Saturday, May 14, 2016

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

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

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.

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

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).

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

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.

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


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Check out David Bowie - Pablo Picasso - YouTube


jonathon richmond and modern lovers song

Check out JYB La Perla 1/9/04 - YouTube


saw em do this---but this only half the clip

Check out Junkyard Band-Uh Oh - YouTube

Check out Skinheads, anti-fascists and the Fred Perry connection - FRANCE - F

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Travels of Marco Polo (now known as Ishi)  Part Two.

Chapter One:: Less Wrong.

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

Preface to Prolegomena to any Future Prefaces (abbreviated 'no future' by an old english band the 'sex pistols' ).



Around 1270 AD, I, when I called myself Marco Polo,   traveled from Italy to China and back again, and wrote a book recounting my trip (although some questioned my veracity---i.e. whether I really went the whole way.  These types of issues arise commonly: I went to do the 'roller coaster' hike on the Appalachian trail Saturday; i could could claim I did the whole 14 miles, though others in the group I was in will argue I only did about 3.5 before turning back, while some went as far as 5 miles.  I guess one could hire a dispute resolution specialist to find the truth, maybe with a plea bargain or thanksgiving 'black thursday' discount or depression).  

This current blog post picks up exactly where that account ends, in 2014 in Washington DC, although again I imagine some will question its veracity.   For example, I can forsee some will ask  'what happened during the years between 1270 and 2014?', 'how did you get from Italy to Washington, DC?', and 'why are you no longer named Marco Polo?'

I take these questions as too trivial to address in this blog post because the people who raise them have no understanding of modern physics (which can easily explain these facts using quantum mechanics and general relaativity) but I may address them in a later more technical blog post (which of course will require familiarity with some elementary mathematical logic notation such as 9{4;c#npi&#350qed) .

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

The Less Wrong meeting:
1st Step of a Journey of 10 Steps ---'One Small Step for a Real Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind'


    --------------

     (Note1: Men are most likely numbers, so they can be real, complex, quaternionic,  octonionic, or other sorts; Neil Armstrong and NASA apparently haven't classified womyn yet;
     Note2: Some think Journeys should be a 1000 miles, but that was in the past; now, they are all 10 steps because of economic austerity policies. Also we use kilometres, because of Occam's razor---shorter and hence simpler.
      Note3: Long ago, before leaps, there were jumps----eg  The Jumping frog of Calaveras county. But due to my discovery of Moore's Law

     (i discovered it here:
      www.mooreslaw.org
                                              )
 
   some Kind (of)  Men can leap, unless they kant and instead are jerks, and like frogs are boiled alive  )

   --------------



One of the first events in my current travels was to attend the DC Less Wrong meeting.  

    (See
    www.lesswrong.com
    )

  This group I think claims to aim for  what in my terms i call the 'rational use of rationality', following in the path of Einstein (trying to get the profusion of means to mate with  the confusion of ends to get an offspring which is more highly evolved----a profusion of confusion for a mean end); Jacques Monod, in Chance and Neccesity, made a similar argument) .

  They have a sort of interesting approach----which may be due to what seems to be their heavy interest in computer intelligence (eg MIRI).  In other words, they seem to be in the Chomskyian tradition---its all syntax (i-language). 'The form is the content' is the view.  
   I basically disagree, but this is likely a personality difference.  I respect car mechanics, etc. but I wouldn't ask them to tell me where to go .(Besides, I dont drive except occasionally since u need a liscense.).

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

The 1st Trip.

 From my current abode, getting there is approximately the same distance and diffculty as getting from Italy to China, though the terrain and means of travel are different. Since the National Portrait gallery and my apartment are both on the same continent of North America,  and I didn't keep to my schedule which would have permitted me to walk,  I just caught the 16th street bus (with a brief detour through the park and then a walk through downtown) .  There were incidents all along the way most of which I won't recount.

   I will mention on the bus I did talk to a guy who said he grew up near where I live, is a 3rd generation Washingtonian, went to the March on Washington, and his father worked for 5 presidents,  etc.:

     Living history, sort of like the Washington Monument (except that is considered non-living history since its mostly inorganic and hence has a very slow metabolism and also no apparent 'self' or evolutionary trajectory, though conceivably it would disagree. After all, it was repaired after the earthquake, so just as dogs actually may have domesticated humans so they wouldnt have to hunt and stay outside, and the code of the universe may have created DNA and humans so that 'silicon valley' and silicon life (computers and the web) could exist and replicate
   (eg the popular Less Wrong view of 'superintelligence'
               www.nickbostrom.com
    of which I am very skeptical, though it may be dialect, since he seems to promote some sort of          precautionary principle )

   it may be that the Washington Monument has big plans---eg a whole forest of monuments, starting with a monument to the Washington one, and then keep iterating into the transfinite to colonize outer space, so it would like arlington cemetary.  See Goodstein's theorem on wikipedia.).

