Turning our Economic Backslide into Greater Steps Forward

August 16th, 2009

(Rick, this article was from early last March, it may need updating.  I’ll try to take a whack at it while in Japan, but might not get a chance to until Sept. 1. When is the next issue of the STREAM planned for, and when is the economics special issue planned for if that is still in the works?  ….win) 

((Rick: here’s my input into the special issue you suggested.  Solicit other inputs as well, perhaps by provocatively circulating copies of this piece.  This will be a necessarily long newsletter.))

((If you don’t get other inputs, advise me and I’ll render several additional, shorter pieces.  Thanks.))

           Turning the Current Economic Slide into Many Steps Forward!

Success and Failure, and avoiding needless Waste:

 Whether in science or in business, in order to succeed, one must have the chance to fail.  A theory in science has to predict specific outcomes that can be tested.  The astonishing progress of science the past several centuries is precisely because such tests have been made and some of the wrong theories weeded out.  Most of the self-made billionaires in Forbes failed miserably, several or more times, before hitting upon the winning strategy which lifted them above the pack. Where market economics was not allowed to be the determining factor as to where allocations should be made nor which enterprises should advance, the entire communist system collapsed miserably from an accumulation of inefficiencies and errors. 

 Which means: where success is allowed, there will be some failures. 

 Our overall success depends upon how well – and how rapidly – we recycle our failed people and resources into fresh opportunities for success.

 There is where we’ve been failing terribly, and there is where we have huge opportunity for a human and prosperous future….

Darwinism, Social and Otherwise:

 Many economists, social theorists, and eugenicists, took their respective models from a naive, Mendelevian theory of survival of the fittest, where genetic change could be attained only through rigorous costly process of elimination, the successful able to be so only by standing on a carpet of the bones of the fallen through glacially slow evolution through hundreds of generations.

 Meanwhile, civilized people recognized that imitation of success, learning from one-another, indeed “social evolution,” allowed personal and social change to happen within the current living generation.  That was somewhat less expensive in both human and material terms.

 Also meanwhile, genetics itself moved from mere selection of genes over hundreds of relentless generations, into the discovery that nature herself had, for obvious bioevolutionary reasons of survival, devised genetic mechanisms for change to happen within the living generation and the living individual.  Floating gene bundles, migration of genes across species, the body adapting to conditions by placing inhibitors or disinhibitors upon the protein sequencing expressed by one’s genes and chromosomes said inhibitors or disinhibitors continuing for some generations in one’s genetic makeup, and viruses routinely bringing in and installing new genes into our makeup – so much so that as a medical treatment infection by tailored viruses is now routinely used to correct genetic problems.

 What nature learned and started to use millions of years ago, our economists, social theorists, and eugenicists have not yet caught on to, and still believe not in adapting, but in pruning off, our unsuccessful people, firms, and resources.

Too Big to let Fall?

 Because the cumulative decisions made in the board rooms of GM and Chrysler were catastrophically wrong, we should let those companies crash?  Is that just, and is it necessary? [[[[[Rick – if we keep this section in we should note that this article was written last March before the successful bankruptcies happened.  The point being made here, however, obviously stands.]]]]]

 Who made those catastrophically wrong decisions?  Was it the three million workers who would be dispossessed of their livelihoods and their homes if those companies went under?  Was it even the designers and engineers who brilliantly carried out the directives of the company executives?  The golden-parachuted executives who made those decisions and directives can move on, or live well-padded for life from those parachutes.  Where is justice in all of this?

 From a practical and necessity standpoint, several trillion dollars in immediate value would be lost if the big auto makers were allowed to go under, and much more in the long run as cumulative effect of losing so much technology and productive capacity – plus we would face enormous expenses in dealing with the effects of three million more people unemployed and dispossessed.  It seems to this writer that to waste material and human resources on this scale, seems not only unjust but a bit impractical.

 We can install new management without destroying the entire company and its assemblage of productive people and resources.  We can even imitate successful models, we can learn, we can install new management systems whether or not we clear out all of the old management, the whole company doesn’t have to die, three million people don’t have to go down with it.  The larger the corporate entity, the more impelling it is to make this kind of change – instead of feeding the present problem with more bailouts to the people whose hideously wrong decisions got us into our present onslaught of troubles.  – And instead of letting these enterprises collapse and lose enormous amounts of both material resource and human productive capital.

