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02 декабря, 17:31

'Swift Playgrounds' Adds 'Hour Of Code' Challenges For Children (And Parents)

Swift Playgrounds helps children learn the Swift programming language. It's adding new Hour of Code challenges for Computer Science Education Week.

01 декабря, 22:01

Give the Gift of Code

Last year, I had the pleasure of becoming friends with the two young ladies in the photo above. We met when my colleagues and I volunteered to teach an "Hour of Code" at their school in collaboration with Code.org. Zipping through coding games - like Minecraft, Frozen and Angry Birds - it became very clear who was teaching whom. It was amazing to watch these girls' natural aptitude and excitement for technology blossom before my eyes. Technology drives innovation in the global economy. Yet, the juxtaposition of the opportunity vs. the reality for building technology skills in young people today exposes a major gap. According to Code.org, the 43,000 computer science graduates who entered the workforce in the U.S. last year made only a small dent in the 500,000+ computing jobs that are unfilled. And, 90% of parents want students to study computer science; yet, only 40% of schools teach programming in the U.S., and just six states have created K-12 computer science standards. It begs the question: Why aren't kids who are growing up surrounded by technology learning about algorithms, the cloud and making apps - just like they learn about grammar, multiplication and the law of gravity? Industry is seizing the opportunity to fill this gap - sparking an interest in technology and introducing basic STEM skills. In the last few years, the number of STEM toys in the market has increased significantly. Search "STEM toys" on Amazon and you get over 2,000 hits. Fisher-Price introduced "Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar," where kids connect different segments to make the toy light up, move in different paths and make noises. The more kids rearrange Code-a-Pillar pieces, the more they develop critical thinking skills by "programming" different combinations to send it in different directions. It mimics the same planning and sequencing skills as coding, while encouraging curiosity, problem solving and experimentation. My friend's 4-year-old daughter, pictured below, gives Code-a-Pillar a big thumbs- up. Interestingly, she had it scooting across the floor while mom and dad were still reading the directions! I see coding in her future ... Programmable robots like Ozobots and Dash & Dot, Kano - where you build your own computer - and puzzles and block games like Cubetto and Puzzlet have all hit the shelves. Even Barbie is getting into the game: STEM Barbie was unveiled recently, and kids can construct models (for accessories in Barbie's Dreamhouse - who doesn't need a revolving shoe carousel?) and do science experiments. Another way to help close the STEM gap is to teach kids to code. Accenture is partnering with Code.org again this year to promote Hour of Code on December 5-11. There are many ways to get involved ... work 1:1 with a child (your own, nieces and nephews or neighbors), volunteer in a school, or host an event. I promise you will have as much fun as the kids. It's easy - no prior coding experience is needed. Last year, Accenture spent over 12,000 hours helping kids learn to code in 196 cities and 56 countries around the world. We aim to surpass those numbers this year because we believe that, in one hour, you really can change the world. Join me and my colleagues and give the gift of code this holiday season. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

01 декабря, 19:37

FACT SHEET: Progress and Momentum in Support of TechHire Initiative

In March 2015, the President launched the TechHire initiative based on a simple idea: Building a pipeline of tech talent can bring new jobs to local economies, facilitate business growth, and give local residents a pathway into the middle class. To build such a pipeline, TechHire addresses employers’ great need for technology talent with emerging models for quickly training people with limited ingoing technology skills to be job-ready in months, not years. Today, there are nearly 600,000 open IT jobs across all sectors—more than two-thirds of which are in fields outside the tech sector, such as manufacturing, financial services and healthcare. These jobs pay one and a half times more than the average private-sector job, and training takes less than a year with emerging programs like “coding bootcamps,” free open data trainings, and online courses like the Department of Commerce’s Data Usability Project and massive open online courses (MOOCs) by the Federal government, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. Since its launch, TechHire communities across the country have piloted fast-track training programs designed to give people skills that are in high demand by employers. So far over 4,000 people have been trained and connected to work opportunities with local employers, earning average salaries of well over median income. Today, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith announced how private organizations will seize on this progress with new steps to meet the scale of the opportunity. Expansion of TechHire to over 70 Cities, States, and Rural Areas. Earlier this spring, we announced that communities had exceeded the President’s goal of doubling the size of the TechHire initiative, reaching a total of 50 communities. Yet even after we made the announcement, new communities continued expressing interest to participate—so today, we are announcing 20 new communities joining the TechHire initiative, working with about 500 employers (and counting). As of today, communities in 39 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico, have joined TechHire. Growth of theTechHire Action Network. Today, we are announcing a partnership between [email protected], an independent social enterprise, and the U.S. Department of Education to take the lead in continuing to support, organize and grow the more than 70 cities, states, and rural areas participating in the TechHire initiative. TechUP's Include.io 27-City Roadshow 2017. TechUP | WeTechUP.com is launching the Include.io 2017 Roadshow across 27 cities in the United States to ignite 100,000 diverse and non-traditional tech talent and help 1,000 companies build their best teams. The Challenge and Opportunity People Need Opportunities to Retool and Retrain for Good Jobs More than Ever Over the past decade, towns across America have experienced shifts in prevalent industries and jobs due to rapidly evolving technologies and other factors. These changes have too often made workers’ skills less relevant, impacting their employment options and, in some cases, leading to spells of unemployment that make it difficult for families to meet even their most basic of needs. When workers lose their jobs or get stuck in lower-wage jobs because of local economic shifts due to no fault of their own, they should have clear pathways to the middle class. Technology jobs can offer this pathway. Nearly 40 percent of these jobs do not require a four-year degree. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of fast-track tech training programs like “coding bootcamps” that prepare people with little technical know-how for tech jobs, often in just a few months. A recent survey from Course Report found that bootcamp graduates saw salary gains of 38 percent (or about $18,000 annually) after completing their programs. The U.S. is Massively Underinvesting in Training for Jobs in Technology and Other In-Demand Fields to Meet Employers’ Needs In the face of a large and growing need of companies and workers to retool and retrain, the U.S. is massively underinvesting in job training programs. The federal government’s largest job training investment program only trains about 180,000 U.S. workers per year.  America spends 0.03 percent of GDP on training while other countries are investing nearly 20 times more. And in spite of the evidence that apprenticeships are one of the most effective training tools, fewer than five percent of workers in the U.S. train as apprentices, relative to 60 percent in Germany. In early 2010, there were 14.4 million unemployed Americans. Current funding levels would only allocate $212 per person for training and reemployment services, an insufficient amount compared to a $1,700 average semester cost for a community college. During times of high unemployment in 2009, many states reported training waiting lists of thousands of people long due to funding gaps. Training workers in the US for 21st-century jobs will require a significant increase in investment from current levels, which are far below Germany and other European countries. This investment would benefit our businesses, our workers, and our economy by focusing on technology and other in-demand skills that are critical to fill existing jobs and attract and create new jobs in communities. More Details on Today’s Announcements Expansion of TechHire to over 70 Cities, States, and Rural Areas with 20 New Communities Signing on Today The TechHire initiative began in March 2015 with 21 communities, and today it has grown to over 70 communities working with 1,500 employers on three key actions: Opening up recruiting and hiring pathways for people without traditional credentials who can demonstrate that they have the skills to succeed in a tech job regardless of where those skills were attained. Recruiting, incubating, and expanding accelerated tech learning programs – such as high quality coding bootcamps and innovative online training – which enable interested, unexperienced students to rapidly gain tech skills. Connecting people to jobs by investing in and working with organizations that can vouch for those who have the skills to do the job, but who may lack the typical profile of education and experience. 20 New TechHire Communities Announced Today Today, the following 20 communities are joining the TechHire initiative: Alachua and Bradford Counties, FL Anchorage, AL Arizona (State of) Bellevue, WA Boston, MA Carroll County, MD Central Florida El Paso County, TX Howard County, MD Mobile, AL Oklahoma City, OK Omaha, NE Pensacola, FL Puerto Rico Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico Stamford, CT Tampa Bay, FL Toledo, OH Trenton City, NJ Tulsa, OK A detailed summary of each community can be found at the end of this document. Growth of TechHire Action Network [email protected], an independent social enterprise, will partner with the U.S. Department of Education and others to continue to support TechHire communities to implement, grow, amplify, and sustain their TechHire initiatives locally and across the country and organize the Action Network. Key goals of TechHire and the Action Network include: Connecting employers to nontraditional, often overlooked, and more diverse tech talent and lifting up best practices from model companies. Aggregating resources and partnerships to help underrepresented groups access and progress on tech career pathways. Recruiting new TechHire communities and partners across sectors to support TechHire and advance the goal to expand access to fast-track tech training for underrepresented groups. Developing and collecting tools and resources on TechHire.org to support job seekers, employers, educators, and community partners. Working with communities to identify and leverage federal, state, local, and philanthropic funding more effectively to support TechHire activities and accelerated tech training. Expanding the learning network of TechHire leaders across the country, convene national and regional events to promote collaboration among TechHire hubs, share best practices, and troubleshoot common challenges. For more details, visit the TechHire.org page. TechUP's Include.io 27-City Roadshow 2017 The TechUP + Include.io roadshow will bring together TechHire partners, technologists, recruiting leaders, and local community innovators to showcase the depth and breadth of incredible, diverse tech talent across the Unites States. Each city event features tech demos, workshops, and a career fair to highlight the next generation of technologists, thought leaders, and scale human connections. Their goal will be to spark local tech ecosystems, build momentum around inclusion, fill open tech jobs and change the face of technology. --- Summary Descriptions of the 20 Communities Joining TechHire Today We are pleased that communities continue to spread the TechHire initiative across the country, and today we announce an additional 20 communities who have developed cross-sector coalitions to train workers with the tech skills they need for the open tech jobs that local employers are seeking to fill. A summary of each of the communities is below: Alachua and Bradford Counties, FL In Alachua and Bradford counties, Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL, CareerSource of North Central Florida (CSNCFL), the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce will collaborate with Gainesville Dev Academy and others to train and place at least 300 individuals into programming and app development jobs by 2020. This program will help serve local tech jobs across all sectors, including local tech companies like Immersed Games, MindTree, Onward Development, NextGen, and Verigo. Anchorage, AL Led by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, the Anchorage Mayor's Office will work with Anchorage Community Land Trust, Code for Anchorage, Future Coders of Alaska, Lynda.com, Coursera, and other programs to train and place over 500 workers into tech jobs by 2020. Once trained, program graduates will fill the needs of local employers including GCI, Municipality of Anchorage, Resource Data. Inc, and PangoMedia, as well as help retain Anchorage's top talent. To help connect graduates to jobs, the Alaska Department of Labor aims to revamp the interface for the state job-seeker platform. Arizona (State of) The State of Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity will leverage a “No Wrong Door” approach to recruit disconnected youth and nontraditional candidates into tech training and jobs across industries from aerospace & defense to financial services. The Arizona Tech Council, Arizona’s premier trade association for science and tech companies, will help leverage the resources of the tech community to focus on expanding tech talent, along with the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations. In partnership with the University of Arizona and other local training providers, TechHire Arizona aims to train and place over 100 individuals across southern Arizona and Maricopa County over the next year, which is slated to increase to well over 500 individuals across Arizona by 2020. Bellevue, WA TechHire Bellevue will bring together local employers, government and workforce development resources, with educational support from Coding Dojo and Bellevue College to facilitate training and hiring of local talent into tech jobs. The TechHire effort aligns with local employers' missions to increase workforce diversity. Examples include Microsoft's LEAP and Civic Tech programs, as well as Expedia, which has hired nearly a dozen Coding Dojo graduates to date. TechHire Bellevue will specifically target under-served populations locally, including minorities, veterans and the homeless, to help them learn and connect with local tech jobs. Boston, MA A regional consortium of Boston employers and training providers are blazing the path to IT jobs, led by the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), the City's workforce development board, and SkillWorks, a regional funders' collaborative. Companies from a range of sectors—including healthcare, education, government, technology, and finance—will support the initiative. TechHire Boston plans to more than double the number of high school Tech Apprentices from 100 to 250 and increase the number of individuals connected to IT-related jobs to 500 by 2020. Carroll County, MD Carroll County employers, training providers, and community organizations are uniting to train and employ more than 200 local tech workers by 2020. Led by Carroll Community College, the Carroll Technology Council and the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory, Inc. (MAGIC), a broad group of partnering organizations will connect local participants in leading-edge tech training programs to a network of over 520 county employers. Central Florida CareerSource Central Florida is developing a coalition across sectors to train and place 100 people within the year and 400 people by 2020 into tech jobs, with an emphasis on serving underemployed, minority, and female candidates. The University of Central Florida, Valencia College, and Florida Institute of Technology will each play a role in developing trainings for students to quickly learn tech skills. Businesses from across Florida that participate in the Florida High Tech Corridor Council will support the initiative with an array of commitments, including commitments to consult on course design, interview candidates, and provide on-the-job learning opportunities. El Paso County, TX Emerging companies in El Paso County will soon have an influx of talent, thanks to collaboration among the Workforce Solutions Borderplex Development Board Area and local partners to lead Reboot El Paso, a collective effort to create and expand IT career pathways. The initiative aims to train and place 400 individuals into tech jobs by 2020. First, the coalition will build awareness among non-traditional candidates, with an emphasis on veterans, the long-term unemployed, and youth. Then, the coalition commits to develop a pipeline to jobs with employer partners and assess applicants for fit to the jobs with competencies rather than credentials. Finally, the coalition will connect graduates to jobs. Howard County, MD Howard Community College and the Howard Tech Council (HTC) will come together to train individuals for jobs in tech fields including computer science, information technology, cybersecurity, and computer forensics. Howard County's TechHire initiative will leverage an apprenticeship model, whereby trainees can participate in on-the-job learning with the over 200 regional employers that participate in Howard Tech Council. By 2020, the Howard County TechHire initiative aims to train and place 800 individuals, with an emphasis on the long-term unemployed, minorities, and the military. Mobile, AL The City of Mobile, Alabama will partner with the Gulf Coast Technology Council and 17 employers to develop industry-driven training, including customized capacity building for incumbent workers, a coding bootcamp pilot, and advanced manufacturing technical trainings for entry-level job seekers. The trainings will be facilitated by Depot/U, Iron Yard, and General Assembly. This program will include opportunities for trainees to network with local employers seeking talent, including Accureg Software, AM/NS Calvert, Rural Sourcing Inc., and The Red Square Agency. By 2020, the collaborative aims to train and hire 500 technical workers, including those who are underemployed and dislocated, boosting Mobile’s burgeoning tech community. Oklahoma City, OK StarSpace46, Inc., Creative Oklahoma, and Techlahoma Foundation will work with fast-track and agile training programs to train and place 500 IT workers by 2020. With commitments from employers spanning from the aerospace sector to the not-for-profit sector, trainees will gain and utilize skills in native mobile development, user interface design, and front-end and application development. Students will also gain access to mentorship in entrepreneurship and business. Omaha, NE Omaha is bringing together AIM and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, including traditional and start-up employers alike, in their effort to develop a local tech training and employment ecosystem. Local training bootcamps have committed to help train over 1,000 people by 2020, to help fill local tech jobs in industries from financial services to tech. Pensacola, FL Pensacola State College will collaborate with employer convener Innovation Coast, Inc., including community workforce partners Global Business Solutions, Inc. (GBSI), Technical Software Services, Inc. (TECHSOFT), Gulf Power Company, AppRiver, and the Institute of Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC), to train and place 200 technology workers by 2020. With a focus on veterans, minorities, and economically disadvantaged individuals in the Pensacola area, students can gain skills across IT fields, including cybersecurity, coding, and networking. In addition to training, this initiative includes opportunities to make connections with potential employers and reduce unemployment. Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico NMTechWorks is a community coalition in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico with support from the Mayor’s Office, local employers, and non-profits. This multi-sector effort is designed to map, expand, and link pathways to tech careers, especially for rural, Native American, and Spanish-speaking community members. The Community Learning Network and StartUp Santa Fe are teaming with Cultivating Coders, a locally-based accelerated training provider, and others to grow the IT pipeline and train more than 500 students by 2020 for high-demand tech jobs with employers such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory, OpenEye Scientific Software, and Descartes Labs. Tampa Bay, FL CareerSource Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County’s workforce development board, will fast-track critical IT training and employment opportunities for well over 1,000 local out-of-school youth and young adults through 2020. Employers across industries, such as BayCare Health Systems and Cognizant Technology Solutions, are partnering with the initiative in order to advance the economic health and technology industry of the community. Trenton City, NJ The Trenton TechHire initiative is a cross-sector partnership between employers, City of Trenton’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, and Agile Strategies group, local education institutions, and local nonprofit organizations. This collaboration will prepare over 150 residents for tech jobs across sectors by 2020. Partners such as FCC Consulting Services, Tektite Industries, Inc., New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, and Power Magnetics, Inc. will meet regularly with Shiloh Community Development Corporation and the City of Trenton to strengthen and sustain the initiative. Tulsa, OK In Tulsa, 36 Degrees North, Techlahoma and a network of workforce and education partners will collaborate to quickly train candidates for tech jobs with local employers including ConsumerAffairs and Mozilla. With strong support from the Mayor’s Office, Tulsa TechHire plans to train and place 600 candidates, including women and youth, into tech jobs across sectors by 2020. Puerto Rico In Puerto Rico, co-working space Piloto 151 and Codetrotters Academy have launched a strong public-private partnership with support from the Puerto Rico IT Cluster, the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development (DDEC) and the Puerto Rico Science & Technology Research Trust. The Puerto Rico TechHire initiative will bring together a wide range of local technology companies and startups, including Rock Solid Technologies, Spotery, Migo IQ, and Wovenware, among others, in order to train and place 100 workers into tech jobs over the next year, ramping up to 300 workers by 2020. Toledo. OH Tech Toledo, the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, and OhioMeansJobs Lucas County are initiating an information technology workforce alliance to address short-term needs and develop longer-term programs for IT internships and apprenticeship programs. Tech Toledo will work with employers such as Meyer Hill Lynch, Toledo Lucas County Public Library, and The Andersons, Inc., to find and develop training to help fill their in-demand IT job needs. Tech Toledo will place at least 100 workers into tech jobs by 2020. Stamford, CT The City of Stamford and the Connecticut Department of Labor are working with Crashcode and The Business Council of Fairfield County to train and place 1,000 new workers into tech jobs by 2020 via an accelerated training program. Regional tech companies including Datto, CometaWorks, Comradity, GoNation, CTFN, and others will support with training design and hiring opportunities for graduates.

Выбор редакции
01 декабря, 14:08

BRIEF-Oracle announces three-year investment totaling $1.4 bln

* Oracle - announces three-year investment totaling $1.4 billion in direct and in-kind support of computer science education throughout EU states Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

30 ноября, 18:03

Tools for Would-Be Biohackers: Here Come 3 Mini-Labs

Eliza Strickland writing in Spectrum: At Biofabricate three startups were present to argue that DIYers just need a little technological assist. The companies, Amino Labs, Biorealize, and Spiderwort, all make DIY bio instruments that automate some of the tricky and tedious parts of biology experiments. Photo: BiorealizeThese entrepreneurs say the current moment in synthetic biology is akin to the 1970s in computer science, when microcomputers first appeared in kits that could be assembled in hobbyists’ basement workshops. Make it cheap and easy to tinker, they say, and revolution will follow...[more]

30 ноября, 17:00

FACT SHEET: Celebrating President Obama’s Top 10 Actions to Advance Entrepreneurship, and Announcing New Steps to Build on These Successes

