Friday, March 6, 2015

UNLOCKING THE MYSTERIES OF CREATIVITY




Where do the new ideas come from—the ones that change industries and societies? In a lecture at Yale SOM, Prof. Richard Foster explains what creativity is—and isn’t—and describes the kinds of traits, knowledge, and ways of thinking that lead to the moment of creative insight.

In an age defined by technological innovations, creativity is prized. But as virtues go, it’s hard to pin down. In one moment, there’s a blank page; in the next, there’s an idea. What happened in between? Perhaps more importantly, what happened before—what are the kinds of traits, knowledge, and ways of thinking that lead to the moment of creative insight?

An entire industry has grown up focused on unlocking the mysteries of creativity. Both scholarly and popular books proliferate; universities have created courses aimed at breaking creativity into “a set of tools for generating new ideas”; and consultants, often working under the tag of “design thinking,” teach everyone from doctors to engineers how to unlock their creative selves and innovate.

The idea of humans as uniquely creative animals goes back at least as far as the ancient Greeks. Aristotle considered creativity to be a gift from the gods, something that resulted not during rational thought but when one was “bereft of his senses.” As society has become more scientific, so has its conception of creativity. Researchers use the latest imaging technology to analyze exactly what happens in our brains during the creative process.

Richard Foster, a lecturer in management at Yale SOM and emeritus director of McKinsey & Company, has made a study of creativity, both its history and the process itself. He differentiates creativity both from innovation and discovery, which often are used as synonyms. Only creativity, he says, is about making something new, rather than merely applying or discovering something new. “Creative solutions are insightful, they’re novel, they’re simple, they’re elegant, and they’re generative,” he says. “When you find one creative idea, more often than not it triggers other ideas in the same fashion.”

A key to being creative, as Foster sees it, is the ability to find associations between different fields of knowledge, especially ones that appear radically different at first. The process is iterative rather than linear and requires people with curiosity, energy, and the openness to see connections where others cannot. “New solutions are often the combination of two or more existing concepts. If you had a videotape store and combine it with Amazon and Priority Mail, you get Netflix,” he says. “It’s all about constructing associative networks of ideas. That’s what you’re doing when you’re creating a business. A business is not one idea; it’s many, many ideas.”

Speeches by Basil Venitis enable audiences to truly learn, and provide fascinating, provocative insights and analysis, getting to the heart of the matter. It's no wonder that Venitis is so often called upon to present libertarian ideas and to clarify issues for the public.  To have Basil Venitis speak at your event, email venitis@gmail.com

A LARGE TURNOUT GIVES LEGITIMACY TO RULERS AND SEDATES THE PEOPLE







Every Election Day, politicians sporting flag pins step into voting booths and come out proclaiming their pride in the democratic process. But take a step back and things don’t look so rosy. Between badly run elections and a new wave of “dark money” entering campaigns, reformers fear that the very nature of our democracy is at risk.

There is a paradox at the heart of the American electoral system. The 2014 general election was the most costly midterm vote in United States history. Yet the nearly $4 billion spent by campaigns and outside groups resulted in the lowest voting percentage since the height of World War II.

A patchwork of state and local laws and customs has created a system that tends to break down in small ways in most years and spectacularly in others. For example, in 2014, problems in Hartford, Connecticut, on Election Day resulted in confusion and long waits; eventually a judge ordered polling places kept open past the closing time. An investigation attributed the mess to “errors or omissions by certain Hartford election officials, a dysfunctional working relationship among all the officials, a lack of leadership, and the lack of a clear chain of command.” It wasn’t as consequential as the problems in Florida in 2000, but Hartford also wasn’t alone. Voting machines in Virginia registered votes intended for one candidate for his opponent; the website where voters could find their polling places in Georgia crashed; and in Chicago, more than 2,000 election judges failed to show at polling places after receiving automated phone calls falsely saying they weren’t qualified.

Election snafus are nothing new for the U.S. Elections have been imperfect affairs since the birth of the republic. But what is new is how campaigns are being funded. The Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in the Citizens United case gutted campaign finance regulations, unleashing a flood of what’s come to be called “dark money.” Spending by outside groups in off-year elections has nearly doubled since the ruling. While proponents of unrestricted spending frame the issue as one of free speech, those opposed argue that allowing wealthy individuals and corporations to donate as much money as they please—and do so without disclosing their identities—threatens democracy itself. One pundit referred to the current situation as the return of “Watergate-style political money to U.S. elections.”

Heather Gerken, the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School, studies elections and has designed reforms focused on how elections are run and paid for. In an interview with Yale Insights, she said that elections have not become better run since the controversial 2000 and 2004 votes, and that dark money threatens to make things worse. A big reason, she said, is that the people writing those anonymous checks expect something in return. “It’s not just affecting what happens on Election Day,” she said. “It affects everything that happens after.”  

Gerken has proposed modest reforms in each area, reasoning that small efforts toward transparency are more achievable than large-scale change. Based on one proposal, the Pew Charitable Trusts has established an Election Performance Index to provide a ranking of each state’s ability to adequately conduct elections. A second proposal, to require that ads state when they are funded by undisclosed donors, requires an act of Congress—and has gone nowhere.

Gerken is more hopeful today about the prospects for improving election performance than she is about how campaigns are funded. And funding, she admits, is probably the much bigger deal. “Unless we fix the problems that relate to money,” she said, “we’re not going to be able to govern ourselves going forward.”

