Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Vector Spaces


I haven't made a YouTube in awhile, relative to my recent frequency of production.  These are non-monetized with a low number of viewers (but climbing with time -- older YouTubes have had more time to garner viewers and so on).  My reasoning:  I'm in a "teaching tunnel" (we meet for class every week day, me the instructor), so why not aggregate developments in the background?

Among those developments would a be a next dive into Quadrays as a topic, an approach to vectors (like XYZ vectors) that's a little different and that I treat as a "language game" in the philosophical tradition i.e. as a basis for an investigation in to what we mean by such concepts as "linear independence", "dimension" and so on.  Here's an opportunity to use preexisting terms in new ways, thereby imparting new spin.

The deep dive began on an archive belonging to the Math 4 Wisdom (M4W listserv).  That 4 was especially attractive, given the 4 in 4D Solutions (my company) might overlap.  My 4D overlaps the Bucky Fuller 4D.  This isn't numerology or mysticism about words.  It's mnemonics and branding, or call it advertising.  I'm doing business when I work on Quadrays.  I consider it part of my job description.

However, the whole topic of Synergetics and the Bucky stuff is mighty alien to your run o' the mill mathematics PhD.  Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics got shelved awhile back, because LW seems insufficiently impressed or respectful vs-a-vs the amazing breakthroughs that've been made around infinity, thanks to Cantor and company.  He just never jumped on the right bandwagons.  Mathematics is to some extent a political process, as Bourbaki well knew.

I ended up continuing a thread, started on the M4W listserv, on Synergeo, more appropriately a home for it in retrospect.  M4W is also about establishing a new equilibrium Europe however, which includes much of Russia (geographically and culturally speaking), giving voice to mathematicians who care to weigh in on matters bureaucratic and academic.  Citizen diplomacy is not verboten in other words, even on TikTok.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Tying Knots

Wedding Reception

In today's meditation, we're thinking about life as a process of tying and untying knots, which metaphor is deliberately left wide open to interpretation.

A standby English idiom, to help us focus, is "tying the knot" in the sense of "getting married".  A commitment is formed between two individuals (or more in some subcultures) in the presence of witnesses.  Witnesses add weight.  A community commitment, a contract known to a large public, is less likely to be taken lightly.

The absence of any ties or knots might be described as "completely unfettered" which can sound liberating for sure, but then where's the structure?  How would we get anything done, minus commitments?  We need knots to have events.

OK, now with all that philosophizing out of the way, I can turn to my special case scenario, wherein a wedding indeed occurred, and I get to be one of the witnesses, which I was happy to do.  The event was the reception the day after the wedding, at a facility rented from the working port of Bellingham, a busy place.

Bellingham is a port city in northern Washington State, not far south from the border with Victoria, a state in Canada.

I had the option to consider going by train, but given my job, with fixed ours, the connection was dicey.  And besides, I've been eager to give my car a real workout, given so many moons just sitting in the driveway or driving to Bethany Village for my teaching job (accelerated computer stuff).

Ergo, Sydney the dog and I embarked on our adventure on a Saturday morning at 4 AM.  We were back by 3 PM the next day.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Phony Intelligence (PI)

Lots going on as usual.  I was telling an old friend over lunch at Skavone's that I've somewhat psyched myself into seeing major cities and their districts (e.g. The District, with its Beltway Bandits), as the power centers.  At the level of nation-states, I'm seeing the theater, but have suspended my disbelief by and large, meaning I don't take narratives at this level too seriously in my global modeling.  

I'm talking about the scripts, the fake news.  Of course I take real suffering seriously, and as a symptom of stuff not working.  

One reason the United Nations didn't work out is it left the refugee problem for future generations.  Too many people fell through the cracks, and got no statehood.  It's still that way today.  The solution is not more walls and fences everywhere.

If you're new to this blog, you know there's some cosmology or cosmography or mythology at work behind the scenes, informing my vista.  It's relatively easy for me to self-brainwash in certain ways.  

Isn't that a truism for everybody?  What's different from one to another are these "certain ways" i.e. some trains of thought will run on tracks I never even suspected existed, or could exist.  

Some readers encounter the railroad I'm running and think the same thing:  what planet is this guy from?  Mars?