“[I]t has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things—some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor—who have carried us up the long rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.” – President Obama, Inaugural Address, January 21, 2009 America’s entrepreneurial economy is the envy of the world.  Young companies account for almost 30 percent of new jobs, and as we have fought back from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, startups have helped the U.S. private sector create 15.5 million jobs since early 2010—the longest streak of private-sector job creation on record.  Today, in celebration of National Entrepreneurship Month, the Administration is releasing a Top 10 list of President Obama’s most significant specific actions to promote American entrepreneurship, as well as announcing new efforts to build on these successes.  The President’s unprecedented focus on the role of startups in the United States’ innovation economy is exemplified by his launch of Startup America in 2011, a White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the Nation.  Thanks to the grit, determination, and creativity of entrepreneurs all across the country, American startup activity is rebounding and growing more inclusive of historically underrepresented groups and regions.  Studies indicate that: Reversing a downward cycle that began during the Great Recession, U.S. startup activity ascended last year, representing the largest year-over-year increase in the last two decades, while measures of startup revenue and employment growth have rebounded across industries as well.  New companies created 889,000 jobs in the final quarter of 2015—the highest job creation number since 2008. Rates of entrepreneurship have increased for Latinos, African Americans, and immigrants between 1996 and 2015. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms is estimated to have grown at a rate five times the national average, including a more than doubling of the number of firms owned by African American women and Latinas. American startups are not only rebounding, they are taking root in more communities all across the country—for example, the share of U.S. metro areas that attracted early stage venture capital has increased by around 50 percent since 2009. The number of U.S. startup accelerator programs increased from fewer than 30 in 2009 to over 170 in 2015, providing mentorship and early funding to thousands of startups across 35 states plus D.C. and 54 metro areas. Access to capital for high-growth entrepreneurs has improved significantly since 2009, with venture capital investment up an estimated 200 percent, far exceeding its pre-recession peak, and angel investment up 40 percent, approaching its pre-recession peak.  Compared with 137 countries, the United States continues to top the rankings in the Global Entrepreneurship Index, with the world’s most favorable conditions for entrepreneurs to start and scale new companies. Over the past 8 years, many of the President’s signature achievements have significantly increased opportunities for entrepreneurs to take smart risks and build the next generation of great American companies:  the Affordable Care Act is making it easier for entrepreneurs to buy health insurance, unlocking them from traditional employer-based coverage; the Pay As You Earn program is making it easier for entrepreneurs to pay off student loan debt; the Open Data Initiative has unlocked over 200,000 government datasets as raw material for entrepreneurial innovation; ConnectED and ConnectALL are allowing aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere to access high-speed broadband, while a strong net neutrality policy ensures a free and open internet; and the President signed into law the largest annual increase in research and development funding in America’s history. Breaking down barriers for all entrepreneurs is not the task of just one Administration.  For example, studies suggest that the share of venture-funded startups with women founders has nearly doubled in 5 years—but it is still only 18 percent.  Continuing to reverse America’s 40-year decline in startup activity will require building on the President’s record of addressing income inequality, promoting competitive markets, reducing unduly restrictive occupational licensing, and scaling up rapid training for 21st century technology skills. In addition to releasing today’s Top 10 list of President Obama’s specific actions to promote entrepreneurship, the Administration is also announcing new private-sector actions to promote inclusive entrepreneurship. New Actions by Organizations Answering the President’s Call to Action Engineering deans from over 200 universities are committing to building a more-representative student talent pipeline.  At the first-ever White House Demo Day in 2015, 102 engineering deans pledged to develop concrete diversity plans for their programs to tap into diverse talent.  Since then, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) has worked with its members to share best practices and to promote the inclusivity in engineering schools of all students regardless of visible or invisible differences.  ASEE is creating a platform to disseminate best practices among participating engineering schools that will help them implement the diversity initiative.  Today, at 206, the number of engineering deans that have signed the pledge has more than doubled since 2015.  ASEE will continue promoting and enhancing diversity and inclusion through all its participating members.  Read letter HERE. 79 companies have now joined the Tech Inclusion Pledge.  At the Global Entrepreneurship Summit this past summer, President Obama announced a commitment by senior leadership from 33 companies of all sizes to fuel American innovation and economic growth by increasing the diversity of their technology workforce.  Today, 46 additional companies, including Xerox, TaskRabbit, and Techstars, are joining this Tech Inclusion Pledge, committing to take concrete action to make the technology workforce at each of their companies representative of the American people as soon as possible.  To facilitate additional pledge commitments and help companies meet those commitments, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and CODE2040 commit to maintain a website with free research-based implementation resources.  Read letter HERE. Early-stage investors are making a new commitment to promote inclusive entrepreneurship.  Today, more than 30 investment firms, angel investor groups, and startup accelerators with over $800 million under management have committed to achieving greater transparency in their funding criteria and to actively mentoring entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds, in an effort to increase the diversity of startup founders in their portfolios.  For example, MassMutual Foundation and Valley Venture Mentors are partnering to create a scalable model for rural startup accelerators, while Pipeline Angels is bringing its training programs for underrepresented investors to 20 additional cities.  Read letter HERE. The President’s Top 10 Actions to Accelerate American Entrepreneurship 1.  Signed permanent tax incentives for startup investment.  The President signed into law 18 tax breaks for small businesses in his first term, including tax credits for those who hire unemployed workers and veterans.  In addition, in December 2015, Congress responded to the President’s call to make two critical tax incentives permanent for the first time: Made the Research and Experimentation (R&E) tax credit available to startups.  In addition to making the R&E tax credit permanent for the first time since its enactment in the early 1980s, Congress also expanded the credit to allow pre-revenue startups and small businesses to take advantage of the credit by counting it against up to $250,000 in payroll expenses for up to 5 years.  Permanently eliminated capital gains tax on certain small business stock.  First enacted on a temporary basis in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and now permanent, this measure eliminates capital gains realized on the sale of certain small business stock held for more than 5 years, providing a major incentive for private-sector investment in high-growth entrepreneurial firms that fuel economic growth.  2.  Accelerated the transition of research discoveries from lab to market. The Federal government invests over $140 billion each year on Federally-funded research and development (R&D) conducted at universities, Federal laboratories, and companies.  The President issued a memorandum to agencies to accelerate the commercialization of Federal R&D, and made these Lab-to-Market efforts a core part of his management agenda. Scaled up I-Corps, a rigorous entrepreneurship training program for scientists and engineers.  The Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, first launched in 2011 by the National Science Foundation (NSF), provides entrepreneurship training for Federally funded scientists and engineers, pairing them with business mentors for an intensive curriculum focused on discovering a truly demand-driven path from their lab work to a marketable product.  Over the past 5 years, more than 800 researcher teams have completed this I-Corps training, from 192 universities in 44 states, resulting in the creation of over 320 companies that have collectively raised more than $93 million in follow-on funding.  The I-Corps model has been adopted in 11 additional Federal agency partnerships, including an expansion to 17 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is implemented through a National Innovation Network across more than 70 universities.  Additionally, the Department of Defense’s MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator is helping provide students with the training to apply a similar lean startup methodology to real-world national-security problems, soon expanding to eight institutions of higher education this spring, and including new challenges in diplomacy, urban resilience, and energy. Facilitated personnel exchanges between Federal labs, academia, and industry.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a final rule on “Technology Innovation-Personnel Exchanges,” allowing Federal agencies to more easily exchange personnel with universities, non-profits, and the private sector to advance R&D commercialization. Increased access to Federally-funded research facilities and intellectual property for entrepreneurs and innovators.  Funded by NIST, the Federal Laboratory Consortium launched online tools for finding specific information and open data on more than 300 Federal laboratories with 2,500 user facilities and specialized equipment, as well as over 20,000 technologies available for licensing. Strengthened Federal R&D funding for startups and small businesses.  For the first time in a decade, in 2011 the President signed a long-term reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which annually provide over $2.5 billion in Federal R&D funding to technology startups and small businesses.  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and 11 participating Federal agencies have expanded access to SBIR/STTR opportunities, including by building the SBIR.gov platform and initiating a road tour that has engaged historically underrepresented communities across the country. 3.  Cut red tape for entrepreneurs.  The Administration’s Startup in a Day initiative is cutting red tape to make it easier for more entrepreneurs to get started and grow their businesses.  Over 100 cities, home to nearly 38 million Americans, have taken a public pledge to streamline their business startup processes, allowing entrepreneurs to navigate requirements in as little as 24 hours.  To support these streamlining efforts, the SBA sponsored a prize competition won by 28 cities and communities; examples include the City of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach, which both created online business portals that are open-source and can be shared with cities and communities across the country.  Additionally, over 52,000 small business borrowers have connected to lenders under a new SBA online matchmaking tool called LINC, while SBA One is taking SBA’s lending process entirely online, which will save hours of time and thousands of dollars per loan for entrepreneurs.  4.  Expanded regional entrepreneurship opportunities.  High-growth entrepreneurship is taking root in more and more communities across the country, in part thanks to targeted investments by this Administration. Seeded startup accelerators in diverse communities.  The SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition serves entrepreneurs in a broad set of industries and sectors—from manufacturing and tech start-ups, to farming and biotech—with many focused on creating a diverse and inclusive small business community.  From 2014 to now, SBA has funded over 200 startup accelerator programs in every corner of the country, serving well over 5,000 startups that have collectively employed over 20,000 people and raised over 1.5 billion in capital. Pioneered a regional innovation strategy.  SBA’s investments in 62 Regional Innovation Clusters have helped participating small businesses achieve an average employment growth rate of more than five times faster than regional benchmarks, and more than $650 million in Federal contract opportunities. Incentivized regional partners to work together on tech entrepreneurship.  Through its Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program and the i6 Challenge, the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $59 million in capacity-building grants that help entrepreneurs in diverse regions of the country move ideas to market, supporting the creation and expansion of research-commercialization centers and early-stage seed-capital funds.  Earlier this month, EDA announced nearly $15 million in Federal funding plus $18 million in matching funds, reaching urban and rural areas in 19 states, including the first RIS investments that support historically black colleges and universities: a direct investment in Clark Atlanta University’s agriculture and food technology commercialization program; and an investment in a program to increase access to early-stage capital in southeast Louisiana, in which Southern University is a partner.  Among the 35 organizations receiving EDA support are a female-focused early-stage capital fund in Texas, a Native American-focused proof-of-concept program in Oklahoma, and urban innovation hubs focused on fashion technology in Brooklyn and on social innovation in New Orleans. 5. Directly boosted entrepreneurs’ access to capital.  With only three states attracting the majority of venture capital, the Administration has focused on incentivizing investment in startup communities across the country. Catalyzed investments of $8.4 billion through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).  The SSBCI was created through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which provided $1.5 billion to strengthen state programs that support lending to small businesses and small manufacturers.  Administered by the Treasury Department, SSBCI has catalyzed over $8.4 billion in more than 16,900 new loans and investments all across the country.  To date, business owners report more than 190,000 jobs will be created or retained due to the new loans and investments stimulated by SSBCI funds.  More than half of all SSBCI loans or investments went to young businesses less than 5 years old, and over 40 percent of the loans or investments were in low- or moderate-income communities.  Over 30 states have allocated nearly half-a-billion SSBCI dollars to venture-capital programs—a dramatic increase in funding for the programs that are critical to expanding high-growth entrepreneurship into diverse regions around the country. Strengthened investment fund program for small businesses.  The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, run by the SBA, is a multi-billion dollar investment program to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs’ need for capital and traditional sources of financing.  This Administration has created new pathways for impact investment funds that devote growth capital to companies in underserved communities and emerging sectors, as well as for early-stage innovation funds.  The recently announced Open Network for Board Diversity (ONBOARD) is a public-private initiative working to expand the presence of underrepresented groups on high-growth company advisory boards, boards of directors, and senior leadership, particularly for those supported by SBICs.  6.  Prioritized inclusive entrepreneurship.  As part of the first-ever White House Demo Day in August 2015, 40 leading venture-capital firms with more than $100 billion under management committed to advance opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities, and more than a dozen major technology companies committed to new actions to ensure diverse recruitment and hiring.  These actions are complemented by today’s announcements, as well as continued progress by Federal agencies, including: Reduced barriers faced by women entrepreneurs.  SBA created the InnovateHER Business Challenge, where organizations throughout the country hold local competitions for new and innovative products and services to empower women and their families; in 2015, over 1,000 entrepreneurs participated in over 100 competitions, and these numbers doubled in 2016.  Women-owned small businesses reached an important milestone in 2015, meeting the Federal contracting goal for such businesses for the first time in history; overall last year, the Federal government awarded an all-time high of 25.75 percent of government contracts to all small businesses, supporting 537,000 American jobs. Unlocked the potential of Federal inventions with entrepreneurs from all backgrounds.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Minority Business Development Agency, and the Federal Laboratory Consortium partnered together to launch the Inclusive Innovation Initiative (I-3), designed to increase minority business participation in Federal technology transfer. Trained veteran entrepreneurs for 21st century opportunities.  The Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation is helping to expand the 3D Veterans Bootcamp, a program that provides Veterans with technical training in 3D printing and design skills to accelerate designs to market.  The training will annually prepare over 400 Veterans and transitioning service members for careers in advanced manufacturing and will provide guidance and resources for those wishing to launch their own business.  Additionally, SBA launched Boots to Business, an entrepreneurship education program that provides transitioning service members with introductory business training and technical assistance.  Since 2013, over 20,000 transitioning service members, including many spouses, participated in the Boots to Business introductory class on over 165 military installations worldwide. Launched TechHire to train people for entrepreneurial opportunities and well-paying jobs.  In 2015 the President launched TechHire, a multisector effort to empower more people from all backgrounds with the skills they need, through universities and community colleges but also innovative nontraditional approaches like “coding bootcamps,” that can rapidly train workers for technology jobs.  Since then, 50 communities in partnership with over 1,000 employers have initiated local efforts that have placed over 2,000 people into tech jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. Expanded entrepreneurial opportunities for the unemployed and underserved.  The Department of Labor (DOL) has funded the expansion of voluntary state-run Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) programs, designed to encourage and enable unemployed workers to create their own jobs by starting their own businesses while receiving unemployment insurance benefits; helped make entrepreneurial training available to more than 200,000 low-income and out-of-school youth with barriers to employment; and helped make it easier for formerly incarcerated persons to participate in the SBA’s microloan program. 7.  Created opportunities for promising entrepreneurs and innovators from abroad.  While there is no substitute for Congress passing commonsense immigration reform, the Administration is taking the steps it can to fix as much of the broken U.S. immigration system as possible.  Many of these commonsense steps are designed to attract and retain the most talented workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs from around the world. Released a rule tailored for international entrepreneurs.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed International Entrepreneur Rule, which describes new ways in which DHS will make it possible for certain promising startup founders to grow their companies within the United States.  Once this rule is finalized, it will provide much-needed clarity for entrepreneurs who have been validated by experienced American funders, and who demonstrate substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation—benefiting American workers and the U.S. economy. Acted to retain more of the scientists and engineers educated in the United States.  American universities train some of the world’s most talented students in science, technology engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but the broken U.S. immigration system compels many of them to take their skills back to their home countries.  DHS published a final rule on STEM Optional Practical Training allowing international students with qualifying STEM degrees from U.S. universities to extend the time they participate in practical training, while at the same time strengthening oversight and adding new features to the program. Unlocked the talents of high-skilled Americans-in-waiting.  The Administration is making it possible for high-skilled workers on temporary visas to accept promotions, change positions or employers, or start new companies while they and their families wait to receive their green cards, and ultimately become Americans, by the publication of a policy memo on job portability and a final rule improving employment-based visa programs.  In addition, DHS published a new rule that has allowed the spouses of certain high-skilled immigrants to put their own education and talents to work and contribute to the American economy. 8.  Updated securities laws for high-growth companies.  Thanks to the bipartisan Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act signed by the President in 2012, entrepreneurs have greater access to capital from the seed stage all the way to an initial public offering (IPO).  These new capital-formation pathways include: The “IPO on-ramp” makes it easier for qualifying smaller firms to responsibly access public markets.  Thanks in part to the JOBS Act, which phases in regulatory requirements for smaller companies making an initial public offering (IPO), in the year ending in March 2014 smaller IPOs were at their highest level since 2000; one study estimated that the JOBS Act was responsible for a 25 percent increase in IPO activity, including among biotech startups. Entrepreneurs can raise up to $50 million through regulated “mini public offerings.”  Through the “Regulation A+” provision of the JOBS Act, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has qualified around 50 companies to make streamlined public offerings of over $840 million in aggregate—whereas the previous version of this rule was rarely used. Entrepreneurs can raise up to $1 million from regular investors through a new class of regulated crowdfunding platforms.  A new, national, SEC-regulated marketplace for securities-based crowdfunding first opened for business 6 months ago; by one measure, these new crowdfunding platforms have allowed startups and small businesses to raise $12 million from over 15,000 regular investors. 9.  Made the U.S. patent system more efficient and responsive to innovators.  The President signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act in September 2011, giving the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) new resources to significantly reduce patent application wait times.  Total processing times for both patents and trademarks have been reduced by approximately 25 percent and 14 percent, respectively, since 2009.  This reduction has come with both a 50-75 percent reduced cost for startups and small businesses, as well as the creation of a fast track program where applicants can get a final disposition in about 12 months.  In addition, with a series of executive actions, the Administration has taken steps to increase transparency to the patent system and level the playing field for innovators, and leveraged the knowledge of the American people by crowdsourcing information about prior art.  USPTO has also launched an International IP Toolkit to empower innovators with tools to facilitate exports and empower global expansions, a Patent Pro Bono Program across all 50 states to provide free legal assistance for inventors who file patent applications without the assistance of a patent attorney, and a fast-track review for patents related to cancer treatment as part of Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot. 10.  Unleashed entrepreneurship in the industries of the future.  The President has long recognized that it is entrepreneurs in clean energy, medicine, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and other innovative fields who will build the new industries of the 21st century, and solve some of our toughest global challenges. Encouraged private-sector investment in clean-energy innovation.  The Administration has created and promoted new opportunities for clean-energy entrepreneurship, including support for student startups through business plan competitions; vouchers for services available to small businesses at National Laboratories; embedded entrepreneurial training within the National Laboratories; technical assistance and pilot testing at regionally-focused incubators and establishment of a national incubator network to support entrepreneurs and small businesses; and awards through the SunShot Incubator for startups driving down the cost of solar energy.  These opportunities have doubled the number of partnership agreements between small businesses and National Laboratories, and supported hundreds of startups that have attracted well over $3 billion in follow-on funding.  Boosted innovation and entrepreneurship in the bioeconomy.  In 2012, the Administration released the first-ever National Bioeconomy Blueprint, to outline a series of steps to grow and manage a sector that is generating annual revenues greater than $300 billion and that is contributing the equivalent of at least 5 percent of annual U.S. GDP growth.  In 2015, recognizing that navigating the regulatory process for biotechnology products can be unduly challenging, especially for small companies, the Administration initiated an effort to improve transparency and predictability in the regulatory system for biotechnology products.   Spurred innovation and entrepreneurship in the commercial space industry.  Working with NASA, American companies have developed new spacecraft that are cost-effectively delivering cargo to the International Space Station and are working towards ferrying astronauts there by the end of 2017.  U.S. companies that got their start supporting government missions have increased their share of the global commercial launch market from zero in 2011 to 36 percent in 2015.  Federal agencies are also leveraging innovative procurement methods and creating a supportive regulatory environment to allow space entrepreneurs to pursue ventures in areas such as remote sensing, satellite servicing, asteroid mining, and small satellites.  More venture capital was invested in America’s space industry in 2015 than in all the previous 15 years combined. Grew innovation ecosystems for nanotechnology and advanced materials.  The National Nanotechnology Initiative has invested over $150 million per year in user facilities at Federal laboratories and universities that provide entrepreneurs low- or no-cost access to state-of-the-art instrumentation; cumulatively funded more than $700 million of nanotechnology-related research by small businesses; and catalyzed the creation of a Nano and Emerging Technology Student Network and annual conference with a specific goal of promoting entrepreneurship.  The Materials Genome Initiative, launched in 2011 to reduce the time and cost required to discover, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials, has opened up an array of new data and infrastructure resources to entrepreneurs, including an expanding set of open-access databases to mine the properties of hundreds of thousands of materials. Enabled a new generation of aviation technology for commercial use.  Powering a revolution in unmanned flight, this summer the Administration announced ground rules to govern commercial, scientific, public safety and other non-recreational uses of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—commonly known as “drones.”  These rules are enabling the safe expansion of a new generation of aviation technologies and startups that will create jobs, enhance public safety, and advance scientific inquiry. Industry estimates suggest that, over the next 10 years, commercial unmanned aircraft systems could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and by 2025, the industry could be supporting as many as 100,000 new jobs. Supported the growth of advanced robotics.  In 2011, President Obama announced the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) — a multi-agency collaboration to accelerate the development of next-generation robots that can solve problems in areas of national priority, including manufacturing, sustainable agriculture, space and undersea exploration, health, transportation, personal and homeland security, and disaster resiliency and sustainable infrastructure.  The NRI has invested over $135 million in 230 projects in 33 states, fueling the development of new technologies and business opportunities, including robots that can inspect bridges, monitor water quality, and even aid in future space missions. Supported manufacturing entrepreneurship through a national network of R&D hubs. Manufacturing USA brings together industry, academia, and government to co-invest in the development of world-leading manufacturing technologies and capabilities.  In the 4 years since its establishment, Manufacturing USA has grown to a network of nine institutes and over 1,300 members—of which more than one-third are small- and medium-sized enterprises.  These public-private partnerships are catalyzing entrepreneurial activity by, for example, working with regional Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers to help small manufacturers across the nation adopt advanced manufacturing techniques; and blending manufacturing technology and entrepreneurship in project-based learning programs for high schoolers. Stimulated entrepreneurial solutions through increased use of incentive prizes.  Since 2010, more than 100 Federal agencies have engaged 250,000 Americans through more than 700 incentive prizes on Challenge.gov to address tough problems ranging from fighting Ebola, to improving speech recognition, to blocking illegal robocalls. Competitions such as the NIH Breast Cancer Startup Challenge and many more have made over $220 million available to entrepreneurs and innovators and have led to the formation of over 300 startup companies with over $70 million in follow-on funding.  Fostered grassroots innovation through the maker movement.  Beginning with the White House Maker Faire in June 2014 and continuing with a National Week of Making in both 2015 and 2016, the Administration has supported a growing grassroots community of makers—Americans using new tools, technologies, and spaces to design, build, and manufacture.  Federal agencies, companies, non-profits, cities, and schools collectively committed to creating over 2,500 maker-oriented spaces in the United States to expand access for both students and entrepreneurs.  Earlier this month, more than 300 organizations from all 50 states, with industry support including Chevron, Cognizant, and Google, came together to launch an independent nonprofit called Nation of Makers, to provide an ongoing community of practice and leadership to the maker movement. President Obama has also elevated innovation and entrepreneurship as a foreign policy priority beyond America’s borders.  Following his historic 2009 Cairo speech, the President hosted the first Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at the White House in 2010; since then, annual GES events worldwide have provided over 7,000 emerging entrepreneurs with networking and investment opportunities and catalyzed over $1 billion in private-sector commitments.  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) initiative catalyzes private-sector investment and identifies innovative models that help global entrepreneurs bridge the “pioneer gap.”  Working in partnership with more than 40 incubators, accelerators, and seed-stage impact investors worldwide, USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab creates public-private partnerships dedicated to testing ways to foster entrepreneurship, which are expected to leverage $100 million in combined public and private investments. The Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative is a collaboration among American entrepreneurs, the White House, the Department of Commerce, and other Federal agencies to harness the creativity of U.S. business leaders to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs both at home and abroad.  The Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) program has engaged with science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs in 135 emerging economies around the world, providing training and resources to help them build successful startups. Progress Update on Organizations Answering the President’s Call to Action to Advance Entrepreneurship Since the launch of the White House Startup America initiative in 2011, the President has issued a consistent public call to action to advance American entrepreneurship, yielding a sustained response from companies, nonprofits, universities, and others around the country declaring new actions. What follows is a progress update on just a few examples of such independent actions: The Angel Capital Association committed to publishing diversity data, and is conducting the first-ever study of the demographics of American angel investors, including how and why they make investment decisions, with research partner Wharton Entrepreneurship.  The results of the study will be published this spring, along with best practices that can help connect angel investors with diverse entrepreneurs in diverse regions, which will be tracked and publicly reported over time. Astia, a nonprofit that serves and invests in high-growth companies with women on their founding teams, committed to expand its Astia Angels program, which has now invested in more than 40 companies with women in positions of executive influence and leadership.  Next year, Astia plans to double the impact of its program to provide entrepreneurs with direct access to high-impact business advisors. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation committed to expand Blackstone LaunchPad, its college student entrepreneurship program, and has allocated $23 million to grow the program to 26 universities in California, Florida, Ireland, Michigan, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.  The Foundation has worked to ensure that each of these Blackstone LaunchPad campuses creates dedicated efforts to fostering inclusive entrepreneurship for women and minority students, through a network that is accessible to over 600,000 students and has helped to create or support 15,000 ventures, 8,600 companies, and over 21,000 jobs. BUILD, a youth entrepreneurship program for high school students in under-resourced communities, launched its fifth site in New York City in September with more than 500 ninth graders, and is training more than 200 teachers and mentors to deliver BUILD’s experiential learning program in some of New York’s most challenged public schools.  BUILD released new data showing that 96 percent of BUILD students graduate high school on time and 76 percent immediately enroll in college. The Case Foundation committed to a 2-year, $1 million dollar initiative around inclusive entrepreneurship, which has included support for the national expansion of PowerMoves, an accelerator for entrepreneurs of color; the development of JumpStart Inc.’s $10 million Focus Fund for entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs; and the launch of #FacesofFounders at the White House SXSL festival. Powered by the Case Foundation, Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs, and UBS, in partnership with Fast Company, #FacesofFounders seeks to change the narrative of who is and can be an entrepreneur. The Global Accelerator Network (GAN), since its genesis at the launch of the White House Startup America Initiative in 2011, has grown to include 110 startup accelerators and corporate partners, which have invested in over 5,100 startups in more than 125 cities around the world on six continents, helping ensure that over 81 percent of those startups have stayed in business, raised an aggregate of $4 billion and created over 26,000 jobs. Junior Achievement anticipates exceeding its goal of reaching one million K-12 students a year with entrepreneurial programs by 2020, and has launched a new offering with JA Launch Lesson, in partnership with the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), the SBA, and Babson College.  Piloted a year ago and now entering full implementation, JA Launch Lesson has allowed nearly 400 entrepreneurs to speak with 14,000 students about what motivated them to start their own businesses and to provide practical insight. The Kapor Center for Social Impact has expanded programming, sponsorships, and support for organizations working to develop a more diverse tech ecosystem in the San Francisco Bay Area, including an Oakland tech entrepreneurship network; Kapor Capital has invested $8 million in technology startups, with an emphasis on founders from populations that have been underrepresented in venture capital funding, and since January, each of its founding teams have committed to building an inclusive culture and a workforce that reflects the communities its companies serve; and this summer the Level Playing Field Institute’s SMASH (Summer Math and Science Honors) Academies served nearly 400 middle- and high-school students from underrepresented backgrounds in intensive campus-based programs in STEM, computer science, and entrepreneurship. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation recently completed its Inclusion Challenge and will soon announce $4.67 million in grants to organizations supporting women and minority entrepreneurs.  In addition, the Foundation announced nearly $1 million in scholarships for Midwest innovators to join the Kauffman Fellows, a training program for leaders in capital formation. MassChallenge has since 2010 accelerated 873 early-stage startups in its Boston-based, no-equity accelerator program.  These companies have gone on to raise $1.7 billion in funding and help create over 50,000 jobs.  In 2016, MassChallenge Boston launched and expanded several new initiatives to advance inclusive entrepreneurship, such as Women in MassChallenge (for female founders) and Bridge to MassChallenge (startup bootcamps to support entrepreneurs in underserved communities). The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) has educated over 500 community college leaders about using the lean-startup model on their campuses, and recently launched new initiatives to provide additional STEM curriculum and IP education resources to NACCE’s 300 member community colleges and network of over 2,000 entrepreneur-focused faculty and staff nationwide. The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) has advanced its White House Demo Day announcement that over 40 venture capital firms with more than $100 billion under management pledged to encourage an inclusive innovation ecosystem in the United States, by collaborating with the U.S. Small Business Administration and other organizations on data-driven methods to address the underrepresentation of women and underrepresented minorities in venture capital; building the pipeline of entrepreneurial talent in startups and venture capital with organizations such as the Toigo Foundation; and developing a network of talent partners within venture capital firms to help further diversity initiatives within their firms and across their portfolio companies. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a nonprofit dedicated to activating the entrepreneurial mindset in young people with a focus on under-resourced communities, has served nearly 300,000 young people globally since 2009. With support from EY, NFTE has created and piloted the first-ever Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI) for youth, a tool measuring a young person’s demonstration of entrepreneurial skills and behaviors.  NFTE is committed to reaching 200,000 U.S. students annually—a ten-fold increase—by the year 2022, and to creating the NFTE Entrepreneurship Pathway, a series of blended learning programs that teach the entrepreneurial mindset alongside startup and career skills, with students receiving academic and industry credentials along the way. Rise of the Rest, an initiative of Revolution spearheaded by Steve Case, was launched in 2014 as a nationwide effort to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems—showing that high-growth companies can now start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities.  At each of 25 cities to date, the Rise of the Rest bus tour hosts a pitch competition as well as meetings among local and state officials, startup founders, and university leaders.  The Startup America Partnership was launched at the White House in January 2011, led by the Case Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation, as an independent effort to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.  The Partnership mobilized hundreds of volunteer leaders who promoted startup communities, launched 32 “startup states,” and built a network of more than 13,000 startups nationwide.  In 2013, the Startup America Partnership and Startup Weekend combined efforts and created UP Global to enhance entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world.  Last year, UP Global joined forces with the accelerator Techstars to offer programs and resources for every stage of the entrepreneurial journey.  To date, the organization has grown to over 10,000 active community leaders and 300,000 alumni and attendees, and has held over 4,000 events in 1,318 cities and 149 countries. Springboard is a global network that has supported the growth of 642 women-led technology, health care, and life-science companies that have collectively raised $7.5 billion in capital to date, most recently expanding to fashion tech, cyber, aging tech, and women’s health. Techstars has, since White House Demo Day in 2015, tracked participation in its startup accelerator programs and has made measurable progress on its goals to increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities, both within its applicant pool, its mentor pool, and its staff.  Techstars now publishes its diversity data annually, has trained staff on unconscious bias, and has implemented processes to ensure that every selection committee includes at least two women.  In addition, the Techstars Foundation was created to improve diversity in tech entrepreneurship worldwide, through grants to mission-driven organizations such as Defy Ventures, Astia, and Patriot Boot Camp. The University Innovation Fellows has trained 776 higher education students at 164 schools to create new educational opportunities for their peers, with a focus on developing an entrepreneurial mindset and acquiring creative confidence.  In the last four years, 43 Fellows’ schools have launched a new makerspace, 34 have created a new accelerator, and 40 have designed a new degree or certificate related to entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, or design thinking.  The program is run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school), and was created as part of the NSF-funded National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), which helped expand entrepreneurship in engineering education across more than 300 U.S. higher education institutions from 2011 to 2016. VentureWell, a nonprofit that supports the NSF I-Corps National Innovation Network, has also expanded Pathways, an institutional change and faculty development initiative that helps universities infuse innovation and entrepreneurship into the fabric of the university, now including 50 institutions that have exposed over 20,000 students to immersive entrepreneurial experiences.  VentureWell has also partnered with the Lemelson Foundation to fund and support over 200 teams of student science and technology innovators that have raised over $570 million in follow-on funding, and will support 200 more teams over the next 4 years.

