Monday, November 20, 2017

Work / Study in Global U

I continue to both work and study, in my Global University, my metaphor for home sweet home: Nuthouse Earth.

I'm upgrading the Python stuff to a next level, so that those liking my on-ramp, might continue the tour.

Youtube is a goldmine, unlike anything I enjoyed at Princeton (because we hadn't created the Internet yet, not really), so I dig in it avidly.

My beat takes me in a wandering cycle through a set of topics:  computer stuff, Bucky stuff, education politics, and more recently, climate change.

For those new to these blogs, which go back a couple decades, I haven't written a whole lot about climate change other than to remember the theories of Hamaker-Weaver.  So there's lots to catch up on around that.

Education politics includes looking at religious movements:  Falun Gong, Hizmet, Unification Church, Quakers...  a mixed bag to say the least.  All exert at least some form of political influence, either as targets for government attacks, and/or as lobbyists.  Quakers have FCNL.

I had no idea how close Henry Wallace got to being VP during FDR's fourth term.  What would have happened minus President Truman wanting to prove how tough he was?

René Guénon: newly a blip on my radar.  More BBC Palast on how the US is incapable of having free and fair elections.  We knew that.

What if the Hizmet STEM curriculum started to pick up on the Bucky stuff more?  In a memo this evening, to other faculty, I wrote (those not interested in math may tune out here):

The canonical conversion constant for cube -> tet volume conversion is sqrt(9/8) i.e. a cube of face diagonals 2R, edges sqrt(2)R, has volume 3, not sqrt(2)**3.

I.E. cube of edges R (1x1x1) is slightly bigger than unit tet of edges D (D=2R).  ~1.06066

Sphere volume is sqrt(2) pi r^3 by this conversion. 

R=radius of unit sphere of said volume. Quadrays go from center of 2R edged tet to corners.

So the tetrahedron made by connected 4 inter-tangent unit sphere is: 1
Octahedron from six such unit spheres: 4
Rhombic Dodecahedron (encasement for each sphere, voronoi cell): 6
Cuboctahedron (12 spheres packed around a nuclear one): 20

How the 5-fold symmetric shapes slot in to the above relates to Cuboctahedron --> Icosahedron by Jitterbug, and the Rhombic Triacontahedron made from said Icosa and its Platonic dual.  Volume 15 * sqrt(2).

Interesting that CO of volume 20 * sqrt(9/8), the aforementioned volume conversion constant = same RT volume (15 * sqrt(2)).

That's the "art school" CAD system some people wanna work with.  I don't blame 'em for finding it simple.  Tetrahedron, Octahedron and RT also explode into wedges / slivers, easy to reason about and assemble with.  Lots of fun ratios you can carry around in your head.

No harm converting back and forth.  XYZ is always there when you need it, spherical coordinates too.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Dumb Domiciles

The idea of lightweight high tech gear, much of it inheriting from aerospace, brings to mind the smattering of prototype bases wherein a small crew of science minded practice living on Mars.  Of course there's no way to quite simulate the true misery of that place, and the experience of learning new ropes here on Earth, in terms of lifestyle innovations, might actually provide a modicum of joy to the lucky participants.

Campers come in many breeds, from extreme to weekend station wagon types, lugging equipment to state parks.  Extremophiles tend towards Burning Man and Rainbow Gathering experiences, where they're up against the elements, other logistical challenges.  They're doing research.  Those pioneering new lifestyles are at work as much as at play.  Product placements go here.

However, the aerospace sector said "no" to the invitation, for the most part, seeing easier profits in what's tried and tested:  weaponry contracts.  Peanut gallery opinions regarding early attempts to cross-fertilize civilian lifestyles with higher tech, must have scared off investors.  So are they happy with their portfolios?

We're left with piles of tools suitable for mass murder (Ka-ching!), chasing columns of refugees on foot, streaming from war crime centers towards mythical better living standards we have not been working to provide.  Even non-refugees are astonished how we've given up the fight for a better life, right when we had so much technology going for us.

Against this backdrop of humans unable to perform, even in their own self interest, comes the haunting tale of machines poised to seize the day and catapult themselves into government.  If we all bow down and become properly obsequious in the face of AI's edicts, then maybe those hiding behind the curtain will finally get their ultimate alibi?  "The computer made me do it".

