Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wanderers 2010.10.26

Trish is saying kind things about my blogs. Makes my day. She watched Charlie Wilson's War thanks to one of my reviews, and now recognizes the name Buckminster Fuller (I name I was dropping at Oasis Pizza the next day, confirming Glenn and I were both teachers).

Anna Roys phoned from Alaska while I was at Glenn's. The charter school approach seems a steep uphill climb for local administrators, but when she mentioned doing a school within a school instead, the lights went on. It'd be within the existing public framework, where the familiar rules apply. The charter apparatus is just so unwieldy.

I stumbled into the Aspartame debate yesterday and found a lot of the same debate patterns that characterize other "unsettled science". Just labeling something a "conspiracy theory" is hardly persuasive. It's wall-to-wall conspiracies; what else are there? "To conspire" means "to breath together". Dismissing schools of thought as "cults" is likewise non-substantive, is connotative only. But then "connotations" are what spin is all about.

Science is something of a junkyard, full of shipwrecks. Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions maybe wasn't enough about economic pressures. Stakeholders don't just walk away from their investments, such as in some belief in "racial purity". Michael Crichton's State of Fear was very much about these economic pressures. I tend to focus on the appendix of that book, which looks at the junk science behind World War 2, ala Edwin Black's research.

I'm back to thinking COM is the way to go with this trucking stuff, not XML-RPC. We had a two hour meeting at Lyrik this morning and I got a better sense of how these puzzle pieces might fight together.

Not having a shared big picture positive future, such as was promulgated at international expositions and world's fairs in the previous century, is taking its toll. The fear level is driving a market for gold and silver. The breakup of the USSR gets discussed as a model of what many might go through, when the money system breaks down. Bigger tent cities, hoarding and looting...

Whatever happened to Old Man River City? How about cities that float? Aircraft carriers would count, also cruise ships, submarines. I guess we have them then, though mostly not for civilians.

I'm here at the Pauling House filling out an eligibility form for my high schooler. We're a low income family. A lot of our food comes from charitable sources. She should get school meals at a discount, plus some price breaks on IB tests, which are like $200 a pop.

I pay over $500 a month for health insurance just for the two of us, which ends up covering almost nothing routine. This is what we call "catastrophic" insurance. Life in the Global U doesn't mean having a lot of disposable income. Credits come in many forms, including simple access. I'm chauffeuring again tonight: MVP arriving at PDX in about an hour.

At Glenn's pad, Barry was talking about life aboard a British man-o-war. Being a marine was probably better than being a poor farmer. Those square-sailed ships couldn't tack well, or sail into the wind. They'd do these figure eight patterns. If the weather was wrong, shipwreck was likely. Sloops, on the other hand, were more maneuverable, or was that schooners?

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