2016 September


I don’t know about other cities, but Portland-based Oregonians have a penchant for referring to their own fair city, by its three-letter international airport code: PDX.

You’ll see that everywhere, as a part of the branding, right up there with Portlandia — the statue, not the TV show, though why not share that word, make it more multi-media?


Yesterday in PDX, August 9, Carol (my mom, 87) expressed joy that the Mayor’s Office had finally gotten back to her with a finalized draft of a Proclamation, which she happily color-printed in her home office and redistributed at the venue, which was our Japanese-American Friendship Park, on Naito Parkway.

We have a grassy park all along the west bank of the Willamette River, great planning.   Many annual events situate in these areas, including an annual carnival associated with the Rose Parade. City of Roses is another nickname, also Bridge City, Stump Town, Puddle Town.

from Mt. Tabor

This Japan-America friendship park is between the Broadway and Steel bridges (we have like ten or eleven bridges, having just opened a new one, no cars, only peds, cycles, and public transit, named Tillikum Crossing).

City mayors are good friends of the anti-nuke network, as is Rotary Club. They know their own civilians are targeted, reservoirs first perhaps.  Prompt mass panic and evacuation, then take out the infrastructure in one blow, showing other cities that panic is warranted.  Seattle might be first, the bombs coming in by shipping container.  Countdown to Zerothe movie, narrated by Valarie Plame, spells out several likely scenarios.

So yeah, these Mayors aren’t too keen on living through that, so have been vocal about their opposition to any planned or unplanned use of nukes.

Sonya Pinney came by ahead of the event, to “Blue House”, what the Food Not Bombers dubbed it, back when we served as a truck stop (actually a bike trailer dispatch center).

Several houses helped with food retrieval and prep, also storage and as kitchens, and they tended to have color names.  Yellow House, Purple House… ours was Blue.

Cera (as in Cera Monial) and Satya, a Buddhist monk, were cooking at a house nearby and Lindsey, my basement guest, IT worker turned musician & revolutionary, another LGBTQ refugee from the Christian South (as my wife had been) had discovered an ethical way to get healthy free food:  make use of what’s called “food waste”.

Satya studying a family book on Bhutan

“Food waste” included nothing much from any dumpster in our case, though it may for others, given the acres and acres of still-good stuff tossed every day.  Willamette Valley is verdant, with produce in abundance.  Our bike trailers came back to the house laden with fresh, mint-condition, organic produce from friendly warehouses.

Warehouses with excess, contribute to humanity in this way, not just to the Food Bank.  Many Oregonians go hungry.

The US is a very poor place. They’re in denial about it here, pointing to gated communities, all these cases of people with (often terminal) affluenza, but we had all those symptoms in the Philippines too, so not convincing.  They’re also feeling poor in spirit, and who can blame them, given the state of our biosphere? Some of the speeches acknowledged our sense of depression, at still living under the threat of nuclear weapons.

Sonya and I have a mutual friend with a new book out entitled No Big Bang, an individual’s meditation on cosmology, musings that blended with his driving a bus.  One needs to think about something, if a professional bus driver, or truck driver, and cosmology is a good candidate for musings, at least when things are smooth and traffic isn’t too hectic.

Freeway truck drivers might get books on tape.  City bus drivers don’t have that luxury.

David’s tome

Greater Portland still gets slow and smooth sometimes, almost languid, though the freneticism of Californians is moving north. The traffic is getting thicker, especially over the I-5 and I-205 bridges.

Those are both inter-state and Washington has no income tax whereas Oregon has no sales tax.  Live there, shop here.  That’s causing a huge expenditure of energy, daily, adding to the traffic’s churning.  Cannabis is legal in both states, but most US states still suffer DC’s tyranny in 2016.

Bus routes through that churn would have to factor the much slower speeds into their schedules.

Sonya, sitting on my couch, wondered what I thought of David’s book.  Sonya is about mom’s age, quite active in our Friends Meeting. Our family and hers were among those originating Multnomah Monthly Meeting, the building a gift from AFSC fans, and by extension, fans of Quakers as well.  Our benefactors were early pioneers of the Silicon Forest, its electronics industry, now branching into nanotechnology in addition.

