Friday, March 29, 2019

Box Oriented Programming (BOP)

Concentric Hierarchy

In English, "box" (like "ox"), registers a container, likely a cube, but even more likely the generic hexahedron of all right angles.  Could be brick shaped, oblong.

A useful exercise in a literature class, when introducing "namespace" as a concept, would be to say something like:  for the purposes of today, we're going to use "box" to mean "any polyhedron" (teacher holds up a tetrahedron as a demo "box").

That hardly seems a stretch as what's special about a box is it's a rigid container with well defined edges, corners and faces.  A box is a polyhedron already.  The only change we're making is we're enlarging "box" to mean rigid shapes with potentially fewer or more corners, edges, facets.

What we've really accomplished, with all this talk, is rescuing the generic "object" of Object Oriented Programming, from being something flat and UML like.  Not that I'm against flat, 2D representations of objects as circles or little clouds (flat, curvilinear).  I'm OK with flat.

But at the end of the day, we need to get off the plane and be true containers, little boxes.

Then of course we know that boxes may contain boxes.  Boxes come in flavors.  Indeed, the "hat box" was already round.  Those are cylindrical.  When our family lived in Rome, we could buy fresh milk in tetrahedrons.  The cartons were easy to make, and sturdy.  The plastic bag system was less secure.

Some of you may be thinking "Russian Dolls" when I talk about boxes inside of boxes, and that would be fine.  We're in the realm of compartmentation, the "division into separate sections or units" by whatever means.  Architecture.  Cell biology.  Mitochondria live inside the cell (city) wall.

In Minecraft, the worlds are pretty ruthlessly XYZ, meaning boxes of the hexahedron kind rule.  Then students jump into an Escher like floating kingdom, an underwater oasis populated with planaria.  Flatworms I guess they are.  Instead of XYZ, it's "IVM" as we say in American literature.

Remember this is a literature class, and we're using "box" in place of "polyhedron" to become more accustomed to the "namespace" idea, which translates as "shoptalk" or even "dialect".  The problem with "dialect", often, is that we expect different pronunciations, whereas in some cases it's more a matter of vocabulary.

Now go back to OOP with your boxes and talk about "types" as before.  The "string type" hatches string instances.  Those types that hatch instances, such as string, also form a type:  the "type" type (we're talking Python now, but any OOP language will be similar).

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Oregon Curriculum Network


These two instructional videos were produced rather far apart from one another in time, though not in space.

I keep coming back around to the same points, in this case the efficacy of "Thing Oriented Programming" (TOP == OOP) for representing polyhedrons in particular.

What's somewhat unique about the Oregon Curriculum Network curriculum is that it contextualizes and takes advantage of the Bucky stuff, instead of ignoring it.  This helps level the playing field in some ways, as the Python gets applied to something unfamiliar to almost everyone, yet it's not that hard to grasp.

OCN is a project I sponsor on the side.  I don't yet have it out there as a nonprofit, though it easily could be.  CSN (Coffee Shops Network) is another such project.

The "more with less" revolution has allowed me to share the content globally, and mostly by word of mouth.

Absent high pressure advertising, we get organic growth, versus a flash in the pan passing fashion. 

Those taking the time to seriously integrate their materials within the context of this revamped humanities curriculum, will likely appreciate how STEM-friendly it is.  PATH meets STEAM.

We're able to go back and forth over the C.P. Snow chasm, which was always a goal of Synergetics.


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Multnomah Village Meetup

P1080459

Bradford Hansen-Smith had piloted his car through major snow, the I-system providing only one lane each way through major stretches.  Such is North America in winter.  The further north you go, the more frozen water you get, with neither pole really having time to thaw out, though over longer cycles a permafrost will get mushy.

Terraformation sounds like a noun, but then English is good that way, making everything sound over and done with, stones in a graveyard.  Nouns, as far as the eye can see.

There's something to be said for immutability, software engineers will attest.  But lets not forget:  the planet is still forming, it's not "done".  Best we be nimble and quick in our thinking, not stodgy, as she isn't.

