Category: Books-Arts and Entertainment

CRISPR

CRISPR can be described as a pair of designer molecular scissors because of its core function: to home in on specific 20 letter DNA sequences and cut apart both strands of the double helix. This function allows gene-editing so the scientists can do repair and changes in the genes which are the maps for the cells that make life.

This opens the door to many questions about ethics, morals, religion, laws and many other areas for example designer humans or the perhaps the end of death. Our society is wasting its time on emotional candy as we have a a responsibility to control the course of humanity. Why is the media spending time on people’s sex lives when the whole future is depended on the citizens understanding science and the few using it to meet their idea of what the future should be?

“A Crack in Creation” by Jennifer A. Doudna

Holoplayer

Holoplayer

Good bye VR head sets.

Inequality, Fair and Reasonable

“In a paper published in April in the journal Nature Human Behaviour called ‘Why people prefer unequal societies’, a team of researchers from Yale University argue that humans – even as young children and babies – actually prefer living in a world in which inequality exists. It sounds counter-intuitive, so why would that be? Because if people find themselves in a situation where everyone is equal, studies suggest that many become angry or bitter if people who work hard aren’t rewarded, or if slackers are over-rewarded.
For example, in one study, a group of six- to eight-year-olds was tasked with divvying up erasers among two boys who cleaned a room as rewards. Researchers found that, if they told the group of children that both boys did a good job, and then gave the group an odd number of erasers, the kids made the unanimous decision to throw away the extra eraser rather than give it to one of the boys as an unfair bonus.
And yet? When the researchers told the kids that one boy worked harder than the other, the group awarded the extra prize to the harder worker.
“We argue that the public perception of wealth inequality itself being aversive to most people is incorrect, and that instead, what people are truly concerned about is unfairness,” says Christina Starmans, a psychology post-doc at Yale who worked on the paper.”

John Galt Speaks

” You have cried that man’s sins are destroying the world and you have cursed human nature for the unwillingness to practice the virtues you have demanded .Since virtue, to you, consists of sacrifice, you have demanded more sacrifices at every successive disaster. In the name of a return to morality, you have sacrificed all those evils which you held as the course of you plight. You sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial, You have sacrificed happiness to duty.”

Atlas Shrugged

Perhaps we need more debate about lifestyles.

“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Jobs, who was a college dropout, told the Stanford graduates:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. … Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

“When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog … It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand …

“Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: ‘Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.’ … And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

Steve Jobs was not in it for the money; he wanted to change the world. He had very good and very bad points but they were his and not of a person trained for a job. Steve had gifts of sizing up people and calling a spade a spade. He did not worry about criticizing but also could be very charming and inspirational when it was called for. He bullied people that did not stand up to him and only wanted “A” grade people around him as he did not have the patients to deal with second best.  Some would call that discrimination.

“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

A good read by an excellent writer, a book that is a must the young.

How Social Networks Drive Black Unemployment

Favoritism and social connections among whites, not just racial discrimination, hurt blacks in the job market.

I am reading Steve Jobs biography and one thing is very apparent that people choose different cultures and their friends and associates from those cultures. Steve dropped out of college and experimented with LSD he also traveled to India to find a spiritual leader. A little later in life he was a rebel and as he started Apple Corporation he hired what he called pirates as he did not even wear shoes at work. One interview with a white qualified candidate that was in a suit and tie he could sense the team misfit so he asked how many virgins did he screw and how many times did he take LSD.

Is this discrimination? Yes, in a sort but not race discrimination.  Many jobs are filled because of friends recommending people they know that fit the culture of the work place. The “A” team is one with the highly qualified that works well together and many times also play together.  Being qualified and having a degree in this day in age is not good enough you have to have connections and develop relationships with people in your field of interests.  Professional groups are the first place to start to learn the cultures and connections in the field you are inspired in.

Out side of the box thinking

A rallying cry for revolutionizing democracy in the digital age, Citizenville
reveals how ordinary Americans can reshape their government for the better.
Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California, argues that today’s
government is stuck in the last century while—in both the private sector and our
personal lives—absolutely everything else has changed. The explosion of social
media, the evolution of Internet commerce, the ubiquity of smart phones that can
access all the world’s information; in the face of these extraordinary advances,
our government appears increasingly irrelevant and out of touch.

