Saturday, June 16, 2018

Refugee Camp Science

Camp Life

The Global University is highly militarized and low on people skills, which means it's somewhat weak in the brains department, or "mentally deficient" as we say in the business.  Long story.

In terms of funding, the talented scientists and engineers need to represent their research foci against a backdrop of Endless Wars, as that's the lifestyle most students see as realistic for themselves.  How will my research help on the battlefield?

Metaphorically, we're always able to see War when we need it.  President Johnson tried his War on Poverty, but then how was that going to profit Big Business?

What followed was a War on Big Government in order to stop it from FDR style experiments with so-called "socialism" (the irony being the military is highly socialized, in addition to being not democratic).  The Business Plot, at first frustrated by Smedley Butler, won out.

One consequence of Endless Wars, with its belief in "regimes" and "regime change",  is an endless stream of refugees from the bombing ranges the Global U selects for fairly indiscriminate flattening and rubblizing.  As faculty knows:  we're a bit weak in the head.

Student housing, being destroyed over there, needs to be reconstructed over here, in the form of refugee camps and the Global U is starting to train people in the many skills related to setting these up and providing management and materials.  We're looking at large logistics challenges, especially around supplying the basics, such as WiFi.

GST has been helpful in linking all of the above to the Earth Energy Budget (EEB) at least conceptually.  Exactly how currencies come to represent current, in terms of kilowatt-hours, is another discussion.  Think of energy as gold bars and of the sun as their place of origin (we import more energy from the Sun, as a planet, than we do from all the oil fields combined).

Another branch of study the students are going into:  weapons inspection and disposal.  Those making bright shiny new weapons often have an investment in retiring the old ones the sooner the better.  When conversion is a possibility, in rare cases, only a systems based approach will graph out the consequences and provide anticipatory programming.

My network of "spy camps" (derogatory) was envisioned with similar goals e.g. testing lifestyles with a degree of self-sufficiency even in a remote wilderness.  Campus facilities employing XRL (extreme remote livingry) have an ephemeral quality.  The entire campus is designed to vanish without a trace after the research data has been collected.  Permanent infrastructure may be left behind in some cases, but minus the campus that put it there.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Heaven, Again and Again

I'd like to write a Medium essay on this topic, of Heaven versus Reincarnation as two belief systems that philosophers sometimes just assume are opposed, even though both feature an After Life in some sense.  The devil is in the details right?

However, I'm in a hellish state of needing to connect to a virtual classroom on Monday, for hours at a time, and I've been depending on my Android doing Bluetooth for that purpose.  However, the Android appears to have gone crazy.  Not the first time.  Fighting to save the Android's sanity is taking a lot of my time.

That's the thing about Heaven:  it comes with a flip side or Hell.  If you wake up in some After Life, you're going to wonder what the Judgement was.  Yes, I know, we're not all on the same page as to the timeline.  The orthodox Christian belief is we need to stay dead until the end of time, at which point, we experience the Resurrection.

What may confuse people is that's apparently not how it worked with Jesus.  He could be resurrected as a fully formed adult, just days after he was entombed.  Did he look the same though?  Some accounts say only his closest disciples were able to authenticate that this was the same guy.

I diverge though.  Or maybe not, as I'm wanting to highlight that the legends or myths are already murky.  Judgement Day has to wait for a Second Coming.  Is there a Heaven without that Judgement Day coming first?

In the archetypal realm, this is already the After Life.  We've died and been reborn many times, and each time we're born, we get a lot of what we prayed for.  The living standards humans enjoy now are pretty good for some, totally miserable for others.  We regard Creation as both Heavenly and Hellish, but ultimately neither because not Eternal.

What would Heaven be like then?  You have a body?  What if you think others are better looking?  Are you condemned to jealousy, envy and so on?  That would be Hell right?  You keep suffering from the same sins you did before, except eternally.  There's Karma in this picture, it seems like.  Here's an After Life, which you expected to be Heavenly, but once you get there, what do you get to do?  Do you have a job?  Is your life meaningful?

Getting to a world that still made sense, had a history, a narrative, or set of narratives, would seem a Heavenly Outcome to many, especially if said world were relatively free from want and diseases, compared with some Hellish world one had just been in.  A believer in reincarnation prays for a better After Life.  How is that so different from a believer in and/or hoper for Heaven?

