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OLDUVAIBLOG HAS MOVED TO OLDUVAI.CA

Remember to now visit me at olduvai.ca. This site will no longer be updated as of April 10, 2014.

OLDUVAIBLOG SITE TRANSFER…AS OF APRIL 30, 2014

PLEASE NOTE: THIS SITE WILL CEASE TO BE UPDATED AS OF APRIL 30, 2014. PLEASE SEE OLDUVAI.CA AFTER THIS DATE.

Oil Limits and the Economy: One Story, Not Two

Another great article by Gail Tverberg:

Our Finite World

The two big stories of our day are

(1) Our economic problems: The inability of economies to grow as rapidly as they would like, add as many jobs as they would like, and raise the standards of living of citizens as much as they would like. Associated with this slow economic growth is a continued need for ultra-low interest rates to keep economies of the developed world from slipping back into recession.

(2) Our oil related-problems: One part of the story relates to too little, so-called “peak oil,” and the need for substitutes for oil. Another part of the story relates to too much carbon released by burning fossil fuels, including oil, leading to climate change.

While the press treats these issues as separate stories, they are in fact very closely connected, related to the fact that we are reaching limits in many different directions simultaneously. The economy is the…

View original post 2,182 more words

24 Hour Blog Suspension…

Just an FYI regarding my site being offline for the past 24+ hours. Apparently I embedded a link on an article yesterday from StratRisks that is disallowed on WordPress (hyvla.org). Should be good to go now.

Also, I am in the process of transferring everything to my own domain. Everything will be switched to my original site olduvai.ca in the next week or so.

Cheers,
Steve

How Can We Encourage Students Of All Backgrounds To Go Into STEM? | Blair Christie

How Can We Encourage Students Of All Backgrounds To Go Into STEM? | Blair Christie.

Blair Christie 
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Cisco

Eric Schwarz Headshot
Eric Schwarz
Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools and Executive Chairman of US2020

How Can We Encourage Students Of All Backgrounds To Go Into STEM?

Posted: 03/17/2014 10:48 am EDT Updated: 03/17/2014 11:59 am EDT

Last week in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, network engineers helped 50 student robotics teams compete in Aerial Assist, a game in which students program and operate robots to toss as many balls into a goal as possible — in just 150 seconds. Similarly, in San Jose, a group of women engineers at Cisco hosted 70 middle-school girls earlier this year as part of “National Engineering Week” to give them a glimpse into how cutting-edge technologies are developed in R&D labs.

Cisco employees are among Citizen Schools’ largest group of Citizen Teachers, with more than 44 volunteers offering 23 apprenticeships in 2012 alone.

These engagements, part of the US 2020 initiative announced at the White House Science Fair last year, reflect the urgent need to do more to encourage students to go into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professions.

Our Challenge

Three things are true in STEM: There are a lot of job openings. These jobs pay well. And there are not enough qualified people to fill these jobs. Today, the technology industry employs 6 million people. By 2018, the U.S. will face a projected shortfall of 230,000 qualified advanced-degree STEM workers. Meanwhile, the Bureau for Labor Statistics predicts that STEM jobs will grow 55 percent faster than non-STEM jobs over the next 10 years. The flow of talent into the STEM pipeline is limited. Without a dramatic change, the pressure will weaken further, and the flow of talent will slow to a trickle.

The simple truth is that we have a growing STEM gap, and we need a nationwide commitment to address the challenge. So what should we do to encourage students of all backgrounds to go into STEM?

The Opportunity

We need to put technology in the hands of our young people at an earlier age by connecting every classroom in America to high-speed wireless broadband within five years. We need to develop and scale new and innovative models for teaching math and science, including programs like the Mind Research Institute, which has helped hundreds of thousands of students in underserved communities to double and triple their math proficiency. We need career training for those looking for a job in technology through programs like the Cisco Networking Academy, which teaches students to design, build, maintain and secure computer networks.

But beyond providing the necessary technical skills, there’s something more. As William Butler Yeats said, “Educating isn’t the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

We need to light the fire and inspire our young people to explore the incredible world of science, technology, engineering and math. We need to encourage young people from all backgrounds to participate in hands-on STEM projects. These are chances to experience life-changing moments of discovery with mentors from the STEM professions.

