I should begin with some reassurance that I have high respect for many For Dummies books. My friend and fellow Wanderer, Allen Taylor, a brilliant man, sought after by cruise ship lines as a lecturer-storyteller (he’s been a toastmaster, not just a professor), wrote SQL for Dummies, and SQL (Structured Query Language) ain’t that easy to dumb down. “Made simple” is more what’s done, like Feynman did to physics, only because he understood it so well.

What teen would not jump for the chance to get paid to play computer games? Many wouldn’t, I know. They know their athleticism would go to hell, but what if I told you our games would take physical agility, some of them. Carnival games do. Hunger Games.

GST is competition for Economics, the discipline. Another lineage needed to muscle in and shoulder some of the burden.

Remember how Portland helped Amsterdam not be the only destination for drug tourism? At one time, only Holland had head shops in its airport, with merchandise screaming the virtues of liberal policies. I’m not saying overdosing is not a problem. I’m saying it’s a medical problem, by default, not a legal one.

Anyway, I imagine GST stepping in and saying to Economics: “you are not alone”. Of course some economists shot back that they’d prefer to fly solo, thank you very much. Yet the copilot model caught on, and in some cockpits, the two even switched places from time to time. In the long run, two heads are better than one.

So yeah, you get to play computer games for pay, but we get to watch what you do with the winnings. How do you invest your gains. When you get extra points, and therefore tokens to commit towards various charities, which do you favor? We’re looking over your shoulder, deciding whether to promote you to to a next level or not. Don’t get too paranoid. You are likewise a judge of others’ characters.

The Gossip Channel is running hot tonight (a new Bob Woodward book), with more scandal and outrage. Did I mention the Gibbs Phase Rule? Not in this essay, but I’m sure elsewhere. Science acknowledges feelings as objective phenomena, amenable to formulaic treatment, such as by machine learning algorithms. Without claiming omniscience regarding the patterns, we’re entitled by grammar itself to remark on the pretty patterns, and on the ugly ones too, as the case may be.

Emotions figure into a kind of Alchemy even in dark ages science, which is to say psychology (a big tent), which sometimes has to shoulder even more of the burden, as in advertising and PR. Our new social media were power tools, but who had ever had much practice in managing all the ripple effects? The baptism by fire was a kind of sink or swim experience in cyber-space. The geeks had to scramble to keep their Alchemy from going out of whack.

Big typhoon in Japan. I read Woodward’s book about William J. Casey and made some collages from that, interweaving in some excerpts from my Invisible Landscapes series, back in the day. More in my blogs.

Anyway, just inserting some data from the Evening News for contextualizing purposes. I’m headed to Linus Pauling House after this, for our weekly get together. Wanderers. More later.

Lots online.

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