Friday, February 17, 2017

(From) Path to Platform

I went to a 'path to platform' meeting last night.
Small crowd, cookies provided. (I had one, though i rarely eat them for  health reasons---sugar).

This was an informational discussion  about membership in the 'ethical society' --a sort of church, associated with unitarian universalists (UU), but one that admits people of any religious faith, or none at all, or undecided (agnostic).

A large part of discussion (about 2 hours) was the history of the ethical society. It was founded in 1800's by  Felix Adler.  (I had heard of Mortimer Adler, founder of great books program at U Chicago, and a free university in NY public library in 1920's--mostly for poor people , and many immigrants, who couldn't afford going to a university. That free university actually had courses at any level, including ones similar to those at the most elite grad schools---Einstein's theory of relativity, for example. Felix seems to be unrelated to Mortimer).

There is a somewhat large and complex history of the ethical society---there are only 24 congregations in the USA. The one I was at is the only one which is affiliated with UU---which i think has iver 1000.    The one basic principle they seem to have is 'belief in the intrinsic worth of all people'.   They are what would be termed liberal or progressive, and they support many of current 'hot issues' such as Black Lives Matter movement, womyn, immigrant, indigenous people's and gay rights, and 'green' or environmental values (eg how to deal with anthropogenic global warming, and support for Sioux indians fighting DAPL---dakota access (oil) pipeline).

They also discussed the challenges they face, and various programs they offer. Some challenges include maintaining a congregation (though they seem to be doing fine on this issue) and financing their operations (which they partly do by renting their space to other groups with related principles---AA groups, immigrant groups, other faith groups which don't have a building to meet in, day care centers etc.) .  Anyone can attend their 'platform services' (the term they use for their variant of a Sunday morning church service), but some of their financing comes from donations (eg tithes) at the service (any amount) and also if people become members, some sort of financial commitment , but on a sliding scale---what  people can afford.  (Some of their contributions are allocated to programs they support---for homeless people, victims of violence, etc.)

The minister (female) leading the discussion also took us on a tour of their place---quite extensive. They have classrooms, libraries, kitchens, playgrounds, everything.

 She  also asked each participant in the group to 'talk to your neighbor at the table'. My neighbor was from Baltimore, so we shared notes since I've been there a few times. (I once walked from Morgan State U all the way downtown to the bus/train station through Herring run park---first half was no trails---had to walk  in the creek, but it was 90 degrees so that was good. Found a den of wild foxes too. About an 8 mile walk----half in the city---lots of boarded up buildings and heroin addicts, but nobody messed with me--some actually laughed since i was wet and rumpled after my walk along herring run).    Interestingly the term 'gangsta rap' came up---partly because there is alot of that in Baltimore, some of which I am familiar with. My neighbor and I shared  an interest in that--i like the music, but the lyrics are problematic.

She also asked us to write down how we came to be at the path to platform meeting and the ethical society.   I actually didn't quite get what she was asking. I figured she was saying just write something,  which i did. (They provided pencil  and paper, and actually, usually i doodle during meetings.) My path to ethical society  included that I'd been there in the 70's for something I don't remember apart from the building, and had been there for a WPFW radio meeting before, and then learned of a science book club there which was discussing a book by Brian Goodwin which is a sort of classic (its based on Alan Turing's mathematical model of biological morphogenesis). I missed that meeting but caught some others on evolutionary theory.

I wrote down what I could remember at the time of some basic science equations---Shrodinger's and Heisenberg's equations of quantum theory,  a little special relativity, and statistical mechanics (Boltzmann's distribution) and Cantor's theorem in math, . (I would have included some ones from populations genetics and ecology if i had thought of  it.) I also did a picture of 'casper the ghost' and 'the scream' by E Munch (a painting that sold for millions$)..

Then I walked home, and maybe did a bad thing. As usual about 2 am i get a phone call from someone asking if they can sleep there. I was asleep and didnt answer the phone. I had told the person that he could sleep on my floor occassionaly but not when I am busy. If he sleeps here, he may sleep all day, and when I'm asleep use my kitchen and food, and once my computer---which he basically destroyed.    He knows alot of people around here, has family in DC, but basically they don't let him stay with them.  He can get to a shelter anytime but prefers my area since he has a drug habit and dealers are close.   He has a few odd jobs around here but I think mostly spends time hanging out  with friends, and then shows up here at midnite or later and wants inside.

