Moulton Lava

Moultonic Musings

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Location: New England, United States

Monday, December 03, 2018

Parking Zone

Song parody from Barsoom Tork Associates, in honor of Zayn, our newest resident at Bedfordshire Condos ...

Title: Parking Zone
Artist: Zayn
Composer: Paul Simon and Barsoom Tork Associates
YouTube: Kodachrome ~ Paul Simon

When I look back
On all the rules in the Condo Handbook
It's a wonder I can think at all

And though my lack of foresight
Hasn't hurt me much
I can read the writing on the wall

Parking Zone …
They give us those nice plowed spaces
They give us some asphalt pavement
Makes you think Condo life’s a pleasant stay

Oh yeah …

I got a brand new Kia
I love to take it for a spin
So neighbor don't take my Parking Zone away

If you took all the friends I knew when I was younger
And brought them all together for one night
I know they'd never find a nearby place to park
Everything looks worse in real life

Parking Zone …
They give us those nice plowed spaces
They give us the asphalt pavement
Makes you think Condo life’s a pleasant stay

I got a dark red Hyundai
I love to take it for a spin
So neighbor don't take my Parking Zone away

Neighbor don’t take my Parking Zone away …

Neighbor don’t take my Parking Zone
Neighbor don’t take my Parking Zone
Neighbor don’t take my Parking Zone away

Neighbor don’t take my Parking Zone
Leave my Kia parked far from home
Neighbor don’t take my Parking Zone away

Neighbor don’t take my Parking Zone …

CopyClef 2018 Paul Simon and Barsoom Tork Associates.
North American Bupkis.  All Wrongs Reversed.

“At North American Bupkis, our atrocious song parodies are your everlasting earworm.”

Kodachrome ~ Paul Simon

Monday, August 13, 2018

Word Salad Jamming

Title: Word Salad Jamming
Artist: Montana Mouse
Composer: Tony Joe White and Barsoom Tork Associates
YouTube: Polk Salad Annie ~ Elvis Presley

Some of you all never been
Down Monterrey too much...
I’m gonna tell you a little story,
So you'll understand what I'm talking about
Down there they have a dude
Who hangs around the schools and grieves,
And he writes something like a steam machine.

Everybody calls it Word Salad Jamming.
Now that's Word Salad.

I’ve long known a guy that lives down there and
He'd go online to make a munge of it...
Get carried away and gin it up at length,
‘Cause that's what he had to say,
And he did it all night.

Down in Monterrey
Where muchachos can be mean
Lives a guy that I swear to the world
Made the teachers look green.

Word Salad Jamming
Professors got to slamming
Everybody said it was a shame
For the course was working on the main slang
What a mean, vicious syllabus!

Every day before supper time
He'd go down by the ‘puter lab
And gin up a munge of Word Salad
And send it off in a dizzy stack dump

Word Salad Jamming
Professors got to slamming
Everybody said it was a shame
For the course was working on the main slang

WooHoo, how wretched, spiteful,
Strange grammar-chopping yeoman,
Lord have mercy.

Sock a little Word Salad to him
Yeah, you know what, yeah, yeah

Bet his daddy was a lazy no-count
Claimed he had a bad drunk
All his friends were jiving around
Stealing sentences out of White and Strunk

For once Word Salad Jamming
Professors got to slamming
Everybody said it was a shame
For the course was working on the main slang

Sock a little Word Salad to him
You know what meets a phantom rendition?
You sock a little
Hey, hey, hey, yeah, yeah
Chic a bon, chic a bon, chic a bon bon bon bon
Chic a bon, chic a bon, chic a bon bon bon bon
Sock a little Word Salad to him

You know what greets a phantom rendition?
Sock a little Word Salad to him
You know what treats a phantom rendition?
Chinc, chinc, chinc, chin, ling, ling ling

CopyClef 2018 Tony Joe White and Barsoom Tork Associates.
North American Bupkis, Reclusive Internet Dementors.

"At North American Bupkis we solemnly swear we are up to no good."

Polk Salad Annie ~ Elvis Presley

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Paradigm Shift

There is a paradigm shift that has been emerging with the introduction of the Internet into human culture.

For the past four or five thousand years, humans have adopted a Rule-Based Model for socio-political self-regulation.

Sometimes the rules were said to come from Divine Sources, as expounded and promulgated by Monarchs or Theologians. Giambattista Vico noted a 3-phase cycle among a triumvirate of authorities.

The Viconian cycle consists of three recurring phases:

(1) The Theocratic or Divine Age, represented in primitive society by the family life of the cave, to which the thunderous voice of God has driven mankind; 
(2) The Aristocratic or Heroic Age, characterized by incessant conflict between the ruling patricians and their subject plebeians; 
(3) The Democratic Age, in which rank and privilege have finally been eradicated by the revolutions of the preceding age.

Currently, we are ensnared in the Fourth Age, as anticipated by Vico, and as explicated by any number of modern sources:

(4) The Chaotic Age, characterized by the bewildering collapse of democratic society, which is inherently dysfunctional and therefore riddled with a panoply of hellish and baffleplexing problems: conflict, violence, oppression, injustice corruption, poverty, ignorance, alienation, abuse, despair, suffering, and terrorism.