In sum, I do not buy the idea that we have any strictly necessary division in namespaces, between those dreaming of Heaven, and those praying for an After Life on Planet Earth or some other planet.  What both believers have in common, in addition to aspirations for a brighter, happier future, is a sense of continuity.  How will we know "this is me"?  Is one cogito as good as any?  That goes against our sense of having a self to preserve.

Now we're getting into another sticky area in philosophy:  continuity of self.  Those into reincarnation sometimes claim to have memories from past lives.  However, beliefs do not always bend in response to such claims, as those not believing in reincarnation may nevertheless believe in dreams, fantasies, thoughts contrary to fact.  "Sure you claim to believe in past lives, but that doesn't mean I have to believe you had any" is how the reasoning goes in that case.  And so for many claims people make.

My claim is simpler:  belief in an After Life includes belief in Heaven/Hell and belief in some future lifespan in any context, comes under the same umbrella.  Those positing a strict separation between these two belief systems are being unnecessarily strict in my view.

In contrast, some believe in No Before Life, and No After Life.  The cogito does a "heads up" in a single lifespan, experiences the mystery of Being, and then reverts to Non-Being, which is not, after all, a state of Being.  Saying someone "is" dead or "is" not yet born, is to posit a "someone" and that's where the oxymorons get started.

Even here, I'd say there might not be as strict a dichotomy as we might think at first.  To have another life while forgetting your previous life completely, suggests some underlying continuity that's deeper than one's memories and thoughts.  That a specific ego might dissipate, never to reconstellate (reconstitute), is possible even in the course of an ordinary lifetime.  A person you once felt and considered yourself to be, is now dead to you.  There's no going back.

This issue of Continuity (an important word in film) likewise arises for those who believe in Heaven. We expect to be reunited with our loved ones, in many stories.  However that implies we recognize them, and they us.  Did all the people we don't want to remember go to Hell?  Does that mean we can't remember them in Heaven?  Does their suffering not detract from our eternal satisfaction?  Do we exult in it then?

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Upsetting Sets

Modern "Set Theory" - is it a religious belief system? by Dr. N. Wildberger

Some of us who study the Bucky stuff are likewise attracted to the mathematical research of Dr. N. Wildberger.

Why?  Because he is:

(A) not afraid to talk about Foundations and
(B) questions the ones a lot of us grew up with in the 1900s.

At one point he says explicitly that his questioning of the dogma that Set Theory somehow provides logical underpinnings, is deliberately designed to bring mathematics more into alignment with computer science, wherein the Set is one data structure among many.

Furthermore, computer science is resolutely discrete and content with Finitude, at least in some circles.  Dr. Wildberger is, philosophically speaking, a Finitist.

What I anticipate is the unwillingness of mathematics faculties to take on Learning to Code at the high school level is going to result in a corresponding loss of influence when it comes to preaching, I mean teaching, about mathematical foundations. 

Are we so sure we need "infinity" as a central concept then?

Years ago, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) changed its logo from something promising, an octet truss looking thing, to an infinity symbol.  This could be interpreted as a symbol of self defeat, as we leave Cantor dust in the dust, so to speak.

What's missing in our selection of a coordinate system is a sense of its frequency, scale, degree of resolution.  The assumption is that any grid is immediately resting upon some continuum, that stable reality that makes "solids" solid.

Even if we don't find much justification for such a reality in physics, many still believe we're able to access this continuum through some third eye (the "mind's eye"), and therefore the continuum remains an object of mathematical study.  I'm not saying it shouldn't be, only that said eye might be critical (in the sense of skeptical).

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Home Brewing

Brew Install PostGIS

Hah, hah, I'm making a punny joke, as actually I'm not making beer at home, but using a program called brew, for OS X, to install PostGIS, and it's taking a lot of time.  Might as well blog about it right?

Quakers kept journals, not because they thought "I'm a big cheese" but because it's a therapeutic activity, at least for some of us.  Many mental states have as their symptom some compulsion to write, and some of those states are considered lucrative to be in, or at least better than suffering from writers' block.