Also, I've slept outside in cold weather and snow so many times in DC (and i've been 'homeless' in Egypt, Mexico, India, Alaska and all over the USA so much that i don't have alot of respect for people who can't sleep outside, especially when they have been on the street for years and spend most of their time looking for people who will help them out unconditionally--I'm always told 'its better to give than receive' but people saying that give very little and just receive, sometimes quite alot)  .

I do think all people have some intrinsic worth, but they also have to respect others. My 'worth' includes my computer--alot of work I had on that--and peace of mind, and sleep. . If you lose that, your worth goes towards nothing.)

Today I remembered another way I got into 'ethics'. Its a term in moral philosophy. The best book on that was Ethics:Origin and Development by anarchist P Kropotkin , from 1920 or so. Its very outdated but still quite interesting. Philosophers like Rawls, Nozick, Parfit, also discuss ethics, or justice---a related term  (typically from an ivory tower--its easy to argue for say 'open borders' when you have a door you can lock and close).

While walking back from ethical society, I was thinking about 'path integrals' (a mathematical term due to Richard Feynman in physics). That is one more equation I would have written down. It includes both classical, quantum and stochastic dynamics.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017


My New Year's Resolution and Predictions.

   buy An Authoritative Source

1. First, I predict that in 2017, it will be 2017.

My first prediction has been confirmed--so I'm both reliable and authoratative, as well as omniscient.

2. I predict that last night, there was a full moon.

As they say, 'we are the 99%'.  The moon was waning last nite, at 99% of full moon.
So my prediction has been proven false, or true within margin of error.
  [x,p]= ih_bar as they say.   (quantum mechanical commutation relations).

3. My new year's resolution will be same as last year's---'next year I plan to stop procrastinating'.

4.  I predict Trump will be s/elected president J20.  Also, that there will be alot of protestors this Friday. And supporters. There may be a free punk outside punk  rock concert J21; but it may be cancelled due to snow and freezing rain, or moved inside---usually to a church of some sort.

 J15 Rare Essence, JYB and EU will be at Howard Theater (22$); and DC Labor Choir will be at WES (35$). .

MLK Peace Walk is J16; WES  also has many events (as does Rock Creek Conservancy---cleaning trash out of the park, etc.)

5. J27 is the opposite of the full moon---I forget what that is called.

Its also the day of my appointment with a sort of mathematical economist into 'maximum entropy' methods. (He has quite a resume). I want to meet and talk with him about 2 papers---one on econophysics, the other on how information flows through the world. The book 'ideology and utopia' by K Mannheim, among others (eg Durkheim, Marx, Kropotkin, H White) also discusses this.

6. I predict the ratio  (fake news/real news) will be an irrational number between positive and negative infinity (and possibly multidimensional or convertible to any number of dimensions, like Poincare Sections).   If you expand it, one digit will predict it converges to + infinity, but next one will say 0, and next to - infinity.

As Freeman Dyson put it, the universe is infnite in all directions.

7. I predict 7 will be the 4th, 5th, or last prime number.

And that Trump will also ban any more prime numbers. 'Voluntary simplicity' (or stupidity).

8. I predict scientists (eg at Yale) can make some kinds of mice attack on demand, and do other things with other kinds of mice.

9. I predict that I went to Planet Comet last nite to see 4 punk-type bands because I listened to them on youtube and decided to check em out.  A Famous place for 'fake news stories'. 2 police cars parked across the street--i was amazed they let me in. I almost got beat up when i was coming back to my area---asked the bus driver to call the police if he saw me getting attacked. As usual, when i get home the usual small crowd is out there asking for help.

10.  I predict a 10 comes after a 9, and if 6 could be a 9 it would be,

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Review of a Talk by Democracy Now's Amy Goodman

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Brief Summary.