Nobody is the best Greek politician.  Greeks who make the big mistake of voting try to choose the less evil.  Smart Greeks stay home, voting for nobody.   Nobody is the best politician. Nobody is not evil.

Voting is a religious ritual. Just as the ancient religious rituals served to confirm the divine right of ancient kings, the ballot box is used today to bestow the same kind of blessing on the secular rulers.  

Monarchies actually safeguarded peoples' lives and liberty far more than democracy has. Western leaders routinely speak of democracy as a virtue unto itself, even using religious phrasing such as rooted in the sanctity of the individual. In actuality, democracy is simply a decision-making process in which the majority gets its way.  Democracy is the dictatorship of majority.

Do not vote, as it encourages the bastards!   A large turnout gives legitimacy to rulers and sedates the people. Voting is merely the mechanism by which the extremely corrupt political system fools hoi polloi into supporting it.  No human has any right to rule and rob another. Yet government, and the voting process by which it is legalized, is in the exclusive business of ruling and robbing others.

A majority of the public harbors antimarket, antiforeign, and make-work biases.  The market’s beneficial undesigned order is counterintuitive. Systemic irrationality is an excellent reason to keep important matters out of the political system. Even politicians who know better will be motivated by their passion for power to ignore their best judgment and cater to the voters’ irrationality.

Two major parties in every Western country try to commoditize all voters, transforming them to vegetables in the center field!  Rabblerousers gravitate to two dominant parties running for the center, trying to offend as few people as possible. This produces a groupthink where everybody avoids the issues when they're running for office. Most Westerners are disappointed in both major parties. They're hungry for a new approach, a new party, truly committed to substantive ideas, and not just to getting elected and focusing on their particular election cycles. 

Lemmings are Arctic rodents of poor eyesight, which can drown en masse. American lemmings vote for Republicans or Decocrats.  Europeans behave like lemmings when they masochistically vote for kleptocrats. British lemmings vote for Whigs or Tories. Greek lemmings vote for Pasok or New Kleptoracy (ND). Eurolemmings rely on the spinmill of Brussels bromides. Are you a lemming? Are you a victim of taxation and kleptocracy? It's time for soulsearching and vision examination.

Kleptocrats promote phobias and bogeys in order to take the attention of voters away from taxation and kleptocracy, and to have a fantastic opportunity to present themselves as Moses who leads the people to salvation! Rabblerousers make a living out of convincing people that the sky is falling. The essence of statesmanship in a free society is just the opposite, helping people understand the facts and proposing real solutions to real problems.

Mainstream news outlets, always eager to over-report on a meaningless story that has high tabloid-value, is in all its glory.  On the real issues, the media’s role in relation to the politician is one of enthusiastic cheerleader.

The very act of voting says a lot about the people who participate in it, and none of it is positive.  There seem to be two kinds of voters historically, each of them locked in their own tight race for who will win the award for most deluded.

The first kind of voter is glued to the set for the latest take on the drama.  He will ultimately cast his ballot largely based on surface-level attributes such as whether the politician is likable, whether he’d be a fun guy to have a beer with, or whether he sweats.  Think I’m overdoing it?  Look no further back than the Kennedy/Nixon presidential election where popular opinion holds that Nixon did himself great harm by profusely sweating in the country’s first ever televised presidential debate. 

Interestingly enough, it is said that Kennedy’s handlers knew this about Nixon, that he was a sweater, and made sure to turn the heat up in the debate studio for this very reason. That was brilliant.  It perfectly captures the empty-headedness of politicians, whose actions are driven solely by a team of doting aides who are constantly gauging public perception.

And let us simply reflect for a moment on why politicians have handlers in the first place.  It tells us everything we need to know.  Politicians are like cardboard cutouts whose skulls are empty vessels just waiting to be filled with slick soundbites by Madison Avenue’s finest.  Consider further that high-level politicians even have their own press secretaries, whose jobs consist of nothing more than spinning issues the politicians themselves have no grasp of in order to fool the electorate into thinking they have everything under control.  Press secretaries serve as nothing more than high caliber con artists for their bosses.  It is only more distressing that voters are gullible enough to buy into the political performance.

What percentage of voters charge enthusiastically into the voting booth knowing little more than this type of information is unknown, but we’ve all come across many friends, neighbors and family members who embody this density.

The second kind of voter is the true believer.  The true believer is supposedly the creme de la creme of the electorate, purportedly versed on the issues.  He’s done his homework, knows where the candidates stand on the big issues of the day, and makes an informed choice as to who is more equipped to run the affairs of he and his fellow men over the next few years.  The true believer thumbs his nose at the eggheaded superficial voter described above.  He can even see through the handlers’ and press secretaries’ spin machine if he watches closely.  Warning: if this description doesn’t activate your gag reflex, you may be a true believer voter.

The true believer evidences the same kind of mystical superstition that a weekly churchgoer exhibits.  He believes with blind faith and without critical examination that politicians are our saviors, selflessly stepping forward to lead the country in the most difficult and complex of human affairs, if only the right ones can be found and elected.  To the true believer, there is nothing the politician isn’t, or cannot become, an expert on once he gets into office and has the vast resources of the state at his disposal. 

