Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wanderers 2007.9.18

Tonight Allen Taylor is leading an informed discussion of Oregon State ballot measures 49 and 50. The former has to do with land use, the latter with health care for children.

I'm sitting at Terry's desk, filing about One Laptop per Child (OLPC) and Programming for Everybody (P4E), two of my pet topics. I also posted to the Math Forum regarding Michael's questions about how to teach Algebra (not past the censor yet [but here's a related one]).

However, I did wade into the discussion long enough to register my amazement at the whiteman's stupidly oxymoronic contriving to piggy back health care atop a lethal nicotine delivery mechanism (i.e. a cigarette tax). Ceremonial / ritual use of tobacco ain't the same thing as getting rich off the commercial sale of "death tubes."

I also glowingly praised the NavAm casinos for their willingness to fund community and ecosystemic improvements with their profits. Invite the public into an entertaining environment, and let them learn from the many math-based language games available.

Yes the odds are against you, but there's always a cost for having a good time. And who knows, maybe you'll get lucky. Besides, was paying your taxes for maybe less in the way of communal benefits any more fun? Whiteman spends a lot of taxes on other kinds of death tube too (cruise missiles and so on). Which is good for whom again?

I brought in the Tux Droid to show Allen, given his wife's longstanding interest in anything penguin. The droid is controlled by Python programs, authored on my laptop and sent to it via the fish-shaped USB wifi device.

Allen is campaigning for elective office as House Representative for "area 51" (a pun).

David Feinstein let me pet and sweet talk Shomar, a 180 pound English Mastiff, through the window of his customized dog-friendly Miata, always a thrill.