Date: Feb 28, 2013 4:46 AM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic Standards

On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 1:17 PM, kirby urner <> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> I'm not saying I'm expecting ending Cubism before the freezing over of that place, but I do go with my bevy of friends (some within the Beltway by the way) who think the exclusion of late 20th century thinking from the Transcendentalist camp (talking Bucky Fuller) is egregious and we mock all curricula that are uninformed at this point.

Just to unpack that a little more (twas highly abbreviated), the
Transcendentalist tradition may be traced to Dial Press and Dial
Magazine, the writers therein, though that's too broad, a bigger
ballpark. Wikipedia has entries.

For some more literary criticism, check 'The Pound Era' by the late
Hugh Kenner, a professor of English, and columnist for BYTE magazine
(a polymath type). He also wrote 'Geodesic Math and How to Use It'.
Emerson, Thoreau, Margaret (R. B. Fuller's great aunt).

So Buckminster Fuller built this interesting "cult" (or one might say
"cul de sac") in the literature, around the Tetrahedron as a unit of
volume, and sounding as if our picking the cube might've been a

Who'd've ever thought so? What a wild idea.

Never mind how off the wall this might be; that a guy with like eleven
PhDs and a Medal of Freedom, awards galore, friend to artists and
heads of state, would even think such a thing, is at least worthy of
an historical footnote -- actually way more than just a footnote.

You can get a lot of good geometry packed into that tiny memory space
of his "concentric hierarchy of polyhedrons" -- but how many educators
have even scratched its surface? Is it really that unworthy of
notice? I've been looking into it and for me and my ethnic minority
it's a required topic. And we vote.

We're like an upset minority in a democracy, saying our children
matter too and we don't agree to keep silent about what appears to be
an anti-STEM bias. That bias looks bad for the future, and we say so.
Our own science fiction offers more hope, I like to think with plenty
of realism to back it up.

> Too square, sorry. And too late (there's a youthful "occupy" resonance -- our academic headquarters in Portland, Washington High School, hosted a Bucky Fuller revival a few months back):

How to account for this wholesale dismissal of some interesting basic
mathematics, which models a 3rd power growth rate using a different

So what that we could use a simpler shape (a tetrahedron has fewer
edges, faces, corners)? "So what" indeed.

To show such a thing is like sharing about other bases (besides 10)
for number systems.

You understand your own system better once you have something to
contrast it with.

We should be using tetra-volumes for contrast. To me that is obvious.
But that's hardly at all done.

So at this point we (the "tetrahedronites") just mock the CCSS and
adults more generally (blockheads, squares -- derisive slang).

"Remedial math for governors" -- but relatively innocuous. People
need "learning math" to become a paying prospect at some point and
CCSS helps that happen.

Here's a way adults nudge themselves to improve their thinking and
skills, even while making it seemingly all be about the good of "the

Back to the tetrahedronites: we're like an art movement, with
colonies (art colonies).

We have this way of pushing back against what appears to be a dumbing
down to a dangerous level.


PS: If you're subscribed to Tumblr, check out the Hexagonal Awareness
Project. Lots of overlap with what I'm into.