Monday, April 30, 2018

Spring Cleaning

Barry at Large

I'd planned on doing Barry's habitat cleanup yesterday, but that was action packed, as was today.  I had all the Chromebooks charging and retested the bum one in my trunk, ready for swapping.  It works if on a charger.  Taking that huge octopus of chargers just for the bum one would be a bummer.

Anyway, today Barry the python got his mouse and a cleaned up habitat.  Deke took pix, maybe some for Twitter, where he specializes.  I'm more a Facebook guy, and LinkedIn.  Today I continued the math-teach thread on "dot notation" using my LinkedIn profile as anchor point.

The fish got their new filter too, since Tropical Fish Hut on Division is one stop shopping, when it comes to Blue House pets.  Not cats or dogs in this chapter, just fish and a reptile.

I received a new shipment of Lux from the manufacturer.

Some may consider me a guy of loose morals if I admit to looking up to Lance Armstrong, long after it came out he was doping.  I understood his comeback from cancer was inspirational and that was fancy chemistry too.  I'm not saying I don't get it about rules and sports, I get it.

I realize a parallel Olympics wherein athletes were actually permitted to experiment with dangerous alchemy would border on the gladiatorial and voyeuristic.  That's the more lawless world outside the stadium, not what we'd put on TV under the heading of sports.  More like news.

Speaking of weather, it was cool but not raining this morning so I did my trek up Mt. Tabor, choosing the steeper stairs.  I call them "steeper stairs" as they gets steeper towards the top i.e. the 2nd derivative is not a flat line.  These stairs connect the bottom and mid-level reservoir (historic monuments; they were pressure washing the one of the castles, making it shinier).

Like Lance, I was patched back together by modern science, though with nothing so exotic as his treatments.  Yes I ride a bicycle sometimes.  No, I'm not racing, just peddling around looking at stuff, going places.

We had the python posing atop some C6XTY, after I'd hosed out his habitat, scrubbing it back to factory condition.  Deke's phone battery finally died.  Like I said, Barry got a mouse out of the deal, not just exercise, and lots to think about.

Speaking of C6XTY, part of the action yesterday, apart from the bum Chromebook (which the head office knows about, plans to swap), was a meetup with the Flextegrity inventor and founder.

The latest edition of Sam's book is hot off the press.  He's been conference boothing, taking C6XTY to the natives in several subcultures, most recently in New Orleans (lots of C60 chemists).

I'm writing curriculum a lot of the time, looking for ways to get Jupyter Notebooks pushed out to the schools.  Today's gambit was to suggest Language Arts pick up the ball, taking publishing as an on-ramp to coding through HTML + CSS.

Then comes Javascript and Daniel Shiffman, or whatever Youtube teachers (or whatever video service).  Classroom teachers get to do it 360, which our remote people do not (not yet, no VR 5G until 2020 and not every neighborhood is keen to be an EPCOT in that way).

I'm not trying to lay down any "must follow" track.  The LinkedIn article was about GNU Math and "dot notation".  I try to bring together the command line lovers, and the art world, as together they make math (a kind of music).  In that regard we often use "dot notation" to make stuff happen.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Robin Hood (movie review)

The Robin Hood story has been told several times.  I showed up at Glenn's with A Bug's Life, a Disney cartoon, but we couldn't get the VHS player to work with the new HDTV.  The fallback was this version of Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott.

I contributed a six-pack of Kell's IPA. I hadn't known in advance our afternoon would be so Celtic.

This movie proposes to give a huge amount of backstory to the Robin Hood myth.  He is by rights a new King of Nottingham, Maid Marion his queen, having returned the sword of the slain son, Marion's previous boyfriend.

Robin, played by Russell Crowe, is handsomely portrayed, opposite Cate Blanchett (Maid Marion) in a strong role.

Director Ridley Scott is known for organizing great scenes with a lot of authenticity, based on research and a sufficient budget.  This film is packed with elaborate sets with large casts, giving a sense of the period, especially through the always-depressing lens of endless war fighting.

The bad guys are a venal King John, nothing like his brother Sir Richard the Lionhearted, and this English-French hybrid double-crossing double agent. The former was plotting the demise of the latter to secure his throne, which, once secured (thanks to Richard's dying ahead of schedule), he then proceeded to drive into the ditch.

This French-English villain, strong in battle, obtains King John's approval to go raiding baronies to the north for "taxes" (plunder), not realizing that in sewing these new seeds of discord, he's made himself vulnerable to a French takeover.

Robin Hood is caught up in all these politics.  We get a glimmering of how monarchy would be made less oppressive, even though King John takes a match to this precursor to the Magna Carta.

