Sunday, October 18, 2020

Philosophy Group Meetup

I know about this channel thanks to CJ, who anchors my network (from my angle) in Philly, with a connection through Quakers in that I'd visit when going to AFSC corporation meetings.  

I was also at the founding of SNEC (Synergeticists of the Northeast Corridor), a Russell Chu production (the founding itself, a big gathering including Yasushi Kajikawa), after he and Deb had moved to DC.

The focus here is the opening two chapters of Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, by R. Buckminster Fuller, and listed in Nature as one of the more influential "big picture" books of its day -- or any day by implication.

The moderator, Shrikant, does a good job integrating Fuller's specific (specialized) terminology with his own, and with that of "System 1 versus System 2" by yet another thinker. Lots of synergy happening. Then he brings in volunteers from the group, scheduled beforehand, who get "lightning talk" opportunities, with feedback from the moderator as to whether they're on topic.

I'd been pestering CJ about his leaving out the "Great Pirates" in his website overview, as to me that's the signature concept on many levels. 

He didn't want to dismay those doing truth mining i.e. what if "Great Pirates" are more mythic meme than hard core fact?  Anyway, this group had no trouble grokking the poetic angle, so I needn't have worried.  

The term "comprehensivist" is getting bandied about a lot, in addition to "polymath" -- not in this meetup especially but in the channel more generally.  

I was glad to hear Ken Wilbur mentioned, against the backdrop of such "est people" -- like the moderator, a lover and maker of useful diagrams of metaphysical matters.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Reposting from DOME

The Youtube embedded in the above blog post hearkens back many years, and shows me addressing an unseen audience at the Linus Pauling House. That same boyhood home of Linus Pauling may be seen in the slides that go by in Hanging By a Thread (the video below).

Bucky's vision was the aerospace sector could take on the problem of providing shelter in a big way. His vision inspired many DIYers (do it yourselfers) and indeed many small businesses, such as Oregon Dome in Eugene. Maybe the closest we got in practice to aerospace sector participation was Airstream.

Lets not forget the original Dymaxion House concept was not a dome, but a yurt.

My Youtube channel takes up some of the divergent views of the future we might invent. That's where I emphasize the importance of science fiction to Martian Math.

Reviving popular interest in "the industry industry missed" (new kinds of housing) doesn't have to be in lieu of driverless cars, or transportation in general. We need to think of seamless ways to weave our shelter and transportation needs together. Batteries will be playing a bigger role.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 Compromised

Yummy Scum

A sincere Bucky and dome fan, whose site I just joined, sent me a heads up today that heading into my Alexander Bell page from a search engine, would likely redirect to an erectile dysfunction countermeasures site.  

I got on the horn with GoDaddy, to whom I pay extra to keep a junky WordPress site from being compromised.  It's not that I don't value the content.  On the contrary, I've done well on a low budget in my estimation but... there's always pushing WordPress to far.  To upgrade this time, it wants a higher version of PHP and apparently that's an operation attended to in the GoDaddy back office.

In the meantime, short of upgrading (I consider that in process) the security agreement entitled me to a cleaning, and, sure enough, all kinds of grotty yuck came out in the wash. I got several emails listing the many nasties found floating in my WordPress glass.  Hosting websites can be so unsanitary. warehouses backed up hand coded, static HTML for the most part, my Synergetics on the Web.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Sam Hill: Citizen Diplomat

Students following my place based curriculum may have followed me up the Columbia Gorge, where landscape photography was pioneered, before the data centers, to Maryhill Museum aka "Castle Nowhere".  Sam Hill conspired with Loie Fuller and Queen Marie of Romania, to make Maryhill a museum long before he died.  He thought ahead, in terms of after death, building monuments, and most of all, public roads along the Columbia.

Situate Sam Hill against the backdrop of Theodore Roosevelt, whom Sam had a low opinion of based on the latter's racism towards his touring Japanese troupe of jujitsu artists. Sam had been to Japan, to Russia, to points all over, having married, had kids, and "retired" to the hard work of private enterprise and travel. He'd made his fortune in Seattle practicing law and investing in the emerging phone business.

Now separated from his Catholic wife (with no talk of divorce of course) his main mistress, Mona Bell, was one of those out there amazing new kind of women, who rode bareback for the wild west show, and swam across an icy cold channel, as was the fad in those days.  From humble beginnings, this Minnesota girl had leveraged her vivacious beauty towards becoming a socialite and minor celeb, although she could pass for a cowboy too (she'd disguised herself for the rodeo in an early chapter).  She and Sam met in San Francisco.  

Situate Sam as a contemporary of Homer Davenport of Silverton, Oregon and oft time political cartoonist for the Hearst Empire and its Spanish-American war.  

Picture Mark Twain and the anti-imperialist league.

The idea of a "public road" goes to the heart of democracy. Some would "own" it and put toll booths. Others would close it temporarily so the royal entourage could enjoy exclusive use thereof.  That's anything but public.  

Queen Marie of Romania had been impressed by the Emersonian dream of co-equality and self reliance.  She toured the new nation (the United States) by train, in an entourage of cars (donated by the railroads, in exchange for publicity), determined to rub shoulders with "everyman" i.e. her technical co-equals in this brave new land.  Sam Hill's place was to be her destination. The train was crammed with paintings, furniture, all things Romanian. 