So what's in the news these days?  Well, again, lots of stuff.  

The war twixt the House of Saud and the Yemenis might be coming to a close, given tensions with Tehran are starting to slack off, with mediation from China.  All sides are realizing there's enough oil extracting, refining and shipping for everyone who wants to play, Caracas included.  

Also:  Silicon Valley Bank just went under.

From my angle, the financialists, not being engineers, have a hard time getting back to the fundamentals when explaining these developments, such as the whole driverless car scenario, a huge consumer of investment capital.  Investors were ready for their returns, and patience ran thin.  "Running on hype" is akin to "running on empty" (on fumes).

Silicon Valley banked heavily on driverless vehicle science fiction, believing tales spun by Elon Musk and so on.  

But then Musk later came around to the view that for truly driverless functioning, we'd need to solve the problem of making AI (Artificial Intelligence) into RI (Real Intelligence)  -- Pinocchio would have to become a real boy after all.  

That's equivalent to throwing in the cards, instead of continuing to bluff.  We have RI, but in the form of real humans, who still have an edge over the competition.

ChatGPT3 is a wonderful imposter, a fun house mirror, a hallmark of what's to come:  more PI (Phony Intelligence), posing as RI.  Sometimes PI is plenty, but not while driving.

Speaking of PI, the lingering excuse for a State Department is doing its best to explain to the Pentagon how everything is still under control on the international scene (the "theater").  "Everything is going according to plan" say the hapless neocons, as their NordStream fork in the road proves to be a dead end. 

I'd say the neocons have lost the battle for hearts and minds, but they'd given up on winning that one long ago.  They've been losers for decades, even while at the helm of their mock government, their fake USA.

Speaking of PI (phony intelligence), Pi Day is almost here.  Pi is "phony" in ways we should talk about.  There's some fun philosophy in this neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Lab Leak

Let's help the journalists remember SARS1 (just called SARS) and other virus outbreaks we still strongly doubt came directly from a lab.  Some people think HIV was lab brewed.  Most don't think we had the science, let alone the motivation, to infect the world with AIDS for no good reason (Georgia Tablets?).

So then SARS2 comes along, and kills a lot of us, including lots of people in China.  Tucker Carlson is quick to tie the gain of function lab leak thesis to some nefarious plotting on the part of the Communists.  John Birchy stuff.  

Maybe true.  Every party has its share of severely retarded (mentally challenged) people.  "The Chinese wanted to hurt the western economy" -- what a dumb way to go about doing it, if so, and what a dumb goal in the first place, as it's all one planetary economy (ecosystem).  Most Chinese know that, no?

Much more likely, if we go with a lab leak narrative, is that it was accidental.  This wasn't anthrax mailed from a DC based biolab.  This wasn't some nerve agent from the USSR, used to go after Britons.  This was the kind of thing that happens in Andromeda Strain (science fiction by Michael Crichton, 1969) when someone gets sloppy, or some piece of equipment fails.  

Hollywood could make this movie easily.  A room depressurizes.  Sirens go off.  Lights flash.  Someone gets sick.  Then more people get sick...

So then do we say "the Chinese" accidentally released the "China virus"?  We could.  Many do.  

We could also say "the virologists" released an "artificial virus" (not occurring in nature) by mistake.  Virologists have shown themselves to be reckless in other instances.  That these virologists happened to be Chinese in China doesn't matter, or doesn't have to.  The funding was international, we already know that, as is the subculture of virology.

What looks so suspicious from Tucker's point of view is that a certain database went off line, after certain lab faculty disappeared from pubic view.  

Did the take down of the database seriously impede the world's response?  Was this all part of the plot?

Given an accidental spill would likely result in a coverup, to forestall possible retaliation or other unpredictable actions, removing all traces of the experiment might have been step one in the wake of the spread.  That's not a science minded response, but we do not live in a science minded world.  Pointing the finger at innocent animals, such as pangolins,  is always easier than owning up to a major error.

However, virologists have gotten good at sequencing.  Lots of labs were working with coronaviruses (one of the most common kind) including, we think, in Ukraine, with its share of big pharma biolabs and nearby human guinea pigs.  

