Saturday, February 17, 2018

What is "Work" in GST?

I was blessed with a visit from Sam Lanahan today.  He was fresh from a concrete convention, which had worn him out.

Turns out Flextegrity has applications as a replacement for rebar.  Asian markets may understand it best, given they're in surge mode while a wartime economy (what the US enjoys) of necessity involves throttling back (applying the brakes, in other words). By Flextegrity I mean to include C6XTY. See the newest version of Sam's book.

Mostly I'm cramming on statistics, going back to high school days and relearning about how sample variance and population variance each need their own formula.  I'm moving into linear equations territory (y = wx + b and back propagation by means of gradient descent i.e. multi-variable calculus and machine learning) not because I expect to become a data scientist, but because I'm a Python instructor.  Like a piano teacher, these are the pieces I'm expected to play and relay.

Remember, statistical (stochastic) algorithms were developed in the social sciences and ported over to thermodynamics.  If "entropy" still has the flavor of "political chaos" there may be reasons why.  Sometimes "entropy" is a positive, as in cryptography, as true randomness proves problematic in a deterministic universe.  A legitimate source of chaos proves a godsend.  By God's grace alone are we liberated from our own robot-hood.  Automaticity rules, a sin which can and will be used against us.

The many jargons (shop talks) bleed in both directions across their bordering membrane barriers, I can hear Peter Sloterdijk intoning, in native German.

For example: energy the way the physicists mean it, as work, has to mean something in terms of economics (having a job, or jobs) as well.  Take the Latin word "tractatus", a root for "traction" "tractor" and even "tract" as in "opera" or "opus" i.e. a dramatic "work" (Gilbert & Sullivan).

People work hard to star in soap operas (an expression of their wish to remain clean?).  The meaning of "work" is not a constant, in that "joules and calories" vie with "dollars and yen" to express work's value.  "To keep up this rate of energy expenditure (horse power), I'll need to be fed" -- that's just physics.  Capitalism fantasizes not being responsible for human welfare thanks to robots.  But what can robots really do?  That's an ongoing exploration.

As general systems theory (GST) authors (Kenneth Boulding etc.) would sometimes talk about:  current and currency have much in common, in terms of the cyber metaphors applied.  Both dollars and electrons "flow" and without a steady flow of dollars (US, Canadian...), or other denomination, the "machinery" grinds to a standstill.  Cash liquidity is like oil:  grease the wheels.  We have our ways of repaying favors.

A big problem (challenge) around World Game is ivory tower types devise the ground rules and spin out these board games, theoretically playable. However, given still emerging facts about human psychology, animal psychology, physics, other sciences, it turns out these games aren't always that playable as envisioned.   The ivory tower, full of know-it-alls, turns out to be not so all-knowing after all, an old story.

In practice, the rules need to be tweaked, if not overhauled, and pretty soon we're in some unknown territory where in people draw upon their own moral compasses regarding what's ethical.  They're disobedient.

This state of affairs is associated with higher entropy and "corruption".

People are not following the edicts properly.  They're in violation.  A scandal.  History then turns into a procession of scandals, as the game architects continue to spin out one unplayable game after another.

Friday, February 09, 2018


MAGA zines

MAGA = Make America Great Again.  I've always admired how this admission of un-greatness became a patriotic slogan.  Quite a spin.

A question is, how would a globalist such as myself seek to rekindle nationalist pride in these United States of America?  Why not take it on as a challenge, even if only as a hypothetical?

I'd go back to the 1980s and focus on the great American Buckminster Fuller's prescient take on corporate personhood in Grunch of Giants. As a futurist, he was pretty good at anticipating memes.  He also proclaimed the innocence of the American people while consigning an obsolete version of the USG to the ash heap of history.

Skeptics will point to Fuller's big mistake: he anticipated a "design science revolution" that would rescue us from immanent catastrophe and put the world on a better track, one involving engineering over politics, General Systems Theory (GST) over LAWCAP (i.e. lawyer-capitalist) economics.

I'd counter that the design science revolution indeed occurred, and is continuing, but was branded as the Open Source Revolution, with Portland, Oregon a capital.  OSCON (O'Reilly's Open Source Convention) is coming back this year, after twice trying to get away from the Oregon vortex.

A lot of journalists maybe think said open source revolution was a bust, judging from how the Dot Com Bubble left so many investors in the lurch.  A few made out like bandits, but the narrative, about Linux and free software dominating the world, seemed to have fizzled.  The documentary Revolution OS provides good background.

I'd disagree with this analysis.  So-called capitalism runs atop these design science layers, even if LAWCAP's bookkeeping fails to properly value their worth.  Where would we be without Python or NodeJS?  That's a rhetorical question.

The new USA operating system (USG prototype) that's emerging in our midst already contains a hard reset in the 1980s and hasn't been on board with the Grunch in more recent pre-emptive, unilateral invasions and naked attacks.  Imperialism is for the birds.

The transparently mercenary activities of those abandoning the US Constitution is making history for sure.

I'm not claiming this story-line is going to be popular or well-known. That was more of an exercise in consistency.

The new USA is not at war with Iran and seeks nuclear disarmament.  Let the LAWCAP puppets say otherwise.  Their credibility is already shot in my book.

They lied about Vietnam.  They lied about Iraq and Afghanistan.


Sunday, February 04, 2018

The Post (movie review)

I waited until Superbowl Sunday (LII i.e. 52) to think back on this movie. My main takeaway was "well crafted" in terms of summarizing the issues and relationships and adding to CR (consensus reality) in the form of a Spielberg movie, with big name stars.

The release of the Pentagon Papers, as they came to be called, is important to tackle and retell.  I'm glad to see the movie industry rising to the occasion.

McNamara tells Graham, the publisher, that the Pentagon Papers are not for the present, but for posterity. We're explaining in retrospect how the American War came to be lost by its losers.  Those living in the Nixon Era should keep fighting to win, as that was their patriotic duty at the time.  McNamara wanted to keep his top secrets for the present.

Confusing, to have time machines bumping into each other like this.  Are we allowed to seize the day?  Lots of young people were dying, or evading the draft, or being held as political prisoners.  The hypocrisy of fighting for something called "freedom" overseas made for plenty of cognitive dissonance.

How does one consciously choose to "live in the past".  It's something one does out of habit.  When awareness expands, there's no going back by simply willing it.  The cognoscenti in the District of Columbia now knew too much to just sit on it.  They had a role in the immediate present.  Katharine Graham, played by Meryl Streep, has to break with McNamara and do her job.

The women have to explain to the men that they're not just taking orders or accepting the status quo they've been handed.  A sense of women pursuing their trajectories, building on past gains, pervades the storytelling.

In our day and age, we have another president embroiled in melodrama around secrets. Should they be published and what do they mean?

Humans have been becoming increasingly skeptical that they're but extras in power games engaged in by various insider cabals. Transparency in the courts, and in government, was a way of countering the willful opacity of oligarchs. 

Democracy was to be our leap forward.  People remember that and bring it up a lot during these important years, in this script at least.  The Cold War was being fought in the same vein, with the USA an ethical champion.  The other side, the enemy, might be deceptive and manipulative, but "our side" was definitely about serving the people. FDR helped inspire such sentiments.

Daniel Ellsberg and company decided their higher duty was to shed light on the hidden "secondary process" rather than remain complicit in a cover up.  This movie clearly shows his motivations, and underlines how widely they were shared.  Nixon's cabal was beginning to unravel.

Dr. Tag, my Palestinian friend, invited me to take in this film with her.  She accomplished the impossible: finding a parking space near the theater, that time of night.  I'd more or less given up and was thinking about how we might reschedule for another day. 

Then we went to Henry's Tavern, the Weinhard brewery's flagship establishment, to discuss the film and its present context.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Number Stuff

Wow, or "wuf" ("woof"?) as Arnie would say (that's Dr. Arnold Mindell, PWI PDX) regarding the fast turnaround between David's and my experience, between asking a question and David's finding just the right Youtube, only recently published (like two days ago).

The question was this: we know regarding Phi, the Golden Ratio of 1.1618..., that its reciprocal is equal to itself minus 1. So: for what other numbers is it the case that |1/N - N| == {1, 2, 3...} i.e. some integer.

Did I get that right?  Yeah that seems so: check 3.16 above.

David had stumbled on √10±3.  Switch to Python:

>>> from math import sqrt
>>> N = sqrt(10) + 3
>>> N
>>> 1/N
>>> N-6

You'll see some floating point inaccuracies here, but the idea is clear.  Looking at the other number:

>>> N = sqrt(10) - 3
>>> N
>>> 1/N

Again, the absolute distance on some number line, between N and its reciprocal 1/N, is precisely 6.  We're calling these the Metallic Ratios, punning of Golden.  

Each sigma (Metallic Number) is equal to the negative of its own reciprocal. That's true if we go with 3±√10, as -(3-√10) = √10 - 3.