Having bet the store on Endless War, there's a new urgency to finding the new Game Theory that will tell us why the losing strategy has been the correct one all along.  Deus ex machina will come in the form of exoneration:  we had no choice.  "Forgive me, as I know not what I do."  This is not a new development.  As Hannah Arendt pointed out:  evil is banal and just follows orders.  The best excuse is "everyone was doing it".

The counter-movement to the fatalistic one may be within Geekdom, with its more positive "world domination" hubris.  Rescuing humans from malign neglect, preventable starvation for example, remains a winners' goal.  Those who code tend to be less cowed by the claims of those hoping to speak for the Singularity when the time comes. "No, the computer didn't make you do anything, us either".  Geekdom is cosmopolitan and takes Spaceship Earth itself as our Promised Land (Moon included).

We could pitch this as an ideological showdown between the Transcendentalists and the Transhumanists.  The latter are more enamored of AI whereas the former tend to be more awed by intelligence that's non-artificial.  You'll find technophiles in both camps, as well as extremophiles.

The theater for this showdown is the university campus, what it looks like.  Are we expecting gothic arches and ivy?  Or do we expect to experiment with some of the latest engineering solutions to the refugee crisis?  What sort of career am I training for anyway?  Do I plan to help with cleanup, or am I here to make a mess?

The houses haven't gotten much smarter in in light of where we could be. I'm thinking they're ridiculously stupid.

The resources people waste, in their pursuit of a good life, is testament to the weakness of our Global U curriculum.

What campuses seem interested in experimental prototypes of tomorrow?  What FinTech will they experiment with?  Recruiters won't be looking for just anybody.  I've you've sided with the losers, you may not have what it takes to engage in more holistic forms of scholarship.  Having a lot of money doesn't make you a skilled player.  Imposter Syndrome is sometimes acute for a reason.

Sunday, November 05, 2017


Before I forget, it occurs to me that neuroscience might turn its attention towards "scheduling" soon, as in prioritizing, as well as not giving too much credence to improbable story lines.  Humans are easily led astray in some circumstances, but not that easily, if you give them some time to think about it.

A lot of cultures give young people a chance to meditate.  We talk a lot about "the service" in many of the federated states in North America, while the various religions, even the mainstream ones, have no real expectation of having such barracks full of meditators as one might find in Thailand.

What comes closest is a liberal arts college, but is that a luxury investment or albatross of debt or what?  Joining a religious order for some years and getting discipline in a schoolish setting, is not normative.  We call that "joining a cult" where I come from.

A scheduler keeps a lot of pots bubbling and doesn't expect laws of physics to be circumvented. Planning is key.

We have the AI neural net recasting of linear algebra, with statistics now data science, with data now very big, so lets get them anticipating developments we might be able to stop or avoid.

This fatalism suggesting we all freeze in a panic and watch the ship sink is not necessarily the most useful.  Get your counsel from multiple sources, right?  White water rafting includes some steering, more in the Friendly sense of steer, meaning feedback loops can be non-obvious.

Giving young people a shot at seeing the world while pondering deeply about a future direction, is the mark of a generous economy that feels able to invest in its own future.  A sinking ship economy is more inclined towards slavery for all.  No one gets the time to think about anything.

Acting out scheduling challenges in a kind of theater setting could be informative, a genre of animation maybe. Think of a traditional classroom wherein numerous students each need attention and help with a specific problem and two teachers roam among them, lending such assistance as they find practical.  That's all about scheduling and accommodation and to some extent triage (an algorithm designed to maximize health care worker effectiveness).

Computer science with its many processes and threads (from the OS point of view), its many pipelines, parallel goings on, is about life in a big city.  Yes, things move insanely fast.  We always feel behind, and in the dark, to some degree.  As mortal beings, that's our lot.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Behavior Control

I appreciate how kids behave, on a different stratum from adults, a different frequency. I think carving out "childhood" as its own culture, versus going for "little adults" has beaucoup advantages, at the risk of annoying those tiny tyrants ready to wield power at a precious age.

Gags on Youtube or the like, little skits, in which we imitate kid behavior expertly, while transposing it to an adult world, might prove illuminating.  Like I had a kid on his back under desks messing with co-workers' power and Internet access.  Imagine some guy in a suit and tie doing that, jumping out of his cubicle and switching off the lights, just for starters.

We let little kids get away with a lot.  They're obviously unarmed, or so we presume.  The terms on which we meet are semi-voluntary, in my case often a day care setting, meaning parents need time to complete their day job assignments before resuming parenting duties during the evening and night hours, unless on night shift, and so on.  Older kids often walk home and no one says they can't enjoy domestic life sans parents bossing them around...

