Friday, June 10, 2016

... and it is June 2016 (part 1)

Hello mathgirls,

It is June.  I'm sad.  Lots of time has passed.  We are playing Final Fantasy XIII as a follow-on to Child of Light.  I wish two people could play.

I have something sad and serious to talk with you about: Brock Turner.

This is about violence.  You live in a world with it.  Your world has law because it is a world full of monsters that look like people.  Law isn't about making people good - it is about getting rid of the ones that show they are monsters.

A boy very badly hurt a girl.  It is a trauma-trigger for a lot of friends and family.  Without any consultation with me, and as part of being trauma-triggered, your mother told you about both sex and rape.  Mathgirl, you are still 7 for a little while.  I was not ready for this.

Brock Turner did not just harm the girl at Stanford, he harmed you.  He harmed your innocence.

Here are some internet links on the story:
I am going to have to teach you some things.  Fate, as it often does, has forced my hand.

One in six women in their lifetimes.  Every two minutes.  
I am going to teach you how to leave forensic evidence to prove you said no.  I get to talk you through a rape kit, dangit.  All the blood of all the men in the world can give testimony if someone tries to do the unclean. 
I am going to teach you how to avoid most of those situation.
I am going to see that you are taught about 200 ways to deeply harm or maim any piece of vomit that wants to mistreat you.  I'm house poor, paying two mortgages and not having very much fiscal flexibility.  I don't know if I can afford to put you in a class.  I don't know if I can afford not to.

Some say I should teach you to first flee.  While that is good in theory, it is the sequence that leaves you most vulnerable.  It gives you the least real power after the fact.  It also has the highest chance of making you a victim.  If you fail here, the war is lost. 

Some say I should teach you to break his nose first.  That makes you a tank, but most delays your chance to not have it happen ever.  It doesn't give the chance to be innocent yourself.  It doesn't give the chance to show he (or now s/he) is guilty in the end.  It gives you the power to do to them what they want to do to you - to do violence.  It also does not guarantee that you win in the end.  Fighting back against rapists has not stopped 1 of every 6 college girls from being a victim.

The order has to be - empowered in the end, empowered at the beginning, and empowered.  Rapists are very often repeat offenders.  The greatest service to femininity is going to focus on putting them in jail.  It will give you peace, and give others innocence.  If all women do it, then it gives the most women the best cases. If all people do it, then it gives the most non-perps the best cases.

This is for now.  The US is moving aggressively toward being a rape-dominant culture.  It can go in one summer from being anti-gay to pro-gay, but there is no will in the media and politicians to do good, only to attempt to harness the money and power of an alleged sexual revolution.  Pity.  I wish that our culture could move from being pro-rape to anti-rape. 

There will be more young-people sexually assaulted in the next 10 years than in the hippie revolution.  And if somebody else think there were no extraordinary amount of violence and harm done there then they were part of the problem and have not done science nor justice.  Child, I will strongly resist them getting you.  We can fend them off.  They are not yet strong enough, though they will abuse the surveillance state to proliferate their agenda, they do not own it yet.

Friday, March 18, 2016

midmarch 2016

Hello mathgirls,

It is "lunch" and I have a moment.  I should write.  I don't know what to say.

And after food and brief rest, my time for lunch has gone away.

I hope you fly kites today, like we did a few days ago.  It was quite nice.
I hope you help mom with housekeeping, she has company coming in the evening.


and work calls.  Talk to you later.

I love you very much.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

brief note (end of Feb, 2016)


You practiced having a person, and feeling while in the womb.
I said it when you were in the womb, that you had mind and comprehended number.  I had no doubt that you had self.

Perhaps those who are vegetarian because of what the animals experience - capability of feeling fear or pain during "harvesting" - might consider being more merciful to the unborn.  Probably not, our "civilization" is kind in name, but not in actual practice.  The rate of brutality is increasing, sadly.

I want better for you.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

At library working .. again (Feb 2016)

Hello mathgirlies,

I am working again on project, and you are out and about.