Sequencing an isolated virus specimen is not hard.  The mRNA technology was ready to roll.  The virus RNA was easily reverse engineered.  Piece of cake.

So we might speculate that virologists added a little hook to a SARS coronavirus to make a version 2.0, which they then accidentally lost control of, in a lab in China.  

That makes Chinese the victims, who by and large did their best to contain the spread, and by extension the rest of the world.  

The new virus could have just as easily started in Ukraine, or in DC.  

So say it started in China.  Does that make it all a Communist plot?  Maybe it does, if you're Tucker minded.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Family Businesses

I recalling some article or radio story not so long ago, expressing outrage (what else) that "nepotism" was rampant, meaning a lot of people in companies had family members, including relatives, in the company.

What's so unusual about that?  Come on.  Put on your sociology hat.  People employ people they know and think they might have a chance of getting along with.  And also:  family loyalty is a real thing.

If you reach for the word "corruption" at the drop of an "I'd like a job for my brother" hat,  then yeah, you'll see corruption everywhere.  I see family looking out for family.  Mia famiglia.  Ma-fia.  Mafia.

Lets remember another common architectural pattern:  an entire complex, an apartment building, or maybe a suite of free-standing dwellings, all belonging to a single extended family, maybe with a few renters.  There's a shared courtyard in the center.

A family-owned company might well make use of some of that same building.  What if the family owns a high rise?  Maybe most of the apartments are rented out, but there's also lots of storefronts and schools, not to mention a gym, several museums, each with gift shops.  Mixed use.  A lot of the employees are also related.

Yes, there's the problem of choosing someone less capable or qualified, because of these other criteria, in the hopes of someone growing into the job.  Not everyone needs to be in top form to fit in.  Work does have a way of sculpting people, after they land the position.  Learning on the job is not a crime, usually (sometimes it might be).

People are often too quick to charge "corruption" when it's actually a matter of killing multiple virtual birds with one stone, i.e. efficiency is in more dimensions than just the one or two considered relevant by some onlooker.  Who made those onlookers the judge?  Some onlookers are too ready and willing to judge, as if that's their role in life.  Says who?

"Who made you the judge?" that ask in the est Training,  In one exercise, two lines of people would snake around, one walking in the opposite direction to the other (if memory serves).  The objective was to be aware of one's judgements, as various people passed by.

To be a higher judge, learn to judge your judge, and then judge that judge and so on.  Get up to the supreme court level in your own mind at least.  That way, you still get to judge.  But that doesn't mean you always wallow in outrage.  You might even have mostly positive judgements, without wearing rose colored glasses.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Remembering Carol

Carol Urner:  April 21, 1929 - January 30, 2023
a presentation at the Meeting House in 2016

Monday, February 06, 2023


I ran out of fuel oil (for home heating), more ordered, rather to my surprise as last I'd measured, not so long ago, with this wooden yardstick, we had fourteen inches left in the tank under the driveway.  

This will all sound very obscure and/or shocking to those of you who would never burn valuable fossil fuel just to space heat.  Others feel that way about electricity, already pitched at 60 cycles and a specific voltage, what we have out here thanks to hydro-dams mostly.  What a waste to burn that for heat, right?

That'll be my segue to MarsTV, an idea of a franchise, one might call it, wherein the ET motif is somewhat celebrated and also used as a tool by means of which to impart what higher intelligence of the day we, the ordinary humans, might have on hand to pass on to a next generation.  

I'd be encapsulating (time capsuling) some of the synergetics stuff.  You've probably seen my other connections thereto.

My office, which used to be Tara's room, and Alexia's before that, is still multi-purpose.  It's a python's now too.  Which reminds me, I need to get off my duff and go get someone's breakfast.  

We're blessed to have a nearby pet supply store (walkable).  We used to have two, and got Barry from that other one.  The owner retired right when he reached the pinnacle of his career, with an article about him and his pet store in Willamette Week.  Which story I just failed to find, after searching concertedly.

We have candles going in Carol's old room, which Tara helped clean and order.  She's back in her office upstairs.  It's not really that cold here in the unheated living room, so with a jacket on, I'm fine in the big chair, another of Carol's haunts.  The dog is snoring serenely on the couch.

