Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Hieroglyphics

Upscale Egyptian

Ancient Egypt still exists, although I haven't defined exactly what that means. I won't have to. The point is where it exists: in the matrix, by which I mean our shared language, a public project. 

In hitting the keys, as of a piano, I somewhat expect "Ancient Egypt" to prove evocative: of hieroglyphics, of sphinxes, of pyramids... of mummies. That's all encoded in the music, as it were. On the other hand, you might be new to English and not have all those associations, which is fine.  Ancient Egypt still exists.

The USA still exists, of course it does. 

I seem to traffic in some nonsense wherein the word-meaning trajectories of all these words have undergone some tortuous twisted changes, or are about to. 

How could I deviate from the standard predictable mush and expect to be understood? One doesn't just proclaim the non-existence of what's clearly real, and expect to make a dent, does one?

But then let's remember, debates about existence are already prevalent in what we call "academic circles" (more or less arcane) and even when they're not, we take them for granted. That people would debate whether "God exists" is not questioned. Clearly these debates occur. 

"God" has a word-meaning trajectory in the matrix, and a spin, like the Higgs boson of zero spin. 

Ancient Egypt still exists.

In literature, we cordon off some sandbox areas wherein authors are allowed to experiment. If we like their results, we cast some limelight in their direction, send sparks of fame and glory, maybe igniting something. Others will copy, if able, wherever success is to be found. 

James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon... David Foster Wallace... Octavia Butler... am I planning to list all the writers that have twisted the language around? ... Buckminster Fuller... No, I'm not into making long lists. Leave that to computers.

My typical notation is [e0, e1, e2... eN], like in a math book, where "e" is for "element" and we have left-to-right indexing, entirely conventional however quasi-universal.

It's just that when nation-states join the mush between our ears, trapped in some deep-learning mesh of the neuronal maze, as popularized brain science would have it, then it's easier to see how they evoke a performance, our shared theater (the T in PATH: Philosophy Anthropology... History). They live in dreams, in iconography and prompt our gestures, our salutes.

The almost 200 nations (196?) are a part of that model UN people still carry around internally, along with childhood memories of classroom globes, and jigsaw puzzle nations no one agrees on any longer, when it comes to the details.

Pointing to Ukraine is hardly a trivial exercise these days, except in one's personal workspace, where you get your own globe, and set of magic markers. 

Believe what you like in your rubber room reality. It's your model. Feel free to actively infer with it.

Monday, May 13, 2024

More Lore

Main Entrance

I was walking home from a Timbers game, with my Daimler Truck of North America friend, and we passed by Portland's landmark Masonic lodge. Many other lodges around town, such as right across from the Quaker meetinghouse, were sold off. Hawthorne Theater is likewise in Masonic digs, a few blocks from The Bagdad.

Speaking of which, here's me on Telegram earlier today:
A way Masons got "perpetuated" (regenerated?) around Portland is a couple brothers started a successful brewpub empire that gradually came to include theaters and hotels (all connected to breweries). 

McMenamins. They have a strong iconic look and feel owing to incorporating lots of symbols, so feels kinda Masonic. Then they actually bought a Grand Lodge retirement home for Masons (in the old days) and converted it into one of their brewpub hotels (a whole campus, room for small golf course etc.). But they preserved the Masonic heritage, with paintings and plaques and so on, bringing it forward one could say. 

McMenamins is entirely a commercial business and not Masonic or anything, but it shows how momentum is preserved, if you know what I mean. Mixed into their symbols is the Grateful Dead stuff. Jerry Garcia et al. A powerful mix. Helps make Portland what it is (the brand is so successful the brewpubs have spread to adjoining Washington state, as well as all over western Oregon).
You can see where I'm going with this: secularization is a powerful process, even still.

Lifting text from one of my memos:
Proponents of the ethno-state consider ethnicity a basis of a sense of national unity, kind of like those Europeans who saw the New World as a future utopia for Christian palefaces such as themselves. “We shall make of these newly forming United States, a Christian nation.”

