Friday, February 22, 2019

Pythonic PR

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Politics as Theater

A specific namespace in the educators community includes STEM, for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  It's really not all that powerful an acronym in that it doesn't define any college department structure.  More it rolls off the tongue, is easy to say, and so serves as a shorthand.

From Andrew Hacker, author of The Math Myth, I picked up PATH has whatever is not STEM (~STEM).  Remember the C.P. Snow Chasm, the gulf that had opened between the sciences and the humanities, or liberal arts?  PATH would, for me, become Philosophy, Anthropology, Theater and History.

Now as with STEM, the gluons (glue particles) are such that these don't really come apart.  We can pretend Science is atomic, independent of Technology but of course it's not.  These letters stand for co-definitional things.  Likewise with PATH:  everything Philosophical partakes of the other three, and so on.

What I want to zoom in on here though, is Politics, where does it go?  The exercise is to shoehorn everything into STEM or PATH, as a mental exercise.  Answer:  under Theater.  Politics is a form of theater.  And what about war?

The conventional grammar has it that when politics, meaning diplomacy, fails, we get war.  What this grammar overlooks are all the political and diplomatic tricks aimed at sparking war, not preventing it, but that's another story.

Anyway, war is mostly engineering.  It's a demolition science.  There's psychology involved, which is Science and Anthropology.  Indeed, Anthropology, being a science, belongs with STEM as well as PATH, which is why STEM becomes STEAM and then we intersect the two, as if playing Scrabble.  You might say we could intersect on the T instead, but I'm saying the A stands for the same thing in this crossword puzzle, whereas T is for Theater and Technology respectively.



Politics includes many tropes, pomp and circumstance, large gatherings, intimate interviews, meetings behind closed doors.  A lot of the action is "off stage" as it were, yet we have a sense of the stage, or multiple stages.  Just about all that goes on could be considered Theater, with History what Theater leaves in its wake:  recorded performances.  That's the raw material anyway.  Then come the movie and media critics (historians).

To get more Hegelian about it, we might suppose a Logic (folded into STEM, say under M) that more or less determines what happens, per the laws of Making Sense (which degrades into various money-oriented language games once the cameras are rolling).  History supposedly traces our building of God's Kingdom or some Promised Land.  We'd like to think so.  Enter Philosophy and teleology.

What do we mean by "teleology" anyway?  Synergetics Dictionary says something about "voltage pressure".  We can leave for some other discussion more of an investigation into what that all means.  We'll consult a number of philosophers.  Theologians may weigh in.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Riddle of Peace

Another Fuller Schooler, one of my fellow fish in the think tank, suggested I check out Washington and the Riddle of Peace by H.G. Wells.  I've been checking it out.  I've been letting Kindle read it to me.

This morning, I did a circuit check with my guy in Chicago, before going live next Friday.  That's Python business, not for pay.

Tomorrow is my usual gig with the middle schoolers.

Yesterday, an interview with a Princeton candidate.  Alums get tapped for that from time to time.

A bigger for pay gig is around the corner.

In the meantime, as I prepare for a next round, I'm making sure Digital Math gets more of a chance going forward.  I've made Youtubes recently about:

Digital Math:

Casino Math
Supermarket Math
Neolithic Math
Martian Math

These are garden variety "guy with a camera on Youtube" videos, added to the shuffle.  They're about average in length.  No multi-hour documentaries.

The spread (range) of these clips depends on many factors regarding search terms and "word of mouth" -- a misleading phrase as much text is unspoken, spreads by Facebook and so on.

I don't pretend to know what happens with these "note in a bottle" experiments in most cases.

OK, time to walk up to the Linus Pauling House.  Our think tank doesn't have a specific headquarters (a specific building) but if it did, the LPH fits the bill.  Maybe we're a network, with campus facilities around the world.

Mom is on the phone talking to someone about "the Urner effect" meaning to include my dad's work as well.  I'd say it's pretty subtle.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Nickel and Dime Fundraising

Glenn and I met with some hot shot B Corp guy, a producer of fundraisers, or so we were told.  I'm something of a fundraiser myself, for the Coffee Shops Network, not unlike Avalon and/or Quarterworld, both within walking distance.  But then Oregon Lottery is even more prevalent, so if you're willing to limit your horizons...

Asking for a refill on something may trigger a requirement to see a doctor first.  Insurance will stipulate these kinds of hoops.  At some point, if you're hanging on with high age numbers, on some drug, you'll make their numbers look better if you hang on even longer.  There's nothing like a 102 year old smoker to sell cigarettes.

I mention matters Oregon Health related because I'm a go between on some prescriptions. That's why having an Oregon ID, like a driver's license, is important.  Does your state not provide ID and do motor-voter?

That means if you're authenticated enough to have Oregon ID, you can likely vote.  Actually, voter registration is another process, it's just that your status as a valid voter or not is established with the DMV, so that your rights won't be challenged at the ballot box.  Long lines often have to do with thinking a piece of mail to some address proves something.  Even a utility bill may not be enough.

CRU has Oregon ID, so I'll be able to see if it's between now and a next refill that she needs to see a doctor, or the refill after that.  I left voicemail on a non-urgent line with her clinic, in case I need to get involved parties talking.

