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One more step has been taken toward making whole body cryopreservation a practical reality. An understanding of the properties of water allows the temperature of the human body to be lowered without damaging cell structures.

Just as the microchip revolution was unforeseen the societal effects of suspending death have been overlooked completely.

The first successful procedure to freeze a human being and then revive that person without damage at a later date will be the most important single event in human history. When that person is revived he or she will awaken to a completely different world.

It will be a mad rush to build storage facilities for the critically ill so their lives can be saved. The very old and those in the terminal stages of disease will be rescued from imminent death. Vast resources will be turned toward the life sciences as the race to repair the effects of old age and cure disease begins. Hundreds of millions may eventually be awakened once aging is reversed. Life will become far more valuable overnight and activities such as automobile and air travel will be viewed in a new light. War will end because no one will desire to hasten the death of another human being.

It will not be immortality, just parole from the death row we all share. Get ready.

A new corporation in Alameda California is pitching space tourism and the old Alameda Naval Air Station as America’s next spaceport.

Tritonian Cruises is seeking funding for a study of tourist submarine operations under the ice of the Neptunian moon Triton.

Modeled after successful tourist submarine businesses in Hawaii and other Pacific locations, the excursions under Triton promise to be exciting for adventurers and profitable. When asked about the distances involved, company representatives dismissed any difficulties as trivial. “Besides,” one remarked, “the taxpayers do not understand anything about space if they think we can go to Mars, so we should get funding.”

Over half a billion tax dollars have so far gone to commercial space companies developing private rockets for tourist purposes. Ostensibly for supplying the International Space Station, critics charge the ISS as a front and being “a useless collection of overpriced tin cans going in endless circles at very high altitude” and have also referred to these private inferior lift vehicles as “hobby rockets.”

Meanwhile, projects such as the sentinel warning satellite go begging for pennies.

A couple months ago I was in the Seattle public library and overheard a pierced, tatooed, and quite smelly young man telling someone he was waiting for this F-d up civilization to collapse and hoping it would happen soon. The two most likely causes of such a collapse would be an asteroid or comet impact that would throw debris into the atmosphere and stop food production for several years, or a plague. A big impact or an engineered pathogen would be the extreme in this scenario and would not simply take us back to the stone age- it would render the human race extinct.

All the disenchanted Americans who look forward to surviving the collapse of the present world order might want to consider the less fortunate areas of this planet where there is no such rule of law or any agricultural or industrial infrastructure. North Korea has gone through the classic collapse cycle during recent bad winters and the government had to repeatedly deal with widespread cannibalism. It is one of those most perfect warnings where nothing could be more crystal clear to a race of intelligent and technologically advanced beings. And we ignore it.

Turn the sunlight off for a couple years in a row and everything we know would end because everything we eat would end. Think about it the next time you watch an episode of the Walking Dead or watch a movie like The Road. Not world war Z; world war C.

Emanuel Pastreich


Kyung Hee University

June 9, 2012

The Crisis in Education in Korea and the World

The suicide of four students at KAIST in Korea last year has made it apparent that there is something fundamentally wrong with the manner in which our children are educated. It is not an issue of one test system over another, or the amount of studying students must do. Although KAIST keeps rising in its Continue reading “The Crisis in Education in Korea and the World” | >

The California Dream Act.

The banking industry is likely California Dreaming about the day when more states get their act together. …For those of us who think that the US will see a bubble in the education industry caused by its efforts to distribute human kind’s knowledge communities outside of the affluent elite, they shouldn’t hold their breath.

The Cali Dream Act could seem like an altruistic attempt to empower our desperate relatives converging on US cities, but there are some fiscally desperate economics behind this proverbial triumph over “social evil”, as if such a thing ever existed…LOL

For-profit and Not-for-profit education is big business…consider the $4.9B income of the Apollo Group, owner of University of Phoenix or the pride of the west coast’s $16.5B endowment at Stanford University. All of these are affected by the arbitrage (my favorite word smile ) in an industry… losing applicants with the confidence that a degree or certificate is honestly their best investment.

One thing is for sure, the US is the largest knowledge community on the planet currently, and one thing it can still sell the world’s consumers on, is that they’ll want to tap into the experience in their quest to secure the ideal 20th century standard of success. To be redundant, the 20th century American Dream is still the benchmark for making it in 2011 for the vast majority world around us…even as those of us investing in the future would harshly disagree. Where better to catch a dream life than in California…or even Michigan, with residents exiting at record paces.