Back to Brad:  he's showing circle folding as a method of exploration, almost meditation.  He wants to equip you with specific techniques and then set you off to explore a territory.  Circles and creases. Edges, faces, vertexes.  Topology at its most primitive.

In my Youtube about our meetup, I talk about how it really isn't Origami.  The circle meditations are meant to be journeys of discovery whereas in Origami we have a specific goal or objective and know that following a set of stepping stones will get us to our destination.

I encouraged Brad to hit the groove of doing more Youtubes, as I've been doing.  When it comes to Show & Tell, there's no real substitute for both showing and telling.

The workshops out here are on Orcas Island, which we hear about a lot, as cool and trendy.  People who migrate around doing conferences as a lifestyle, a way of earning one's way by speaking at some of them, like to get away to these nooks and crannies of Planet Earth.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Creature Feature

I've been vlogging up a storm, note the V, where a "vlog" is a "video blog".  What you're reading here is more conventional.  Capturing all these motifs in language is subject to misfires.  Like I don't really think I qualify as a vlogger.

There's some huge critter in my ceiling.  Is that a racoon?  I'll bang with a broom...

Spring day out.  St. Patrick's Day.  For me, there's a lot of yang in this yin.  You can find it on Youtube.

I think I need a ladder (I have one) to figure out some hole, likely in the southwest corner.  I doubt there's any ingress through the chimney.  The critter is between floors, not in the attic.

Bang!  Bang!  That's the broom noise.

By "vlogging up a storm" I just mean I'm continuing to publish Youtubes at a rate of more than one per day (if we just look over the last couple days).

I've been weaving in my trademark themes, but these days adding more autobio, taking advantage of my current stash of accumulated online slides.  I feel like my grandpa Tom, who put a lot of work into their trips through Europe.

I've seen a lot of physical slides go by the wayside, along with papers and other such physical media.  I understand that the way we preserve stuff now, digitally, has many advantages.  Grandpa Tom stored his slides in a tropical climate in a shed.

I remember going to Bangladesh and helping mom and dad pull up stakes.  They'd stored family belongings, including old papers, like dad's CO application, only to find them being eaten, but whatever bugs like that kind of stuff.

When Derek or Glenn have a chance to act as a spotter, I need to find out where a creature this large is getting in.  Or is it more than one?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Quaker Narrative (continued)


I'm continuing to follow quaintly Quaker threads, family-friendly, even though we're talking about slaves, sex, and alcohol.

Kids have seen Breaking Bad by a tender age, if left alone with the remote. I'm not pandering to a kid audience necessarily, as when I dive into Codesters I'm also talking to my adult peers, other teachers such as myself.

The prohibition against trafficking in military soldiers (mercenaries, idealists...) kept Quakers on the margins of the English Empire's great defense industry.  Steel, railroads, ship design, other dual use skills and products, kept the families alive.  Early US Navy ships had at least one Quaker ship designer behind them I'm told, by my Uncle Bill (mentioned towards the start of the above video).

But what about alcohol, widely considered a sinful substance or a source of sin, one of the devil's best tools, when it comes to undermining a happy family life?  I know I drink, and I'm a Quaker, but I also see how it corrupts and destroys once no longer used in moderation.  The Alano Club is one of Portland's main rehab hubs, as featured in the movie about John Callahan, a celebrated son of Portland.

Some Quakers were involved in the rum trade is what I'm thinking, but I'm still at the trailhead on this one.  I probably know more about Quaker whalers than I know about Quaker rum runners.  Plus I've stumbled on stories on Quakers on the other side, hoping Prohibition will stick, and/or seeing the uphill battle law enforcement had been given.  Money flowed freely around and through the cops, just as it does today.

However, unlike many if not most Quakers, I'm not one to moralize against casinos.  I see the archetypal significance of like Donkey Island or whatever we called it in Pinocchio, a scary place where the wages of sin were pretty nightmarish. I admire many an underworld figure who works on making sex, drugs, rock & roll, less lurid, less formulaic, but Puritanism is not to be scoffed at, as a demonic power.  Smile.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Quaker Informed Science Fiction


In the first video I bemoan the apparently Quixotic attempt by the design scientists to change the world for the better, by making waves of a nerdy nature. Who cares about polyhedrons right?