I always give a ranking between 0 and 100% based on how much they get right.    This one gets a 50%---half right. (If one is a 'negative ' person, with a bad attitude in need of extensive, expensive psychotherapy, who always says 'the glass is half empty', rather than 'half full', then one would say the talk was 'half wrong'.)

For comparison, talks i saw by Marc Kac (mathematical physics), John Wheeler (physics), Herbert Simon (economics) and Michael Freedman (math ) got 90% right.  (The part they got wrong was that I couldn't understand half of what they were talking about ---I'm sure it wasn't my problem since I'm very intelligent--my IQ has been measured and its 6 feet tall though it fluctuates between 140 and 160 pounds).

This lecture reminded me of another one I also gave a 50% to.  This was given by a health professional associated with GWU, about AIDS---prevention, treatment, and how to live with it. I went basically as a       volunteer (it was an AIDS education project) because I'd been invited when I was at some conference on 'urban anthropology' at AU.  The lecture was given in a 'housing project' in SE DC----that project is pretty 'notorious' for the number of homicides and shootings that happen in that area. The people who attended that lecture were all from that project; many had AIDS which they got either through use of contaminated needles to adminster heroin---their medication of choice, opportunity, and neccesity---or unsafe sex. I found the  lecture to be very basic.

 The person who gave it (a self described 'communist') i found to be condescending to me ('i'm a brilliant academic, down with the 'hood, and a communist---and holier than thou), but got along with the people there. She brought along her whole 'crew'---a bunch of white grad students, teachers, and professors---the only white people there besides me.  I realized these people were basically making money or getting college credit. I wasn't getting anything except an introduction to that community---which is good to have.  I was told the lecture wasn't adapted to me--its adapted for people with a low education.  I said, ok, but then  don't ask me to waste my time. We later went out on the street to hand out condoms.

That was how Amy Goodman's lecture was.  She was also making money---selling books and DVD's to fund her 100 city tour around the USA. She repeated the same 'stump speech' i had already heard on the radio and i heard part of it again today.  It wasn't for me.

It was for the people who went---in this case a basically fairly middle class crowd, probably 2/3 white and 2/3 over 50, with the rest a scattering of 'POC's' and millenials.  Given that it was a benefit for WPFW radio. I was a bit surprised---that is a fairly black oriented radio station, and some young people are involved.

I guess if you haven't heard of the Adventures of Amy Goodman this would be a good lecture. She has been everywhere, done everything, nearly been killed quite a few times, like many journalists. She has seen the way the world is more than most people. But its sort of like a lecture about 'how i climbed mount everest'.

Her analyses---that journalism is the key to having a democratic society is off mark in my view..  She went through a whole litany of causes she's covered on her news program Democracy Now---which i personally call Democracy Whenevuh. Occupy Wall Street, Ralph Nader's campaign, the Arab Spring and many more. These from some views were all losing campaigns.  (She noted the Arab Spring is an uncompleted revolution towards a democratic and peaceful mideast, and that all or many of the activists are in jail. On the other hand, Democracy Now is now broadcast on 1000 radio stations and her book is on the NY Time's bestseller list. Not everyone, I guess, wins in the Revolution).

I had got 2 tickets for this--i was going to take someone to see this since the person is strait up 'from the hood' ---with everything that means. I fugured the education might help. Person decided not to go (so i gave the other ticket to someone i knew--an affordable housing advocate).  I also go with this person for security---strength in numbers. To go where  Amy Goodman talked , I have to pass 2 'bad corners' so I like to have someone with me. I went by em yesterday---on the way, in the day,  and coming back, after dark. I noticed very few people were hanging out, which was unusual.  When i got home, I looked up the local police report and it said the police had picked up one guy for a homicide at one of the corners recently, and at the other place yesterday the police noticed someone was driviing without lights on at nite--so they stopped the car, and then shots were fired, people jumped out and fled and were throwing their guns in the bushes. Some got caught.  This is why noone was at those corners.  (The other corner which is near my place, now seems safe, where there is a store I often shop at to pick up a few things---its a nice upscale place owned by Ethiopans----had 2 police out front---one in a van, the other on a bike.  I decided to stop there. The previous owner was killed during a robbery a few years ago on July 4th.)

