind Amazon isn't localized to some single 100W bulb (which is the average power consumption of a human animal).

The Columbia Gorge was flowing without help from humans, who figured out later how to plug into the gorge and make street cars go up and down, along with elevators, in Portland. 

It's not that we need hugely more power from the sun. 

It's that keeping millions under arms, drilling / marching / "training", pushing menacing battleships this way and that, burning time in nuclear mass suicide submarines, is squandering 80% of our fortune on inherently meaningless ideologies.

We're a Ghetto Planet with a rotted Cult (set of beliefs), an amalgam of past beliefs we're too lazy to get out from under.

I'm thinking we wouldn't need more raw power to make this a relative utopia, compared to what we have, with simple onboard reprogramming of our neural matter, an undertaking that requires bits and bytes, not heavy steel making.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Pirate Party Planks

Pirate Party Planks:

* copyleft > copyright
* ethnicities are not races
* Govt runs some businesses to showcase its values
* special public schools focus on training for work in govt
* some pubic schools are residential, some are same sex
* Tulsi's reprimand of Trump > impeachment verbiage
* Russia is not an enemy
* China either
* protect electoral infrastructure
* until elections are more trusted, no party has a mandate

Pirate Party USA: no candidates, only planks, feel free to steal

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Shakespeare in the Park

Aggregated Feed

Shared with Public
 July 27 at 9:19 AM ·

Midsummer Nights' Comedy (satire):

City: Look there's no socially responsible way to be publicly engaged in making our world better than outdoor summer rallies right now, so we'd like to let this keep going, even support it.

Feds: oo oo, you make our buildings ugly, we sending apes, you not strict.

City: um, no really we know our people, that graffiti can be cleaned up. Our police can handle it, we know our own people, we'll make your building look like new down the road.

Feds: you not strict, we angry, you Portlanders don't respect authority of God

City: anthropological differences exist between us...

Feds: STFU, apes on plane. We coming now.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Experimental Prototype Communities

From an Art Colony

The military abuses AI, per Manning et al, which is why so many at Google advocate severing ties, with certain programs at least (death dealing by AI doesn't make anyone look good, least of all collaborators).

My philosophy is keep lowering the barrier to entry i.e. all the tools you'll need to build a utopia are within range of the pooled resources of the first investors.

Then grow your community by trial and error yes, but also by reading up on good ideas and/or better, visiting parallel utopias likewise experimenting with new ideas. Watch the video feed that comes from your competition. Send your spies to see if they're lying.

We all learn from the dystopias too (e.g. Rajneesh Puram as a great case study, speaking of Oregon).

What I try to get away from is any implicit assumption that the debate is about how "we all" as in "all of us" need to agree on some innovation before we try it out.

I think in terms of thousands, maybe millions of little campuses, dotting the Earth, each trying different mixes, different fusions of ethnicities.

Some will be more into AI and tech, wanting to dress unisex like on Star Trek. Others will be more into creative anachronism, dressing like we're in some Monty Python episode, lots of rustic implements, amidst some high tech (say for powering the place).

I think of theme parks. I think of EPCOT, the original meaning: Experimental Prototype Communities of Tomorrow.

We need lots and lots of epcots. The design science philosophy is about facilitating in their creation, less about judging them in advance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Bump It Up



Monday, July 06, 2020

Memorandum to Global U

Blue House 2018


As y'all know, I'm into putting PWSs (personal workspaces) on like an AirBnB network, except I called it the Housing Project in the 1980s, and a lot of it was about swapping, so more like those timeshare vacation spots. 

Dorm space, faculty lounges, study pods...

Wiring up the Harrison Street facility to the global Coffee Shops Network (charitable) and to the connected think tank community, has been a long term project. 

Known to some as the "Blue House" in our Buddhist Ghetto (Portland proud of), or in Asylum District  (also celebrated -- named for the sanitorium that used to anchor the neighborhood), we've been a hub for Food Not Bombs, established covens (music bands).  

Portland's creatives called us Blue House to distinguish us from Pink House and some others.

Tomorrow I'm having a contractor spec the place for roof replacement.  Long overdue.  The other big project would be the upstairs bathtub drain situation.  

Then you'd have the perfect faculty housing or student group housing, with included study space and studio, just like it is now, perhaps re-furnished.  Do you like the diner kitchen, a relic of the 1950s?  The main timbers date back to 1905 according to my records.  There've been some add-ons.