30 ноября, 16:18

The No-BS Inside Guide to the Presidential Recount Sorry, no Russian hacker hunt

by Greg Palast for Truthout There's been so much complete nonsense since I first broke the news that the Green Party would file for a recount of the presidential vote, I am compelled to write a short guide to flush out the BS and get to just the facts, ma'am.   Nope, they’re not hunting […] The post The No-BS Inside Guide to the Presidential Recount Sorry, no Russian hacker hunt appeared first on Greg Palast.

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29 ноября, 19:48

Unreasonable effectiveness of learning neural networks: From accessible states and robust ensembles to basic algorithmic schemes [Computer Sciences]

In artificial neural networks, learning from data is a computationally demanding task in which a large number of connection weights are iteratively tuned through stochastic-gradient-based heuristic processes over a cost function. It is not well understood how learning occurs in these systems, in particular how they avoid getting trapped in...

28 ноября, 20:11

Grace Hopper And Margaret Hamilton Awarded Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Two women who broke ground in the fields of computer science have just been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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25 ноября, 23:10

Inside a Fake News Sausage Factory: ‘This Is All About Income’

A computer science student in a former Soviet republic found there was money to be made in mixing real and made-up stories, as long as they were pro-Trump.

24 ноября, 01:46

Should Hillary Clinton Call for a Recount?

There’s a case to be made for routine election audits—but not for spreading unsubstantiated claims or speculation about the outcome of an election.

23 ноября, 18:26

Professor cited in report says election results 'probably not' hacked

A computer science professor at the University of Michigan confirmed on Wednesday that he has been spoken with the Clinton campaign about seeking a recount in several key states — but he clarified that he thinks the election results were “probably not” the result of a cyberattack.New York magazine reported on Tuesday that experts were urging the Clinton camp to contest the election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania after finding “persuasive evidence” that they may have been “manipulated or hacked.” Trump was declared the winner of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin on election night, but Michigan remains too close to call, with Trump's lead now under 10,000 votes. The Michigan secretary of state is expected to certify the results later this month.The New York magazine story cited a source briefed on a conference call between the experts and Clinton campaign officials to report that they had found that “Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots” in Wisconsin. Election statistics gurus Nate Silver and Nate Cohn, who run the data analysis sites FiveThirtyEight and The New York Times’ Upshot, respectively, were quick to push back on the report on Twitter. Among other points, Silver wrote that the effect described in the New York magazine story “completely disappears” after controlling for race and education. “Maybe a more complicated analysis would reveal something, but usually bad news when a finding can't survive a basic sanity check like this,” Silver tweeted. J. Alex Halderman, the Michigan professor in the report, addressed the fervor on social media in a Medium post on Wednesday morning. He wrote that the story included “some incorrect numbers” and “incorrectly describes the reasons manually checking ballots is an essential security safeguard,” but acknowledged speaking to the Clinton campaign.Halderman wrote that he does not think it’s likely that the election results, which deviated from pre-election polls in those swing states in particular, were the result of a foreign hack. But he argued that there is enough uncertainty, especially in light of recent hacks on groups such as the Democratic National Committee and evidence that the Russian government had attempted to influence the election, to call for a recount in those states and confirm the results. “Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not. I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked,” Halderman wrote. “But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other.”“The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania,” he added.In his post, Halderman also pointed out what he says are security flaws in American voting machines in general and urged their replacement.“States still using paperless voting machines should replace them with optical scan systems, and all states should update their audit and recount procedures,” he wrote.It's still not clear what the Clinton camp's response to the call was. Aides did not respond to questions about it on Wednesday.Rick Hasen, a professor at the University of California Irvine who specialized in election law, responded to the New York magazine report by describing Halderman as "very credible." Still, he said the fact that the Clinton campaign has not acted on the concerns -- the meeting was last Thursday, he noted -- "should give you pause."