I did learnfrom Amy G that Donald Rumsfield, and/ or Dick Cheney (of George W Bush)  now own a property near the Chesapeake Bay (a place people used to harvest crabs and ocean bass from but are now worried may turn into an open sewer).  This property was in the past a place where Frederick Douglass (a famous escaped slave who met with Lincoln) was tortured---a perfect place for Rumsfeld and Cheney to party (bring some ho's over there on their government pensions). Its called 'Misery Hill'.

.
----------


I'm pretty leniant and negotiable on grading.  We can discuss it.

There are maybe 3 considerations---first, maybe i. didn't get it or missed something.
(I was so bored i just started working on trying to remember my various math problems I've been working on for the last 20 years.  I haven't worked on them recently so I almost have to start from scratch---its like I'm writing a book, have written half of the planned 10 chapters, but don't have the 5 chapters I' have written with me, so I can't remember the plot.  .    Maybe that is why I should raise the grade to 60%).

Also, it does provide 'know nothings' with things they didnt know--many of them likely know a whole lot of other things, and dont have time to learn about what Amy Goodman knows about. So add some points.

Also, one can consider 'payola'.  Supposing I got a job with that organization then I could say journalism improves the (or at least my) world.

-----------------

Today's topic at another discussion (fortunately at nite so I can enjoy the nice weather today) is on psychology--3 different speakers, tho again i'm a bit too overeducated to enjoy it, and its actually going to be held in a music venue which has a mixed rep in DC---it often doesn't let local bands play there which is not appreciated---they dont like 'the girl next door' but only the ones from Hollywood or NYC, and also once was almost closed down when they threw out one of its patrons who then proceeded to shoot the windows out and someone got hurt or killed. One speaker will discuss 'deception' (used to work in  army interrogation in iraq), another on 'aphasia' (problems with understanding language and communicating) , and last on 'arousal' or hyperactivity (why people can't sit still---one among many of my problems).

Tomorrow's is on 'can semantics be derived from syntax'. I'd call this 'is there any signal in all that noise'? I hear on CSPAN now they are discussing 'censorship' by Facebook and Google of conservative discussions, and ads for payday loans. One person's wheat is another person's chaff. Vultures live off carcasses.



Monday, April 11, 2016

Stories of the Week.

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Thursday 7 PM, Pinch Club 14th st NW.  

Saw about 5 HC punk bands.  On the walk down I saw  a Cooper's Hawk. Interesting to me,  while over 10 years ago I was very much into HC punk, after a point of time I got very tired of it.   It seemed totally derivative (people seemed to have no new musical ideas or interest in creating them---they just sot of played the same chords and did same style as had been done since HC strted in the 80's).  It also seemed more like a sports, fashion and popularity contest.    

People were seeing who could play the same chords faster than anyone else, be the hardcore stage diver and mosh pit thrasher, be the most cute and stylish, and more 'politically correct than thou'---prove your cred as a radical activist by wearing circle A aymbols (which goes back to the 70's---crass and sexpistols...) and declaring 'I am  a revolutionary  anticapitalist, antiracist anarchist----which is why you should buy my CD and t-shirt, pay my gas bill so we can get to the next gig, don't vote since that legitimizes 'illegitimate authority' (the government, which does pay for my day gig via a Pell Grant and a road to tenure in a State University).  "Anti-racism' extended as far as the club door (typically in mostly black , poor, gentrifying neighborhoods). The black people were hanging out front on the street; anarcho-punk is one of the most racially uniform scenes in the world --- ranks with many of the yuppie bars. GoGo music scence is similar---except its typically like 99% black.

But after 10 years (i had switched to GoGo and i was like the 1%) I've checked out a few HC punk shows and was favorably impressed.  I didn't even think it existed anymore but seems quite similar to the 'heyday' when i liked it.

My personality tends to be like this --- if i like something, even one particular song, I might play it 1000 times in a row---a theme song.  And then I decide I hate that song---don't want to every hear it again.  This went for jazz, velvet underground, rolling stones, classical and fold music. Then it seems cycle changes and i go back.

