Sunday, June 14, 2015

Recent News and Readings

DC is moving tanks around (the kind that shoot shells) in a political game with the Kremlin to play Cold War in Ukraine.  By DC of course I mean the Pentagon, in turn a euphemism of sorts, for a Beltway mentality that works closely with Iron Mountain partners (e.g. Geiko) around the world, many in Germany and Japan.

DC's moves are predictable.  When all you have is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail.  One dimensional chess is what tanks are all about, although when caught up in symbolism, as here, they're not so much tanks as pieces on a game board, so some dimensions are restored.

I've been reading The Cryptographic Imagination by Shawn James Rosenheim (Johns Hopkins Press, 1997), literary criticism focusing on Poe.  That's an important literary vector (Gothic) in my writing given Laffoley, Applewhite and Fuller as influences.  The notion of "cracking a code" as both the act of reading and a path to deeper insights, resonates through these works, from Gold Bug through Da Vinci Code.

An "encoding" (such as UTF-8) need not be about concealment so much as preservation and recording.  How else but in a dense code, some set of hieroglyphics, perhaps a language invented for this express purpose (e.g. Synergetics, less about neologisms than spinning known words in a new way)?  Mnemonics, memory palaces, are "encodings" less about "concealing" then "memory management" (data processing, IT work).

The last time I saw Ed Applewhite was at the Fuller Symposium in DC.  This was after he and June had visited us in Portland.  June, his wife, had since died, whereas my wife was just about to receive her terminal diagnosis, the reason I flew home early (missing Pycon and a dinner with Ed).  Ed was talking about the overlap twixt Synergetics (his collaboration with Fuller) and Poe's Eureka, anticipating the same convergence, in the rear view mirror, that I'm looking at a decade later.

The World's Fair in Kabul, the dome (like the Climatron), Khrushchev's admiration for it -- these themes and events will return with a renewed Cold War.  Mom was telling me that higher ups in the new Ukraine government have dual citizenship in the US or other places in some cases.  They're friends of Kagan's wife Victoria Nuland or something?

The long term credibility of the "nation state" in contrast with some "Tomorrowland" (ala Disney's EPCOT) is a theme the news dances around a lot.  I guess we need to keep believing in these "nations" so that NATO has some meaning?  How can you have treaties without nations?  Ask the n8vs.  They have nations too, and alliances.