In my dreams, I'd like to come back on a circuit and stay here myself from time to time.  The XRL (Extreme Remote Livingry) "middle of nowhere" type boarding schools, the mixed use skyscrapers, the other city-as-campus configurations... I might not be in Portland as frequently as I have been.

My daughters, friends and family would be welcome here, perhaps in some admin capacity.  Tara is next in line to help design the circuit.  

The family business is merging with the Global U in a way that keeps logistics non-onerous.

I'm a big believer in institutional wealth.  You don't need to own an aircraft carrier or submarine to live on one. Ownership of the supersonic jets, the space station, the racetrack, is likewise not my forte.  On the other hand, I'm into storyboarding, like an investment bank, or movie-maker.

As one more student-faculty member, I'm into enjoying the Global U responsibly.  That's how I bring credit to my school.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Air America Reunion?

TV Personality

I think we need to help Rachel Maddow pull out of her tailspin. Remind her it's a small world and all these networks, like the one she works for, interpenetrate in mysterious ways.

Maybe if Russia buys MSNBC and lets her keep her job going on and on about the re-education camp she's worried about, people will settle down and stop worrying. 

As it is, Russia basically bought up Air America (the radio network) which had Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Rachel Maddow, Thom Hartmann... some went to MSNBC, others ended up on RT. 

For RT to buy MSNBC would be like a family reunion in a lotta ways.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Friday, June 26, 2020

Tibet TV

Recent screenshots.  From Facebook.


His Holiness...


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

GST for Dummies

I think all will agree that a planet, any planet, is an instance of a system. An open system. Here's my question: does it make sense to apply the concept of Entropy to a planet? In principle. Doesn't have to be a question about Earth.

More specifically: can a planet be Syntropic i.e. Negentropic?

Or is that a meaningless question?

I ran this by a list of physics teachers awhile back and didn't seem to reach a consensus, but maybe I posed the question wrongly. The question above is a new attempt to phrase it more correctly.

If you know the right Youtube to answer my question, I'm open to any all suggestions in that regard. Thoughts?

Like I've heard some people invoke the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics to explain why worsening conditions for Humans in Universe over the next 10K years is a necessary consequence. Of course that's not correct, as a planet may in principle harvest the free energy around it, if an open system, and capitalize on the grant income.

For further reading:
GST [1][2][3]

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Mind Control

I have no ethical problems with consenting adults getting together and agreeing to take some personality test (say OCEAN) that shrinks each to a set of numbers.  Then feed those numbers as machine learning features, paired with one extra Y, such as "voted for...", such as "preferred to purchase...". Do we have a model? Did we discover some predictability?  Not?

What data scientists sometimes ignore or forget to study is whether outliers in one study might be outliers in another or, put another way, are those least predictable (a measurable trait) in turn predictive? Lots of mythology swirls around this question. The predictably unpredictable, the anomalous, do they exist and, if so, what do they teach us?

You might call this an artificial intelligence class, with the twist being our question: so just how artificial is our intelligence, anyway?  Are we all really phonies?  There's some fear of that, which psychoanalysts raised in saying they could predict our lot in life on the basis of our relationship with the mother, or per some other archetype.

But that's astrology in a nutshell: shrink me down to some numbers. Comforting. Back to OCEAN.

I know what you're thinking: we already know OCEAN is predictive and that's what Cambridge Analytica used to tip the election to Trump and blame the Russians.  That's why Facebook was duped, then later took the fall, accused of being too greedy or too loose with its data or whatever.

Americans are stuck believing their every belief is in a database somewhere, and that these beliefs make them predictable, pliable, dupable. That's disturbing.

No one likes learning, from machine learning, that they're a machine.

My response is no, we don't know any of that.  The mythology of marketing and PR is to create an aura of all-knowingness, if that's your line of business (omniscience sells by the "square" they tell me), creates a swirl of doubt around what the true state of psychology is.

What is the state of the art?  With uncertainty so much a tool in the toolbox, how could we know?

The uncertainty principle is not about minimization in psychology, as it is in physics.  The squid ink of purposeful juxtaposition of intended states is what keeps the whole situation fluid, and that's a plus when you're hoping to hover above any literal meaning, indefinitely.

I'd happily join other grad students in this experiment, with or without the Float On floatation tanks. Float On, a nearby business in Asylum District, has also ventured into publishing, resharing some of the John C. Lilly works, on telepathy with dolphins.