23 ноября, 03:44

Remarks by the President at Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

East Room 3:13 P.M. EST THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, hello, hello!  Hey!  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  Everybody, please have a seat.  We’ve got some work to do here.  (Laughter.)  This is not all fun and games. Welcome to the White House, everybody.  Today, we celebrate extraordinary Americans who have lifted our spirits, strengthened our union, pushed us toward progress.  I always love doing this event, but this is a particularly impressive class.  We've got innovators and artists.  Public servants, rabble rousers, athletes, renowned character actors -- like the guy from Space Jam.  (Laughter.)  We pay tribute to those distinguished individuals with our nation's highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Now, let me tell you a little bit about each of them. First, we came close to missing out on Bill and Melinda Gates' incredible partnership.  Because apparently Bill's opening line was, "Do you want to go out two weeks from this coming Saturday?"  (Laughter.)  He’s good with computers, but -- (laughter.)    Fortunately, Melinda believes in second chances.  And the world is better for it.  For two decades, the Gates Foundation has worked to provide lifesaving medical care to millions -- boosting clean water supplies, improving education for our children, rallying aggressive international action on climate change, cutting childhood mortality in half.  The list could go on. These two have donated more money to charitable causes than anyone, ever.  Many years ago, Melinda's mom told her an old saying: "To know that even one life has breathed easier because you lived -- that is success."  By this and just about any other measure, few in human history have been more successful than these two impatient optimists. Frank Gehry has never let popular acclaim reverse his impulse to defy convention.  "I was an outsider from the beginning," he says, "so for better or worse, I thrived on it."  The child of poor Jewish immigrants, Frank grew up in Los Angeles, and throughout his life he embraced the spirit of a city defined by an open horizon.  He's spent his life rethinking shapes and mediums, seemingly the force of gravity itself; the idea of what architecture could be he decided to upend -- constantly repurposing every material available, from titanium to a paper towel tube.  He's inspiring our next generation through his advocacy for arts education in our schools.  From the Guggenheim, to Bilbao, to Chicago's Millennium Park -- our hometown -- to his home in Santa Monica, which I understand caused some consternation among his neighbors -- (laughter) -- Frank's work teaches us that while buildings may be sturdy and fixed to the ground, like all great art, they can lift our spirits.  They can soar and broaden our horizons. When an undergraduate from rural Appalachia first set foot on the National Mall many years ago, she was trying to figure out a way to show that "war is not just a victory or a loss," but "about individual lives."  She considered how the landscape might shape that message, rather than the other way around.  The project that Maya Lin designed for her college class earned her a B+ -- (laughter) -- and a permanent place in American history.  (Laughter.)  So all of you B+ students out there.  (Laughter.) The Vietnam Veterans Memorial has changed the way we think about monuments, but also about how we think about sacrifice, and patriotism, and ourselves.  Maya has given us more than just places for remembering -- she has created places for us to make new memories.  Her sculptures, chapels, and homes are "physical act[s] of poetry," each reminding us that the most important element in art or architecture is human emotion. Three minutes before Armstrong and Aldrin touched down on the moon, Apollo 11's lunar lander alarms triggered -- red and yellow lights across the board.  Our astronauts didn't have much time.  But thankfully, they had Margaret Hamilton.  A young MIT scientist -- and a working mom in the ‘60s -- Margaret led the team that created the onboard flight software that allowed the Eagle to land safely.  And keep in mind that, at this time, software engineering wasn't even a field yet.  There were no textbooks to follow, so, as Margaret says, "There was no choice but to be pioneers."  Luckily for us, Margaret never stopped pioneering.  And she symbolizes the generation of unsung women who helped send humankind into space.  Her software architecture echoes in countless technologies today.  And her example speaks of the American spirit of discovery that exists in every little girl and little boy who know that somehow, to look beyond the heavens is to look deep within ourselves -- and to figure out just what is possible. If Wright is flight and Edison is light, then Hopper is code.  Born in 1906, Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper followed her mother into mathematics, earned her PhD from Yale, and set out on a long and storied career.  At age 37, and a full 15 pounds below military guidelines, the gutsy and colorful Grace joined the Navy and was sent to work on one of the first computers, Harvard's "Mark One."  She saw beyond the boundaries of the possible, and invented the first compiler, which allowed programs to be written in regular language and then translated for computers to understand.  While the women who pioneered software were often overlooked, the most prestigious award for young computer scientists now bear her name.  From cell phones to cyber command, we can thank Grace Hopper for opening programming to millions more people, helping to usher in the information age and profoundly shaping our digital world.  Speaking of really smart people -- (laughter) -- in the summer of 1950, a young University of Chicago physicist found himself at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  Dick Garwin was there, he said, because Chicago paid its faculty for nine months but his family ate for 12.  So by the next summer, Dick had helped create the hydrogen bomb.  And for the rest of his life, he dedicated himself to reducing the threat of nuclear war.  Dick's not only an architect of the atomic age.  Ever since he was a Cleveland kid tinkering with his father's movie projectors, he's never met a problem he didn't want to solve.  Reconnaissance satellites, the MRI, GPS technology, the touchscreen all bear his fingerprints.  He even patented a "mussel washer" for shellfish -- which I haven’t used.  The other stuff I have.  (Laughter.)  Where is he?  Dick has advised nearly every President since Eisenhower -- often rather bluntly.  Enrico Fermi -- also a pretty smart guy himself -- is said to have called Dick "the only true genius" he ever met.  I do want to see this mussel washer.  (Laughter.) Along with these scientists, artists, and thinkers, we also honor those who have shaped our culture from the stage and the screen. In her long and extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson has not only succeeded as an actor, she has shaped the whole course history.  Cicely was never the likeliest of Hollywood stars.  The daughter of immigrants from the West Indies, she was raised by a hardworking and religious mother who cleaned houses and forbade her children to attend the movies.  But once she got her education and broke into the business, Cicely made a conscious decision not just to say lines, but to speak out.  "I would not accept roles," she said, "unless they projected us, particularly women, in a realistic light, [and] dealt with us as human beings."  And from "Sounder," to "The Trip to Bountiful," to "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," Cicely's convictions and grace have helped for us see the dignity of every single beautiful member of the American family.  And she’s just gorgeous.  (Laughter and applause.)  Yes, she is. In 1973, a critic wrote of Robert De Niro, "This kid doesn't just act -- he takes off into the vapors."  And it was true, his characters are iconic.  A Sicilian father turned New York mobster.  A mobster who runs a casino.  A mobster who needs therapy.  (Laughter.)  A father-in-law who is scarier than a mobster.  (Laughter.)  Al Capone -- a mobster.  (Laughter.) Robert combines dramatic precision and, it turns out, comedic timing with his signature eye for detail.  And while the name De Niro is synonymous with "tough guy," his true gift is the sensitivity that he brings to each role.  This son of New York artists didn't stop at becoming one of the world's greatest actors.  He's also a director, a philanthropist, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival.  Of his tireless preparation -- from learning the saxophone to remaking his body -- he once said, "I feel I have to earn the right to play a part."  And the result is honest and authentic art that reveals who we really are. In 1976, Lorne Michaels implored the Beatles to reunite on his brand new show.  In exchange, he offered them $3,000.  (Laughter.)  And then he told them they could share it equally, or they could give Ringo a smaller cut.  (Laughter.)  Which was early proof that Lorne Michaels has a good sense of humor.  On Saturday Night Live, he's created a world where a band of no-names become comedy's biggest stars.  Where our friends the Coneheads, and cheerleaders, and land sharks, and basement deadbeats, and motivational speakers, and an unfrozen caveman lawyer show up, and Tom Hanks is on "Black Jeopardy."  (Laughter.)  After four decades, even in this fractured media culture that we’ve got, SNL remains appointment viewing; a mainline into not just our counterculture but our culture; still a challenge to the powerful, especially folks like me.  And yet even after all these years, Lorne jokes that his tombstone should bear just a single word that's often found in the show's reviews -- "uneven."  (Laughter.)  As a current U.S. Senator would say:  Doggone it, Lorne - that's why people like you.  He produced a Senator, too, that’s pretty impressive. Ellen DeGeneres has a way of making you laugh about something rather than at someone.  Except when I danced on her show -- she laughed at me.  (Laughter.)  But that’s okay.  It's easy to forget now, when we’ve come so far, where now marriage is equal under the law -- just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago.  Just how important it was not just to the LGBT community, but for all of us to see somebody so full of kindness and light, somebody we liked so much, somebody who could be our neighbor or our colleague or our sister challenge our own assumptions, remind us that we have more in common than we realize, push our country in the direction of justice. What an incredible burden that was to bear.  To risk your career like that.  People don’t do that very often.  And then to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders.  But it's like Ellen says:  We all want a tortilla chip that can support the weight of guacamole.  Which really makes no sense to me, but I thought would brighten the mood, because I was getting kind of choked up.  (Laughter.)  And she did pay a price -- we don’t remember this.  I hadn’t remembered it.  She did, for a pretty long stretch of time -- even in Hollywood.  And yet, today, every day, in every way, Ellen counters what too often divides us with the countless things that bind us together -- inspires us to be better, one joke, one dance at a time. When The Candidate wins his race in the iconic 1972 film of the same name, which continues, by the way, for those of you who haven’t seen it, and many of you are too young -- perhaps the best movie about what politics is actually like, ever.  He famously asks his campaign manager the reflective and revealing question:  "What do we do now?"  And like the man he played in that movie, Robert Redford has figured it out and applied his talent and charm to achieve success.  We admire Bob not just for his remarkable acting, but for having figured out what to do next.  He created a platform for independent filmmakers with the Sundance Institute.  He has supported our National Parks and our natural resources as one of the foremost conservationists of our generation.  He's given his unmatched charisma to unforgettable characters like Roy Hobbs, Nathan Muir, and of course the Sundance Kid, entertaining us for more than half a century.  As an actor, director, producer, and as an advocate, he has not stopped -- and apparently drives so fast that he had breakfast in Napa and dinner in Salt Lake.  (Laughter.)  At 80 years young, Robert Redford has no plans to slow down. According to a recent headline, the movie, Sully was the last straw.  We should never travel with Tom Hanks.  (Laughter.)  I mean, you think about, you got pirates, plane crashes, you get marooned in airport purgatory, volcanoes -- something happens with Tom Hanks.  (Laughter.)  And yet somehow, we can't resist going where he wants to take us.  He's been an accidental witness to history, a crusty women's baseball manager, an everyman who fell in love with Meg Ryan three times.  (Laughter.)  Made it seem natural to have a volleyball as your best friend.  From a Philadelphia courtroom, to Normandy's beachheads, to the dark side of the moon, he has introduced us to America's unassuming heroes.  Tom says he just saw "ordinary guys who did the right thing at the right time."  Well, it takes one to know one, and "America's Dad" has stood up to cancer with his beloved wife, Rita.  He has championed our veterans, supported space exploration, and the truth is, Tom has always saved his best roles for real life.  He is a good man -- which is the best title you can have. So we got innovators, entertainers -- three more folks who've dedicated themselves to public service. In the early 1960s, thousands of Cuban children fled to America, seeking an education they'd never get back home.  And one refugee was 15-year-old named Eduardo Padron, whose life changed when he enrolled at Miami Dade College.  That decision led to a bachelor's degree, then a Master's degree, then a PhD, and then he had a choice -- he could go into corporate America, or he could give back to his alma mater.  And Eduardo made his choice -- to create more stories just like his.  As Miami Dade's President since 1995, Dr. Padron has built a "dream factory" for one of our nation's most diverse student bodies -- 165,000 students in all.  He's one of the world's preeminent education leaders -- thinking out of the box, supporting students throughout their lives, embodying the belief that we're only as great as the doors we open.  Eduardo's example is one we all can follow -- a champion for those who strive for the same American Dream that first drew him to our shores. When Elouise Cobell first filed a lawsuit to recover lands and money for her people, she didn't set out to be a hero.  She said, "I just wanted…to give justice to people that didn't have it."  And her lifelong quest to address the mismanagement of American Indian lands, resources, and trust funds wasn't about special treatment, but the equal treatment at the heart of the American promise.  She fought for almost 15 years -- across three Presidents, seven trials, 10 appearances before a federal appeals court.  All the while, she traveled the country some 40 weeks a year, telling the story of her people.  And in the end, this graduate of a one-room schoolhouse became a MacArthur Genius.  She is a proud daughter of Montana's Blackfeet Nation.  Reached ultimately a historic victory for all Native Americans.  Through sheer force of will and a belief that the truth will win out, Elouise Cobell overcame the longest odds, reminding us that fighting for what is right is always worth it. Now, every journalist in the room, every media critic knows the phrase Newt Minow coined: the "vast wasteland."  But the two words Newt prefers we remember from his speech to the nation's broadcasters are these: "public interest."  That's been the heartbeat of his life's work -- advocating for residents of public housing, advising a governor and Supreme Court justice, cementing presidential debates as our national institution, leading the FCC.  When Newt helped launch the first communications satellites, making nationwide broadcasts possible -- and eventually GPS possible and cellphones possible -- he predicted it would be more important than the moon landing.  "This will launch ideas into space," he said, "and ideas last longer than people."  As far as I know, he's the only one of today's honorees who was present on my first date with Michelle.  (Laughter.)  Imagine our surprise when we saw Newt, one of our bosses that summer, at the movie theater -- Do the Right Thing.  So he's been vital to my personal interests.  (Laughter.) And finally, we honor five of the all-time greats in sports and music. The game of baseball has a handful of signature sounds.  You hear the crack of the bat.  You got the crowd singing in the seventh inning stretch.  And you’ve got the voice of Vin Scully.  Most fans listen to a game's broadcast when they can't be at the ballpark.  Generations of Dodger fans brought their radios into the stands because you didn't want to miss one of Vin's stories.  Most play-by-play announcers partner with an analyst in the booth to chat about the action.  Vin worked alone and talked just with us.  Since Jackie Robinson started at second base, Vin taught us the game and introduced us to its players.  He narrated the improbable years, the impossible heroics, turned contests into conversations.  When he heard about this honor, Vin asked with characteristic humility, "Are you sure?  I'm just an old baseball announcer."  And we had to inform him that to Americans of all ages, you are an old friend.  In fact, I thought about him doing all these citations, which would have been very cool, but I thought we shouldn’t make him sing for his supper like that.  (Laughter.)  “Up next” -- (Laughter.) Here's how great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was:  1967, he had spent a year dominating college basketball, the NCAA bans the dunk.  They'd didn’t say it was about Kareem, but it was about Kareem.  (Laughter.)  When a sport changes its rules to make it harder just for you, you are really good.  (Laughter and applause.)  And yet despite the rule change, he was still the sport's most unstoppable force.  It's a title he'd hold for more than two decades, winning NBA Finals MVPs a staggering 14 years apart.  (Someone sneezes.)  Bless you.  (Laughter.) And as a surprisingly similar-looking co-pilot, Roger Murdoch, once said in the movie, Airplane -- I mean, we’ve got some great actors here -- Space Jam, Airplane.  (Laughter.)  He did it all while dragging Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.  But the reason we honor Kareem is more than just a pair of goggles and the skyhook.  He stood up for his Muslim faith when it wasn't easy and it wasn’t popular.  He's as comfortable sparring with Bruce Lee as he is advocating on Capitol Hill or writing with extraordinary eloquence about patriotism.  Physically, intellectually, spiritually -- Kareem is one-of-a-kind -- an American who illuminates both our most basic freedoms and our highest aspirations. When he was five years old, Michael Jordan nearly cut off his big toe with an axe.  (Laughter.)  Back then, his handles needed a little work.  But think -- if things had gone differently, Air Jordan just might never have taken flight.  (Laughter.)  I mean, you don’t want to buy a shoe with one toe missing.  (Laughter.)  We may never have seen him switch hands in mid-air against the Lakers.  Or drop 63 in the Garden.  Or gut it out in the flu game.  Or hit "the shot" three different times -- over Georgetown, over Ehlo, over Russell.  We might not have seen him take on Larry Bird in H-O-R-S-E or lift up the sport globally along with the Dream Team.  Yet MJ is still more than those moments; more than just the best player on the two greatest teams of all time -- the Dream Team and the Chicago '96 Bulls.  He's more than a logo, more than just an Internet meme.  (Laughter.)  More than just a charitable donor or a business owner committed to diversity.  There is a reason you call someone "the Michael Jordan of" -- Michael Jordan of neurosurgery, or the Michael Jordan of rabbis, or the Michael Jordan of outrigger canoeing -- and they know what you're talking about.  Because Michael Jordan is the Michael Jordan of greatness.  He is the definition of somebody so good at what they do that everybody recognizes them.  That’s pretty rare. As a child, Diana Ross loved singing and dancing for family friends -- but not for free.  (Laughter.)  She was smart enough to pass the hat.  And later, in Detroit's Brewster housing projects, she met Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard.  Their neighbor, Smokey Robinson, put them in front of Berry Gordy -- and the rest was magic -- music history.  The Supremes earned a permanent place in the American soundtrack.  Along with her honey voice, her soulful sensibility, Diana exuded glamour and grace that filled stages that helped to shape the sound of Motown.  On top of becoming one of the most successful recording artists of all time, raised five kids -- somehow found time to earn an Oscar nomination for acting.  Today, from the hip-hop that samples her, to the young singers who've been inspired by her, to the audiences that still cannot get enough of her -- Diana Ross's influence is inescapable as ever.  He was sprung from a cage out on Highway 9.  A quiet kid from Jersey, just trying to make sense of the temples of dreams and mystery that dotted his hometown -- pool halls, bars, girls and cars, altars and assembly lines.  And for decades, Bruce Springsteen has brought us all along on a journey consumed with the bargains between ambition and injustice, and pleasure and pain; the simple glories and scattered heartbreak of everyday life in America. To create one of his biggest hits, he once said, "I wanted to craft a record that sounded like the last record on Earth…the last one you'd ever need to hear.  One glorious noise…then the apocalypse."  Every restless kid in America was given a story: "Born to Run." He didn't stop there.  Once he told us about himself, he told us about everybody else.  The steelworker in "Youngstown."  The Vietnam Vet in "Born in the USA."  The sick and the marginalized on "The Streets of Philadelphia."  The firefighter carrying the weight of a reeling but resilient nation on "The Rising."  The young soldier reckoning with "Devils and Dust" in Iraq.  The communities knocked down by recklessness and greed in the "Wrecking Ball."  All of us, with all our faults and our failings, every color, and class, and creed, bound together by one defiant, restless train rolling toward "The Land of Hope and Dreams."  These are all anthems of our America; the reality of who we are, and the reverie of who we want to be.  "The hallmark of a rock and roll band," Bruce Springsteen once said, is that "the narrative you tell together is bigger than anyone could have told on your own."  And for decades, alongside the Big Man, Little Steven, a Jersey girl named Patti, and all the men and women of the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen has been carrying the rest of us on his journey, asking us all "what is the work for us to do in our short time here." I am the President.  But he is The Boss.  (Laughter.)  And pushing 70, he's still laying down four-hour live sets -- if you have been at them, he is working.  "Fire-breathing rock 'n' roll."  So I thought twice about giving him a medal named for freedom because we hope he remains, in his words, a "prisoner of rock 'n' roll" for years to come. So, I told you, this is like a really good class.  (Laughter.) Ladies and gentlemen, I want you all to give it up for the recipients of the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom.  (Applause.)  It is a good group. All right.  Now we actually got to give them medals.  So please be patient.  We are going to have my military aide read the citations.  Each one of them will come up and receive the medals, and then we’ll wrap up the program.  Okay.  Let’s hit it. MILITARY AIDE:  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  (Applause.)  An iconic basketball player who revolutionized the sport with his all-around play and signature skyhook, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a 19-time All-Star, a 6-time world champion, and the leading scorer in NBA history.  Adding to his achievements on the court he also left his mark off of it, advocating for civil rights, cancer research, science education, and social justice.  In doing so, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leaves a towering legacy of compassion, faith, and service to others -- a legacy based not only on the strength and grace of his athleticism, but on the sharpness of his mind and the size of his heart.  (Applause.) Turk Cobell, accepting on behalf of his mother, Elouise C. Cobell Yellowbird Woman.  (Applause.)  A member of the Blackfeet Nation, Elouise Cobell spent her life defying the odds and working on behalf of her people.  As a young woman, she was told that she wasn’t capable of understanding accounting.  So she mastered the field -- and used her expertise to champion a lawsuit whose historic settlement has helped restore Tribal homelands to her beloved Blackfeet Nation and many other Tribes.  Today, her tenacious and unwavering spirit lives on in the thousands of people and hundreds of Tribes for whom she fought and in all those she taught to believe that it is never too late to right the wrongs of the past and help shape a better future.  (Applause.) Ellen DeGeneres.  (Applause.)  In a career spanning three decades, Ellen DeGeneres has lifted our spirits and brought joy to our lives as a stand-up comic, actor, and television star.  In every role, she reminds us to be kind to one another and to treat people as each of us wants to be treated.  At a pivotal moment, her courage and candor helped change the hearts and minds of millions of Americans, accelerating our Nation’s constant drive toward equality and acceptance for all.  Again and again, Ellen DeGeneres has shown us that a single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place -- so long as we “just keep swimming.”  (Applause.) Robert De Niro.  (Applause.)  For over 50 years, Robert De Niro has delivered some of screen’s most memorable performances, cementing his place as one of the most gifted actors of his generation.  From “The Godfather Part II” and “The Deer Hunter” to “Midnight Run” and “Heat,” his work is legendary for its range and depth.  Relentlessly committed to his craft, De Niro embodies his characters, creating rich, nuanced portraits that reflect the heart of the human experience.  Regardless of genre or era, Robert De Niro continues to demonstrate that extraordinary skill that has made him one of America’s most revered and influential artists.  (Applause.) Richard L. Garwin.  (Applause.)  One of the most renowned scientific and engineering minds of our time, Dr. Richard Garwin has always answered the call to help solve society’s most challenging problems.  He has coupled his pioneering work in defense and intelligence technologies with leadership that underscores the urgency for humanity to control the spread of nuclear arms.  Through his advice to Republican and Democratic administrations dating to President Eisenhower, his contributions in fundamental research, and his inventions that power technologies that drive our modern world, Richard Garwin has contributed not only to this Nation’s security and prosperity, but to the quality of life for people all over the world.  (Applause.) William H. Gates III and Melinda French Gates.  (Applause.)  Few people have had the profound global impact of Bill and Melinda Gates.  Through their work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, they’ve demonstrated how the most capable and fortunate among us have a responsibility to use their talents and resources to tackle the world’s greatest challenges.  From helping women and girls lift themselves and their families out of poverty to empowering young minds across America, they have transformed countless lives with their generosity and innovation.  Bill and Melinda Gates continue to inspire us with their impatient optimism that, together, we can remake the world as it should be.  (Applause.) Frank Gehry.  (Applause.)  Never limited by conventional materials, styles, or processes, Frank Gehry’s bold and thoughtful structures demonstrate architecture’s power to induce wonder and revitalize communities.  A creative mind from an early age, he began his career by building imaginary homes and cities with scrap material from his grandfather’s hardware store.  Since then, his work continues to strike a balance between experimentation and functionality, resulting in some of the 20th century’s most iconic buildings.  From his pioneering use of technology to the dozens of awe-inspiring sites that bear his signature style to his public service as a citizen artist through his work with Turnaround Arts, Frank Gehry has proven himself an exemplar scholar of American innovation.  (Applause.) Margaret Heafield Hamilton.  (Applause.)  A pioneer in technology, Margaret Hamilton defined new forms of software engineering and helped launch an industry that would forever change human history.  Her software architecture led to giant leaps for humankind, writing the code that helped America set foot on the moon.  She broke barriers in founding her own software businesses, revolutionizing an industry and inspiring countless women to participate in STEM fields.  Her love of exploration and innovation are the source code of the American spirit, and her genius has inspired generations to reach for the stars.  (Applause.) Thomas J. Hanks.  (Applause.)  Throughout a distinguished film career, Tom Hanks has revealed the character of America, as well as his own.  Portraying war heroes, an astronaut, a ship captain, a cartoon cowboy, a young man growing up too fast, and dozens of others, he’s allowed us to see ourselves -- not only as we are, but as we aspire to be.  On screen and off, Tom Hanks has honored the sacrifices of those who have served our Nation, called on us all to think big and to believe, and inspired a new generation of young people to reach for the sky.  (Laughter and applause.) Deborah Murray, accepting on behalf of her great aunt, Grace Murray Hopper.  (Applause.)  As a child who loved disassembling alarm clocks, Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper found her calling early.  A Vassar alumna with a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale, Hopper served in the Navy during World War II, becoming one of the first programmers in early computing.  Known today as the “Queen of Code,” Grace Hopper’s work helped make the coding language more practical and accessible.  She invented the first compiler, or translator, a fundamental element of our now digital world.  “Amazing Grace” was committed to making the language of computer programming more universal.  Today, we honor her contributions to computer science and the sense of possibility she inspired in generations of young people.  (Applause.)  Michael J. Jordan.  (Applause and laughter.)  Powered by a drive to compete that earned him every major award in basketball, including six NBA championships, five Most Valuable Player awards, and two gold medals, Michael Jordan has a name that’s become a synonym for excellence.  His wagging tongue and high-flying dunks redefined the game, making him a global superstar whose impact transcended basketball and shaped our Nation’s broader culture.  From the courts in Wilmington, Chapel Hill, and Chicago to the owner’s suite he occupies today, his life and example have inspired millions of Americans to strive to “Be Like Mike.”  (Applause.)  Maya Y. Lin.  (Applause.)  Boldly challenging our understanding of the world, Maya Lin’s designs have brought people of all walks of life together in spirits of remembrance, introspection, and humility.  The manipulation of natural terrain and topography within her works inspires us to bridge our differences and recognize the gravity of our collective existence.  Her pieces have changed the landscape of our country and influenced the dialogue of our society -- never more profoundly than with her tribute to the Americans who fell in Vietnam by cutting a wound into the Earth to create a sacred place of healing in our Nation’s capital.  (Applause.)  Lorne Michaels.  (Applause.)  One of the most transformative entertainment figures of our time, Lorne Michaels followed his dreams to New York City, where he created a sketch show that brought satire, wits, and modern comedy to homes around the world.  Under his meticulous command as executive producer, “Saturday Night Live” has entertained audiences across generations, reflecting -- and shaping -- critical elements of our cultural, political, and national life.  Lorne Michaels’ creative legacy stretches into late-night television, sitcoms, and the big screen, making us laugh, challenging us to think, and raising the bar for those who follow.  As one of his show’s signature characters would say, “Well, isn’t that special?”  (Laughter and applause.)  Newton N. Minow.  (Applause.)  As a soldier, counsel to the Governor of Illinois, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Newton Minow’s career has been defined by his devotion to others.  Deeply committed to his family, the law, and the American people, his dedication to serving and empowering the public is reflected in his efforts to ensure that broadcast media educates and provides opportunity for all.  Challenging the media to better serve their viewers, his staunch commitment to the power of ideas and information has transformed telecommunications and its influential role in our society.  (Applause.)  Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón.  (Applause.)  As a teenage refugee from Cuba, Eduardo Padrón came to the United States to pursue the American Dream, and he has spent his life making that dream real for others.  As president of the community college he once attended, his thoughtful leadership and commitment to education have transformed Miami Dade College into one of the premier learning institutions in the country, earning him praise around the world.  His personal story and lasting professional influence prove that success need not be determined by our background, but by our dedication to others and our passion for creating America that is as inclusive as it is prosperous.  (Applause.)  Robert Redford.  (Applause.)  Robert Redford has captivated audiences from both sides of the camera through entertaining motion pictures that often explore vital social, political, and historical themes.  His lifelong advocacy on behalf of preserving our environment will prove as an enduring legacy as his award-winning films, as will his pioneering support for independent filmmakers across America.  His art and activism continue to shape our Nation’s cultural heritage, inspiring millions to laugh, cry, think, and change.  (Applause.)  Diana Ross.  (Applause and laughter.)  A daughter of Detroit, Diana Ross helped create the sound of Motown with her iconic voice.  From her groundbreaking work with The Supremes to a solo career that has spanned decades, she has influenced generations of young artists and shaped our Nation’s musical landscape.  In addition to a GRAMMY© Lifetime Achievement Award and countless musical accolades, Diana Ross has distinguished herself as an actor, earning an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award.  With over 25 albums, unforgettable hit singles, and live performances that continue to captivate audiences around the world, Diana Ross still reigns supreme.  (Applause.)  Next up, Vin Scully.  (Laughter and applause.)  With a voice that transcended a sport and transformed a profession, Vin Scully narrated America’s pastime for generations of fans.  Known to millions as the soundtrack of summer, he found time to teach us about life and love while chronicling routine plays and historic heroics.  In victory and in defeat, his colorful accounts reverberated through the bleachers, across the airwaves, and into our homes and imaginations.  He is an American treasure and a beloved storyteller, and our country’s gratitude for Vin Scully is as profound as his love for the game.  (Applause.)  Bruce F. Springsteen.  (Applause.)  As a songwriter, a humanitarian, America’s Rock and Roll laureate, and New Jersey’s greatest ambassador, Bruce Springsteen is, quite simply, The Boss.  (Laughter.)  Through stories about ordinary people, from Vietnam veterans to steel workers, his songs capture the pain and the promise of the American experience.  With his legendary E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen leaves everything on stage in epic, communal live performances that have rocked audiences for decades.  With empathy and honesty, he holds up a mirror to who we are -- as Americans chasing our dreams, and as human beings trying to do the right thing.  There’s a place for everyone in Bruce Springsteen’s America.  (Applause.)  Cicely Tyson.  (Applause.)  For sixty years, Cicely Tyson has graced the screen and the stage, enlightening us with her groundbreaking characters and calls to conscience, humility, and hope.  Her achievements as an actor, her devotion to her faith, and her commitment to advancing equality for all Americans—especially women of color -- have touched audiences of multiple generations.  From “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” to “Sounder,” to “The Trip to Bountiful,” Cicely Tyson’s performances illuminate the character of our people and the extraordinary possibilities of America.  (Applause.)  THE PRESIDENT:  So, just on a personal note, part of the reason that these events are so special to me is because everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, personal way -- in ways that they probably couldn’t imagine.  Whether it was having been inspired by a song, or a game, or a story, or a film, or a monument, or in the case of Newt Minow introducing me to Michelle -- (laughter) -- these are folks who have helped make me who I am and think about my presidency, and what also makes them special is, this is America.  And it’s useful when you think about this incredible collection of people to realize that this is what makes us the greatest nation on Earth.  Not because of what we -- (applause.)  Not because of our differences, but because, in our difference, we find something common to share.  And what a glorious thing that is.  What a great gift that is to America. So I want all of you to enjoy the wonderful reception that will be taking place afterwards.  Michelle and I have to get back to work, unfortunately, but I hear the food is pretty good.  (Laughter.)  And I would like all of you to give one big rousing round of applause to our 2016 honorees for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Give it up.  (Applause.) END 4:14 P.M. EST

