Monday, February 10, 2020

Exploring Our American Heritage

I keep expecting the Jesuits at Central Catholic or one of those, to invite me to one of their seminars, in walking distance, or maybe a series on curriculum concepts. I wouldn't be the only presenter of course. I have no monopoly on American Heritage.

I understand where the "public schools", made to toe the line in Math (Common Core etc.) and unlikely to innovate in Literature, might not touch this stuff.  I've worked on the math textbook publishing side, and know there's little room for making waves.  We were attempting to sneak in some coding (Logo and BASIC back in those days), and already that was too much.

However the private schools have more leeway and I'd think the Vatican would be grooving on Beatnik Bucky's Greenwich Village not-so-square style mytho-poetry.

Just kidding, I'm not surprised by the silence.  Quakers are good at silence too, judging by their (our) own PR.

I'm better positioned to affiliate my content, a brand of Transcendentalism, with Quakerism, even though I have plenty on my resume thanks to Catholicism.  I'm referring to my years working for the Dominicans (Jersey City), and later for the Sisters of Providence here in Oregon.

I've also worked in a number of local Catholic schools in Greater Portland, sharing a STEM curriculum that's pretty much devoid of "eutrigon" type thinking but not entirely, given Turtle Graphics live on (thank you Seymour Papert et al).

Sometimes I work it in around the edges (the geometry memes) such as by making C6XTY assembly and disassembly (fun) a point of the class.

That approach especially worked with Saturday Academy, which come to think of it is connected to Portland University (Catholic).  I was able to field test Martian Math during two separate summer schools, in the luxury computer science lab at Reed College.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Curated Chess Channel

After our family pulled up stakes in Rome, mom & dad served as camp directors at this AFSC summer camp for people in the Middle East interested in ending conflict. We built a swimming pool together, or started off in that direction. The terrain was solid rock and we only got a pool in outline. It might have made a nice basement for some future building or condo. I haven't been back to Ramallah to see if I could find any trace of it.

Anyway, that was the year Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer faced off for the world championship.  I came to this channel in the midst or revisiting those games, which I was also tracking at the time.  We would work until it got hot (early to mid morning) and then knock off for ice cream at Rukab's.

I was going from middle to high school that year, and once we got back to North America, for job hunting purposes, I started life as a freshman at Southeast High, Bradenton, not far from the Tropicana place.  Dad found work in the Philippines and I finished my freshman year in Manila.

I was used to being uprooted by that point and so was the school (ISM, formerly ASM).  Families were always coming and going in that capital.  My friend Glenn Baker would show up in our senior year, fresh from Islamabad and before that Turkey (with an interlude in Virginia or one of those).

Monday, February 03, 2020

Let Them Eat Soylent

Star Trekker

Kirby Urner
In a late bid to run as president, I'm handing out free bags of Soylent at the Krobar today, then dropping out of the race, with 0% of the vote. You know where to find me.

Kirby Urner My own approach is to cast Persia as the leading anti-nuke weapon power center, leaving the imams and ayatollahs to feel shame for disgracing Islam if they're hypocritical about their fatwah against weaponized atomics, a tool of satan. Suits my purposes to have a non-aligned network (pro UN Nuke Ban Treaty) on my side. California / Oregon (Cascadia) has already passed legislation in favor of the Persian stand.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Geek Lore

When it comes to CrowdStrike, the conspiracy theory is not that they have some server in Ukraine, but that the Mueller report dead ends in a cold case with no public evidence. The conspiracy theory is what's in the Mueller report itself, in the form of an as yet unsubstantiated indictment.

Dr. Hill says whatever evidence there is may just have to stay classified, and it's the unanimous conclusion of the intelligence community that we don't have to do any messy trials or present evidence to establish guilt. Just trust us.

That an indictment is an allegation, still unproved, has been lost in the fray. Spin doctors knew it would be. They count on journalists repeating allegations as fact, that's how Russiagate built so much momentum in the first place.

We know the GRU hacked into the DNC because CrowdStrike said it did, and provided an elaborate story that proved CrowdStrike has even more prowess than the GRU when it comes to hacking the hackers. 

The indictment reads like a commercial (oh, and the Russians had to stop and research Powershell commands while hacking the DNC Exchange Server, nod to Microsoft).

Problem: the whole story is opaque and unsubstantiated. Is Guccifer 2.0 really the GRU in disguise? Of course! Why? Because CrowdStrike says so, and says it has the evidence to back it up.

