Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pycon / Tehran?

:: trucking route ::

I'm monitoring Diversity for more feedback on this idea. Some of the language specialists (unicode geeks) I'm tracking watch that water cooler for signs of the times.

Vilnius was one I got to (a EuroPython), and really enjoyed. Aieste is a Facebook friend but I don't understand most of what she writes, given she speaks at least four more languages than I do. I've been to Pycons in Washington, DC and Chicago.

Pycons may happen in parallel, although in terms of PSF people getting together, that's not always in the cards. Pycon / Singapore (Asia-Pacific) happened over the summer. I helped mind the (curriculum writing) store at OST while Holden Web took a tour, including Nippon.

People wanting a Pycon in Baghdad or Tel Aviv don't have to worry too much about sequence ("simultaneously" is OK). Even when the distances are not so great (quite drivable by North American standards) it's enough work to get visas to have to pick and choose.

In the meantime, short of full-fledged Pycons, we have local user groups. Some of these are informal, on-campus or off, and may not yet be listed on the community Wiki, unlike Portland, Oregon's or Chicago's, both of which have been going a long while.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sharing Light

I walked to Quaker meeting on Sunday with the express purpose of attending early morning adult discussion, which exceeded my expectations. The theme was "pride" and was clerked by this new guy.

Like any congregation (we usually don't use that word), there's welcome turnover, a small trickle of newcomers checking us out. This brand of Quaker stays esoteric in that it doesn't proselytize or otherwise try to make itself especially understandable. There's a library, lots of lore on the Web.

My 81 year old mother also walked the 2/3 mile each way.

Then I met up with clerk of Property Management (a committee) to discuss a pilot test we'd like to run. No amplified music this time, nor much use of the piano. This was a proposal I originally dispatched through Oversight, then subsequently sought to involve Peace and Social Concerns.

We're gearing up for Djangocon in Portland, which is close to sold out. Django is one of the flagship web application frameworks, written in Python. Its design encourages best practices and is consistent with many emerging industry standards, in how it dispatches HttpRequests to view managers, which in turn consult any databases in the picture (model-view-controller). That's all kind of technical, but then lots of my readers are software engineers, other brands of geek.

Another example of a web application framework is the popular Ruby on Rails, which was used for this Urban Edibles web site. A proposal to migrate this site to Django resulted in Rick, Laura, Lindsey and I attending some sprints. Although the spirit of socially responsible coding was present, we were not the right permutation of cards to form a winning hand (luck of the draw) and so we made not much headway as unpaid volunteers. At least Backspace appreciated our business.

Rick has recently been by the Blue House on a work project with Lindsey. Wanderer Consoletti has been a campus guest, also of Portland Energy Strategies (I dispute many of Nick's views, have not used him as my emissary or anything, he does his own thinking).

I've been reading Saying No To Power by William Mandel, which is making the rounds through Friends. I'll have more to say about this illuminating autobiography in future blog posts. He says some entertaining things about Quakers.

The recent back yard party with school teachers was just in time, as the weather turned cold and rainy almost immediately thereafter. I had some Martian Math toyz in tow. Our company included a Fulbright scholar, plus a full time teacher from Beaverton getting ready for a stint in Finland, as a student of that country's education system.

Greater Portland benefits from having such a cosmopolitan teacher cast, is partly what attracts families to work in this area.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sharing Darkness

Fictional works may engage our empathy or libido, may present us with villains, characters we love to hate. I am not anti-fiction, and yet I do often worry about its abuse, as a way to channel caring away from the real world into various imaginary ones controlled by soap companies (the root meaning of "soap opera").

In contrast, I have been advocating entwining technical skills trainings with historical content, adding back time-lines where they may have gone missing. Consider the WW2 era Holocaust in Europe for example, and its ties to ideologies and literature emerging as a consequence of Darwin's theories.

The story has been told many times, but not usually in the context of studying the mathematics of record-keeping, or the language of SQL (structured query language). Edwin Black helped move us in that direction. Other scholars have followed his lead.

It's precisely when one is learning about "keeping tabs", collecting information about people in data warehouses, that it makes the most sense to investigate abuses, failed civilizations, inhumane applications of these kinds of technologies.