The storyboard I've envisioned focuses on teaching the principles of electricity starting at a macro level, with municipal level circuitry, tracing back to whatever power plants, possibly wind farms.  Substations with transformers and all that.  Many "for kids of all ages" books already start at this level.  SimCity had the same focus.  

Zooming further back gives the rounder sense of interconnecting grids.  The ETs are keen to join Earthlings in perfecting this technology.  I've tended towards a southwest style mesa, echoing an aesthetic in Half Life, a computer video game.  Let's just say Valve aesthetics were influential.

The basic plot line is not meant to be especially dark, more like Clock of the Long Now, i.e. there's a sense of geological time around it.  We're not at war with the ETs nor they with us.  We're a valuable resource for each other.  Intelligent life has found a friend.  Why should it have to get ugly?  

But on the other hand, once the door is open, to science fiction as a genre, we're open to the whole utopia versus dystopia spectrum, not implying that all scifi is even trying or aspiring to be on that spectrum.  When readers read, they relate.  I'd transport myself to Narnia, and to Middle Earth, when reading stories by those guys (C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien).

I'm especially a fan of using the career of Orson Welles as an access point into the history of movie-making, not forgetting the New Jersey chapter.  A lot of studios moved to California from New Jersey in case you didn't know.  

Orson Welles was being his bold genius of a self in Manhattan, racing between gigs in a rented ambulance was it?  Shakespeare from Harlem.  H.G. Wells (mnemonic) on the radio, in War of the Worlds, with Orson for CBS.  

I definitely want to talk about all that, but without the framing program itself spreading panic about an ET invasion, which is no diss implied regarding those quality (as in effective) theatrics.  

People should just blame themselves for being overly gullible, not the artists.  Some April 1 Fools Day stories have worked on me (i.e. I suckered for them).

Some big earthquakes have just happened in the Türkiye-Syria region.  I texted Leela about it in Kathmandu.  She lived through that recent earthquake in Nepal, back when I was still working for the O'Reilly School of Technology, and was at a distance education conference in St. Louis.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Live from New York

:: A Talk @ 52 Living Ideas ::

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Wandering Faculty

Cuppa Jo

I'm comparing notes with our friend Mazur, regarding Ms. Vam, an erstwhile house guest (over Christmas).  They've been here before, including during the Joker Riots (as I call them).

A couple of my Freddie-related friends, meaning I know them through Fred Meyer's, the local Kroger's, are heading for Japan and Taipei soon, which I think of as geographic areas, all parts of China.  Because all is China per the "virtual" lens of Chinese Earth.

Americans tend to have their lens too, seeing Earth is belonging entirely under their management, with insurgents everywhere, disobeying El Supremos.  I'm not saying all Americans are that messed up, just some meme viruses have taken their evident toll.

I'm saying it's psychologically healthy to take the planet, our Promised Land, under one's care.  The religions teach us we should have been doing that all along.  "Like Duh", saith the Lord.  But we're slow.  We're humans, whom the angels call "the retarded ones" (translating from Persian or one of those).

Year of the Rabbit [Hole].

I like that Joe Rogan is compassionate regarding Alex Jones.  These were among the Youtube personalities of my day, along the the Gregory Brothers (includes a sister).

Friday, January 20, 2023

The Dark Side of TV

Lots is already written on the "dark side" of TV, so your mind, dear reader, may already be racing ahead, showing me darkness.  We could start with all the overt drug pushing, shocking to British viewers that time they tuned in, to hear Oprah interview the royal couple or whatever it was.  The TV itself is just a device, but a lot of folks hope to turn it into a bully pulpit, including me from time to time.

On the topic of bully pulpits:  how different are these from soap boxes, and how do we train a machine learner to distinguish between the two?  When is so and so being tyrannical, and when is so and so exercising freedom of speech, and how do these overlap?  For analysis purposes, we need a spectrum.

Spectrum:  on the one hand, you have someone sounding bold and sincere about a topic, with no obvious leverage over the listeners i.e. the power of the rhetoric, lets say invective, is what the speaker is banking on, the powers of persuasion (hold that thought).  On the other hand, you have a commanding officer barking orders surrounded by people trained to obey.  The speaker has more than "just opinions" when able to use powers of coercion.  The spectrum runs from persuasion to coercion.