I know that's all fringe culture silly stuff, but thar  (as in them thar hills) is where the pirates encode their secret treasures.

Monday, June 15, 2020

A Bridge Over Troubled Water


Kirby Urner
Yesterday at 1:37 PM ·
Shared with Public

My Youtube channel conceit (that's an OK thing to have in literary criticism) is I'm designing curriculum for an Elite Quaker School (warning: stereotype), like Sidwell or one of those. I've got the New England Transcendentalism going, but also Pound and Poe. So yeah, heavy on the humanities but with a bridge from Xanadu across the C.P. Snow Chasm, to STEM, land of the Stemites (not a typo). That bridge is made of C6XTY it seems, a commercial product or artwork or something mirage-like and shimmery, on the brink of esoteric to the point of occult.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Thursday, June 04, 2020

More Sausage (as seen on Facebook)

Regarding this "news" article.

"The documents were obtained through the Dossier Center, a London-based investigative project funded by Russian opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky. NBC News has not independently verified the materials, but forensic analysis by the Dossier Center appeared to substantiate the communications."

Somehow dossiers from England don't impress me anymore. We've made too many wrong turns based on "British intelligence". I'm going to use this story as more evidence of British meddling and plans to keep inflaming Russophobia within the North American psyche.

Because they use the word "forensic" they think we sheeple should be impressed. The Mueller Report is already a big part of the history going forward. Any high school history class that doesn't bring up Guccifer 2 is totally bogus in my view, I laugh in their general direction (Monty Python allusion). NBC stinks of police state and militarism very distinctly. That's a network I no longer hold in high esteem, right down there with CNN.

I'm still loyal to CBS though.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Summer School Update (OCN)

I'm not involved in any of the civic unrest taking place in my City of Portland, although I am commenting from my crow's nest on Facebook.

My experience with Occupy, which echoed the Smedley Butler Hoovervilles, right down to Elk Park, was in no way a positive indicator that I'd be at the vanguard of some smashing fest.  We operated with precision and although we trampled the park, we channeled a lot of amps.  The park bounced back, complete with restrooms.

I'd be for reopening the pavillions (not gazebos exactly), such as in Colonel Summers and kitty corner from Cleveland High School, without ending social distancing.  Maybe these could be dispensaries for the free government cell phones we're all getting along with testing, that will let us avail of social services, and vote.  Just lapsing into science fiction there for a sec.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Regarding Facebook Policies

There's no way to fact check the billions of posts in hundreds of languages, about events and theories unfolding around the world daily. I know a lot of people obsessed with North American politics don't care at all about what's going on in the Indian subcontinent or in Africa, but tribal culture wars in the US should not dictate Facebook's practices.

The standards that do exist are difficult enough to uphold, such as keeping the platform relatively free of pornography, a challenge many platforms don't shoulder. I understand if Twitter wants to block posts "glorifying violence" but there again, what combination of algorithms and eyeballs are going to apply those standards even handedly?

A lot of frustrated individuals, feeling powerless to stop misinformation, want a big daddy / mommy tech firm to jump in and be the authority figure. The internet is distinguished by its decentralization. We don't have authority figures or big brothers by design. That wild west free-for-all atmosphere is what's valuable about these networks. Asking for crackdowns against political speech, propaganda, advertising, manipulation, misinformation, is asking for parental controls. I would prefer to not pander to this impulse.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Journal Entry: Quaker Business

I cancelled my recurring payment from PayPal to the QuakerQuaker discussion list.  I was putting a lot of eggs in that basket, and shouldering some of the costs.

However the domain name behind the site has been parked with GoDaddy and the security certificate is now invalid.  Chrome complains bitterly when I want to go there.

Today I deleted several videos from the site, that also appear on Youtube.  I'm just getting into practice.  I may be deleting a lot more.

In the meantime, I've had a good ride, enjoyed the site, and am grateful for the valuable service, worth it to me at the time.

Addendum:  funny watching The Atlantic make Russiagate sausage right before I eyes.  I sent 'em a note about it, saying I was mocking this article on Facebook.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Planet of the Humans

I started watching this right about the end of Earth Day 2020, near midnight in my Asylum District zip code.

