I agree with Dave L. Renfro's position that our math curriculum is a grab bag of topics that keeps changing. One topic gives way to the next, as text books struggle to keep up with what's currently in vogue, deemed most essential. He insists this phenomenon (of change) will continue, and wonders about the second and third order effects of good or bad decisions (as do I).
My contention is that technology, in becoming more powerful, is speeding up the rate at which we're called on to (a) make these decisions and (b) implement them. We call it "globalization" but in a lot of way what it is is that proverbial "level playing field" in the sense that computing hardware is today a cheap commodity, and that powerful, sophisticated software is free. The bottom line now is: "even if *we* don't do it, maybe *they* will" (note pronouns).
For example, I often write about my colleagues and peers in Cape Town and Algebra City (aka Baghdad). We're looking forward to an even more media-intensive economy, what with Intel's viiv etc. and so we're gearing up. Google is building its new facility in The Dalles, taking advantage of cheap fiber. Nike's Knight is investing a fortune in computer animation studios. Many see this as a winning combination for Greater Portland (the capital and open source hub of our Silicon Forest -- and historically the Hawthorne district, where ESI grew up, and Linus Pauling -- these days with OSDL (and a new Linus)).
The implication here is that even if California, Texas and New York *don't* choose to focus on a concentric hierarchy of whole-number-volumed polyhedra within the CCP (a spheres packing lattice), Oregon still has the freedom to pioneer. Cyberspace makes that possible. We don't *need* any big publishing houses on Avenue of the Americas to agree with us (even as they make small risk investments in the very same arena). We have ISEPP and Wanderers, Nike and Google, PSU and PCC, OSU, UofO, Intel, Free Geek, and soon: NetFlix. What more could we need (and yet we have more, oh so much more).
Given I'm well positioned, as 4D Studios, to take advantage of the new media economy, it's a given that I'm banking on my curriculum succeeding, at least locally. I want to help drive the educational DVD market with quality brands that inspire others to high standards. And I'm happy to work with peers and colleagues around the world to achieve this. As a Pacific Rim economy, I'm especially keen to have closer relations with the mavens of Manga.
Although I was invited to CERN for EuroPython, by the same team that got me to Gothenberg for this same conference last year, it's not yet clear to me if my presence is required. Cyberspace (the world wide web in particular) has made Gnu Math a reality already. It's almost the best advertisement for CERN (the birth place of the http protocol) that I don't need to go. In any case, I don't think my wife is quite up to it, although her strength is improving -- the trip to Manzanita was a boost, and yesterday she was @ NWRCC, while I scoped out books at the two downtown Powell's's.
Speaking of which, here's a good title, acquired used for only $7: Genius At Work by Dorothy Harly Eber. It's all about Alexander Graham Bell's process as a genius, including a whole chapter on The Tetrahedron (prologue by Buckminster Fuller).