Doug Strain’s Electroscientific Measurements (later ESI) had the building before we did, and Jantzen (the swim suit maker) before that.

remembering our Silicon Forest roots

We’d had two dinner parties with No Big Bang a key conversation topic, David (the author) and I, and Alice, David’s wife. I’d connected to dots in another source, un-cited by David’s work (one can’t cite, let alone read them all), based on my own studies and reading.

Bucky Fuller in his Synergetics wrote about Universe as a place, a neighborhood (or “namespace”), using a proper noun (capitalized).  My uncle Earl was into that too as I recall.  Earl talked about “on campus” versus “on the campus”, wondering which was the “right” grammar.

Universe closely relates to System in these two dovetailing-by-numbered section philosophy volumes (published by Macmillan), which is not unusual in philosophy.  Hegel was a Systems guy too, then came General Systems Theory (GST), a field Kenneth Boulding (a Friend) helped cultivate.

Numbering passages for indexing purposes is not meant to suggest Synergetics is a “Bible” per se, but it is common practice to refer to any serious readers of said work as “Bucky disciples”.  Wittgenstein’s philosophy tomes likewise featured numbering, and sure enough he has disciples too.

Now that every passage tends to have a URL for lookup purposes, whether Biblical or not, probably this practice of numbering is less noteworthy.

new edition

Although modelable as a System, ultimately Fuller considered his Universe to be “non-unitarily conceptual” or even “eternally aconceptual” which connected to its being “eternally regenerative” in his geometry-laced writings.

We have these various “time tunnels” (he called them “scenarios”) we live through, of some definite duration, but then Universe nowhere becomes a significand in these processes, kind of like how mystics say there’s no way to “name” all that is.  One might argue not that “naming God” is a sin or crime, sacrilegious in any way, merely a futile exercise, as words don’t point to the moon, either.  Words are not pointers.

So yeah, Fuller, like David Prideaux, was not really a “big banger” either.  I was updating Sonya on that fact, letting her know that from my vantage point, cosmology remains a debated subject in various circles, even around such basic questions.  If history is any guide, that will continue to be the case.

I also mentioned to Sonya that, in my view, such discussions were only fun if they involved measurable quantities, so that at least we had some grist for the mill and a way to further improve our instrumentation.  Minus experimentation and empirical measures, we would end up with empty word-spinning, which happens a lot in philosophy.

Then we got in the car, Sonya, Carol and I (the chauffeur) and headed downtown for the Disarm Day event. We got there just in time. Carol sometimes delivers a keynote but not this year, so we weren’t required to be there early.

The weather was cool, amazingly, almost raining.  Some years it’s been sweltering.  I like gray rainy days myself.

The taiko drumming was especially impressive this year and I took tons of pictures (linked below). The taiko troupe had risked bringing one of their biggest and loudest drums, even with rain threatened.

The drum was too big to fit under the rented tent.

Taiko Drum, at PDX Disarm Day

Carol was thanked in one of the keynotes, for working with the City, on getting that Proclamation in time.  We may have had those before, but the wording is always changing, reflecting the times.

Mayor’s Proclamation

With over 17K nuclear weapons in existence (cite traveling exhibit on that theme) and no apparent moves to stop production, the Marshall Islands (a nuked nation) has stepped forward in legal circles to point out the Nonproliferation Treaty actually includes language for implementing rollback, i.e. the “haves” aren’t just supposed to sit their on their piles of WMDs and threaten others willy-nilly for the rest of human history.

Their lawsuit winds its way through the system, one of several talking points in diplomatic circles, from which circles most US Americans are excluded by their media.

The levels of misinformation about the consequences of atmospheric tests already done, remain high.  No subjects are more concertedly the focus of spin doctoring than the nuclear ones, which include positively spun subjects, like PET scans.