I left my backpack on the floor to take a walk outside.  Amazingly at these punk shows I have never had anything stolden even if I leave it on the floor and take a walk.  This is not the case for GoGo shows---i've asked people to watch my jacket and when i come back I notice the pockets are empty. This may be both a poverty and race issue.

---------------------.

Friday.

I did a volunteer session at Food and Water watch (anti-fracking, pro-GMO labeling, etc. in world resources insitute building).  They wanted me to vet their web site.  I said it was fine. I didnt say its totally generic.  How many web sites do we need saying the same thing---its like brands of potato chips or cogarettes of burgers. I guess the fill niche markets and create identities.

They were showing me a new book they have on fracking.  I probably could write most of  that book. They also wanted to know 'how would you use our web site if you wanted to give 5$ /month, or 10, 0r 100 or 300.  i showed em---its easy, and generic but i am unemployed and may even know more than  you on some of these issues, and dont want my money going to starbucks---which it does.

     GIO Caught the show at All Soul's Unitarian.  Met quite a few people---just small talk. Once again a good show.  In elementary and middle school I used to take music lessons there.

 I went to only two sunday services at All Souls---one for christmas.  And one to see Cornel West.  That was enough.

Malignant platitudes to a large extent.

My mom goes to Unitarian church in  Hawaii---same one Obama went to. Old timers remember him.  I visited Hawaii---went to 2 services; quite pleasant but not my cup of tea.   The preacher mentoned one time Sherry Turkle of MIT ---his and her message was 'try turning off your cell or smart phone for an hour---technology wont fulfill you'.   .  I dont think this applies tor Turkle--she is sort of the technoethicist of MIT---a small bit of their NSF funded supercomputing projects and other things is devoted to her salary.

I didnt even own a cell phone (but my family loaned me one, since after services I'd catch a bus and go try to climb Hawaii mountains---I couldnt get back in one day---those mountains are hazardous---so i'd call them and say I was staying the nite on top). So how could i turn it off? I didnt want one either.

The other service was on 'spiritual economics'---a set of books, which are non objectionable, but redundant and hence somewhat unnecesary---i'd already read some of them.  . I don't need some gay preacher explaining this to me---maybe I should be explaining something to him. (Interestingly when I sortuh came out as partially gay to my family for some of them it was 'no way'. When i told some in the gay community i was partially straight it was 'no way'---choose a side, and devote your life to the cause.)  Things have now changed in  my family, though its a bit too late to alter the damage.(My famly liked my interests in sceince, ecology and nature. But not my music--unnaceptable---basically banned).

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Saturday.  Another punk show---part of same 'damaged city fest' (on youtube).  This day i may have made a mistake.  At nite 2 people I know came by my place when i got back---at like 3 AM and then 5 AM--they throw rocks at my window and want a place to crash, maybe party. I didnt open the door. A sortuh greedy attitude but sometijmes they get on my nerves and I want some privacy so i can study and play music.

I have told them this is not a homless shelter--its one half a 'home' and one half an 'office' (work at home).

Missed about half the bands since they started early, and missed the after hours show since i was tired.  Saw 4 people i sortuh knew---organizer of the event ('positivie force dc), a young woman i'd talked to at the pinch, one of the member of 'post-teens ' band, and one from a hacker group i'm basically banned from (partly because i brought my own can of beer rather than buy one there---saves on the money).  He actually is writing an APP to locate the various birds during migration season in DC area, and other seasons.  (The organizer i think noticed i had a beer in my jacket pocket and told me thats not allowed here--it was in a church. I wasnt the only one doing that.  His group is always asking for volunteers---pack up bags from the food bank and deliver them to seniors. He has a degree from JHU.

I did that for awhile.  
Easy.  Nice.  But the Punk /activist/ social justice scene has approximately Zero use for any complex thinking such as science and math. All these people do is work at soup kitchens, get a PhD in history or post-anarchsim , read jacobin, and read the bible apart from being poverty pimps on the side  to make a wage.

They do service---for example, you can a free sunday meal.  This solves hunger issues. They are happy to give you a free meal, and tell you next week we will give you another one, so just hang out till then.
   I didnt go to after show since i wouldnt get back until 3 or 4 am and also know the next corners---i'd have to walk--have had a fair amount of violence there and i'd have to walk by.