The thesis is sort of:
We the innocents, the sheeple, the dupes, have been led by our corporate masters to bow down before faux green-washed altars to our own virtue, as planet saviors, while behind behind the curtain, they're using a diesel generator.  
Like picture an Earth Day sound stage, that they tell you is all solar and wind powered, all brought to you by renewables, but then actually they're burning wood chips, because forests are green aren't they?  And renewable (they grow back).  Either wood chips or natural gas, the latest craze (cleaner than coal if you don't mind fracking).

Meanwhile, solar and wind are hardly a panacea, as we don't have enough storage capacity to level off peak demand.

We don't talk about any smart house solutions with the battery on the client side (if you've got wind, charge your own batteries).

Either way, the battery making process is ugly and takes lots of fossil fuel.

The imagery is designed to frighten and dismay its audience with evidence of its huge carbon footprint, as it's called, and we go back to something between overpopulation as the problem, and people living in gross, ostentatious ways, people that look pretty much like us.

Nothing new there, the rhetoric since the 1970s at least.  A lot of the doomsayers didn't expect us to reach 2020 in fact.

We're really going to have to stop driving so much as commuters, and take a hard look at where the energy is going to come from.  Even an electric car is not a soul saver.

As someone who enjoys mega-projects and large scale engineering, I'm not especially dismayed by all that dismaying footage, but of course the highest technology in the picture is always nature's.  We humans are hers, after all.

Destroying nature's technology to make way for more technology doesn't always look that smart if we're serious about investment banking (science fiction, screenwriting).  We know how it is with  those humans: you can't trust 'em to do what's right, because they're greedy little buggers who like to dress up and drive fancy cars.

Even Al Gore, and that 350 guy, got greedy and sold us out.  They all sell out.

Damn them.  Damn us.

The Planet of the Apes ending, where we regret our stupid ways, is likewise sadly tragic.  We've really made monkeys of ourselves.

I look at that Planet of the Apes imagery myself in School of Tomorrow, and think "we are devo" in a lot of ways (overspecialized and so on). As Bucky liked to say:  Darwin got it backwards.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

FNB World (Food Not Bombs)

You'll find lots about FNB in these Quaker journals of mine, as I participated as a food hauler, with bicycle and one or two trailers, and as a cook. Later, as a vet, I'd just show up and eat, chatting with some from the old cast (e.g. Satya) while meeting newcomers.

Now that we're practicing new distancing rules and so on, I'm guessing the online manuals, the basis for the organization, are out of date.  Whether the continuing momentum (inertia) goes forward with the same name or not is a matter of semantics I suppose.  Perhaps some manuals have been updated.

I just unfroze some tofu from my last FNB meet up, pre isolation protocol, and although I was skeptical of its texture, Leela (aka Lindsey in former chapters) texted it was pretty OK this way.  I just fried some up and added like some soy sauce (I think that's what it is, unlabeled), and hey, it soaks stuff up nicely, like bread.

I'll be done with my frozen burritos shortly.  I munched on one of those on camera (see Youtube channel) awhile back, sounding a little sorry for myself because no one wanted to join me in my Geometry World (like Minecraft in some ways).

But these are actually pretty good burritos, even if unfrozen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Rescuing the Concentric Hierarchy


A question from a reader was "what good is the concentric hierarchy beyond being like a pretty picture?" referring of course to the Bucky Fuller geometry I yak about a lot.

What if it is just a "pretty picture" meaning a sub-language featuring Platonics, their combinations and duals, with translated "volume" and "area" concepts to equivalents computed slightly differently?

By "sub-language" I mean a subclass of language semi-intelligible to other non-native speakers. Mathematics would be a set of many such sub-languages, but so would be various shoptalks and philosophies that may contain maths, but aren't themselves purely maths.

Synergetics is one such sub-class language, one of those philosophies that contains a geometric framework, namely said concentric hierarchy with a rhombic dodecahedron of volume six and so forth.  The pretty picture.

Should we teach a philosophy containing a pretty picture?  Is that a question about moral imperatives?  Is this an "ought" question?

Perhaps it's more like a question to tour guides.  We discover this abandoned old section of the museum and wonder if we should open it to the public.

The incentive to open might be to bring in more foot traffic, but what if that's not really a goal?  One assumes a museum has a sense of self preservation, but "museum" might not be the right model.

I suppose the counter-question is:  what have we got to lose in teaching it, given it goes down smoothly for the most part and needn't take a huge amount of time?  Why not swallow the pill, if it does no harm?