However these religious zealots were frustrated from the beginning, by Freemasons such as George Washington, other founding fathers, who had no interest in expanding the authority of the church, any church, within their version of USA OS.

Their motherboard circuit design was based on the principle of E Pluribus Unum (hence the “unum state”) and the ideal that no one ethnicity (no Aryans, no Caucasians, no Christians, no Ivy Leaguers…) need be uber alles. Dynamical systems theory would apply (what some people call Chaos — a branch of math). We’d surrender to the Ouija Board in a way.

 Again on Telegram:

I don't think the Masons make a big deal of the compass in their logo being set to 60 degrees, in contrast to the "square" (right angle device) it subtends (overlays). Fuller's angle vs frequency distinction seems embedded in the sense that angles are primitive timeless sizeless whereas once you assign a size (scale) you get time/size i.e. frequency i.e. energy involvement. Their G stands for God but also for Geometry according to Wikipedia. Too rich a symbolry to just leave on the shelf.

But is it so, that the compass is set to 60 degrees? "Compasses" is plural in Masonic lore. The whole point of the compass, as a tool, is its angle is variable. Perhaps it's set at 36 degrees some of the time, suggesting a bridge to five-fold symmetry.



Monday, April 29, 2024

Satori States

I'm seeing the term "lunatic state" bandied about on YouTube thumbnails. I look at lots of thumbnails. I'm also a YouTube producer, with a small following of under 500 subscribers (as of this post), given what I traffic in: esoterica. 

One might object that's no excuse as some esoterica channels boast huge followings, however oxymoronic that sounds. I'm not making an excuse though; I'm proud of my cliquey niche.

So what about "satori state" at the other end of the spectrum?

"Satori" means "enlightened" i.e. "restored to radical sanity".

In the realm of the everyday psyche, if one does manage to identify with the whole of it, whatever that means, it'd make sense to have some sense of relative immortality, even if the belief system didn't come with clear rails to infinity in both directions (past and future); immortals wouldn't want those anyway. 

So it stands to reason: a nation (a type of psyche, for the sake of argument) that realizes its planetary level ("my state is a planet") is going to feel more secure, given a lifespan more like the solar system's.

Of course the planet has many names. People like to say Gaia. Spaceship Earth, Global U… home to the United Nations and all those left out of the UN, nonhumans included.

Did you join a religion and drink the kool-aid yet? What's the delay? Too many to choose from?

Some of you have lived a long time and have done some significant cult hopping. Sometimes a person in government or maybe in an NGO or the private sector, will awaken to seeing the whole thing as theater, i.e. as a “programme”, a running script, executing instructions. It'll maybe seem smoother and more alien at the same time, less divided against itself.

Such an experience might easily get lost in translation though. Abducted by whom again?

The Genesis version shows a God beset with a problematic monster that keeps going off the rails. Eden doesn't work out, then it's down to Noah and family, then comes the Tower of Babel fiasco, at which point the problem is more or less solved: no one form of groupthink is likely to impose its monoculture, at least not for long, not globally. 

Call it the blockchain if you wish. God gave us crypto in the sense of mutual unintelligibility regarding non-unitarily conceptual scenario Universe (to quote one of our genius resident advisors). No one group of conspirators would be strong enough to undermine transaction transparency. Duplicity relies on obscurity, back rooms to cook the books.

Because we disbanded after the Tower, becoming a diaspora, turning to exploring the planet, we gradually, finally, became aware, as a species, of our spherical Promised Land, our Israel, our Zion. No, it’s not a closed system: it feeds off the Sun.

Genesis doesn't talk about humans escaping to Mars, although I bet more than a few are finding prophecies regarding interplanetary travel in the Book of Revelations. At least we find ETs in some vernaculars.