The true believer eats up campaign promises with a spoon, and everything that happens in the world, good or bad, is attributable to the rightness or wrongness of the actions of our political leaders.  And if this leader fails us, by golly, the next time around we’ll get it right in the voting booth.  Isn’t this the clinical definition of insanity?


Don’t vote, it just encourages the bastards.  Voting tells politicians that they’ve fooled you.  Either you, the voter, are so vacuous that a sweating politician will determine how you vote, or perhaps worse, you’re so naive that no matter how many failed political promises you’ve been fed, you’ll always believe the next one will actually be fulfilled.


VENITISM

Venitism is a new anarchist paradigm which integrates economics, ethics, and spirituality.

Black Hole: Taxation is armed robbery that feeds the black hole of political corruption; it's the perfect index of corruption and tyranny. Only evil governments tax citizens and companies.

Constitution: The only purpose of a constitution is to protect citizens from government abuse. Reform treaties of a confederation, such as the Lisbon Treaty of EU, not voted by the citizens are null and void.

Corruption: Political corruption is proportional to the square of the size of the government.

Democracy: Every democracy is eventually hijacked by rabblerousers, pullpeddlers, clans of kleptocrats, bumptious bugaboos, busybodies, butterbabies, nabobs of nepotism, cranks of cronyism, pusillanimous pussyfooters, riffraffs of rascals, socialist sophists, and Machiavellian mafiosi. Democracy tends to kleptocracy. Anarchy should replace democracy.

Depression: Only governments can cause economic depressions and funny money. Lower tax rates, a reduction in the burden of government, and elimination of kleptocracy and VAT are the only way to boost growth.

Education: There is no direct relationship between education and schooling. You might be schooled but uneducated, and you might be educated but unschooled. Schools are concentration camps for the drones of society.  Unschooling is much better than schooling. Internet is the best source of knowledge and information, replacing schools, libraries, media, parliaments, and postoffice. 

Environment: The best way to save the environment is vasectomy.  Deadly viruses are Gaia's antibiotics against the cancer of overpopulation.

Equality: Death is the only equalizer. Egalitarianism brings death to society, transforming citizens to zombies.

Evolution: The ultimate phase of human evolution is the complete domination of soul.

Faith: Faith is retarded thinking that keeps you away from God.  You have to become faithless, in order to start your journey to God!  You have to discover God your own way without intermediaries. God's truth should replace faith.  You might discover that God is the universe!

Religion: Religion is spiritual slavery. Church is the business of religion. Religious monopoly turns bishops to ayatollahs, and churches to Sodom and Gomorrah.  Spirituality, pantheism, and metaphysics should replace religion. Most scientists are pantheists!

Government: The only purpose of government is to protect citizens from criminals. Public services, central banks, and fiat money should be abolished.

Heroism: Entrepreneurs, innovators, anarchists, and heretics are the real heroes.

Insurance: Citizens with proper individual retirement accounts and health savings accounts should be allowed to opt out of State Insurance.

Intervention: Any government intervention deteriorates an existing trend. Laissez-faire is the only progressive policy.

Laws:  All laws that citizens are required to know should not exceed 300 pages of type size 12.  When a new law is born, another law must die.

Legislature: Parliaments should be abolished, because they continuously create laws that enslave citizens, constrain economic activity, loot producers, reward drones, and encourage political corruption.

Misery: Throwing money to misery brings more misery.

Money: A deluge of fiat money brings financial plague and haemorrhage of economy. Real money is tied up to precious metals and strategic metals.

Patriotism: Patriotism is addiction to local hysteria.

Privacy:  Nobody, including your government, has the right to break into your home, your land, your accounts, your computer, your files, and your secrets.  You have the natural right to protect your privacy from intruders.  Molon Labe!

Property: Governments should not own or regulate any property, including electromagnetic waves. The first individual who improves or cultivates any unclaimed property is entitled to that property.  Governments cannot own, allocate, regulate, or manipulate frequency fields and media. Eminent domain is null and void.

Selfownership: You own your body and your soul, and nobody should dictate what you take in and what you take out. Speech, education, heresy, habeas corpus, military service, mating, healthcare, food, abortion, cloning, drugs, guns, and euthanasia should be personal choices.

Style: Your soul needs to resonate with mighty words and unique acts that express your style and destiny. Your government cannot dictate your language, your words, and your culture. Resonate now and sing your song!

System: The most efficient political system is anarchy, where everything is private, there are no taxes at all, there is no government, and there is no parliament. Government has deteriorated to a racket that benefits the political elite by taking money from average people.


Taxes: Taxes destroy the economy. Raising tax rates is masochism. Smart stimulus is to cut tax rates. Stupidus stimulus is to increase spending, which stimulates the cancer of statism! 

BACTERIAL INFECTION



A new federal study estimates that the germ Clostridium difficile, more commonly known as C. difficile, caused nearly half a million infections in the United States in a single year, with 29,000 people dying from the exposure. The new report is based on population-based surveillance data from 10 Emerging Infection Program (EIP) sites nationwide, including one at the Yale School of Public Health.

This is the first national C. difficile burden estimate using EIP surveillance, and the first that classifies the infections as either health care-associated or community-associated. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is able to develop more robust estimates of the national burden of C. difficile disease, said James Meek, associate director of the EIP at Yale.