OK, lets decode some more:

OS X is the operating system running on contemporary (at the time of this writing) Apple machines.  Last night in my course (I'm the instructor) I yakked about FreeBSD and Darwin, not Charles but rather:

x86_64-apple-darwin14.5.0

meaning the specific build of this operating system I'm currently using.  I've not always been this much of an OS X user, having run my business atop Windows, and cut some chops in GNU World (Linux etc.).  However I've been more an application layer programmer than any kind of kernel developer. I was not a computer science major.  My focus was Liberal Arts, and philosophy in particular, which has its own angle on programming.

Engineers log their steps.  Starship captains like Picard do the same. As do real ship captains, especially the exploring ones, sponsored to give thorough accounts.

That's George Picard of Star Trek fame.  I was into that series when living in Bradenton, Florida and needing to still believe in some 24th Century, very EPCOT.

So here I am, a blend of the two:  Quaker journal keeper and engineer logger, talking about installing PostGIS using Homebrew.

PostGIS is a fancy industrial strength open source database that's taking hours and hours to compile on my OS X.  I teach a class in data science, which includes both data management and analysis, visualization.  I'm showing off geopandas and basemap and other such tools of the DS / GIS trade. I cite VanderPlas quite a bit, as an effective teacher whom I'm learning from (lots of curriculum writing on-line).

There I go again, adding more abbreviations and acronyms.  At this rate, we'll never be done decoding.

I re-upped on Grunch.net, a domain name I own, and portal into the Bucky stuff.  That's Buckminster Fuller (he wasn't a vampire slayer, or depends on the namespace).  His pithy Grunch of Giants is a perfect specimen of late 20th Century New England style transcendentalism.  GRUNCH is another acronym to boot.

EPCOT = Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (Disney's invention).

The installation process has gotten a lot further.  239 minutes and 55 seconds were required, could that be to compile gcc itself (8.1.0? -- I don't compile a lot in my present chapter, as Python precompiles to bytecode at runtime without requiring any explicit compile step).

This attempt to install PostGIS was abortive.  No such luck.  My version of OS X is too old.  At one time, this OS was state of the art, and the homebrew script probably worked.  But now they've moved on.  The messages tell me not to report the issue, just fix it myself (I'm to create pull-requests with any bug fixes I may discover).

Possibly I got a working postgresql out of the deal?  Homebrew lists it as being installed.  I'll need to poke around a little more.  I notice I have a new Python 2.7.

compiler_failure_homebrew

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Meanwhile, in the Mapparium...

DGGS / Global Matrix

The Mapparium is a Church of Christian Science project started quite awhile back, to nurture greater global awareness within the church.  Not just secular governments should be privy to big picture world views.  I'm sure the Vatican agrees.  Spatial data management systems were an obsession of mine even then, and when AFSC paid my way to Boston, as a part of the Manhattan II project (Daniel Ellsberg and company), I made sure my pilgrimage included a visit to this holy spot.

These days I'm looking at DGGS presentations on Youtube, the above picture a screen shot from one of them. Notice the "hexapent" design, a focus of my HP4E campaign.  The shoptalk of layers and levels pertains in that one may superimpose several layers at the same level, to tomographic effect, or drop down to show minerals, fossil fuel reserves, coal deposits and so forth.

If you're installing Geopandas using Anaconda, one of the best Python ecosystems, in the sense of convenient, remember to install it in its own conda environment.  conda-forge has binary incompatibilities with the default Anaconda installation that are likely to bite you in the butt.  Fiona is especially troublesome (that's a package Geopandas requires).

I know what you're thinking:  such data layers at the lower levels would be highly prized and mineral exploration companies, oil supranationals and so on, are not about to divulge whatever secrets they've already harvested at great expense.  Well, yes and no.  The downside of wholly proprietary data sets is if they're not independently auditable, as in verifiable, then confidence in their reliability may suffer, even within a company or government.

Long ago, I wondered if, as a test case, a world class corporation could establish itself outside the US jurisdiction, yet within the boundaries of the United States, per some sovereign tribal, treaty established land.  Yes, we know from recent examples that the USG doesn't honor the treaties it signs, but that's beside the point.  The question back then is whether this experiment could succeed in principle, and Global Data (not an Inc.) was established with that in mind, as a product in part, of GST (a balancing discipline for Economics the way I cast it back then, and still do to large degree).

