Thought Overflow…Golda’s BlogIf memes are like genes, then having a conversation in which you share ideas and come up with new ones is like…?

So my writings here are sort of musings, on the personal side as opposed to the what-the-hell-is-going-on-in-the-world side. I also write as gvelez on medium; as wordmonkey on dailyKos; occasionally on Blog for Arizona & Hacker Noon; and once on impakter and LA Progressive should you wish to subject yourself…

When doing a startup, you talk about it everywhere, with everyone. At least I do.

I went hiking today on a familiar trail; but the monsoons had changed things and I found myself going up and down the canyon looking for the turnoff.

A couple sitting on a rock seemed friendly – we started chatting. The man, older, was a theoretical physicist with strong opinions. He seemed sure where the trail should have been, that the monsoons had wiped it out.

He was also sure that I was a socialist, after I explained a bit about my ideas for work weighted shared governance. Then he expounded on why only top down models could possibly work given his experiences in Poland and Germany. I’m not sure what the woman thought as she couldn’t seem to get two words in edgewise. He seemed to conflate countries and companies, and to be arguing against many things I did not say.

I cannot prove yet that bottom up accountability can beat a top down authoritarian structure, so I cannot say with certainty that he was wrong in his assertions about corporate models. He definitely was wrong about the hiking trail, though. I found the turnoff five minutes up the canyon where it had always been, the trail not at all washed out. Perhaps a bit more experimentation, and less theoretical expounding, is called for after all.

so high level patterns are the most durable – look at what percent of code is left from even 20 years ago; words from 500 years ago remain and are widely used

“what a tangled web we weave…”

quotes that use powerful imagery to communicate a complex pattern survive and become encapsulated in speech and writing…it is also chance tho which are focused on. song titles, even meme culture – analyzing the survival of phrases would be really interesting

0 Which story

Golda to Uncategorized  

Sometimes, it’s hard for me to switch gears from something I care a lot about – launching this cooperative startup, or lobbying for these guys who are facing down dictators in Myanmar or kidnapped by thugs in Iraq – to writing python tests for a purpose that is, shall we say, less than earth-shaking. And to force my brain to make the switch, sometimes I put on a tv series, that effectively disengages my emotions from the real world and somehow lets me work on things I really don’t want to do. But then, I find myself attached to this fictional narrative more than I am to the people really relying on me, and that is disturbing.

So how to make myself interested in my own story, in our shared story of crafting this startup to change corporate behavior, of connecting grassroots activists together into a loose team that support each other around the world. How to shape that into a narrative with enough tension and resolution to make the real world addicting? Sometimes it is; but any time I break the connection, re-forging it can take days. I want to find better ways to hold onto the threads, to let them rest when I need to without losing my grip. Relationships are the main way – common purpose, teammates, friends who are willing to hear about the journey. Writing is another, that crystalizes purpose and makes it real.

Making ideas real, making them happen, is fundamentally what all these things are about. And somehow telling their stories, is what connects us to reality and brings it to life.

So perhaps, I should tell more stories, if only to myself.

0 That Dry Heat

Golda to Uncategorized  

I like biking in the heat. Being in touch with my body, feeling that actual need for shade and water, somehow makes me feel a bit more alive. It would be different of course if I had to do it, or if I had no shelter. But maybe because I am secure, I can enjoy the feeling of being exposed a little bit.

One thing I realized today – I think the reason we sweat in our inner joints, like inside your elbow or behind your knee, is that blood vessels are close to the surface there. Also neck and temple. Pouring cool water at those places is more effective in cooling down than like on the head or back. I wonder if that is part of first aid for heat stroke – I don’t remember being taught that. Maybe it should be – hope they don’t do a study on some poor creature, but anyway it makes sense to me.

0 reputation and things

Golda to TechStuff  

ok, just happy that Melvin Carvalho shared this with the W3C mailing list. Reputation space matters – I’m talking about human rights assertions here about bad things, how to verify and act on them – and I am really glad a few people might see this who can cause it to get implemented.

https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-rww/2021Jun/0002.html

Cause I don’t have that leverage, not yet – may try to start something this Summer but my level of overcommitment now is even higher than usual, by several-fold.

So many ideas, if I write one a day I could probably write for three months straight. But I am slow to put them out. Some because I want to really make a difference with them, and write for an audience; but finding the audience, and adding the research and up-to-date lateral context takes more time than I have.

Context too, in the sense of what the reader expects. This site is mine, and I write for myself here; I have no contract with the reader to deliver a certain flavor, or for a consistent theme. Not even to frame and hook. This is my place to put words that have some importance to me, that later I will find a useful way to share.

As an engineer, useful is everything; but truth and ideas are seeds the usefulness of which is not known until they grow. So I am storing my seeds here, wrapped in some words to keep them safe until later, when enough rain appears to make it worth their risk to push out into the world.

So I was riding my bike back from Trader Joe’s on my lunch break, and a thought occurred to me (all my best work is on a bike, or in the shower…). If the universe is close to 14 billion years old, and the furthest galaxies we can detect are close to 14 billion light years away, have they been traveling away at the speed of light to get that far? Because I didn’t think stars moved that fast.

But yep – its the fabric of space that expands, and even faster at large enough distances. I hadn’t thought about that before.

This Is How Distant Galaxies Recede Away From Us At Faster-Than-Light Speeds

Need to write this up as another thought-provoking thing for kids just learning physics. There is so much we could do by letting kids think about the questions for at least a little bit before providing the answers!

0 Emerson how could you

Golda to Uncategorized  

And I thought Ralph Waldo was my friend…reading his essays for some comfort and deeper thinking and ran into one where he idolizes Napoleon. For ruthlessly killing people without hesitation. Emerson, really? What is wrong with you?

So much for comforts of the past…we’re gonna have to think our way out of this thing ourselves, ladies.

0 Binary Kids

Golda to Education,Kidstuff  

This variation on Twenty Questions teaches kids a bit of information theory and lets them take a different approach to powers of 2.

First, the kids should be familiar with the regular game of Twenty Questions.

Then, ask as an open-ended question: “Suppose instead of the whole world. you were only allowed to think of certain objects. How many questions would it take to find the right one? What if the questions had to have only yes/no answers?”

0 1/3

Golda to Education,Kidstuff  

Here is another opportunity for discovery: one-third. For kids who have learned how to divide and get decimals (or show a child briefly who has learned long division and knows what decimals are). Ask simply, what is one-third in decimal?

The discovery that 1/3 = .33333333… the repeating decimal, is surprising enough on its own for a child who has never seen an infinite series before. What usually will tweak their curiousity, though, is to continue – ok, what is 2/3? Then wait a moment, and see if they think of 3/3 by themselves. The idea that 3/3 = .999999999… may get the child saying, wait a minute – 3/3 = 1!

They have just proved that an infinite series can equal a whole number; if your child doesn’t want to accept it, that is ok. Just assure them that if the series stops anywhere, it is less than one, it only equals one if it is really infinite.

The fun thing is, this can be done by a 4th grader.