What might stop Trump in 2020:

Trump might not get reelected if …he angers Putin. 🙂

That is really sad, isn’t it? But the reality is that our Electoral College grotesquely over-represents rural Americans AND..couple that with the fact that too many Democrats will not vote, especially in mid-term elections (2018)

Seriously, it seems as if my party is the party of losers and the other party is the party is a confederation of the amoral wealthy and the delusional…but the other party shows up to vote.


July 20, 2018 Posted by | politics, social/political | Leave a comment

Is age catching up with me?

I am feeling a bit fatigued, at least physically. Part of the reason is that I am doing quite a bit of non-workout related walking in addition to my usual workouts, and the campus is hilly. But in the days of old, I never worried about that. But within the past 10 years or so, I noticed that routine hill and stair climbing was more difficult on the days I ran.

Today: weights at the WKU gym (a nice one) and then 4 miles of running: 1 on the treadmill (11:10) then 3 on the upstairs track (6.9 laps to the mile, and I did 21 laps in 31:26 (10:50, 10:44, 9:50..chased a young woman). I have to remember that this was sort of 5K-ish and within 2-2:30 of what I race these in these-a-days.

weights: weak..perhaps I rushed? 5 sets of 10 pull ups (good), bench: disaster. 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 5 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 5 x 165. Military: ok, 3 sets of 10 x 45 dumbbells (standing), 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer rows (usual), headstand and plank (2:30..easier?)

Note: my back can “feel” my not doing my back exercises.

Talks: good, as usual:

Slipknots in random walks (appears in proteins).

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The last one combined some serious global analysis, PDE and knot theory to deal with “almost real world” knotted cylinders.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | running, travel, weight training | | Leave a comment

Wills and Ways Part II

Ok, I am learning stuff…but lunch was a bit too heavy.

I walked 3 miles just under 15 mpm in the morning (72 F, 76 percent) and then another 4 over lunch 86 F, 47 percent) at about 15:30 mpm. The combined courses are above; I might want to stroll past the Bowling Green Hotrods stadium though they aren’t playing at home this week.

The Western Kentucky University campus does have one wicked hill on it; I wonder how any of their students ever get fat.
Note: while eating at the Student Union, I met the baseball coach.

Two talks; closing up "knotted" strings and dynamical systems.

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Mat presenting his work.

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Knot mosaic number..forming knot projections via certain types of decorated tiles.

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July 18, 2018 Posted by | travel, walking | | Leave a comment

One reason for Trump supporter’s hostility to higher education

I will not deny that *some* right wing critiques of US higher education have a bit of merit (e. g. hostility to free speech..among some, and yes, there are a few kooky is inevitable in our country of our size).

But if you go to any math conference you will see professors from all around the world..and in the hallways you will hear many languages being spoken. The reality is that outlier level talent (e. g. the main speakers) really is spread out all over the world; even our country would be hard pressed to gather enough outlier level talent for a good conference using only, say, native-born Americans. And yes, universities do draw professors from around the world, especially the highest ranked ones. That is just a fact of life. Academia (at the higher levels least in the sciences) and xenophobia are incompatible.

From the conference:

Lori Alvin discussing dynamical systems.

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Applcation of Riemannian Geometry.

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Professor Kosterlitz, Nobel Laureate in physics.

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And yes, I did run across one anti-Trump, anti-Rand Paul protest on my way back from dinner to campus:

I saw this outside of Rand Paul's Bowling Green office.

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Running: 44:25 for 4 on the gym treadmill…I just had a rough time of it. Not sure as to why (big week?)

July 18, 2018 Posted by | education, running, travel | | Leave a comment


Lifted weights yesterday (usual..highlights were 2 sets of 5-5-5-5 and 1 set of 10 pull ups, 4 x 185 bench, 8 x 170 bench, 7 x 170 decline) and got on the road to Western Kentucky University.

Crescent moon.

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That saved me from listening to Trump with Putin in Finland…and this is extraordinary:

US President Donald Trump, in a stunning rebuke of the US intelligence community, declined on Monday to endorse the US government’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying he doesn’t “see any reason why” Russia would be responsible.

Instead, Trump — standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin — touted Putin’s vigorous denial and pivoted to complaining about the Democratic National Committee’s server and missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal account.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said during a joint news conference after he spent about two hours in a room alone with Putin, save for a pair of interpreters.
Trump’s statements amounted to an unprecedented refusal by a US president to believe his own intelligence agencies over the word of a foreign adversary and drew swift condemnation from across the partisan divide.
His words signaled that he continues to equate the assessment of Russian election meddling with efforts to deligitimize his election, even though the US intelligence community made no such assessment.

And earlier:

I suppose that this “blame America First” is fine with the Republicans so long as they get their deregulation, tax cuts and SCOTUS picks.

Oh, and there is this outlandish claim that is being put forward to distract the rubes.

July 17, 2018 Posted by | politics, social/political, travel, weight training | | Leave a comment

There has to be a balance somewhere: Trump and Republicans

Trump has stayed steady at about 42 percent to 43 percent and at 88 percent among Republicans.

Reason: my guess is that many Republicans wanted the tax cuts, deregulation, high stock market prices and “good” Supreme Court picks. And rhetoric and tweets aside, Trump has delivered on those.

Oh, there is a substantial amount of white nationalism too and I believe the Democrats playing the X card (where X means race, sex, gender, sexual preference, etc.) is a fool’s errand for us.

I think that, too many times, we think “hey, we are morally right ergo we will WIN” and, well, it just doesn’t work that way.

I honestly don’t see the way out other than to turn out the vote in record numbers…so large that we overcome the inherent bias against us… a structural bias that favors rural conservatives.