Schools with a reputation for "denying the Holocaust" or simply refusing to give it any focus, might want to try a different tack and actually pioneer a more direct approach. Study the Eugenics movement intently and relate it to the science of record-keeping. Use the topic of SQL as a bridge to these dark chapters, even as we investigate its power to do good.

One cannot change the past, but one might improve one's prospects for a better future by studying it, not forgetting it.

Am I saying a mathematics class should be an unrelenting tour of the worst parts of human history? No, but only because we should also tour the best parts.

History needs to be there though, smack in the middle of all that technical content.

Think of catalogs of pharmaceuticals, which talk about what they're good for, but also discuss side-effects, contra-indications. When we talk about record-keeping, we need to also talk about privacy issues, abuses of power.

The voting process involves record-keeping, databases.

The right to vote is hard won, for men, women, members of oppressed groups. Going over these travails, even while discussing the anatomy of a voting system, would be a more responsible kind of mathematics education than always focusing on fictional and/or imaginary realms.

Always bleeping over the dark side just feeds it more power, by keeping student awareness low and adding to the sense of a conspiracy of silence and/or apathy where nightmare circumstances have taken hold.

Advocating for serious-minded history in the mix is an extension of my "how things work" approach. A mathematics education should aim to explain how things work behind the scenes, often invisibly in ways undetected directly by the senses.

"How things break" is a subcategory of "how things work" and should focus on healing and repair, restoring quality, preventing future breakdowns. If mathematicians want a reputation for being more logical and cool headed, this should be evident in their manner of engaging with real world problems, not in their ability to exempt themselves from even considering our existential predicament as "humans in Universe".

As a radical math teacher, you could say it's part of my job description to make activists feel less lonely, less like the only kid on the block who remembers and feels moved to do something before it's too late.

One might deride such curricula as being "for bleeding hearts" but I prefer to think of them as suitable for present and future diplomats, and in this day and age, that's a highly distributed function, not confined to embassies.

Increasing the student exchange volume within the Global U somewhat depends on heightening awareness of time-lines, meaning one develops the skills to investigate new chronologies and connect them to what's already known.

One also needs to develop the skills to present what one has learned, effectively and economically. Technical skills enter in here, such as how to coherently summarize data, how to blog, how to use social networking media etc.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Source to Sea: The Columbia River Swim (movie review)

Christopher Swain made it his life's goal to bring attention to the state of the Columbia River, which is somewhat horrific, though like a film in slow motion. The radioisotopes and other toxins that leach into this once great wildlife refuge, along with the dams, have brought it to the brink.

This is one of the world's most contaminated bodies of water. A great heritage has been lost. The once vast salmon runs are now memorialized in museums, replaced by cultivated hatchery fish.

It's a story repeated around the world, where humans lack the capacity to self-organize and manage their civilizations effectively. Their engineering is of poor quality, their technology nowhere near as finely tuned as Mother Nature's.

The film includes footage from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, a movie Ken Kesey somewhat despised. In the film, Chief Bromden is put in there for alcoholism, whereas in Kesey's novel his distress is specifically owing to the flooding of Celilo Falls, which took place in 1957 (one year before I was born, so I've never seen them except in archival records).

Suicide rates and alcoholism soared when Celilo and Kettle Falls were destroyed in the name of "progress" (a tricky word), by The Dalles Dam and Grand Coulee Dam respectively.

The prospect of removing some of these dams, or allowing them to simply decay, is broached. Given the current level of greed for power, that may not happen for awhile, but these people are patient.

Barge traffic depends on keeping the river navigable (trains don't care so much). However, if the uber-toxins under Hanford further contaminate the river, those dams may be the least of our problems.

There's a thank you in the credits to Lloyd Marbet, for helping to close Trojan.

Christopher set some records with his 13 month swim in icy cold currents, with interruptions to raise some money. He has since tackled other bodies of water. He reminds me of Roz Savage, whom I've been writing about recently (again), who also ministers about the ecosystem, the interconnectedness of all things.

I include the Celilo Falls episode in my Martian Math curriculum, as an example of terraforming. However I don't imply that terraforming, while transforming, is always for the better or towards making a planet more habitable for human beings. We might like it to be, but humans make mistakes. A few mushroom clouds make that point in this film.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Open Source & Health Care

I read the Willamette Week cover story again, then posted some analysis to the Linus Pauling House list, asking for feedback.