Anyway, that's all backstory to today's meeting about DGGS, a global data data management and visualization framework not unlike Google Earth.

The Mary Baker Eddy Library/Mapparium

Having attended a Process Workshop Institute marathon yesterday (OK, only five hours, with breaks), I had some fresh perspectives to bring to the table, perhaps jarred lose from my internal groupthink matrix.

Glenn and I were able to discuss patterns of information distribution, focusing on such institutions as hair salons (including barbershops) in the archetypal small village.  Think of a WestWorld episode if that helps.

The flip side of misinformation-laced "vicious gossip" (or just "gossip") is what we might call "intelligence".  The latter often comes with caveats and disclaimers, whereas the former is often "pushed" by people in no mood to be contradicted because they have agendas, which may be time critical.  Gossips flock to tabloid journalism, which is sensationalistic by design, intended to stir up outrage in the face of scandal.

I called Uncle Bill from Ringlers along the way.  I've cut way back on beer consumption since turning sixty, but haven't gone cold turkey.  That was my 16 ounces for Friday.  Today, I had my allotted 22 ounces.  Having a budget helps.  I had taken buses 75 and 15, having returned two overdue library books on statistics to the Belmont Branch, and paid the fine of $3.50.

OSU has more than a big toe invested in DGGS waters.  I've been exploring the connections.  Having more public macroscope displays is a long time mission for World Game as well, established by the Buckminster Fuller emporium as one of a suite of related 4D enterprises.

Our meet up featured the last lecture in the Complexity series from Great Courses, by professor Scott Page.  You can't fix a broken heart with bandaids.  What Fullerians call "precession" has everything to do with the maxim:  you may control almost nothing, yet influence almost everything.

AFSC flew me to Boston for the Ellsberg summit, but also to meet with AFSC Boston and get ideas for how a youth program might work. As many a mom & pop martial arts studio will attest, having a van really helps if reaching out to minors or non-drivers, yet wanting them at some central site.  AFSC Portland actually managed without a van, but then Portland public transit system (Tri-Met) is better than average.  Check it out.

Assembling C6XTY

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Reality Check

Today I drive outside city limits to share MIT Scratch with some kids.  The theme today is "broadcasting" whereas last week it was "cloning".  These are technical terms within the Scratch namespace.

I was up until like 4 AM this morning, after teaching an on-line class, catching up on the Putin Files a little (PBS).  There's way more there than I'll likely have time for.  I also caught some of the Oliver Stone interviews (of Putin), awhile back, not this morning.

That got me back to studying where we're at in the latest political soaps.  I posted a bunch of links to Facebook (public).  One link points to an article saying Guccifer 2.0 was a GRU guy.  Then there's the VIPS narrative that metadata proves DNC emails were sucked down to a memory stick, not siphoned off through some backdoor connection (so no proof of a hack). 

The purported Guccifer comms also looked doctored in some way, something about cutting and pasting to a Russiafied Word document?  I'm not at all close to this investigation.  So whatever happened to the story about destroyed hard drives in that guy's garage?

Me on Facebook: 
I suppose a 3rd narrative is something like "yes the Russians helped expose DNC corruption and we thank them, lets hope to return the favor." A 4th narrative remembers how Pizzagate was going viral at the time, which is related to Russiagate but seemed to have a life of its own and was damaging to Clinton Foundation / DNC.
 My summary remark on Facebook was:
I have to say, I think the substantive content in all these soaps is more meaty than during the Clinton years, which were so much about sex scandals, not that we don't have that going too (Stormy etc). The cyber stuff is really dense (IP numbers etc.) and the Putin Files take us to Ukraine, Crimea... the public has plenty to chew on. Looking at reality as TV, the screenwriting has gotten better. That's putting the best spin on it I'm capable of this Tuesday morning. Same goes for these discussions with Fero I suppose.
Somewhere in the middle of that thread, Fero Zubek showed up lambasting the Bucky stuff and linking to his own videos, which often mention me by name as the arch-villain.

I'm supposedly confusing people by promulgating a concentric hierarchy of polyhedrons, a purely Platonic construct in the sense that one doesn't need empirical evidence to shore it up, just mathematics.

