Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wanderers 2008.12.3

I made a special trip home to get my XO, as Buzz hadn't seen it. I gave a short lecture about G1G1, how these goofy Shrek-colored gizmos weren't for sale at Circuit City or like that, because MIT's goal was to come in from overseas, make this program of benefit to OLPC. Internally (domestic program), NCLB is more what we talk about. Bill and I went over the NCLB Polynomial in some detail on the whiteboard (battery dead, so no picture, anyway I've shared it before).

The discussion moved to GM, which does have some profit centers. We asked if those could be spun off to competent managements while letting the name GM itself enter the history books, as too retro and retarded to be worth trading under that particular brand name (would be my attitude, but that's just me, not a stockholder).

Patrick is talking about his psychometric research projects, in which I'm tangentially involved (one invoice so far). I'm rushing to learn JQuery, FLOT, Pyro, Django (already know SQL pretty well, though could use a refresher on the granting permissions piece, not used much in FoxPro), in an effort to break some old habits (like thinking this is the 1990s, scoff).

Some of this work might have spillover benefits for DemocracyLab, although at this point I think Scott Lewis is still well head of me, technically (my Google App Engine skills still suck at this point). In a friendly sandbox, people might score their own political writings with drag and drop icons, driving underyling changes in the DOM (browser front end). How OWL and DAML fit in I'm not sure, but the idea is to start graphing ontologies with more willing writers in a civilian setting.

We also talked about Quakers quite a bit, their ethics around treating people as peers, but without ignoring titles and roles (i.e. we're not blind to management's internal heuristics). I told my Dalai Lama story again (set in Cape Town).