That's probably the question then.  We're still trying to judge harm.  Or is it that we've swallowed the pill already, and now are finding some of our practices coming under a different kind of scrutiny?  The ordeal of morphing to adapt to the cosmos is not one Synergetics begets, so much as anticipates.

I think if we'd swallowed the pill already, we'd see more symptoms, such as more Youtube clips featuring said concentric hierarchy.  The evidence is more that a tiny subculture keeps the sub-language alive, like one of those native or indigenous languages on the verge of extinction.

Be that as it may, the question remains:  should the anthropology or sociology museum allow or encourage tourism in this area?  Or maybe it's an art museum?  Does the concentric hierarchy constitute art?  We asked the same questions around Flextegrity.  That Tensegrity is art, and widely excepted as such, is encouraging.

I'm thinking Synergetics, and the pretty picture it contains, "hangs by a thread" and that thread is Tensegrity.

Given the art world has accepted the latter, there's a good chance it will accept the former, in due time.  In fact we've seen signs of that already, in exhibits subsequent to the publication of Synergetics, including notably Lattice Gallery in Portland, Oregon, October - December on SE Broadway.

But also at the Whitney in New York, and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (2009).

Pycon 2009

Friday, March 20, 2020

Citizen Diplomacy

I suppose the idea of "global citizen" sounds hokey as it never had any legal meaning, even if the UN Declaration of Human Rights underlined the self evident:  that human beings matter above and beyond the hokey melodramas they're made to star in.  They're a phenomenon of Nature, it sounds silly to point out, I realize.  We trash Nature, and are taught to laugh about it.

Anyway, enough moralizing. The point here is that of course a diplomatic crew, by job description, is acquiring and communicating intelligence about the terrain it traverses, in service of T4P and whatever sponsoring commercial carrier.  Nothing to stigmatize here, or get upset about.  There's no point screaming "espionage" when you're simply doing what everyone expects of you.

Gathering intelligence is a part of your business and way of adding value, which doesn't mean you just wander off over private property trying to ferret out secrets.  You become privy by being invited, and by proving trustworthy with the information (which sometimes means sharing it, perhaps without attribution to an original source, per the journalistic code of ethics).

Prowling around in the ambassador's office after hours, with a flashlight, is more private detective work than diplomatic. We need not confuse roles.  Not that diplomats can't be sneaky, or good at prying loose clues.  However our truckers have to get on to the next check point or place of business.  The analytical picture will develop from multiple reports.

The diplomat is familiar with "official channels" which is where the official truck stops come in. You'll have approved ways to be on panels, give talks.  If you've got a pet peeve, expect a track for that, if only the hallway track and ad hoc interest rooms.  Geeks bring their "unconferencing skills" to the table (thinking Barcamps, OS Bridge and so on).

Yes, there is government presence.  Why wouldn't there be?

Consistency and safety checks happen.

These are not "anything goes" hubs (these rucker havens, these asylum cities) of no discipline.  On the contrary, keeping a busy world hub going, with truckers coming and going, requires a tight ship to some extent. Think of a well run airport (PDX comes to mind).

That's not to say R&R is out of bounds either.  Even tight ships may have their cinemas and swimming pools.  Counter-culture cultures abound.  Diversity happens.  The cosmos is cosmopolitan. Truck stops may have dance and theater, in many languages.

For those just joining us, the year is 2030, lets say, and truckers have become accustomed to freelancing on a global basis, which doesn't mean without loyalties.  You may be your own business and still have a preferred list of customers, or a list of "goods" you would like to not be complicit in handling, plus you're not for being deceived.

Some drivers, let's say the better ones, won't transport poached animal products on principle and even advertise this fact.

At the core of our Global Trucking Network (GTN) is the network of Truck Stop Hubs (TSHs), which have evolved quite a bit from their early days along the Federal freeways (the I-system) of North America.

Those freeways still require a lot of maintenance, even with the "zombie truck" fleets (what we've also called "driverless") but then so are trains (e.g. subways) often robotic and just as intermodal.

Global University talk is a jargon and paints us all as students and faculty, we know that.  Long ago, specialization took specific forms, such as in Victorian England.  Some people were aristocratic and tea-cuppy, while others did so-called "dirty jobs" that needed doing, amidst many that were largely unnecessary.

Trucking stayed necessary, even unto the Era of Extreme Automation (people argue on when that started).  The class associations that used to set off university people as distinct from truckers, didn't survive the transition to a next century.

