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Topic: Self schooling ideas (Portland, Oregon)
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Kirby Urner

Posts: 4,713
Registered: 12/6/04
Self schooling ideas (Portland, Oregon)
Posted: Nov 29, 2008 1:26 PM
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Based on interviews during parent-teacher night, it's
clear that the more traditionally-minded Portland
Public Schools are still somewhat under the thumb of
Euclidean metaphysicians preaching as "self evident"
"axiomatic" these beliefs we might not always agree
with, but that's not a serious source of frustration
for me.

It's a beautiful system, and even if full of logical
holes and a source of some awkwardness in later thought
patterns. Systems have holes, tiz in their nature.
Even arithmetic is incomplete, from a "prove me true"

Traditional schooling isn't the only source of learning,
so we're able to counter-balance the overly mired stuck-
in-the-mud traditionalists through other venues in our
culture, e.g. via Internet and television.

Those signing up for self schooling after school, or
otherwise lurking, get our different approach, starting
with spatial experience, walking through buildings and
so on, the architects' CAD system (animation of interiors
and exteriors). This gets them thinking in terms of
Google SketchUp, other affordable tools, leading to job
relevant skills in several directions.

Our shoptalk is likewise deliberately "hybrid" in that
we don't believe in overly specializing under the thumb
of this or that cultish discipleship (e.g. the Euclidean
and/or Pythagorean semi-visible colleges); we draw from
a wealth of resources (URLs), including from many non
Indo-European. That's almost a hallmark of our shared
North American culture: its multi-cultural basis in
federation among states, territories, and semi-sovereign
interior nations. No way is our USA a strictly top-down
control system -- a difference many of Euro heritage get
confused about, especially monarchists.

Anyway, in keeping with are starting with spatial, many
students self school using Zome aka ZomeTool. If
unfamiliar with this artifact, you might want to do some
background reading here:

Steve Baer came up with these Baer cells, buildable in
Zome, that in turn make up the rhombic enneacontahedron:

But on the way to making this 90-faced zonohedron, the
Baers make a sequence of convex shapes cataloged by a
modest geometer (in Thailand perhaps?):

What gnu math guy David Koski is finding, and publishing
about through my studio, is this cool sequence of ratios,
twist surface and total rhombs in all the Baer cells.

Now of course this is all very specialized and not
necessarily a corner stone in any curriculum, but you see
how we've got a strong associational network going,
between hands-on tools (such as Zome and vZome), and some
state of the art geometrical studies that are both easy
to grok and spatial, i.e. not purely planar, in harmony
with our 'Beyond Flatland' marketing campaign (goes back
to at least 1997).**

A primary means for sharing these geometric studies,
based around focal points we've discussed quite a bit in
this archive, is through YouTubes, Google Videos and such.
Even at relatively low resolutions, you're getting the
benefits of rotation, translation, scaling, the
transformations we study in class. Plus you're getting
hands on experience with the various file formats and
video clip editing techniques (audio too).

For an example of the kind of geometry clip I'm talking
about, check out my own contribution to the literature,
focusing on our discovery awhile back regarding a volume
relationship between rhombic dodecahedra and tria-
contahedra of certain radius:

Kirby Urner

Related reading:


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