Johnson and Johnson Solids.

October 27, 2009

In my early post concerning pseudodesics,  it was found that to have a structural frame work that provides omni-triangulation, but with a minimum of different parts, would be very desirable from an economy standpoint. Fuller’s Fly’s Eye is a great example of economy, but the fabrication of precision fiberglass hyperbolic saddles is a little daunting for anyone with out access to a well ventilated area.

It would be even more advantageous if those economical parts could be manufactured in a small space to begin with, as not everyone has access to a machine shop.  Surely there must exist a solution (or two or …infinity).

Fortunately for us, there are shapes provided by dear old Nature that are cataloged as Johnson solids.  All edge-lengths are the same.  My.  Goodness.  They’re even ready-equipped with truncations!  It’s a rather happy stroke of luck.  I think I am particularly impressed with the diminished rhombicosidodecahedron.   Look at all those square faces, perfect for windows!  The pentagons could easily be developed further into pentagonal pyramids, for increased structural strength if so desired.

Yes, I think we’re on to something here.

If we were to go the full Fly’s Eye treatment here, we need not use the diminished from of the rhombicosidodecahedron, but the full version, skinny legs and all.


October 22, 2009

I want money, and the pursuit of it, and the love of it, and the problems inherent with it to become obsolete.  Meaning that it becomes so cumbersome that when the opportunity arises, people will slough it off like dead skin.  And hopefully not Goldmember it.

Today’s economics is an accretion wrought over time and is still evolving with each boom and bust.  But at it’s heart, it’s still and abstraction of bean counting, and we allow this abstraction to have weight in our lives, partially because we are born into it and have no exposure to other systems, and partially because of the convenience of having an entire subset of humanity that loves to love this abstraction and do ‘work’ with it.

Money is only as real as we want it to be.  I think most everybody understands this to a certain extent, but feels powerless to do anything about it.  So,  in taking a queue from good ol’ Bucky Fuller, if we want to get rid of the system, the best way to do so is to make it obsolete.

Easier said than done, of course.  Most proposals I’ve seen either want to go back to bartering, which probably works fine in a very small scale, or want to tweak the existing monetary system itself, such as the Douglas Social Credit.  In my heart of hearts, I’ll always be in love with Robert Anton Wilson’s RICH Economy idear, though I stopped holding my breath for that one after the Challenger disaster.

All of the systems above still use abstractions to represent intrinsic value.  I want to get away from that, get to something that’s real, or as real as this universe allows.  Enter the Kwid.

Kwid is a mangling of ‘kilowatt-hours per day’, which is a unit of power usually abbreviated kwh/d.  To my mind, it easily becomes ‘kwid’, which makes for a handy bad joke.

The idea of the kwid came to me after reading David MacKay’s Without the Hot Air piece.  It’s wonderful.  It needs to be integrated into every political leader on the planet’s frontal lobes.  ANYway.  It was his discussion of the need for better distribution of energy that clued me in to how such an arrangement might work.  The kilowatt-hr is as real as you’re going to get in terms of saying, ok, what does it take to do/make/go something/place?  It’s surprising how little somethings use up energy and how much some other things do.  Check out Doc MacKay’s work for all the details, if you dare.

So, great.  Every physical thing you can do can be represented as taking x amount of kwid to do so.  I contend that with a high enough and smart enough distribution of power storage,  such exchanges could take place easily.  Your account number is on your electric bill already.

How does one add to one’s account?

Make energy!  Feed the grid.  There’s a bajillion ways to do this.  Low-income folk might just ride a stationary bike for an hour.

There will be lightning harvests.

On the other end of the spectrum, my friend MCvDub pointed out that it was far more likely for The Powers That Be to simply switch everyone over to using their credit score as a vicious form of whuffie that you’re locked into at the time of inception, and your offspring are, too.  Evil never dies, afterall, and there are a lotta folk that simply love class distinction.  That’s a dystopian plot waiting to happen, if we aren’t already in the midst of it…

Getting the threes taken care of first.

October 16, 2009

Getting the First Things, First.

The threes necessary for survival:

Three minutes: air
Three days: water
Three weeks: food
Three months: shelter
Three years: health maintenance

Hm. Left out three hours.
Bejeweled Blitz.

1283: It’s a beautiful sumpthin’ sumphtin.