 – And, I think, so we don’t face such catastrophic dilemmas in the future between huge bailouts and allowing the wrecking of lives of millions of people who had no say in the terrible mistakes and decisions made in the board room, as all this settles out we should break up these corporate giants into smaller, more numerous and more competitive units, as a matter of prudence and long-term economic health.

Solving Our Problems

 One of the things we could learn, by self- and social evolution: there are now hundreds of different, ingeniously effective methods for creatively solving problems, successfully in professional use around the planet.  Why not use one or more of these on our real problems, yourself and ourselves?

 We now have up free on the web a Roadmap of easy, specific directions to many of these problem-solving techniques.  Each of the techniques and methods we have up, in turn consist of specific easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions how to solve a problem by that method, like a cookbook of recipes and specific step-by-step directions for preparing a dish or a meal.  The Roadmap to all of this is found at http://www.winwenger.com/solving.htm  

 You and we can use these specific methods to solve our own personal problems and our work-related problems.  We can use these methods to solve the problems and issues of common concern in our communities, or even on a wider scale.  We can even use these methods to solve the problems of the economy as a whole, or to solve the variegated problems of quickly recycling or transforming the productive human and material resources of the “Too-big-to-let-fall” corporate giants.  I commend this to your attention, which you can test right now or today, right where you are sitting, starting by clicking through to the above address.

The Free Market As A Directory: 

 The original Adam Smith became “father of the free market” with his world-changing publication, in 1776, of his great treatise on economics, The Wealth of Nations.  Prices in the free marketplace inform the process of allocating material and human resources more and more efficiently and productively – within a limited range of conditions.  Within that limited range of conditions, the free market performs a crucial function: it serves as a Directory, directing people and resources into more and more productive uses.  Within that limited range of conditions, the free marketplace operates infinitely more efficiently and effectively as such a directory than can any authoritarian command economy or government.  

 Trouble is, there are times and conditions where the free marketplace needs some help in its role as a directory, when conditions are no longer within the limited range as specified by Adam Smith.  For example, what is the value, to you compared to Joe Blow, of the eradication of smallpox or of polio?  How should we charge Cleveland for its share of the costs of protection from terrorism by safeguarding the southern border of New Mexico?  These are what economists call indivisibilities – benefits and costs brought to the whole of society.

 External economies (benefits) and diseconomies (costs), experienced by interests or persons other than the one causing them to happen, is another clear example of conditions cited by the father of the free market as derailing the market’s function as a Directory.  Pollution of air, land and water by an industry, is a cost not felt by the perpetrator but is felt externally, by other people and other interests whose costs don’t enter the bookkeeping of the perpetrator.  The perpetrator is answerable to its backers or stockholders and has fiduciary obligation to serve their interests, not the interests of the victims living downstream, so where such external diseconomies exist, society suffers net loss: more is done of this damaging activity than the total economics of society would warrant. 

 External economies, by contrast, tend to be underperformed – the shoveling of snow from neighborhood sidewalks, for example, or the very serious problem confronting us in allocation of resources for basic scientific research.   Basic research is many times more productive of value than is the narrowly pursued applied research which in fact depends upon that basic research in order to have something TO apply.  The results of basic research are unpredictable.  The firm doing the research may be positioned to get very little benefit from that research but is bearing its costs, while other firms get a free ride, across the economy positioned to take billions of dollars of advantage from the results of a given piece of basic research.  So much less basic research gets done than the overall costs and benefits to society as a whole would properly warrant – and that also describes many other types and examples of benefit externality in which the pricing Directory of a free market system misfires.

