Three typos fixed for this web edition, embedded hyperlinks activated.

Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 21:54:25 -0800
From: Kirby Urner <>

                   February 20, 1998

TO: Melissa Chabran
    Planning and Evaluation Service
    U.S. Department of Education

FR: Kirby Urner
    Curriculum writer
    4D Solutions, Oregon

Dear Ms. Chabran --

You may recall our exchange of memoranda at the end of last 
year, archived at my website.[1]  You expressed some interest 
in hearing of my progress and accomplishments, even though you 
were not supportive of my plans to use nonviolent civil 
disobedience in the great American tradition, should the 
curriculum juggernaut continue on its present heading towards 

I am pleased to report that my so-called Math Makeover of 1998 
is gathering momentum.  Mostly we have been engaged in a lot of 
cool-headed behind the scenes internet discussion of curriculum 
matters, including around the subject of racism, as per links 
previously spelled out and further clarified at my website.[2]

However, I maybe should take some responsibility for some of 
the more disruptive and confrontational displays in recent days 
at these staged media events.  When I referred to our fearless 
leaders in Washington DC as "loser cretins" who don't even know 
"baby math" (referring to the A and B modules), this was in a 
context of looking back from a projected future viewpoint -- 
imagining how this will all look to kids as yet preverbal, 
once they have a chance to read their USA history texts and 
view the archival videos.  But people often take such things 
out of context, as I'm sure you realize.

Also, although I've made a point of underlining the strong 
links between Medal of Freedom winner R. Buckminster Fuller's 
tetrahedral 4D geometry and anti-racism, I doubt whether most 
local leaders are thinking "tetrahedron" when they chant "one 
two three four..." (as if counting the vertices or face 
window-openings) -- even though the link to anti-racism (and 
anti-nationalism, a close relative) is abundantly clear.[3]

I hope (and strongly suggest) that when Mr. Clinton comes on TV 
soon to explain his administration's rationale for staging 
explosive events in Persia, that he'll have something 
intelligent to say to the math teachers, now that we're telling 
our kids in more detail about design science, synergetics, and 
our option to succeed as never before.

How does this image they're getting of a bright future in the 
21st century sync with Ms. Albright's, for example, which seems 
very rooted in the 20th -- or maybe 19th?  

The Russians know about the design science option, and even the 
Iraqis are signalling some comprehension -- so what's with up 
with the USA?  Anybody home?  My kids want some answers.

Apologies for the confrontational tone.  Mathematics is really 
a cool-headed Vulcan enterprise, even when it gets 
polemical sometimes (i.e. more Klingon).  

In conclusion, we have been unimpressed with the Clinton 
administration's efforts to date to do any serious homework on 
this front (math and geometry) and will no doubt get a lot more 
vocal about this perceived failing if our putative leaders in 
Washington, DC continue to demonstrate such appalling ignorance 
and apathy about our USA mathematics curriculum.[4]

Thanks for listening.


Kirby Urner



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Synergetics on the Web
maintained by Kirby Urner