My primary questions revolved around walking one's talk and/or eating one's own dog food. If open source is ingrained within Portland, Oregon's culture, as the article avers, then where is the evidence of that in the public sector?

The article focuses on the private sector and some non-profits, but pointedly points out that the gubernatorial campaigns have not seized on this issue. From a GOSCON point of view (as distinct from OSCON), the thesis for debate might be: if it's government funded, then it needs to belong to the public, meaning open source software should be the result (if software is a result).

Why wouldn't that be a criterion? We're talking civilian applications, like medical records, so if Mercy Corps gets it for free... well, that's what keeps Uncle Sam being a hero, not just some war junkie or spoiled addict who squanders his inheritance -- and the good will of his public.

Imagine for a minute, a university system where students got to study and even hack on the very software used to run that university. They would grasp the difference between public source and private data, already confusing to many.

I've worked around hospitals and know that's a confusion. Some executives suppose that open source means lax about security.

Others suppose it means no one to call when it breaks. I see more legitimate concerns here, even when the solutions are proprietary, as there's frequently disagreement about what's the weak link in the chain: is it a problem with the hardware, or perhaps with Windows itself -- the buck gets passed around, and may not stop anywhere, any time soon.

The argument that more eyes on the source means fewer security leaks has merit, but needs to be encountered in some real world contexts.

Let's teach more about cryptography, not just for the hell of it, but to improve peoples' shared model of what's going on under the hood. We need to focus less on fictional television, which provides fantasy versions of the various professions, and more on reality shows, and not just of the trivial game playing or soap opera variety.

Let's have some community television that does a good job explaining RSA for example, or Diffie-Hellman. Have the source code be public and freely downloadable, through the TV show's web site (with episodes also viewable on line, like with dimensions-math.org -- airing on community television these days).

If you understand how these systems actually work, you know what level of paranoia to dial in, versus what's "over the top" made-for-TV horsepucky. Computer literacy is a prerequisite for authoring sane policies (rules of the road), but how many politicians get the time to sort it out?

I'm suggesting a university background in which these concepts become second nature, because you get ample exposure to working examples via textbook case studies that are also real world.

This kind of education would be what Oregonians need, to not drop the ball.

Given the education system is more an extension of the state, and given the Willamette Week article is not reassuring when it comes to the state's role, the case for vigilance and some political pressure seems clear.

If the Feds are seeking to mandate that doctors automate more effectively by 2015, and if billions are on tap to motivate solutions to these problems, then lets connect the dots and see those billions helping to create software infrastructure that's essentially free to these doctors, not a burden but an opportunity and sometimes even a joy to use (because designed with and by other doctors).

A given practice may want to pay for customization or added features, but this isn't a matter of giving away public money to private companies, only have to buy everything already paid for a second time, at exorbitant prices. That'd be to repeat all the errors of the military sector, which gets ripped off by its cozy revolving door club.

Civilians don't need that high level of secrecy, need the freedom to collaborate in the clear. The liberal arts model applies and universities, not just government labs, are an appropriate venue for doing the work. Teaching hospitals, such as OHSU, are especially well positioned.

That's another reason (the need for openness) to not cast Portland as directly competing with other centers of innovation necessarily (e.g. Prague, Vilnius or wherever). Open source geeks need to pool resources (that's their process), using talented groups in various hubs.

Hospitals able to spell patient names in their native languages will have an edge, and such internationalization will come about more quickly because Portland is well-connected and cosmopolitan (like Cape Town), not xenophobic and not protecting all its secrets from the prying eyes of other states.

Portland has the potential to serve as such a management hub and center of innovation, but only if it pays attention to its own education, teaches about extreme programming, test driven development and all the rest of it. The O'Reilly School of Technology (based in California) might be a role model in this regard.

The public sector needs to keep pace, not leave private companies wondering where all their new recruits will be coming from.

Related story:

Back when I was co-editing Asia-Pacific Issues News and writing about problems with civilian nuke plant designs, in both the USA and Japan, I was struck by how the Japanese protesters were focusing on engineering issues, tracking the details of micro-fractures, paying attention to the technological internals whereas the USA protesters, in contrast, were always seeking to expose a scandal in moneymaking terms, finding villains and/or moralizing, but mostly ignoring the engineering.

Engineering is harder to follow than soap opera politics. The Americans seemed relatively lazy in their journalism, required less of their readership.