22 ноября, 18:20

A Minority President

1. The American Majority Hillary Clinton won the majority of votes in this year’s presidential election. The loser, for the majority of voters, will now be a minority president-elect. Don’t let anyone forget it. Keep referring to Trump as the minority president, Mr. Minority and the overall Loser. Constant repetition, with discussion in the media and over social media, questions the legitimacy of the minority president to ignore the values of the majority. The majority, at the very least, needs to keep its values in the public eye and view the minority president’s action through majority American values. The polls failed and the nation needs to know why. The pollsters and pundits have not given a satisfactory answer. I will argue that the nature of mind is not a mere technical issue for the cognitive and brain sciences, but that it had everything to do with the outcome of the 2016 election — and the failure of the pollsters, the media, and Democrats to predict it. They were not alone. The public needs to understand better how the human mind works in general — but especially in politics. There is a lot to know. Let us go step by step. 2. The Mind I am a cognitive scientist. I study the human mind. Our minds are neural minds. The mind is physical, constituted by the neural circuitry of our brains and bodies. Most thought is unconscious, since we don’t have conscious access to our neural circuitry. Conscious thought is a small part of thought — estimates by neuroscientists vary between a general “most” to as much as 98 percent, with consciousness as the tip of the mental iceberg. We do know that people tend to make decisions unconsciously before becoming consciously aware of them. How the neural unconscious functions in decision-making is vitally important for politics. 3. Worldviews and Worldview Differences Our fixed worldviews are made up of complex ideas carried out by relatively fixed neural circuitry. Our worldviews determine how we think the world operates, as well as how we think it should operate. In short, our worldviews are constituted by neural circuitry for what we understand as normal, and what we take as right and wrong. There are, of course, radical differences in worldview, and we see those differences in politics, religion, culture, and so on. Here is the crucial fact about worldview differences: We can only understand what our brain circuitry allows us to understand. If facts don’t fit the worldviews in our brains, the facts may not even be noticed — or they may be puzzling, or ignored, or rejected outright, or if threatening, attacked. All of these happen in politics. A global warming denier does not say, “I am denying science.” The facts just don’t fit his worldview and don’t make sense to him or her. In short, the neural system characterizing a dominant fixed worldview will act as a Neural Filter, letting in only what fits. Consider some all-too-real examples. If you have an evangelical religious belief that the End Days are near, when the believers will be swept up to Heaven and the evil people left behind destroyed. The issue will be whether you will be saved, not the planet. Suppose you believe, as many do, that laissez-faire capitalism is both natural and supremely moral. The most important, natural, and right thing to do would be to maximize your profits, and those of the firms you invest in, while you are alive on earth. Then it will make sense to maximize fossil fuel profits. Passing them up for the sake of the planet will not make sense. Suppose you are a small-time rancher with a small herd of cattle in a remote area of a red state, living next to a federal nature preserve where there are endangered species. You work hard, have a hard time making a living, cannot afford expensive feed for you cattle, and think you should be able to have your cattle graze on the “unused” publicly-owned land next door so you can make ends meet. So you just tear down the fence and drive your cattle in. The feds tell you to leave, but the Republican governor tells the state police to leave you alone, and the Republican elected judge rules for you over the government. You feel morally vindicated. You can only make sense of what the neural circuitry characterizing your worldview allows you to make sense of. What about undeniable all-important facts that violate one’s moral worldview, like the Trump election? That can result in shock, physical shock. We will discuss why below. 4. What Is A Political Moderate? A moderate has a major worldview and an opposite minor worldview. A moderate conservative has mostly conservative views, but some progressive views. A moderate progressive has mostly progressive views, but some conservative views. There is no political ideology shared by all moderates. There is no consistent political “middle.” 5. Bi-conceptuals In order to be a moderate, you have to hold two opposing worldviews at once, but apply them to different issues. How can you have two opposing worldviews in the same brain, when each is a fixed neural circuit? Easy. They “inhibit” each other: turning one on turns the other off. This is called mutual inhibition. It is common in the brain. Political change has worked through bi-conceptualism — through moving minor worldviews in a more major direction, by “strengthening” minor worldviews until they become major. 6. Frames A worldview is an overall conceptual framework you use to understand the world. It is made up of mental “frames,” which are used to understand situations. A restaurant frame contains waiters/waitresses, customers, tables and chairs, a chef, a menu, food, a check, and so on, together with expectations about what each will do. Political worldviews are complexes of political frames that fit together coherently. Words have meanings that are defined relative to conceptual frames. If you hear “Here’s the dinner menu,” you know you’re in a restaurant. If you hear, “What’s the easiest way to eliminate the Department of Education?” you know you’re with the Trump transition team. 7. Language in Politics In politics, institutions, and cultural life, words tend not to be neutral. Instead their meanings are defined with respect to political worldviews. There are conservative and liberal vocabularies. “Save the planet!” is liberal. “Energy independence” is a conservative ‘dog whistle.’ It means dig coal and drill for oil and gas, even on public lands, and don’t invest seriously in solar and wind. Some might think those are politically neutral expressions. If you take them literally and ignore worldview differences, you might think everyone should want to save the planet and everyone should want energy independence. Liberals want literal energy independence, but through sustainable energy like solar and wind. Conservatives don’t believe in man-made climate change and want energy independence through maximizing coal, gas, and oil. Politically charged meanings put the other side in a bind. The opposition cannot answer directly. You won’t hear conservatives say “I don’t want to save the planet,” nor liberals say, “I’m against energy independence.” Instead they have to change the frame. In general, negating a frame just activates the frame and makes it stronger. I wrote a book called Don’t Think of an Elephant! to make that point. Liberals are often caught in this trap. If a conservative says, “we should have tax relief,” she is using the metaphor that taxation is an affliction that we need relief from. If a liberal replies, “No, we don’t need tax relief,” she is accepting the idea that taxation is an affliction. The first thing that is, or should be, taught about political language is not to repeat the language of the other side or negate their framing of the issue. The Clinton campaign consistently violated the lesson of Don’t Think of an Elephant! They used negative campaigning, assuming they could turn Trump’s most outrageous words against him. They kept running ads showing Trump forcefully expressing views that liberals found outrageous. Trump supporters liked him for forcefully saying things that liberals found outrageous. They were ads paid for by the Clinton campaign that raised Trump’s profile with his potential supporters! The basic lesson comes from a legendary story in framing circles. Lesley Stahl interviewed Ronald Reagan, bringing up stinging criticisms of Reagan. The morning after the interview ran on TV, Reagan’s chief of staff called Stahl and thanked her for the interview. “But I was criticizing him,” Stahl replied. The response was jovial, “But if you turned off the sound, he looked terrific. The presidential image is what will be remembered.” The more neural circuits are activated, the stronger their synapses get, and so the more easily they can be activated again and the more likely they will become permanent. The more the public hears one side’s language, or sees one side’s images, the more that side’s frames will be activated, and the more that side’s worldview will be strengthened in the brains of those who watch and listen. This is why political communication systems matter. Think for a moment of the conservative Leadership Institute’s 20th anniversary boast that they had trained over 159,000 local conservatives spokespeople from all over America in 20 years. Think of 159,000 trained conservative local leaders and spokespeople spread over all those red states on the 2016 presidential electoral map, in addition to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. That is how working white men and women, who might have started out as liberals or moderates years ago, gradually became more conservative by hearing conservative language day after day. And it was through such repetitive exposure every day to Trump’s forceful language and forceful image, through free media and social media, that a great many people were affected. 8. Metaphors We Vote By Much of unconscious thought is metaphorical. Not fanciful or “poetic” metaphors, but everyday ones we generally don’t notice. We understand More as being Up, as in “Turn up the radio,” which does not mean to throw it up to the ceiling. We understand achieving goals as reaching destinations: “You’ll get there. There’s nothing standing in your way. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The many metaphorical expressions reveal the presence of a conceptual metaphor, a mode of metaphorical thought. There’s nothing special about metaphorical thought. Given commonplace experience in the world and given a neural system, thousands of everyday metaphorical thoughts arise spontaneously. It happens around the world, and it mostly goes unnoticed, carried out by your neural system. Certain kinds of metaphorical thought, which go largely unnoticed, are central to our politics, as we shall see. 9: Values Over Demographics Briefly, the polls failed because they work by demography, using census data, and other readily accessible data. The census tells us where people live, their age, gender, ethnicity, educational level, marital status, income level, etc. These are objective data, and this kind of data is easy to get and sample. But demographic data leaves out what is most important in elections and in political polling generally: Values! One’s sense of right and wrong. That omission was crucial in this election. It is not just crucial in polling. It is also crucial in journalism. Most people in the press also talk as if demography were the gold standard of political truth: the suburban educated women, the Hispanics, the white working class — all defined by demographics. But the relationship between voting and demographics is not one-to-one. This election showed that in spades. Many progressives think the same way: Demography and issues — issue by issue. Democrats looking for donors will ask, “What is your most important issue?” Instead, the values that define one’s deepest identity are what matters most. Polling issue-by-issue misses the overall values that are all too often primary in elections. Indeed, the very question, “What is your most important issue?” almost guarantees that climate change will barely enter the electoral debate. What comes to mind when the question is asked are relatively immediate concerns — jobs, health care, immigration, poverty, student debt, and so on. Global warming is not seen as imminent — it comes in about number 20 on the list of voters’ “most important issues.” Part of the reason is that the causal link between global warming and weather disasters is not direct, but is a result of systemic factors in the ecosystem. High temperatures over the Pacific produce more evaporation, which means high energy water molecules go into the air, blow northeast and in winter come down as snow in Washington — more than ever before! The weather disasters throughout the country — severe hurricanes, floods, droughts, fires, — are often systemically caused by global warming and they should be named as such — a global warming hurricane, a climate change flood, a global warming drought, global warming fires — with illustrations of the systemic steps involved in the cause. To establish a frame, you need a name. I’ve been studying such matters from the perspective of the neural mind for two decades, starting with Moral Politics (now in its Third Edition) and in seven books and dozens of papers, as well as with those doing survey and experimental research. Because this perspective has not been part of the public discourse, it is worth going over in some detail. 10: All Politics Is Moral When a political leader proposes a policy, the assumption is that the policy is right, not wrong or morally irrelevant. No political leader says, “Do what I say because it’s evil. It’s the devil’s work, but do it!” Nor will a political leader say, “My policy proposal is morally irrelevant. It’s neither right nor wrong. It doesn’t really matter. Just do it.” When political leaders have opposing policies, that means they have opposing moral worldviews. 11. Why Do Voters Vote Their Values Everyone likes to think of himself or herself as a good person. That means that your moral system is a major part of your identity — who you most deeply are. Voting against your moral identity would be a rejection of self. That is why poor conservatives vote against their material interests. They are voting for their moral worldviews to dominate, and for public respect for their values. 12. The Mystery In the 1990s, as part of my research in the cognitive and brain sciences, I undertook to answer a question in my field: How do the various policy positions of conservatives and progressives hang together? Take conservatism: What does being against abortion have to do with being for owning guns? What does owning guns have to do with denying the reality of global warming? How does being anti-government fit with wanting a stronger military? How can you be pro-life and for the death penalty? How do these conservative positions make sense together? Progressives have the opposite views. How do their views hang together? 13. The Nation as Family Metaphor The answer came from a realization that we tend to understand the nation metaphorically in family terms: We have founding fathers. We send our sons and daughters to war. We have homeland security. The conservative and progressive worldviews dividing our country can most readily be understood in terms of moral worldviews that are encapsulated in two very different idealizations of family life: The Nurturant Parent family (progressive) and the Strict Father family (conservative). 14. Why Idealizations of the Family? What do social issues and their politics have to do with idealizations of the family? We are first governed in our families, and so we grow up understanding governing institutions in terms of the governing systems of families. Those governing institutions can be classrooms, teams, armies, churches, businesses, and so on. Nurturant and Strict family models pervade our culture. 15. Idealized Nurturant Families Nurturance starts with empathy. In nurturant families, caring for a child requires knowing what the child needs and wants. It requires open, two-way conversation. Parents have to take care of themselves if they are to care of their children. For their well-being, children need clear limits and guidelines (Don’t put your hand on a hot stove. You’ll get burned.), personal responsibilities (“Brush your teeth”), and family responsibilities (“Take care of your sister. Set the table.”) Children also need to empathize with others and act on that empathy. If not, as Barack Obama said in his 2008 Father’s Day speech, we’ll have a generation of people who don’t care about anybody else. Children also need to be fulfilled in life, and for this they need education, exercise, good health, a connection to nature, and a warm social life. And if some children require special attention, either because they are very young, or ill, or injured, or have other inherent problems, the rest of the family has to step up to help out. 16. Nurturance and Progressive Values These family values map via metaphor onto progressive political values: Citizens care about other citizens and act through their government to provide public resources for all, for both businesses and individuals. That’s how America started. The genius of the founding fathers centered on public resources. The public resources used by businesses were not only roads and bridges, but public education, a national bank, a patent office, courts for business cases, interstate commerce support, and of course the criminal justice system. From the beginning, the private depended on public resources — both private enterprise and private life. In private life, there were laws to protect freedoms and basic rights, as well as resources like police protection, public education, a national currency, access to banks for loans, courts for redress of grievances, and goods made available through interstate commerce. Over time, public resources have grown to include sewers, water and electricity, government protections in the form of “regulations” to keep unscrupulous corporations from harming the public, and to keep banks, mortgage holders, and investment houses from cheating the public. As commerce grew, the need for protective regulations grew into whole regulatory agencies of government. Modern life now depends on even more public resources, such as research universities and research support: computer science (via the NSF), the internet (from ARPA), pharmaceuticals and modern medicine (via the NIH), satellite communication (NASA and NOOA), and GPS systems and cell phones (satellite systems maintained with security and unbelievable precision by the Defense Department). Private enterprise and private life utterly depend on public resources. Not on “the government.” But on “the public.” What these public resources provide is freedom: freedom to start and run a business, and freedom in private life. You’re not free if you are not educated; your possibilities in life are limited. You’re not free if you have cancer and no health insurance. You’re not free if you have no income — or not enough for basic needs. And if you work for a large company, you may not be free without a union. Unions free workers from corporate servitude — free working people to have a living wage, safety on the job, regular working hours, a pension, health benefits, dignity. All of this arises from basic progressive values — empathy and care for one another — at the level of the nation. 17. The Strict Father and Conservative Values In the strict father family, father knows best. He knows right from wrong and has the ultimate authority to make sure his children and his spouse do what he says, which is taken to be what is right. Many conservative spouses accept this worldview, uphold the father’s authority, and are strict in those realms of family life that they are in charge of. When his children disobey, it is the strict father’s moral duty to punish them painfully enough so that, to avoid punishment, they will obey him (do what is right) and not just do what feels good. Through physical discipline they are supposed to become disciplined, internally strong, and able to prosper in the external world. What if they don’t prosper? That means they are not disciplined, and therefore cannot be moral, and so deserve their poverty. This reasoning shows up in conservative politics in which the poor are seen as lazy and undeserving, and the rich as deserving their wealth. Responsibility is thus taken to be personal responsibility not social responsibility. What you become is only up to you; society has nothing to do with it. You are responsible for yourself, not for others, who are responsible for themselves. 18. The Moral Hierarchy The strict father logic extends further. The basic idea is that authority is justified by morality (the strict father version), and that, in a world ordered by nature, there should be (and traditionally has been) a moral hierarchy in which those who have traditionally dominated should dominate. The hierarchy is: God above Man, Man above Nature, The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak), The Rich above the Poor, Employers above Employees, Adults above Children, Western culture above other cultures, America above other countries. The hierarchy extends to: Men above women, whites above Non-whites, Christians above non-Christians, straights above gays. On the whole, conservative policies flow from the strict father worldview and this hierarchy. Trump is an extreme case, though very much in line with conservative policies. 19. Strict Father Complexities There are political policies that follow from strict father morality. As we discuss them, please bear in mind that many if not most conservatives are bi-conceptual, that is, they have a strict father major worldview and a nurturant minor worldview on some issues or other. In-Group Nurturance: More importantly, it is common for conservatives to show in-group nurturance — care for members of some in-group. What counts as an in-group varies. The minimal in-group is your family. The in-group can be members of your church or your religion — and the church or religion may offer help to the needy members of the church or religion. The in-group can be in the military, with military family getting housing, education, health care, and cheaper goods on the military base, and where platoon-members (“bands of brothers”) are taken care of and never left behind. In small towns all over America where people are mostly conservative, the in-group can be community members and whoever lives in the town. The small-town nurturance for long-term neighbors can override differences in politics, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and so on. This means that in national or state politics, one may be a typical conservative, but those political views can be adjusted locally by moderation or in-group nurturance. Part of the conservative revolution of 1994 was the move by Newt Gingrich to rid the Republican party of moderates by running extreme conservatives against them in primaries. It is also important to remember that moderate progressives are biconceptuals, that they have a minor conservative worldview on a certain issues, and that they can be made more conservative by repeated conservative language. 20. Strict Father Political Policies The most obvious strict father political policies are the following, group by group. White Evangelical Christians: Right-wing white evangelicals offer you a strict father God you are to fear — who can send you to burn in hell for eternity. Sinners get a second chance, to become “born again.” After that, sinners who don’t follow his commandments will burn in hell. Those who follow the commandments will be “saved.” The moral hierarchy creates a white evangelical politics:       God above Man: Churches get major tax breaks, and seek public funding for religious schools. Men Above Women: Men get to decide on reproduction. Against Planned Parenthood, abortion, and morning-after pills. For laws requiring spousal and parental notification prior to abortion. Marriage between a man and a woman: no gay marriage. Child-rearing should follow the strict father model. Religious Christmas scenes in public places funded by public money. Large crosses erected on public land. The Ten Commandments in courtrooms. Political candidates must proclaim their religion. Laissez-Faire Free Marketeers: Corporations and those who own and run them are metaphorical strict fathers. Corporations are “persons” who can engage in political lobbying, who seek to maximize their profits, set rules for their employees and can punish them in various ways, ultimately by firing them or laying them off. Corporate conservatives want laissez-faire free markets, where wealthy people and corporations set market rules in their favor with minimal government regulation and enforcement. They see taxation not as investment in publicly provided resources for all citizens, but as government taking their earnings (their private property) and giving the money through government programs to those who don’t deserve it. This is the source of establishment Republicans’ anti-tax and shrinking government views. This version of conservatism is quite happy with outsourcing to increase profits by sending manufacturing and many services abroad where labor is cheap, with the consequence that well-paying jobs leave America and wages are driven down here. They profit from many cheap imports important for business profits, such as steel, building materials, electronic parts, etc. They also want to privatize public resources as much as possible: eliminate public schools, publicly financed health insurance, drill and mine on public lands, build private highways, and so on. The White Working Class: Many members of the white working class have strict father morality, even those in unions. Many have their strict father views limited to their home life, but many have them as a major worldview. As conservatives, they believe in individual responsibility, not government “handouts;” they may resent union dues and prefer “right to work” laws; and they may implicitly accept the moral hierarchy and believe they are superior to non-whites, Latinos, non-Christians, and gays and should be in a higher financial and social position. Conservative women may accept their position as inferior to their men, but still see themselves above the rest of the hierarchy. The white working class has been hit hard by income inequality, globalization and outsourcing, computerization, the decline of coal mining, low-wage chain stores driving out small business, and if older, ageism. They are largely uneducated and see themselves as looked down on by the educated “elite” who tell them that everyone should go to college to merit today’s jobs. They also resent “political correctness,” which directs resources to those who need them even more, but are lower on the conservative moral hierarchy. They want the respect of being on the right side of politics, of having their moral views— and hence their deepest identity — confirmed. Political Correctness Nurturant parent morality puts a premium on helping those in the family who need it the most: infants, sick or injured children, and so on. In liberal politics, those lower on the conservative moral hierarchy are seen to have been victimized by those who are more powerful. The result is a reverse moral hierarchy, in which the less powerful are more deserving of assistance than the more powerful: the poor more than the non-poor, non-white more than white, women more than men, immigrants more than residents, and so on. The white working class calls this view “political correctness.” It leaves out poor whites, especially in non-urban areas, who have had to face the problems of a culture that, as we have just seen, has been devastated by corporate greed (income inequality, globalization and outsourcing, computerization, and low-wage chain stores driving out small business) and factors like the decline of coal mining. All three of these groups — evangelicals, corporatists, and the white working class correctly saw the Supreme Court issue as central to upholding their values across the board, on all issues. The Main Issue Is Identity For each type of conservative, the main issue is one’s identity, which is defined by strict father values. One can have a religious version, a business version, or a working class resentment version, but in each case self-identity is the issue. That is why those who voted for Trump didn’t care if he constantly lied, or if he treated women outrageously, or if he was ignorant of foreign policy. What mattered was the voter’s moral identity, the voter’s sense of right and wrong, the voter’s self-respect as a conservative. Trump and those in his campaign understood this. Those in the Democratic party, the media, and pollsters did not. 21. Why The Moral Indicators Were Missed Corporatist Republican leaders tended to study business economics in college, and as a result studied marketing. Marketing professors study the mind and how people really think: using frames, metaphors, narratives, images, and emotions — mostly applied to advertising. These Republican leaders learned how to market their ideas. Progressives who go to college and are interested in politics tend to study political science, law, public policy, and economic theory. Those courses of study almost never include cognitive science, neuroscience, and cognitive linguistics — and so progressives interested in politics don’t learn about the Neural Mind, that is, about unconscious thought, frames, conceptual metaphors, moral worldviews, the role of language, etc. Instead, they are taught a version of Enlightenment reason, following René Descartes around 1650, namely: that all thought is conscious that reason is a matter of logic, as in a mathematical proof that since reason defines what means to be human, all rational people reason according to logic and therefore, if you give everybody the facts, they ought to all reason to the right conclusion. This is an utterly false theory of reason — taught as rationality and “critical thinking.” It was vitally important during the Enlightenment because it taught that people could think for themselves and did not have to follow the thinking the kings and religious leaders. One might like it to be true, but it isn’t. 22. False Reason, False Analyses The polls, the media, and the Democratic Party all failed to understand conservative values and their importance. They failed to understand unconscious thought and moral worldviews. While hailing science in the case of climate change, they ignored science when it came to their own minds. The pollsters, given easy access to demographics via census and other data, came up with their own view of mind, that demographics reflects public opinion, and that public opinion understood this way, drives elections. This amounts to a strange demographic theory of mind, that demography determines thought. The demographic theory of mind is naturally paired with the view that people simply vote their material interests, that their interests vary, and hence that issues are separable. This is widely assumed, despite the well-known facts that poor conservatives and rich liberals often vote against their material interests. But it does make polling — and fundraising — easier. Just ask people what their most important issues are, or to what degree that are for or against a particular policy. The Justifications This type of polling has its justifications. First, people with similar worldviews can tend to cluster in some demographic categories. Second, most of polling is done by advertisers selling products. If the polls miss by differences as small as those between Trump and Clinton, they are doing well by their clients. Incidentally, polling methodology used in advertising leads to the view that candidates are products, to be sold like cars, pharmaceuticals, and beauty products, and have to establish a recognizable, popular brand. It is true that moral worldviews generalize over specific issues, and so a specific issue can activate a general worldview. But the general moral worldview is not studied or discussed. An Alternative There is a way out that may be simple, but needs to be tested. One can include questions about values, even if the values are unconscious. The technique was developed by Elisabeth Wehling, Matt Feinberg (U. of Toronto), Laura Saslow (U. of Michigan), and myself. It was based on the conceptual metaphor of the Nation As Family, with two types of families — strict and nurturant. Technically, a conceptual metaphor is a neural mapping, linking the frame structure of one domain (e.g., the values of a type of family) to another domain (e.g., political views about the nation). Beginning with the theory proposed in my 1996 book, Moral Politics, we constructed two mappings linking family values to political values. We separated the family values from the political values and randomized each. We then asked, in surveys and experiments, the randomized questions to see if the correlations fit the predications of the mappings. The correlations were overwhelming, and are reported in Elisabeth Wehling’s 2013 doctoral dissertation, A nation under joint custody: How conflicting family models divide US-politics. The basic idea is that of a Moral Politics Scale that can be used in surveys, and that might be included in future polls. Questions about family values can be used as indicators of the moral values used in political worldviews. Other studies have been done and are in the publication pipeline. A few early studies do not, and should not, create a field, but it is a beginning. Polling studies using these ideas need to be done. 23. Clever Trump Democrats and most of the media looked upon Trump as a clown, a dimwit, a mere jerk, a reality show star, who did not understand the issues and who could not possibly win when he was insulting so many demographic groups. I am anything but a Trump fan, but I estimated that he would get about 47 percent of the vote. Although I was sure he wouldn’t quite win, I kept warning people that he could, especially given the Democrats’ failure to understand the role of values. Nine months before the election I wrote about how Trump used the brains of people listening to him to his advantage. Here is a recap of how Trump does it, with examples taken from his campaign. Unconscious thought works by certain basic mechanisms. Trump uses them instinctively to turn people’s brains toward what he wants: Absolute authority, money, power, and celebrity. The mechanisms are: 1. Repetition. Words are neurally linked to the circuits that determine their meaning. The more a word is heard, the more the circuit is activated and the stronger it gets, and so the easier it is to fire again. Trump repeats. Win. Win, Win. We’re gonna win so much you’ll get tired of winning. 2. Framing: Crooked Hillary. Framing Hillary as purposely and knowingly committing crimes for her own benefit, which is what a crook does. Repeating makes many people unconsciously think of her that way, even though she has always been found to have been honest and legal by thorough studies by the right-wing Bengazi committee (which found nothing) and the FBI (which found nothing to charge her with.) Yet the framing worked. There is a common metaphor that Immorality Is Illegality, and that acting against Strict Father Morality (the only kind off morality recognized) is being immoral. Since virtually everything Hillary Clinton has ever done has violated Strict Father Morality, that makes her immoral to strict conservatives. The metaphor makes her actions immoral, which makes her a crook. The chant “Lock her up!” activates this whole line of reasoning. 3. Well-known examples: When a well-publicized disaster happens, the coverage is repeated over and over, and watched on TV and read about many times. Neurally, the repetition activates the frame-circuitry for it over and over, strengthening the synapses with each repetition. Neural circuits with strong synapses can be activated more easily than those with weak synapses, and so the probability that they will be activated is higher. And so the frame is more likely to be activated. Repeated examples of shootings by Muslims, African-Americans, and Latinos make it seem probable that it could happen to you. It thus raises fears that it could happen to you and your community — despite the miniscule actual probability. Trump uses this technique to create fear. Fear tends to activate desire for a strong strict father to protect you — namely, Trump. 4. Grammar: Radical Islamic terrorists: “Radical” puts Muslims on a linear scale and “terrorists” imposes a frame on the scale, suggesting that terrorism is built into the religion itself. The grammar suggests that there is something about Islam that has terrorism inherent in it. Imagine calling the Charleston gunman a “radical Republican terrorist.” Trump is aware of this to at least some extent. As he said to Tony Schwartz, the ghost-writer who wrote The Art of the Deal for him, “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and it’s a very effective form of promotion.” 5. Conventional metaphorical thought is inherent in our largely unconscious thought. Such normal modes of metaphorical thinking are not noticed as such. Consider Brexit, which used the metaphor of “entering” and “leaving” the EU. There is a universal metaphor that states are bounded regions in space: you can enter a state, be deep in some state, and come out of that state. If you enter a café and then leave the café, you will be in the same location as before you entered. But that need not be true of states of being. But that was the metaphor used with Brexit; Britons believed that after leaving the EU, things would be as before when the entered the EU. They were wrong. Things changed radically while they were in the EU. That same metaphor is being used by Trump: Make America Great Again. Make America Safe Again. And so on. As if there was some past ideal state that we can go back to just by electing Trump.  6. There is also a metaphor that A Country Is a Person and a metonymy of the President Standing For the Country. Thus, Obama, via both metaphor and metonymy, can stand conceptually for America. Therefore, by saying that Obama is weak and not respected, it is communicated that America, with Obama as president, is weak and disrespected. The inference is that it is because of Obama. The corresponding inference is that, with a strong president like Trump, the country should be strong, and via strict father reasoning, respected. 7. The country as person metaphor and the metaphor that war or conflict between countries is a fistfight between people, leads to the inference that just having a strong president will guarantee that America will win conflicts and wars. Trump will just throw knockout punches. In his acceptance speech at the convention, Trump repeatedly said that he would accomplish things that, in reality, can only be done by the people acting with their government. After one such statement, there was a chant from the floor, “He will do it.” 8. The metaphor that The nation Is a Family was used throughout the GOP convention. We heard that strong military sons are produced by strong military fathers and that “defense of country is a family affair.” From Trump’s love of family and commitment to their success, we are to conclude that, as president he will love America’s citizens and be committed to the success of all. 9. There is a common metaphor that identifying with your family’s national heritage makes you a member of that nationality. Suppose your grandparents came from Italy and you identify with your Italian ancestors, you may proudly state that you are Italian. The metaphor is natural. Literally, you have been American for two generations. Trump made use of this commonplace metaphor in attacking US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is American, born and raised in the United States. Trump said he was a Mexican, and therefore would hate him and tend to rule against him in a case brought against Trump University for fraud. 10. Then there is the metaphor system used in the phrase “to call someone out.” First the word “out.” There is a general metaphor that Knowing Is Seeing as in “I see what you mean.” Things that are hidden inside something cannot be seen and hence not known, while things are not hidden but out in public can be seen and hence known. To “out” someone is to make their private knowledge public. To “call someone out” is to publicly name someone’s hidden misdeeds, thus allowing for public knowledge and appropriate consequences. This is the basis for the Trumpian metaphor that Naming is Identifying. Thus naming your enemies will allow you to identify correctly who they are, get to them, and so allow you to defeat them. Hence, just saying “radical Islamic terrorists” allows you to pick them out, get at them, and annihilate them. And conversely, if you don’t say it, you won’t be able to pick them out and annihilate them. Thus a failure to use those words means that you are protecting those enemies — in this case Muslims, that is, potential terrorists because of their religion. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Our neural minds think in certain patterns. Trump knows how to exploit them. Whatever other limitations on his knowledge, he knows a lot about using your brain against you to acquire and maintain power and money. 24. The Media It is vitally important for the public to be aware of how their brains can be used against them. Can the media do such a job? There are many forces militating against it. First, there is obvious pressure on those reporting on politics in the media to assume that thought is conscious and not to talk about matters outside of public political discourse, that is, don’t talk about things your audience can’t understand. Second, many in the media accept Enlightenment Reason. It is common for progressive pundits to quote conservative claims in conservative language and then argue against it, assuming that negating a frame will wipe it out, when instead negating a frame activates and strengthens the frame. They are ignoring the warnings of Don’t Think of an Elephant! Third, there is the metaphor that Objectivity is Balance, that interviews are about opinions and that opinions should be balanced. Fourth, there are political and economic levers of power that are being used on the media. Trump is choosing the new members of the Federal Communications Commission, which has the power to take away broadcast licenses. The Congress has the power of the purse over National Public Broadcasting and one can already see where NPR correspondents are hesitant to challenge lies. Similarly corporate advertisers have that power over radio and tv stations, as do their corporate owners. Fifth, there are ratings, which mean advertising money. The head of CBS, Leslie Moonves, for example, said that CBS benefitted by giving Trump free airtime during the campaign. “It may not be good for America, but it’s good for CBS,” he said. Sixth, it is virtually impossible during an interview to do instant fact-checking and constantly interrupting the interviewee to confront his lies, or at least report them. It would of course lead the interviewee to refuse future interviews with that reporter or that station — or keep him or her out of the White House Press Corps. The result is media intimidation and steps toward the loss of the free press. The question is whether people in the media can join together in courage when their careers, and hence their livelihood, are threatened. One possibility is for journalists to use more accurate language. Take government regulations. Their job is to protect the public from harm and fraud composed by unscrupulous corporations. The Trump administration wants to get rid of “regulations.” They are actually getting rid of protection. Can journalists actually say they are getting rid of protections, saying the word “protection,” and reporting on the harm that would be done by not protecting the public. Can the media report on corporate poisoning of the public — through introducing lead and other cancer-causing agents into the water through fracking and various manufacturing processes, through making food or toiletries that contain poisonous and cancer-causing ingredients, and on and on. The regulations are there for a purpose — protection. Can the media use the words POISON and CANCER? The public needs to know. Seventh, there are science-of-mind constraints. Reporters and commentators are expected to stick to what is conscious and with literal meaning. But most real political discourse makes use of unconscious thought, which shapes conscious thought via unconscious framing and commonplace conceptual metaphors, as we have seen. Can the media figure out a way to say what in this article? More than ever we need courage and imagination in the media. It is crucial, for the history of the country and the world, as well as the planet. 25. What The Majority Can Do A strong American Majority movement is necessary, and its backbone has to be a citizens’ communication system — or systems — run through the internet, framing American values accurately and systemically day after day, telling truths framed by American majority moral values — and appealing honestly and forthrightly to those in-group nurturant values in small towns across America. The idea that must be brought across is empathy for those in your in-group, your town. This is basic progressive thought: citizens care about citizens and provide public resources for all, maximizing freedom. It fits in-group nurturance. And it undermines — rather than negates — strict father morality. What a Strict Father Cannot Be There are certain things that strict fathers cannot be: A Loser, Corrupt, and especially not a Betrayer of Trust. Trump lost the popular vote. To the American majority, he is a Loser, a minority president. It needs to be said and repeated. Above all, Trump is a Betrayer of Trust. He is acting like a dictator, and is even supporting Putin’s anti-American policies. He is betraying trust in a direct way, by refusing to put his business interests in a blind trust. By doing so, and by insisting on his children both running the business and getting classified information, he is using the presidency to make himself incredibly wealthy — just as Putin has. This is Corruption of the highest and most blatant level. Can the media say the words: Corruption, Betrayal of Trust? He ran on a promise to end corruption, to “drain the swamp” in Washington. Instead, he has brought a new and much bigger swamp with him — lobbyists put in charge of one government agency after another, using public funds and the power of the government to serve corporate greed. And the biggest crock in the swamp is Trump himself! The Trump administration will wreak havoc on the very people who voted for him in those small towns — disaster after disaster. It will be a huge betrayal. The $500 billion in infrastructure — roads and bridges, airports, sewers, eliminating lead water pipes — will probably not make it to those thousands of small rural towns with in-group nurturance for the townspeople. How many factories with good-paying jobs can be brought to such towns? Not thousands. Many of those who voted for Trump will inevitably be among the 20 million who will lose their health care. And they will become even further victims of corporate greed — more profits going to the top one percent and more national corporations, say, fast food and big-box stores paying low wages and offering demeaning jobs will continue to wipe out local businesses. Will this be reported? Will it even be said? And if so, how will it be said in a way that doesn’t wind up promoting Trump? The American majority must create an online citizen communication network — or multiple networks — to spread its positive American values and truths as antidotes to those small towns with in-group nurturance as the Trump swamp swamps them! The message is not merely negative, that they are being betrayed. That’s the Don’t Think of an Elephant! trap. Rather it is that the town’s in-group nurturance is nurturance. It works because care is morally right. Right now the majority is fighting back, pointing out what is wrong with Trump day after day. In many cases, they are missing the message of Don’t Think of an Elephant! By fighting against Trump, many protesters are just showcasing Trump, keeping him in the limelight, rather than highlighting the majority’s positive moral view and viewing the problem with Trump from within the majority’s positive worldview frame. To effectively fight for what is right, you have to first say what is right and why. George Lakoff is Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, and Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (website: cnms.berkeley.edu). His many books and articles can be found at his website: www.georgelakoff.com. He is one of the most cited of American scholars, with more than 130,000 citations in scholarly journals — the second most at UC Berkeley. The citations of his work can be found at the Google Scholar Citation Index. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

