Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Visit with the Architect

Nick reconnected me with the architect John Discroll, this evening. He'd been in Oklahoma recently, at another convergence celebrating the work of architect Bruce Goff. His own chief mentor had been in that lineage. We shared a meal prepared by Hannah.

The house they're staying at is connected to the Santos Daime church in this town. I took some pictures of the interesting decor.

Carol (my mother) is leaving tomorrow, to stay the winter in Whittier, her other home with my sister. We sent the shipment of eleven boxes by UPS today, files and clothes.

Tara won best in show (best overall speaker) as well as first prize for Lincoln Douglas debate at her meetup today -- four awards in all, plus a ceremonial cape. I'm grateful to Gonzo for putting so much heart and soul into this vestige of civil society, which the public schools barely have funds to support. In a more enlightened society, we would have more of these debates on television and the Web. These cerebral sports don't get nearly the attention they deserve.

Lindsey has ordered up a storm of outdoor survival products, spending literally days in the Web doing the necessary homework. She's been describing to me all these purchases and how they fit into her vision. Solar charger, lights, water filter, kelly kettles... repair kits.

Her plan is to strike out in the dead of winter to test her metal as a cyclist-camper. If these early tests go well, her radius will steadily increase. If all goes per plan, we'll be seeing a lot less of her around Portland, is her latest news. At her request, I contributed an OLPC XO to her on-the-road inventory. Tara has lent her a battery-powered keyboard.

More action around the Blue House tomorrow, preparing food for the homeless and then distributing sleeping bags by bicycle, a Laughing Horse project started by Lindsey last winter. Food Not Bombs is invited to join in. Lindsey has been an effective community organizer during her chapter in Portland. She will be missed, and not just by me.

Thanks to cues from Nick, a current guest, I watched David Kaiser's lecture How the Hippies Saved Physics. This MIT-based history-of-science guy gives a lot of credit to Werner Erhard (and to CIA spooks) for funding a transitional (and talented) cast of characters who took physics from its Cold War phase into its more philosophical phase. I filed some pointers to Synergeo. I've been echoing the thread on Verboten Math from a Math 2.0 list.

I had Noah over again today, age 12, for some Python computer language lessons. His mom joined in for part of the lesson. We like to share Youtubes and explore little known aspects of Google. Did you know about the Google version of Pacman? Noah was quite ready to code up a Python class/blueprint, a template for any number of objects. He's already studied some Java, so had some questions about public versus private variables. I showed how we do this in Python in my sample code.