Because prior data on the disease only identified healthcare-associated cases, the new data are able to show the significant extent of C. difficile infection in the community. Though 66 percent of reported cases are healthcare-associated, only 24 percent of total cases occurred within hospitals, with the rest, nearly 200,000, occurring in nursing homes or elsewhere in the community.

According to the paper on the CDC findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine, C. difficile, which causes severe diarrhea, is the leading cause of gastroenteritis-related death in the U.S., and the most common cause of healthcare-related infections. Eighty percent of deaths occur in adults 65 and older. Unnecessary antibiotic use, improper cleaning procedures and a lack of coordination on hospital transfers contribute to the spread of C. difficile in acute care settings.

Antibiotic use is the most important risk factor for C. difficile, and the over-prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which kill targeted bacteria as well beneficial bacteria that may protect against C. difficile, contributes to many cases. 

Meek says that healthcare-associated C. difficile infection rates have been on the decline in Connecticut, perhaps providing evidence that recent infection control measures and antibiotic stewardship programs in hospitals aimed at controlling the disease are beginning to work. However, the report’s revelation of the extent of the disease in the community means “we may need to extend our prevention efforts to new arenas, such as long-term care facilities, nursing homes and outpatient settings,” said Meek.

Though the CDC report uses national data gathered in 2011, the EIP monitors C. difficile in Connecticut yearly and will continue to do so, said Meek. The EIP also is currently conducting a case control study of people with community-associated C. difficile to try to identify the risk factors that may contribute to the rise of community-associated infection.

Basil Venitis doesn't restate what you can learn from regular sources, but he stretches your imagination to new horizons. Venitis is extensively involved in policy issues and the tax revolt. He is often a part of the process, working to shape and direct critical components of libertarian issues. Venitis is a master of a colorful rhetoric enriched with alliterations, metaphors, heightened imagery, and emotional effect.  To have Basil Venitis speak at your event, email venitis@gmail.com

SWITCHES THAT SHAPED THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN BRAIN






Thousands of genetic “dimmer” switches, regions of DNA known as regulatory elements, were turned up high during human evolution in the developing cerebral cortex, according to new research from the Yale School of Medicine.

Unlike in rhesus monkeys and mice, these switches show increased activity in humans, where they may drive the expression of genes in the cerebral cortex, the region of the brain that is involved in conscious thought and language. This difference may explain why the structure and function of that part of the brain is so unique in humans compared to other mammals.


In addition to creating a rich and detailed catalogue of human-specific changes in gene regulation, Noonan and his colleagues pinpointed several biological processes potentially guided by these regulatory elements that are crucial to human brain development.

“Building a more complex cortex likely involves several things: making more cells, modifying the functions of cortical areas, and changing the connections neurons make with each other. And the regulatory changes we found in humans are associated with those processes,” said Noonan, associate professor of genetics, an investigator with the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, and senior author of the study. “This likely involves evolutionary modifications to cellular proliferation, cortical patterning, and other developmental processes that are generally well conserved across many species."

Scientists have become adept at comparing the genomes of different species to identify the DNA sequence changes that underlie those differences. But many human genes are very similar to those of other primates, which suggests that changes in the way genes are regulated — in addition to changes in the genes themselves — is what sets human biology apart.

Up to this point, however, it has been very challenging to measure those changes and figure out their impact, especially in the developing brain. The Yale researchers took advantage of new experimental and computational tools to identify active regulatory elements — those DNA sequences that switch genes on or off at specific times and in specific cell types — directly in the human cortex and to study their biological effects.

First, Noonan and his colleagues mapped active regulatory elements in the human genome during the first 12 weeks of cortical development by searching for specific biochemical, or “epigenetic” modifications. They did the same in the developing brains of rhesus monkeys and mice, then compared the three maps to identify those elements that showed greater activity in the developing human brain. They found several thousand regulatory elements that showed increased activity in human.

Next, they wanted to know the biological impact of those regulatory changes. The team turned to BrainSpan, a freely available digital atlas of gene expression in the brain throughout the human lifespan. (BrainSpan was led by Kavli Institute member Nenad Sestan at Yale, with contributions from Noonan and Pasko Rakic, a co-author on this study.) They used those data to identify groups of genes that showed coordinated expression in the cerebral cortex. They then overlaid the regulatory changes they had found with these groups of genes and identified several biological processes associated with a surprisingly high number of regulatory changes in humans.

“While we often think of the human brain as a highly innovative structure, it’s been surprising that so many of these regulatory elements seem to play a role in ancient processes important for building the cortex in all mammals, said first author Steven Reilly. “However, this is often a hallmark of evolution, tinkering with the tools available to produce new features and functions.”

Next, Noonan and colleagues plan to investigate the function of some of the regulatory changes they identified by introducing them into the mouse genome and studying their effects on mouse brain development.

Smart words are more effective than smart bombs. For your conference, get a dynamic keynote speaker who can transform your people and your world. Take advantage of a unique libertarian orator, Basil Venitis.  As many associations, colleges, industry groups, companies, political groups, lobbyists, professional congresses, and speakers bureaus have discovered, speeches by Basil Venitis add immeasurably to the enduring value of a conference.  To have Basil Venitis speak at your event, email venitis@gmail.com


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IS AN EMPTY UNDEFINABLE LEFTIST IDEOLOGICAL CONCEPT







It was apparent even before the meeting began that this would be a different kind of event: The cups and plates were compostable, the name badges were plain paper, and there were no programs at all — the conference agenda came via a smartphone app.