Oregonians do a lot of research around diet and treat the "medicine is food" mantra pretty seriously, even if that changes the meaning of both "medicine" and "food" to some degree.  The legal profession has its conventions, however folk subcultures cannot always afford to abide by the standards of a court, when deciding what's junk food and what's not.  And so on for "STEM education" and all the rest of it.  When we talk about standards, we want to speak with a standard bearer.

My work with Food not Bombs is high up on my resume, because of the camp settings that might want to recruit my ilk, Friends with cooking experience.  A sense of good nutrition is implied.  However I'm not a French chef and don't expect to be Food Coordinator every year.  I recall doing that one year, for Gathering of Western Young Friends, however I recall having help.  When people have high expectations, they won't leave it to a noob to get everything right the first time.  I felt like I was on an episode of The Apprentice or something.

In the Coffee Shops Network business model, the "scone company" (selling scones over the counter, with coffee or other beverage) is allocating some Good Will money to charity, through each purchase, a well-known set of line items on charts of accounting. 

However here the buyers of the scones get to use their chits (crypto-credits) towards winning at Z, and depending on score (I skipped the step of game selection), will be able to commit Y combinations of crypto-whatevers from their game winnings, and commit these to charitable causes the coffee shop supports.  One's reputation (profile) develops as a consequence. 

If you later feel ashamed you supported Q, go back and delete or annotate.  We all recognize the fact that characters evolve over time.

Hey, what if you don't approve of CSN outlet 1234 supporting causes ('A12', 'B40', 'Z14') as causes (think of a juke box, options to play)? 

Then don't go there, and if you're the scone company, withhold your scones and sell them through someone else instead.  We call that a free market.  We're not refusing counter service on the basis of ethnicity.  We're like a bar in that sense.  Whom one has to 86 is handled by the local community. 

There's no CSN "supreme court" beyond various standards bodies I'm not discussing here.  Founders have input.  Philosophers weigh in ("weighty Friend" model).

Perhaps another CSN outlet is more the right look and feel for this scone maker? 

The proprietors have a lot of discretion as to how they tilt their portfolios.

Remember:  an end goal of all this is to get customers in the mood to play philanthropist, with small amounts (we can talk about big amounts through other channels -- small amounts add up, so to the recipients may not be trivial), and without needing to set aside much personal budget. 

If you do coffee and scones anyway, but didn't get to fund Scouting, or the Big Parade, now you might get to, because computer circuitry and databases have made "nickel and dime" fundraising a reality at last.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Producer Mode

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Consumer Mode

OK guys, you can be honest.  Should I retire the Android?  This HTC has served me well but is a pain in the butt to recharge.  I have an iPhone 6 ready to spring into action as the replacement device.  You might want more details.  I'll let you off the hook; they don't matter.

Carol and I finally got out, after the snow day yesterday, her wheely walker and chair both in tow. Last time we started out:  battery dead.  Call AAA.  This time:  success in the full mission (the bank, the bookstore, the supermarket).

Speaking of supermarkets, I had no idea Fred Meyer was a Rosicrucian.  That came up in this article (screen shot above), which I'm still digesting, about hippies long before anyone had heard of the word.  Quakers are prone to experimentalism, I'll admit that's baked in to the jargon.

I didn't fill a whole shopping cart or anything.  I wheel Carol around while she keeps the basket in her lap, limiting us to how much we can carry.  She had letters to mail as well.  The walker stayed in the back seat of the car the whole time.  While she sat in Powell's (on Hawthorne) I moved the car from near the bank (also on Hawthorne) to Fred Meyer's (the supermarket).

Carol turns 90 in a few weeks.  She's in her 90th year she tells everyone, as when you're 90, you've already done 90 years.  We look back on our age.

I'm still in the traffic jam occasioned by the government shutdown, but then a lot of infrastructure is creaky slow, even with offices reopened.  We're back to gridlock and things not working, on many floors.  I'm not "an overseer" (as Quakers say) who gets privileged access to report on what it's like everywhere.  I'm very much in a specific zip code.  I do have a restart date.

In the meantime, I have lots to do.  I'm experimenting more with Youtube, trying out different variations on a theme, fiddling with hyperparameters.  People who go to school to be on camera get feedback from their peers and faculty.  Youtube is a different kind of school, but then the first thing is to get noticed.  Fortunately, I have a lot of math teacher connections.

Carol wants pretty much the same dinner every night, though I'm not saying without exceptions.  There's a default meal plan that's pretty simple, let's put it that way.  Simple habits, no frills, that's all encouraged in Quakerism, so I'm not complaining about "too plain".  On the contrary, simplicity has many merits.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Pythonic Andragogy

"Pythonic Andragogy" is a title I used a lot, as a tag line too.  I like it.  "Andragogy" is in contrast to "pedagogy" and is the study of how to best foster learning processes in adults.

High end computer science is merging with mathematics through topology, wherein scenarios or paths between proofs might be nudged into each other, irrespective of implementation. In place of Bertrand Russell's propositions, we have "types", each with its own morphology.