Willamette Week openly worries Oregonians might be too lazy.

If we're not teaching digital math with some programming by this fall, in some of Oregon's public high schools, I'd say that's pretty clear evidence the diagnosis is on target. It's more the public sector we need to be watching then.

President Obama has already expressed support for open source at the Federal level. Lets hear what state governors have to say.

Their recent rallying around math standards has not been encouraging, because they contain nothing new, but rather codify and calcify a lot of musty dusty content, put a damper on innovation.

What to remember here is that standards set a floor, not a ceiling, and centers of excellence should not hold back when it comes to embracing the future and covering more digital age topics (e.g. SQL).

Helping improve the health care system will require us to think more like doctors and engineers, and less like lawyers and race track gamblers.

Are we up to it? We shall see. This is not just a Portland problem.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Corruption (editorial)

The neo-liberal / neo-con press likes to talk about how President Karzai is so "corrupt" -- as is much of the "developing world" (used to be "3rd world").

The self-righteous tone, coming from an occupying force with no business being there, is pretty awesome. "What? The Pakistanis don't really want us here either? How corrupt could they be? How unfair, as we're only here to help."

The hypocrisy is too deep to stand up in, as there's no way to explain either "operation" (as in "botched surgery") except as a result of greed, fear and ignorance ("corruption" in other words).

What was the original mission in Iraq?

To oust Saddam Hussein and eliminate any weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), although what gave any leader the right to pre-emptively strike, in the absence of clear and present danger, is still an open debate (oh yeah, right: "911" means "debate over").

The Americans were stampeded, against their better judgment, into committing an atrocity. They listened to their so-called best and brightest. Same mistake under Kennedy.

True, some semblance of obeying international law was mocked up by Colin Powell and his team, followed by invasion, occupation and the Bremer Edicts (remember those?).

The WMD thing fell apart pretty quickly, just as Hans Blix and Scott Ritter knew it would, and Saddam was captured by the Kurds and turned over to a vengeful militia.

Some elections were held, with the winners ever promising they'd get the Americans to leave.

So much for democracy.

So what's the pretense today, for hanging out in Iraq? There isn't one really, except one: people need the work i.e. jobs, jobs, jobs.

Americans don't wanna leave Afghanistan because then they "might look weak" -- as if using that rationale were anything beyond the epitome of weakness.

If that's really the game, then game over already. Who's fooling whom?

Again, people need the work. It's a living. Jobs, jobs, jobs is the only reason people flock to Afghanistan.

A crashed economy in the USA provides a big incentive (could these phenomena be coupled? Insightful analysts sometimes connect those dots).

Clearly, the best way LAWCAP knows to "stimulate the economy" is via military spending. This has been true for some decades (since FDR) and the corporate welfare state has become highly dependent on its insolvent Uncle Sam, its dutiful puppet.

"Give us defense contracts or we'll give you death" is the message to cowed politicians, who line up to toe the party line (it's a one party state with an institutionalized opposition -- the better to get nothing done, which is kind of the point).

Now president Karzai of Afghanistan has issued an edict of his own: private security forces should leave or stay sequestered to their embassies. "But that's impossible!"

Immediately we hear about the jobs, jobs jobs that will be lost, by the poor Afghanis as well. Plus Afghan security forces are so corrupt, whereas the occupying "international community" is just there to be professional, to show how it's done.

When politicians talk about a troop draw-down, it's always "redeploy" -- journalists are careful to write that way too. No one wants to suggest a reduction in "absolute numbers" (heresy!).

The broad unspoken agreement is: "defense spending" must go up up up, and eventually the entire population must be in permanent military mode. That's what the War on Terror is all about no? Jobs jobs jobs.

A hard-nosed economist might suggest that paying people just to sit home and watch TV would cost the world far less, in terms of lives lost, oil squandered, opportunities denied.

"Redeployment" should be to vast video-game playing facilities (arcades on steroids), minus the killer drones on the other end. The games could be educational. Real money could be channeled. Sounds like Wall Street.

Could soldiers become bankers then? Having tasted what truly bad investments are like, they might well make better ones. Lets turn some big banks over to veterans and see if they invest in health care and scholarships for themselves. That'd be a bigger stimulus than private security forces. Worth a try?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hawthorne Street Fair

I've been thinking about Senator Ted Stevens a lot, not like I'm some know it all or something. The headlines, several days ago, took me by surprise.