We like nuclear medicine, even Iran does. The Iranians hate the WMD economy though, and think it’s ironic how the US projects them as lusting after nukes like the US has, as if their whole goal in life were to be bullies in the same way. Leave “lording it over” to the likes of “Clown Satan” — their parody of Uncle Sam and his “Christian” (self proclaimed) minions.

from OSU’s curated collection

There’s widespread resentment of the Nuke Nations among those without nukes, as might be imagined.  The non-aligned movement was all about steering clear of “superpowers” although these tend to be unavoidable, somewhat by definition, especially if one has resources.

Like I was a strontium-90 baby, as were many infants in my day.  No one really knows what that means.

They’d built that Nagasaki bomb up river and been sloppy in their panic to get it done. Hanford down-winders wound up getting high doses.  The atmospheric tests added “new luminosity” to the global biosphere, to sound euphemistic about it.

Recycled uranium (DU), in the form of weapons, helped spread the dust even more finely, in former vegetable basket economies (ecosystems).

Hanford, part of the Manhattan Project, is the biggest environmental cleanup job in human history just about, as Daniel Ellsberg predicted it would be, and for all those billions spent may be a lost cause in the long run.

Pedro Sosa (AFSC) and Carol Urner

Humans will adapt to higher rad levels or they won’t? The trillion dollar facility they’d hoped to use for at least some disposal, is still closed to new waste, thanks to faulty cat litter, long story.

The leeching into the water table was only stopped by heroic measures in Chernobyl, to look at a different site humans will be dealing with for centuries, if lucky enough to remain viable that long.

The pile was on its way to the regional underground lake, Kiev’s drinking water, literally a meltdown.  All the best miners in the USSR were rushed in by train to contribute precious minutes (all a body could stand) in an effort to intervene and stop the pile’s progress.

You can watch the documentary on Youtube, don’t let me spoil it for ya. Gorbachev is a talking head.

Here I am now, the following day, back at the Blue House, journaling yesterday’s events.

Looking forward, the abandoned United Methodist Church in Sunnyside is a topic of conversation.  I have a twitter account devoted mostly to that, using #CodeCastle as a hash tag.  @OMSI is in the loop (local science museum).

“Code Castle”

I also just finished a forty hour gig teaching code school to Californians, through a company based in Irvine. I’m something like a high school math teacher, per my online Jupyter Notebooks, but with more content from Bucky Fuller’s Synergeticsthan is typical in 2016.

US Americans were successfully cut off from that elementary school heritage with its alternative model of powering and consequently more whole number volumes for familiar polyhedrons.  Very rational and logical, and a part of the transcendentalist literature.  E.J. Applewhite was always invoking Poe’s Eureka as a precursor, but then who knows about that either? Wasn’t Poe a big banger?

However Synergetics (a philosophy) is pretty close to English and therefore also enjoys some fans in South Africa and the Philippines (likewise Anglophone in places).  I remain in correspondence with math teachers around the world.

That Lindsey character I mentioned, the revolutionary in my basement, is these days back in Kathmandu, having lived through the earthquake in 2015.  I was at a Hilton in St. Louis when that happened, getting her cool-headed phone calls. PTSD caught up with her somewhat later, and she got through that as well.

Lindsey’s Birthday @ Blue House

My company had flown me to St. Louis and that converted train station Hilton for a US Distance Learning Conference.  I’ve been back to St. Louis since, independently of said company (O’Reilly School of Technology, a division of O’Reilly Media) to visit Earlham College again, this time for my youngest daughter’s graduation.

Both times I rented a car and drove round trip, stopping in Champaign-Urbana in Illinois, where our school had originally been founded, then as @useractive.com.  I still have good friends there. On another trip, I drove down from Chicago, the city of my birth, after DjangoCon, where I presented a workshop.

final course catalog before closing

Lindsey is now a student of Vajrayana Buddhism earning a degree at OSU thanks to Rotary Club.

Our neighborhood hosts one of the only Newar temples outside of Nepal, where a stylized form of dance supports religious ideation. Lindsey is learning that dance form, from some of the only remaining guy practitioners. She’s also deeply into Sanskrit.

I haven’t been attending Food Not Bombs servings of late.  These are open to all, no need to prove eligibility in any way, beyond conforming to rules around sanitation — bring your own bowl.