It’s difficult to dream about something that you have never seen. It’s tough to imagine yourself as a scientist in a laboratory if you have never been in a laboratory or met a scientist. National surveys have found that nearly two-thirds of teenagers said that they may be discouraged from pursuing STEM careers simply because they either do not know anyone who works in these fields or they do not understand what people in these fields do. Student interest in eighth grade, more so than achievement, has been found to be the strongest predictor of a student graduating with a STEM major in college.

Stepping Up To Address The Issue

The good news is that professionals in the STEM fields are responding. Engineers and technology professionals across the nation are leaving their cubicles, offices, and workspaces in growing numbers to mentor young people and give them a hands-on look at what STEM is all about.

These engagements are being fostered by US2020, which brings together schools, committed companies and leading nonprofits to mentor students of all backgrounds and expose them to STEM. This concept grew out of an urgent White House call for an “all hands on deck” approach to STEM. The goal: matching 1 million STEM mentors with students by the year 2020. And together with its founding corporate partners, including Cisco, Cognizant, Raytheon, SanDisk, and Tata Consulting Services as well as leading nonprofits partners, US2020 is making progress toward that goal.

Organizations like Citizen Schools have seen dramatic increases in student interest in STEM careers. After working with STEM mentors for at least a semester, 80 percent of Citizen Schools’ students said they were interested in STEM careers. This compares to the national average of just 32 percent of eighth graders expressing interest in a STEM career.

For Cisco, the issue has become so significant that we have pledged to encourage 20 percent of our workforce to spend 20 hours a year on STEM mentoring by the year 2020, with a particular emphasis on encouraging women and girls to enter STEM. This is especially important given the steep decline in the number of female graduates with computer science degrees over the past three decades. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of computer science degrees awarded to women peaked at 37 percent between 1984 and 1985. Compare this to only 18 percent of the degrees awarded to women in the period between 2008 and 2011, and it is easy to see the dilemma STEM employers are facing today.

Innovation and Creativity is the Future

Clearly, there is hope. We see it on the faces of the students who come to our campus and in the excitement of their mentors, who are encouraging creative thinking and analytical problem solving.

As it turns out, creativity is the biggest mismatch between what schools offer and what the workforce needs. In 2010, IBM surveyed 1,500 CEOs; they identified creativity as the number one “leadership competency” of the future. In 2011, LinkedIn reported the word “creative” was the most commonly used word in the profiles of its members. And there is evidence that the creativity of America’s children has been in decline since the mid-1990s, according to a study done by Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary.

That’s one reason why US2020 focuses exclusively on STEM mentoring that is experiential and hands-on with the specific goal of building creative and innovative thinking.

The bottom line is this: US2020, and initiatives like it, are helping address our STEM shortfall through high-quality mentoring, engagement in earlier years of education and addressing the “creativity crisis.” But we must act quickly.

“Help Wanted” signs are taped to the doors of America’s STEM companies. Yet not enough prepared people are walking through those doors. Creating the STEM talent pipeline the nation needs will require students from all backgrounds and it will require deep commitments from the private and public sector.

US2020 and its partners like Cisco believe that our nation can meet this challenge head on, increasing the numbers of students going into STEM, while at the same time, building a stronger and more dynamic U.S. economy.

The time to act is now.

Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility education programs and partnerships improve access to quality education for students worldwide using the combined power of network technology and human collaboration. From the Cisco Networking Academy to mentoring at-risk inner-city students through programs such as Citizen Schools, we help prepare people of all ages to succeed in a global, technology-driven society. For more information visit: http://csr.cisco.com/pages/education

How Can We Encourage Students Of All Backgrounds To Go Into STEM? | Blair Christie

How Can We Encourage Students Of All Backgrounds To Go Into STEM? | Blair Christie.

Blair Christie 
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Cisco

Eric Schwarz Headshot
Eric Schwarz
Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools and Executive Chairman of US2020

How Can We Encourage Students Of All Backgrounds To Go Into STEM?

Posted: 03/17/2014 10:48 am EDT Updated: 03/17/2014 11:59 am EDT

Last week in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, network engineers helped 50 student robotics teams compete in Aerial Assist, a game in which students program and operate robots to toss as many balls into a goal as possible — in just 150 seconds. Similarly, in San Jose, a group of women engineers at Cisco hosted 70 middle-school girls earlier this year as part of “National Engineering Week” to give them a glimpse into how cutting-edge technologies are developed in R&D labs.

Cisco employees are among Citizen Schools’ largest group of Citizen Teachers, with more than 44 volunteers offering 23 apprenticeships in 2012 alone.