Those small differences clearly signaled the purpose of this gathering: getting the MIT community to embrace the principles of efficiency and sustainability. The invitation-only event, called “Sustainability Connect,” took place Monday, bringing together faculty members, students, leaders of MIT’s facilities and sustainability offices, administrators, and others to hear about ongoing plans and to brainstorm about how to move the Institute toward a greener, cleaner, less-wasteful future.

Sustainable development is not a neutral term. It is an empty undefinable leftist ideological concept. It can’t be a good basis for a serious discussion. Those who use this term do not want to discuss how to restart economic growth in the stagnating West, especially in Europe, how to accelerate growth in developing countries and how to overcome poverty in the world. Those would be meaningful topics. To speak about sustainable development suggests a debate about creating barriers or obstacles to rapid, healthy and much needed economic growth. 


The term sustainable development can’t be turned into an operational concept. The exponents of this term are the prisoners of the ahistorical and anti-economic doctrine of the limits to growth advocated since the 1970’s by green politicians and their fellow travelers in institutions and organizations of global governance. We should be careful when using such ideologically loaded terms.   

The aim is to make MIT into a living laboratory for exploring, testing, and quantifying ways to make more efficient use of energy, water, buildings, and equipment — and then to disseminate information about the most successful practices to have a global impact.

“Innovation can be created, but it must also be proven,” said Julie Newman, MIT’s director of sustainability and the event’s lead organizer. “We need to create new metrics and new standards of efficiency.”

By harnessing the creative powers of the MIT community to make the campus into a test bed of technologies and practices for a more sustainable society, Newman said, the goal is to ask: “How can MIT be a game-changing force for innovation in the 21st century?”

Israel Ruiz, MIT’s executive vice president and treasurer, who spearheaded creation of the Office of Sustainability, said, “The challenge we’re addressing today is one that I’m personally very committed to.” Ruiz pointed out that the Institute is currently in the midst of  “one of the largest construction periods MIT has ever experienced” — offering opportunities to ensure that new buildings and renovations respect, from the earliest design stages, the principles of efficiency and sustainability in their energy, water, waste-handling, and other systems.

Ruiz pointed to MIT.nano, which is being designed as the most energy-efficient cleanroom building of its kind in the country. Because of their need for huge volumes of air transport to maintain a dust-free environment, cleanrooms are exceptionally energy-intensive to operate; MIT.nano incorporates a variety of features designed to make it as efficient as possible without any compromises in its technical performance.

Bringing those considerations of sustainability into the design process at the earliest possible stage is key to getting the best performance, Ruiz said. “When you do this early enough in the design, it doesn’t cost that much,” he said.

In fact, in many cases it may not cost anything at all, said John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Sterman, who was a strong advocate for energy efficiency in the design of MIT Sloan’s Building E62, said that a detailed analysis of the design and performance of that building shows that adding cutting-edge features for efficiency actually added essentially no cost to the building’s construction: The incremental cost was so small that it amounted to a “rounding error,” Sterman said — a small fraction of a percent.

Jeremy Poindexter, a graduate student in materials science and engineering, presented results from a study carried out by a team of students on the potential for installing solar panels on rooftops on the MIT campus. The total potentially usable roof area, he said, could produce as much as 27 megawatts of power, and MIT’s peak demand tends to be between 25 and 30 megawatts, so this could make a substantial contribution. The team suggested that using just the best, most easily adapted buildings for an initial project could yield 4.3 megawatts, without the need for any major retrofits.

After hearing from several speakers who described specific measures proposed and even tried out on MIT’s campus or elsewhere, the group broke into teams to brainstorm new ideas for how to reduce MIT’s environmental footprint, whether by addressing heating and cooling systems, generation and use of electricity, water supply and wastewater handling, food supplies and waste, or transportation systems.

Many participants were drawn from the membership of four new working groups created by the Office of Sustainability to offer guidance in specific areas; these groups will operate under the guidance of a Campus Sustainability Task Force, which Newman will co-chair. The four groups will focus on building design and construction; storm water and land management; green labs; and materials and waste management.

Ruiz said there will also be a new Campus Sustainability Steering Committee, comprising senior administrators and decision-makers, to “make sure that when we make a decision, sustainability will be a part of it.” Ruiz reiterated that this commitment is not just for a day or a month, but something that needs to become an ongoing and long-term part of how MIT operates.


Basil Venitis captures the attention and hearts of conferees by relating the current issues such as debt, depression, privacy, and freedom to political corruption. His unwavering passion leaves conferees motivated to speak out, revolt, and let kleptocrats know what they want.  To have Basil Venitis speak at your event, email venitis@gmail.com

DEMOSTHENES ORATION

7 Storytelling Secrets by Tim Hartman 8 Ted Talks That Teach Public Speaking



"There are two types of speakers: Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” Mark Twain

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” Jerry Seinfeld

“The difference between a word and the RIGHT word is like the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”  Mark Twain

"It ain't over till it's over."  Yogi Berra

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."  Nelson Mandela

A dozen percent of employees are engaged (enthusiastic about organizational goals), the remaining 88 percent of employees are either unengaged (sleep-walking) or actively disengaged (busy undermining organizational goals). A company must connect with employees in their language, and help them discover how their actions lead to the fulfilment of a truly meaningful aim. In order to win customers, companies must win the hearts of their employees. If so, the next value creation opportunity may be right inside your company: helping the 87 percent discover enthusiasm, helping them cross over to the other side.  Storytelling helps organizations create value through better people (employees, partners, investors) alignment.