I just had an interaction with an in-company recruiter.  I periodically get pings for "are you interested in this position" from recruiters.  I need to stay current in my field, and I am a bit of an oddball, so l don't fit cleanly in "buckets".  They ask questions.  It is win-win because I get to learn who they think I am, and they get clarification on who they think I am. 

This recruiter judged me.  Every recruiter has to.  At the end of an interaction all the resume's but one get to go in the same (round) file.  To put it in the round, or non-round file takes a judgment.  Even if they were dealing with fog of war there would be a judgment against a random number.

It was a bad match.  I'm glad that the interaction is over.  There is part of me that says "I should win every war, climb every mountain, and always be first".  Pride perhaps?  Vanity?  Self esteem?  I am relieved and unhappy at the same time.  Perhaps that is what growth feels like? 

It is cliche, but you are going to be judged by everyone you ever meet.  They are going to decide if you are "in or out", "pretty or not",  "good or bad".  If you ever serve on a jury then you and some number of your peers are going to find whether someone is "guilty or not guilty".

How do I coach you here?  What does success mean, and how do you make something of it?  Best doesn't mean anything without context.  If you break a just law, then you should be found guilty, right?  If you break an unjust law, what then?  What are the just and unjust laws in all the places in life where you might walk?  Enumerating them is the job of next generation AI's, assuming they get to exist.

I would like to think, I hope, and it is part of my duty as a dad and human to do what I can to assure that, your character as an adult will be as noble and excellent as possible.  If there is a question on your motive to ask, the answer, will likely be inflexible by the time you are an adult.  For this reason, the best I can do is encourage you to spend some time in reflection and solitude with the hard working action of pursuing clarity in your own mind and heart about why you are doing what you are doing.  I think, or would like to think, that given a clear image of the motives, you will change your actions to be the best they can be.

Even now, brief moments after the interaction, the feelings and reality about it are becoming fuzzy, like the one-ring cooling, and the initial impetus for the letter is diminishing.  I love you and want you to be successful.  There are going to be seasons of pain, and some of them are universal.  Nobody gets to avoid them.  Others are driven by your choices, and I would like to think you can choose the best ones.  Sometimes it is a bigger pain to suffer a small contempt than to compromise your integrity in falsely representing yourself.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

At library working - Feb 2016

Hey there kiddos, I miss you.

You and your mommy are driving to see a native American work: The Ohio serpent mound. (link)  Some say it is older than Aristotle. 

I am working on a project at the library.  You get to have a Saturday in the sun an I am trying to work on ways to pay bills - most particularly the house we lived in for the first 6 years of your life, math big girl.  We moved away, but were unable to sell it.  All our good advisors said wait a year for the market to improve, and you can sell it then.  They said "don't hurt your credit". 

There is no doubt that the borrow and spend ideology of congress is a price that your generation is going to pay in blood.  Social Security will die.  Welfare may die.  The center of the world has moved west beyond Hawaii.  Those are the folks creating most of the value, and being the conduit of most the value on the planet.  They don't forgive trillion dollar loan debts.  I'm guessing they will demand Alaska as payment.  

 We need to get out of debt.  We need to establish our family in a multigenerationally sustainable enterprise.  We need to find a sustainable way create value.  The service industry depends on average wealth and the economic winds.  We need to produce.  We need to get close to dirt.  ... and none of that happens without capital.  I have some good ideas what we could do, things that could get your kids fed, but to do them I have to get capital without loans.  I get to work for it.

Yes, it is a letter about me.  It is also about working hard for tomorrow.  I'm working hard for your tomorrow.  I love you.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Horton hatches the Egg - doubletalk (Feb 2016)

I'm used to double meanings.  There are whole movies dedicated to it.  Shakespeare had them. Lady and Tramp had them.  They have been around from the beginning of writing to modernity.

So I heard about "Horton hatches the egg*" and thought it might be one of them.  If it is then it will use culturally normative terms from the era when it was copyrighted.

The plot is that Horton takes over egg-sitting for a lazy bird who flies away promising to come back.  She doesn't, and Horton gets all sorts of adversity.  In the end, she comes back at the last moment to try and take his reward, but the nature of the egg has changed.  The message for children is to be "faithful".  The message to adults might also be.