I could see Japan being a Satori State, given its advanced level of science fiction and receptivity to intuition. How do you say Zion in Japanese? Just call it Nippon.

My branch of esoterica, geometric in flavor, has always featured practitioners of Japanese heritage: Sadao, Noguchi, Kajikawa, Kuromiya... that list continues.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Agricultural Studies

Gadabout

Continuing a story... the old propane tank had not been swapped out yet. I wanted to have the owner in on moving tanks around. 

Indeed, I'm working closely with the owner on the whole "Boeing production line" we call it (complete with quality control) whereby each section of the wheel line gets a five point inspection:

(a) the wheel itself (mid-section) is ready for service, with the spokes and cleats all in order
(b) new sprinkler with leveler assembly installed, with tightened nozzle (also called nipple)
(c) new drain (from a box in the Gator)
(d) new gasket (old removed, grooves brushed, new gasket glued in)
(e) pipe section is obstruction-free

You've seen these wheel lines I'm sure. They must be advanced from riser to riser in most setups, a riser being where the irrigation system pops up with like a hydrant. Each section of pipe, used, recycled, presents its own set of problems, in terms of removing the old hardware and replacing it. The owner and I would yellow tape any section passing the above five point test.

For R&R, I got to ride in the backseat as a passenger in this three wheeled EV that easily navigates the backroads amidst farmlands. Tomorrow: we'll try the burn pile. Again, I'm a sorcerer's apprentice, not an on-my-own master, on this particular totem pole. 

My model is: you can be a big kahuna in your special circles, and then you're just another WalMart shopper stuck in traffic everywhere else, except that's to extreme. You'll rank higher and even have speaking parts in some "theater" (a military term). 

Out here in the flower fields, I'm a trainee, still learning the ins and outs of irrigation. I think and talk a lot about simulations, like SimFarm, SimAnt, SimCity, when I'm doing this work.

A tractor going back and forth, seen from above, is one of my computer science topics as well. The field is a data structure, most conveniently tabular, of rows and columns, and the tractors are read-write devices, especially write devices, able to inject permutations, seedlings, into the dirt.

In my Python implementation, I have a generic Field type, and a Tractor type, and a kind of mutual awareness between the two in that each tractor introspects its Field instance and vice versa: the Field knows what Tractor instances are on (or in) it.

Cultic Behavior

Saturday, April 13, 2024

TrimTabbers Meet: American Dreamer

Buckyverse: Digital Library

I came across American Dreamer by Scott Eastham as if in a dream, as here was a new book about Bucky yet I thought I'd seen them all. What parallel reality was this? That was some months ago, and by the time TrimTab Book Club was ready to read it, I had lost my copy. 

That was my excuse for taking a break from the meetups every other week. 

More specifically, I've been feeling called to tie off loose ends that only I can tie off, such as around Quadrays as I've implemented them, in Python, and so forth. I should prioritize projects on which my presence could be critical.

Besides, Trim Tabbers have privileged access to digitized versions of syllabus assets.

What book will we read next? I tossed The House of Tomorrow onto the queue, but not necessarily for any time soon. More likely, we'll tackle Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth next, which surprises me, only because I'd assumed this group had already taken that up, as one of the core classics.

After that, I sense a lot of interest in CJ's book, newly available. His practical guide to comprehensivist studies is based on his own experience of being a trim tab in this respect, i.e. steering a course that would optimize whatever free energy (Subgenius: slack) was available.

Energy is a function of frequency, when it comes to light, we should remember. Super high frequency lasers are the "new thing" a lot of photonics experts are taking a look at (although not directly -- laser light tends to be hazardous to one's eyeballs).

We talked about the eclipse quite a bit, even watching Nathan's 7 minute home video of the experience.

Me in chat, interacting with my peers:

Book called Polyhedra by Cromwell documents how the concept of polyhedron has become more ephemeral over time moving from “solid” to more like “wireframe”. Synergetics is certainly consistent with this trend, but then there’s the Zeitgeist as a whole, of which it’s reflective.