In the middle of that telling, I veer off into talking about the rise and fall of Quakers as a political force.

The anti-slavery stance was less the death knell, in terms of political influence, than the wish to establish a Peaceable Kingdom with N8V ("native") peoples.

Pennsylvania was soon overtaken by people of a different mindset.

In the second video, I take up the epic saga of Quakers fighting outward wars, up through the alternative national service camp chapter.

These latter could serve as a source of ideas for service camps to come. Or not.  We're of two minds (at least) when it comes to the "camp" meme, so lets just explore and take inventory in a science fiction context.



This third video was recorded before either of the other two.  You can follow the "service camps" thread back through time in these blogs, and even longer through the history I reference.



Tuesday, March 05, 2019

A US State Department Utopia

In between times of wondering if slavery in the USSA means crushing my business, I wonder about something else:  could the old USA legally make civilian boarding schools for future diplomats?

They're public schools, and free, and not as exclusive as one might think, once they prove popular.  Boarding schools feed into national service, which is mainly military only for a minority (ballistics is also a peacetime physics).

You're immediately thinking I'm naive, who could afford it, but changing the sheets in a government run hotel, with someone from another nation your housekeeping peer, is not a snapshot of some high roller casino gambler lifestyle ala James Bond 007.

When I say "for future diplomats" I mean everyday people, the brightly lit bulbs (if getting enough joules).  They need the usual in terms of food, clothing, shelter, if expected to perform in their roles. We all learn about Theater and sharing props among productions.

I'm not saying everyone eats caviar and drives a Rolls Royce. We can't all be Rajneeshees (Oregon joke).  Institutional wealth is not the same as individual wealth.  I have access to Maker Spaces as a payer of property taxes to Multnomah County.  Provided I'm allowed to have an income after taxes, not a given.

I'm saying a civilian trained as a diplomat is your average New Yorker, gruff maybe, but not inexperienced with the "diversity syndrome" (that from which we suffer post the Babel event).  New Yorkers rub shoulders across many ethnicities without being too uncool about it (not always the history). 

But not all of us live in New York City, and besides, what if we like to camp?  America was created by people fond of the Great Outdoors, by which they don't mean cast to the elements.  Think of a high tech yurt.  That was the all American prototype, never mass produced in this Parallel Universe (the one we're in).

And yes, in case you were wondering:  I am suggesting a percentage of the student body not be from the USA at all, in terms of citizenship, but on scholarship and there to develop friendships and relationships with American born (or otherwise naturalized).

Yes, you're correct, I'm just trying to recreate the international schools upbringing I enjoyed through much of my youth.  Except I wasn't in a boarding situation until after high school, which was a normal pattern.

I want to make the international school experience a "brought to you by the USA" opportunity, with no shortage of other nations wishing to follow suit.  I want to democratize an opportunity that would seem to oft be wasted on a spoiled elite.  Wouldn't the world benefit?  Why don't more citizens get this opportunity?

Nice fantasy (right?) and you may point to rare institutions such as West Point and suggest we have something like that already.

But did you, growing up, ever realistically imagine joining a faraway campus life for the purpose of becoming a citizen diplomat? 

Maybe as a privileged person you good imagine a good life in the foreign service, through the State Department, but did your public school ever beacon you with such a promise?

Working backwards from this fantasy, I'd posit the State Department would be very strong in this Parallel Universe.  Families see Diplomacy as a high calling and they understand comes with elements of risk.

However, such sentiments run strong in many religious sects already, wherein the kids get pressured to do missionary work.  So it's not hard to conjure in the imagination a USA that offers diplomacy skills much as some religious orders offer training in yoga, meditation and the martial arts.  

Throw in driving and horse-riding skills. 

Driving might include using electric ATVs in unpaved terrain.  Cut to recruiting commercial (at a theater near you).

