Monday, January 26, 2009

Dr. Joseph E. Stiglitz recommends solution to economic crisis

Joe is one of my big heros and I just thought I would mention him again since CNN published one of his common sense articles today suggesting solutions for the US bank bailout:

When studying one of our Masters of Information classes I looked into the financial side of information management and discovered Joseph E. Stiglitz, the Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economic Sciences in 2001, for his work on the economics of information. Joe is a professor at Columbia University.

Dr. Stiglitz wrote "Making Globalization Work" which I very much admire.

Here's a search response on his books:

Here is a link to some of his writings about the current economic situation.

His autobiography:

Here are links to two of the articles I wrote based on my reading research:

"In order to be considered a great global leader China should maintain peace and respect for corporate property rights. They need to immediately focus on their serious environmental pollution problems to survive. Politically China needs to resolve the long-standing repression of the Tibetan people; it is too expensive in terms of public relations."

and a "How I researched and wrote the article" document -

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Karl Marx's quote is a hoax

"Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalised, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism."

( Hoax said to be from "Das Kapital, 1867")

But too bad those words are an internet hoax!

Not sure that's where we are going but the path is certainly as described.

Thank you to the heads up from blogging stocks --

Friday, January 23, 2009

Is anyone that smart?

Is anyone smart enough to have recognized problems with the economy before it got this bad, and is anyone smart enough to fix them? Well, such people did exist and do exist but that doesn't mean anyone is willing to listen.

An example are those analysts and investors who realized that Madoff's split-strike conversion strategy could not produce such stable profits, and reviewed Madoff's records and then concluded it was fraud. Many people fell for Madoff's "it's proprietary information" and "don't tell anyone you are invested with me."
"In 1999, trader Harry Markopolos wrote that "Madoff Securities is the world's largest Ponzi Scheme," in a letter to the SEC."

"The fact is that the only people who seem to have taken concrete action to protect investors from Mr. Madoff are private research shops like Aksia LLC. Its analysts did the real work of figuring out that Mr. Madoff's claimed investment strategy couldn't be happening at the volumes he claimed to be trading. Likewise, it was the short sellers who first blew the whistle on Enron, while the SEC was clueless and the firm's auditors were asleep."

Who is really going to listen to the boy crying wolf when the party is so much fun?

Why do I care aside from being out of a high paying job recently myself in UI Design and Business Analysis? I am no big time investor but for 10 years at least I'd been commenting to my best friend "I don't understand how economics works." and "Where is all the money coming from?" and "How come I don't think it is funny that banks 'accidently' grant a credit card to a dog?"

Looking at US economics from a larger patterns view, (the best of my skills), I saw a pattern that didn't match, it made no sense, there was too much money focused in all the same places. The problem with my simple observation was the ground I was standing on - the assumption I made - that is if you are an honest person, expecting the numbers to match, not expecting that it is possible they won't add up.

It was that one thing that I could not understand, how could an entire country try and fool itself? I did not expect that so many would be asleep at the wheel or that there were so many wolves driving those vehicles. It was the piece of the analysis pie that I presumed as innocent when it just wasn't.

My friend remarked to me recently "The reason you couldn't see how the economy works is because it didn't work. The economic machine you were looking at -- it wasn't working, we just didn't see it break down until now."

As an outsider some of the things I noticed where advertising programs that probably cost more than they could bring in. Even accounting for companies wanting market share, it still did not seem to be economically feasible.

Sometimes I have overcome this fault such as by judging a polititan by his face; Nixon and Geo W Bush. However I was conned when traveling recently, and after reading about this kind of person I realized he displayed several of the "tells" of his behavior such as changing his tone and volume of his voice in odd ways which con artists use to sound more convincing or commanding and confuse their prey.

This technique is just exactly like television advertising does. Its a very simple, effective - obey - "buy this now!" technique.

It is important that individuals learn to recognize such behavior in others whether it is on an individual or national level - it always comes down to if something doesn't feel right or the money is too easy -- it isn't right.

Even if I had seen more clearly how the economics in N. America weren't working, I'd still be out of a job now, because we would still have to wait until the economy broke down for everyone to see we need to change.

The Cassandra Effect is knowing something (good or bad) will happen in advance, but even after communicating nobody listens or can act on the information. Even if you know, it does not mean anyone will or can listen and understand you or change anything.

Sometimes its like knowing you should loose weight or other self-improvement - you know it, but you can't or don't act and when the consequences hit they may be worse than expected.