“Tetrahedron” is a long-winded word for “thing”. Turns out the etymology of “thing” is a “meeting” (in Finland?). “A thing is a meeting of things”.


Important to remember that XYZ in physics has no gravitational or electromagnetic presence. It’s ghostly, there for reference, not to participate in the chemistry. We have to allow Bucky’s concepts the same pre frequency freedoms i.e. it’s not like all of a sudden we have to imagine literal metals just because the IVM is under discussion instead of XYZ. That’d be double standards, a fallacy.


Equal and opposite is an ideal in physics. “Ideal” usually means “never happens, really”. Perfect circle. What’s so perfect about what never exists, right?


Fuller’s thought experiment: look around and decide if every feature you see is: a face (F) a corner (V) or an edge (E). Can’t these interconvert? Can’t we see a corner as a whole ball, with many faces? Of course, we do this all the time. V + F = E + 2. Etc.


 
Privileged Access

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Social Media

Likely a lot of think tanks have already published findings regarding the new face of war, given social media, and global telecommunications. The curtain went up on "networking" back in the early 1980s, in terms of what people are up to. Didn't you know? We network now.

When they say "a military trains to fight the last war" that's not a criticism so much as a statement of what there is to go on and extrapolate from. When a new war starts, one finds out then if the training was apropos. Usually a lot of it is, and feedback from the theater helps the training get better.

My impression is that more people than ever are casually following world affairs at a level even State Department officials would have had trouble engaging with, at the speed of yesterday's media. 

Even while riding a city bus, one can lurk in on the latest secret discussions between German military planners thinking of ways to take out that bridge in Crimea. The stamps commemorating that event are already printed, with the celebratory cakes going stale in the fridge.

I was listening to a Canadian mercenary last night, talking about his motivations for joining a unit fighting Russia, only a few weeks out of uniform, and after fifteen years of service. He wanted to continue with the lifestyle and he had a simple ideology: to fight an evil dictatorship. He went to the front voluntarily. That's the kind of theater he felt drawn to, now that he'd tasted combat. Some guys relish the flavor. They like the bonding, the sense of a team.

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Civil War History

Remembering the Civil War

In a strict Quaker jargon, one of my own rolling, but based in the lit, we have: ranters and quietists. The quietists typify the practice as Silent Worship is our central ritual, yet spoken ministry or sharing is also allowed and expected, which is where the ranters come in.

However, that language, of quietists versus ranters, is somewhat misleading in that these are roles more than persons. A given Friend will get more ranty, or move towards a quietist aesthetic. Quietists still talk, we're not Trappists. Neither side feels forced to concede as the tension is perennial.

Translating back in time to the North versus South in the northern Americas (Mexico and Canada played roles), Friends were often farmers and many could use the help, so when Friends in London passed a minute declaring slave owning off limits, those in the new colonies felt obliged to obey or jump ship, which was easily doable in the sense that many brands of Christianity accepted slavers with open arms.

Being in the minority, as not slave owning, Quakers started to feel the evil eye of their neighbors, as slavers saw their own way of life as moral, ordained, reflective of God's plan. "Who are these Quakers amongst us with their uppity holier than thou attitudes?" 

Much of the prevailing ideology was rooted in ideas about Noah's sons' families and their offsprings: the many races. Which was best? Or as Darwin had taught us to say (somewhat tautologically): the most fit?

Many Friends upped and left their properties in the east, especially in the southeast, and migrated west. This was still a feasible strategy for average families, but with a catch: it continued to pitch the whites against the reds (as seen in racial terms by those living the dream), shorthand for the differing genetic lines now attempting to coordinate the sharing of resources. 

Humans often do this thing called "war" when attempts at coordination fail. War is a kind of helpless flailing but with lots of lipstick and dress up (especially for guys). Other times, humans succeed in remaining coordinated.

