Python is a very important and ubiquitous programming language with a free software license originally authored by Guido van Rossum who made the initial release of python in 01990 when he was 34 years old.

Django is a web framework for writing web apps which is based on python. Some well-known web apps are those found at the following sites: PBS, Instagram, Mozilla, The Washington Times, Disqus, Bitbucket, and Nextdoor. Django is perhaps the most widely-used web framework for this purpose although there are other widely used web frameworks too. Django was created in the fall of 02003 by Adrian Holovaty (who was then age 21 years) and Simon Willison (who was then age 22).

djangoforbeginners.com is an introductory book (first three chapters are free on the web and provide a great introduction) authored by William Vincent that anyone can use to learn django and thus acquire all the skills necessary to begin building web apps yourself.

Web apps represent one of the fastest growing sectors of the global and US economy, and web app designers are extremely highly sought after by myriad companies throughout the world. In the US, salaries for web app designers start at around $50,000 per annum (which is about twice the salary of someone who gets paid the legal minimum wage) and go much higher, perhaps $100,000 to $150,000. This book also introduces the reader to git, github, and heroku (ひろく) three ubiquitous tools associated with programming and web apps et. al.

 

The above audiobook seems to be an abridged (shortened) version of this book. Although the images in this YouTube video encourage the viewer to send a message to the person who posted this video on YouTube, I always recommend against sending such messages to YouTube posters.

There seems to be an unabridged (full-length) visual version of the same book here.

The unabridged audiobook for Contact can also be found on Audible.com here.

And the 01997 film (described here on wikipedia) can be found on Amazon.com here.

I think it is not well known that the United States of America and the state of Virginia led the eugenics movement. I think most people incorrectly imagine that Nazi Germany led this movement. There is no original research here, but I have not seen anywhere else all these threads tied together in a single page depicting (1) scientists discovering power, followed by (2) society’s most wealthy and powerful advocating for use of that power to protect themselves by harming society’s least wealthy and powerful, then (3) government adopting policies so advocated, (4) to the grave harm of three individuals who were wrongly labeled by the US government as “imbeciles”.

Does government really work for “The People” (as I learned in school in the 01970s and the 01980s) or does government instead actually work for “the wealthiest 0.05%“; or as Professor Lawrence Lessig called them in 02013, “The Lesters”?

From the book (The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD/PhD https://a.co/9rPVyHn ) I’m reading:

Against this backdrop, the US Supreme Court took scarcely any time to reach its decision on Buck v. Bell. On May 2, 1927, a few weeks before Carrie Buck’s twenty-first birthday, the Supreme Court handed down its verdict. Writing the 8–1 majority opinion, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. reasoned, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.” Holmes—the son of a physician, a humanist, a scholar of history, a man widely celebrated for his skepticism of social dogmas, and soon to be one of the nation’s most vocal advocates of judicial and political moderation—was evidently tired of the Bucks and their babies. “Three generations of imbeciles is [should be “are” according to original source; Holmes was also not much of a grammarian] enough,” he wrote.

The US “justice” system in action.

01865 February 08: Gregor Mendel presented his paper “Experiments on Plant Hybridization” to the Natural History Society of Brno in Moravia.

01872 November 28: Emma Buck (the first of the three so-called “imbeciles” Holmes was writing about) was born (I found no references on place of birth); probably in Virginia. A partial timeline exists here.

01905: William Bateson (who coined the term “genetics”) wrote: “When power is discovered, man always turns to it…The science of heredity will soon provide power on a stupendous scale; and in some country, at some time not, perhaps, far distant, that power will be applied to control the composition of a nation. Whether the institution of such control will ultimately be good or bad for that nation, or for humanity at large, is a separate question.” Which is to say nothing about what is good or bad for the individuals comprising the nation.

01906 July 02: Carrie Buck (the second of the three so-called “imbeciles” Holmes was writing about) was born.

01910: At age 3, Carrie Buck was taken away by the Virginia government and placed in a family foster care placement. Her foster parents were John and Alice Dobbs.