I am much less concerned about the Gross National Product and more concerned with Gross National Happiness. We have to all be smart together. And that is either socialist (which we are doing with the banks and car companies) or - communism.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Largest Illegal Arms Market in the World - The Gun Markets of Pakistan

Suroosh Alvi says it all, with an entertaining in-person visit to the largest illegal arms market in the world - Pakistan backwoods towns "they live in caves, have no tongues, and make guns with their bare hands," says Suroosh -- showing us the locals still engaged in making guns since the Turkish empire. Suroosh won't believe the war is over until people have some other industry besides manufacturing 1000 guns a day for 70 years.

The math?
1000 guns a day for 70 years - hmmm

more that 25 and a half million guns!

And check out the drive by image - the Heroin Kingpin’s house probably two blocks long - as one commenter said "Scarface Afghan style".

Also notice how few woman you will see in this video, quite a cultural difference from the West.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

U2 playing - Pride (In The Name Of Love) for President OBAMA

U2 Lyrics - Pride (In The Name Of Love)

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One come he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

(nobody like you...)

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love...

Performed for the inauguration of our President OBAMA


Personal opinion - U2 shows their love for the world and OBAMA with such enthusiasm - you have a feeling that if they could instantly become even greater musicians they would out of the sheer force of love and admiration.

Stevie Wonder Playing Highest Ground for President OBAMA

Usher and Shakira taking the stage with Stevie Wonder on keyboards -- to perform his classic hit Higher Ground for then President-Elect OBAMA

People keep on learnin
Soldiers keep on warrin
World keep on turnin
Cause it wont be too long

Powers keep on lyin
While your people keep on dyin
World keep on turnin
Cause it wont be too long

Im so darn glad he let me try it again
Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
Im so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin
Till I reach the highest ground

Teachers keep on teachin
Preachers keep on preachin
World keep on turnin
Cause it wont be too long
Oh no

Lovers keep on lovin
Believers keep on believin
Sleepers just stop sleepin
Cause it wont be too long
Oh no

Im so glad that he let me try it again
Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
Im so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin
Till I reach my highest ground...whew!
Till I reach my highest ground
No ones gonna bring me down
Oh no
Till I reach my highest ground
Don't you let nobody bring you down (they'll sho' nuff try)
God is gonna show you higher ground
He's the only friend you have around

Performed for the inauguration of our President OBAMA

Personal opinion - even in this concert Stevie Wonder showed how he can rock a song - all smiles over having change come to America. Man it is beautiful Stevie, I wish you could see it. Next time man; if what you say about your prior lifetime is real - then you have paid the price and you will be free of blindness. I hope science can eradicate blindness for all.

At Last - The First Couple Dance to Beyoncé Singing Etta James' "At Last"

At Last Lyrics by Etta James

At last, my love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh, yeah, at last
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clovers
The night I looked at you
I found a dream that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to rest my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh, yeah when you smile, you smile
Oh, and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
For you are mine
At last

Performed for the inaugurational dance of our President OBAMA and his wife Michelle


Personal opinion - stunning, it does not get any more romantic and to the point of achievement than this song performed by this diva for this couple.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

OBAMA Is A Worldwide Hope Sensation - U2's comments

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

People will wear small flexible OLEDs on their face as jewelry and advertising

Here's another person who mentioned the same idea:

"There could even be costume jewelry with OLED displays."
- Norbert Aschenbrenner, 2003

It is likely this could be used in space travel in ways we don't know about now such as a digital readout of emotions, heartrate, translation, and even spacesuit protection.

Monday, January 12, 2009

CNET Android apps review for James Gramata's FireWallet

Positive CNET review for the user interface I advised on for James Gramata's FireWallet for Google Android:

"The more sophisticated FireWallet works with budgets inside various accounts and protects your information behind a four-digit pin you change from the all-zero default. It's a bit trickier to navigate, but also shoehorns in more options. In addition to a more refined interface, FireWallet has graphs and charts to help visualize your spending, and a rudimentary tool to alert you of upcoming bills. Both it and Personal Budget Droid are missing templates and more powerful features to optionally suck in real-time data from your checking, savings, and stock portfolios. Time for a mobile version of Mint?" - Posted by Jessica Dolcourt

link to download:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Universal Responsibility in a Matrixed Economic World

I am concerned that Obama and his staff are not aware enough of the danger and that his planned policies do not go far enough. Port of Seattle, loading cranes, Puget Sound, with storage facilities, boats, Washington state, USA Reading up on America's depression era New Deal of the 1930's and the times leading up to it are remarkably like the times we are going though, except no one bailed out the fat cats then (as you know).