The FBI rubber stamped their report (redacted) and thereby signed over the investigation to a private company, much as the wars in Mesopotamia were turned over to Blackwater and Halliburton/KBR.

Now that the justice system has been privatized, along with the military, the question remains: how do you use the Constitution to restore the Constitution? I'm not sure it has such self-rebooting powers.

Click here for Part 2.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Friday, January 03, 2020

Occupy History

Dec 29, 2019, 1:46 PM 

Occupy History Project: write your own recent history up to where Tulsi becomes president. Here's mine:

Smedley "War Hero" Butler, champion of the unpaid WW1 vets (their delayed pay called a "bonus"), exposed the Business Plot under FDR, delaying the coup until 1963 when the mob installed IMPOTUS #1: Emperor Johnson.

By Reagan (IMPOTUS #5), the oligarchs were firmly in control, Uncle Sam RIP * now needed to fool people into fervently believing in this new Imposter Government (IG), with bogus elections (deliberately broken) and lots of taxation without representation (we're all Puerto Rico now). Ollie North types were in control of foreign policy (shades of Nixon).

By 9.11.01, with no credible defenses, no real leadership, the sham had worn dangerously thin, and wars of conquest and distraction, in the New Rome tradition, led to bombing the Middle East on vague pretenses, and amazingly, Yugoslavia (Clinton's gang bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade you might remember, typical coke head behavior).

We're now under Naked Emperor #10. The joker-heads like Bolton think war against Iran will keep us all looking the other way. Whipping the public into a mad cow frenzy over Iran's supposed "nukes" is priority number one.

Then Tulsi came along, representing the abused misused military, and suggested we restore the Constitution and not seek war against Persia.

The fading Clintonistas tried some of their old tricks, but were out of effective magic. Tulsi beat Trump in a landslide becoming the first female president, 2nd president from Hawaii, and America started getting back to taking care of its own people. We all lived happily ever after and yadda yadda, Amen.

* a Medal of Freedom winner even said so ("the U.S.A. we have known is bankrupt and extinct") out loud, in print, at the time -- not in the news, smear tactics had been perfected.

OK your turn.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

From the Far West

Would you like a blog with embedded videos? Many ways to go.

Here's a link to a skills-building video where I take you through the steps that I use.

Saturday, December 21, 2019


Sounding like a Bucky apologist again.


Bucky Fuller 2020 Revival Project

Public group

Kirby Urner Per Critical Path he said "realist not optimist" meaning from his point of view, from 1970s onward, humans had the wherewithal, technologically, to succeed as a species, but there wasn't a "given" we'd work out, ergo "touch and go", "final exam" with expressions of hope. If humans continue squandering their opportunity, it won't be because Bucky was wrong. He wanted to accentuate the positive and show we had the capability, so from 1970s onward he was like "any day now". That's how he needed to be. Seems that way today i.e. nothing is keeping high schools from dropping his "concentric hierarchy" into the middle of an American literature class (the schools wouldn't have to be American, just Bucky's lineage is New England Transcendentalism), mathematical in nature though it is (talking tetravolumes, A,B,T,E,S modules). But they don't, so yeah, the future remains iffy. A prominent futurist with a strong track record left us a conceptual toolbox we don't use for the most part. Not his fault in any way. Bucky is blameless.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Dark Waters (movie review)

My technique on this one was to spontaneously accept an invitation from an old friend, as it's a holiday season and family is around. So I hadn't done a lot of homework beforehand.  That's not unusual for me.  Sometimes doing homework afterward is the better idea, and that's the case here as well.  Around movies, we have a lot of agreement that too much "knowing ahead of time" is a way of "spoiling" it.  That's a lesson we might apply outside "the movies".

The movie I'm talking about was Dark Waters, showing in the historic Hollywood along Sandy Boulevard. Those enrolled in my School of Tomorrow may have already encountered my place-based approach, which translates anywhere, as we're all in a place or base.  Dark Waters is about a place we've all lived in, if driving around, going to movies, enjoying city life with paved roads, suburbs, high rises.  We experience birth, death, stress, and other stuff, in between.

Into this karmic world (aberrational matrix) comes this priestly dressed-up group of older men and sharp clerks, other data scientists, that listen to company stories while drinking wine (or sake if we translate to Tokyo).  Swap casual for suits and maybe beer for wine, give them laptop computers at the speeches, and you have geeks at an OSCON almost (other behaviors might change -- we could express an accumulation of deltas, preferably with calculus).

