American Education and Technological Innovation
David Pogue: It’s a bigger problem than I know what to say. Obviously it’s a priority issue. I don’t know how you translate that. Is it something on the parenting level? Is it something to do with funding? Is it set from the very top? Is it a Presidential thing? I don’t really know.
There’s a lot of smart people working on the problem, but all I know is that the problem exists and it distresses me personally.
I do not come across a lot of tech-savvy women. Year after year after year, it’s the same thing. The PR people are women, and if I have a question they’ll pass me along to the male engineers who can answer the question. I don’t know if there’s a built-in bias in the system, or if there might just be an inclination. I know this will generate tons of letters but, you know, it may be that fewer women are interested. I don’t know.
At one point, I wrote in a column [for the New York Times] the fact that older people generally have a harder time adapting to new technologies than younger people, which I think was as safe a generalization as one could possibly make. But of course I heard from all these old people, like, “How dare you? You know, I can use a Blackberry with the best of ‘em.” But it’s a generalization. It doesn’t mean that every single person is in that category. Yes, I know that.
But I know as a 45-year-old it’s harder for me to pick up new things than when I was 20. Again, I’ve been a computer tutor my entire life and I can see it in the ages of people that I teach. So I still believe that’s true. So politically uncorrect [sic] as it may be, it may be true that there are differences between older people and younger people, and between men and women.
Recorded on: May 15, 2008.
There must be science and math protocols.
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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