SPEAKING TIPS OF BASIL VENITIS

A keynote speech usually lasts an hour, corresponding to a transcript of fifteen regular type pages. The speaker must have a good hook, walk the talk with a powerful presence, entertain, and reach the audience. He must tell them what he is going to talk about, give an inspirational oration with passion, and summarize. Standing ovation is the goal.  


TRANSFORMATION

The audience wants an experience, a transformation, not just information. The speaker must tune in, establish rapport, connect, have a dynamic theme, tell stories, show humor, create a dialogue with smart questions, use eye contact and gestures, master silence, and conclude with a dynamic urge to action. 


EXTEMPORE SPEECHES

The best speeches are extempore, prepared but delivered without notes.  Impromptu speeches are not prepared.  Use your arms naturally to illustrate what you are saying.  Extend your arm periodically, bridging the gap between you and your audience, to reach out with your hand in handshake position.


KINESTHESIA
Kinesthetic speakers feed an audience’s hunger to experience a presentation on a physical, as well as an intellectual, level. Kinesthetic speakers create powerful nonverbal messages that reinforce their verbal ones. By generating kinesthetic, aural, and visual stimuli, kinesthetic speakers create a rich sensory experience for their audiences.

SILENCE, GOD’S ART
Whenever effective public speakers end a sentence or phrase, they usually pause. This gives listeners time to absorb their words.  When I pause, I use the time to make eye contact with individuals in the audience.  I also use the pause to choose precisely what I will say next, based on how the audience is following my presentation. 

SPEAKER FEES

Many huge speaker fees of politicians are camouflage of bribes!  When a kleptocrat gets a hundred thousand euros to speak, you must be sure this is a bribe, pure and simple.  My fee is just five thousand euros.  All fees are payable one month in advance of the event.

To have Venitis speak at your event, email venitis@gmail.com



BASIL VENITIS WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK AT YOUR EVENT!

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Basil Venitis speaks up for liberty and tax revolt at events around the world.  At the podium, Venitis criticizes the dysfunctional kleptocracy that exists in all countries today and highlights the need for anarchy, abolition of taxes, privatization of everything, and unlimited personal liberties.


Venitis captures the attention and hearts of conferees by relating the current issues such as debt, depression, privacy, and freedom to political corruption. His unwavering passion leaves conferees motivated to speak out, revolt, and let kleptocrats know what they want.

Smart words are more effective than smart bombs. For your conference, get a dynamic keynote speaker who can transform your people and your world.  Take advantage of a unique libertarian orator, Basil Venitis.  As many associations, colleges, industry groups, companies, political groups, lobbyists, professional congresses, and speakers bureaus have discovered, speeches by Basil Venitis add immeasurably to the enduring value of a conference. 

Venitis doesn't restate what you can learn from regular sources, but he stretches your imagination to new horizons. Venitis is extensively involved in policy issues and the tax revolt. He is often a part of the process, working to shape and direct critical components of libertarian issues. Venitis is a master of a colorful rhetoric enriched with alliterations, metaphors, heightened imagery, and emotional effect.

Speeches by Venitis enable audiences to truly learn, and provide fascinating, provocative insights and analysis, getting to the heart of the matter. It's no wonder that Venitis is so often called upon to present libertarian ideas and to clarify issues for the public.  Your event deserves seven important comparative advantages, the magnificent seven:

* Value. A single speech of Basil Venitis will be cherished by your conferees forever, guiding them at the crossroads of their lives and your organization, increasing their efficiency, and improving the good will of your organization.

* Access. When scheduling Venitis for your event, you work directly with him to craft a keynote speech that fits your precise needs. Venitis works with organizations to ensure that his speeches provide maximum value, and he shares their dedication to making their event a huge success.

* Insight. Given Venitis's great experience in speaking across the globe, and with his unparalleled knowledge of politics, economics, finance, sciences, philosophy, and spirituality, he can help you determine the keynote for your event.

* Transformation. Your people will be transformed to a new level of knowledge, attitude, and organizational climate.

* Revamp. Your organization will be revamped with new soul, vision, and values.

* Affordability. The cost of having Venitis speak at your conference is 5,000 euros plus travel expenses from Athens. 

* Follow up.  Your executives may consult Venitis any time for any questions they might have.


To have Venitis speak at your event, email venitis@gmail.com

CLIMATE SCARE IS THE HOTTEST HOAX ON EARTH!






Green investments and green jobs are stupid socialistic ideas that deviate resources from more profitable investments and more productive jobs.  Climate change is heliogenic, not anthropogenic! 

Developing alternatives to conventional energy technologies that exploit fossil resources such as coal and oil — energy sources that continue to dangerously alter the earth’s atmosphere — has been part of the climate change discussion for decades. Research into wind, solar, nuclear, and efficiency technologies, among others, has received government and private sector investment over the years.

Deciding which energy research and development (R&D) projects and areas of technology governments should fund, however, has not been a well-structured process says Laura Diaz Anadon, assistant professor of public policy, with little overarching framework in place to support decision-making.

