Saturday, September 25, 2010

Equinox Retreat

Temperatures are dropping. Summer is done. The thermostat in the refrigerator conked out. I was lucky to find a repairman on a Saturday.

I read old Wiki pages by students in Israel, talking about elephants and whether they had a sixth sense that warned them of tsunamis (not that adding a "sense" really explains anything, might as well add a "dimension"). One of them wrote about Gaza. This was on Wikieducator and I was conversing about conserving elephants with Mr. Wong (a Wikieducator user) in China, saving elephants being a theme of his business school curriculum. I shared about the Global U recruiting campaign to get more people seeing themselves as global university students (giant spherical campus).

Walt has hooked me up with an interesting new correspondent, a deep thinker in Canada named Ted, Lakota heritage, who writes about site-based situational learning, versus a more western model based on cookie cutter jobs (template roles) and individual volition (as if "place" were not a causative field, as if only "the individual" were the locus for action). Walt and I had been yakking about the Zeitgeist... We've been talking about David Peat and Blackfoot Physics among other topics.

My post to Synergeo from earlier today (while the repairman was working, including out buying parts) includes more on the bamboo bike trailer delivery network from some hypothetical Unilever ice cream factory in Cuba. That company has been working pretty hard on getting more recycling and composting going, including in the Lipton tea making process.

The Synergeo post connects back to the Math Forum for more details. This is a Harvard Business School type project in that we're recasting metaphors to better align with modern computer science concepts. The API between an enterprise and government is up for redesign, given all the changes in Cuba these days. The population is highly literate and attuned to such challenges. The rest of the world could learn from work / study programs along these lines, perhaps without disrupting Havana's status as a "fast food free zone" (a commercial edge, attractive to tourism).

Trish joined Glenn, Don and I for some more Youtubes on the big screen for the 2nd night of the retreat. I was drawn to WW2 era Private SNAFU toons by the great Dr. Seuss. Laura Cooper (Goodbye Party) was again influential. We also watched that 7 minute Blu toon again, and listened to Leonard Cohen (Don is his fan), also Mad World. Trish pointed us the the sand painting artist Kseniya Simonova, as well as to her own toon-like drawings on Facebook, pictures of her handsome young son, and the amazing sidewalk art of Julian Beaver.

I was glad to hear back from John Belt, who dropped me a note while in the middle of teaching a class for SUNY / Oswego. Sam, Glenn and I were in a meeting at Bridgeport, connected in real time by wifi. John had recently been staying with Joe Clinton and had showed him Sam's book. Sam Lanahan and Joe collaborated over about a two year period in Elizabeth, New Jersey some decades back, both having been students of Buckminster Fuller at different times.

My writing to Ted, the Lakota guy, included a sketch of the bizmo concept, which has somewhat blended with the Holden Web flying circus idea at this point. Geeks and circuses go together, what can I say? What institutions would (or already do) sponsor bizmos? What control rooms would (or already do) dispatch them? I saw some plans for Afghanistan bizmos go by in Dr. Beebes slides, but when I asked about 'em she said they weren't there yet.