 In crises and emergencies and sudden developments, the Directory service of a free market economy is forcefully deranged.  A lot of opportunities are lost, wealth failed to be created and enjoyed, a lot of productive resources wasted and people suffering, because under those stresses the free market is no longer directing people and resources toward more productive uses but instead away from them.  People no longer find a stable reference point for value in their medium of exchange, and cascading stampedes carry entire national and international economies further and further away from rational allocations, exposing once-solid enterprises to destruction in their turn.  History is littered with the rubble of entire civilizations which entered such a tailspin and never emerged.  When so deranged, the free market desperately needs some help from outside to redirect at least some people and resources into production and into more productive uses, until conditions, expectations and reference points can be re-normalized. 

 A broader treatment of the circumstances for government intervention in market economies is found at http://www.winwenger.com/mixedecon.htm   Here let us note that while government or any command system can quickly adapt to emergencies, or break through general paralysis into useful specific actions when the whole community or civilization is acting like a deer at night on the road caught in car headlights, the involvement and intervention should be as brief as possible.  That improves the chances that the people acting on the situation are truly motivated to solve and correct it.  Setting up a long-term agency or staff to deal with it, silts up the situation with people whose motivation is either to build a personal career and empire regardless, or to laze through with as little actual work as possible. There, perpetuation of the problem instead of solving it becomes, for them, job protection.   More generally:

 As Lord Acton told us, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.”  We are just beginning to emerge from one of the very most corrupt periods in American history, and we may or may not ultimately emerge from it….

 In any arena of human affairs, advantage tends to drift to a small handful of the people there, who thereby increasingly constitute an “establishment” or an “elite.” 

 In any assymetric or unbalanced power relationship, convenience to some becomes a factor, then exploitation, then abuse.  The greater the imbalance in that power relationship, the stronger the impetus toward abuse.

 Practically every ill on the planet can be attributed to abuse of power.

 To accomplish some of our collective goals and policies – AND to correct some of the shortcomings caused by external economies, diseconomies, indivisibilities, monopolies, emergencies and other derangers of the free market’s Directory service, we have historically chosen to act on such situations directly through government and in doing so, have tended to amass concentrations of power and wealth to achieve these aims.  – Thereby creating even greater imbalances of power in relationships than before. 

 So government is a very imperfect instrument for correcting the misallocations caused by various conditions in a free market economy.  But the problems needing correction are often far worse, and to let the losses and human suffering run its full course is not only intolerable but unnecessary.  We need –

* A system for fast recycling of failure-involved material and human resources into fresh opportunities for success.

* Command and government bodies dealing with such problems to be as temporary as possible.

* Where and to the extent possible, pursuing policies and collective goals through setting or re-setting incentives, to people and interests in the free market, extending the range of conditions and economic activities for which the Directory can serve rationally.  People and interests go to enormous lengths to avoid taxes: a careful system of taxes and tax breaks would allow most of what government now tries to do to be economically and efficiently performed instead in the free market, at far less cost both materially, human, and to human freedom and initiative.  This obvious alternative approach is discussed at http://www.winwenger.com/ebooks/incentive.htm

* We need to move as quickly as possible from merely proposing particular incentives because they seem good, to developing an overall, objective frame of reference.  Because government is so imperfect an instrument even for determining what incentives are needed to offset distortions in the Directory, research should begin immediately to establish a standard and frame of reference, around the concept,

    Total Public Benefits = E + E(eE-eD) and

    Total Private Benefits = D + (D(eD-eG) (see definitions below).

Each commodity’s optimum allocation may be said to exist where, by this Underallocation Formula,

             E + E (eE – eD) – C
       U = —————————-  – C (eC – g) = 0
                D + D (eD – eE)
This value may be computed under these terms:

    +U = the rate of Underallocation;

    -U = the rate of Overallocation;

    D = the direct Divisible or private benefit of the commodity to be realized by the private supplier of that good or service;

    C = Compensatory incentive required to offset externality values;

    e = standard external benefits of income multiplier effect in that sector of the market and investment productivity multiplier effect therein, over some specified time interval;

    g = the standard external benefit of the highest sacrificed alternative, and where the value (eC-g) is maximized.

Please note the distinction between standard e of the most purely private commodities and E which applies to correspondingly less perfectly private commodities. The measure of this distinction evaluates the undesirable incentives which, when not compensated for, foul up the free market’s “guiding hand’s” accuracy in directing private interests toward the common good.

