Wednesday, July 31, 2019

OCN Again

For context, I used to write a lot about how the natural unit of curriculum, was the school itself.

By that I meant: each school might import a lot of similar content, but the final customization would fit the place, another way of saying the curriculum would be "place based".  Winterhaven PPS had Oaks Bottom.

This makes sense if you think about teaching the local history, not just some generic overview that in no way depends on a person's viewpoint. Lets allow the schools to be viewpoints, to some degree.  They have their own lore and charming lunacy.

Geography spreads outward from wherever your school happens to be.

Whereas an "Oregon Curriculum Network" may sound grandiose, as if some guy with a home office could be more than a node in said network, my role is indeed that of one more node, one more contributor to an already highly developed set of overlapping cultures.  We form "a thousand dots of light" to hearken back to a would-be education president, a reluctant warlord.

Moreover, the Digital Math website more vaguely roots itself in the Silicon Forest, which extends beyond state boundaries, well north of Vancouver, Washington.

The purpose of the branding is to convey origin and place, not to suggest a conquered nor even cornered market.  Most Oregonians have never heard of me as of 2019.

I think what I'm doing makes more sense in a culture where there's no strict firewall between computer science and mathematics, down through the lower grades, from high school to kindergarten (if we agree to think in these terms).

We enjoy a blend of coding and guided geometric meditations (cite "hypertoons") or reveries, in a coffee shop context.  The guiding philosophy (or spirit) is somewhat indigenous.

Not everything I'm defining as curriculum need first surface in a formal school setting.

I recognize that social media, especially television, constitute a hefty percentage of the cultural amperage.

I attribute the pressure behind "Martian Math" to as yet largely unexplored telegenic potentials. I'm encouraged by the anime and manga arising from our storyboards, and remain on the lookout for more.  Lets build more momentum, shall we friends?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The New Segregation

I don't have much incentive to "slug it out" with the functional programmers, regarding my continuing to use OO languages in K-16.

My focus is at least getting enough of a workspace to contain a decent-sized display and keyboard, plus room to stretch.

The tight ergonomics of the "no coding required" math classes, the education economy that makes coding "elective" (for the privileged few), is a source of major inequity.

If you're a CS student, you likely have your own laptop.  Otherwise go buy a TI graphing calculator and join your classmates in "cattle car" -- the new back of the bus.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Dobbs Town

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Virtualizing Nations

Over twenty years ago, I started writing about USA OS, meaning the USA Operating System, and sharing these writings to the web.  

The web was pretty new then, and I was brainstorming how it might be used to make government more comprehensible.  Lets develop an "over the shoulder" aesthetic, wherein we could see the world through the eyes of various office holders.

First though, I go back to revise my remarks regarding a Joe Rogan episode (1316) wherein Joe and Abby Martin are discussing "Man X" in Oliver Stone's JFK.  He cited Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path in particular, in his book JFK.  I talk about that in my followup video.

Given an "over the shoulder" view, through the eyes of government office holders, we end up seeing the whole world through the eyes of the various nations.  The whole world, through the eyes of the USA, is "USA world" (one could say).  The whole world, through the eyes of Israel, is "the Promised Land" (our planet).  Does it make me a Zionist to see the world in this way?

Were we to connect the dots in an alternative curriculum, we would link Alexander Graham Bell to Bucky Fuller through their shared focus on the "octet truss".

But American history is being lost and submerged.  We've forgotten these threads.

Butler grain bins, dymaxion car, dymaxion house, geodesic dome...  positive futurism we've shelved.

I tell the story of helping to build a swimming pool, working with Palestinians, in Ramallah, long ago.

Weren't we more civilized back then?  Our family took a public bus through the Khyber Pass, from Peshawar to Kabul, not that many years later.

Might we roll back and go forward again, following a different fork or branch?  We do this in version control.

Part of that roll back would involve taking the "whole number volumes table" more seriously.

Lets look at the world through the eyes of different nations.  What does the world look like if we're Iran?  If we're Russia?

Does Iran really seek to become a nuclear weapons power?  Why would it seek to do so?  What does the USA really want from Iran?  Have the terms been spelled out?

This chapter wherein siege warfare predominates, bespeaks of a lowering of intelligence and a corresponding rise in cruelty -- a dark age.  Might the nations of the world signal to one another that they're ready for a more positive futurism?

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Opening Keynotes

Our first speaker, Tiffani Ashley Bell, is pleading with engineers to do socially responsible things with their skills.

Are we enabling people who want to build concentration camps?   She managed to use those words ("concentration camps").  Brave.

Tiffani at The Human Utility has developed a website to help people stay connected to the Detroit water system.

People with compassion have a way to pay water bills for people who've been cut off or are at risk of having this happen.  The "system" is merciless.  If you don't pay your bill, you're cut off, regardless of circumstances.  You're no longer a customer.  Non-customers might as well be undocumented non-citizens, which is turning into a death sentence for so many.

The UN declaration of human rights no longer applies.  Actually I see the US never ratified this convention.  Nor Rights of the Child:
Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history. Only the United States and Somalia, which has no functioning national government, have failed to ratify the treaty.
Then the fire alarm came on.  We had to evacuate.  I met the Python tutorial guy, William, who let me play with Python Circuit, once we got back.