I lost two bicycles in the struggle, which included Occupy Portland (lots of logistics). Lindsey took to a tent with Melody, whereas I stayed at said “Blue Tent” — wood-skinned, so a “house”. I just got a new bicycle, as a gift, so might get down there again, to the rain shelter at Colonel Summers Park, near the Hinson Street Baptist Church on SE 20th and Belmont.

Some time after Occupy Portland, I wound up with a corporate job with benefits, working full time. That lasted three to four years, about the average time for a Silicon Valley type gig. I mostly worked from home (the Blue House), in the Silicon Forest, evaluating student work. O’Reilly is based in Sebastopol, near the Russian River, closer to the Bay Area.

The Hollywood movie-making industry has helped shape the way people see companies: as made-for-TV series with a cast that comes and goes, hops around among shows. The code school I volunteer at, do some PR for, meets on Mondays.  I could go Fridays…

I’m eyeing that nearby abandoned church (CodeCastle) as a space with more under-used floor space.  More Portlanders want to enroll in code school type classes than we can manage at PDX Code Guild.

Such is the life of a PDXer in 2016.

Keith McHenry, co-founder of FNB
cooking at St. David of Wales

Links to more pictures of PDX Disarm Day:

Related reading:

An Abolitionist President


By admin on September 15, 2016 | autobio
Tags: ,

Speaking of Serpents

I live on the Pacific Rim, in Portland, Oregon, which has a Chinese Gate, marking a long history of East-West traffic.  The Dragon is pretty much a powerful creature but more often celebrated than demonized.

We have parallels in the west, but in Genesis the serpent plays a decidedly negative role.  Although it’s a “dragon” that St. George would slay, I think that hearkened back to the generally negative connotations in the Bible.  Serpents and dragons were one and the same.

These days, I do a lot of programming in Python, perhaps another reason to think ahead.  True, Monty Python was more the target of Guido’s homage, but the familiarity of the Python, to Athena, really has to be remembered, which brings us full circle, as Athena reminds us of Eve, scholarship I needn’t duplicate here, check the Web.

In one re-telling of Genesis, in a limited edition art book called Tetrascroll, the authors of Genesis want to punish any knowing of the Dragon religions, older and further east.

That our world is actually a sphere, is also forbidden fruit.

Eve is like the name of a ship, feminine, where ships have ribs and convey Adam, around the world.  They’d flip their ships over on shore back then:  the ribs became eaves.  Like I said, an art book, not real etymology.

My friend Sam Lanahan owns one.

He went to the Philippines with Bucky in Martial Law days, as a guest of the Marcos family. This was well before I knew him, even though I was in high school in Manila in those days.  Our paths would cross later.

sam’s copy of tetrascroll

By admin on September 9, 2016 | literature, Quakerism, synergetics

Religious Education

Given I’d “glommed on” to Wittgenstein, as my thesis advisor Richard Rorty might have put it, as a user of the verb “to glom,” I found myself wandering over to the Religion Department half the time.

Victor Prellar was there, in Religion.  He’d been an Anglican priest in one chapter, I think it was, and now he was sharing Wittgenstein with higher level students.  Princeton includes a small grad school, although it prides itself on its focus on undergrads.  I was invited, as an interested undergrad, to attend his upper class seminars. At one point I spaced out writing a final paper, which annoyed him.  We stayed friends.

Wittgenstein was a religious man, I think that’s fair to say.  He chose a life of asceticism over a life of wealth and privilege, and his passion for logic gained him audiences with Gottlob Frege, and later Bertrand Russell.  The latter came to recognize great genius in Ludwig, and took him under his wing as a protege.

Fast forward and I’m getting lectures from some of the best in the business, not just Rorty and Prellar.  Diamond was great on William James.  My teachers of both Milton (Paradise Lost) and Machiavelli (The Prince) were both fantastic.  Princeton was not short on highly talented teachers.

I bring up all this lineage to help me plant a spear or javelin in an even more distant future, long after the turn of the millennium.  I’ve gone ahead and branded a few memes as “Quaker” just to see if “Quaker schools” might gain some traction around curriculum you won’t get just anywhere.  Dig around in my blogs and you’ll find them.  Think “philosophy of mathematics.”

