A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Walter Isaacson's Delightful Leonardo DaVinci

I was surprised to experience so much delight in listening to an audible biography of Leonardo DaVinci. So much about the master I did not know, including his philosophy and how he worked. Even without the visuals, I have a better apprecation of the power of his curiosity and observation skills. While I have studied the Renaissance, I did not have an intimate feel for how the artist / scientist might study and apply what he learned from natural phenomena such as rivers, light, and even ringlets of hair. Nor did I appreciate the humanity of his various family and social roles. Now, I can try to think a little more like Leonardi Da Vinci.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Net Neutrality

Re: Net Nuetrality

Dear Mr. Pai, Mr. O Rielly, and Mr. Carr:

I urge you to vote no on any proposal that would weaken or eliminate Net Neutrality regulations. An open Internet that requires Internet Service Providers to ensure equal access to content providers; i.e., a level playing field, on the basis of 1st Amendment rights to free speech and 14th Amendment rights to equal protection, and because it would destroy that which is greatest about the Internet. An Internet with Net Neutrality ensures an equal opportunity for all people to get their message out to the global marketplace of ideas and conduct discourse, including children, the elderly, and all others. Please preserve Net Neutrality regulations to continue the free flow of ideas in a time when the need for a free flow of ideas has never been greater. Vote no.


Daniel Kurland

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Vital Question: even better on the second reading.

I did not know anything about chemi-osmotic coupling or the proton-ion pump before reading The Vital Question. Now I see metabolism as central to the origin of life and a driving force of evolution. The argument for alkali-geothermal vents as a likely origin of euchariotic redox metabolism is imaginative, evocative, and awe inspiring.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Blackest Pit

I’ve seen into the blackest pit which receives all light and gives back none.
I used to be all about having a little fun.

I took a lot of chances, lost a lot of face, bounced around a lot of places, didn’t leave a trace.

I could tell you tales, I could tell you facts, but nothing tells a story like a bluesy soundtrack.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Brain Maker

I just finished listening to  Brain Maker (Unabridged) by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg, narrated by Peter Ganim on my Audible app. What I liked best was the emphasis on fermented foods. I plan to brew Kambucha & make saurkraut. What surprised me was how a compromised microbiome could lead to such a broad array of inflamatory diseases. I had read about fecal matter transplants previously, but hadn't realized there was a connection between the microbiome with autoimmune diseases or autism.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Durant's Lessons of History

History is often subject to the misconception that it's about timelines, dotted with wars, rulers,  and changing maps of the world. Success coach Jim Rohn recommended Durant's Lessons of History as a cornerstone in any successful person's library, I suspect, because of what it implies about a person's character. In order to make informed decisions, citizens need a framework of evaluative criteria to navigate the landscaoe of ideas, which is often confusing. Durant offers moral & analytical clarity.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Obesity Code

I finished listening to The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss (Unabridged) by Dr. Jason Fung, narrated by Brian Nishii on my Audible app. Try Audible and get it free: https://www.audible.com/pd?asin=B01MYMRVSQ&source_code=AFAORWS04241590G4

The discussion in the Obesity Code about why a myriad of diets all seem to fail has started me on my journey to change my mindset about what to eat and when to eat. While the exact strategy and recommendations do not fully square with what my licensed nutritionist, Lisa Gloede, advised me today, the goal of reducing insulin resistance aligns perfectly. Maintaining a food log and increasing my heart rate were not emphasized by the author, whereas accountability and going to the gym as an appointment are at the heart of my new lifestyle plan. My nutritionist also pointedly did not agree with the recommendation to increase fats, eg, whole fat milk, coconut oil, etc. However, it was an informative, entertaining, and thought provoking read, perfect for Audible.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Homo Deus: An existential threat outlined

Homo Deus, by Yuval Noah Hariri, is as consequential a read as Ray Kurzweil's Age of the Spiritual Machine. Whereas Kurzweil presented all the benefits of Artificial Intelligence, as well as the mathematical inevitability of superintelligence, Hariri raises the question of what to do with the mass of unenhanced humans who will soon be out of a job. Anyone who thinks about the social contract needs to be aware how the preferred  role of people is about to get hammered by a wave of networked superintelligence.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Whole cities have burned
in flames like these. Cold scattered
ashes in the breeze.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


I finished listening to Einstein: His Life and Universe (Unabridged) by Walter Isaacson, narrated by Edward Herrmann on my Audible app. Try Audible and get it free: https://www.audible.com/pd?asin=B002V1A1YQ&source_code=AFAORWS04241590G4

It's definitely worth pondering the universe with Einstein as a guide. What initially shocked me was how Einstein did not allow limitations of available data to prevent him from overturning thought limiting dogma. Einstein's application of thought experiments and postulates of essential principles allowed him to work backwards & propose experiments that would later confirm his revolutionary intuitions that explained relationships between light, energy, and gravitation.

Today, essential principles of scientific thought are being assailed by men who lack conviction or common decency, who disregard evidence as alternative facts, but who hold vast political power. Amidst these confusing times, it's worth using attributes that explain what made Einstein unique & his life experiences, especially his stubborn individualism & freedom of thought, as guides for resisting pathologies that threaten American democracy.

For Einstein, it was never who's right, but what's right. That's what I love about mathematics. That passion for truth seeking is the one essential quality I hope to pass on to my math students.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The King of Second Chances

The King of Second Chances
January 21, 2017

To the King of Second Chances a loss is just a loss, a lesson to be learned, not a reason to be blue.
If a lesson’s learned, the pain becomes a sting, another way to remember not to do that thing.

Mistakes are going to happen, mistakes are part of life.
If what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but quicker and more precise, the moxie you will gain will well be worth the price.

It’s okay to cry, but not okay to quit.
When you know there're second chances you always find a lift.
If you fail don’t fall apart, I’m here to help you up,
I’m the King of Second Chances, I’ll help you fill your cup.

If at first you don’t succeed you haven’t let me down.
As long as you keep trying, I get to keep my crown.
So if you see me laughing I’m not laughing at your pain,
I laugh partly to encourage, partly since I’m insane.

You need to be partly crazy to always expect to win.
When winning seems impossible, expect a silly grin.
I laugh because I’ve lost, I laugh because I’ve won.
As long as I am laughing, you know that I’m not done.

Laugh with me. We’re in this together.

Your 6th Grade Math Teacher,

Mr. Kurland