September 25, 2009

It’s storming in Larryville.  Kansas gives you few pluses, one of which is a really good thunderstorm.  Wicked lighting from up top on Oread;  you look out from underneath the university’s carillon and the fractal dance of lighting flicks about, tasting the earth.  It’s a transfer of information, the sky relating it’s observations, storing them in soil that’s not going anywhere for at least a quantum of geologic time.

I have numerous tasks ahead of me, and it would be nice to not have to sleep, but I think tonight I shall.  A splash of Maker’s Mark on a couple-three rocks, and the cool darkness of a corner window to settle into the storm.

This has been a very cold year in Kanza.  A very mild summer.  One of the numerous <em>doofi</em> that works in the cube next to me did cracked to his cube-mate today that he’d <em>like</em> a little global warming.  That’s <em>smooth</em>.    Meanwhile, the US Drought Monitor tells a different tale.  The fellow only votes for Republicans because everyone else is after his guns.  Oh well oh well oh well.  It’s fairly obvious that the extremely nice temperatures we’ve been experiencing here in the North’Merikun Middlebits is because <em>some other part of the world is getting borked</em>.  The atmosphere of this planet is a non-linear heat engine.   Why fuck around with chaos on that level?

Makes me glad they’ve found more ice on Mars.

The war planet sits and waits for Ambition’s children.

Meanwhile, a maniac is playing games.

So long as we have nations, it will remain that way.  I would like to see passports disappear.    We’re all gypsy’s, really, we just tend to harbor the illusion of ownership.  If it doesn’t dissolve into the Aether when you die, then you don’t own it.  Everything else is the act of being a custodian.  That’s part of why murder is so terrible.  It’s why guns need to be controlled.  Or, at bare minimum, their owners must have mandatory training and licensing to such a level that there can be no claim of accident.  At least such training would go far to reduce accidental death due to firearms, one would hope.

I find for myself then, that there are two general concepts I would like to see revised.  The first being the concept of ownership being transferred to a custodian mindset.  The second is replacing ‘theory’, in the scientific sense, with ‘model’.

Nothing pisses me off more to hear some illiterate crack “that’s just a theory.”   Like what they said just meant something.   I’m of the opinion that one’s environment goes far to shape one’s view of the world, and so a modest change of language on the part of the scientific community might do wonders for public perception of <em>what it is that science does</em>.   Nobody says, “that’s just a model”.  That would be silly.

Enough for now.

A partial list of projects ((in no particular order)):

1) Danger Bike Design—every boy needs one.

2) Short Story—some idears popped up thanks to David MacKay.  This might be the first short that a) is going to stay short and b) definitely has a theme.  I’m really quite excited to see how it turns out.

3) More pseudodesic work.  I’d also like to derive some distance formulas in spherical coordinates for space-fillers outside of the Geodesic Three:  Tetrahedron, Octahedron, and Icosahedron. I’m particularly interested in toroids, not to mention hyperboloids.

4) I’m going to go visit friends in Chicago in a couple weeks for a few days.  Get a sampling of it.

5) Maybe I’ll hang items 1-3 and just go play Mafia Wars.

1294: Pseudodesic and Modeling Method

September 14, 2009

A hybrid omnitriangular structure. Not quite an icosahedron, not quite a geodesic structure proper. Advantages: all struts are the same length, lending economy. Disadvantages: still needs field testing at full scale.
Meanwhile, Method for using common materials (bamboo skewers and electrical ring terminals, nuts, bolts, washers, and super glue) for modeling structures of any size desired.
modeling method
modeling method
modeling method
modeling method
modeling method


September 3, 2009

1306 days until sumpthin’ sumpthin.


August 25, 2009

Going through some old posts, seeing what I liked in terms of this space being about something. Tensegrity is on the list for sure.

Meanwhile, somewhere on teh internets I stumbled on to a model building scheme wherein one takes bamboo skewers (for, say, kabobs) an epoxies electrical ring terminals to the ends. These make great bolt connectors, that bend according to strut length almost automagically, due to the thin-ness of the aluminum rings. As soon as I re-find the page, I’ll link to it.

In the meantime, there’s offline investigations into a possible Otrag design enhancement, a short story in the works about the last capitalist, more schooling, more drooling, more sickness, more health.