22 ноября, 18:20

A Minority President

1. The American Majority Hillary Clinton won the majority of votes in this year’s presidential election. The loser, for the majority of voters, will now be a minority president-elect. Don’t let anyone forget it. Keep referring to Trump as the minority president, Mr. Minority and the overall Loser. Constant repetition, with discussion in the media and over social media, questions the legitimacy of the minority president to ignore the values of the majority. The majority, at the very least, needs to keep its values in the public eye and view the minority president’s action through majority American values. The polls failed and the nation needs to know why. The pollsters and pundits have not given a satisfactory answer. I will argue that the nature of mind is not a mere technical issue for the cognitive and brain sciences, but that it had everything to do with the outcome of the 2016 election — and the failure of the pollsters, the media, and Democrats to predict it. They were not alone. The public needs to understand better how the human mind works in general — but especially in politics. There is a lot to know. Let us go step by step. 2. The Mind I am a cognitive scientist. I study the human mind. Our minds are neural minds. The mind is physical, constituted by the neural circuitry of our brains and bodies. Most thought is unconscious, since we don’t have conscious access to our neural circuitry. Conscious thought is a small part of thought — estimates by neuroscientists vary between a general “most” to as much as 98 percent, with consciousness as the tip of the mental iceberg. We do know that people tend to make decisions unconsciously before becoming consciously aware of them. How the neural unconscious functions in decision-making is vitally important for politics. 3. Worldviews and Worldview Differences Our fixed worldviews are made up of complex ideas carried out by relatively fixed neural circuitry. Our worldviews determine how we think the world operates, as well as how we think it should operate. In short, our worldviews are constituted by neural circuitry for what we understand as normal, and what we take as right and wrong. There are, of course, radical differences in worldview, and we see those differences in politics, religion, culture, and so on. Here is the crucial fact about worldview differences: We can only understand what our brain circuitry allows us to understand. If facts don’t fit the worldviews in our brains, the facts may not even be noticed — or they may be puzzling, or ignored, or rejected outright, or if threatening, attacked. All of these happen in politics. A global warming denier does not say, “I am denying science.” The facts just don’t fit his worldview and don’t make sense to him or her. In short, the neural system characterizing a dominant fixed worldview will act as a Neural Filter, letting in only what fits. Consider some all-too-real examples. If you have an evangelical religious belief that the End Days are near, when the believers will be swept up to Heaven and the evil people left behind destroyed. The issue will be whether you will be saved, not the planet. Suppose you believe, as many do, that laissez-faire capitalism is both natural and supremely moral. The most important, natural, and right thing to do would be to maximize your profits, and those of the firms you invest in, while you are alive on earth. Then it will make sense to maximize fossil fuel profits. Passing them up for the sake of the planet will not make sense. Suppose you are a small-time rancher with a small herd of cattle in a remote area of a red state, living next to a federal nature preserve where there are endangered species. You work hard, have a hard time making a living, cannot afford expensive feed for you cattle, and think you should be able to have your cattle graze on the “unused” publicly-owned land next door so you can make ends meet. So you just tear down the fence and drive your cattle in. The feds tell you to leave, but the Republican governor tells the state police to leave you alone, and the Republican elected judge rules for you over the government. You feel morally vindicated. You can only make sense of what the neural circuitry characterizing your worldview allows you to make sense of. What about undeniable all-important facts that violate one’s moral worldview, like the Trump election? That can result in shock, physical shock. We will discuss why below. 4. What Is A Political Moderate? A moderate has a major worldview and an opposite minor worldview. A moderate conservative has mostly conservative views, but some progressive views. A moderate progressive has mostly progressive views, but some conservative views. There is no political ideology shared by all moderates. There is no consistent political “middle.” 5. Bi-conceptuals In order to be a moderate, you have to hold two opposing worldviews at once, but apply them to different issues. How can you have two opposing worldviews in the same brain, when each is a fixed neural circuit? Easy. They “inhibit” each other: turning one on turns the other off. This is called mutual inhibition. It is common in the brain. Political change has worked through bi-conceptualism — through moving minor worldviews in a more major direction, by “strengthening” minor worldviews until they become major. 6. Frames A worldview is an overall conceptual framework you use to understand the world. It is made up of mental “frames,” which are used to understand situations. A restaurant frame contains waiters/waitresses, customers, tables and chairs, a chef, a menu, food, a check, and so on, together with expectations about what each will do. Political worldviews are complexes of political frames that fit together coherently. Words have meanings that are defined relative to conceptual frames. If you hear “Here’s the dinner menu,” you know you’re in a restaurant. If you hear, “What’s the easiest way to eliminate the Department of Education?” you know you’re with the Trump transition team. 7. Language in Politics In politics, institutions, and cultural life, words tend not to be neutral. Instead their meanings are defined with respect to political worldviews. There are conservative and liberal vocabularies. “Save the planet!” is liberal. “Energy independence” is a conservative ‘dog whistle.’ It means dig coal and drill for oil and gas, even on public lands, and don’t invest seriously in solar and wind. Some might think those are politically neutral expressions. If you take them literally and ignore worldview differences, you might think everyone should want to save the planet and everyone should want energy independence. Liberals want literal energy independence, but through sustainable energy like solar and wind. Conservatives don’t believe in man-made climate change and want energy independence through maximizing coal, gas, and oil. Politically charged meanings put the other side in a bind. The opposition cannot answer directly. You won’t hear conservatives say “I don’t want to save the planet,” nor liberals say, “I’m against energy independence.” Instead they have to change the frame. In general, negating a frame just activates the frame and makes it stronger. I wrote a book called Don’t Think of an Elephant! to make that point. Liberals are often caught in this trap. If a conservative says, “we should have tax relief,” she is using the metaphor that taxation is an affliction that we need relief from. If a liberal replies, “No, we don’t need tax relief,” she is accepting the idea that taxation is an affliction. The first thing that is, or should be, taught about political language is not to repeat the language of the other side or negate their framing of the issue. The Clinton campaign consistently violated the lesson of Don’t Think of an Elephant! They used negative campaigning, assuming they could turn Trump’s most outrageous words against him. They kept running ads showing Trump forcefully expressing views that liberals found outrageous. Trump supporters liked him for forcefully saying things that liberals found outrageous. They were ads paid for by the Clinton campaign that raised Trump’s profile with his potential supporters! The basic lesson comes from a legendary story in framing circles. Lesley Stahl interviewed Ronald Reagan, bringing up stinging criticisms of Reagan. The morning after the interview ran on TV, Reagan’s chief of staff called Stahl and thanked her for the interview. “But I was criticizing him,” Stahl replied. The response was jovial, “But if you turned off the sound, he looked terrific. The presidential image is what will be remembered.” The more neural circuits are activated, the stronger their synapses get, and so the more easily they can be activated again and the more likely they will become permanent. The more the public hears one side’s language, or sees one side’s images, the more that side’s frames will be activated, and the more that side’s worldview will be strengthened in the brains of those who watch and listen. This is why political communication systems matter. Think for a moment of the conservative Leadership Institute’s 20th anniversary boast that they had trained over 159,000 local conservatives spokespeople from all over America in 20 years. Think of 159,000 trained conservative local leaders and spokespeople spread over all those red states on the 2016 presidential electoral map, in addition to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. That is how working white men and women, who might have started out as liberals or moderates years ago, gradually became more conservative by hearing conservative language day after day. And it was through such repetitive exposure every day to Trump’s forceful language and forceful image, through free media and social media, that a great many people were affected. 8. Metaphors We Vote By Much of unconscious thought is metaphorical. Not fanciful or “poetic” metaphors, but everyday ones we generally don’t notice. We understand More as being Up, as in “Turn up the radio,” which does not mean to throw it up to the ceiling. We understand achieving goals as reaching destinations: “You’ll get there. There’s nothing standing in your way. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The many metaphorical expressions reveal the presence of a conceptual metaphor, a mode of metaphorical thought. There’s nothing special about metaphorical thought. Given commonplace experience in the world and given a neural system, thousands of everyday metaphorical thoughts arise spontaneously. It happens around the world, and it mostly goes unnoticed, carried out by your neural system. Certain kinds of metaphorical thought, which go largely unnoticed, are central to our politics, as we shall see. 9: Values Over Demographics Briefly, the polls failed because they work by demography, using census data, and other readily accessible data. The census tells us where people live, their age, gender, ethnicity, educational level, marital status, income level, etc. These are objective data, and this kind of data is easy to get and sample. But demographic data leaves out what is most important in elections and in political polling generally: Values! One’s sense of right and wrong. That omission was crucial in this election. It is not just crucial in polling. It is also crucial in journalism. Most people in the press also talk as if demography were the gold standard of political truth: the suburban educated women, the Hispanics, the white working class — all defined by demographics. But the relationship between voting and demographics is not one-to-one. This election showed that in spades. Many progressives think the same way: Demography and issues — issue by issue. Democrats looking for donors will ask, “What is your most important issue?” Instead, the values that define one’s deepest identity are what matters most. Polling issue-by-issue misses the overall values that are all too often primary in elections. Indeed, the very question, “What is your most important issue?” almost guarantees that climate change will barely enter the electoral debate. What comes to mind when the question is asked are relatively immediate concerns — jobs, health care, immigration, poverty, student debt, and so on. Global warming is not seen as imminent — it comes in about number 20 on the list of voters’ “most important issues.” Part of the reason is that the causal link between global warming and weather disasters is not direct, but is a result of systemic factors in the ecosystem. High temperatures over the Pacific produce more evaporation, which means high energy water molecules go into the air, blow northeast and in winter come down as snow in Washington — more than ever before! The weather disasters throughout the country — severe hurricanes, floods, droughts, fires, — are often systemically caused by global warming and they should be named as such — a global warming hurricane, a climate change flood, a global warming drought, global warming fires — with illustrations of the systemic steps involved in the cause. To establish a frame, you need a name. I’ve been studying such matters from the perspective of the neural mind for two decades, starting with Moral Politics (now in its Third Edition) and in seven books and dozens of papers, as well as with those doing survey and experimental research. Because this perspective has not been part of the public discourse, it is worth going over in some detail. 10: All Politics Is Moral When a political leader proposes a policy, the assumption is that the policy is right, not wrong or morally irrelevant. No political leader says, “Do what I say because it’s evil. It’s the devil’s work, but do it!” Nor will a political leader say, “My policy proposal is morally irrelevant. It’s neither right nor wrong. It doesn’t really matter. Just do it.” When political leaders have opposing policies, that means they have opposing moral worldviews. 11. Why Do Voters Vote Their Values Everyone likes to think of himself or herself as a good person. That means that your moral system is a major part of your identity — who you most deeply are. Voting against your moral identity would be a rejection of self. That is why poor conservatives vote against their material interests. They are voting for their moral worldviews to dominate, and for public respect for their values. 12. The Mystery In the 1990s, as part of my research in the cognitive and brain sciences, I undertook to answer a question in my field: How do the various policy positions of conservatives and progressives hang together? Take conservatism: What does being against abortion have to do with being for owning guns? What does owning guns have to do with denying the reality of global warming? How does being anti-government fit with wanting a stronger military? How can you be pro-life and for the death penalty? How do these conservative positions make sense together? Progressives have the opposite views. How do their views hang together? 13. The Nation as Family Metaphor The answer came from a realization that we tend to understand the nation metaphorically in family terms: We have founding fathers. We send our sons and daughters to war. We have homeland security. The conservative and progressive worldviews dividing our country can most readily be understood in terms of moral worldviews that are encapsulated in two very different idealizations of family life: The Nurturant Parent family (progressive) and the Strict Father family (conservative). 14. Why Idealizations of the Family? What do social issues and their politics have to do with idealizations of the family? We are first governed in our families, and so we grow up understanding governing institutions in terms of the governing systems of families. Those governing institutions can be classrooms, teams, armies, churches, businesses, and so on. Nurturant and Strict family models pervade our culture. 15. Idealized Nurturant Families Nurturance starts with empathy. In nurturant families, caring for a child requires knowing what the child needs and wants. It requires open, two-way conversation. Parents have to take care of themselves if they are to care of their children. For their well-being, children need clear limits and guidelines (Don’t put your hand on a hot stove. You’ll get burned.), personal responsibilities (“Brush your teeth”), and family responsibilities (“Take care of your sister. Set the table.”) Children also need to empathize with others and act on that empathy. If not, as Barack Obama said in his 2008 Father’s Day speech, we’ll have a generation of people who don’t care about anybody else. Children also need to be fulfilled in life, and for this they need education, exercise, good health, a connection to nature, and a warm social life. And if some children require special attention, either because they are very young, or ill, or injured, or have other inherent problems, the rest of the family has to step up to help out. 16. Nurturance and Progressive Values These family values map via metaphor onto progressive political values: Citizens care about other citizens and act through their government to provide public resources for all, for both businesses and individuals. That’s how America started. The genius of the founding fathers centered on public resources. The public resources used by businesses were not only roads and bridges, but public education, a national bank, a patent office, courts for business cases, interstate commerce support, and of course the criminal justice system. From the beginning, the private depended on public resources — both private enterprise and private life. In private life, there were laws to protect freedoms and basic rights, as well as resources like police protection, public education, a national currency, access to banks for loans, courts for redress of grievances, and goods made available through interstate commerce. Over time, public resources have grown to include sewers, water and electricity, government protections in the form of “regulations” to keep unscrupulous corporations from harming the public, and to keep banks, mortgage holders, and investment houses from cheating the public. As commerce grew, the need for protective regulations grew into whole regulatory agencies of government. Modern life now depends on even more public resources, such as research universities and research support: computer science (via the NSF), the internet (from ARPA), pharmaceuticals and modern medicine (via the NIH), satellite communication (NASA and NOOA), and GPS systems and cell phones (satellite systems maintained with security and unbelievable precision by the Defense Department). Private enterprise and private life utterly depend on public resources. Not on “the government.” But on “the public.” What these public resources provide is freedom: freedom to start and run a business, and freedom in private life. You’re not free if you are not educated; your possibilities in life are limited. You’re not free if you have cancer and no health insurance. You’re not free if you have no income — or not enough for basic needs. And if you work for a large company, you may not be free without a union. Unions free workers from corporate servitude — free working people to have a living wage, safety on the job, regular working hours, a pension, health benefits, dignity. All of this arises from basic progressive values — empathy and care for one another — at the level of the nation. 17. The Strict Father and Conservative Values In the strict father family, father knows best. He knows right from wrong and has the ultimate authority to make sure his children and his spouse do what he says, which is taken to be what is right. Many conservative spouses accept this worldview, uphold the father’s authority, and are strict in those realms of family life that they are in charge of. When his children disobey, it is the strict father’s moral duty to punish them painfully enough so that, to avoid punishment, they will obey him (do what is right) and not just do what feels good. Through physical discipline they are supposed to become disciplined, internally strong, and able to prosper in the external world. What if they don’t prosper? That means they are not disciplined, and therefore cannot be moral, and so deserve their poverty. This reasoning shows up in conservative politics in which the poor are seen as lazy and undeserving, and the rich as deserving their wealth. Responsibility is thus taken to be personal responsibility not social responsibility. What you become is only up to you; society has nothing to do with it. You are responsible for yourself, not for others, who are responsible for themselves. 18. The Moral Hierarchy The strict father logic extends further. The basic idea is that authority is justified by morality (the strict father version), and that, in a world ordered by nature, there should be (and traditionally has been) a moral hierarchy in which those who have traditionally dominated should dominate. The hierarchy is: God above Man, Man above Nature, The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak), The Rich above the Poor, Employers above Employees, Adults above Children, Western culture above other cultures, America above other countries. The hierarchy extends to: Men above women, whites above Non-whites, Christians above non-Christians, straights above gays. On the whole, conservative policies flow from the strict father worldview and this hierarchy. Trump is an extreme case, though very much in line with conservative policies. 19. Strict Father Complexities There are political policies that follow from strict father morality. As we discuss them, please bear in mind that many if not most conservatives are bi-conceptual, that is, they have a strict father major worldview and a nurturant minor worldview on some issues or other. In-Group Nurturance: More importantly, it is common for conservatives to show in-group nurturance — care for members of some in-group. What counts as an in-group varies. The minimal in-group is your family. The in-group can be members of your church or your religion — and the church or religion may offer help to the needy members of the church or religion. The in-group can be in the military, with military family getting housing, education, health care, and cheaper goods on the military base, and where platoon-members (“bands of brothers”) are taken care of and never left behind. In small towns all over America where people are mostly conservative, the in-group can be community members and whoever lives in the town. The small-town nurturance for long-term neighbors can override differences in politics, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and so on. This means that in national or state politics, one may be a typical conservative, but those political views can be adjusted locally by moderation or in-group nurturance. Part of the conservative revolution of 1994 was the move by Newt Gingrich to rid the Republican party of moderates by running extreme conservatives against them in primaries. It is also important to remember that moderate progressives are biconceptuals, that they have a minor conservative worldview on a certain issues, and that they can be made more conservative by repeated conservative language. 