The resolution of this nightmare age of unrelenting chaos is to evolve to the Fifth Age where we master the art of taming the ill-mannered recursion laws that define and characterize the Chaotic Age:

(5) The Cybernetic Age, in which the otherwise mind-boggling math of recursive loops is tamed and tuned to gracefully converge to the long-dreamed-of Omega Point.

To emerge from the Chaotic Age and evolve into the Cybernetic Age, we are going to have to conscientiously educate ourselves in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a concentrated effort to master the fractious mathematics of recursive systems.

The key to mastering the Fifth Age is to embrace the Fifth Discipline of Peter Senge. The key is to master Systems Thinking.

Once STEM fully integrates Systems Thinking into our tools for thought, we can then team up with Artists who can shape this work for public consumption as part of the evolving Canon of Western Media. Once STEM is teamed up with the Artistry, we’ll be on our way to the Cybernetic Age with a full head of STEAM.

So, how does the emergence of the Internet help pave the way?

The Internet introduced a major paradigm shift that evolved above and beyond the traditional Rule-Based Paradigm.

Here is the progression embraced by the architecture of the Internet:

1. Heap of Rules ~ The stuff of children's games as played by scheming adults 
2. Suite of Protocols ~ Carefully crafted sequences of agile rules with feedback and alternate branchings 
3. Library of Functions ~ Continuously variable responses employing the mathematical tools of the Calculus (e.g. Gradients and Optimization) 
4. Collection of Models ~ Collections of Functions instantiating a System Model 
5. Ecology of Systems ~ The application of Cybernetic Concepts to the overall architecture and functioning of a complex system comprised of multiple interacting sub-systems and components.
Employing and applying the tools for thought of Systems Thinking, we can begin to make real progress in solving humankind’s long-festering Systemic Problems: Conflict, Violence, Oppression, Injustice, Corruption, Poverty, Ignorance, Alienation, Abuse, Despair, Suffering, and Terrorism.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Saga of the Lost and Found Kort Family Records

Not long ago, I was contacted by Kathy Hinton on Facebook who was seeking help on finding the rightful owner of some long lost family photographs and cemetery certificates that unexpectedly turned up while she was helping a family friend clear out a recently vacated house in North Wales PA.

Max Kort
The cemetery certificates bore the names of three individuals with the surname Kort who had died more than half a century ago. The photographs were formally posed B&W portraits of family members bearing no annotations or identifications.

While it was clear these were not my own relatives, I agreed to help Kathy find the rightful owner of these long lost and forgotten keepsake records.

The materials were in an envelope addressed to Marilyn Gilinsky in Boca Raton FL. An Internet search on that name and address revealed that it was the former residence of Marilyn Gilinsky-Kalif who now lives in Los Angeles. A few more searches turned up a working phone number. Ms Gilinsky was indeed the granddaughter of Max Kort, who died in 1951. But how in the world did the materials that had been mailed to her in Florida in the 1990s end up languishing in a house in Pennsylvania, only to be discovered 25 years later?

Kort Family Photo
The recently vacated house in North Wales PA, where the old cemetery certificates and family photos were found, belonged to Barbara Young, whose family had owned the property for three generations dating back to the 1950s. Barbara Young had three children of which only one daughter is still alive. Mrs. Young's son, Gary J. Young, had lived for a time in his mother's house, but moved to Boca Raton FL in the 1990s. He died there in an apartment fire in 2004.

Marilyn Gilinsky confirmed to me that she had indeed met and become friends with Gary J. Young in the 1990s, when they both lived in Boca Raton. It is unclear how Ms Gilinsky's heirloom family photos and cemetery certificates fell into the personal possession of Gary J. Young and then came to be relocated back to his childhood home in Pennsylvania.

Marilyn Gilinsky told me that her Grandfather, Max Kort, came to the United States from Lithuania around 1910. My Great-Great-Grandfather, Isaac Kort, lived in Vilnius Lithuania and his three sons came to the US as young men in the 1880s. So it's possible that we are distantly related, although it would take DNA testing to establish the probability of a link.

It took a day's worth of sleuthing via Internet searches to discover the missing links that pieced this detective story together. Not bad for a day's work, eh?

Friday, December 02, 2016

How I Escaped Going To Prison

Last Spring, I was filling in for a colleague who had been tutoring some high school students in mathematics. My colleague and his wife were spending a month in California when their daughter was giving birth to a new baby. And so I was filling in for him two afternoons a week in Cary Memorial Library in Lexington MA, working with a pair of high school students who were struggling with Algebra and Calculus.

As is my custom, I typically selected one of my math-motif sweatshirts for the occasion.  Like this one:

I Ate Some Pie

As I was coming out of Cary Library late one afternoon, I was accosted by a stranger who asked me to explain the curious mathematical symbols on my sweatshirt. That pedestrian turned out to be a rather gregarious chap named Rob Kanzer who then befriended me and also invited me to come as his guest to a meeting of Lexington Toastmasters.