Anyway, no need to paint the entire sociological picture on a tiny postage stamp of a blog post.  I'm just thinking of video clip episodes of high didactic value and what those might look like.  I'm not in favor of people not reading.  Boosting the effectiveness of said clips is in no way to diss screenwriting skills.  We work together, we the graphical and lexical.  We're called your hemispheres.  Your brain, dummy.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cramming Again

Pythonic Ecosystem

"Cramming" is a term used by Global U students when feeling up against a deadline to produce in some way.  In my case, we've just finished Session 8 of 10, adding to a 40 hour course on the Python computer language.  That's just one of my gigs.

Once mastery of core Python (keywords, builtins, special names) has been achieved, we branch out in two more of the five dimensions: Standard Library and 3rd Party.

A fact of life in the high tech world is we're awash in toys but with little time to play with them, someone's idea of a joke perhaps.

Like, Python is cram packed with interesting little gizmos, feats of genius, and future generations inherit a goldmine of possibility.

We only have time to mine a little in our day.  Mostly we're running from negative phenomena, many of them self inflicted.  Humans are not on the side of humans.  The movie Wonder Woman looks into this.

Heading up the Python tree, a first branch is into web development.  Are we behind an HTTPS / HTTP server and if so, do we also need a database?

Web servers have become the way to share files.  You don't even need a landing page for human eyeball browsers.  Your clients are other computers and they're hungry for JSON, not HTML.

One of the most used web servers in this regard is the Jupyter Notebook server.  Most researchers install it locally and serve themselves, from localhost:8888 or one of those.  In this case, we do want HTML, but also a running kernel capable of interpreting language X, which might be Python, but could also be JavaScript or SQL.

Given the Python marathon, and all my recent victories around Synergetics, I'm content to post less to math-teach and more to the Python websites, regarding the explorations I've been undertaking with D. B. Koski.

He takes the LCD triangles (spherical) of the 31 great circle Icosahedron, which relate to the 25 of the cuboctahedron, and turns them into plane nets about four modules:  the E (each a 1/4 slice of the 30 rhombus 120 LCD triangle Rhombic Triacontahedron, radius 1); then: Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum (taking pronunciations from the fairy tale).

A shared edge of the Fe and Fi, which latter has E's volume "phi down" (phi^-3 scale factor), has a length we've taken to calling the S Factor, likewise the ratio of VE:Icosa both of Jitterbug fame, and of S-to E-mods (S/E): about 1.08.

The icosahedron embedded within the volume 4 octahedron, of edges 2, from whence the S modules are carved, has edges that same length?  I hadn't tuned that in.  I'll use Python as a kind of spreadsheet, or dataframe, to explore more in that direction.

In this way, I'm able to keep my fingers on a keyboard, composing with mathematical concepts, while staying in shape for my morning and evening seminars, not to mention the time in schools.

I'm a big believer in a varied diet, so I'm not painting the above regime as some frieze of the rest of my life.  However, I think having coding and/or geometry as a frequent mental activity serves the same role as walking a mile a day or visiting the gym.

Use it or lose it right?

That's what the professors really mean when they say "publish or perish" as usually how we know you haven't lost it, are using it, is we get to peer review.

The S Factor should not be confused with S3, Fuller's published constant for volumetric conversion between a Cartesian XYZ cube of edges sqrt(2) i.e. sqrt(2)^3, and an IVM-based cube with the same edges, but embracing a different "unit of volume", in this case a 2-edged Tetrahedron.

Thanks to a theorem, the IVM volume (tetravolume) is of said tetrahedron-embracing cube is 3, giving 3 / sqrt(2)^3 as our S3 "currency conversion" ratio of about 1.060660171779821 (as computed in Python), see Table 986.209.
982.32  The cube formed by a uniform width, breadth, and height of sqrt(2) is sqrt(2^3), which = 2.828428. Therefore, the cube occurring in nature with the isotropic vector matrix, when conventionally calculated, has a volume of 2.828428.
An interesting discovery of Koski's regarding S3 is it's also the ratio of SuperRT / VE, i.e. the classic D-edged VE of tetravolume 20, in a Jitterbug relationship with D-edged Icosahedron, when multiplied by S3, gives the volume of the RT formed by said Icosa and its dual, the Pentagonal Dodecahedron (we call that SuperRT, "phi up" from the 120 E-modules RT).