I’m doubtful about finding the correspondence on my end, however I well recollect a long back-and-forth with Dr. Suber at Earlham College, long before I’d ever visited the campus.  I was hoping to get on his rather exhaustive list of “philosophy websites” around the web, however he was skeptical that Synergetics really counted.  I finally convinced him.  This quote marked the turning point:

The integration of geometry and philosophy in
a single conceptual system providing a
common language
and accounting for both the
physical and metaphysical.
Synergetics 251.50

A funny piece of trivia and synchronistic event:  Dr. Suber listed Synergetics immediately adjacent to Systematic Ideology, for alphabetical order reasons, and the latter was a link to Trevor Blake’s website.  Trevor lives just blocks from me, I see him fairly often.

Trevor (likewise atheist-friendly) has also participated in critical and specific ways to save the Bucky stuff, a transcendentalist corpus in which I specialize.  He inherited Joe Moore’s U-haul truck’s worth of materials, which he stashed and organized, Sam Lanahan helping with finances.

When I finally did make it to Earlham, I was invited to address their Philosophy Club, a somewhat brown bag lunch affair.  I spoke on two topics:  whether members of the natural numbers N might have infinite digits (the consensus among professionals is “no” only real numbers can have that); and on tetravolumes, more of that almost-trademarked Quaker stuff, at least in my niche of the market.

What all this “Quaker + geek” stuff traces back to is probably Right Sharing of World Resources and the GNU project (Richard Stallman et al).  I’ve written about him on Q2 before:  my idea of a prophet.

A branch of engineering decided to give the world the benefit of its craftsmanship for free, as a side-result of its master practitioners agreeing to empower one another.  Rather than let the lawyers control ownership, the engineers would on their own take ownership, of the whole idea of ownership.

In my telling, some Quakers were paying close attention, and nothing in Quakerism has any problem with engineering.  If you’re into outward violence and designing “killingry” to amplify “acting out,” then fie on that, however “livingry” remains the focus of so many talented people, whether they call themselves “religious” or not.

If they’re loyal to humanity as a whole, I’m happy to think of them as religious in a way I might respect.  Religious education is not antithetical to an Engineering education.  Quakerism embraces science, including computer science, as Earlham College makes obvious.

By admin on | Quakerism

On Racism

One of the more bogus locutions out there stems from identifying with some goofy fiction like the “white race” (really?) and then thinking to “speak for” that fictional grouping.  “Speaking as a white person for a moment…”  Yeah, right.  Funny.

Even if there were a “white race” I wouldn’t consider anyone I know, including myself, authorized to speak for it.  But yes, I consider “races” to be entirely fictional, a-scientific inventions.  There’s no genetics behind the concept, only a confusing hodge-podge of ideas, mixing ideas about “blood” with ethnicity (cultural heritage) and a million other things.

Ashley Montagu was one of the heroes in anthropology, willing to stick his neck out to discredit the whole idea of “races of man”.  Yet efforts such as his, to deconstruct the whole idea of “races”, tend to take a back seat to the front and center battles that just assume the truth of this socially engineered meme virus.

Decades ago I came to the maxim:  “a racist is someone who believes in races” and I’m sticking to that even now.  If you want to overcome racism, go back and study how the idea came to be, and look at the arguments of its opponents.  Sure people differ in how they look, that’s not in dispute. Adaptation is real, the human genome is amazing.  That doesn’t mean the “race” concept is apropos.  After all, it grew to prominence long before anyone knew about DNA.  The race concept never depended on real science in the first place.

Just as the “military industrial complex” is a psychological thing, a tangle of beliefs about being a “superpower” (guffaw) with all the “manifest destiny” mumbo jumbo that goes along, so is the belief in races little more than a mental ailment, for which treatments are readily available.

By admin on | Quakerism

An Abolitionist President

Although US president Barack Obama is not a direct descendant of the Anglo-American slave trade, his abolitionist stance versus nuclear weapons is consistent with abolitionist values championed by a few Quakers in Underground Railroad times.