In addition to performing as students and faculty, we engage in maintenance, admin, janitorial and security.  Thanks to work-study, all jobs are part of some academic program or other.  You may certify as a black belt in some, a newbie in others.

The Quakers thought a lot in terms of nominations and rotating duties.  Your community would provide you with opportunities to become well-rounded, an investment in pooled abilities.

In that spirit, I've been focusing on trucking as a citizen diplomat activity.   You'll find some of my writings on Medium.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Yakking About Curriculum Matters

My impression is IB math (EU curriculum) is more likely to feature 3D vectors with rotation matrices i.e. stays geometric longer.

The YouEssIans (USians) go for that "geometry sandwich" with two slices of Algebra for bread. David DiNucci showed me an article about that.

The meat (10th grade geometry it's often called) is very thin, in the sense of planar. Mr. Euclid is milked for his proof of the proof concept, and meanwhile we're not "wasting time" with 3D printing or CAD renderings.

A lot of people are getting nervous about Shop and real tool use. Weren't schools supposed to teach about trades too? That's where a more hands-on geometry with SQL practice, in storing and retrieving the vectors, face topology, might help.

Milo Gardner suggests the big chunk of Euclid traces to political agendas to suppress all things German. Gauss and Number Theory needed less airtime. However along this same "lambda calc" track that'd feature SQL and real tool use, we'd put more about crypto. Number Theory is back on the front burner, along with Fermat's Little Theorem and Carmichael Numbers.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Climate Change "Hoax"

"Climate change" is a hoax not because the climate isn't changing. Planet Earth has been completely transformed by its human inhabitants.  That's obvious.

Look at all the new, exotic radioactive elements in the environment, the plastics, the changed gas mix, the cities, the dammed rivers, space junk, the landfills.  Look at the sheer volumetric weight of human beings as a species.

Still not as much mass as termites, all told?  Add the weight of the buildings, the pavement.  Of course the planet has changed, and continues to change, thanks to human activity.

The hoax part inheres in singling out one parameter, such as global average temperature, and/or the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and pretending that's the one variable that matters, when it comes to talking about this isolated "climate" concept.

Were we to talk about the "biosphere" instead, there'd be no argument.  But "climate" is something narrow, relating to ozone, ice ages and greenhouse gases.

Even though it's obvious that human activity continues to change the biosphere, debates rage, because we're fixated on global sea levels.  The number of species may be plummeting, the Amazon jungle dwindling, but if sea levels stay the same, well then climate change must be an illusion.  Ridiculous no?

I'm not that trusting of a "climate science" that tries to carve out a narrow niche and reduce itself to merely academic debates. 

We're just minutes away from a nuclear holocaust, on any given day, but somehow that's not the business of climate scientists.  Even though a nuclear holocaust would grossly alter our life support systems aboard Spaceship Earth.

A climate science that's not about preventing nuclear war, is not a serious science at all.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

American Heritage (MATH)

I tip my hat to the Yang campaign (impressive) at the end of my talk.

Note to self: timeline slightly backward, as the Bucky Symposium at GWU was before the Python conference (Pycon).

I did get to visit with Ed -- including in Georgetown, and take that picture in my blog post: Ayatollah of the Tetrahedron -- but I had to bow out of the ensuing Python conference (Pycon) where I'd been scheduled to talk (on hypertoons).

Ed and I had planned a next dinner, but that one I had to miss. Dawn had just received her diagnosis.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Monday, February 03, 2020

SuperBowl Sunday


I don't know if SuperBowl is really CamelCase, but as a Geek it makes sense to capitalize in that way. We have our ethnic idiosyncrasies too, after all.

I wasn't really expecting to catch the Super Bowl, in that I hadn't scheduled it, but on the other hand I'm a regular at a certain Asylum District "krobar" (a generic for me, Cork & Tap is the legal name) and the game was already in the thrilling 4th quarter.  Kansas City was down, and our dinosaur-friendly bartender is from there.  When they came back to win it, she was ecstatic, which was fun to witness.

Glenn was there to my right.  Dr. D. was on vacation from what we call HH, although that could mean HopHouse (nearby) and HH is all day when the krobar is open.  Cross-eyed crossword puzzling?  Crypticism creeps into American Lit through other sources besides me I'd hazard.