Who and what gets funded is often based not just on political priorities (a factor that will always play a role), but also on historical investments made in specific areas, and on government-generated estimates of future technological development. Rarely, she says, are decisions based on a systematic analysis of the effectiveness of various R&D investment portfolios and how they fit into the bigger picture of the various technologies other market developments.

“It’s often very hard to make decisions about research and development because fundamentally you don’t know what’s going to come out of that research and development,” says Diaz Anadon, the associate director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program. “There’s a lot of uncertainty. Government agencies are making decisions about how much to fund, but they are not using a structured approach. . .They do not consider holistically that, when considering their portfolio, if they invest in solar, for example, it may make sense to invest more in storage. They are not currently taking into account the complementarities or even substitutabilities between technology areas.”

Through a series of reports produced in the last several years, Diaz Anadon and colleagues, including Kennedy School professors Matthew Bunn and Venkatesh Narayanamurti and HKS PhD candidate Gabe Chan, provide analysis and strategies for helping accelerate the development and growth of improved energy technologies.  In the 2014 Cambridge University Press book Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation, as well as in papers published in Environmental Research Letters, Environmental Science & Technology, and Energy Policy, Diaz Anadon and colleagues offer strategies to help inform decision- making.

The three-step process includes soliciting and making public probability estimates from experts in industry, academia, and the national laboratories on the impact of R&D investments; processing this information to introduce it into an energy economic model to calculate the probabilities of various societal goals that policy makers care about; and applying decision analysis techniques to determine the optimal investment portfolios under various conditions and criteria. This approach is being considered by the U.S. Department of Energy, as in its recent Quadrennial Technology Review, invited speakers, including Anadon, to present this type of approaches to improve their process.

“What this method allows you to do is develop transparent estimates that are not partisan,” says Diaz Anadon. “You have a transparent and more encompassing selection of people who provide input who are not necessarily the ones who benefit directly from it. In addition, this method allows one to account for interactions in the market.”

These approaches should be beneficial in the decision-making process, according to Diaz Anadon. “Looking at best practices that will help support these decisions could help convince Congress, for example, to invest in the portfolios that are more likely to improve, for instance, environmental impact. Right now, when researchers go to Congress, Congress can say, ‘I just don’t believe that if you invest this much in wind, this is what’s going to happen. You just want more money for your program.’ At the moment, they don’t have a method to really support their decisions.”

Describing the development of reliable, affordable energy as “perhaps the greatest challenge human civilization faces in the 21st century” in the introduction to Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation, Diaz Anadon and her colleagues warn that there is little time to lose in providing energy alternatives. “It cannot be done without a revolution in the technologies of both energy production and use. And for that revolution to arrive in time will require a dramatic acceleration in the pace at which new or improved energy technologies are invented, demonstrated, and adopted in the marketplace.”

The Roman Catholic Church is selling indulgences, the Orthodox Church is selling absolution certificates (συγχωροχάρτια – synchorochartia), and the European Commission is selling pollution allowances! 

Climate scare is the hottest hoax on Earth!  People tend to confuse environment protection with climate control. We have to take care of our rivers, lakes, seas, forests, and air. But humans cannot control the climate. Rabblerousers have been for a long time searching for a simple and sufficiently threatening catastrophe that could justify the implementation of kleptocratic ambitions. After having tried various alternative ideas, they came up with the idea of dangerous, man-made global warming. This concept was formulated despite the absence of reliable data.  

A freakish commercial of Greenpeace shows an angry child accusing all adults of destroying his future with global warming!  Thousands of drones benefit directly from the global warming scare, at the expense of the ordinary consumer. Environmental organizations globally, such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Defense Fund, have raked in billions of dollars.  Government subsidies for useless mitigation schemes are skyrocketing.  Emission trading programs are at two hundred billion euros a year level, with large fees paid to brokers, those who operate the scams, and kleptocrats.  Many people have discovered they can benefit from climate scares and have formed an entrenched alliance with mafiosi and kleptocrats.   

Sustainable development is not a neutral term. It is an empty undefinable leftist ideological concept. It can’t be a good basis for a serious discussion. Those who use this term do not want to discuss how to restart economic growth in the stagnating West, especially in Europe, how to accelerate growth in developing countries and how to overcome poverty in the world. Those would be meaningful topics. To speak about sustainable development suggests a debate about creating barriers or obstacles to rapid, healthy and much needed economic growth.


The term sustainable development can’t be turned into an operational concept. The exponents of this term are the prisoners of the ahistorical and anti-economic doctrine of the limits to growth advocated since the 1970’s by green politicians and their fellow travelers in institutions and organizations of global governance. We should be careful when using such ideologically loaded terms.   

Rabblerousers bought into the global warming dogma (WGD) at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, fell in love with it and – without waiting for its scientific underpinning – started preparing and implementing economically damaging and freedom endangering measures. They accepted the idea that participating in the global warming game is easy, politically correct and politically profitable, especially when it is obvious that they themselves will not carry the costs of the measures they are advocating and implementing and will not be responsible for their consequences.

There are plenty of arguments indicating that the real threat is not global warming itself. The real threat comes when kleptocrats start playing with the climate and with all of us. Environmentalism and global warming alarmism ask for restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions, which would substantially increase the costs of energy. This would be devastating, because cheap energy is the source of much of our prosperity.

The Global Warming Dogma (GWD) asks for an almost unprecedented expansion of government intrusion into our lives and of government control over us. They tell us how to live, what to do, how to behave, what to consume, what to eat, how to travel, how to spend our holidays and many other things.

Rabblerousers, their bureaucrats as well as many eggheads, who accept the GWD and with it the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate changes, probably hope that – by doing so – they are displaying intelligence, virtue and altruism. Some of them even believe they are saving the Earth. We should tell them that they are merely passive players in the hands of pullpeddlers, of producers of green technologies, of agrobusiness firms producing ethanol, of trading firms dealing in carbon emission permits, etc., who make billions at our costs. There is no altruism there. It is a cold-hearted calculation.


STACK 'EM AND PACK 'EM CITIES

Socialists and radical environmentalists have been trying for decades to reshape communities to conform to their preferred pseudosmart-growth policies. These advocates work to impose land use regulations that would force citizens into denser living arrangements, curtail freedom of choice in housing, discriminate against lower-income citizens, and compel people to pay more for their houses and give up their cars in favor of subways, trolleys, buses, and bicycles.

These efforts - often described as New Urbanism, sustainable development, or open land preservation - have long been resisted by most members of the community due to their negative impact on economic growth, competitiveness, and the standard of living. Communities implementing pseudosmart-growth policies have significantly higher home prices, which precludes moderate-income households from homeownership. In turn, these high home prices have forced buyers to take on excessive levels of mortgage debt, which has contributed to default and foreclosure problems.  Libertarians dislike the use of multi-unit apartment buildings in city plans - which they call stack 'em and pack 'em units.

There's a new kind of math for the environmentally concerned, one that answers those everyday eco-conundrums like, Which is better: a reusable stainless steel water bottle, or those throwaway plastic ones?

The answers come from life cycle assessment (LCA), the method used by industrial ecologists, a discipline that blends industrial engineering and chemistry with environmental science and biology, to assess how man-made systems impact natural ones.

LCAs can help avoid a narrow outlook on environmental concerns by compiling an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs and environmental releases, evaluating the potential impacts associated with identified inputs and releases, and interpreting the results to help make a more informed decision.

LCAs tells us that buying food in one store that's been shipped in bulk leaves a smaller carbon footprint than driving around town to the local bakery, farmer's market, and dairy. Or that the better wine choice for those living east of Columbus, Ohio, is a French Bordeaux, and for those to the west it's the Napa Valley.

Those are simple problems in ecological accounting, which is designed to evaluate any manufactured thing - your iPhone, Cheerios, lip gloss - on its entire range of impacts on the environment, human health, and the people who labored to make it. An LCA lays bare the hidden impacts of our stuff from the moment its ingredients are extracted or concocted, through manufacture, transportation, retail, use and disposal. A simple glass bottle requires 1,959 discrete steps from birth to disposal, each of which can be analyzed for dozens of impacts, from particles emitted to air, water and soil, to energy footprint or impact on the incidence of cancer.

So here's the lowdown on a very practical question: is it more ecologically correct to tote a stainless steel bottle you refill with water, or to use water in throwaway plastic bottles? As it turns out, it all depends.

Off the bat, making stainless steel has a worse impact profile than knocking out plastic bottles. Food-grade stainless is an alloy of chromium, nickel, and pig iron. The chromium comes from minds in places like Kazakstan and India, where workers have a heightened risk of cancer from exposure to the raw ore. Melting the metals requires heating them to thousands of degrees. All these processes release hundreds of pollutants into air, water and soil -- including green house gases like methane and lung-clogging particulates. Then once you have your steel bottle, if you wash it in a dishwasher that uses a half-liter of electrically heated water, somewhere between 50 and a hundred washes result in the same amount of pollution caused by making the bottle in the first place.

Putting aside the question of plastics ridden with BPA, the chemical suspected of being a carcinogen and endocrine disrupter, the overall ecological impacts of a stainless bottle, compared to plastic, are more worrisome pretty much across the board.

So does it pay to use plastic bottles rather than stainless? Yes, but. You've got to use the stainless bottle enough times to offset a great number of the plastic ones. At just five plastic bottles replaced by the stainless, the math starts to tip toward stainless; 25 uses bring you to the tipping point where most of the ecological negatives of the plastic bottles are outweighed by your using stainless steel. And at 500 replaced plastic bottles you pass the last marker -- freshwater eco-toxicity -- so you're benefiting the planet every time you sip from your stainless.

Anthropocene is a new geological era of the sudden explosion in human activity during the last two centuries, a sharp break from the past, when things changed much more gradually. Half of Earth’s land surface has been altered by humans. The population has exploded by an extra one billion in a decade. When I was born in 1945 population was only two billion and now it's more than seven billion. 


We've got a small planet, constraining the goods and services it can provide, while we are pursuing infinite growth not just of the number of people, but a growth in what we're consuming as well. Innovation could alleviate the pressure on our limited resources, allowing the population to grow without compromising individuals' quality of life. Our lifestyles, including our ever increasing appetite for goods, are having a dramatic impact on the consumption of the world's resources.

Basil Venitis speaks up for liberty and tax revolt at events around the world. At the podium, Venitis criticizes the dysfunctional kleptocracy that exists in all countries today and highlights the need for anarchy, abolition of taxes, privatization of everything, and unlimited personal liberties.  To have Basil Venitis speak at your event, email venitis@gmail.com