The ultimate measure of standard e tends to fall somewhere between the multipliers of the spending habits of those immediately involved, and those of the community or national average.

As a general yardstick: a commodity’s misallocation, stemming from the divergence of privately and general publicly experienced benefits, and/or from the divergence of privately and generally publicly experienced costs, is corrected by repaying/taxing private spenders according to the value determined by the ratio x over x+y where x/y is the ratio of public to private economies or diseconomies.

(Someone better versed at mathematics and/or at econometrics is welcome to create a simpler, cleaner formula which serves the same purpose of establishing an overall basis of reference for such policies.  Further discussion toward standards and points of reference for policies involving deliberate use of incentives, is found at  http://www.winwenger.com/ebooks/incentive.htm , op.cit.)

The Depth of the Problem is the Scope of our Opportunity. 

 When the problem is deep enough, almost anything will be a substantial improvement. Moreover:

 Nearly everything is locked into equilibrium of one sort or another.  When we try to make a change or improvement in that situation, often we find ourselves trying to overcome the natural resistance and defenses of the situation, when there could be much less wear and tear and expenditure if we found a way to map and work around those defenses – or: to seize the moment when equilibrium is already disturbed and those defenses partially used up.  Even if it were not true, that a major disequilibriation is a unique opportunity to come out way ahead of where you otherwise would have, if you proceed as if it were, you definitely increase your chances in fact of coming out ahead.  This can apply in your own personal life and career, this can apply in your community, this can apply in national policy.  How? – start finding out at the Roadmap at http://www.winwenger.com/solutions.htm, op.cit. 

Discovering Opportunities:  

 In my as-yet unpublished book, Creating Wealth, for Yourself and for Others, in Countries Without Capital, I proposed that almost any problem including societal problem can serve as the basis for a profitable and mutually beneficial enterprise, if we are smart enough to figure out how (again, you might consider the Roadmap).  Writing the original version of that during the fall of communism in Russia and eastern Europe, with reference to those long lines of people standing in the winter darkness in front of all those stores with their shelves empty, I suggested the example of creating, from such skimpy supplies as one might have, tureens of hot soup as the start of such an enterprise, offering bowls of that hot soup up and down the shivering line in return for cash or bartered goods or later favors.  Conditions may have changed since then but the principle not only remains, but weighs strongly in our own present situation.  “Windtunnel” or “Freenote” your way beyond all the stuff you know or think you know about this aspect of the situation and force yourself into a perceptive mode by continuing on through the all-essential, perception-provoking, Flounder-Around-And-Dig stage (http://www.winwenger.com/part72.htm and http://www.winwenger.com/freenote.htm, respectively.)  Or in ImageStreaming, or “Over-the-Wall, ” or “High Thinktank,” or whatever imagery-involved process, go in expecting to be surprised by what your greater brain and mind will show you….and you will be.

Which Experts are Expert?  

 104 mutually exclusive directions: the number of mutually exclusive predictions and recommendations made by – – – – 50 economists. 

 Check back through the news in the past year or so to examine the correlation, if any, between what the experts told us and what then happened.

 As to at least your own situation, YOU are the world expert, more than anyone else.  YOU have the information needed to surmount your own challenges, if you can just find the best way to focus on it.  Each of the hundreds of available problem-solving methods which are now successfully in professional use around the planet, is a way to bring your insights and information into useful focus.  YOU are more than a match for the challenges in YOUR situation.


 Don’t be that deer caught in headlights.  The start of effective problem-solving is your actually starting to do SOMEtbing in reference to the problem instead of letting yourself drift at its mercy.  There are a lot of good, useful things you can do beyond that initial SOMEthing.  There are some pretty clear directions to move in, once we do a little clear thinking about the situation. Hey you: take charge of your own situation!

Special Note to Possible Renaissance University faculty

July 31st, 2009

Special note to possible Renaissance University faculty – – –

Chances are good that the points at which you feel impatience with academia are points where we feel some of that also.

(This includes the several of you who were too bright to wait around for tenure.)