These engagements, part of the US 2020 initiative announced at the White House Science Fair last year, reflect the urgent need to do more to encourage students to go into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professions.

Our Challenge

Three things are true in STEM: There are a lot of job openings. These jobs pay well. And there are not enough qualified people to fill these jobs. Today, the technology industry employs 6 million people. By 2018, the U.S. will face a projected shortfall of 230,000 qualified advanced-degree STEM workers. Meanwhile, the Bureau for Labor Statistics predicts that STEM jobs will grow 55 percent faster than non-STEM jobs over the next 10 years. The flow of talent into the STEM pipeline is limited. Without a dramatic change, the pressure will weaken further, and the flow of talent will slow to a trickle.

The simple truth is that we have a growing STEM gap, and we need a nationwide commitment to address the challenge. So what should we do to encourage students of all backgrounds to go into STEM?

The Opportunity

We need to put technology in the hands of our young people at an earlier age by connecting every classroom in America to high-speed wireless broadband within five years. We need to develop and scale new and innovative models for teaching math and science, including programs like the Mind Research Institute, which has helped hundreds of thousands of students in underserved communities to double and triple their math proficiency. We need career training for those looking for a job in technology through programs like the Cisco Networking Academy, which teaches students to design, build, maintain and secure computer networks.

But beyond providing the necessary technical skills, there’s something more. As William Butler Yeats said, “Educating isn’t the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

We need to light the fire and inspire our young people to explore the incredible world of science, technology, engineering and math. We need to encourage young people from all backgrounds to participate in hands-on STEM projects. These are chances to experience life-changing moments of discovery with mentors from the STEM professions.

It’s difficult to dream about something that you have never seen. It’s tough to imagine yourself as a scientist in a laboratory if you have never been in a laboratory or met a scientist. National surveys have found that nearly two-thirds of teenagers said that they may be discouraged from pursuing STEM careers simply because they either do not know anyone who works in these fields or they do not understand what people in these fields do. Student interest in eighth grade, more so than achievement, has been found to be the strongest predictor of a student graduating with a STEM major in college.

Stepping Up To Address The Issue

The good news is that professionals in the STEM fields are responding. Engineers and technology professionals across the nation are leaving their cubicles, offices, and workspaces in growing numbers to mentor young people and give them a hands-on look at what STEM is all about.

These engagements are being fostered by US2020, which brings together schools, committed companies and leading nonprofits to mentor students of all backgrounds and expose them to STEM. This concept grew out of an urgent White House call for an “all hands on deck” approach to STEM. The goal: matching 1 million STEM mentors with students by the year 2020. And together with its founding corporate partners, including Cisco, Cognizant, Raytheon, SanDisk, and Tata Consulting Services as well as leading nonprofits partners, US2020 is making progress toward that goal.

Organizations like Citizen Schools have seen dramatic increases in student interest in STEM careers. After working with STEM mentors for at least a semester, 80 percent of Citizen Schools’ students said they were interested in STEM careers. This compares to the national average of just 32 percent of eighth graders expressing interest in a STEM career.

For Cisco, the issue has become so significant that we have pledged to encourage 20 percent of our workforce to spend 20 hours a year on STEM mentoring by the year 2020, with a particular emphasis on encouraging women and girls to enter STEM. This is especially important given the steep decline in the number of female graduates with computer science degrees over the past three decades. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of computer science degrees awarded to women peaked at 37 percent between 1984 and 1985. Compare this to only 18 percent of the degrees awarded to women in the period between 2008 and 2011, and it is easy to see the dilemma STEM employers are facing today.

Innovation and Creativity is the Future

Clearly, there is hope. We see it on the faces of the students who come to our campus and in the excitement of their mentors, who are encouraging creative thinking and analytical problem solving.

As it turns out, creativity is the biggest mismatch between what schools offer and what the workforce needs. In 2010, IBM surveyed 1,500 CEOs; they identified creativity as the number one “leadership competency” of the future. In 2011, LinkedIn reported the word “creative” was the most commonly used word in the profiles of its members. And there is evidence that the creativity of America’s children has been in decline since the mid-1990s, according to a study done by Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary.

That’s one reason why US2020 focuses exclusively on STEM mentoring that is experiential and hands-on with the specific goal of building creative and innovative thinking.

The bottom line is this: US2020, and initiatives like it, are helping address our STEM shortfall through high-quality mentoring, engagement in earlier years of education and addressing the “creativity crisis.” But we must act quickly.