"Bird" is a colloquialism for a young lady.  Although there are versions from the middle ages, it gained more common use in the early 1900's, and became conventional slang in the 1950's and 1960's. (reference)  The book was copyright in 1940, within the two.

"Lays an egg" is a reference to a show that opens, then shuts quickly because of some great failure. (reference)  Hatching the egg is spending time taking care of the egg, waiting for it to mature until it is able to fly. 

In context of bird, the double meaning, given the timing of the book, might be to conceive and have a child outside of marriage.  In the 1930's, the context from which the book is derived,  such a thing would be a gross fail on the part of a young woman. 

Elephant has meant several things over the years.  Sometimes it is about physical endowment in a muscular sense.  There are European coats-of-arms to show this.  It has also been used as a metaphor for the intimate endowment of a male being of size larger than typical.  The most appropriate use is "Elephant in the room", a colloquialism that became very popular in 1935. (reference)

The derivative "babysit" was first used in 1947,  (reference, citation) and is derived from the phrase babysitting.

Mayzie the bird "flies away" or leaves.  Nest means home of bird since 1600's (reference).

First, Horton had to prepare the nest to support an elephant.  He must prop it up, to make it stronger, because he is big.  But prop is "support" and while the usage has been around since the 1500's, there was a late 1890's use that pointed to "props in a play".  (reference)  In this sense, he is both "supporting" the "house" and "making a show" in a play for respectability.

The "storms" of life have been since Shakespeare.  The freeze had a particular economic meaning at the time meaning "to make non-transactable". (reference)  In this sense it means that Horton was committed to retaining the marriageability of the child by protecting her from the cold.

Next the animals of the jungle came and taunted him for being "up a tree", or treed.  This term was used in the 1850's, and would have been known.  (reference) Instead of a predator like a wolf (term for assault that goes from 1700's to 600 BC reference) driving Horton up the tree, he drove himself there.  Being treed, for an animal, means that the predators can get to him with much more ease.

Immediately thereafter the hunters came.  He did not run when they aimed their weapons at him.  So they shipped him to a circus.  This is really only 14 pages, but it is making a consistent story.

Horton made her his own, though he wasn't.  He took great scorn upon himself, and endured storms and contempt for her sake.  When she was able to fly she was transformed to be truly his - the offspring of his nature - though she was not his biological child.  The elephant bird - it is a daughter who stays with her dad, and by his raising her with the deadbeat mom gone, she is transformed to reflect his character and not her mothers.  She was strong, great, unique.

I wonder who the real one, the one that Seuss knew, was.  I am glad that he did not take the habits of his community to hate on someone who diverged from the hate of the time. 

I wonder if the liberal media knew what the story was about, what it meant, and how it both displayed gross negligence on the part of a woman, and possibly lead to the questions of the 1960's, if it would be banned, or at least if Dr Seuss would be less lionized.  No gender has a monopoly on negligence is good in theory, but when it is actually taught - they don't like it.  In their economy only men can be evil - there are no heroes.

When you grow up and become adults, don't forget your roots.  Learn to not only listen to stories, but to learn about what they meant to the original authors. 

Right now the world is going through a sexual revolution.  They are sexualizing the young at a much younger age.  Eight was the wall below which it is all evil, and they are transgressing it.  They call "hater" anyone who says "you cannot sexually abuse a child" and call criticism of their was "hate".  I don't know how that storm is going to end.  It will provide context for your great grandchildren, assuming you live so long, and our participation in the gene pool lasts that long.  Perhaps your great-grand-eggs will be there too.  

I think we should all hatch eggs.  I was an egg like that.  I have had "Hortons" like Doc Dye, or Tom West.  I have tried to, as I can, be a good "Horton" as well.  Be what you can, the good you have - be it, wherever you can.

Now I have to go to your rooms, and there are toys and mess all over the floor.  I have told you that what you do not clean of your own will be carted away to goodwill.  Earlier this year I hauled two full trash bags out.  Today I hope to haul out less.  We will see.  Enjoy your cleaning, I will see you shortly.