If you are part of the creation of Renaissance University, that is a chance to prove your point!  Help us make that happen.  Please see under  http://www.winwenger.com/prospect.htm and, under the title of Renaissance University, contact us through wwenger101@aol.com  

Core of Our Case:

July 25th, 2009

We are preparing articles around the core of our case for use of modern Socratic method in the classroom.  In the meantime, here are elements of that core:

 1) Inarguable fact: that nearly all human learning is by association. This is especially significant in learning which involves some conceptual understanding.  As Jean Piaget, Jerome S. Bruner and others demonstrate, each current learning involves a long succession of concepts previously experienced and learned.

2) Inarguable fact: each of us, in our wide variety as human beings and in our varying life histories, has our own individual associations to bring to bear in learning whatever content. 

 3) Observation that we invite anyone to challenge: that it is much easier to get each various student to make his own associations with current learning content – regardless of his educational background and level, preferred learning style, preferred cognitive style, Gardnerian intelligence, etc. – than it is for even the best teachers to provide the appropriate associations to the range of their various students.

4) Further observation: that an astonishingly easy way to arrange that students provide their own associations for whatever topic of learning, is via the group-focusing “buzz-discussion” easy control technique known as “Dynamic Format”  ( http://www.winwenger.com/dynform.htm). 

5) Further Fact: such leading educators as Maria Montessori, John Dewey, and O.K. Moore, plus the father of neurophysiology Santiago Ramon y Cajal, plus the leading neurophysiologist of our time Marion Diamond, have found that not only learning, but sheer raw physical growth and development of the physical brain, derives best and mainly from feedback upon one’s own actions.  See article beginning at http://www.winwenger.com/feed1.htm    This conclusion supports strongly the use of focused interactive “buzzgroup” methods such as the above-cited “Dynamic Format.”

6) Our contentions:

   A) The easily-used “Dynamic Format” is easier to work with, and focuses students more immediately, more readily and more deeply on the key concepts of a lesson, than any classroom method now in widespread conventional use.

   B) “Dynamic Format” is, in fact, easier for teachers to use than any other teaching method this side of simply flipping on a media switch. Its use also affords teachers the opportunity to regroup themselves in mid-lesson, and to really observe and discover where their students are in relation to what they are trying to teach them.

   C) Besides spectacular leaps of understanding common to both this modern form and the classical forms of Socratic Method, the extensive practiced use of thoughtful, reasoned, perceptive language which Dynamic Format occasions, rapidly builds cumulative skills in students which benefit and feed into almost every facet of their educational experience.

   D) Classical Socratic Method, the best-tested and consistently best-productive teaching and accelerated-learning method throughout 2400 years of history, had both strong points and weak points.  Our version of modern Socratic method, centered on use of Dynamic Format which can be used to turn everyone in the classroom including every student, into being a Socrates to each other and to himself, has only the strong points and these have even been strengthened. This includes the fact that classical Socratic method was so costly it could only be afforded by the very elite, while our modern method can be afforded virtually for free, for everyone once it becomes known.

We request that you bring this information to the attention of educators and education-related officials, together with our invitation to anyone to challenge any of the above, together with our invitation to consider what it means if it turns out that the above points are indeed correct, which they are.

….win wenger

Responses and dialog warmly invited: wwenger101@aol.com 

Babies Appear to Innately Understand Dog Language

July 25th, 2009

Click here: Babies Can Comprehend ‘Canine’ Language – Yahoo! News


6-months-old babies with little or no experience of dogs are able to match pictures – of dogs barking with various emotions  – with the sounds of such barks.  This adds to a long and growing list of studies which demonstrate that babies come into this world already equipped with a wide array of functioning faculties and skills which then get refined by experience.

(Rick, I’ve sent the story to you directly in case you’d like to do more or differently with it.   …w)

An Easy Way to Pull Excess CO2 Out of the Atmosphere?

July 23rd, 2009

                    A Way to Sequester Carbon Di-Oxide

This one didn’t come by any specific technique, but probably came because I’ve been practicing use of some of our creativity techniques.  The idea arrived yesterday evening (July 21, ’09), unbidden but welcome.