>>> from decimal import Decimal
>>> Decimal(10).sqrt() + Decimal('3')
>>> N = Decimal(10).sqrt() + Decimal('3')
>>> N
>>> 1/N
>>> 1/N - N

Here I'm showing off the option to use a standard library decimal type instead.  There's a gmpy2 out there as well, that will perform similarly, in terms of extending the realm of precision using base 10 representations.

How many decimal points you need is something you can specify, the default being 28, quite a bit more precision than faster floating point provides.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Buddhist Heritage

3 generations of isotropic icosa space fillling array

I posted another essay to Medium, a sprawling network of interlinking self-published writings, with an easy interface.  I've posted quite a few "stories" over the last several months.

Hey, just got a call from a Friend in the Meeting, wondering how I was doing.  Thanks guy!

My essay plays up the Buddhist heritage in my neighborhood as a prelude to discussing Bucky Fuller's critique of the "three dimensions," the holy trinity of elementary school math.  "Co-dependent origination" suggests neither height, width, nor even depth come to the table alone, independently. They need each other too much to ever come apart, even conceptually.

This ain't the first time I've practiced tilting at the "3D windmill" and indeed I've squandered many hours investigating "dimension talk" under different lighting.  This was the first time I fashioned a link to a core Buddhist concept perhaps.  I'm wondering what the consequences will be.

I told the Meeting guy that I'd dutifully appeared for a follow-up doc appointment today, only to discover I was a week early.  There's nothing especially urgent about my medical condition at this point, so I'm content to wait.  "Expectant waiting" Quakers say, as they sit in stillness, waiting for the future to be revealed.  We know it will be.

Last night I taught my Python class for four hours, then stayed up reading more Dahlstrom (English professor, WW1 memoirs) and Sloterdijk (German philosopher).  Today I teach another Python class, only for an hour, to some eager middle schoolers.  I need to drive to that one.

Weeks ago, I'd notice huffing and puffing a lot more, walking from my parked car, up the hill to the public school.  Shortness of breath had become an issue.  I was monitoring, but not making the requisite appointments for a professional diagnosis.

Delay is want landed me in the ER. The upside of that strategy is I got a lot of state of the art treatment in one fell swoop.  At this point, shortness of breath is not an issue.  I even ran a few blocks, not a problem, trying not to be late to my non-existent appointment.

Today I spent a lot of time listening to Marshall McLuhan related tapes, or watching videos of the man.  He talked a lot about television and its impact, in an age before the Internet, which latter is a synergy of TV and telephone.  Telephone is point-to-point whereas TV was at first broadcast.  Nowadays we "dial in" to get our media "on demand".

Co-dependent origination is a broad concept, saying basically nothing has "self nature" in terms of existing wholly self-sufficiently, independently of all else.

Our accepted orthodoxy in mathematics is that height, width and depth are independent dimensions that may be conceived of in isolation.  No one seriously questions this dogma, including me, as I recognize the utility of XYZ.  That doesn't mean we're prevented from conceiving alternatives.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What is Socialism?

Socialist Symbol

The short answer is: I have no idea. My fancy Princeton education only served to sensitize my ear to the "meaning as use" paradigm, meaning I need to study a given language game rather extensively before I have a sense of its meanings, should I ever develop an ear for said language.

Any randomly chosen pair of people, asked to talk about "socialism" will likely talk past one another, and neither may realize it.

Consider a sibling question: what is capitalism? I have a wildly divergent meaning up my sleeve, a use in contrast with nationalism.  Nationalists see the world in terms of various nations, vying for world domination.  Capitalists see capitals instead, city-states, like Tokyo and Madrid.  Capitalism is the world game of world capitals, some of them sister cities.  No one but me has that meaning for that word.

I'll define socialism like this:  I work for the public half the year, and for myself the other half.  People talk that way about taxes:  given the government took X% of my total gross, I worked for the government Y% of the fiscal year.  Fine, let's say it that way.

What makes this system "progressive" is that we all chip in for the common good only 50% of the time.  Whether you're a neurosurgeon or bartender or stand-up comic, you get half your life to do whatever you like whereas the rest of the time you're engaged in community service.

Now I'll get theological on ya and suggest that God is a socialist.  Ideally, you're acting in accordance with God's will half the time, whereas the other half you're given over to tempting alternatives, working in ways that might prove purely selfish, but from your point of view were worth a try.