Agreed bailing out the rich will help prevent some suicides like Adolf Merckle, the German billionaire who slipped from #44 most wealthy person on the planet to number #77 or Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet, a fund manager who invested with Bernie Madoff and apparently committed suicide at his office - to me these people's deaths are no laughing matter - not any different than those overleveraged investors who committed suicide on Black Thursday in 1929 or thereabouts by jumping from the buildings they were in. And what is it that Merckle could see that was so scary?

Some people actually laughed in 1929 to see or hear of the suicides, as if those folks deserved it or were somehow different than they were - a few months later, out of a job -- they stopped laughing.

My feeling is that we may be lucky by the end of Obama's first term in office to see any real strides. The only capital that he can really bank on is who he IS, and that the government at least is out of the hands of incompetents (from our standpoint) and warmongering profiteers. Ugh! the sick thing is industrial war complex oldsters really don't get that the world has changed - we ARE in this together just as HH the Dalai Lamas and HH the Popes as well as other religious and secular leaders have long preached. We communicate on an entirely different level, more frequently and around the world. Arguably there is universal responsibility and we are just getting a clue.

Embarcadero bus transportation corridor 20 floors up San Francisco California
For just one example every night that I post a new image on Flickr - I know, no, no, I expect people from around the world will comment on it by the next morning - in one day - all around the world. And the comments in foreign languages I will translate to read and my reply I will translate and respond with - nearly instantly in their language. Even my requests are posted by Flickr in the native language of the person I am requesting their photo from - all with a drop down menu - no effort on my part.

Another example is that of the late Mr. Oscar Grant III, an unarmed African-American man shot in the back and killed in Oakland by the police (by accident or purposely) is instantly seen over the Web from every recording cell phone present - police authorities - placed in their roles to "serve and protect" absolutely can not hide any more behind some story when everyone anywhere can see what occured. And by the way - happy, satisfied people don't protest.

Franklin Roosevelt tried a lot of things to stabilize the economy. The stuff FDR did which was recently dismantled appears to be the root cause of the suffering in the country now, as the rich continue to amass profits while the lower classes lose a place to live. Political leaders can't hide any more either and the results of their efforts for good or bad will be known sooner and in more detail than ever before.

There is also an issue more complex than it first appears, of the average age of baby boomers, as they retire and there are not enough educated people coming into the working social system who can earn enough because education was gutted --- either to make sure that there was no opposition to the will of the wealthy greedy or because self-serving politicos were also too short sighted to see what the results of not funding education would be.

Financial District Classical Building Reflection Distortion, San Francisco, California, USANot everyone is like us, not everyone takes joy in educating themselves, and some education, like primary research is beyond the costs of a single individual to bear, or one person to complete.

Poorer middle-classed housing such as San Francisco's Daly City has inexplicably one of the highest forced foreclosure rates in the country. Economists are researching why but *hey* that is way, way past a dollar short and a day late.

When I asked a religious leader about the causes of being out of work he said "stabilize your mind" and I think that to a large extent - that is the basic root cause of the US current troubles. The fears we have are based on tainted emotions. "The only fear we have is fear itself" another realization by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt that sounds like a call to arms once again with deeper meaning.

We really have to get rid of tainted emotions such as greed and the desire by even those with education and money to willingly inflict pain and suffering on others - such as by torture or slavery - where we can not root it out of ourselves we need to legislate it and make it clear that it is a common goal, a community of the world standard to commit to rid ourselves of afflictive emotions; we need to root out fear itself, greed, and ignorance.
From the Music and Art buildings looking south through the inner courtyard University of Washington Cherry Colonnade Seattle Washington
We can’t stand aside and look any more; stabilizing our own minds, taking universal individual responsibility - that is where the future is really at; only then we will have something we can rely on, ourselves as well as each other.

"We'll forward in this generation
Triumphantly ...
Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds"

Redemption Song
-Bob Marley

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dr. Sir Ken Robinson says industrial age education kills creativity

There is this speaker, Sir Ken Robinson, who spoke at the TED conference in 2006, and I was so overcome with emotion I nearly cried listening to his videostream. Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity ... and there are things we can do about that ...

He says--
"Intelligence 1st is diverse, 2ndly it is dynamic/interactive 3rdly it is distinct."

