Thursday, January 21, 2010

Burn Out City

I came across Arthur Dye today, out for a walk in the neighborhood. We chatted a bit. He's been a mentor on AFSC matters, or at least a great source of stories. I used to work for him at CUE, and later at Ecotrust.

Dr. Tag said I looked world-weary when yakking about AFSC at our recent meeting. She was off to an organizing meeting about assembling culture boxes (schools can order them for classroom use). I was taking a short break away from my office.

I don't deny feeling pressure. Just keeping up is a challenge. A little training in Wordpress got me nudging a few spaces into the future. Not that many readers reach Synergetics on the Web through that portal, but those that do may want to catch up on a little esoteric history, not usually covered in schools.

My technical writing regarding Flextegrity is still in the beginning stages.

I'm somewhat relieved the PCMTV orientation for tonight was canceled. I'd only just found about it from Glenn. That's for people wanting to make television.

Channel 29 is delivering a premier TV show on geometry these days, called Dimensions. You can watch the episodes on-line. Made in France.

Chuck and Mary took me to lunch. We chatted with mom by cell (they go back to before I was born). Mom is into the thick of it with WILPF these days, while the LA area deals with major downpours.

Our work/study cook/musician pulled an all nighter in her basement apartment. Her voice wafted up through the furnace vents even unto the second floor, where my daughter and I have our respective bedrooms (Melvin, the chameleon, has moved back with his owner, leaving Barry-the-Python to keep Tara company; I get the dog).

The assignment: to sing in C# against the keyboard's F-# major melody (did I get that right?). She reports needing over a hundred and seventy takes to get it done. That's a pretty grueling schedule given tonight marks the start of her marathon community organizing event at Laughing Horse (which is where I'm at now).

By all means lets ramp up to help Haitians, but then lets keep ramping up. Disaster relief should and could be one of the world's biggest businesses. Disaster prevention would be another. Here's a dramatic alternative to phony cop shows, phony doctor shows... should we call it the Reality Channel?

My concerns about AFSC are mostly website related. Which of those programs is actually a ghost program? United Voices is what I was involved with in Portland, but is that what we're doing today? The Portland site is out of date. As laision, I need to report that to Bridge City, along with some other stuff. As NPYM rep, I need to memo Seattle (which I did, although Philadelphia minds the website).

Without some exciting technology (helicopters, surface ships), control rooms (lots of global data, situations on screen), celebrities (not always from Hollywood) it probably couldn't compete in prime time against the Illusion Channel. Add those ingredients, and you're getting closer to getting an extended national guard commercial, complete with product placements.

Services looking to recruit, including some civilian ones, might have good reasons to like these shows.

I was re-listening to the tour guide at the Whitney on Youtube, explaining about Bucky's philosophy. She stresses the concept of a "closed system" a lot but is that really right? We need to talk more about "surfing the solar gradient" if we ever want to make some sense of our economic situation. Do they teach that in universities these days? You don't have to call it GST if you don't care to -- The Economist doesn't.

My thanks to Lionel for those podcasts, one of which was about the process whereby energy-using hydrocarbons create a food chain for we mammals. These were for kids though, with friendly piano music. I should share them with our student when she's not too busy...