Working for God feels a tad totalitarian, a little bit Big Brotherish. Subduing your own will to serve the all-powerful is like that.  Exercising your own ego feels rebellious in contrast.  You're going out on some limb, by choice.  Half the time.

Standard theology says God has forgiven us our Free Will in that without it, we couldn't choose to obey, so our coupling our will to God's would be an empty gesture. Thanks to our ability to stray from God's path, we partake of the divinity of Angels.

This must be a kind of Religious Socialism, not necessarily Christian but neither anti-Christian either.  That's fortuitous as one way people like to attack socialism is by calling it godless, meaning they consider it to have no ethical compass.  Somehow capitalism is supposed to have one.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Network Theories

Jeff Presents

Sorry for the dry title folks.  I tire of the journalistic headline, today known as click bait. Lets keep it low key, yet warm to the topic, as network theories (lots of math) are both interesting in themselves, and have real world applications.

Jeff Goddard shared with Wanderers about his work for LittleBird, at one time a free-standing company, but with a tool that makes sense more as one in a suite, if you're a big company seeking to maximize the potential of social media.

The Twitter API has many powerful and unique attributes and is a great place to start.  We might think of LittleBird as living at the headwaters.

Suppose I want to find the top most influential people around the topic of Climate Change.  Jeff ran that search for us, also Beer, Python, and a few others.  Terry Bristol, author of Give Space My Love, wondered how these search tools might help with book sales.  Jeff had some suggestions.

@DekeBridges was there, asking good questions.  He's also the man behind @LeadersBest.  Deke is our most influential Wanderer by far, from the standpoint of Twitterverse.

So what is LittleBird? Jeff has poured in the hours, using Clojure and ClojureScript, to implement those network theories, or shall we say algorithms, to query Twitter through its API in high volume (more than a single developer account would afford, times ten thousand).

The information one obtains through the API is the same info tweeters agree to share by virtue of establishing a Twitter account.  

It's not like those using this "back door" have any special access to otherwise hidden data.  Rather, they have the ability to aggregate the data more successively (at higher volume), as a "front door" individual user, using human eyeballs, is like a 300 baud modem compared to a T1, relatively speaking, and using tech terms most will have forgotten by now.

LittleBird was acquired by Sprinklr, adding to the tools brought to bear on behalf of clients seeking to manage their cyber-presence and/or media campaigns through this company. 

We did a test run using "Python" as our topic and, sure enough, the tweeters percolating to the top were mostly people I recognized.  I showed up as influential regarding Python when we ran @thekirbster individually, but that doesn't mean I'd make it to the top thousand. 


Sunday, January 07, 2018

Jane (movie review)

Jane is showing only on weekends at 4:10 at this neighborhood theater.  Several families with young girls were in the line ahead of us.  The theater serves alcohol after 5:30, so there's not much of a window for a kid-friendly movie.

I say "kid friendly" but then it's a classic nature film in many ways, following the career of Jane Goodall, piecing together footage lovingly taken by her former husband and co-worker, one of the great nature photographers.  That means lots of death and sickness, as well as birth and cute creatures.

The best way to show how humans and other animals have much in common is to intertwine their stories.  Jane learns about motherhood from observing the chimps, then becomes a mother herself. We watch her boy grow through the same lens.

Jane herself anchors the narrative with her retrospective accounts, responding to an off-camera interviewer.  We also spend time in the Serengeti, away from the chimps in Tanzania.

A sense of destiny pervades, in that Jane always dreamed of working with animals in the heart of Africa, and never let go of this driving fantasy.  Her dreams literally came true.  The animals needed her as their advocate among the humans.  She devoted herself to public speaking on their behalf.

Music by Philip Glass and an ongoing montage of exotic insects reminds us of our alien planet and our special responsibility, as aware humans, for the creatures it harbors.

Jane came to Portland a couple times, as a part of the ISEPP lectures.  She's made a difference in many lives, mine included.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Subconscious Demon

Sometimes we externalize what holds us back. However, since the Vienna Circle days, a Renaissance in Austria before and to some extent between the World Wars, we've had the alternative subconscious, or unconscious per Freud.  Universe, per Fuller, contained a subconscious demon, which kept his Synergetics enterprise from roaring ahead.

Not that said demon was the only obstacle.  As Applewhite chronicles in his Cosmic Fishing, Macmillan was wondering what level of risk it was taking in putting its company name behind such an unusual and difficult to categorize work.