* This reminds me of the user-interface thing that amazon has never got, and has no way to suggest.  Because they don't want to hear it why should I say.  I will only say that they are missing one of the highest use-cases for their links, and they are losing the benefit that comes with it.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Feb 2016

Hello there math-girlies,

You are asleep in bed.  It is a Sunday night and I am getting near to bedtime.  The Superbowl is on.  In Midwest the streets are desolate.  It is like driving around on Christmas eve after the stores close.  Nobody is there.  They are all with family and friends to watch the game.  This is the land where the children move Halloween for high-school football games.

I really have no connection.  In middle school the folks who picked on me, hit me, spit on me, stuck kick-me labels to my back, drew things on my jacket in class, and basically ... I quit society for their sake.  I fought for years to be outside, to be nothing, and eventually I won.  I did it, in retrospect, because their only "you fit in" language is physical violence, and we moved so darn much that I got to re-fight that losing battle often enough that despair was the only option.

It has been 25 years or so.  Those who were the pedantic kids are different people.  I'm sure some of them are decent folks.  The memory of who they were is cleansed by maturity, the revisionist history of the self and being on the giving end of their intentions versus the receiving end of their actions.  It is sad that in the wounds and anger done to teenage me, I carry a memory they have long forgotten.

Big math-girl, I am watching you.  You are changing again.  Right now, and in the last ~6 months, you are transitioning to a stage where you are experimenting with preteen ideologies/world-views/paradigms/content-of-your-character.  You seem to be staging yourself for your within-puberty self.  I see some of the drama.  I see some of the nobility.  I see some of the willingness to step outside of the bounds you have.  It scares me.  This is a world engineered to eat your heart, to eat away your soul.  I want you to have your soul.  I want you to have your own heart, and not have anyone eat it.  I'm doing that by providing structure, by coaching, and by praying praying praying.

Little math-girl, I am watching you too.  So much of what you do is because of your big sister.  She draws you in her wake.  While the parents are a sol for your orbits, your sister is a gas-giant and she drives your weather and eccentricity.  I love your jump and run.  I'm not sure of your fake-cry fussing that devolves into laughter and then back to fake crying.  You seem to be exploring the fuss, and I wonder if it is because either your math-mommy or your big sister respond to it.  I have tried and tried to teach you courtesy.  You will have none of it.  The ability to have it means you can interact well with others.  It is no guarantee, but it is an opportunity, to be more socially successful in life.  You will have none of it.  I will keep trying.

I'm tired, and I find that when I am tired I am more grumpy.  I don't want to be.

I am working to pay bills.  I am scheduled to be working hard at that for the next 30 years at least.  I do hope to live that long, and to have good employ so that the bills can be paid.  We will see how that goes.  I have slightly more than work, so I cannot say "all work and no play" but I have a lot of work, and for the foreseeable future will be working hard.  I hope that I am able to work smart, and that I can have time for creatures in my life - you - who make it much richer and much more amazing.

Can I tell you something sad?  I have to tell someone.  Nobody reads this, and you likely will not for years.  Maybe I can tell your future selves.

I have very few friends here.  I am working on it, but building depth and shared anythings is nearly impossible.  I feel like folks are friendly toward me, but none of them really care to ask if I am doing well.  When I am in the room, we can talk, but there is only one person in this state who seeks me out to talk to me and ask me how I am doing.  I ran into them in a store last week, and it felt good to see them again, but I half wanted them to go away, because I knew that I was going to go back into the near complete social vacuum in which I live.  The idea of knowing what it was like to have and miss one friend while I'm in that vacuum is worse than just being in there without the defining contrast of a recent contact with a friend.  I was angry about it.  I really can't tell anyone though.  What do I say?  This reminds me of "One day in the life of Ivan Denisovitch"  where he said that having hope reduces the likelihood of survival, and abandoning it and living day-to-day without a focus on the light you do not have within every day gives better chances.  

I hope you live in a world where you have the kind of peace and wealth that bright lights of friendship are very very rarely reason for anger or sorrow because of their light.