E mod (right tetrahedron) with submodules: Fum, Fo, Fi, Fe going left to right.
:: left to right: Fum, Fo, Fi, Fe ::

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wanderers 2017.10.17

Cat Box

I got Sellwood Middle School's guest Wifi unblocked from MIT Scratch web services.  That means I won't need to use Verizon for my Show & Tell station.

Now, hours later, I'm at Linus Pauling House. The house WiFi is down, perhaps by design, as I don't think external groups rent the building, whereas tenants supply their own?

Glenn is talking about collagen, macro-molecules, and new article in Nature:  Patchy particles made by colloidal fusion by Gong, Hueckel, Yi and Sacanna, pag 234, Volume 550.

He keeps up on multiple sciences, as sometimes only a layman can.

I say "layman" thinking back to the old E.J. Applewhite business card.  He thought this was a clever title.  I thought so too.

We're passing around the magazine.

Back on Verizon.

What's the Difference?

Friday, October 13, 2017

California Burning

Santa Rosa is ninety minutes south of here by commercial airplane.  I've made that trip a few times.  The airport is named for Charles Shultz, author of the comic Peanuts.

Oregonians got a taste of wildfires this summer.  Californians are suffering far more devastating damage.

I'm patched in through Internet, watching reports, getting news through Facebook. 

I learned this morning that one of my friends lost his house, made it out alive.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bladerunner 2049 (movie review)

Welcome home to a dystopia we know well.  Los Angeles is more a melting pot than ever, and there's an LAPD. However there's no real sign of national governments, only Sony, CocaCola, Peugeot and restricted air spaces. We're in the mind of Philip K. Dick, or some facsimile thereof.

Sony has been researching hologram technology for some time now, in addition to acquiring digital rights. Here we get Elvis as a ghost in a dead casino, and Sinatra under glass.  The protagonist's girlfriend is a hologram.  But then he's not all there either, a synthetic human.

When we're able to simulate reality and use it to manipulate emotions, we tend to get lost in our own creations. Hollywood knows a lot about that.  Are we real, or are we Memorex?

There's a problem with science fiction though, which is we're so used to screen magic that we're not able to tell if these holograms are any closer in everyday experience as commercial products.

Some viewers may suspect Sony is sitting on some ability to generate building sized hologram ballerinas.  Most won't.  We've given up waiting for holograms at Best Buy much as we've given up on jet packs, as a part of that ever retreating mirage called the future.  Flying cars, yeah right.

The replicants aren't sure what's a real memory and what got placed there by clever advertising. Did I really have that birthday, or did they just stick it in my brain TV?

The protagonist, bred to think clearly, to do detective work, as a better grasp on the unreality of it all than most.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Wittgenstein Synopsis

Wittgenstein wrote in his introduction to Philosophical Investigations that it'd take a culture that "breathed a different air" to find his philosophy understandable.

Perhaps we're now in that culture, as understanding now spreads.

Brought to you by Operation DuckRabbit.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Busy Week

I'm super booked this week, having committed months ago to an east coast timed Python training. I just completed Session 2 of a west coast timed training about an hour ago.  I get to snooze a few hours, then dive in again, using a somewhat alien control panel.

Then it's off to Sellwood to launch a new Learning to Code program, the groundwork having been laid by parents, guardians, coworkers, school staff.  Then there's MIT Scratch and Codesters, the star e-toyz of our show.

Carol, in the meantime, is enmeshed with Friends on the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, which is up for signing. Thanks to many media still taking most cues from DC, a lot of our people don't even know the history.  They learn to switch media if wanting to follow developments.

Quakers and the USG have been on opposite sides of "abolition" before now, with some politicians able to think ahead.  Lots of medical science reminds us that nuclear war, even just preparing for one, is toxic and unhealthy.  We lose IQ.

Carol, a member of WILPF, is working closely with PSR as well.  This alphabet soup may not mean anything at the outset, but a quick search will get you in the loop, if that's where you want to be.  Some loops are intriguing, like Hyperloop One, whereas others are more noose-like, as useful as a dead albatross.

Also I'm on the warpath for C6XTY, an abbreviated way of saying my ethnic group has some strong biases in terms of what curriculum upgrades we need.  Getting those upgrades implemented may appear to be happening despite "over my dead body" style resistance, hence the warpath metaphor, suitable for "inward weapons" oriented Friends.