The reliance on verifiable mathematics ala what's in my Jupyter Notebooks makes the whole debate somewhat more democratic in that neither Zubek nor I need rely on unnamed, anonymous "intelligence professionals" -- almost always a weakness in those more empirically-based narratives, making those games unplayable except by certified insiders, more a spectator sport than participatory.

Tonight I'm back to teaching on-line, but a different course than last night's. I'll be charging my Bluetooth headphones.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Philosophy Circles

The mathematics folks have been fairly adept organizing into Circles.  I watched them do it and see where Philosophy Circles could be "a thing".  Of course I'm not the only one thinking this way.  Alex and I formed a circle, inviting a visiting physics professor, quite awhile ago.  We met in a church.

You may recall in the 1980s or so, some philosophers proposed hanging out a shingle kind of like Lucy in Peanuts, who had a psychiatry booth.  Did she serve lemonade?  Probably the Kool-aid is in another booth.  Charlie Brown was always game for another therapy session, for a nickle.

Philosophers might indeed be the adepts in psychedelics but that wasn't a main focus. Rather, you might see your corner philosopher to wrestle with existential problems, but not from the premise of "medical patient seeking a cure" (how the Freudians operate).

Actually, some psychologists in the Jungian lineage have experimented with dropping the idea of "pathologies" and running clinics.  We might think of "morphologies" and of philosophers more as experts in posture and shape shifting, both literally and metaphorically.

How one sits with the world influences where one stands.  Where are you on the Globalist to Nationalist spectrum, or is that not an axis that gets to your address?  How do you advertise and what?  Lets leave aside whether you engage in PR and just assume that's a given.  No judgement.

I like starting with questions about clinical depression, which the drug industry wants to treat with miracle pills, a panoply of psychotropics.

Philosophers are more likely to aver that the illness is not effectively treated at the individual level as the principal symptoms, as well as the causes, are psycho-social in nature.  That's why we need more  research.  We actually need to cure what ails us, not act out.

Planting memes and seeing how they travel is not illegal and is what the media savvy do all the time, usually for reasons other than a love for pure theory.  Any agency with a payroll needs more of a purpose than idle play.  Attracting advertisers has served that purpose.

Philosophers put up billboards, just like some religions do.  You've likely seen them.  Bumper stickers likewise play a role.

Am I suggesting all philosophers are on the same page with these various Circles, these Borromean Rings?  On the contrary, these interlocking directorates are all over the map.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Humanity At Scale


I've continued yakking about Scale, plus watched a Geoffrey West video.  He talks about how mammals all live roughly the same time, in terms of heart beats.  He talks about how cities last whereas companies come and go.

I had some analysis about that, and asked about nations and religions, as additional institutions that scale, or not, through spatial-temporal dimensions (however many).

That's with ISEPP and SNEC and some others.

Think about a bar with the Greek letter phi for a logo that sells beers in mugs that are phi scaled.  Say the smaller mug is exactly a cup, which isn't much when it comes to beer.  Linearly phi-up means exactly the same shape (that's part of the gimmick), but every linear dimension up-scaled.  Result: the beer therein contained is What It Was times phi, times phi, times phi.

That's right, volume goes up as a 3rd power of linear increase, and the mug size above that, is phi-up once again, with yet another "phi to the 3rd" increase in volume.

Now according to Geoffrey's book, even if we accept these "Platonic" ratios, some of the power laws by which creatures and/or cities grow don't have simply 2 or 3 for exponents.

Look for 1/4 and 3/4 for example.

That's fine.  Leave it to Santa Fe Institute to find these subtle power laws.  The Platonic power laws, per the phi mugs, are a place to get started, but they don't tell the whole story.

Companies with an avowed purpose may accomplish a set of goals and then deliberately break apart.  Financial ruin and major trauma need not be a part of the picture.

The troupe (the company, like Monty Python) forms, produces the movie, stages the play, takes it on the road for awhile, and then disperses.  New troupes form.  The stars move on, from picture to picture.

Cities provide a platform, like an operating system (OS), closer to Universal Studios.  Businesses like to set up shop inside tall buildings because electricity and plumbing are someone else's problem.

A business just needs to pay its bills, and thereby becomes free to pursue a project or whatever endeavor.  We call this the freedom to be enterprising, i.e. to have enterprises.