As you know, there has been a bit of discussion in recent years about the human-caused spike in CO2, a greenhouse gas trapping heat, in our atmosphere, accompanied by a rise in global temperatures apparently caused by that spike.  As the global climate warms, glacial and polar ice is melting away and all that melt water is raising oceanic sea levels at an accelerating rate, threatening to do a permanent New Orleans to all our coastal cities.  Various researchers – and various enterprises – are seeking to reduce atmospheric carbon di-oxide levels by sequestering CO2 and/or carbon back underground.  Most of their methods for trapping and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere involve industrial processes whose cost in energy-use itself produces a “carbon footprint,” and whose material costs raise doubts as to whether they could ever be applied on a scale large enough to significantly affect the global climate.

But here is a consideration: what if we let nature, our abuse of which is what has gotten us in trouble, do most of the work for us of correcting the problem?  Here is a way to significantly improve, perhaps even cure, the problem of excess CO2 in our atmosphere:

1) At the lowest point of Death Valley, excavate even some feet deeper with dozers and explosives over a few square miles.  (This is already well below sea level, even before such an excavation.

2) Let in, or pump in, a little water, either fresh or brackish depending upon the type of algae to be used.  Seed the resulting shallow lake with algae.

3) The algae quickly overgrows and chokes the lake.

4) Let the mess dry out, cover it over with a few inches of sand or dirt.

5) Let in, or pump in,  a little more water atop all this and seed the resulting shallow lake with more algae, then repeat steps 3, 4, 5 until the millions of tons of carbon from all that algae are accumulated into a cubic mile or so of the lowest-lying reaches of Death Valley.  That would then be one of the most fertile stretches of land on Earth, and with irrigation from the equipment mustered in steps #s 2 & 5, could be used either for agricultural purposes or to plant a forest.

Why Death Valley?  Most of that blighted desert is already well below sea-level: the carbon sequestered there would be unlikely to leak out to become a problem again somewhere else.  There are several such places around the planet which could be so used, with favorable ecological effect upon their surroundings.

I don’t yet have a dollar cost guessimate for this procedure, but with nature doing nearly all the work for us – growing that algae as she tends to do so so very prolifically, from green-scummed ponds to oceanic algae “blooms” – I’m certain that the dollar costs are way less than with any of the other carbon-sequestration proposals offered thus far, and the scale of the project could well be sufficient to significantly help solve the global climate crisis.  Further, should conditions change, all that carbon would be lying there to be easily retrieved, to use either as fertilizer or as a fuel (I still think that fast-growing algae is the most economical path to alternative biofuel). For agricultural use, if an adequate large-scale system for charring that mass of algae can be found, that then provides a superfertilizer most of the carbon of which stays in the ground after application.

Looks like a nice enterprise for someone to pick up on…..  Know anyone to whom it might be a good idea to pass this idea on?




Editors and Associate Editors Wanted!

July 23rd, 2009

Variety of projects and tasks – for the time being in joint venture and/or in very worthy causes.  IT skills especially welcome.  Help make a positive difference: write under headline “Editors” to wwenger101@aol.com

Relating to IQ, Intelligence & Brain Function:

July 23rd, 2009

Click here: IQ and Heart Disease Link – AOL Health


Scottish researchers have reported, in HealthDay, that the lower one’s IQ, the higher is his risk of heart disease and/or stroke.  Some of the difference they attributed to socioeconomic status, which also correlates somewhat with IQ.

Comment: We already knew that IQ correlated with longevity and inversely with pulmonary disease factors. Further, Win has known privately of numerous cases of mental retardation, in process of being rehabilitated largely through the brain stimulation programs of Glenn Doman at Philadelphia’s Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, who apparently shed their pulmonary vulnerabilities as they gained in intelligence.  – Which should not be too surprising since the brain operates the entire body and that Doman program centers on repairing brains into better working order generally.  Extending some part of these observations into areas of heart and stroke, which this Scottish research appears to be doing, gives us further and quite profound reasons for working to increase intelligence and improve brain function.