Speaking of "hazard", the Daisy Duke in Dukes of Hazard should not be confused with Patty Duke, who married "Gomez" in The Addams Family.  Patty Duke was a celebrity on the HDTV on an earlier evening, where old game shows are a staple when the SuperBowl isn't showing.  The other screen is always sports.

Then you might think of Daisy Mae, funny how these may all blend together.  Americans' "hillbilly" archetype is a part of the infusion.  I'm not planning to offer any exhaustive treatment here.

Daisy Dukes (safe search setting on, DuckDuckGo) were a type of cut-off popular with some "guys" (gender neutral), a fashion statement.

That's right, we analyze popular culture a lot, as we sip our various brews.

This time, on SuperBowl Sunday, I decided to stick with three consecutive 10 oz. ciders, a blood orange (blew the keg), the replacement peach-raspberry (tint of Vicks candy), and the a sour raspberry, which is really a beer but with cidery overtones.  I was one of the last to cash out.

Today on the day job (OCN) I'm able to apply Miller-Rabin (not a beer) to the problem of filtering out what aren't Mersenne Primes. School of Tomorrow is showing off again, trying to recruit high schoolers into an alternative PWS (home-schooling environment).

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

American Literature Versus Student "Debt"

Of course a truly patriotic president would permanently ban shipping lethal weapons to the front in any outward fight against Russia, and let Ukraine / Russia repair their relationship.

The president needs to stay focused at home, where parasites like Raytheon, Halliburton/KBR, Lockheed Martin, have bankrupted the country, both financially and morally.

Bucky Fuller, a true patriot engineer for social responsibility, took the United States off the hook in the 1980s (and got a Medal of Freedom for so doing), i.e. all this cost plus for profit privatized Murder Inc. going forward would not be the USA at all, just a fake news imposter phony (USA LLC), which the clueless Americans salute every day, pretending their allegiance.

The true loyalists took Uncle Sam off line in the 1980s, keeping his iconography safely blameless for what followed in the name of the American people. A global network of corporate persons (aka GRUNCH) seized control and went blithely ahead with their naked emperor "presidents". Who wants to be the next naked emperor working for "the man"?

Monday, January 13, 2020

Little Women (movie review)

We went to this on request of my sister, visiting from Whittier.  I'm glad she was into it, as I learned a lot from this film, looking through my Anthropology lense especially.  Long movie.  Carol had to go, once we got out, and that's when I learned about the murder plot the Secretary of State was involved in, along with POTUS. Back to the Twilight Zone (oblivion).

I'd never read the book Little Women, and decided to keep myself in the dark until showtime.  I recognized Emma Watson right away, the grownup Hermione of Harry Potter fame.  Her performance was brilliant as was the acting overall.  Speaking of Harry Potter, this was around the time its author came under fire, for some tweets or like that. I wasn't distracted.

These vivacious women had few prospects, when it comes to owning property and achieving financial security, absent a man, are busy doing whatever they might to cultivate their social virtues, as pianists, painters, or even writers.  I started thinking about Dora Marsden.

The writing profession has been especially closed to women, especially if we're talking tabloids or more lurid pulp fiction.  Women writing under their own names were supposed to keep it genteel. Tea-cuppy Victorian puritanism kept the bolder women running brothels, as the class conscious aunt pointed out.

We left reminded, by the end, that we're in some happy ending fiction, a bound book, whereas the author, one of the characters, is likely not exactly like her avatar in the story.  I'd need to read a biography of the actual author of Little Women to figure out the differences.  I'm going to leave that as an exercise for the reader, including me.

Some weeks after seeing this movie, during the crisis which followed Obnoxico's bad chess (Pompeo et al), I discovered Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton and his mocking attitudes towards Romanticism.  Ironically, a world wherein women were more economically empowered, would likely be more romantic, as relationships would be less "of necessity" or "of convenience".  That being said, many of the pitfalls associated with romanticism, as characterized by Alain, deserve the bright light of critical scrutiny.

I'm not saying Little Women is about preaching romanticism, it's not a corny comedy in that way.  I saw the movie in a more feminist light, and wished these sisters had more prospects.  Hollywood would come later. 

The US never did pass the Equal Rights Amendment, another nail in the coffin as far as some of us were concerned.  Lets hope future operating systems might serve us better, including those with Stars & Stripes decals.  In the meantime, we're stuck with a lot of phony baloney.

Monday, January 06, 2020