01923 June 22 (calculated as 40 weeks before 01924 March 28): At age 16 (different than in some timelines), while in foster care, Carrie was allegedly raped by John and Alice Dobbs’ nephew Clarence Garland, and Carrie becomes pregnant with a daughter who was later named Vivian.

01924 March 28: Vivian Buck (see pages 4 & 5 at link) (the third of the three so-called “imbeciles” Holmes was writing about) was born but named as Vivian Dobbs. A Virginia state social worker made the official determination when Vivian was only six months old that Vivian was an “imbecile” because infant Vivian’s eyes did not follow a coin passed in front of her eyes. But Vivian’s  first-grade academic scores from 01931, promoting her from Grade 1B to Grade 2A, seem to indicate this was an incorrect determination.

01927 May 02: Holmes led the 8 US Supreme Court Justices in supporting legalized sterilization throughout the US. Carrie was not yet 21 years of age.

01927 October 19: (see chapter 7 of link) Carrie was forced to undergo surgery and had both of her fallopian tubes severed, tied, and cauterized with carbolic acid, thereby making her infertile.

01932 June: “Vivian contracted measles [at age 8 years]. She died from a secondary intestinal infection, enteric colitis.”

01944 April 15: Vivian’s grandmother Emma Buck died, having never left the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded.

01983 January 28: Vivian’s mother Carrie Buck died in a nursing home (sometimes called a “Community Center”).

Thanks to Professor Paul A. Lombardo and many others, including Professor Stephen Jay Gould, for original research. For original source of US Supreme Court majority opinion, see (“imbeciles” comment is the last sentence):

http://cdn.loc.gov/service/ll/usrep/usrep274/usrep274200/usrep274200.pdf

With the reported number of COVID-19 cases (13,060 according to JHU as of this posting) in the US now having surpassed the number of cases in every country except China (81,155), Italy (41,035), Iran (18,407), Spain (17,963), and Germany (15,320), it looks to me like the US is in store for a great deal of suffering in the near future.

So I’ll share some of Ursula K. Le Guin‘s thoughts on Suffering.

Many thanks to Maria Popova of the brainpickings.org blog for bringing this to my attention. I strongly recommend reading much more of Ms. Popova’s thoughts at her blog (which I discovered only today). I know I’ll be doing so.

In particular, Le Guin writes:

Suffering is a misunderstanding.

[…]

It exists… It’s real. I can call it a misunderstanding, but I can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist, or will ever cease to exist. Suffering is the condition on which we live. And when it comes, you know it. You know it as the truth. Of course it’s right to cure diseases, to prevent hunger and injustice, as the social organism does. But no society can change the nature of existence. We can’t prevent suffering. This pain and that pain, yes, but not Pain. A society can only relieve social suffering, unnecessary suffering. The rest remains. The root, the reality. All of us here are going to know grief; if we live fifty years, we’ll have known pain for fifty years… And yet, I wonder if it isn’t all a misunderstanding — this grasping after happiness, this fear of pain… If instead of fearing it and running from it, one could… get through it, go beyond it. There is something beyond it. It’s the self that suffers, and there’s a place where the self—ceases. I don’t know how to say it. But I believe that the reality — the truth that I recognize in suffering as I don’t in comfort and happiness — that the reality of pain is not pain. If you can get through it. If you can endure it all the way.

Her thoughts on “this fear of pain” remind me of Frank Herbert‘s thoughts on fear:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Le Guin goes on to reflect that:

It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.

and

If you evade suffering you also evade the chance of joy. Pleasure you may get, or pleasures, but you will not be fulfilled. You will not know what it is to come home… Fulfillment… is a function of time. The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal… It has an end. It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return, but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell… The thing about working with time, instead of against it, …is that it is not wasted. Even pain counts.

I’ve also read that The Buddha considered all suffering to stem from a sense that one deserves something; a sense of expectation. My pithy interpretation of these writings is that, if one can surrender all sense of expectation, then from that point forward, everything that happens in one’s life can be perceived as a gift, and one’s own suffering disappears. I’m not sure I agree completely, but I do think there may be some wisdom in this line of thinking. I hope it helps some in a time of global suffering.

Learn more about The Buddha at wikipedia.