Monday, April 14, 2014

State of Society

During a our final review and approval of our State of Society Report during Meeting for Business recently, one Friend asked if membership issues had really been "divisive" as the report states.  The clerk called on a member of Oversight to test the validity of that word.  "Divisive is what fits" came the reply, in paraphrase.

I followed up later, as another member of Oversight, with more details, as there's no reason to leave Friends in the dark on this matter.  I wrote (by email):
As another person on Oversight besides [X], I can vouch for membership being divisive in the following sense:  

some see [sic] witnessing others becoming members should be only observed and conducted by other members, whereas others have no problem with non-members witnessing the entire membership process, even convening the clearness committee for that purpose. 

I'm one of those who sees no contradiction here as we value transparency and have no secret rites in our faith and practice i.e. members-only (other than to satisfy the state that we map to their corporation laws).  As a non-member, I have convened many a membership committee with no qualms about my ethics.  I celebrate people's heeding the inward call to serve, which takes many outward guises.
Recorded membership is one of many practices Friends engage in to signify their loyalty to the Religious Society of Friends.

Unlike the Tallahassee Friends, who according to our documents see becoming a member as a kind of detailed vetting, an integrity test, almost an initiation or hazing, I look for a willingness, an eagerness, to publicly identify as a Friend in a way that deserves the backing of some Monthly Meeting.  The meeting will not disavow so-and-so when they publicly proclaim to be a Friend.  That's the social contract.

However, we do not certify, as a meeting, that so-and-so has met a lot of deeply spiritual criteria.  Presumably so-and-so wrote a letter to Oversight and a clearness meeting was convened.  We do not require any criminal background checks, e.g. we are not assuring the public that Y is not a child molester.  We hope not, and will be surprised if so, but let us not mislead the general public into thinking a member has somehow been through some thorough quality assurance program in order to "come out" as a recorded member.

We do not hire expensive Internet services to study the public record, as we might if you want to work in the children's program as one of two supervisory adults, as required by our insurance company (another item of business during the same meeting).  As a third adult in the room, you would not need a background check or social security number.

No, that's not how the process works, in the case of something routine like membership.

We're encouraging people to come forward as Friends and deal with the consequences in the aftermath (for the rest of their lives perhaps).

We're not saying all of those consequences have already been dealt with, nor that so-and-so has reached the top of some spiritual ladder, nor even a higher rung.

We do not pretend to having criteria to measure your "rung level" on any spiritual ladder, though individuals on the Clearness Committee, or anyone, during the seasoning period between meetings for business, may express their reservations about Z e.g. if Z seems too immature and / or clueless about Quakers and Quaker history and/or does not behave in a way consistent with Friends testimonies, that's something to point out.

Given it's a social contract between the meeting, and the individual, both sides get to think about it.  Then to agree to this contract is not to make a lot of corollary claims about Z other than that she and/or he is now accepted as a recorded member.  He and/or she is willing to publicly identify as a Friend in a way a meeting agrees to back or certify.  We hope Z will not be hypocritical then, going forward.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Wanderers 2014.4.8: WW1

Gordon Hoffman did a stupendous job synergizing with Wanderers, letting other old timers chime in with fascinating facts and factoids, adding texture and nuance to an already-tasteful presentation.

Gordon is qualified to call himself a truly vested individual when in comes to WW1, and right away we should point out that, at this point in history, extremely few people with USA passports, with USA citizenship, are seen to frequent the monuments to its war dead in Europe.  This is rightly seen by many as anomalous.  But then the USA stands out in many ways that leave Europeans somewhat perplexed, if not dismayed.

I'm truly not so-qualified, i.e. my insights into WW1 are still in early Big Bang inflationary stage, where I double my understanding every thirty minutes.  I've been reading a lot of history recently, lets say "of the Vienna Circle" to stay brief about it, along with that compendium, Human Smoke (on my Kindle).

Having Gordon's slide presentation plunk down in the middle of these studies really helped things crystallize for me.  Following the changing map of Europe is as hard as inverting a matrix or finding its eigenvalues.  Historians take in hyper-dimensional spaces for breakfast.  That being said, I have a lot more learning ahead of me (duh).  Thank you Gordon, for accelerating my process.