Lower end computer science is merging with desktop publishing in various ways, most notably in the form of Unicode.  Learning about the Python string type, meaning characters, like you're reading now, means understanding how the many world languages are encoded.

A language or namespace or world provides an environment wherein functions secretly "do" whatever this world allows them, in terms of powers.

Happily, 👽👽👽 {EXTRATERRESTRIAL ALIEN} and other such Emoji have been folded into Unicode as well.  These feature in my beginner curriculum materials (and never completely go away).

My Pycon workshop for teachers in Chicago spelled out the game plan:  we spin lore into tech both as memory glue and as a "lessons learned" medium.  The Story of Unicode is upbeat in my treatment, whereas Tabulation, leading to SQL, takes us into the sad business of tagging people for the purpose of abusing them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

They Shall Not Grow Old (movie review)

The film's title has an ironic double meaning:  we won't forget them, they stay fresh in our minds, and... they were cut down as youth, sacrificed to the war gods.

This movie is not about the big egos who used wars to enshrine their place in history.  These were the working people, abducted from civilian life, commanded by the wartime economy, to grab a uniform and hop a ship to the front, to be executed, wounded, or returned home.

The film achieves its effect as a storytelling project by letting the people who were there share their memories.  These were BBC recordings spliced together.  Then was the magic of doctoring the film, mainly to overcome the ravages of time.  Some of the most under and over exposed film was in the best condition, as no one had bothered to make copies (the originals were available).

Those who've done homework understand this telling was orchestrated by Peter Jackson, the director of all those Lord of the Rings films in New Zealand.  NZ was indeed the HQS for this project.

I'd always wondered, since childhood, why older films were always played on fast forward.  Yes, I understood they used fewer frames per second back then, so why not project at a lower rate?  For some reason, variable speed playback was beyond the abilities of Hollywood and TV land for many decades.  In this movie, that problem is overcome.

The version I saw was an encore performance in a busy commercial multiplex.  The projectionist forgot to use the 3D lens or something, so although we were all wearing our glasses, the first ten minutes or so were just blurry.  Probably someone from the audience went out to complain, as then the screen went black and came back in 3D.  Color would come later.

Jackson, the director, both introduces the film and then reappears after the credits for thirty minutes, to explain the project in more detail.  He establishes his credentials as someone who has always cared a lot about WW1, his grandfather having been a career soldier.

Although the archives Jackson was given to explore is full of a huge amount of footage, the end goal was a feature film with a sane pace.  He decided to focus on the experience of an average British soldier in the trenches in France.  He collages together many episodes to tell a generic tale of mounting a tank-led assault on the enemy line.

The German side is not demonized.  The pervasive sense, in the absence of a lot of media, is no one knows what's going on, least of all the soldiers.  Soldiers have a blend of stoicism and fatalism to choose from.

Whereas there's no glamorizing of the war, the film is honest in letting the men speak for themselves.  Many express gratitude they were able to experience this great tragedy close up, for all the pain it caused them.  The most bitter voices don't get as much say.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mini Confab (Fuller Friends)

Need to Get Me One

We didn't organize any formal event this time.  An unveiling of Tetrascroll might merit the term "formal" but that's also work, in the sense of logistics and heavy lifting.  This was more a "breezing through" i.e. D.W. Jacobs on his way south in a rental car (Nissan Altima) having landed in PDX one brilliantly sunny (and cold) afternoon.

Trevor Blake joined us, my having shared with Doug the viewpoint on my back "flextegrity garden" where numerous specimens of the various versions, especially C6XTY, decorate the space.  Sam Lanahan, the inventor, was much in our conversation.

In front:  the C6XTY pyramid, with the colored lights.  Makes my place easy to find, or at least recognize.

We're not zoned as a storefront type of business, but managing supranational networks from home offices is perfectly fine, and is what goes on in many a neighborhood.  Even working from coffee shops is fine if you make sure you're encrypting everything to the proper level so as not to jeopardize confidentiality.

After lunch at the Bagdad, we adjourned to Synchronofile headquarters, cram packed with specimens, mostly articles, books, things of that nature.  I resolved to finally get my own copy of American Dreamer: Bucky Fuller & the Sacred Geometry of Nature.

One of my practices these days is to sweep my radar picking up on sacred geometry teachings that consciously employ Fuller's signature terminology, now that his shop talk is world readable.  I'm finding a few, such as Grayham Forscutt.  Scott Eastham will help me find more.

Doug and I then later adjourned to Back Stage for a night repast.  We hadn't seen each other for about ten years, so I had a lot to catch up on, especially with regard to his travels in Eastern Europe.  He left me a copy of his play, which play Eastham recommends in his book as a wonderful first exposure to Bucky's thought, in both English and Polish.


I talked about Ed Applewhite a lot, his suspicions around est, and my involvement in same.  We talked about a lot of movements and surges, political parties, cults, religions, you name it.  As contemporaries living through a lot of the same history, it makes perfect sense that we'd be comparing notes on our respective experiential scenarios, partially overlapping, as Fuller used to describe the "time tunnels" or "world lines" or "worm holes" we make through the various dimensions, as "pattern integrities".