You may be thinking “a few Quakers” is an understatement given Friends had disowned all slave-owning by around the early 1800s, pre Civil War.  Good point, however the US Government took the position that slavery was legal at the time, and indeed founding fathers such as Jefferson were entirely dependent on slavery as an institution. Quakers also believed in the separation of church and state.

People were still in the early stages of industrialization and were not seeing how labor-saving appliances, factories, freeways, on-line shopping, would be altering the landscape, especially after two “world wars” (in the early 1800s, people did not yet imagine wars at that scale with a lot of foresight, science fiction writers excepted perhaps).  They could not foresee how prisoners and the undocumented could be forced to work under slave-like conditions.  Making slavery go away is more sleight of hand when you have PR-minded spin doctors serving political agendas.  Those days were in the distant future (our own time).

Many Friends therefore took the view that whereas members of the Religious Society should not be slave-owning, members of other persuasions, not convinced of Quakerism, were free to hold slaves, as private property was protected by the laws of the land, and other humans could be property.  Women were not voting members of society yet either.

When a suitable homeland was established, in Liberia perhaps (a sort of proto-Zionism was in the wind), all the “Negroes” could go there.  Some Quakers were most comfortable with this political agenda.  The stereotype that Friends were all secretly working with the Underground Railroad is more like spin applied later, after the Civil War.

Fast forward to today and one may find some Friends taking a non-abolitionist stance towards nuclear weapons, which make slaves of us all by threatening us with gross destruction in case someone’s will or policies are not obeyed.  “Defiance will be punished” is the message, from the masters to their minions.

Some Quakers are OK with this state of affairs, believing themselves to be on the masters’ side, which is also the side of God and all that is right and orthodox (ortho-normal, right-angled, four-square).

Other Friends such as Bayard Rustin, into speaking truth to power (a translation of “jihad” by some accounts), have been less compromising.  Like Obama, the AFSC, with which Rustin was affiliated, has been consistently in favor of (A) non-proliferation and (B) roll-back.

Indeed, built in to the Nonproliferation Treaty is the promise that those presently endowed with nukes will seek to abolish them.  The Marshall Islands is suing nations it perceives to have violated these terms of the agreement.  More power to ’em, as they too were victims of nuclear war, euphemistically described as “forced evacuation” followed by “tests” by the imperial-minded of a non-Friendly bent.

As a former AFSC liaison for the West Region (US jurisdiction), and former NPYM delegate to Philadelphia, I’d like to thank president Obama for calling for an awakening of conscience from Hiroshima today.  He takes his stand with abolitionists of the past, as well as those of the present.

By admin on | Quakerism

Offering Refuge to the World’s Weary

A “refugee” is “someone seeking refuge” which quickly expands to us all in meditation or prayer.

Whole communities came to the New World on those dangerous watercraft, seeking liberty, freedom from persecution, the right to be left alone.  Relationships were continued, at a village level.

Thinking of refugee camps as full of solitary individuals, each needing a desk job and a bus pass, a separate singleton existence, is of course unrealistic.

Extended families often do not wish to be broken up.  They live as a tribe, whole communities.

At a party for Leos last night, celebrating those born with this astrological sign, I spied a catalog for the latest camping gear.  A love of the outdoors is rekindled, in looking through these pages.

Do we all know where the word “camping” comes from?  From “campaigning”.

The goal was to distill the “fun part” of campaigning and leave out all the pathological murderous killing.  That’s how “camping” came about.

Rather than trying to solve the world’s problems with explosive devices and unsustainable pain levels, investing in the latest camping gear and gardening equipment might make more sense.

Suppliers would have many product placement opportunities.  Every Dignity Village could be a showcase.

My friend Patrick got to visit Biosphere 2 near Tuscon recently and confirmed a large dome may be self cooling, given air flows.

I’m not saying everyone wants to tent and/or garden in a dome as a lifestyle, but others would, and would make it as telegenic as that catalog.

Many experiments need to be tried.  We have a lot of engineering creativity and capacity, why not use it?