The reality is that undocumented immigrants are a new class of Americans or non-Americans to sell long-term deferred and/or short term deferred loans. Its an ideal way to build collateral on the balance sheet of a lending company ;-). I’m not only expecting for more states to echo California’s legislative desperation/foresight (call it how you like), but I am expecting for the near future to offer American educations with State and possibly Federal assistance (at a taxable premium + interest) to undocumented immigrants of the US… and even foreign nationals with no immediate intent on coming to the US for legal or illegal residency. It’ll be called globalization

The US education models designed by the non-profit traditional institutions and technologized (new word for me…lol) by the more agile for-profit institutions, will be distributed throughout the world at the rate of technologies acceptance in foreign countries.

And, of course, where there is government support (large pot of $), private speculation (smaller pots of $) will follow its low risks. fueling the distribution of what we know and what we are exploring.

My generation was the last one to learn to use a slide rule in school. Today that skill is totally obsolete. So is the ability to identify the Soviet Socialist Republics on a map, the ability to write an operation in FORTAN, or how to drive a car with a standard transmission.

We live in a world of instant access to information and where technology is making exponential advances in synthetic biology, nanotechnology, genetics, robotics, neuroscience and artificial intelligence. In this world, we should not be focused on improving the classrooms but should be devoting resources to improving the brains that the students bring to that classroom.

To prepare students for this high-velocity, high-technology world the most valuable skill we can teach them is to be better learners so they can leap from one technological wave to the next. That means education should not be about modifying the core curricula of our schools but should be about building better learners by enhancing each student’s neural capacities and motivation for life-long learning.

Less than two decades ago this concept would have been inconceivable. We used to think that brain anatomy (and hence learning capacity) was fixed at birth. But recent breakthroughs in the neuroscience of learning have demonstrated that this view is fundamentally wrong.

In the past few decades, neuroscience research has demonstrated that, contrary to popular belief, the brain is not static. Rather, it is highly modifiable (“plastic”) throughout life, and this remarkable “neuroplasticity” is primarily experience-dependent. Neuroplasticity research shows that the brain changes its very structure with each different activity it performs, perfecting its circuits so it is better suited to the task at hand. Neurological capacities and competencies are both measurable and significantly consequential to educational outcomes.

This means that the neural capacities that form the building blocks for learning — attention & focus, memory, prediction & modeling, processing speed, spatial skills, and executive functioning — can be improved throughout life through training. Just as physical exercise is a well-known and well-accepted means to improve health for anyone, regardless of age or background, so too can the brain be put “into shape” for optimal learning.

If any of these neural capacities are enhanced, you would see significant improvements in a person’s ability to understand and master new situations.

While these basic neural capacities are well known by scientists and clinicians today, they are rarely used to develop students into better learners by schools, teachers or parents. There is too little awareness and too few tools available for enhancing a student’s capacity and ability to learn. The failure to focus on optimizing each student’s neural capacities for learning is resulting in widespread failure of the educational systems, particularly for the underprivileged.

Gone are the days when you could equip students with slide rules and a core of knowledge and skills and expect them to achieve greatness. Our children already inhabit a world where new game platforms and killer apps appear and are surpassed in dizzying profusion and speed. They are already adapting to the dynamics of the 21st century. But we can help them adapt more methodically and systematically by focusing our attention on improving their capacity to learn throughout their lives.

This far-reaching and potentially revolutionary conclusion is based on recent research breakthroughs and thus may be contrary to the past beliefs of many teachers, administrators, parents and students, who have historically emphasized classroom size and curriculum as the key to improved learning.

Just as new knowledge and understanding is revolutionizing the way we communicate, trade, or practice medicine so too must it transform the way we learn. For students, that revolution is already well under way but it’s happening outside of their schools. We owe it to them to equip them with all the capabilities they’ll need to thrive in the limitless world beyond the classroom.

I believe that while it’s important to leave better country for our children, it’s more important that we leave better children for our country.

Naveen Jain is a philanthropist, entrepreneur and technology pioneer. He is a founder and CEO of Intelius, a Seattle-based company that empowers consumers with information to make intelligent decisions about personal safety and security. Prior to Intelius, Naveen Jain founded InfoSpace and took it public in 1998 on NASDAQ. Naveen Jain has been awarded many honors for his entrepreneurial successes and leadership skills including “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year”, “Albert Einstein Technology Medal” for pioneers in technology, “Top 20 Entrepreneurs” by Red Herring, “Six People Who Will Change the Internet” by Information Week, among other honors.