Once you've poisoned the world with your chemistry (a few lights go on in the basement lab, as one or two technicians get it at first, that a meltdown is underway) you need to cover your tracks, postponing heat death, outliving the enemy (whatever wants to take you down a notch).

Admitting to any kind of crime or wrongdoing could be deadly and would go against the interests of investors, making such admissions seem like fireable offenses.  CEOs have to answer to a board, and are paid to stay answerable.

The story captures that side of things:  people thrive off of jobs with DuPont, including around the poisoned wells, the oasis, and having those ways of life disrupted by "change artists" (maybe "hacktivists" of some kind) is unwelcome, even if they see the writing on the wall.

The science will tell us our lifestyle is unsustainable, like that's news.  Tell that to people in a lifeboat.  You want us to do what again?  Advertise the alternatives.  Engineer our path away.

The deeper question is how do we let medical science help us keep healing from these self inflicted wounds?  We need to confess, as a science-minded culture, that we have indeed poisoned ourselves and our planet and all of us are dying a slow death (and not just from C8).  Since Eden.

We also have the capacity to treat ourselves (in the sense of "by means of medicines and therapies") and use our reason, other capacities (these are occidental terminologies), to improve our lot.  Work towards liberating ourselves from enslaving conditions is the vector of civilization according to Alfred North Whitehead.

Settling on some simple technologies that work and that we completely understand, is a goal of some sciences, having cultivated a feng shui.

The responsible engineers want to alleviate drudgery in the workplace, and the idea of a nonstick pan is not in itself anything evil.  Miracle chemicals come with a downside, is the lesson we keep learning.  If we find an ensemble of technologies that work well, including through recycling phases, we might want to stick with it and experiment more gingerly.

The Dymaxion House, on display in Dearborn, Michigan, where an auto industry had its own side effects, was meant to make housewives happier and better company for their children.  That sounds ridiculously stereotyping on purpose, a 1950s Norman Rockwell, but with that retro futurism vibe introduced by a metallic yurt on a pole, equipped with all the appliance amenities, these days HDTV and lots of bandwidth (not necessarily 5G).

The mass market mentality treats the end users as "receptors" as the bureaucrats had come up with. Those were us.  Engineering has this way of objectifying that's really offensive unless we're doing it ourselves to sustain our families.  The protagonist family in Dark Waters is not ostentatious and blends in with the rest of America, as wanting to have a life beyond slime.  A life other than some nightmare is what we all want.  How might we raise living standards on Ghetto Planet?  Even if you own a fancy yacht, if it's just more trash in the dumpster...

My homework so far has suggested what I think a lot of us already new:  the whole corporate personhood thing and surrounding game of incentives isn't working that well.  New engineering is needed, new circuit designs for motherboard earth.  The permutations for "social organization" are endless and we already have the priestly suits doing "social engineering" in the guise of law.  Add code.  That's us in the 21st Century going forward.

Speaking of "social engineering" etc., the movie is especially good at reviewing the decades and rolling us through time, vis-a-vis office technology.  We see a first search, on something other than Google, and a first boot up of Windows 2000.  The cars change.  The characters age and get sick.

The legal process drags on, and on. That's not fair though, as it's really science, and a huge epidemiological study, that's showing us once again: we have poisoned ourselves.  We need help.  But government belongs to "them" (the fictional zombies, the corporate persons, the gods the suits serve).

Today's Teflon, a brand, belongs to some corporate cutout, which assures us the C8 pans have all been replaced, though not at garage sales or in your old waffle iron.  You're going to continue to poison yourself, throughout the day, in a variety of ways.

I'm not saying you'll need reconstructive surgery.  The monster parts that develop might be psychological, and treatable in an asylum-sanctuary sense.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Wanderers on the Move

Given changes around Yahoo!, our little coffee clutch, which frequents the Linus Pauling House, has revectored a lot of its conversations to other social media.  As a listowner, I've busied myself with downloading the archives, pre shut down.  I've been going back over some of the communications, just to assure myself we still have a record.

I randomly opened a deeply buried example, zipped within zips (the downloaded structure is elaborate), and came across a posting by Brian Sharp.  He was questioning the ISEPP president's controversial stance, which was par for the course in our subculture (cult).  You might think the president of a science organization would hold to mainstream views in academia.  On the contrary, his style has been to take a radically unpopular stance and stir up debate.  That's kept our discussions peppy.

Fast forward to 2019:  here's a link to a similar conversation happening today, but on Facebook instead, and hence with a different audience.  Instead of a smattering of other Wanderers, we reach a random audience determined by Facebook's algorithms.