He handed around some small items from his collection.  Dick Pugh was there, another master of the show and tell, sorry to miss Mastin, and Glenn.  Terry, you should come to more of these.  But then it's such a small venue.  Anyway, it was what it was, which was fantastic and educational.

Gordon was and is a major galvanizer of the Saturday Academy subculture in which I've participated and blogged about at some length.  He's blessed with a surplus of attention, one could say, whereas a deficit of same has become the norm.  He shares his scholarship with the rest of us, and he enjoys the opportunities his life affords.  Search elsewhere in these chronicles for more.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Thirsters 2014.4.3 and 2014.3.27

We've been learning a lot about land use and land use planning at Thirsters recently.

Oregon is blessed with some forward-thinking zoning laws that most "states" don't have, being states more in name only.

Developers don't have as free a hand in Oregon to blemish and blight the landscape with their suburban monster malls and chintzy McMansion subdivisions of short half-life.

Our coastline is relatively unmarred with human ugliness, compared to California, the scarred state.

However, Washington County has been suffering from extremely weak leadership and went whining to the legislature when the District Court slapped down it's illegal land grab beyond the boundary, stealing class one arable land.   Most of Helvatia was saved, but only just, and the rapacious are angry over their defeat.

That land grab (rezoning) would have been a no-no in Governor McCall's day, but the Thoughtless Generation doesn't believe in planning ahead, as we've seen with Mt. Tabor and Tri-Met both recently.

A dumbing down has occurred. 

Boomers and younger are turning out to be semi-retarded in many ways, might be all those For Dummies books, hard to say.  More likely too much milk and super-size fries.  A fast food diet makes ya stupid.

Last week we learned about how Portland State University is staying remarkably respectful as a kind of go-between between Federal agencies and native populations of the North American southwest (e.g. Nevada testing area) with long term land use and sustainability on their minds.

Oregon has not yet fallen prey to the depraved, at least not as much as in other states where zombie "walkers" (corporations feigning personhood) stalk the landscape, imprisoning humans for profit and despoiling the landscape.  Arizona comes to mind, with a shudder, a state likely already lost to greed and terminal myopia.

Monday, March 31, 2014

E Module Mensuration

Quoting from Dave:

T = 1/24 = .0416666
E = (√2/8)(ø^-3) = .0417313

So, the T & E modules are close in volume, and the difference was what Fuller expounded on in Synergetics 2.

If the Rhombic Triacontahedron is 120T modules, it has a volume of 5 tetra volumes. Alas, the "radius" was not exactly 1, but .999483.

So, the Rhombic Triacontahedron's volume was really 5.007758 or 120 E modules, when the radius is exactly 1. Kirby figured that out, how to get the radius for the exact volume 5 Rhombic Triacontahedron, which is .999483 or (2/3)^(1/3)((ø^1)/√2)).

The radius in question for the Rhombic Triacontahedron is from the origin to the center of the rhombus. The radius to the long leg to the short leg is ø^1:ø^0:ø^-1 or 1.618034:1.000000:.618034.

This was an epiphany for me since the E module derived from the Rhombic Triacontahedron had a radius of 1, so the legs were .618034 and .381966.

Increasing the edges by ø^1 we have a long diagonal on the Rhombic Triacontahedron that is the same as the icosahedron's edge of 2, which fully inscribes within the Super Rhombic Triacontahedron.

By increasing the radius by ø^1 for the 5.007758 E module Rhombic Triacontahedron, we get the Super Rhombic Triacontahedron.

Thusly, an E module is 120th of the 5+ volume Rhombic Triacontahedron or (√2/8)(ø^-3), and the next larger sized E module derived from the Super Rhombic Triacontahedron is ø^3 larger or √2/8 expressed as E3.

Quoting from me:

The blue icosa is the standard 18.51 of Synergetics, as is the yellow cubocta ("VE") of volume 20. The other shapes are all non-standard in having that 1.851 edge, 1/10th of the volume number, but here an edge.  The green cubocta, has those smaller edges, which is in turn the interval for the whole 4F tetrahedron.

Which is why the yellow cubocta sticks out. What defines the "non-standards" is the tetrahedron to which our standard icosahedron is flush.  The small green cubocta has a volume between 15 and 16 whereas the yellow one has volume 20 as you know.

The icosahedron + its dual = rhombic triacontahedron of whatever size.  In the jargon Koski and I have been using, the "super RT" would be the standard (18.51) icosahedron + its dual, combining to form this rather large combo.

It's when you scale down that super-RT by 1/phi that you get the RT mother-of-Emods i.e. 120th of such is what is named an "E module" in Synergetics.  David measures in those, and phi-up, phi-down versions of those, in terms of place value (base).  The video expresses volumes in "super-RT sized Es" plus standard Es, one could say.
Then in Synergetics we have the "T module", a fine distinction, in that the T's volume is exactly that of the A's and B's, whereas the E's is only really close (the exact ratio being a focus in Synergetics 2 another number with phi in it, though Fuller avoided greek letter stuff).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Thoughtless Generation

The horrific mutilation and scarring of Mt. Tabor, an historic site, is due to begin this October.

The Southeast Examiner ('The Fast Track Reservoir Disconnect' by Midge Pierce, April 2014) pleads with neighbors to fight this elective mastectomy / self-disfigurement, but for $7 million, the contractor-mercenaries are lined up behind one of the most loathed politicians in Portland's history, Nick Fish.

This ignorant and suicidal attack on our own infrastructure and water system is psychopathic to the core, yet citizens already know that governments will run amuck and commit to policies more damaging than any army of vandals could ever hope to imitate.

OMSI, a once great science museum, has not heeded proposals to model the civic water system to its citizens.  I think by now it's too late.

This sell-out, once great museum is complicit in the denigration of Portland's living standards, in its refusal to go with place-based education.

We all learn to overlook what's happening locally in exchange for the fiction of "caring" globally.  Sappy liberals are as much to blame as butt-ignorant ditto heads.

Our "environmentalist state" is in the process of being betrayed at the deepest level, by the odious Nick Fish in Portland, and by a weak / spineless governor, all set to let the coal economy exploit our infrastructure for the purely private gain of greedy idiocrats.

Politicians:  the scum of the Earth.

Speaking of betrayal by mercenaries, the fast tracking of the Transpacific Partnership trade "agreement" has attracted nothing but scorn from Cascadians.  This is the process by which governments delegitimize themselves and commend themselves to the ash heap of history.

We aren't surprised to see Washington DC first in line to self-disembowel.  That city has been a gutless wonder for longer than I can remember, a ceaseless source of bad / depraved decisions.  Why do people listen to DC anymore?  I know I don't.

May the family names and company brands of those who participate in the war on Mt. Tabor live on in infamy as traitors to our city.  Historians, do your homework.  These were among the truly depraved of our planet, as bad as Blackwater.

Remember not to be like them.  Have some self pride.  Be a generation the world celebrates, not an execrable monster of which history is ashamed.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

HB2U YouTube

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

As We May Think...

If we watch enough commercials...

:: with thanks to DK ::

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Episode Two

:: sleepless in Portland ::

Bravo on Episode Two, an effective video.

I think we might get some jail terms for certain cops pretty soon.  Worth prosecuting.

The miss-assumption of the propertied that they own the public lands and infrastructure, and that the police work for them, against others also entitled to public access, is here acted out in a kind of high stakes street theater.  Private wealth versus democracy.

As soon as the police side with private wealth against an entitled public, they become goons and thugs, regardless of outward uniform.

The City of Portland is not getting the police protection it deserves, so long as the mayor behaves like a hostage to the Business Plot er Alliance.

Here's a link to Episode One.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cramming on Unicode

I floated the idea of having Unicode a theme for OST during OSCON this year, with OST a subdivision of ORM.  That got me cramming on Safari, plus I've been looking over Holden's shoulder as he blasts a set of I-Python Notebooks out to Amazon for review, some of which focus on Python 3.x's byte, bytearray, and str type objects.  That's my focus here.

To recap:  I have a somewhat roller coaster like curriculum that gives both an encouraging and a grim look at humans and their history.

