Speaking of Global Grids…

Kirby Urner
10 min readMay 28, 2018

I’m actually not about to launch into some TED talk (or TEDx) about high voltage direct current, used in both hemispheres. Pacific Intertie starts along the Columbia River, a first vista for serious landscape photographers.

Film hitherto had been mostly for portraits and cameos, nor could the framed picture be any larger than the negative itself. Intrepid pioneers of the landscape genre knew there would be a public for large framed photographs of Celilo Falls, where a major dam churns out high voltage today. They hauled film developing chemicals and dark room tents right to the site, as in those days one needed to develop the film right after taking the picture.

Celilo Falls, Columbia River (postcard)

Several companies have gigantic data centers parked nearby, to better avail of the copious wattage, along with lower cost land. A data center at the heart of a city would displace its downtown, though many skyscrapers do host some rack space connected by optical fiber.

Thyristors do their magic, and California gets the juice. These two states have a mostly peaceful relationship, in spite of some rivalry, twixt a Valley and a Forest, both considered Silicon. Historically each was at the end of a fork in the Oregon Trail. Speculator venture capitalists headed south, following rumors of gold, whereas others sought the green pastures of the Willamette Valley, with an agricultural lifestyle in mind.

Formerly Celilo Falls (postcard)

However, my subject today is more purely Platonic, concerned with geometry, practically devoid of empirical content besides the generic classroom props (“manipulatives”) of an elementary school.

We don’t study Latin and Greek language and culture the way some of our ancestors did in the United Kingdom, but we learn enough to speak of “roots” (same root as “radical”) and recognize our “cognates” on one Standardized Assessment Test (“SAT words”), as administered by the Global U’s testing service (there’s a more proper name for it I’m sure).

Many of us first learn about the Greek root “poly” (as in “polymath” and “polyamory”) in some early grade. We may also learn about “hedron” as in “go wash your hedron” (actually no one ever says that)…

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