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-Sunday.  Cafe Philosophy.  It runs from 1-3 pm.  I'm always prompt so I got there at 3. It was on 'coincidence'.  i talked to one retired mathematicians about zeta-functions. That is a pretty good topic for discussions of coincidences, correlations, and causes (including spurious ones--- eg  replicated.typo.wordpress.com/resources/spurious-correlations.html )  there is really nothing to say about this except by using relativisitc quantum theory but i dont' have energy or really skill to go through details.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Prolegmania to a New Theoretical Dogma

This erudite article is the prelude to my older article, 'Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics' which I wrote under the name Voltaire.  That article was about the enlightenment in France (which recently had a bombing, perhaps part of the enlightenment, or Robespierre's terror). In the enlightenment, people wanted to replace theocracy with rationalism---i.e. rule by reason as opposed to rule by god.  People who knew Descarte's translation of Euclid's theorems into Cartesian geometry would be the new rulers, which can measure things. They would replace those who ruled based on their knowledge of the bible, with those who have read the miss measure of Man (eg Steven Jay Gould).

Of course, the peasants would still work the fields---someone has to work the fields, and it ain't going to be me. (All I do is hunt and gather; and occassionally raid gardens).

.I wrote the prelude after i wrote the original article, because this is the way we do it around here. (see Huw Price 'future past')

I forgot the Dogma now since I'm too tired.

My motto is 'work hard' and don't procrastinate-----I have a proven solution to procrastination (or if you have ADD or lose your train of thought or move on to something else)---'if you can do it tomorrow why do it today?  (could even include dying--- a disease some people with eternal life don't catch).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Yesterday, the Night Before Forever

This is what happened.

1. Israeli elections. Status quo won.

2. FCC commisioner was  grilled by 'tea party' type republicans (eg buddy somebody (or nobody) from gae (paid shill), one from Maine---he says he's a business owner though perhaps that means he sells cigarettes, beer and lotto tickets from a corner store, plus healthy potato chips, and some womyn from somewhere or nowhere, over his decision on net neutrality.

3. Police picked up someone near hear for a recent homicide.

4.on and on.

5. i missed my hike so i just got a walk.



Today, the Day After Never

Today's topic is museums. I used to take classes in plant and bird identification at the Smithsonian Museum. It has a stuffed elephant there, and one has a gigantic US flag from the revolutionary war.  I also saw alot of jazz shows there in a concert hall---Mingus, Sun Ra, maybe Dollar Brand.

I was down there a couple months ago to see an exhibit on birds---statues, pictures, and then my sister and me went to see the stuffed birds of the DC area exhibit. They were quite good, but i also think I can draw. (A guard said I couldn't wear my pack, since they were worried i'd back into an exhibit; fine with me---i took it off). We also saw the elephant---still there-- and an exhibit on oocean animals.  We also had lunch from a 'food cart'---a new experience. (I actually had a couple beers in my pack from the night before so I said I'm going to take a little walk and I hid them under a bench since I didn't want to have them when going through the secuirty check at the Museum---I got through with no problem though they laughed at the condition of my backpack; I got into trouble about that with my family).

On my facebook page www.facebook.com/ishi.crew or www.facebook.com/ishi.crew.9 there is a discussion of a museum exhibit up in NYC i think----somewhat controversial ---something about sexualized pictures of black (possibly gay) men.  Alot of exhibits.

Then there's the pictures of  ISIS people trashing the Iraqi museum. They get those rocks off their pedestals. (ISIS is also the name of an egyptian/greek godess).

And today, I hear in Tunisia (where I gather the 'arab spring began' when some small street merchant was robbed by police and then committed suicide) some sort of militant group stormed the parliament, and took some hostages to see their museum. Perhaps their movement is based on the principal that all people must learn by going to museums. Tunisia is also known for the great bebop jazz song 'night in tunisia' by Dizzie Gillespie---i saw him at the Smithsonian museum. Charlie parker and dizzie did that song as well as many others.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

take 2 neg

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=dkn6u-5kzu4

http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=DkN6u-5KzU4