There's a young adult gang of dispossessed, occupying the forest, who eventually gravitate to the newlywed outlaws, as the movie draws to a close.  We'll camp in the forest as a family, a merry band. Friar Tuck, Little John, all there.  Fun movie.  Big production.  Lots of great visuals.

Something I'd like my campus theaters to screen are some of these classics.  I'm talking in general terms about the Global U, but am also thinking in more detail about my more remote outposts, where "movie night" will be a feature.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Thermodynamics: Earth Energy Budget


Thanks to recent meet-ups with Terry Bristol, I've been diving more deeply into the history behind thermodynamics than ever before. He's steeped in the stuff way more than I'll ever be though, as he's been combing the Carnots, Maupertuis , for the beginnings of quantum mechanics.  The link is through the Principle of Least Action.

The concept of "waste energy" or "energy no longer available to do work" is what gets us some focus. When did this idea arise and how does it relate to "entropy" in grammatical English, equation-free?

The picture of the Earth energy budget I'm getting, from many sources superimposed, is of higher food-like frequencies coming directly from fusion (the uphill battle to heavier elements), and lower elimination-like frequencies boiling off, evaporating back into space (metaphorically speaking).

Earth can't afford to impound wattage at a significantly higher rate than it discharges.  This would mean a growing disequilibrium and stresses beyond what we measure, climate change notwithstanding. In some grand calculus, well-illustrated using Markov diagrams, the total in equals the total out.

You probably see how these core concepts all relate.  There's a sense in which Earthian "muscle mass" is increasing in the form of humans and their cities.  Leaving aside any judgement on what specifically constitutes healthy growth, there's an energy price to pay for everything physical.  So if the "muscle mass" is growing, is this reflective of some net income?

Information theory enters in, as a human organism is nothing more than rearranged atoms mostly already present in the ecosystem.  Some new material falls in from space every day, just as ionized particles leak away.  Very slow changes in total mass, spin rate, surface temperature, gas makeup, are the focus of many astronomers today, with respect to the other planets.

I think an average human, such as myself, will relate to the personal organism's experience of eating food, but not getting food value from waste products.  Working hard on a project and finding it returns no value, has the feeling of "wasted work" as in "this was my time down the drain".  But that's also what we call a learning experience, given the scientific mindset that feedback is always valuable.

These comforting reminders don't erase the fact that we're sensitive to "waste" as a form of energy we may produce and have too much of.  Engineers ask themselves how to optimize their time, meaning maximize useful output.

The personal credit wheels model I developed for GST consists of two pie charts, the diameter of which may be adjusted.  The charts segment ones source's of energy income versus one's investments in the future, another way of "putting it in the bank".  Walking to the grocery store to get more food is an investment of calories.  It takes work to do work, even if that work is playing games.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Positive Futurism

I have yet to share Quadray Coordinates with either Jesuit or Central Catholic.  You might suppose, given my background as a Catholic school teacher, that I'd be posting theses on their doors or something.  Actually St. Mary's would be the most apropos, as most similar to St. Dominic Academy.

As it is, I've been promulgating said alternative basis vector bouquet with Linus Pauling House (ISEPP), IEEE (indirectly through Portland Center Stage), Saturday Academy and the Systems Science folks at Portland State.

What's so special about Quadrays?  We start with four vectors from the origin (0,0,0,0) to the four corners of a regular tetrahedron, with addresses (1,0,0,0), (0,1,0,0) (0,0,1,0) and (0,0,0,1). It's pretty easy to see that, from these, one may develop a spanning set, not including rotation as one of the necessary operations.  We appreciate change in direction is distinct from a change in length.

In ordinary XYZ math, three basis vectors (1,0,0) (0,1,0) and (0,0,1) are helpless to reach 7/8ths of space minus help from their counterparts, the rotated versions.  Vector negation (180 degree rotation) is primitive to this space such that -i, -j, -k are linearly dependent, not independent, of their mirrors.

In the Quadray system, we're fine with rotation e.g. -(1,0,0,0) = (-1,0,0,0) = (0,1,1,1) but don't need it to span space with our original four basis vectors.  Any point is a linear combination of the original four, with at least one of them passive i.e. not involved.

By anchoring this caltrop in some Philosophy of Mathematics, we open three doors at once:

(A) Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics, based on "language games", comes to life and
(B) we're right where we need to be vis-a-vis the CCP sphere packing and
(C) we've established a context for a Concentric Hierarchy of polyhedrons

All twelve combinations of {2,1,1,0} e.g. (2,0,1,1)(0,2,1,1) and so on, point to the vertices of the cuboctahedron, twelve spheres around one.  We're ready to give all CCP ball centers positive integer coordinates.