Here's my favorite story of Dr. Robinson from the TED conference transcript:

And eh, anyway Julian and I had lunch together one day and I said, ‘Julian how did you get to be a dancer?’ And she said it was interesting; when she was at school she was really hopeless. And the school in the thirties wrote to her parents and said, ‘we think Julian has a learning disorder.’ She couldn’t concentrate, she was fidgeting. I think now they’d say she had ADHD, wouldn’t you? But this was the 1930’s and ADHD hadn’t been invented, you know, at this point, so it wasn’t an available condition, you know. People weren’t aware they could have that.

Anyway, she went to see this specialist in this oak panelled room and she was there with her mother and she was led and sat on this chair at the end. And she sat on her hands for twenty minutes while this man talked to her mother about all the problems she was having at school. And at the end of it (because she was disturbing people and her homework was always late and so on, a little kid of eight) In the end, the doctor went and sat next to Julian and said I’ve listened to all these things your mother has told me I need to speak to her privately so he said, ‘wait here we’ll be back. we won’t be very long’ And they went and left her.

But as they went out of the room, he turned on the radio that was sitting on his desk, and when they got out of the room, he said to her mother, ‘just stand and watch her.’ The minute they left the room she said she was on her feet moving to the music and they watched for a few minutes and he turned to her mother and said, ‘You know, Mrs Lynn, Julian isn’t sick she’s a dancer. Take her to a dance school.’ I said, ‘what happened? She said, ‘She did. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was. We walked into this room and it was full of people like me; people who couldn’t sit still. People who had to move to think.’ They did ballet, they did tap, they did jazz, they did modern, they did contemporary.

She was eventually auditioned for the Royal Ballet School. She became a soloist. She had a wonderful career at the Royal Ballet. She eventually graduated from the Royal Ballet School and founded her own company; the Julian Lynn Dance Company, met Andrew Lloyd Weber. She has been responsible for some of the most successful musical theatre productions in history. She has given pleasure to millions and she’s a multi-millionaire. Somebody else might have put her on medication and told her to calm down."

Dr. Sir Ken Robinson gained his PhD in 1981 from the University of London for research into drama and theatre in education. His first book, Learning Through Drama, was the result of a three year national development project for the Schools Council, Heinemann 1977. He was principal author of The Arts in Schools: Principles, Practice and Provision, the report of a national inquiry 1982 Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. This is now established as a key text on arts and education in Britain and internationally. He was editor of The Arts and Higher Education, 1984 Gulbenkian and the Leverhulme Trust, and principal writer for the Department of Education and Science of The Arts in Further Education published in 1986.

He was author of Arts Education in Europe, an international study for the Council of Europe of provision for creative and cultural education in 22 European countries. He completed consultancy reports for the European Commission on the socio-economic importance of the arts to the development of the European Union. Facing the Future: the Arts and Education in Hong Kong, a report on the training of professional artists and on arts education in schools for the Hong Kong Government.

In 1998, he was invited by the UK Government to establish and lead a national commission on creativity, education and the economy. The Commission brought together leading business people, scientists, artists and educators. His report, All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education (The Robinson Report) was published to huge acclaim.

He has published widely on creativity, innovation and culture. His 2001 book, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (Wiley-Capstone), was described by Director magazine as 'a truly mind opening analysis of why we don't get the best out of people at a time of punishing change.' John Cleese said: 'Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored in Western culture and especially in our educational systems.' His new book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, will be published worldwide in January 2009 by Penguin.

He is an advisor for a wide range of national and international bodies. These include:
The Education Commission of the States
The Girl Scouts of America
The Arts Council of England
The national inquiry on The Arts and Disabled People, chaired by Sir Richard Attenborough, and the Carnegie Council
Chief Examiner, Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
Member of the UK Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET)
Board of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Chairman of the Education Committee
Governor, Central School of Speech and Drama
Oklahoma Creativity Project
Advisory Council of the Independent Television Commission
Council for National Academic Awards
Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation
IBM Foundation
New York International Arts Festival
Royal Shakespeare Company
Other advisory and consultancy roles have included:
The Blue Man Group
The National Foundation for Educational Research
The British American Arts Association
The British Council
The Royal Court Theatre
The Young Vic
The South Bank Centre
The Design Council
The Royal Academy
The National Theatre
The Royal Ballet

Notable books authored by Ken Robinson include: Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative (Wiley & Sons) and The Arts In Schools (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation)

Because he is a great creative speaker some may dismiss his work as 'infotainment' but it does not dismiss his ideas or ideals, nor his credentials. He is speaking about what I experienced from elementary school, junior high, high school through to the University of Washington, what needs to change in education...

Creatively Speaking, Part One: Sir Ken Robinson on the Power of the Imaginative Mind

I think Ken will be speaking at this years 2009 TED conference.