She was married, the King sick with cancer. Sam would have loved if she could have stayed I bet. He had a serious crush on her. The dedication of Maryhill Museum was lovely, although Loie Fuller (Marie's best friend) stayed in the train, thinking herself too low class and a possible source of embarrassment.  Old reflexes die hard.

The public roads, like the museum, came to be, as did the easing of royals into the life of celebs.  Queen Marie had been hoping to go to Hollywood, but those railroads weren't into taking her around for free.  

She might have been a movie star herself, as she already was on the world stage, in the newsreels.

Quakers haven't done a lot on their side to bring Sam Hill into the fold. That Quakers didn't move to desolate, windswept, rather dry farmland, was testament to their good sense as farmers, but ideologically Sam was anti-slavery, pro equality and I'd say a pacifist. His Quaker family had escaped persecution back east, as had many Friends, due to their abolitionist mentality, moving to the midwest, part of a larger refugee migration pattern.

True, later in life he obsessed about the Soviet menace, and earlier shared in the demonization of Germans when it mattered. He was not such a contrarian as to not fit in.  

But his Peace Arch on the border with Canada, along with Stonehenge, were meant to keep us looking back on war, grateful for the more peaceful road ahead. That the world would stay so uncivilized was not his doing.  On the contrary, he was a positive futurist, and his own projects were prescient.

I, for one, will be welcoming citizen diplomat Sam Hill into the fold of great Quakers, weighty Friends.  I have no trouble thinking of him as a friend of Jesus, whether or not he found the time to sit in Meetings for Worship.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Parking Space

Parking Space
Fig 1: exaggerated view

David Koski and I have long wondered how best to model an intermediate stage in an "S-Factor Transformation" which relates to the Jitterbug.

The Jitterbug starts off with a 20 --> 18.51... reduction in volume, as the cuboctahedron contracts to become an icosahedron.  One application of the S-Factor reciprocal i.e. 18.51/20 ~ 1/1.08 takes us from 20 to the target shape.

A next application of the same constant takes us where?  Two applications take us to another cuboctahedron, with faces flush to the same reference octahedron as the target icosahedron's.

Fig 2.: Icosahedron and Cuboctahedron,
flush to the reference Octahedron

Our current thinking is to park the shape resulting from one application of the S Factor, in between (Fig 1.), yet flush to the same reference octahedron.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Building Ubuntu (School of Tomorrow)

I've been carving a path, route, throughway, for tourists one could say, through some of the more challenging terrain in our syllabus.  What to make of "non-literal science" and isn't that an oxymoron? Was alchemy ever at all a science?  How about psychology?  The psychologists seem the most like stage magic illusionists, in that they misdirect you in the lab setting.

My focus on irrigation, the management of channels, of water flow from top to bottom, took me along the fly-through in Critical Path, from Polynesia up through Southeast Asia and into the Himalayas, a flight with mnemonic value in that now you have seen some great river systems and thought about how humans feed themselves, not forgetting the fish in those rivers.  They also power themselves, harnessing the river's momentum to force light to move, through circuits.

My narrative patter focused on "what was scary" in Critical Path without being scary. 

There's the fact it's about money, but minus the crypto-currencies as it was published in the 1980s (St. Martin's Press). Yet much about money is cryptic in that its symbolic manifestations trace to the bull trading cultures of Phoenicia, a sea-based empire we don't learn that much about in school, which is taught mainly by landlubbers.

Then it's about "cold war stuff" as I put it, in the context of continuing to introduce JFK in several permutations.  By this time we've identified Man X and played a game with Joe Rogan videos, regarding the Donald Sutherland character in Oliver Stone's movie JFK.  I then point to a PBS documentary and mention the Cuban missile crisis.  Mostly I talk about the inward and outward facing observer satellites and the data they've been giving us.

Finally, the irrigation discussion becomes more focused on electricity, but as we've seen, the two were unified from the beginning as water wheels became hydropower. 

I'm leaving it to my more serious students to actually read Critical Path, now that I've warned them of its mythopoetic backdrop, an opera we could "make work" I suggest, but without taking it on.

Throughout, I'm remaining friendly to Oregonians who may have sampled the kool-aid and decided not to go with my "culty stuff" meaning the Concentric Hierarchy of Polyhedrons (Kepler-like) in Synergetics.

That's spreading in alien terrain perhaps, but I need to walk my talk when I invite teachers to customize. Maybe it's just the workflow, of web hosted videos, embedded in notebooks, on version control systems, on school servers, that they wish to copy.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Friday, August 07, 2020

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Ecology of Systems

Sometimes it's fun to re-compartmentalize i.e. keep thinking in terms of "subjects" (as in "academic subjects" aka "disciplines") just different ones. Be inventive.

For example the way psychology managed to squeeze into the liberal arts and overlap religion; that sure changed how people compartmentalized. 

You didn't have a large medical establishment working alongside the church to address "mental illness" (Foucault talks about all this of course). 

When I studied Wittgenstein's stuff at Princeton under Rorty et al, I kept bopping back and forth between Philosophy and Religion departments for classes, yet I think his investigations also fall between Anthropology and Psychology (both still young disciplines in his day -- he wrote about both).