“Help Wanted” signs are taped to the doors of America’s STEM companies. Yet not enough prepared people are walking through those doors. Creating the STEM talent pipeline the nation needs will require students from all backgrounds and it will require deep commitments from the private and public sector.

US2020 and its partners like Cisco believe that our nation can meet this challenge head on, increasing the numbers of students going into STEM, while at the same time, building a stronger and more dynamic U.S. economy.

The time to act is now.

Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility education programs and partnerships improve access to quality education for students worldwide using the combined power of network technology and human collaboration. From the Cisco Networking Academy to mentoring at-risk inner-city students through programs such as Citizen Schools, we help prepare people of all ages to succeed in a global, technology-driven society. For more information visit: http://csr.cisco.com/pages/education

President Obama Warns Ukraine Against “Crossing The Line” | Zero Hedge

President Obama Warns Ukraine Against “Crossing The Line” | Zero Hedge.

The US is adding its $0.02 to the international condemnation of the actions under way in Ukraine – desparate to re-write Victoria Nuland’s narrative of “f##k the EUR” and political manipulation. President Obama, having not learned his lesson the last time he drew a red line, has come out swinging…

  • *OBAMA:`THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES IF PEOPLE STEP OVER THE LINE’
  • *OBAMA SAYS U.S. CONDEMNS UKRAINE VIOLENCE IN `STRONGEST TERMS’
  • *OBAMA:MILITARY SHOULDN’T ACT WHERE CIVILIANS CAN RESOLVE ISSUES

Of course, it’s unclear if open military action against civilians is ‘crossing the line’ but we await Putin’s response.

More from the WSJ:

The Obama administration is considering sanctions against Ukraine, possibly in concert with European allies, saying the threat of penalties may push the government in Kiev to halt the deadly violence there.

“All of us are deeply disturbed,” Secretary of State John Kerry said during a brief appearance in Paris with his French counterpart. “We are talking about the possibility of sanctions or other steps with our friends in Europe and elsewhere in order to try to create the environment for compromise.”

Mr. Kerry and other U.S. officials didn’t detail what those sanctions might entail, but the administration in the past has held out the threat of individual sanctions, typically steps that freeze assets and limit travel.

The threat from the U.S. comes after violent clashes in Kiev this week have claimed the lives of at least 25 people and as the Obama administration and its European counterparts try to get a handle on the situation.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has blamed opposition leaders for the violence, while opposition leaders said the government was responsible.

Ben Rhodes, a deputy National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama, said the administration hopes the threat of sanctions will quell some of the violence. “We have made it clear we would consider taking action against individuals who are responsible for acts of violence within Ukraine,” he said while traveling with Mr. Obama to Mexico. Mr. Obama is headed to Mexico, among other reasons, to discuss trade.

Why Are Climate Scientists Ignoring Peak Oil and Coal?

Damn the Matrix

While looking for evidence of whether Kevin Anderson realises we have problems with resources constraints, I found the below article (written three years ago mind you) which goes some way towards explaining why Climate Scientists are ignoring Peak Oil and Coal……

Climate scientists often make assumptions about large-scale growth in resource extraction without thoroughly referring to relevant studies in other disciplines. This is partially understandable given that they are not economists or political scientists. Yet I believe it is cause for concern.

While criticising the pervasive obsession with infinite growth of our political and economic institutions, it appears that many (albeit not all) climate scientists hold the belief that human ingenuity will somehow substitute declining oil with different forms of natural-gas, liquefied-coal, shale gas, and other carbon fuels at prices that can sustain growth.

For example, at the Cancun climate summit there was a paper by Professor Kevin Anderson

View original post 1,448 more words

Ponzi World (Over 3 Billion NOT Served): Zen and the Pointless Pursuit of Dopamine

Ponzi World (Over 3 Billion NOT Served): Zen and the Pointless Pursuit of Dopamine.

Rats in a Corporate Controlled Maze, Seeking the Next Ball of Cheese

 
“Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond”
-Pink Floyd

The good news is that happiness via external gratification, can be pursued indefinitely, it can even be attained. The bad news is that it can in no way be sustained. By definition, it’s a moving target. Yet, even at this late juncture in modern civilization, there is still literally no universal acknowledgement that the pursuit of happiness via the de facto consumption-oriented lifestyle, is totally futile, pointless, empty (and of course doomed).