Powers of persuasion:  that gets us back to advertising and using what we know of human psychology to develop compulsions and motivations.  TV is for brainwashing (socializing) around lifestyle practices around associated brands. The term "lifestyle" is just a placeholder here, perhaps a euphemism.  Slavery is a lifestyle, as is soldiering.  The word itself connotes glossy magazine shots of well off civilians, with their cigarettes and alcohol and healthy bodies, around a swimming pool.  Wouldn't you want all that for yourself?  Come to our workshop, our church etc.

Change of subject (sort of).  My YouTube recommendation engine, giving me a "beaten track" through the jungle, is queuing up lots about "toxic fandom" (a bad thing) i.e. paying customers registering their disappointment with a given product.  A typical pattern is the remake.  Confronted with the design science revolution as the "next big thing" the cowardly capitalists shy away, preferring to re-fight World War 2 in some dimension, and in the meantime they remake past hits with live action and computerization, like in Mary Poppins.  The acting may not be getting better, but the computerization sure is.

Hollywood seems to be charging down a dead end tunnel associated with the wider California mindset, which is tainted by gold rush "get rich quick" fantasies.  With enough action and special effects, and demographically focused pandering, to some semi-fictional Gen Z or whatever (sounds Russian), we should be able to recoup the investment and then some, winning a money game that top guns respect.  Some of us respect Scientology because of how much money it made for itself, and for no other reason.  I'm not saying that's me, and I've never been a Scientologist (Quakers have "clearness committees" or "committees for clearness" -- I've blogged about that observation).

I respect California for broader reasons, including for its trippiness e.g. Esalen and like that.  We're talking epigenetics here.  I have no interest in discussing "racial stock" or "preferred genes".  The sense in which Social Darwinists were right is the sense in which Social Darwinism failed to compete effectively.  We're beyond Marx versus Darwin or whatever it was.

Likewise I respect the IC (intelligence community) for what I anticipated it might become, and it became, i.e. an outgrowth of networks and networking beyond the masterminds inside any government.  We still have the high seas and its own laws, beyond the supervision of landlubbers.  That sounds like the premise for many a TV show, ala Joss Whedon or someone else with a Matrix mentality.  I'm coming from Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth obviously (obviously if you've been doing your homework).

I always thought we were cowardly to make Amsterdam bear the brunt of drug tourism, not that we have to call it that.  All the downsides of an experiment, concentrated in one place, means only a few types of solution get tried.  I was glad when Portland stepped up to the plate, and other cities willing to work within an alternative legal matrix (a different namespace).  We want to keep moving in the direction of medicalization versus letting the punitive morality police be in charge.  Back to bully pulpit.

How much are nurses bullies, when upholding an oath to fight for life?  They do things patients find uncomfortable, to try to keep them alive.  What if the patient would prefer to die?  That's a perennial question for the medical sciences.  We prefer investigations in psychology over how much time in prison our predecessor gave out as prescriptions.  The entire culture is obsessed with putting so and so in jail, even where the diagnosis is some kind of crazy.  The same issue comes up around guns.  How does one keep the crazies from enacting their fantasies?

Speaking of crazies and their fantasies, who would have thought:  a tank war in the 21st century.  That something so dark ages could break out was presaged however.  The degeneration of international law as a namespace ended up putting nation-states through the blender in some ways.  The crazies saw no reason to obey.  They saw a direct path from A to B.  How does a mental hospital self heal, when the doctors themselves are obsessed with nutty theories?  That's not just an academic question.

I'm skeptical that the medical profession has its act together insofar as the war on drugs does not get more intelligent attention.  Tucker Carlson says all the bad stuff is coming across borders, but what about by small airplane, and what about cocaine?  Follow the cocaine to Wall Street and major money laundering by the deep state, or pick on the poor and homeless, the pedestrians, the street people.  When you think "drug dealer" think "private plane".  That being said, I'm for medicalization as I've said.  Be frank about a president's drug habits.  I enjoy cannabis here in Oregon, perfectly legally.  I don't use cocaine.

Why do I keep bringing up drugs in connection with TV (the dark side)?  Because lifestyles are about anthropology and psychology and because TV is about programming the people, on a spectrum from persuasion to tyranny.