Sunday, January 21, 2018

Reading Rainbow

I'm two weeks out, plus one day, from my own bout of high tech treatment. Nothing cyborgian was implanted, if you're not counting ideas, which may be mini-machines in their own right, with lots of moving parts.  Ideas are variagated.

Thanks to Rosalie, a woman I helped welcome to Meeting, I now have a copy of the Dahlstrom memoir. When Rosalie caught up with him, he was serving as a distinguished member of the Portland State faculty, in the English Department. From this vantage of greater age, and high fluency, he wrote his memoir [1] in the form of a brief window on life, a period of one year serving as a private first class in World War One.

From the standpoint of an academe, he's able to put into words the experience of being a disposable machine or robot, in service of a state, led by officers of vastly higher privilege, and how these class differences rubbed democracy's children (small "d") the wrong way.

The high tech treatment was mostly diagnostic in nature, in a hospital already swamped with new year turmoil, as people tend to put treatment off until after the holidays.  Plus an especially virulent flu season was in full swing as we're seeing in the rear view mirror, as we piece it together.

My condition was statistically predicable in my age class (almost 60, a late fifties baby, slightly post hippie post baby boomer, in terms of US demographics), but without precipitating events, often fatal, where's the incentive to find the root cause?  Of what exactly?  Shortness of breath in my case. So am I just out of shape? I was still climbing mountains (OK, hills).

One of my gigs involves using Codesters, a cloud service that comes with sprites, stage backgrounds and so on, to create games with middle and high schoolers.  I'm thinking about how that same technology serves to make fun grid patterns of both a square-rectangular and triangular pattern.  I'm about to dive in to creating a few examples, expect screen shots soon.

Ellen Thomas phoned today, while I was having a lunch beer with the CRO.  This was between the two conference games (NFL).  The Vikings are playing now, as I write this. I'm watching with Spanish speaking narrators.

Ellen lived on the sidewalk in front of the White House for some years.  I reassured her mom was OK.

Last night I saw Alan Potkin, whom you'll meet elsewhere in these blogs. He has an abiding interest in the aesthetics / ethics associated with large scale engineering projects.

Sometime the left brainers don't want to think in terms of ecosystems and reject a systems approach in favor of pure kilo-wattage, neglecting the energy it would take to restore some of what would be lost.

If you start with a dumbed down model, you'll do unnecessary damage in the eyes of ancestors to come.

Rosalie actually typed the Dahlstrom manuscript and turned it into a book, somewhat as Applewhite catalyzed the Bucky Fuller creation, Synergetics (in two volumes).

Having a critical person between an original font of primary content, and those into publishing, is sometimes essential.  Kiyoshi Kuromiya played a similar role with Bucky, with regard to other books, especially Critical Path and Grunch of Giants.

 [1] Dahlstrom footnote.  Book cover up top.

4 x 3 = 12