And so begins my saga of how I avoided going to prison.

Toastmasters is a club where the members learn and practice the art of public speaking. The club has a highly structured meeting format, where the participants take turns in a variety of roles, all of which involve some aspect of speaking in front of a group.

I do a lot of writing (mostly on the Internet), but I rarely do public speaking. It's not exactly a skill that I need or use as a retired science educator. But it occurred to me that I could use some practice learning to become a better listener, and so I agreed to join Lexington Toastmasters for that purpose.

And this is where I took the road less traveled in the annals of Toastmasters. I only joined the local chapter, declining to join Toastmasters International, as their course in public speaking frankly did not interest me.

All was well for the first six months until there was a change in leadership. The person who had previously been the site's WebMaster became the new Sergeant at Arms, and so I was asked to take on the vacated role of WebMaster.  So far so good.

Since I had only paid up my local dues (and not the portion of the semi-annual dues that normally goes to Toastmasters International), the new Vice President of Membership soon raised a red flag. One seemingly minor detail was that, as WebMaster, I was logging into the web site without being an authorized member in the eyes of Toastmasters International (which provided the servers for the web site).

Joining Toastmasters International (TMI) included a lot more than just paying the portion of dues that goes to TMI. Originally, Toastmasters began a century ago at a midwestern YMCA, to help inarticulate male adolescents learn to become better speakers. I had remarked that the course in public speaking was uncommonly regimented, but this off-putting feature turned out to be a holdover from the educational model the founder, Ralph C. Smedley, had developed a century ago for his demographic of inarticulate adolescents at the local YMCA in Bloomington Illinois.

Indeed, the whole structure of Toastmasters International was similarly regimented, with features that reminded me of Middle School and Boy Scouts. For the life of me, I didn't apprehend why these anachronistic features belonged in Lexington Toastmasters, which is largely comprised of urbane well-educated adult professionals and retirees. To me, these features felt inappropriate, unconstructive, and downright infantilizing.

But that's not the real problem. The real problem is CFAA, the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes it a Federal Felony to log into a web site without express authorization from the web site owner. Aaron Swartz, a gifted scholar at Harvard, was indicted under CFAA and threatened with 35 years in prison for accessing an archive of academic articles at MIT. He committed suicide rather than face trial at the hands of the US Attorney.

Now I frankly don't expect to be indicted by the US Attorney if I cavalierly log on to the Toastmasters web site in violation of the CFAA. But I'd still be in technical violation of CFAA, and that really is a Federal Felony. While I would not compare my story to the life and tragic death of Aaron Swartz, yet it was his technical violation with CFAA that disrupted the collegiality and congeniality of MIT and ultimately cost him his life.

And so, thanks to the long and violent arm of the Rule of Law, I found that I was obliged to part company with Lexington Toastmasters.

And that's how I escaped the terrifying spectre of going to prison.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Snot Hurled 'Round the World

The American Revolutionary War began with "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" which took place in historic Lexington Massachusetts.

During the last two weeks of August, the Lexington Police issued 41 traffic citations to motorists confused by a new one-way traffic pattern on Harrington Road along the north side of the Lexington Battle Green.

On Monday, October 24th, I appeared before Clerk-Magistrate, Ann Colicchio in Concord District Court to contest the citation issued to me back on August 18th by Sgt. Timothy J. Barry of the Lexington Police.

I barely got about 2 minutes into my story before the Clerk-Magistrate, Ann Colicchio, when she abruptly dismissed the citation without explanation.

I'm guessing I was not the first person to contest it, as the Clerk-Magistrate seemed to have a very quick grasp of the scene, and she was impressed that I came well-prepared with photos and diagrams.

Find the details of my story here:

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

You've Got a Friend

Title: You've Got a Friend
Artist: Yutiel
Composer: Carole King and Yutiel Yoshi Associates
YouTube: You've Got A Friend ~ Carole King

When you're confused and troubled
and you need someone who'll care,
and no one, no one seems to be right,
come on here and think of me,
and soon I will be there
to let you smile even in darkest night.

So just write down my name
And you know wherever I am
I will answer as soon as I can
in middle of the night or on day
I listen till you'll be okay
And I'll be there
You've got a friend.

And the world around us
grows darker every day
and you still can't tell me all what you feel
keep your head together, I will not go away
I struggle to grasp your emotion-wheel.

Now, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend
When people can be so cold?
They'll hurt you, yes, and desert you
And take your soul if you let them,
Oh, but don't you let them.

So just write down my name
And you know wherever I am
I will answer as soon as I can
in middle of the night or on day
I listen till you'll be okay
And I'll be there
You've got a friend.

You've got a friend
Ain't it good to know, you've got a friend?
Ain't it good to know?
Ain't it good to know?
Ain't it good to know, you've got a friend?

Oh yeah, now
Oh, you've got a friend
Yeah, baby
You've got a friend
Oh yeah...
You've got a friend .

CopyClef 2016 Carole King and Yutiel Yoshi Associates.
Resurrection Hackware. All songs reused.

You've Got A Friend ~ Carole King