I tell the story of Sam Hill as one such post Civil War refugee. The practice of slavery was now somehow encoded in the Amendments as prohibited, and society would find workarounds, other legal forms of forced labor. Debt is always a primary motivator, as we learned in the first five thousand years.

Whereas Sam got all the way out to Seattle and the Columbia Gorge, many Friends halted their westward journey in Indiana. 

As one might imagine, the ranting that went on within Quakerdom was often fiercely delivered and strongly felt. The whole nickname moniker of "Quaker" alludes to their excited tremorous state when "infused with the Spirit" as they might describe it, and not meaning alcohol.

The Religious Society of Friends as it is formally named, is not Pentecostalist, meaning "speaking in tongues" (the whole practice, popular in other denominations) is not encouraged, but sharing from the heart certainly is. 

Many a Meeting for Worship is broken up with remorseful sobs or quiveringly principled rants, as it's what the format allows and is designed to withstand.  People shake hands and go their separate ways, or stay for coffee or tea. A more affordable form of group psychotherapy would be hard to come by.

In pre Civil War days, when owning slaves was already grounds for being read out of Meeting (how Quakers got disbarred), the ranters were often abolitionists. They would make their true feelings known amongst other Friends yet perhaps remain mostly quiet by day, tending their farms, minding their own businesses. At night though, underground railroads were happening, as fleeing slave families were passed forward, towards prospective freedom.

Such abolitionists were also labeled immediatists, because their rants were to the effect that the abolition of slavery was long overdue, not only among Friends but amongst the populace in general. Otherwise, the hypocrisies and contradictions of going forward as a democracy, one with a Constitution, would result in the latter's demolition. 

These abolitionists were a type of unionist then, wanting to preserve the nation state as one, not fated to become two. To this end, the non-immediatist, non-abolitionists were willing to grandfather in the practice of slavery where already legal, but not extend it to new states, already foreseen as far west as Lewis and Clark had taken their survey, at the start of the 1800s. 

Other more quiet Friends were, like Lincoln, thinking that once the slaves were freed, they might move en masse to a homeland, in order to be far from their former owners. Liberia? Belize? These were among the fantasies common in that day, and some freed families and individuals did flee to these places, as well as to Haiti.

Some Friends could say to themselves they had no dog in the fight. Many unionists were quite happy to return runaway slaves, countering the underground railroaders with more respect for the autonomous region.

Much of what helped end slavery came about because humanity was industrializing, having harnessed the power of steam, fossil fuels, sun and wind in new ways. Humans had less need to rely on other humans for their calorie output and horsepower. Horses faced retirement for the same reasons. 

Humans professionalized and refined their practices around "power tools" and ages without slavery became possible, even if in practice, enslavement persists. Sociologically speaking, the planet is not free of slavery, even if the arrow of civilization points in that direction. Alfred North Whitehead held that it did, almost tautologically, as a matter of grammar. Civilization is the opposite of tyranny and oppression.

A 1900s American inventor, R. Buckminster Fuller, pointed out the positive benefits of industrialization in terms of "energy slaves", units of caloric output that represented what a hard-working human might do in a specific unit of time, in comparison to a horse. Horsepower is energy per time, not just energy without a time dimension. 

Humans might eventually do the work of a horse (e.g. plow a field), given days extra, but their horsepower is rated less because of the extra time taken. 

This "energy slave" writing proved too "hot potato" in the early 21st Century, at least among some groups I encountered in American universities, as too many racisms were still simmering, boiling over in some cases, and any use of words such as "master", "oversight", "slave" were considered too triggering on the face of it to admit within polite conversation, and academics often strive to be polite (why what they hand out is called a diploma). 

Many Meetings, frequented by academics, did away with their "Oversight Committee" nomenclature. No contemporary would want to serve as "overseer" (i.e. "supervisor") the thinking went, as the old timey language sounded too slave-owny.