I've also been in touch with Eastern Orthodox, "the other Christians" outside the Euro-Anglo Catholic-Protestant axis.  My essay on how an RT on RT would signal a connection with New England Transcendentalism showed up in Medium some time ago.

Some readers understand how (C) links us to a lot of positive futurism, including a brilliant critique of Corporate Personhood (Grunch of Giants).  I setup the grunch.net website to keep those memes alive.

I don't really need to bring my work to the Quakers as I'm already identified as a Friend.  However at QuakerQuaker you'll find me reaching out to Sufi schools.  Having attended the 1999 Parliament for World Religions in Cape Town (when my wife Dawn got to visit with the Dalai Lama in Durban), I'm quite used to Ecumenism.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Bots versus Humans


If you stop and think about it for a bit, you'll realize the "bots versus humans" meme has many dimensions, starting with the invention of "corporate personhood" as championed in "whiteman law" (I call it that to invoke the Cowboys & Indians era).  Corporations, with their artificial motivation (as "moneymakers" for limited liability puppeteers), do not behave with the intelligence of humans, and so count as Bots of the legal kind.

However, the Bots we oft think of are the ones on Westworld, the TV show based on the movie with Yul Brynner.  The Bots are played by top notch human actors and are therefore human in every way (unlike the Corporations), except for the science fiction backstory, which draws from Isaac Asimov.

Human science is nowhere close to Westworld's level of technology, but Hollywood screenwriters aren't here to teach us the true state of the art.  That's the job of Silicon Valley more generally, to "fess up" that Sophia is not actually capable of going off script.  If she could, why would Amazon be pumping big bucks into making Alexa more conversational?

So what we have are Bots of the stupid kind (corporations, phony humans in legal fiction) getting behind Bots of the deceptive kind, to scare humans about how unnecessary they'll be.  Squeeze them out of the leisure class, so they have no time for work/study, and keep 'em desperate, willing to work for almost nothing.  That's what the Stupid Bots most need:  slaves.

So in a way, the Singularity is behind us in that Stupid Bots are creating tyranny by scaring people with their puppet deceptions.  Sophia got a huge boost from Saudi Arabian investors who conferred upon her the title of citizen.  As a Quaker, I have to wonder if Islam is really as down on idolatry as I'd once presumed, as it seems to cheapen humanity and God's creation, to give a talking doll the same status as a human.

But then citizenship in a nation-state is starting to seem part of the Bot system anyway, in that corporate Stupid Bots have hollowed out (privatized) the once proud states.  It stands to reason that Saudi Arabia would help bring the nation-state era to a close.  They caved, those nations did, especially the USA which, as we learned from the FDR era, had strong Business Plot tendencies.

Another media campaign is going on as I write this:  various human journalists and correspondents are being labeled Bots because they diverge from the Party Line in the Orwellian state known as the UK.  I was just listening this morning to various accounts of Tweeters and Bloggers being labeled Bots.  This RT segment below gets into more of the details.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Monuments Men (movie review)

Glenn is a war vet, served in the Navy having attended DLI (Defense Language Institute) to learn Vietnamese. He ended up as a code cracker with NSA.  You'd think a guy like that might have generous military benefits but of course that's not true.  He was recuperating from a tooth extraction today, low budget, out of pocket.  The VA doesn't pay for anything.

I bring up Glenn's war vet experience because this movie is about older vets getting into World War Two (chapter two of the Great War) in order to save the great art pieces of Europe.  Hitler had this agenda of raiding all the treasures and amassing them in some Fuhrer Museum.  After the allied powers invaded through Normandy, Italy, Eastern Europe, it was a matter of preserving what could be saved.

George Clooney produced, directed and starred in this all star cast movie.  I could see using this in an art history class to introduce some of the great masters.  We need timelines for that too.  Leonardo and Da Vinci were contemporaries, one could say rivals.  What they said about each other was not always complementary.

Clooney portrays the Russians as just in it for the trophies, not as good guys like the Americans turned out to be.  The French curator ends up trusting Matt Damon, a good guy.  But then he very selfishly refuses her romantic advances, not cool, but that's OK, we weren't expecting much.

Actually, Russia helped return art to rightful owners too.  For example, an obelisk the Mussolini forces stole from Ethiopia was returned via Russian cargo jet (!) after the war.  I learned all about that at the Lucy exhibit in Seattle.  Ethiopia is still thankful.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Ridiculously Reckless


The Banana Republic with its uber-controlled propaganda machine, blatantly took us to the edge of a major conflagration, with an audience of know-nothings egging it on.

I can't remember a time when the a government was more transparently in over its head.  Neocons were never up to dealing with Russia, because they think its all about "showing strength" but they don't know what strength means.  You get spineless cowards instead.