Anyone who still thinks that cannot be done: Google for “brain plasticity” or “neural plasticity” and you will get a major face-full of mostly well-done scientific studies demonstrating the brain’s ability and tendency to transform itself to better handle the level and type of information it’s been handling over the previous year or so.  Some factors, of course, increase intelligence more than do other factors.  Formal measurement and comparison studies between these are as yet nonexistant, due to the half century or so that professionals in related fields were so totally convinced that intelligence couldn’t change that some went to great lengths to prevent any studies being run which could have proved their position to be in error.  From experience, on an as-yet informal basis, we in Project Renaissance hold these to be among the stronger factors and methods for improving brain function and intelligence:

1) ImageStreaming, which integrates communications across much of the brain.  Free instructions HOW to ImageStream and even how to teach ImageStreaming, not only practice it, are found in clusters of articles beginning at http://www.winwenger.com/WelcomeIS.htm and at http://www.winwenger.com/imstream.htm

2) Held-Breath Underwater Swimming, by the double action of improved circulation to the physical brain to improve the brain’s general physical condition, and improving attention-span by improving breathing span or respiratory capacity.  Circulation to the brain is improved by two mechanisms: extra CO2 in the bloodstream expanding the Carotid arteries, and those arteries expanded further by the Mammalian Diving Response, common to all mammals including humans, which shunts still more circulation to the brain and internal organs when one is underwater.  See details at http://www.winwenger.com/ebooks/guaran3.htm and at http://www.winwenger.com/part61.htm and http://www.winwenger.com/part77.htm

3) Noticing, identifying, and posing yourself questions or defining problems which truly need to be answered or solved, every day – and then setting out to solve them.  For that purpose help yourself to any of the self-taught easy methods for solving problems, to which you will find a descriptive roadmap atlas at http://www.winwenger.com/solving.htm   These are all free online.  Equipped with these tools, you are more than a match for almost any problem, question or challenge.  You are brighter than you think.  Taking on and solving each day one or more of the problems well worth solving, will also make you brighter.

4) Improvitaping, as described in http://www.winwenger.com/archives/part13.htm and at http://www.winwenger.com/part91.htm .  Even non-musicians can end up composing pretty good music,  and musicians can quickly learn new skills and nuances with their instrument, through Improvitaping practice, but it’s the rapid-expressive-flow-with-feedback which also serves as a major brain- and intelligence-builder. Nuanced art and music involve much of the brain and their involved experience builds many intellectual functions.

5) Pole-Bridging in the brain.  Any one of a hundred activities which require an expansion and speeding-up of communications between differing regions of the brain, will improve intelligence, for reasons described in the book, The Einstein Factor, and partly addressed online at http://www.winwenger.com/part73.htm  Among these hundred activities are the above-mentioned ImageStreaming, and learning to sight-read and play music.

6) Rapid Expressive-Flow-With-Feedback is mainly what builds the brain, for reasons detailed in the article beginning at http://www.winwenger.com/feed1.htm  Table tennis and, potentially, some computer games if they can be made more three-dimensional, are among the many activities where this principle can be harnessed to build not only intelligence but important hand-eye coordination which feeds neurologically into other important brain functions.

7) Taking on new challenges, learning new skills and new contexts, every few weeks or months throughout life, not only gives you more and more of the world, but a higher intelligence and a greater margin for avoiding Alzheimer’s.

8) Writing a book or several books, on matters and perspectives which you feel and believe are deeply important.  This action is superb for organizing and giving definition to your thoughts and perceptions.  Each book, so long as you believe you are working on something vital, will be life-transformative for you.  Even if you never publish – but work on that book with the intention and expectation of publishing, you need that external audience to help give focus and definition to your thoughts and perceptions.

9) Read, read, read – omnivourously and voraciously, some of it to find out things, some of it for pleasure including fiction.  Why the latter?  Nearly all learning is by association.  There is a lot of information in the better fiction, more richly related because it is presented to you in context.  If you keep yourself aware of and can distinguish fact from fiction, reading fiction can be an extraordinarily rich avenue for feeding your brain and intelligence.