One ongoing conversation within General Systems Theory (GST) -- cite Boulding -- is whether mechanization is inherently at the expense of, or is optionally a booster of, higher living standards. Of course so much depends on what counts as "higher". 

Having a bleaker history, more nightmarish, is certainly a way to lower living standards. What will we have to look back on? Consider policymaking in the light of future hindsight. Practice "anticipatory design science" (Fuller) as if your lives depended on it.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Summer Jobs

first published December 10, 2023

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Diaspora Nations

Where I start with New Palestine, or Palestine for short, is it's a Diaspora Nation to begin with, as was Israel in the sense many people give the word, even through it had no existence as a jigsaw puzzle piece on the UN game board at first, much as Palestine doesn't today. 

Sure we see those maps of shrinking land areas, but those never belonged to a bona fide state, or people wouldn't be clamoring how we still need a state.  I'm seeing "Diaspora Nation" and "University" (global network of campuses or bases) as essentially synonymous. 

US citizens, counting expats and those deployed to bases outside the US, likewise comprise a Diaspora Nation of sorts. Citizens intermingle. The planet is such that Chinese, Guatemalans, Koreans and Irish Catholics all live in the same cities, even if having, in some cases, their own small and large businesses, schools, travel and real estate agents, restaurants, journalists and so on.

Imagine a Palestine, not typecast as "Muslim" (yet serving many Muslims), not an "ethno-state", that owns a fleet of cruise ships, has skyscrapers in many great cities, scattered farmlands, hotel and rental car chains. 

The idea of a "government" owning these things sounds socialistic, but let's talk about a mix of public and private sectors, and let's have no large militia given no extensive borders to defend, but lots of holy sites and many lands to develop (e.g. Guantanamo Bay if the Cubans buy in), so we need an army of engineers.

The same facilities might be shared among several Diaspora Nations in many cases, as when we place new stadium-shaped Old Man River style bases around the world. 

We might make these agreements without waiting for big wheels to turn slowly, in the UN or wherever. As private entities, we're free to get on with the formulation of our global states university system, our Promised Land.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

The Nonstop Love-in

Johnny Stallings

That's the title of Johnny's new (and first) book, in all caps. Johnny Stallings, a veteran of these journals (blogs). Nick Consoletti, a premier networker, made me aware of this guy, who could memorize entire Shakespeare plays, and perform them, as one man shows. His stamina is that of a high athlete. Whatever's the mental equivalent: he's in shape that way too.

The invite popped up on Facebook, with his picture on the cover. The event was at a neighborhood coffee shop and grocery store, after hours, in one of those hard to navigate niche neighborhoods, wedged between main arterials and made maze-like with one way and blocked off streets. I used to work in this neighborhood, for CUE, by then back with EMO just down the street on Bancroft.

The venue was packed, with folks queued to get their signed copies. I took a seat right away, assuming I'd get my opportunity to buy one later, and I was right. Johnny read excerpts from his book amidst adoring fans. The guy is a renowned playwright and thespian, and poet, in these parts. He's a Whitman aficionado. and I'm join him in celebrating that guy, in chapters past, when Nick was with us.

Stallings spent thirteen years doing workshops in male prisons, with the work spilling over into the women's prisons, as we later heard from the audience. Sometimes he'd stage plays, but a lot of the time it was just to gather people and do scripts or whatever. I was not part of his inner circle of volunteers and have only bumped into him randomly, on Mt. Tabor, at the bank, a few times in recent years. But I follow from a distance. This was a great opportunity to reconnect.

I only just bought the book last night and haven't sat down with it, but based on his readings, I'm already sure I'll be loving it. He well knows the book might come across to some as pollyanna, artificially upbeat where life is more complicated. Here it helps to know his audience: that prison population, already maxed out on misery, deprived of freedom, and not needing an education in how to be down and out. Johnny was that little dot of yin in a yang world, or of yang in a yin world, providing hope it'll all turn out someday, the wheel of life.