I'm glad there's just a tiny window remaining where oxygen comes in, meaning internet and Youtube. I don't doubt that some bozos in Homeland Security (sounds Orwellian to begin with) would love to shut all that down.

The concentration of ownership of media outlets has deprived journalists of their souls, turning them into ghouls.  Welcome to Hell Planet.

As of this writing, it's becoming apparent that not only was the Syrian army not behind the chemical attacks, but this time there were no chemical attacks.

I understand why journalists malfunction.  They have seen over and over that lies are the basis of military action but refuse to believe they're being lied to, and so they pass the lies onward.  The best way to stay sane is to avoid TV news completely.  The credibility is all drained.

I know, I know, I sound like a latecomer.  That misinformation makes the world go around is not a new development.  Just that the farce has reached new levels.  The soap opera is so ugly.  I'm reminded of Closing Time by Norman O. Brown.

I don't see any men of honor in the Pentagon at this time.  I see mercenaries, for sale to the highest bidder.  If protecting the Constitution were ever their mission, they failed utterly.  Losers.

Tulsi Gabbard is strong, and many in the rank and file understand their leadership is uber-corrupt.  DC is taking a nose dive in terms of having any legitimacy or influence.  Working around DC, in the sense of bypassing dead heart tissue, is the new global industry.

Actually I take it back about dishonor in the Pentagon.  If there's a group trying to pander to the reckless bloodthirsty irresponsibility of the warmonger pundits, by working closely with the Russians on minimizing casualties, that's honorable -- but should not be their job.

Media barons are trying to run the show through the media they've worked so hard to control.  The military is under huge pressure to stage a circus for a public the media whip into a war frenzy.  I wonder if the problem is with the English language itself.  Too buggy?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

More Therapy Needed



I'm gonna rebook with H&R Block this morning, and pay more fees to pay less taxes.  I thought of business expenses that were obvious.  I was in a daze the first time, under pressure to live through Machine Learning.  The doctor says I survived, but you wouldn't know it to look at me.

That's probably me alluding to January events, when I was rushed to OHSU in my cowboy Gun Club hat and Grateful Dead Timbers T-shirt, P-coat, long underwear, black jeans (I'm pretty sure).

I'd stopped breathing too good.

They fixed me up and sent me back out into WestWorld the next day, good little robot that I be.  Melody picked me up in her rig, before shooting south to Texas, yee haw.

I'm in the poorhouse, not literally, but it is the one we paid for, and fortunately the roof is no longer leaking, got that fixed.

Praise Allah, and many friends of the Urners who helped me find productive work, with that Hubble team and so on.  O'Reilly School...

Anyway, I forgot to claim Pycon, with 2017's in Portland.  Nor do I think it fair I foreswear gas costs to and from a startup I was helping.

They paid on W2 but let me teach Python, which is my business anyway.  I was getting them going here in Portland.  That was Coding with Kids.  I claim that cost me 4D Solutions gas money.

The only thing I claimed was my CenturyLink bill, only about half of it.  This business costs me lots more, in Internet fees beyond ISP costs.  Clearly I need to refile and think it through more carefully this time around.  More therapy needed.

OK, that's enough of a rant.  Lets hope they have a slot open given this is crunch time.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Remembering Uncle Howard


I haven't been blogging with the same frequency.  That's just how it goes.

I missed Wilma's memorial, as did Alice, because of work.  She went a little ahead of her partner.  A nurse by training.  Howard told great stories, about everything.  His son Lee is like that too.  I enjoy his writings.  I've seen less of Carol over the years.

What makes me an outsider relative to a tiny core or clique in this family is who ever got to hang out at one of Howard's gold mines.  He held his claims consecutively, not concurrently.  This was a hobby for them and involved keeping in shape around heavy machinery.  If you don't think that takes athleticism, as well as mental acuity, you'd be wrong.

Howard and his brothers always amazed me with their banter, when I'd visit on Mercer Island, the globalist son of a planner and world peace activist, product of international schools, later Princeton. I must have seemed like the quintessential know nothing, which I am and was in so many ways.  I've cleaned up around big machinery, used for Tokamak on Route 1 (Forrestal Campus), but that doesn't make me a machinist.  Bucky had that on me.

Anyway, that whole side of the family is hugely self reliant and pioneer spirited and I've always been proud of them.  Swedish heritage mixed with all kinds of stuff.  I'm talking memetic more than genetics if that makes any sense.

Ed passed of cancer some years ago (his son Ricky was closer to my age -- I went to his wedding), as did their sister Evelyn, mother to Alice and Mary.

Uncle Bill, author of a history of submarine building in the Pacific Northwest (check for blog entries), plans to visit on Amtrak one of these days.  He's ninety something.

My last visit with Howard was at Mary's, at Thanksgiving last year.