I might glance at a hard copy of The Wall Street Journal now and then (eclectic reading), but I fall behind sometimes, on many stories. I sometimes read The Nation in hardcopy as well.

Then there's Common Ground, where I used to read Z, sometimes Mad. Television is packet switched or off DVD for the most part. That dish you'll see driving by: not decoding. However sometimes I visit the neighbors and watch their hi-def.

The car has been mostly for Quaker business, such as ferrying mom and her walker, sometimes only one way. Tara's Jamaica commute was handled by train and another Quaker family, with plane hops through Phoenix. The trips to Reed, first week of August, were also to haul teaching supplies, stereo speakers. LW, co-owner, doesn't drive it, pulls a bicycle trailer, does urban and bike farming.

I've been looking at storyboards for math teaching cartoons. The imagery Glenn gave me, from his time on a big dam construction project, blended with my memories of the Lesotho construction site, other hydro, to come up with this Martian versus Earthling vista: a chasm across which a crane is suspended, delivering buckets of concrete.

Various narratives branch from here, many of them involving multiculturalism occasioned by having Martians in the picture. Saturday morning time slot? Maybe not.

We ventured forth into the street fair, mingling, routing by a spectacles shop, a place where you might get your eyes checked. Close to Noah's Bagels on the north side of the street.

They fixed my sunglasses for free, so now I look a little more like my blog picture.

Most of the rest of the day, I was writing my cartoony scripts, looking for early adopters along the lines of this Martian Math curriculum, a module in this bigger Digital Math thing that I'm doing, in cahoots with various schools and teachers. I blogged at the BFI about some of this stuff.

Richard Hawkins and I worked on ClockTet a long time ago. He did all the heavy lifting with the Silicon Graphics workstation. I was doing these scripts, much as I'm doing these days, and dreaming of hypertoons (since implemented in Python, albeit in prototype form). This geometry cartoon featured at the Fuller Centennial in Balboa Park, San Diego, the subject of my GENI write-up.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Martian Math

Mary Roach led a festive and scatological conversation regarding "life at the limits" (as Walter Kaufmann might say). Being an astronaut, especially in the Gemini / Apollo Era, was pretty grim, in terms of the tortuous conditions one needed to put up with. Putrid body odors, flatulence, elimination in zero gravity... these challenges only begin to tell the story.

Mary has a track record of writing outside the lines of prissy politeness, having already produced Stiffs (about corpses) and Bonk (about sex). She's a pioneer in her own right, in the tradition of Ms. Applewhite somewhat.

Our youngest, a minor, was permitted entrance given she was in the company of an adult, even though alcohol was being served. OLCC permits this. She was able to stay through to the end, found the evening amusing. Had she not been allowed to enter, I'd have skipped it as well.

Aside from empathizing with the astronauts and feeling what an ordeal it'd be to really go to Mars (a one way trip?), I was dismayed to not have an "a" key on the Starling-1 netbook. We'd gotten to the venue almost two hours ahead, to be sure of seating, and I'd been hoping to catch up on email.

Apparently the keyboard is always spewing out "a"s, which I could see on the bootup screen, but once in Ubuntu, any use of the "a" key is denied me. That's a pretty important letter.

So when I wrote back to Zubek, responding to one of his routine rants against Synergetics, I had to sacrifice using the "a", which made the email look funny. He suggested I share our thread on Synergeo, so feel free to check it out -- this is more Martian Math after all, the way I spin it at least.

Mary was quite generous with her stories and time, taking one question after another with good humor and grace, long into the night. She expressed sincere appreciation for her husband (I don't think he was present), a good sport in more ways than one.

After space sickness and adapting to weightlessness, there's Earth sickness upon returning to the gravity well. It's less that your muscles have atrophied (although they have some, despite the exercise) and more that your reflexes have been reprogrammed. Those who've spent a long time in space become spastic back on Earth and have to relearn old habits of motion.

The Bagdad was pretty packed for this event. The OMSI Science Pub is a popular event, co-sponsored with Powell's, which offered Mary's book, Packing for Mars, at a 30% discount.

We got the sense from her Q&A that the Russians were more laid back in their approach. The USAers tend to be more uptight and puritanical.