The story of Unicode, its development, is more or less a story of collaboration against the odds, laying a kind of Tower of Babel foundation, but without the intent to build toward a pinnacle, with one language winning out.  On the contrary, there's still room for entirely new languages.  This was forsightful planning and so an encouraging story.

The negative dip into grim times is the rounding up of peoples in extermination camps, working them to death in poor conditions, with "keeping tabs" using "Hollerith machines" by IBM, the beginnings of our vast databases, both SQL and noSQL.  Using computers to hunt down and destroy entire ethnicities, to commit genocide, is one of those dark patterns, as it keeps happening in history and engineering has served to amplify and intensify the pattern's efficiency and viciousness.

Back to the Unicode story, UTF-8 is what saved its bacon, as ASCII-users were not about to bloat their files with little payback.  But then we should remember about patient names and the ability of Unicode to represent a patient's name in a native language on the monitors, perhaps with a romanized phonetic reading ("romanji") for the nurses and doctors.  Unicode lets you display fluency by quoting multiple languages in the same document.

In UTF-8, the boundary between ASCII proper and the encompassing Latin-1 is at code point 128.  With the first bit now occupied, two will be needed (at minimum) from now on, and the leading byte will show 110, 1110, 11110, 111110, 1111110 indicating up to "six cars total" (including the "engine" or leading byte).

Like a train of three bytes would go:  1110 0001 + 1010 0000 + 1011 0000 where I'm using + to separate the bit patterns.  Payload bits would be the xs in 1110 xxxx + 10xx xxxx + 10xx xxxx i.e. there's room for 16 payload bits for a total of 2**16 or 65536 code points, all within in reach of this three byte encoding, with more bytes waiting in the wings.

What is 0001 10 0000 11 0000 as a decimal number?  Unicode is just a consecutive numbering of a huge inventory of font-provided glyphs.  Turns out its 6192, which happens to be the Mongolian letter sa.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hominins (ISEPP lecture)

I shirked my responsibilities as a member of Oversight Committee to attend this alternate church venue for a science lecture on 4.4 million year old fossil records of hominins.

Dr. Tom White is an expert, and he correctly praised Terry of ISEPP for the Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture series, which has brought the best minds to Portland, to edify our populace.

Best if Cascadia has a literate capital, don't ya think? -- unless our capital is Seattle, which I'm all for, in the brochures for public consumption.

Anyway, we learned a lot.  Africa seems to be the matrix for early homonin development.  A "homonin" is a human lineage specialist species whereas "hominid" includes the apes, which are seen as branching off just a million or so years before this latest species, Ardi's.

Ardi's species predates Lucy's and so is probably Lucy's ancestor type.

Chimps spring from a branch that forked earlier, in that great Github in the Sky we call "evolution" (or "goalless morphing in response to feedback" if you want to remove the "march of progress" spin that adheres to much of the evolutionist talk).

I will piggy-back my thanks atop Dr. White's, to Terry, for helping make Portland a capital, an intellectual gemstone.

Too bad about the impending earthquake.  Maybe with less of an ice age thanks to global warming it'll be deferred?  Hope springs eternal.  Plate tectonics don't care that much about ice or no ice.

Tom did a lot to promote evidence and reason as the two prongs of science.  People are welcome to generate and publish texts on a different basis, just don't call it science, was his warning / advice / plea.

Speculations sometimes go off the deep end into pure storytelling and myth,  as we find in Fuller's Critical Path and later Tetrascroll (subtitled "a cosmic fairy tale").

Fuller is capable of doing science (applying reason to evidence) and contributing to it, however he's more of a literary figure, like Mark Twain.  "Bucky" aka "Dr. R.B. Fuller" made forays into science but in some dimension only camped there.  His literary base was more a latter day Neoplatonism, a philosophy, not in the sense of "Christian" so much as "Geometric" i.e. concerned with Platonic Forms.

Some of Dr. Fuller's wild speculations, about human prehistory for example, explore in a surreal space of mytho-graphic imagery, exciting to the intuition perhaps, but at best proto-scientific.

Someday we may have tools to "transmit life-forming information" to other planets, other than I Love Lucy, and thereby beam ourselves (and favorite "pets" e.g. dolphins) to a post Earthian location, not talking about Mars.  But such is the stuff of science fiction, not science per se.