20. Strict Father Political Policies The most obvious strict father political policies are the following, group by group. White Evangelical Christians: Right-wing white evangelicals offer you a strict father God you are to fear — who can send you to burn in hell for eternity. Sinners get a second chance, to become “born again.” After that, sinners who don’t follow his commandments will burn in hell. Those who follow the commandments will be “saved.” The moral hierarchy creates a white evangelical politics:       God above Man: Churches get major tax breaks, and seek public funding for religious schools. Men Above Women: Men get to decide on reproduction. Against Planned Parenthood, abortion, and morning-after pills. For laws requiring spousal and parental notification prior to abortion. Marriage between a man and a woman: no gay marriage. Child-rearing should follow the strict father model. Religious Christmas scenes in public places funded by public money. Large crosses erected on public land. The Ten Commandments in courtrooms. Political candidates must proclaim their religion. Laissez-Faire Free Marketeers: Corporations and those who own and run them are metaphorical strict fathers. Corporations are “persons” who can engage in political lobbying, who seek to maximize their profits, set rules for their employees and can punish them in various ways, ultimately by firing them or laying them off. Corporate conservatives want laissez-faire free markets, where wealthy people and corporations set market rules in their favor with minimal government regulation and enforcement. They see taxation not as investment in publicly provided resources for all citizens, but as government taking their earnings (their private property) and giving the money through government programs to those who don’t deserve it. This is the source of establishment Republicans’ anti-tax and shrinking government views. This version of conservatism is quite happy with outsourcing to increase profits by sending manufacturing and many services abroad where labor is cheap, with the consequence that well-paying jobs leave America and wages are driven down here. They profit from many cheap imports important for business profits, such as steel, building materials, electronic parts, etc. They also want to privatize public resources as much as possible: eliminate public schools, publicly financed health insurance, drill and mine on public lands, build private highways, and so on. The White Working Class: Many members of the white working class have strict father morality, even those in unions. Many have their strict father views limited to their home life, but many have them as a major worldview. As conservatives, they believe in individual responsibility, not government “handouts;” they may resent union dues and prefer “right to work” laws; and they may implicitly accept the moral hierarchy and believe they are superior to non-whites, Latinos, non-Christians, and gays and should be in a higher financial and social position. Conservative women may accept their position as inferior to their men, but still see themselves above the rest of the hierarchy. The white working class has been hit hard by income inequality, globalization and outsourcing, computerization, the decline of coal mining, low-wage chain stores driving out small business, and if older, ageism. They are largely uneducated and see themselves as looked down on by the educated “elite” who tell them that everyone should go to college to merit today’s jobs. They also resent “political correctness,” which directs resources to those who need them even more, but are lower on the conservative moral hierarchy. They want the respect of being on the right side of politics, of having their moral views— and hence their deepest identity — confirmed. Political Correctness Nurturant parent morality puts a premium on helping those in the family who need it the most: infants, sick or injured children, and so on. In liberal politics, those lower on the conservative moral hierarchy are seen to have been victimized by those who are more powerful. The result is a reverse moral hierarchy, in which the less powerful are more deserving of assistance than the more powerful: the poor more than the non-poor, non-white more than white, women more than men, immigrants more than residents, and so on. The white working class calls this view “political correctness.” It leaves out poor whites, especially in non-urban areas, who have had to face the problems of a culture that, as we have just seen, has been devastated by corporate greed (income inequality, globalization and outsourcing, computerization, and low-wage chain stores driving out small business) and factors like the decline of coal mining. All three of these groups — evangelicals, corporatists, and the white working class correctly saw the Supreme Court issue as central to upholding their values across the board, on all issues. The Main Issue Is Identity For each type of conservative, the main issue is one’s identity, which is defined by strict father values. One can have a religious version, a business version, or a working class resentment version, but in each case self-identity is the issue. That is why those who voted for Trump didn’t care if he constantly lied, or if he treated women outrageously, or if he was ignorant of foreign policy. What mattered was the voter’s moral identity, the voter’s sense of right and wrong, the voter’s self-respect as a conservative. Trump and those in his campaign understood this. Those in the Democratic party, the media, and pollsters did not. 21. Why The Moral Indicators Were Missed Corporatist Republican leaders tended to study business economics in college, and as a result studied marketing. Marketing professors study the mind and how people really think: using frames, metaphors, narratives, images, and emotions — mostly applied to advertising. These Republican leaders learned how to market their ideas. Progressives who go to college and are interested in politics tend to study political science, law, public policy, and economic theory. Those courses of study almost never include cognitive science, neuroscience, and cognitive linguistics — and so progressives interested in politics don’t learn about the Neural Mind, that is, about unconscious thought, frames, conceptual metaphors, moral worldviews, the role of language, etc. Instead, they are taught a version of Enlightenment reason, following René Descartes around 1650, namely: that all thought is conscious that reason is a matter of logic, as in a mathematical proof that since reason defines what means to be human, all rational people reason according to logic and therefore, if you give everybody the facts, they ought to all reason to the right conclusion. This is an utterly false theory of reason — taught as rationality and “critical thinking.” It was vitally important during the Enlightenment because it taught that people could think for themselves and did not have to follow the thinking the kings and religious leaders. One might like it to be true, but it isn’t. 22. False Reason, False Analyses The polls, the media, and the Democratic Party all failed to understand conservative values and their importance. They failed to understand unconscious thought and moral worldviews. While hailing science in the case of climate change, they ignored science when it came to their own minds. The pollsters, given easy access to demographics via census and other data, came up with their own view of mind, that demographics reflects public opinion, and that public opinion understood this way, drives elections. This amounts to a strange demographic theory of mind, that demography determines thought. The demographic theory of mind is naturally paired with the view that people simply vote their material interests, that their interests vary, and hence that issues are separable. This is widely assumed, despite the well-known facts that poor conservatives and rich liberals often vote against their material interests. But it does make polling — and fundraising — easier. Just ask people what their most important issues are, or to what degree that are for or against a particular policy. The Justifications This type of polling has its justifications. First, people with similar worldviews can tend to cluster in some demographic categories. Second, most of polling is done by advertisers selling products. If the polls miss by differences as small as those between Trump and Clinton, they are doing well by their clients. Incidentally, polling methodology used in advertising leads to the view that candidates are products, to be sold like cars, pharmaceuticals, and beauty products, and have to establish a recognizable, popular brand. It is true that moral worldviews generalize over specific issues, and so a specific issue can activate a general worldview. But the general moral worldview is not studied or discussed. An Alternative There is a way out that may be simple, but needs to be tested. One can include questions about values, even if the values are unconscious. The technique was developed by Elisabeth Wehling, Matt Feinberg (U. of Toronto), Laura Saslow (U. of Michigan), and myself. It was based on the conceptual metaphor of the Nation As Family, with two types of families — strict and nurturant. Technically, a conceptual metaphor is a neural mapping, linking the frame structure of one domain (e.g., the values of a type of family) to another domain (e.g., political views about the nation). Beginning with the theory proposed in my 1996 book, Moral Politics, we constructed two mappings linking family values to political values. We separated the family values from the political values and randomized each. We then asked, in surveys and experiments, the randomized questions to see if the correlations fit the predications of the mappings. The correlations were overwhelming, and are reported in Elisabeth Wehling’s 2013 doctoral dissertation, A nation under joint custody: How conflicting family models divide US-politics. The basic idea is that of a Moral Politics Scale that can be used in surveys, and that might be included in future polls. Questions about family values can be used as indicators of the moral values used in political worldviews. Other studies have been done and are in the publication pipeline. A few early studies do not, and should not, create a field, but it is a beginning. Polling studies using these ideas need to be done. 23. Clever Trump Democrats and most of the media looked upon Trump as a clown, a dimwit, a mere jerk, a reality show star, who did not understand the issues and who could not possibly win when he was insulting so many demographic groups. I am anything but a Trump fan, but I estimated that he would get about 47 percent of the vote. Although I was sure he wouldn’t quite win, I kept warning people that he could, especially given the Democrats’ failure to understand the role of values. Nine months before the election I wrote about how Trump used the brains of people listening to him to his advantage. Here is a recap of how Trump does it, with examples taken from his campaign. Unconscious thought works by certain basic mechanisms. Trump uses them instinctively to turn people’s brains toward what he wants: Absolute authority, money, power, and celebrity. The mechanisms are: 1. Repetition. Words are neurally linked to the circuits that determine their meaning. The more a word is heard, the more the circuit is activated and the stronger it gets, and so the easier it is to fire again. Trump repeats. Win. Win, Win. We’re gonna win so much you’ll get tired of winning. 2. Framing: Crooked Hillary. Framing Hillary as purposely and knowingly committing crimes for her own benefit, which is what a crook does. Repeating makes many people unconsciously think of her that way, even though she has always been found to have been honest and legal by thorough studies by the right-wing Bengazi committee (which found nothing) and the FBI (which found nothing to charge her with.) Yet the framing worked. There is a common metaphor that Immorality Is Illegality, and that acting against Strict Father Morality (the only kind off morality recognized) is being immoral. Since virtually everything Hillary Clinton has ever done has violated Strict Father Morality, that makes her immoral to strict conservatives. The metaphor makes her actions immoral, which makes her a crook. The chant “Lock her up!” activates this whole line of reasoning. 3. Well-known examples: When a well-publicized disaster happens, the coverage is repeated over and over, and watched on TV and read about many times. Neurally, the repetition activates the frame-circuitry for it over and over, strengthening the synapses with each repetition. Neural circuits with strong synapses can be activated more easily than those with weak synapses, and so the probability that they will be activated is higher. And so the frame is more likely to be activated. Repeated examples of shootings by Muslims, African-Americans, and Latinos make it seem probable that it could happen to you. It thus raises fears that it could happen to you and your community — despite the miniscule actual probability. Trump uses this technique to create fear. Fear tends to activate desire for a strong strict father to protect you — namely, Trump. 4. Grammar: Radical Islamic terrorists: “Radical” puts Muslims on a linear scale and “terrorists” imposes a frame on the scale, suggesting that terrorism is built into the religion itself. The grammar suggests that there is something about Islam that has terrorism inherent in it. Imagine calling the Charleston gunman a “radical Republican terrorist.” Trump is aware of this to at least some extent. As he said to Tony Schwartz, the ghost-writer who wrote The Art of the Deal for him, “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and it’s a very effective form of promotion.” 5. Conventional metaphorical thought is inherent in our largely unconscious thought. Such normal modes of metaphorical thinking are not noticed as such. Consider Brexit, which used the metaphor of “entering” and “leaving” the EU. There is a universal metaphor that states are bounded regions in space: you can enter a state, be deep in some state, and come out of that state. If you enter a café and then leave the café, you will be in the same location as before you entered. But that need not be true of states of being. But that was the metaphor used with Brexit; Britons believed that after leaving the EU, things would be as before when the entered the EU. They were wrong. Things changed radically while they were in the EU. That same metaphor is being used by Trump: Make America Great Again. Make America Safe Again. And so on. As if there was some past ideal state that we can go back to just by electing Trump.  6. There is also a metaphor that A Country Is a Person and a metonymy of the President Standing For the Country. Thus, Obama, via both metaphor and metonymy, can stand conceptually for America. Therefore, by saying that Obama is weak and not respected, it is communicated that America, with Obama as president, is weak and disrespected. The inference is that it is because of Obama. The corresponding inference is that, with a strong president like Trump, the country should be strong, and via strict father reasoning, respected. 7. The country as person metaphor and the metaphor that war or conflict between countries is a fistfight between people, leads to the inference that just having a strong president will guarantee that America will win conflicts and wars. Trump will just throw knockout punches. In his acceptance speech at the convention, Trump repeatedly said that he would accomplish things that, in reality, can only be done by the people acting with their government. After one such statement, there was a chant from the floor, “He will do it.” 8. The metaphor that The nation Is a Family was used throughout the GOP convention. We heard that strong military sons are produced by strong military fathers and that “defense of country is a family affair.” From Trump’s love of family and commitment to their success, we are to conclude that, as president he will love America’s citizens and be committed to the success of all. 9. There is a common metaphor that identifying with your family’s national heritage makes you a member of that nationality. Suppose your grandparents came from Italy and you identify with your Italian ancestors, you may proudly state that you are Italian. The metaphor is natural. Literally, you have been American for two generations. Trump made use of this commonplace metaphor in attacking US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is American, born and raised in the United States. Trump said he was a Mexican, and therefore would hate him and tend to rule against him in a case brought against Trump University for fraud. 10. Then there is the metaphor system used in the phrase “to call someone out.” First the word “out.” There is a general metaphor that Knowing Is Seeing as in “I see what you mean.” Things that are hidden inside something cannot be seen and hence not known, while things are not hidden but out in public can be seen and hence known. To “out” someone is to make their private knowledge public. To “call someone out” is to publicly name someone’s hidden misdeeds, thus allowing for public knowledge and appropriate consequences. This is the basis for the Trumpian metaphor that Naming is Identifying. Thus naming your enemies will allow you to identify correctly who they are, get to them, and so allow you to defeat them. Hence, just saying “radical Islamic terrorists” allows you to pick them out, get at them, and annihilate them. And conversely, if you don’t say it, you won’t be able to pick them out and annihilate them. Thus a failure to use those words means that you are protecting those enemies — in this case Muslims, that is, potential terrorists because of their religion. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Our neural minds think in certain patterns. Trump knows how to exploit them. Whatever other limitations on his knowledge, he knows a lot about using your brain against you to acquire and maintain power and money. 24. The Media It is vitally important for the public to be aware of how their brains can be used against them. Can the media do such a job? There are many forces militating against it. First, there is obvious pressure on those reporting on politics in the media to assume that thought is conscious and not to talk about matters outside of public political discourse, that is, don’t talk about things your audience can’t understand. Second, many in the media accept Enlightenment Reason. It is common for progressive pundits to quote conservative claims in conservative language and then argue against it, assuming that negating a frame will wipe it out, when instead negating a frame activates and strengthens the frame. They are ignoring the warnings of Don’t Think of an Elephant! Third, there is the metaphor that Objectivity is Balance, that interviews are about opinions and that opinions should be balanced. Fourth, there are political and economic levers of power that are being used on the media. Trump is choosing the new members of the Federal Communications Commission, which has the power to take away broadcast licenses. The Congress has the power of the purse over National Public Broadcasting and one can already see where NPR correspondents are hesitant to challenge lies. Similarly corporate advertisers have that power over radio and tv stations, as do their corporate owners. Fifth, there are ratings, which mean advertising money. The head of CBS, Leslie Moonves, for example, said that CBS benefitted by giving Trump free airtime during the campaign. “It may not be good for America, but it’s good for CBS,” he said. Sixth, it is virtually impossible during an interview to do instant fact-checking and constantly interrupting the interviewee to confront his lies, or at least report them. It would of course lead the interviewee to refuse future interviews with that reporter or that station — or keep him or her out of the White House Press Corps. The result is media intimidation and steps toward the loss of the free press. The question is whether people in the media can join together in courage when their careers, and hence their livelihood, are threatened. One possibility is for journalists to use more accurate language. Take government regulations. Their job is to protect the public from harm and fraud composed by unscrupulous corporations. The Trump administration wants to get rid of “regulations.” They are actually getting rid of protection. Can journalists actually say they are getting rid of protections, saying the word “protection,” and reporting on the harm that would be done by not protecting the public. Can the media report on corporate poisoning of the public — through introducing lead and other cancer-causing agents into the water through fracking and various manufacturing processes, through making food or toiletries that contain poisonous and cancer-causing ingredients, and on and on. The regulations are there for a purpose — protection. Can the media use the words POISON and CANCER? The public needs to know. Seventh, there are science-of-mind constraints. Reporters and commentators are expected to stick to what is conscious and with literal meaning. But most real political discourse makes use of unconscious thought, which shapes conscious thought via unconscious framing and commonplace conceptual metaphors, as we have seen. Can the media figure out a way to say what in this article? More than ever we need courage and imagination in the media. It is crucial, for the history of the country and the world, as well as the planet. 25. What The Majority Can Do A strong American Majority movement is necessary, and its backbone has to be a citizens’ communication system — or systems — run through the internet, framing American values accurately and systemically day after day, telling truths framed by American majority moral values — and appealing honestly and forthrightly to those in-group nurturant values in small towns across America. The idea that must be brought across is empathy for those in your in-group, your town. This is basic progressive thought: citizens care about citizens and provide public resources for all, maximizing freedom. It fits in-group nurturance. And it undermines — rather than negates — strict father morality. What a Strict Father Cannot Be There are certain things that strict fathers cannot be: A Loser, Corrupt, and especially not a Betrayer of Trust. Trump lost the popular vote. To the American majority, he is a Loser, a minority president. It needs to be said and repeated. Above all, Trump is a Betrayer of Trust. He is acting like a dictator, and is even supporting Putin’s anti-American policies. He is betraying trust in a direct way, by refusing to put his business interests in a blind trust. By doing so, and by insisting on his children both running the business and getting classified information, he is using the presidency to make himself incredibly wealthy — just as Putin has. This is Corruption of the highest and most blatant level. Can the media say the words: Corruption, Betrayal of Trust? He ran on a promise to end corruption, to “drain the swamp” in Washington. Instead, he has brought a new and much bigger swamp with him — lobbyists put in charge of one government agency after another, using public funds and the power of the government to serve corporate greed. And the biggest crock in the swamp is Trump himself! The Trump administration will wreak havoc on the very people who voted for him in those small towns — disaster after disaster. It will be a huge betrayal. The $500 billion in infrastructure — roads and bridges, airports, sewers, eliminating lead water pipes — will probably not make it to those thousands of small rural towns with in-group nurturance for the townspeople. How many factories with good-paying jobs can be brought to such towns? Not thousands. Many of those who voted for Trump will inevitably be among the 20 million who will lose their health care. And they will become even further victims of corporate greed — more profits going to the top one percent and more national corporations, say, fast food and big-box stores paying low wages and offering demeaning jobs will continue to wipe out local businesses. Will this be reported? Will it even be said? And if so, how will it be said in a way that doesn’t wind up promoting Trump? The American majority must create an online citizen communication network — or multiple networks — to spread its positive American values and truths as antidotes to those small towns with in-group nurturance as the Trump swamp swamps them! The message is not merely negative, that they are being betrayed. That’s the Don’t Think of an Elephant! trap. Rather it is that the town’s in-group nurturance is nurturance. It works because care is morally right. Right now the majority is fighting back, pointing out what is wrong with Trump day after day. In many cases, they are missing the message of Don’t Think of an Elephant! By fighting against Trump, many protesters are just showcasing Trump, keeping him in the limelight, rather than highlighting the majority’s positive moral view and viewing the problem with Trump from within the majority’s positive worldview frame. To effectively fight for what is right, you have to first say what is right and why. George Lakoff is Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, and Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (website: cnms.berkeley.edu). His many books and articles can be found at his website: www.georgelakoff.com. He is one of the most cited of American scholars, with more than 130,000 citations in scholarly journals — the second most at UC Berkeley. The citations of his work can be found at the Google Scholar Citation Index. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