2020? We’ll see how 2018 goes first. But I see nothing in the “list of 2020” candidates that gives me any hope at all.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political | Leave a comment

Post modernist “math”

Yes, yes, I mod 4 arithmetic, 2 + 2 = 0, and in base 2, 2+2 = 22 = 0. But…I don’t think that is what is going on here.

Hmmm, mod 3, 2+ 2 + 4 = 1 = 21+1 = 22. In fact, try mod 6 and mod 9.

July 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Ok, perhaps it isn’t THAT hot..for my 8.3 mile walk (W. Peoria plus Bradley hills) it was 76 F, 87 percent at the start; 80 F, 76 percent at the end, and for the walk home from Dozer, 89 F, 63 percent.

The walk (in the morning); somewhat tired legs, but still 2:03 for 8.3 miles (14:50 pace) and untimed from the park.

Sunday action at Dozer. Hot.

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A fan got in a quick stretch:

Stretching between innings. Peoria leads 2-1..still.

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And the Chiefs won a fine pitcher’s duel 2-1; the first runner got on base when the batter alertly swung on a wild pitch for strike 3 and got to first; a single got him to 3’rd and a sacrifice fly brought him in.

The heat caused the fans to drop like flies; this was the 7’th inning stretch and even Barbara had gone home.

Baseball commentary I’ve read that actual attendance at games is down. My guess: our part of the country had a frigid “spring” that was really an extended winter followed by a hot, humid summer. This season has not been a pleasant one to be outside (for the most part). Will this be the norm for future years?

Now the walk home: featured Peoria’s perpetually “under construction” streets.

Welcome to my world. This is the norm.

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July 15, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Peoria, Peoria/local, walking | | Leave a comment

Ok, what do I like about Trump?

As POTUS: nothing, really. Yes, the economy has not tanked..yet and so far, no major foreign policy crisis. There was Puerto Rico but sadly, that suffering was mostly shielded from the mainland in the way that the suffering in New Orleans was not.

But…well, to me, Trump is a bit like a termite infestation that gradually erodes the foundation and you won’t actually SEE the effects until the supports give way.

Fundamentally, I do think our country is strong enough to hold off the effects of this sort of incompetence for a while.

But..there are some side effects:

1. I think that the rest of the world got the wrong impression of the USA when Obama was president. Obama didn’t win because of his intelligence and grace (not entirely anyway); his charisma and showman skills did a lot to help. It also helped that he emerged quickly…sans much of the baggage that Hillary Clinton had (much of it, unfair).

2. Our country does have a “xenophobic” side. It has a low-class side. It has an anti-intellectual side. It has a side that dismisses genuine competence, especially when said competence clashes with “common sense”. Trump really brings these to the forefront.

3. So many on the left seem to think that screaming “I don’t like this…this needs to change” means that it will change. Oh, the right wing is very much like this too:

The language in these complaints—“I pay,” “I have every right,” “they are definitely not”—is quite illuminating. It indicates a belief on the part of these white people that they are the custodians of public space and can enlist the police to enforce its boundaries. The offenses committed by people of color are arbitrary and nearly limitless: waiting too long at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, having a barbecue on Lake Merritt in Oakland, playing a leisurely game of golf at a club in Pennsylvania, checking out of an Airbnb in Rialto, California. And once police officers get there, anything can happen, ranging from an arrest on charges of trespassing to the installation of a police perimeter and the arrival of a police helicopter.
To be sure, the belief that public space belongs exclusively to white people is not new, and this redlining has been inflicting trauma on people of color for a long time now. Whether it’s on the street, in a café, or at an airport, the visibility of people of color in public is tolerated only so long as it does not disturb the comfort of the dominant group. But the ubiquitous presence of smartphones with cameras has helped to document such incidents, and social media have brought them to national attention. That’s a useful development: The assertion of private authority over public space now comes with a social cost.

And yes, there is a left wing version of this too. If they declare that something is “offensive”, well, then it must be!

Now Trump comes along and says “I don’t care”. And those on the right cheer…

So, I suppose that I see Trump as some symptoms of the disease that resides in the United States, much like certain aches and pains in humans. This does not mean that the US is all bad; far from it. After all, we are a country that turns people away rather than tries to keep them in. But we have some real problems, I think.

July 15, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment

The frustration of trying to discuss social issues…

I admit that social media has become (always was?) not the best place to discuss the issues of the day.

It appears that much of which passes as “discussion” is just slogan chanting and cheer leading.

Of course, because I am biased, I tend to notice right wing exaggerations and half truths. Here is one example:

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents,” Waters said at the Wilshire Federal Building, according to video of the event.

It is clear that she is talking about members of Trump’s cabinet and about peaceful, verbal confrontation. But, in right wing circles, this has morphed into “Maxine Waters call for violence against Trump supporters”.

On the other side: Trump is widely accused of mocking a reporter’s disability. In fact, it sure looks to me that he was doing is “flustered person” mocking (mocking, but not because of disability)

And then we get to the cheer leading part. Take an issue, say single payer. Candidate X proposes it. I don’t back candidate X. Peron: I thought you were FOR single payer? Me: yes, but…HOW are you going to do that..from where we are now?

Or someone posts a meme: “this shit ends NOW” and “we are going to do this or that”. My response: HOW? What exactly are you going to do and how does that make the change that you want? The dummies usually respond with some variety that I am being a bad person for not sympathizing with that person’s goals.

There are many other ridiculous things: “large crowds” means “being popular with the voting public”, etc.

Oh well…perhaps it is time to read more books and talk less. I am going to practice being far more selective as to what I respond to.

What I think is going on: some really just want acceptance online (“cheering for the same team”) and a few want to be viewed as leaders (of a sort).

July 15, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment