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Going all the way with Integral Education 2010-Jun-22 at 23:06 PST

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Just a little something I’ve been thinking about… there are two really important things under the topic of Integral Education that I want to bring up.

  1. Anyone with a theory of Integral Education that does not include the fact that technology will improve to the point where we’ll have fully-immersive virtual reality experiences – indistinguishable from physical reality – isn’t  dreaming big enough.  Think “The Matrix”… that’s the level of experience we’ll be able to have in something like 30-40 years from now.  Think about the educational possibilities of something like that… and I’m not even talking about the “I just learned Kung Fu through a 10-second download” scenarios, which also might be enabled by advanced-enough technology.
  2. Although that’s the future… today we face the incredibly sad fact that we take sweet, well-meaning people who really want to teach young people, and throw them into an awful system with archaic structures.  We make them suffer for pursuing their passion for teaching.  We stifle their creativity.  We set them up for failure, or usually mediocrity at best.  This has to stop, immediately.

As much as I want to see Integral thought really take over lots of different fields, like Medicine and Law… I really want to see Integral take over Education, and I want it yesterday.  I want to see the end of the first-tier food fight that we throw our kids into… between the outdated Blue and Orange structures of education, and the outdated and frequently wrong-headed Green structures of education that have mostly failed for the last few decades.  It’s time to bring a new level of awareness to our Educational system… one that combines the best of Blue structure, Orange testing and rewards, and a healthy Green sharing of multiple perspectives, and maps that according to grade levels and levels of development of the children.  A level of consciousness that uses quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types to define at a deep level the best way to educate our children and young adults.  A level of consciousness that isn’t afraid to stand up against the entrenched power of the teachers’ unions.

It’s time.  We already know, as we head into summer break, that we’re going to send our children into the same failing educational system that we sent them to last year.  This has to shift… it’s worth the effort (and President Obama’s initiatives are a good start) to make this happen as soon as possible.

It can’t come soon enough.

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Rock Band 3 Real Guitar Demo – E3 2010 2010-Jun-20 at 19:01 PST

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This is the future of music instruction. Can’t wait to get my hands on this.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The 2010 UZAZU Embodiment Retreat (and road trip) 2010-Jun-20 at 14:13 PST

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I had two of the best weeks of my life just now.

The first week was the UZAZU Embodiment Retreat. UZAZU is… well… that’s the first problem.  UZAZU talks about pretty much everything, but at an energetic level.  It’s a system of sound and movement combinations that allow you to get the felt sense of your own energetic fields.  It can take you from “I think this is possible but I don’t know where to start” to “I’m permanently rewired to feel the Mind-Body Connection in both directions at all times” in 7 days.  Because that’s what it did for me.

Dylan Newcomb and his wife Kyung-Sun (I can say that, because they got married today!) have developed a powerful technique to move someone from intellectually understanding Integral to deeply embodying it as well.  We know that those two groups of people will exist in the Integral wave of development, and having the ability to move that quickly into embodiment is what will help the Integral movement grow as quickly as it will.  And then think of the possibilities of children growing up embodying all of their energies as naturally as everything else a child does.

Dylan’s work modifies Integral theory to take into account, at an incredibly detailed level, how things change when the Mind-Body Connection is fully established.  It also establishes a language to communicate the felt sense of those energies in both individual and collective.  Seriously, it’s amazing, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.  I’m so impressed by it that I’m taking the three-week Level 4 Teacher Training in August.  One week of that much fun?  I’ll take three more, please.

And I also developed emotional connections to people in one week that I never would have expected.  What an incredible group of people to be with.  To know that you’ve made lifelong connections with several people in a week is a powerful experience, and I miss being with them.

And in an incredibly beautiful setting at the Glen Ivy Center (the pictures don’t do it justice).

So, yeah, best-week-ever kind of time there.

And then I headed over to Palm Springs and spent a couple of days with my friends and teachers Isaiah and Elena.  Showing up with all of this love and energy from the retreat, and then getting to bask for two days with them in conversation and a sharing of truth and love… how could one ask for more?  It was an opportunity to be reminded of who I am at the deepest level, from people who have no doubt about who they are, and to continue to open my heart to match the cognitive faculties I already had running fairly well.  The felt sense of it was of an embodied, awakened person, ready to step into a new life.

And then I went to San Diego and visited with two dear friends down there, to share in their beautiful expressions of their realizations, and to witness their reactions to my presence.

And then dinner in Los Angeles on the way back north with a friend from the retreat… another very powerful emotional and energetic experience.

I’ll write more deeply about UZAZU in the coming weeks and months, I’m sure, and I recommend it for everyone who knows that there’s more to be felt, more to be heard, more to be expressed from having a deep connection between Mind and Body.

For now, I just want to say how happy I am, how at peace I am, how much I feel taken care of by the Universe, how simple it is to be aligned with the Universe’s calling, and how beautiful it is when the Universe manifests everything that’s required to fulfill those deepest purposes.  There’s effort, but no struggle.  It’s a beautiful ride.

Gratefulness abounds.

The Visual Nomad 2010-Jun-16 at 01:12 PST

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I just wanted to share with everyone the beautiful project that my dear friend Bryan Kopp is engaged in.

What am I doing?
Simply put, I’m traveling to various regions of the world, meeting with locals from all walks of life, and making lots and lots of portraits. EVERY person I photograph will get free prints or a CD, and the entire collection will become a book and online gallery. As the collection grows, I’ll share the photographs with schools, profit / non-profit organizations, art galleries, and others interested in expanding the project’s reach.

Why am I doing this?
There are nearly 7 billion faces in the world today, and each conveys an entirely unique perspective. Countless images honor this diversity, but these beautiful distinctions also create a new dilemma; that is, what do we still have in common? My goal is to create photographs that give you an opportunity to gaze into the eyes of people you may never meet, and discover something you can honestly relate to.

Bryan is an inspired soul, and an artist with skill and awareness far beyond his 23 years.  This project has been a dream of his, and it’s an honor to be witnessing that dream coming true.

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As I’ve pointed out before for the postmodern wave of development – although it seems like it got born and grew in the late 1960’s – the entire movement was based on the creation of cultural artifacts that represented this new perspective on the world.

The crowds of kids in the late 60’s didn’t all go back and read Hegel and Nietzsche and Heidegger and Sartre to get it.

They read Alan Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac.  They watched Marlon Brando and Dennis Hopper.  They listened to Woodie Guthrie and Bob Dylan.  They looked at Picasso and Mies Van Der Rohe.

In short… they got their perspective from the cultural artifacts that reflected that level of development.  And they got it really clearly.

For Integral, some, as I have, will dig in to read Ken Wilber deeply, and get the information straight, no chaser.  Most will not find that path satisfying, and will be more comfortable embracing it through the unique transmission of art.

I try to look out for the artists who are centered in an Integral awareness, and who create the Integral cultural artifacts that those who follow will be able to get their perspectives from.  The sharing of this perspective through art is the only means of taking a group from a “cognitive minority,” as Roger Walsh referred to the current state of Integral, and shifting it to a large-scale movement.  Only through art can the Integral movement scale quickly to allow millions of people to feel what this is all about.

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Bryan Kopp is one of those artists, and seeing his work proceed is nothing less than witnessing the birth of the early forms of Integral Photography.  I’m more than excited to see what he sees.

To participate in this journey with him, I highly recommend that you check out his portfolio, and think about becoming part of the project with a donation at Kickstarter.

The horror and beautiful bravery in Afghanistan 2010-Jun-11 at 01:12 PST

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In case you’re not sure why we’re in Afghanistan, and why it’s important… this is why.  Forgive the long excerpts, but they’re worth reading, I promise.

Taliban Aim at Officials in a Wave of Killings, by Rod Nordland, 9-June-2010

The Taliban have been stepping up a campaign of assassinations in recent months against officials and anyone else associated with local government in an attempt to undermine counterinsurgency operations in the south.

Government assassinations are nothing new as a Taliban tactic, but now the Taliban are taking aim at officials who are much more low-level, who often do not have the sort of bodyguards or other protection that top leaders do. Some of the victims have only the slimmest connections to the authorities. The most egregious example came Wednesday in Helmand Province, where according to Afghan officials the insurgents executed a 7-year-old boy as an informant.

Let that sink in for a moment.  The Taliban killed a 7-year-old for being an “informant.” Imagine witnessing it:

The youngest victim was the 7-year-old boy, identified only as the grandson of a farmer named Qodos Khan Alokozy, from the village of Herati in the Sangin District of Helmand Province. According to Daoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the governor’s office in Helmand, Taliban insurgents went to his village and dragged the boy from his home at 10:30 in the morning, accusing him of acting as a government informant by telling the authorities of their movements. They killed him by hanging him from a tree in the middle of the village, Mr. Ahmadi said. A spokesman for the Taliban, reached by telephone, denied that the episode took place.

===============

The bravery of some of the elected officials there, and their families, is breathtaking and beautiful against a backdrop of such difficult circumstances.

Assassins narrowly missed in attempts to kill both Kandahar’s mayor, Ghulam Hayder Hamidi, and the Kandahar Province governor, Tooryalai Wesa, last year. Mayor Hamidi, in a recent interview during a ceremony to mark the reconstruction of a local mosque, shrugged off the risks. “When it’s time to die, no one can save me,” he said, pointing out that he travels with a modest security detail.

An exile who lived in the United States until he returned here three years ago, Mr. Hamidi said his daughter, who had come back to Afghanistan first, talked him into doing so as well. “She said you have to come here, that we cannot change the time of death and one day you will have to die and I will cry. It could just as well be from a car accident in the United States.”

I don’t mind saying that I cried when I read what his daughter said.

As for our side, and what we’re doing about the Taliban:

“They read the papers; they know what we are doing,” said a NATO official here, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with his government’s policy. “It’s very much game on between the coalition and the Taliban.”

Game on… and our military plays to win.

Our understanding of developmental levels means that we have to look at this situation as it is, and allow what we understand from developmental psychology to influence the choices we make of how to respond, even when those choices indicate that we have to fight.  Against an enemy acting from unhealthy Red, targeting both Purple tribes and Blue government officials, executing 7-year-old boys… it is the world’s responsibility to see that such an enemy is destroyed. It is our responsibility to provide the public support that empowers our governments to continue to do that.

I’m proud to live in one of the only nations on this planet that still understands that.  It remains my hope and expectation that President Obama’s pledge to begin pulling combat troops out of Afghanistan in July 2011 – under the right conditions – was meant more to motivate the Afghan government to step up than it was a firm commitment… because if he pulls our troops out before we’ve crippled the Taliban, I can’t imagine ever voting for him again.

These are the new moral responsibilities that come with an Integral understanding of levels of development, and how they play out in the development of nations.  See them clearly, feel them deeply, allow them into your heart, your gut, your core, your head… and resolve to do the right thing, even when it’s hard.  This is our generation’s mission.

My endorsement for the 2012 Republican Primary 2010-Jun-07 at 22:41 PST

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I know it’s way early for this, but I just wanted to get it out there for everyone to see who I’m supporting in the 2012 Republican Primary.  There’s really only one candidate that I’d like to see get this.

Gov. Sarah Palin.

That’s right… Gov. Sarah Palin.

Katie Couric: "What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?"

Sarah Palin: "Well, let’s see. There’s –of course — in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings, there’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are — those issues, again, like Roe v Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know — going through the history of America, there would be others but—"

Couric: "Can you think of any?"

Palin: "Well, I could think of — of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a Vice President, if I’m so privileged to serve, wouldn’t be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today."

–unable to name any Supreme Court decisions other than Roe v. Wade, CBS News interview, Oct. 1, 2008

Yes, that Sarah Palin.

Perhaps you’re wondering, “Scott, have you lost your mind?” Or maybe you’re thinking, “Scott, are you drunk?” or even “What the fuck is wrong with you?” but, really, if you think about it, I hope you’ll come to agree with me.

You see, a Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama election in 2012 would be an absolute trouncing.  She simply can’t handle that level of pressure and that level of scrutiny.  My only hope, of course, is that somehow she convinces enough conservatives and Tea Partiers that it’s the right thing to do to nominate her in the first place.  Once that happens, in the General Election… Obama is going to walk all over her.  I can only hope this happens, because I’ll be there with popcorn watching the Obama-Palin debates, followed by the Saturday Night Live re-enactment of the Obama-Palin debates.

You know that would be awesome.

So, if you believe as I do, that President Obama is amazingly smart and balanced and has been doing an incredible (not perfect, but incredible) job through crisis after crisis, I hope you’ll join me on the Palin for Republican Nomination bandwagon.

A silver lining to the oil spill 2010-Jun-06 at 00:37 PST

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I find that it’s helpful, when one is stuck is a bad situation, to take as broad a perspective as possible and ask some simple questions: What’s the benefit of this?  What can we get out of it?  How will this bring long-term positive change?

Now, finding the best possible silver lining out of horrible situations does not mean that the positive outcomes make going through the tragedy worthwhile on balance.  In this case… yeah, the oil spill sucks.

But there’s really only one way we’re going to clean up the worst (by multiples) oil spill of all time, in less than a decade: nanotechnology and biotechnology.

I want to see Craig Venter inventing a new bacteria that eats oil better than ever before.  I want to see nanobots that travel through the water and gather oil and bring it back to a home ship.  I want to see research colleges stepping up.  I want to see us invent our way into speeding up the clean-up.

There is an opportunity to speed up both fields right now, and there’s no limit to the amount of millions of dollars that would be available right now from investors if someone took a serious run at this.

I’m betting that within a couple of years we’ll have some amazing breakthroughs to help the long-term clean-up effort… and we’ve definitely got years of that to come, followed by more years where we’re seeing a repopulation of the waters.

And, again, I wish we didn’t have to, but we do.

The gross but politically savvy thing to do 2010-Jun-04 at 01:11 PST

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Remember a few days ago when I strongly argued against firing Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior?

I still think that, on the merits alone, that’s the correct position.  Unfortunately, Washington political calculations don’t always follow the simple merits of a case.  At this point, just to give the impression of doing something, it might be the right political decision to sacrifice Secretary Salazar and make a change, even though nothing that has happened is his fault.

We also have the opportunity to resuscitate one of the early Obama cabinet picks who got derailed eighteen months ago due to some minor tax issues.  You know who would look like a real get-things-done type of guy?  Former Sen. Tom Daschle.  And you know who else would look good?  Gov. Bill Richardson.

Take your pick… the thing about this job is that whoever has it has the opportunity to be in the public spotlight for many years, because they’ll be running the cleanup job… and that’s going to take years.  I’d really like to see one of these two guys taking on a national role like this.

Does this seem cynical?  Yeah, it probably is.  But sometimes that’s what you do in Washington.  We’re all grown-ups… we can take it.

Finally, cars that drive themselves 2010-Jun-02 at 15:49 PST

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With advanced sensors, cars become increasingly capable of driving themselves, by Nic Fleming, 01-June-2010

According to Jonas Ekmark, a researcher at Volvo headquarters near Gothenburg, Sweden, this is just the start. He says we are entering an era in which vehicles will also gather real-time information about the weather and highway hazards, using this to improve fuel efficiency and make life less stressful for the driver and safer for all road users. "Our long-term goal is the collision-free traffic system," says Ekmark.

Ultimately, that means bypassing the fallible humans behind the wheel — by building cars that drive themselves. Alan Taub, vice president for research and development at General Motors, expects to see semi-autonomous vehicles on the road by 2015. They will need a driver to handle busy city streets and negotiate complex intersections, but once on the highway they will be able to steer, accelerate and avoid collisions unaided. A few years later, he predicts, drivers will be able to take their hands off the wheel completely: "I see the potential for launching fully autonomous vehicles by 2020."

And maybe I can get a job as the “lead driver”:

The most ambitious of these projects, a collaboration between seven European manufacturers and universities, would also allow up to eight cars a little more than a yard apart driving in convoy, controlled by a lead vehicle operated by a professional driver.

Ordinary drivers would book a place in convoys and hand over control of their car to software on the lead vehicle. Steering, acceleration and braking would be controlled by an on-board computer that uses data sent wirelessly from the lead vehicle, along with information from cameras and radar and laser detectors on the front and rear of the car itself.

Drivers will be able to work, read, watch films or even sleep while their cars are driven for them. "It will be like sitting on a bus or a train," says Ekmark. When the convoy nears an exit at which drivers wish to leave, they can resume control and continue their journey.

As long as I can continue to control my own car, I’m happy to see this.  Most people are really lousy drivers, anyway.  I’d be happier to see them not controlling their own cars.

Of course, this is just an intermediate step until we have AI-level computing, controlling cars whenever we want.  No later than 2025, I’d say.

We’ll have the inevitable system failure with fatalities, and then the inevitable breathless news stories saying, “Are the new cars safe?!?” And then we’ll remember that yes, they’re way safer than humans driving, and we’ll move on, make better and better automated driving systems, and raise a generation of kids who have cars (solar powered, of course) but have never actually driven.  We’ll also have two different kinds of driver’s licenses: one where you’re allowed to conduct your own car, and one where you’re allowed to be in the car, but only if the AI drives.

Fun, right?  Somewhere, “Red Barchetta” plays on a radio….

Dual-core for mobile phones 2010-Jun-01 at 10:26 PST

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Intel, Qualcomm go dual-core for small devices, by Brooke Crothers, 31-May-2010

Intel said Tuesday at the Computex conference in Taiwan that it has begun producing dual-core Atom processors for Netbooks, a product first for Intel. New Intel technology will enable "very, very thin form factors with dual-core Atom," Matthew Parker, general manager of Intel’s Atom client division, said in a phone interview Friday. Parker said future Netbooks will get as thin as a half an inch (see photo).

Meanwhile, Qualcomm announced that it has begun sample shipments of its first dual-core Snapdragon silicon, targeted at high-end smartphones and Netbook-like devices called smartbooks. The single-core Snapdragon processor currently powers smartphones such as Google’s Nexus One and tablets such as the Dell Streak.

Mobile phones go vertical in speed now.  Today new laptops all have a minimum of two cores… four cores to come soon.  Mobile phones, starting in 2011, also will come with two cores… with more coming soon after.

Mobile phone 2015 = Laptop 2010 in terms of processing power.  But they’ll consume far less electricity and generate far less heat in delivering that computing power.

China challenges the US and the world with the second fastest supercomputer ever 2010-Jun-01 at 00:40 PST

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Chinese Supercomputer Is Ranked World’s Second-Fastest, Challenging U.S. Dominance, by John Markoff, 31-May-2010

The Dawning Nebulae, based at the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen, China, has achieved a sustained computing speed of 1.27 petaflops — the equivalent of one thousand trillion mathematical operations a second — in the latest semiannual ranking of the world’s fastest 500 computers.

And they have an even faster one coming in the fall.

But China appears intent on challenging American dominance. There had been some expectation that China would make an effort to complete a system based on Chinese-designed components in time for the June ranking. The Nebulae is based on chips from Intel and Nvidia.

The new system, which is based on a microprocessor that has been designed and manufactured in China, is now expected later this year. A number of supercomputing industry scientists and engineers said that it was possible that the new machine would claim the title of world’s fastest.

If you think this is fast… well, you probably already own a computer capable of tens of gigaflops right now.  Even at a modest rate of doubling of speed like every five years, you’ll own a computer this fast in less than fifteen years, and your mobile device/phone will be this powerful in less than twenty years.