Having many smallish colonies guinea pigging the new products, willingly, giving feedback, like test pilots, would be part of what “scouting” means.

That’s part of how one trades lifestyle ideas with the rest of the world: test out something new and let us judge for ourselves what we might like to adopt from it.

Quaker communities:  given some hundreds of years of prior practice, and a willingness to relinquish violence, these could be some of the best.

The biggest most expensive camps in present times tend to be military and “killingry oriented”. We also have many para-military encampments in North America, though we’re uncomfortable focusing on that topic in the media.

Here in Oregon many people remember the Rajneesh Puram experiment and how that went.  Not all experiments are equally successful.  The more we engage in, and compare notes, the faster we learn.

Although armed encampments are “campaign” flavored, more than “camping” flavored, the term “refugee” may yet apply.

For example a soldier may have chosen soldiering to escape abject poverty in a cruel economy with no prospects, akin to a war zone.  Lets keep soldiers in our prayers as refugees as well.

The skills learned in the military overlap with “scouting” and “disaster relief”.

Making the transition, from “campaigning” to “camping”, is far from impossible, in a climate that’s less war-crazy.

The idea of community service oriented camps come more from religious templates, centered around a church, temple or mosque.

Rather than stress about the prospect of non-violent religious communities popping up, as schools with campuses, we could welcome our improving living standards (globally, not just locally).

If you’re a refugee on the streets, a family under a freeway viaduct, you’ll be wondering if there might be a community for you out there.

I’m not giving up on mega-project cities, like Old Man River was to be, however I’m thinking our universities may have stopped teaching about those possibilities?  The military bases amount to mega-project cities in some cases.

Civilians may no longer have enough know-how.  When we skip a generation or two, we lose a lot.  I’m not sure who’s left on the scene who could build a geodesic dome or sphere if we wanted one.  In that chapter, we seemed more hopeful.

Maybe NASA has some ideas?  Terraforming proceeds, with or without any master plans.

originally published to the QuakerQuaker website.


By admin on | Uncategorized

New Circuit Designs…

[ copied over from QuakerQuaker, September 2016 ]

When I stumbled onto the scene, General Systems Theory appeared to be languishing or at least not going anywhere, having gotten off to a promising start.

My branding instincts, honed in Rome, suggested competing with some other discipline, creating a horse race, might add more life to this picture.

I set about branding GST as an alternative to Economics.  Economics itself preaches the dangers of complacent monopolies, so of all disciplines it deserves some competition, makes perfect sense.  We’ll talk about “guns vs butter” same as they do, but without all the same cultural baggage.

Instead of “economies” we just have “ecosystems” in GST, i.e. human designs and trading practices mesh seamlessly with their non-human surroundings, or “biosphere” as some call it. [1]  I grabbed the ball and ran with it, maybe advancing a few yards. [2]  I felt part of a team.

By sometime in the 1990s, I had the gist of GST boiled it down to three pages:

http://grunch.net/synergetics/gst1.html -> gst2.html -> gst3.html

In building bridges back to Economics, I’ve found the most traction with the Henry George School, one of the many econ branches.

Unless the presentation has a thermodynamic flavor and acknowledges the sun as the fusion powerhouse it is (as in the above Motherboard Earth manifesto), an econ blend is likely closer to that University of Chicago stuff you mention, embraced by neocons more than most. I’d consider such thinking insufficiently cosmic, too ignorant of real science. [3]


[1] “Biosphere” is a far more intelligent concept than mere “climate” (confused with weather, temperature especially). http://mybizmo.blogspot.com/2014/10/biosphere-is-better.html

[2] Another discipline I’ve worked to rescue from the junk heap of history was “lambda calculus”, which is still taught, but could fizzle if not given more to chew on, or with.  I set it up opposite “delta calculus”, the obstacle course already laid out.  Once up to Algebra, you may opt to pursue the Lambda track and get more programming mixed with your XYZ vectors and group theory.

[3] see The Power of Nightmares for more insights into the Chicago University origins of these overlapping Bush Era ideologies

By admin on | Uncategorized