IBM had a good story about their competition to develop tools for responding to natural disasters.  Your team should use IBM resources such as the Watson API.  There's a monetary reward for the winners.  Not unlike the old BFI challenge.

I got my Learning GraphQL book. The graph theory in the beginning, which I perused over donuts, does not link the concept of graphs to polyhedron. Dang. I think that's an important link between nodes.  Graphs connect around in all circumferential directions -- a lot of them do.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Little Darlings (movie review)

A visiting anthropologist (a guest) was curious about this film, which we found in its entirety on Youtube.

My first impression is I was watching a long cigarette commercial aimed at getting young teens hooked as early as possible.  All the cool kids smoke.

Monday, July 15, 2019

OSCON 2019 Begins

Outwardly, things are going OK.

From my Missed Opportunities (previous post), you might be able to tell I'm in a somewhat alienated state.  As a pioneer of Martian Math, I suppose that's not entirely surprising.

Walter Kaufmann has been on my mind, as I've mentioned in a few Youtubes.  He was a native of Germany who interrupted a career in philosophy and religious studies to join the American intelligence services to fight the Nazis.

He resumed his studies at Harvard and ended up teaching at Princeton, where he was one of my professors.

Kaufmann's views were somewhat dark, and I don't blame him, as these many decades later I feel (it's a feeling) that we live in dark times.

I'm also remembering Nick Consoletti, my drifter friend who managed to get to England (to attend Schumacher College), France (to find his biological mother) and Budapest (to work with the Club of Budapest).

Nick was part of my network of friends who thought highly of Buckminster Fuller.  Had I not pushed ahead with my philosophical studies, after leaving Princeton, focusing on Fuller in particular, I would not have made many of these friendships.  I'm thankful for how these connections have made a big difference to my scenario.

My choice to focus on philosophy put me on the margins of computer programming and I managed to wring a career out of working for nonprofits.  I worked with my wife to be as an independent contractor.  We were a business partnership even before we got married.

The open source movement embodied a lot of ideals, regarding the sharing of intellectual property.  I was able to continue working in programming using mostly open source tools, especially Python.

I'm doing two tutorials today, one in Rust, one in Ethereum.

I'm expert in neither, curious about both.

I decided to bring the Asus tablet (Windows 10).  I started doing the preparations for the Rust tutorial around 6:30 AM and hit a roadblock around installing ZeroMQ (0mq) in a way that would let the Rust stuff compile.  That's OK, as I'm mainly a lurker.  I've been in Nathan's tutorial before.  Three hours is never enough time.

I left the C6XTY as a conversation piece in the speaker's lounge, and collected my special hoodie.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Missed Opportunities

Both journalists and university professors have done a great job of studiously avoiding any opportunity to link to the Bucky stuff.  What's the opportunity cost?


Was my "techno-invective" effective in any way?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Open Source Campus

In Refugee Science, we tend to say "campus" rather than "camp".  The former connotes "schooling" while the latter connotes "soldiering".  Not that soldiers can't use schooling, or that schools can't be militant.  There's maybe a spectrum, or a phase space.

Open source designs show what's possible.  What are the neighborhoods?  Where are the guilds?  Do the bead makers live near the kiln?  Where are the costumes kept?  What are the podcasts like?  Is this close to a freeway?  How do the trucks come and go?  Do electronic currencies play a role?

Those seeking asylum, that have nothing, get to come here.  What does the campus have for them, to get them back on their feet?  "Education" is a good answer but is in no way detailed enough.  A lot of them need to watch videos.  The kids need cartoons.  Cultural literacy is a goal, and not just for the asylum seekers.

We don't want any campus where no one would be there voluntarily given a choice.  We need to see people choosing to move there.  People already functioning at a high level in their current context.  Like me for example.  The mark of a well-engineered campus is the engineers will be willing to "eat their own dog food" as we say.

We know of the Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto, but what about the campus facilities?  Refugee Science is looking to flagship engineering firms (not necessarily architectural firms, but those too) to give us some blueprints.

I'll be at OSCON next week.  Lets see if any of the booths feature entire "cities from scratch" beyond the Toronto project, geared more towards the needs of Americans in distress.  SOS Cities.  Asylum Cities.  We're hungry to see those on TV, but so far the screenwriters are just giving us more people in cages.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Esoteric History

No doubt I've told this story before in some form, but while I'm on a roll with the Youtubes, let me tell it again here.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

A Telephone Conversation

I'm capitalizing on the current news cycle, which is focused on Alexander Graham Bell's nationality, subsequent to the now infamous "broken teleprompter" Salute to America speech.  Even more press attention went to the 1775 seizing of airports or whatever that was.

I'm getting the information second hand, through press reports.  I did not watch the "junkyard parade".

I know some might be offended by my not appreciating military porn, but I've been trained since birth by my parents and community in these Quaker values, which tend to scorn outward wars as a feature of prehumanity.  We're eager to become more fully human, more civilized.

However that doesn't mean denying history.  I'm certainly OK with memorializing and honoring the war dead.  I've spent a lot of time studying wars past and present.  I know a lot of war vets.

I keep harping on the Fuller syllabus because I think the "whole number volumes" meme is uniquely powerful in its ability to interrupt conversations that would normally proceed obliviously to any awareness of positive futurism.

Mathematics is usually taught without much regard for history.