10) Capture your ideas and observations.  Journals, diaries, or in the Idea Butterfly Net represented by your pocket audio recorder or notepad carried with you at all times.  Each time you let an idea slip away from you or a half-noticed observation slip away from you without your making some sort of concrete response to it, you are reinforcing your own uncreativity and unperceptiveness – you are reinforcing, on each such occasion you let these slip away from you and evaporate, the notion that your own ideas and perceptions aren’t worth dealing with.  Conversely, each idea that you do concretely respond to such as capturing it in your Idea Butterfly Net, you are not only reinforcing that particular idea for possible later use, you are reinforcing the trait, the behavior, of being creative.  Each observation recorded (which is how natural philosophy and the sciences got started!), you are reinforcing perceptiveness in yourself.  Exactly how creative and how perceptive you are is now entirely a matter of your own choice, completely under your own control by this utterly simple principle and device.

There are also plenty of other methods for increasing intelligence, some of them pretty great, and now that it’s recognized in polite company that there can be, no doubt a vast multitude of diverse such methods will emerge.  Meanwhile, these few methods just above should give you a nice little bit to move forward on.

Cheap Space Travel for Everyone???

July 23rd, 2009

We can have space in our time?

Click here: Scramjets promise space travel for all – space – 22 July 2009 – New Scientist


Advances in the technology of air-breathing jet engines – including scramjets and ballistic rocketplane hybrids – promise space flight made almost as inexpensive as air flight within a generation, accessible to nearly everyone.  Some models would even use the same ground facilities as do our airlines today, according to some researchers.  Ordinary ballistic rockets have to carry their own oxidiser – about 85% of their fuel weight – and only a tiny part of the total rocket package gets re-used: the rest is throw-away.  Air-breathers get not only their oxidiser from our ordinary aid but lift as well, until they reach space.

Our comment: although this is still a developing science and technology, compared to our own launch system ( http://www.winwenger.com/launch.htm) whose technology is entirely off-the-shelf and available today, the per-unit costs of such air-breathers might even be better than those of our own proposed launch system.  Further, the two very different options are not mutually exclusive and might make a nicely complementary synthesis.

What begins to come into focus for us as an optimal strategy for space development, would be development and use of air-breathers and/or our launch system for low-orbit near-space operations, together with development of ion-drive and solar sail long-duration propulsion systems for high-orbit and deep-space activities.  Such activities to include capture and mining of NEOs – Near-Earth Orbiting asteroids – for a new space-based industrial epoch free of Earth’s gravity well, among other things creating new deep space probes and larger-scale orbital space habitats.  Major tax break incentives and prizes should be focused to encourage accelerated development of these things on a broad basis by private enterprise with the kinds of initiative and efficiency which are induced by some aspects of the free marketplace.  Even with the recession (which now appears to have just ended), our economy and most major economies around the world can support such developments today and thrive in doing so – but the same may no longer be true ten or twenty years hence as we compound  our mistakes here on Earth and undergo consequences of the mistakes already made.  Now is the opportunity we can be sure of if we decide to use it.




Losing more ice

July 16th, 2009

Click here: Arctic glacier to lose Manhattan-sized ‘tongue’ – environment – 14 July 2009 – New Scientist


The great ice shelves of Antarctica are not the only masses of ice breaking away to sea these days. The largest glacier in the Arctic, Petermann Glacier, is about to lose it’s “tongue,” five billion tons of ice which is in the act of breaking away as a floating island the size of Manhatten.  This tongue portion, over an inlet of water, has resisted the accelerating melt and movement of the glacier, and it’s loss will greatly speed up the melting away of that glacier in Greenland the way the glaciers have failed in Antarctica near the shores where the shelves broke away.  Warmer waters are reaching further, and the diminishment of reflective ice is increasing the amount of solar warmth being absorbed by darker land and waters.

Our sister world, Venus, once had oceans?

July 16th, 2009

Click here: Gallery – Probe hints Venus once had oceans and plate tectonics – Image 1 – New Scientist


Discovery of what appear to be granites around much of the surface of planet Venus means that our twin sister world once had oceans, where now simmer 800 degree Fahrenheit desolations under a hellishly deep high-pressure poison atmosphere.  Granite needs both subduction plate tectonics and water in order to form.  The discovery was made from orbit by Europe’s Venus Express probe.  How did Venus and Earth, originally so alike, get to be so terribly different?  What do we need – perhaps urgently – to learn from this?