That enterprises would be more like shorter life-span applications than long haul operating systems seems not too surprising.  Companies need to cannibalize one another and start over, not always smoothly reshape from one thing into another.  Some caterpillars become butterflies, but not every enterprise is multi-staged.

So what about religions and nation-states, how do their lifespans pan out, in terms of power laws?  The book (talking about Scale) seems less concerned with such pattern integrities.

Nations have the interesting property that comes with any time a geographic area is fenced:  a property line always determines two properties, unless up against an ocean or edge beyond which the idea of property stops.

Picture a spherical polyhedron.  Every face is fenced in, and is surrounded by other faces.

When nation A's borders change, that often necessitates changes in other nations' shapes (B, C, D...) as well.  The jigsaw puzzle nature of tilings, and of space-fillings, goes with the territory (or more precisely, with the map).

Companies may also share vertical boundaries, given how elevators make them so stackable.

Many nations have had rather shaky borders hitherto, as they've mostly been on paper to begin with.  The locals may not have known exactly where in the desert the border line crossed.  GPS was not available.

These days we're discovering whether nationalism as an ideology is coming up against limits to growth in its efforts to make all these atlas boundaries more literal.  Smartphones are able to tell anyone which nation they're in.  That's what makes them so smart I guess.

Some people would say these invisible fences (in many cases) must become more visible.  Electric fences, walls, other barriers, become prioritized by these border aficionados.

Before I get to tell you to get off my property, we need to agree one what that property is.  Those kinds of agreements have fallen apart in many regions of the world.

In some cases, the atlases and globes sit in school rooms but the kids have all fled to refugee camps, leaving the atlases behind.

Companies and also religions tend to go for networked smaller patches of land, a campus here, a warehouse there, with no contiguous jurisdictions the size of France.

Also, some wineries have been quite long lived, more like religious orders.  I don't know if the power laws have any crystal ball predictions regarding these matters.

May we expect to discover new ones?  Now power laws that is.  I expect we may.

The conclusions in Scale seem pretty suggestive, so far as they go. Thank you to Terry for a copy.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Jupyter Notebook on C6XTY

I met with Saturday Academy's CTO on Thursday to field test some software for possible deployment.  Everything was looking pretty good.  I left some C6XTY to help them explain about Martian Math.  You'll get Jupyter Notebooks on your resume.  For the college-bound, that looks good.

All this driving around is wearing out one of the belts, not the fan belt, so I'm scheduled to take Torture Taxi in on Monday for a diagnostic, and I hope an intervention.  My little geniuses out in Happy Valley will be disappointed if I can't get out there next week.

C6XTY is explained a little more in the Jupyter Notebook, big in the news lately.  I'm using Python3 to generate a specific lattice, known to crystallographers and others as the FCC, no relation to the Federal Communications Commission.  No, FCC is equivalently the CCP (no, not the CCCP, an old synonym for USSR) and the IVM.  But practically no one calls it the IVM, because nomenclature makes a difference.

I'm sure I lost just about everybody in the last paragraph.  Do click on "Jupyter Notebook" if curious.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Truckers for Peace


In science fiction, T4P is a wildly popular global initiative to enhance the role of participating truck drivers, making them citizen diplomats on the road.  Truck stops become a lot more like campus extensions in many cases, as the Global U provides more services.

Today we're seeing some successful pilots.  More truckers are using GoPro type devices while the simulation software (similar to flight simulator) continues to improve.

A primary focus are routes in the Americas and in Asia, with more development in Africa yet to come.

Yes, we understand about Peak Oil.  That's why squeezing more value from every barrel of oil makes sense.

Using those precious barrels to destroy infrastructure using warships and warplanes is what's clinically insane.  Private single occupant commutes, leaving half the housing stock empty, is another symptom of species insanity.

But trucking (transporting) goods and people (a bus is a kind of truck) is still the important work of a lot of people.

Unfortunately, the District of Columbia seems hellbent on surrendering to Planet of the Apes type warlords and putting its PR powers behind ramping up more wars.  The T4P network cannot assume DC's PR machine will give a shred of attention to our investment banking.

All the PR tasks, from logo design to storyboarding, has to go on without much support from the central planners in charge of all the wartime socialism.  Getting the audio channels to trucker cabs, in various languages, is taking time.