"Subconscious demon" is the language Fuller used when explaining how he came to the T & E modules in Synergetics. He'd been seeking his elusive Volume Five and was somehow coming to the sphere as his missing puzzle piece, since it serves as an asymptotic extreme in some sense.  He'd tried all kinds of near-spherical approximations, including the enneacontahedron and the 120-triangles.

The Rhombic Triacontahedron cycled back through his inbox, and this time what it shocked him with was how close to volume five, tetravolume-wise, it really was, if made tangent at the centers of its thirty diamond faces. Just a tad off.  The demon said "trash it then".

The same encasing strategy, in the case of the twelve diamond faces of the Rhombic Dodecahedron, yielded a volume of precisely six. So what were we doing, this close to five here?

This question led him to the celebrated difference between the T and the E, a difference not in shape, but in surface-to-volume ratio, never a constant with a change in frequency.  The E was a little less surface to contained space, yet the difference was so small, in proportion to the summary values involved.

120 T modules, 60 left, 60 right, build the RT of precisely volume 5, and their radius (from encased sphere center to diamond face center) is ~0.9994 that of the E module radius of precisely 1.

These two almost-identical twin RTs define a "median" towards the middle of the Concentric Hierarchy, sandwiched between the small Cuboctahedron of 2.5, with one foot in Negative Universe, and the bigger Rhombic Dodecahedron of volume 6.

The scaled up T-mod RT of volume 7.5 actually shares vertexes with the A&B mod RD of volume 6.

Then we have RT3, or SuperRT, the combination of the Icosa of edges 2R, and its dual Pentagonal Dodecahedron.  That's the "phi-up" of the 120 E-mods RT, with volume phi to the 3rd power greater.

By the time Synergetics 2 came out, he was free of his former sphere fixation, when it comes to Fiveness. The new unit sphere formula still has π (whether nature is using π is a different question) as well as a root-of-2 (π √2 ).

That's useful for ratio-ing with six to get the space-to-ball density of the IVM FM (6:π √2).

Carl Jung's Red Book

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

United Nations Under Fire

A cabal is firing up its bots (paid stooges) to hate and fear the United Nations a lot more.  The main issue is of course Israel and the UN's attempt to figure out what's "legal" with regard to forced colonization and land seizures.

The US well knows that it would be nowhere near its present size were the UN around in the good old days.  Tribal nations would have asserted their rights and come to some settlement.

Israel's current plan (such as anyone has one) is to play by those older rules.  That's what makes the drama all so Biblical in the minds of many Christians, not to mention apocalyptic. Relive the wild west. One can almost hear the player piano.  Welcome to Westworld, where people and bots are really hard to distinguish.

The question as to whether nation-states must be taken seriously gets a variety of responses, depending on context.  Many of them are broke on paper and dependent on the largess of transnational enterprises for continued solvency.  Greece and the US are in the same boat on this one.

Given the rise of Trumpism in the US, more people are willing to admit that particular soap opera is over.  Planet Earth is a single ecosystem inhabited by reprogrammable humans.  "How reprogrammable?" is the core question, i.e. will our belief systems adapt to new circumstances?

Psychometrics firms are busy discovering answers.  Social media have been added to the equation.  Theories swirl that Russian intelligence is powerful enough to tip elections, with firms such as Cambridge Analytica claiming similar powers.  How much of such claims is marketing hype and propaganda?

TV has been the reprogramming device of choice for several decades and still is.  Radio too.  When it comes to shaping public opinion using psychological techniques, sophistication has improved with the evolution of broadcast advertising.  The Internet allows for more specific targeting and individualized data collection.

The word "programming" and verb "to program" have a unifying aspect when applied to both TV and computers.  We program both.  Humans are already trans-human in the sense of a "cell-silicon interface" i.e. our brains have already been augmented.  The synergetic effects have been amazing.

Where does the Jungian notion of a collective unconscious fit in?  I think in that idea we have something of an antidote to paranoia about any one specific cabal or conspiracy steering the show. A lot of content wells up within each individual.  In some sense, we're all wireless devices.

Another reason the UN is coming under fire has to do with the Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons, connected to the ICAN campaign, Nobel Peace Prize (2017) and so on.  DC and Jerusalem need to harden themselves for their Cowboys versus Indians role, wherein the cowboys are (a) outnumbered but (b) have nukes (or think they do).  Stay tuned.

Ultimately the sun powers the planet, in terms of energy.  Even fossil fuels trace back to ancient sunlight.  Agriculture is a solar energy business.  For any human institution to insert itself and take credit for all the wealth is of course absurd.  Our shared wealth has extra-human origins, which is not to make any claims regarding ETs.