Drawing on wide-ranging interviews with thinkers and politicians, Newsom’s
Citizenville shows how Americans can transform their government, taking
matters into their own hands to dissolve political gridlock even as they produce
tangible changes in the real world. When local Web designers wanted to prevent
muggings in Chicago and Oakland, they created innovative crime-mapping tools
using public police data. When congressional representatives wanted citizens’
input on new legislation, they used interactive blogging tools to invite public
comments and changes. When a town in Texas needed to drum up civic engagement,
officials invented a local digital “currency” to reward citizens for
participating in government—making small-town politics suddenly as fun and
addictive as online games such as Farmville. Surveying the countless small
advances made by ordinary Americans in reinventing government for the
twenty-first century, Newsom unveils a path for American prosperity and
democratic vitality.

Newsom explains how twenty-first-century problems
are too big and too expensive for the government simply to buy solutions;
instead, Americans must innovate their way out. Just as the post office and the
highway system provide public infrastructure to channel both personal and
private enterprise—a platform upon which citizens can grow—so too could a modern
digital government house the needs, concerns, information, and collaboration of
an enlightened digital citizenry.

A vision for better government that
truly achieves the ancient goal of commonwealth and a triumphant call for
individuals to reinvigorate the country with their own two hands,
Citizenville is a timely road map for restoring American prosperity and
for reinventing citizenship in today’s networked age.

 

“Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government”

Gavin Newsom

(Author), Lisa Dickey (Author)

Responsibility?

Are we free to be responsible for our lives? Do we have to have laws dictating every move we make? What has happened to the responsibility to survive?

Text of the 2nd Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Notice it does not say Federal Government but State. It seems concentrating power in a united way changes a State to a party member with few individual rights.

Is the United States too big to fail? Do we need a Constitutional Convention to change the Constitution to fit beliefs or do we need to restructure the way we agree on common goals? Do we even have common goals?

There is something seriously wrong with America and government services and laws are not going to fix it. We live in a world that thinks growth is the answer to finite resources. Central control is not going to make people responsible for their survival and living together in harmony when growth is reducing material resources for most all humans.

The sun has been the main source of energy on earth. Fuels are nothing more than stored solar energy done by biological matter. Biological humans are using stored energy faster than the sun can make it. This also affects the carbon cycle that separates carbon from oxygen when the energy form the sun is applied to plants. Then millions of years later the fuel has been concentrated and we burn and release the stored energy and rejoin carbon with oxygen.  This process also affects the climate. It adds heat to the atmosphere and traps the short wave radiation that would have escaped to space; it is like insulating the attic to keep the house warmer when you are warm enough.

Distractions such as psychological problems caused by too much growth and quick fix for bigger problems changes humans to rats caged in a frustrating world.

Are we being responsible for survival?

 

“Collapse” by Jared Diamond

 

In “The World Until Yesterday,” Jared Diamond holds up tribal groups as a mirror for our lives and asks what they can teach us about parenting, elder care and conflict.

Spring to Winter

Age, what does it entail? Life changes with age starting with being born into circumstances. We each have a unique set of genes but not totally different and much in common with our parents and descendents.

“Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution” by Peter J. Richerson

Wisdom comes with age, experiences and knowledge. Historically older people gave the knowledge to the younger. In today’s world I am not so sure this system still is as important. Population growth has diluted the older knowledge base and then we added the internet. Many of the traditional ways such as books and stories handed down are being corrupted by the media and ability to psychologically manipulate populations in mass.

Why do people retire today? Do they lose their inspiration to work on their goals or is it a matter of ending life long slavery? I suspect that depends on the person and should not be a national standard. Many leaders have made mistakes that ended their life long work. Mistakes are part of learning and if you are a life long learner you fix the problem and go on.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming “ Wow! What a Ride!”  -Hunter Thompson

A different perspective of age

Travels with Epicurus by Daniel Klein

This book is about an old scholar revisiting a Greek Island of Hydra that he embraced in his youth.   He questions and embraces the winter of life as it appears in different cultures. The reflections of time play a different tune than most Americans listen to.

When I was young many old timers said to me I wish I should have done this or that when I was young. I figured that I would take their advice and do it. As age sets in the twilight has a different sense as it opens up new ways of seeing. No regrets, only a child’s thirst for being curious.

This is a fun book that just might make you think.

Dansette