So after many ordeals (not Galois or utopian ideals, more like 'the trail of tears' (native americans like ishi)), including braving wind and cold,   I arrived at and go into  the Portrait Gallery from the F St. side this time.  (I met someone recently who helps manage this; she has an MBA from someplace in California, and while from Boston, now has decided DC is too cold after LA---she also only made 3.5 miles on the appalachian trail, 7 roundtrip).  I chose the F St. side  for the same reason people have chosen different routes to attain the summit of Mt Everest---some are less dangerous than others. Last  time I attempted to go to a Less Wrong Meeting I went in from the  G St side, sat down with the (possibly more) wrong group;   and  said something;  I was promptly told to leave and that they were calling security on me---so I split quite quickly.)  

Walking in from F St I scan the terrain, and see a group, walk over and ask  them if this was Less Wrong.  They said no, so I started looking around---and then the same dude who called security on me last time came up to me and told me he was calling security.  I told him I was going to a different group---and made it clear I wasn't backing down (macho men don't impress me), and he just said 'stay away from here'.  I did spend most of my remaining time keeping an eye out to see if he was going to give me more trouble.  (Presumably he is the one who owns and sets the rules for the  Portrait Gallery, and maybe DC,  North America, the Earth and the Universe.  So maybe God exists, and I met Him, and now believe in Him. But I already believe in details, and some say the Devil is in the details. On a related note I just heard there was a massacre at a synogogue in Israel, more ISIS (ancient godess) beheadings, and Ferguson, Mo. is apparently on 'lock down' for a month. )

I found my group---maybe 5 people.  They wanted to know how I knew about it, buit thanks to my earlier travels (when I called myself Marco Polo), I told them I am an early explorer, graduated to internet explorer, and now use google chrome---so  I know how to search and navigate around the tangled web of life,
 and then map that experience into different coordinates by using the bus and walking.
   
 (This sort of issue is fairly complex----how do you translate one set of symbols (eg a math equation) into another
    (experienced as space-time-matter (Hermann Weyl  
                                www.weylmann.com  
                               (an excellent writer)).
 It seems to happen all the time.  For a basic discussion see Max Tegmark's 'mathematical universe'  
                             www.arxiv.org/abs/0704.0646
      (my glance is the book may be better, and the idea is somewhat trivial and not new, but its something to         put on the coffee table to spark discussion).)

--------

The Topic.

 The topic of the meeting  was on 'to do lists as a practical tool to be used profitably in one's daily life'.

I now wonder if  proper grammar might actually require use of the plural, 'Tools'., but maybe that can be the topic of the next meeting. Or it may be that people may decide that editing this aspect of the meeting notice is not important since its not being published in a peer reviewed journal, or else because it may stay in perpetuity on the web or in the cloud (assuming  'god is willing and the creek don't rise'  or that  the internet  and the power grid doesn't crash) , one may want to preserve it in its current form, so the entire history of errors will be cached for future generations to study.

     As they say, 'if you don't study history, you will repeat history'.

     Also, 'what people learn from studying history, is that people don't learn from history'.

     (Interestingly the phrase 'if god is willing and the creek don't rise' came up as a topic at the meeting briefly --- some thought it should be 'river' instead. Consensus seemed to be that it could be either; I was thinking 'creek' is better, since I remember a place in West Virginia I have gone to often where there is a ford across a creek,  and if the creek rises you can't drive across the creek but have to walk. But I've also known people who have lost their houses when the river rises, so its half of one 6 or others.)

Looking at this topic in retrospect, I realize I should have studied it better (just as after my earlier trip to China I realized I should have read the tea leaves better and gone  to Nepal or Kashmir instead, where the tea and grass are greener, and then the  opium wars between China would have been preempted, and everyone would have lived happily ever after---no cultural revolution, no great famine, no air pollution in beijeng).  

Oh well.  The Less Wrong group as noted promotes the use of rationality in daily life, and this recently developed Tool was not available when I traveled to China---all we had was tea leaves and fortune tellers, so perhaps this current  mistake will be, as they say, 'Less Wrong'.    

The problem with the topic is implicit in the  use of the  phrase 'profitably in one's daily life'.  I read the meeting notice as a general discussion of the theme in the entire phrase, but in fact the meeting was more of a sort of peer-to-peer 'personal coaching' session on how to create and use to do lists. 'Personal coaching' I see as a version of managment consultant or psychotherapist.

In other words, they were mostly discussing 'how you individually can  get things done using a to do list, so your life is profitable' (whatever that means).

I guess I have read too much 'left wing' and ecological literature to be particularily interested in profit, or even in 'one's own life' (which tends towards what some call selfishness----my profit is your poverty).   But I am quite skeptical of the idea that individuals are not important, and that profit isn't relevant.  Profit seems to be a tool---in economics, classical general equilibrium theory holds that the when the optimal state is reached there is no profit.

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

They discussed many methods for using to do lists.  They have a whole vocabulary ('dark playground', shaving a yak', etc.) which are amusing if they explain them to you.

But I was carrying a pack which contained my current year's to do lists.  All I really do is write to do lists, besides doing other things.  The tequniques described won't work for me.

Maybe I should have stayed longer but I don't like sitting still quite often---some may say thats like ADHD.

I am also somewhat into the precautionary principle---maybe its better to do nothing at all.  

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I was trying to think of and develop some sort of mathematical formulation of 'to do lists'.  I see these as generic. One can measure components of your own life, create a high dimensional space, and create a metric---'how did i do today?'. One can do the same thing for the economy, like GDP,.human capital, biological diversity...

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