Did Mary think she'd live to see a mission to Mars? She hoped that she would, but admitted it'd be a tough sell, given the extravagant expense. It'd probably only be worth it if it gave humans more reason to pull together and stop starving themselves to death with incessant feuding and flailing, per these lingering dark ages. We'd need to get our act together. The ship itself would probably need to have centrifugal spin chambers to simulate gravity, and permaculture for growing food.

NASA in general seems to be floundering, as the Shuttle program draws to a close. Terraforming Earth with more aerospace know-how, getting our own spaceship ship shape, is what might make the most sense. But how does one get the public to agree that we're already collectively involved in a space program (Planet Earth), one that needs imaginative work to stay viable? The public is kinda slow to appreciate its delicate situation (is "in denial" as the psychologists put it), doesn't think "in the round" all that well (Synergetics might've helped with that?).

Some in the audience asked about varieties of religious experience that astronauts had experienced and been willing to share about. She'd only interviewed a smattering of astronauts and cosmonauts for this book, so wasn't pretending to omniscience. An oft reported sense was of the fragility of the biosphere and its need for our care and protection. Given all these people have been put through, they deserve to be heard. But is NASA listening? Is EPCOT?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wanderers 2010.8.11

We projected some far out "fractals" today, which I put in quotes because they're way beyond what most people have projected. The Athena fractal made my day and then some. Tower of Babel also good.

I get updated on global weather and climate changes through these meetings. More news from Pakistan.

There's some interest in shifting gears and doing more of a rescue operation, suspending the slaughter to serve humanitarian functions. That the gears need to be shifted is telling, though obvious.

Along those lines, I heard some cynicism regarding State Department plans to source the chain of command -- talking about those "permanent bases" that cost a fortune.

Once built, you want your Global U facilities to have a half life, especially if they're not just more "torture castles".

Saddam's castles would have served, were more stylish. I don't see much in the way of boldly innovative architecture here, not even domes.

The airports are nice though, could help with disaster relief.

Exchange student programs will keep the transfer bases from being one way streets. You'll have Iraqis training in New Mexico most likely, some Russians going through. Civilians mix politely and diplomatically for the most part and do not require armed escorts.

I skipped joining folks for lunch, as I have a refrigerator full of fresh vegetables and I don't need to be squandering funds, much as I enjoy their company.

I joined some of them later though, before heading to work on the farm.

Meeting Trevor's dad was a high point of my day. By that time I had a lot of my geometry supplies out. We had some excellent discussions and I gave Trevor his copy of the new Flextegrity book, exotic, well-executed, and hard to get. Given Trevor traffics in esoterica some, I knew he'd be pleased.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Hiroshima Day 2010

My Martian Math class finished today. Students brought their parents or guardians by the computer lab in the Education Technology Center, for the open house in the afternoon. They showed off some of the computer projects they'd been working on, using Python + VPython.

This was a part of the Saturday Academy summer camp at Reed College. Glenn Stockton was also a teacher. Our theme was time, as in "time travel" and my class represented "the future", though what that means was open to interpretation (by design). I'll be posting more about this class and the philosophy behind it in other posts.

The evening was Portland's annual commemoration of our planet's first and only nuclear war to date. Polo was our emcee again tonight, on a lovely summer's day. He was sensitive to the presence of multiple generations, saying kind and inspiring things about young people, and respectful things about old people, many of whom have worked assiduously to rid the world of nuclear weapons (even as others have worked hard to develop and deploy them).

This was the theme of the evening: the heart felt desire of people around the world to end the nuclear threat, and the price already being paid for having developed these weapons in the first place. One keynote speaker spoke of Hanford as the biggest eco-catastrophe in our hemisphere, with the glassification plant alone taking over 20 years to construct. Another spoke of SGI's longstanding compassion for those suffering from nuclear madness, a brand of fiendishness. SGI used to be known as NSA Buddhism and has joined the campaign to rid the world of these underworld devices.

The event was rounded out with a hip hop performance. This same Zulu Nation group had joined visiting Friends at the meetinghouse last Friday according to Eddy Crouch, who sat next to me for part of this event (she's our new Clerk of Oversight, protege of Annis Bleeke).

I got to talk with Marco (formerly with AFSC) and Mike D. as well. And Crystal came by, talking about Portland Free School, just like old times.

Summer camp Project