I know, I know, it's all starting to sound a lot like Spy Camp, once those gadgets get thrown in.  From the outside, a remote high tech campus based on domes and yurts, with "foreigners" present, might as well be some kind of spooky intelligence operation.  But can't we just call it a public school?

Other nations would have evolved in this direction, with a popular Chinese Peace Corps program almost wiping out any shortage of eyeglasses and dental work for middle America's urban poor. Detroit was a successful pilot study.  Chinese went home with a more realistic picture of what poverty in America looked like, before Better Times.

However injecting that much life into a Peace Corps dream would take some doing, right?  We don't hear any presidential candidates boasting of Peace Corps vet status. 

Most media-groomed youth are reconciled to a world their forefathers have thoroughly messed up, by going off half cocked many times in a row, acting out of ideological predilections (reflex conditioning).  Americans are now circling the wagons, preparing to be hated much as the Nazis were.

But that's a different fork in the science fiction.  In this picture, we're looking at a US less besieged, less anxious about the trouble a few have caused in its name.  As a pioneer in civilian services, the new US banks relatively less on fear of its armed forces, when it comes to cajoling cooperative actions.

I'm not just broaching this topic out of the blue by the way.  I'm back to one of the ongoing themes in these blogs. 

For example, you may have maybe seen my pushing for all-the-way-remote study and research facilities.  Search on "XRL" and take a gander.

These Global U villages are not gulags.  People go there by choice, to do science and to discover more about sometimes stressful environments. 

These motivations are well known and quite credible, so we've got some realism going there.

I've heard a lot about the mosquito issue in places around Great Slave Lake (northern Canada) and have wondered about a geodesic dome enclosed mini-campus as a potentially mosquito-free interior, whereas going outside might merit a hazmat suit.

We'd be pioneering lifestyles in which livable interiors would be carved out of insect kingdoms, but not in such a way as to destroy the balance.

There's a "prime directive" aspect to these remote living experiments:  to seek minimum impact co-existence strategies, and to eventually quit the site all together, leaving little to no trace.

I'm not saying I'm against semi-permanent settled communities, more the norm, just that I'm also interested in eco-villages with a pre-planned site time.  This may sound unrealistic to some but is both a movie industry and traveling circus standard.

Picture a miniature Burning Man type community that wanders the globe is an approximation. Yes, product placement may be a part of it.  Remember the Expos.

Monday, March 04, 2019

He Won't Get Far on Foot (movie review)

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot is the full title of this movie, directed by Portland director Gus Van Sant.  The movie reeks of Portland, in a good way.  Glenn tells me Gus was editor of Willamette Week when Callahan was doing his one frame comics for them.  That would explain Gus, also the screenwriter, casting himself in exactly that role (Willamette Week editor).

John Callahan was a famous cartoonist in a region known for cartoonists.  Matt Groening of Simpsons and Futurama fame, Bill Plympton... the Oregon Historical Society did a whole exhibit on the cartoonists of Oregon, including political cartoonists.

My friend Gus Frederick has made a hobby career out of learning this history, fanning out from the colorful Homer Davenport of Silverton, an influential cartoonist if there ever was one.

This movie is a biography of Callahan.  I haven't read any of the reviews and don't know exactly how closely fiction follows fact.  The acting is top notch and heartfelt.  What we get is an empathetic and serious look at Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Step Program.  For that reason alone it's a goldmine of memes.

For the first time in my many decades in Portland, I learned of the Alano Club of Portland only a few weeks ago.  Jimmy Lott, friend and former neighbor, was playing there.  I didn't know until I got there that this was a place for recovery from alcoholism and other substance addiction ailments.

And now here was Alano Club at the center of this movie.  I'm still just beginning to find out about my own time and history.

Callahan's sobriety coach Donnie, played by Jonah Hill, is really believable.  I feel like I know the guy.

Lots of archetypes haunt this story.  One could say cliches, but then we all follow templates.

Callahan was brave, and Portland remains proud of him, and of this movie.

Thanks Glenn.  Great soup.  I supplied the Terminal Gravity IPA.