The Founding Fathers were intelligent enough to prescribe the “pursuit of happiness”, because they obviously knew that anyone who seeks happiness via career aspiration will never attain and sustain it. It’s a moving target. It’s a known fact that people who make $50k per year say they will be happy when they make $100k per year, those people in turn say they need $200k per year etc. etc.

Worse yet, happiness in our externally gratified society indicates contentment. Contentment indicates a state of fulfillment aka. capitulation aka. laziness. “What happened to you man, you used to be ambitious?”.
The other eternally gratified definition of happiness is the exact opposite. It’s not attainment, it’s striving. Striving implies not having. Having implies wanting. Wanting requires a constant state of dissatisfaction i.e. the exact opposite of true happiness.
Both of the above mutually exclusive forms of externally gratified “happiness” are totally elusive.
If you look around you right now and think of the people you know, who are truly “happy”, you will invariably identify someone who is easy-going, amiable and/or generally satisfied with their lot in life. These people can look you straight in the eye and have a down to earth conversation rather than turning it into a broadcast monologue about the latest “thing”, sporting event, or Kardashian episode. They’re not afraid to ask questions and even wait for you to give an answer. They can sit still that long.
Unfortunately, in this society, most people who say they are happy are in fact addicted to dopamine in some way shape or form. That addiction may be food, money, sports, television, booze, cigarettes, drugs, shopping, texting/Facebook, risky sex or all of the above.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Who We Are Now
Most people need some sort of addiction buffer so that they don’t have to face the raw truth of the moment. They can’t accept who they are now in the moment, and need “something” to dull the sensation. Our junk culture coming through our televisions from earliest childhood has programmed us to be something that we are not: A millionaire, a movie star, a pro athlete, a rock star etc. We are programmed to be dissatisfied with the status quo, from birth. Wanting, buying, getting, owning, going, seeing, eating, doing – but, at all costs, never just being. There is no profit in people just being.

Aside from destroying the planet…
The consumption oriented lifestyle is inherently pointless and futile. It’s predicated upon dopamine flow which is invariably “temperamental” i.e. it has a diminishing marginal utility that is not just perceived, it’s actually chemically based. This is all just commonsense of course, but here is what the literature states about dopamine-seeking: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bad-appetite/201205/bad-boys-bad-brains
“if you overindulge in the reward in question, for instance, less dopamine might be released when you obtain it: it’s as if the body has subconsciously learnt that the prize is a dead certainty, and there’s no need for biochemical meddling to promote reward-seeking behavior. There’s evidence this might happen to rats and humans when they eat too many high-calorie foods.”
“Dopamine actually flows much more readily when the rewards are intermittent”

Clearly intermittent small pleasures are still a very important part of an enjoyable life. However, when taken to the logical extreme, dopamine-tolerance requires ever-more consumption just to receive the same “hit”, which is the point that many people have reached in their consumption-oriented “striving”. Maxed out.
Addicted to the Status Quo
Yet for all of this obvious and even well-known knowledge on the subject, the Borg-at-large in no way questions the status quo and its inherent vital addiction – the pointlessness, and the resulting emptiness of it all. The pursuit of external gratification is manufacturing people who are emotionally empty. However, the masses don’t question it, because they are fundamentally addicted.
Zen is the opposite of goal-oriented happiness
I will start by saying that I am by no means an expert on Zen philosophy. I still find the philosophical side to be very nebulous and mystical. However, I started meditating daily 8 years ago because for me it’s not a philosophy, it’s a physiological imperative. It’s quieting the mind by replacing Beta Waves with Alpha Waves. Since I started meditating, my appetite for external gratification has declined in a straight line down. Over time, the deeper I am able to achieve mindful Zen, the less I seek external gratification. For those interested in the subject of meditation’s physiological effects, I highly recommend the classic book: “The Relaxation Response”.
Zen is Feeling the Moment, it’s the Ultimate High
When Zen is at its best, one can truly feel like a kid again, because kids live in the moment – not in the past and not in the future. They see things as they are, in vivid colour. They don’t so much see, as they feel – Zen is about feeling the moment.

Zen is the future of humanity. The Eastern cultures already know this, and I suspect that most ancient cultures were in a state of Zen constantly as they went about their daily routine.

Best Buy and McDonald’s are the doomed past. 


P.S.
The Idiocracy is dopamine-tolerant indeed…
the ultimate effects will be felt far and wide…
Posted by Mac10

USAID Support for Destabilization of Russia

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