22 ноября, 16:32

[Перевод] Обучаемся самостоятельно: подборка видеокурсов по Computer Science

Содержание Введение в Computer Science Структуры данных и Алгоритмы Системное программирование Распределенные системы Базы данных Объектно-ориентированный дизайн и разработка софта Искусственный интеллект Машинное обучение Веб-разработка и интернет-технологии Concurrency Компьютерные сети Разработка мобильных приложений Математика для программистов Теория информатики и языки программирования Архитектура компьютера Безопасность Компьютерная графика Работа с изображениями и компьютерное зрение Интерфейс Человек-Компьютер Вычислительная биология Прочее Поддержка публикации — компания Edison, которая тестирует критические системы на отказоустойчивость, а так же проектирует и разрабатывает ПО для кластерных вычислений. Читать дальше →

20 ноября, 19:56

Remarks by the President at YLAI Town Hall

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru Lima, Peru 2:34 P.M. PET   PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Hola Peru!  (Applause.)  Asu!  Muchas gracias.  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  Everybody, please have a seat.  Thank you, Cyntia, for your kind words and your great work here in Peru in bringing people together across generations to meet challenges.  Please give Cyntia a big round of applause for the great introduction.  (Applause.)  So it is wonderful to be here in Peru.  I want to thank everybody at Catholic University of Peru for hosting us.  (Applause.)  I want to thank the government and the people of this beautiful country for your hospitality.  AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I love you! PRESIDENT OBAMA:  I love you, too!  (Applause.)  So, while I'm here, I’m hoping to enjoy some good food -- some pollo a la brasa.  (Applause.)  Maybe a pisco sour.  But I will not be attempting the Marinera -- (applause) -- because I usually leave the dancing to my wife, Michelle.  (Laughter.)  She's a better dancer than me. But I want to thank all of you for being here -- our Young Leaders of America, both live and online, representing every country in Latin America and the Caribbean. Now, this is my final stop on my final trip abroad as President of the United States.  And I’ve had the usual meetings with world leaders, and we've done important business.  But whenever I travel, one of the things that I've been trying to do for the last eight years is to meet with young people.  First of all, young people are more fun than old people.  (Laughter.)  Second, because today more than half of the world’s population is 30 or younger.  And that means your generation will determine the course of our future -- as individual nations and as a global community.  Now, the good news is, because I've had a chance to meet so many young people around the world, it makes me very optimistic to know that you are going to be in charge.  And that's why I wanted my last public event abroad to be with you.  I often say to young people in my own country:  If you had to be born at any time in human history, it would be right now.  If you think about all the progress that's been made, not just in your lifetimes, but even in the last few years, fewer people than ever around the world live in extreme poverty.  Scientific breakthroughs are paving the way for cures to new diseases.  More children are going to school; more girls in particular are going to school than ever before.  People across the world are securing their human rights.  And technology has reshaped the world, as you can tell, because everybody has their phones.  (Laughter.)  At a time when Earth is now populated by more cell phones than people, you have the power to connect with each other across borders, across nations.  You have the tools in your hand to solve problems that we couldn’t even imagine when I was your age. Now, even as we make all these important strides in advancing the rights of more people, even as technology brings us closer together, this unprecedented change also brings challenges.  We see it in the widening gap between the rich and the poor around the world.  We see it in the forces of extremism and division that too often tear communities apart.  So the question for all of us is, how can we make sure that in this rapidly changing world, nobody is left behind and that all of us are stronger and more prosperous? So over the last eight years as President, I've worked to strengthen our relationship with the Americas.  We’re more than just neighbors -- we're linked by trade and culture, and family and values.  Our students study in each other’s countries.  Our businesses sell goods across borders.  Our tourists travel back and forth.  And we’ve moved beyond many of the old arguments to create a new vision for the future -- one that your generation, which is liberated from old ways of thinking, can lead.  During my presidency, the United States recommitted itself to the region, in partnership with your countries, based on mutual interests and mutual respect.  We increased trade.  We stood up for democracy and human rights, fought against corruption and organized crime.  We’ve promoted clean energy.   We’ve led the global fight against climate change.  We opened a new relationship with Cuba.   I strongly believe that this work has to be done with governments, but it's even more important that it's done by people -- because government is important, but it can't solve every problem.  So we have to work together at a people-to-people level -- teachers, and doctors, and students, and entrepreneurs, and religious leaders -- all trying to find ways in which we can promote those values of dignity and humanity and respect that so often are threatened. And that's why we developed this Young Leaders Initiative.  Our goal is to find the most innovative young entrepreneurs, the most energetic civil society leaders like you, and help empower you with the training, and tools and connections so you can make a difference in your communities and your countries.  This network already has 20,000 people.  This fall, we welcomed the first class of 250 YLAI Fellows to the United States.  (Applause.)  This is just 100 of them.  They're from every country across the Americas.  We want to help -- (applause) -- so we want to help this generation with grants, seed funding, skills training.  Today, I’m announcing the launch of the Latin American and Caribbean Civil Society Innovation Initiative Hub, which is a way to virtually connect civil society organizations across the region so you can learn from each other, share your good work, support each other.  We’re investing $40 million in the talents and entrepreneurship of young people across the Caribbean to help start your own businesses and ventures.  We’re opening what we call the Global Innovation Exchange so that you can showcase your new business or enterprise to people around the world, and that way you can connect and hopefully get resources that you otherwise didn’t have.  And we’re moving ahead with more education partnerships, like the 100,000 Strong in the Americas.  By the end of the decade, we want 100,000 U.S. students studying in the Americas, and 100,000 students from the Americas studying in the United States.  (Applause.)  And today, we’re announcing a partnership between the U.S. Department of State, Sempra, and CAF, which is Latin America’s development bank, to fund the first Innovation Fund competition exclusively between Peruvian and U.S. colleges and universities so students can come together to work on climate change and environmental science.  (Applause.)  So we're focused on the hemisphere, we're focused on the region.  But it's more than just North America, South America.  You're now part of a global network of young leaders from Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas who are doing amazing work in their own communities.  And while my time as U.S. President is coming to an end, this network is just beginning -- it’s never been more important.  We need you to stay connected, work together, learn from each other, so we can build that next generation of leadership who can take on challenges like climate change and poverty, can help grow our economies, make sure that women get opportunity.  (Applause.)  Make sure that every child, wherever they live, has a chance to build a good life.       And I’m going to just give you some examples of the amazing people that are involved in this process.  We need leaders like Dr. Valéry Moise.  As a young doctor in Haiti, Valéry saw firsthand how issues like acute malnutrition -- hunger -- affected the poorest children in his country.  So he and a team of social workers and doctors started an organization called Diagnostik Group, which focuses on improving health care for abandoned children at the largest pediatric hospital in Haiti.  His goal is for the group to become the standard for pediatric care and to expand so that he can reach even more children across Haiti.  So thank you, Valéry, for the great work that you are doing.  (Applause.) We need leaders like Abbigale Loncke of Guyana.  Abbigale, are you here?  (Applause.)  So after struggling to find her own grandfather home care, Abbigale realized this is a problem for so many other families, so she started Community Health Care, a home care agency.  She started out as a service to help families take care of their loved ones but now has a social movement that also provides training and job opportunities for young women in the health care industry.  So thank you, Abbigale, for the great work you’re doing.  (Applause.)  And you already heard the great work that Cyntia is doing right here in Peru.  Across the world and across the Americas, young people are taking the lead.  They’re seeing problems, they’re seeing injustice, and they are finding ways to take action.  And the main message I want you to know is that you have a partner in me and you have a partner in the United States government.  (Applause.)  And we are going to work together -- (applause) -- we’re going to work together.  We expect the fellowships to continue, but I want you to know that I will also continue to be involved, even after I’m President, because I want to make sure that we continue to invest in your success.  If you succeed, not only do your countries succeed, but the world succeeds.  And I’m very excited to see all the great things you’re going to do in the future.  (Applause.) So, muchas gracias.  Let’s take some questions.  And now we’re going to start with some questions.  I’m going to take off my jacket because it’s a little hot.  (Laughter and applause.)  I wasn’t trying to get a cheer out of that but -- (laughter.) All right, so we’re going to start with this question from this gentleman right here.  Please introduce yourself as you speak. Hold on, the mic is not working.  No, not yet.  Do we have a second mic?  Testing -- one, two, three.  Hold on, here's the technical expert.  Here we go.  Here's another one.  Not yet?  Uh-oh.  Uh-oh.  Here we go.  We got to try this one.  (Laughter.)  One of these is going to work.  Q    Testing. PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Oh, there you go.  Hey!  (Applause.)  Q    Good afternoon, Mr. President.  My name is Luis Santiago (ph).  I’m from Caracas, Venezuela.  I’m a YLAI Fellow.  We’re working on the first electronic health records platform for Latin America, and I was a proud member of this chord of YLAI fellows. I’m here to read a question from our YLAI network.  There were 200 questions posted on Facebook, but Carlos David Carrasco Muro from Venezuela asks:  In Venezuela, there’s a debate about what matters most for stability, whether it’s peace or democracy.  How can we create a world where we do not have to choose between them?  Both are important for development. Thank you very much. PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, it’s a great question.  And it’s a timely question, because I think that after a decade in which we’ve seen more and more countries adopt democratic practices, you’re now starting to see some of those gains reversed.  You’re seeing some countries that are going backwards rather than forwards in terms of freedom of the press, in terms of freedom of the Internet, in terms of respecting political opposition and civil society.  And there are those who argue that democracy is incompatible with development because you need order, you need somebody from the top to tell people what to do in order to achieve.  And I would just suggest that you look at the evidence over the last 20, 30, 40 years.  Those countries that pursue democracy, that pursue transparency, where their leaders are held accountable -- those are the countries that are doing best.  Those countries that are repressive, that don’t respect democracy, that silence critics -- they go backwards economically. And it makes sense when you think about it, because in this time that we live in, development is based on knowledge and innovation and education and new thinking and sharing of ideas.  It’s not based on how much land you have, it’s not based on natural resources.  It’s based on your people.  And in a democracy, what we’re able to do is -- people, through the freedom they enjoy, are able to create, start businesses, start organizations, solve problems.  And what’s also true then is, they’re able to hold the government accountable, so when the government doesn’t deliver for its people -- if it engages in corruption, if its policies only benefit a few rather than the many -- people can react and respond, and over time people get better policies from their governments. And look at what’s happened just along the coast here in Latin America.  If you look at Chile, Peru, Colombia -- all of them are growing faster, all of them are doing better because of the new openness and democracy that exists in these countries.  And what’s true here is true around the world. Now, the one thing I have to say though is, democracy is more than just elections.  Democracy is also a free press.  Democracy is also freedom of religion.  Democracy is making sure that the rights of minorities are protected, not just the majority.  Democracy is rule of law and an independent judiciary.  So it’s a matter of all these elements coming together.  But the main thing we’ve learned is that, in this knowledge-based society, you can maintain order for a while with repressive, nondemocratic governments, but it will rot from within.  Over time, those governments fail and those economies fail -- because when they make mistakes, they try to hide them instead of trying to solve them.  When somebody has a legitimate criticism of a problem, it can be ignored because the politicians don’t have to answer.  And eventually, those societies end up doing much worse, oftentimes by increasing repression as people get more and more dissatisfied and then society breaks down. It’s also true, by the way, that nondemocratic countries are much more likely to get into wars with other nondemocratic countries.  Democracies tend to try to solve problems through diplomacy and dialogue.  So not only is there not a contradiction between democracy and development, it is my belief that in order, in this new knowledge-based economy, for development to be successful, you need democracy.  I will say this one last thing, though.  Democracy can be frustrating, because democracy means that you don’t always get 100 percent of what you want.  Democracy means that sometimes you have to compromise.  And it means that the outcomes of elections don’t always turn out the way you would hope.  And then you -- we're going through that in the United States, and I'm doing everything I can to help facilitate a successful transition with the President-elect in the United States.  But as long as we keep our democratic systems open, then the society has a chance to try something new, and then it can make a decision and correct problems that they see in the future, and progress will continue. Good.  All right.  (Applause.)  Let's see -- right there.  Yeah, you.  So let's get a microphone to you so we can hear you.  And introduce yourself.  By the way, I apologize, my Spanish is just okay.  So we're doing this in English, but hopefully I'm being clear.  Go ahead. Q    Hi, Mr. President.  I'm very glad to be here -- that you are here in my country, in Peru.  And for me, it's an honor to be here in this conference.  Well, my question is, what do you think about the European Union has come together to promote military integration in defense that -- after the victory of Trump?  And do you think we have global paranoia created by the media, or it's real? PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Good.  What's your name? Q    Jocelyn Ramirez (ph).  PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Nice to meet you.  Are you a student here? Q    I'm a student from UPC.  (Applause.)    PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Fantastic.  Okay.  You have some classmates here.  (Laughter.) Well, the United States is such a big country that, after any election, people are uncertain.  And I think it will be important for everybody around the world to not make immediate judgments but give this new President-elect a chance to put their team together, to examine the issues, to determine what their policies will be -- because as I've always said, how you campaign isn’t always the same as how you govern.  Sometimes when you're campaigning, you're trying to stir up passions.  When you govern, you actually have reality in front of you, and you have to figure out how do I make this work. The alliance between the United States and Europe, through NATO, is very strong.  And the President-elect Trump has already reaffirmed our commitment to NATO.  We actually have been asking, under my administration, for Europe to carry more of the burden of defense spending than they've been doing, because the United States spends a lot more than some of our NATO partners.  And they recognize and acknowledge, I think, the need for them to spend more time -- more resources on that. With respect to Latin America, I don't anticipate major changes in policy from the new administration.  I think the work that we've done has been successful in establishing the strongest relationships between the United States and Latin America in modern history.  The friendships that we've established with countries like Peru, the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba, the investments we're making in trade, in environmental policy, and so forth -- all those things I expect to continue.  There are going to be tensions that arise, probably around trade more than anything else, because the President-elect campaigned on looking at every trade policy and potentially reversing some of those policies.  But once they look at how it's working, I think they'll determine that it's actually good both for the United States and our trading partners.  There may need to be modifications.  I've called for modifications in certain elements of our trading policy.  When we established the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement, one of the requirements was for Peru to strengthen its protection of labor rights, workers' rights.  And we did that in part because, with all of our trading partners we don’t want to be disadvantaged because we're dealing with labor that has no rights, and so it gets the lowest wages and can be exploited.  But we did it also because that will help lift the wages and benefits and protections that workers here in Peru enjoy, because ultimately that's good for everybody.  One of the things that I really believe is that when you pay workers well, when ordinary people are getting a decent wage and decent benefits and decent protections, then they have more money in their pockets, and then they go out and they spend that money, which is good for business, and everybody is better off.  So that's the kind of attitude that we want to try to promote in the years going forward.  And my hope is, is that that policy will continue. So my message to you, though, and the message I delivered in Europe is, don’t just assume the worst.  Wait until the administration is in place, it's actually putting its policies together, and then you can make your judgments as to whether or not it's consistent with the international community's interest in living in peace and prosperity together. Okay.  Good.  (Applause.)  All right.  Okay, so what I'm doing is I'm going boy, girl, boy, girl, so that everybody gets a fair chance.  Okay, this gentleman right here, in the purple shirt.  (Applause.)  Q    Thank you very much.  First of all, I just want to say thank you for being such a great world leader over your tenure.  I truly think that you've done your best in making the world a better place. PRESIDENT OBAMA:  I appreciate that. Q    My name is Lubi Jorges (ph).  (Applause.)  PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Where you are from, Lubi? Q    I'm from the Bahamas.  PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Hey.  Q    I'm the son of two Haitian immigrants living in the Bahamas.  And I'm a human rights activist and also a radio talk show host.  I filter my advocacy work through radio, because it's a great form of communication in getting everybody involved.  Nonetheless, you spoke about youth and us shaping the future and the direction of the world, and what it's going to be in the very near future.  But I'll give you a quick example of what I experienced and then a question that can apply to all of us here as young people.  As a person being born to Haitian parents, immigrants, in the Bahamas, there is a certain perception on you not being a native.  And governments have fed on that over time.  And so the average individual that you would come into contact with, they would see you in a certain light.  And so the opportunities to assist then, to help your country, then are diminished.  For example, I'm trying to bridge the gap between Haitians and Bahamians in the Bahamas, but government officials and other individuals, they would have said, well, you're fighting for Haitians to take over the Bahamas -- when it's not that.  I just want Bahamians and Haitians to live in peace in the Bahamas. And so if you had the opportunity to have all of our prime ministers and presidents in one room, and you had one word of advice that you could have given those leaders in regards to young people, and especially millennials, what would you say to those leaders? PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, you know, I've had that opportunity a number of times.  They don’t always follow my advice.  (Laughter.)  But to your broader point -- look, we live in a world that is smaller than ever before.  Because of the Internet, because of modern travel, your generation gets ideas and culture and your politics from everywhere, right?  You are listening to everything from Rolling Stones, to Kendrick Lamar, to salsa, to reggaeton to -- (laughter) -- right?      So what is true in music, what’s true in food is also true in terms of politics and ideas.  And the great thing about young people is, is that that’s made your identities both national but also international.  So people here are Peruvian, but you’re also people who care about what happens around this continent and around the world.  It means that you can be both proud of your Haitian heritage and live in the Bahamas, and also be concerned about what happens in Africa, or what is happening in Myanmar.  That’s a good thing.      Now, I’ll be honest with you, older people sometimes are more threatened than younger people by this convergence because -- you know, now that I’ve got gray hair, I see what happens as you get older -- you get set in your ways and you are afraid of things that are new.  And oftentimes, politicians can feed into that sense that everything is changing so fast, let’s go back to our old identities -- identities of race or tribe or nationality.  And my main advice, not just to world leaders, but more importantly to citizens around the world is, if you’re defining yourself just by what you’re not, if you’re defining yourself just by the color of your skin or where you were born, then you are not fully appreciating what will give you a strong identity and meaning in your life, and what will lead to prosperity and security for everyone.  And that is the values and ideals that we should all promote:  That we respect everybody, regardless of what they look like.  That we give everybody opportunity no matter where they were born, whether they were born poor or they were born rich.  That we have laws that everybody has to observe, not just laws for one set of people and then a different set of laws for other people.  Because the problem with that approach -- a very narrow way of thinking about yourself -- is that that means almost inevitably you have to be in conflict with somebody else.  If the most important thing about you is that you are an American -- if that’s the one thing that defines you -- then you may end up being threatened by people from other places, when in fact you may have a lot in common and you may miss opportunities. Now, I’m a very proud American, and my job as President of the United States is to look out for American interests.  But my argument to the American people has always been, the best way for us to look out for American interests is to also care about what’s happening in our neighborhood.  Because if their house is burning down, eventually my house will burn down.  The best way for my daughters to be secure as Americans is to make sure that people in El Salvador or Guatemala are also feeling some security, because if they’re not, then eventually that may spill over the borders to us. And some of the challenges that we face today are ones that no single group can solve.  If you look at something like climate change -- that knows no borders.  If there is pollution in China, it affects you here in Peru.  If we are going to make sure that the oceans don’t rise so that suddenly all of the streets around Lima are two feet underwater, then it’s going to require everybody taking the kind of collective action that we talked about in the Paris Agreement. So I think that we should all have the capacity, and governments should reflect this capacity, to be proud of our particular circumstance, be proud that you’re Haitian, be proud that you’re in the Bahamas, be proud that you’re a young, black man.  Be proud of your particular identity, but also see what you have in common with people who don’t look like you or don’t come from the same place as you do.  Because if we see what we have in common, then we’re going to be able to work together and that’s going to be good for all of us.  If all we see is differences, then we’re automatically going to be in competition -- and in order for me to do well, that means I have to put you down, which then makes you want to put me down, and everybody stays down here instead of everybody lifting each other up.  It’s the most important thing we can do.  (Applause.) All right, so it’s a woman’s turn.  Okay, everybody is pointing at this young lady.  All her friends were pointing at her, so she has something very important to say. Q    Welcome to Peru, Mr. President. PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you. Q    My name is Sofia, and my friends and I are students at Laboratoria.  (Applause.)  I know you have met Mariana (inaudible).  Do you remember about Laboratoria? PRESIDENT OBAMA:  I’m sorry, what?  I’m sorry. Q    Do remember about Laboratoria?  PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Yes. Q    With Mariana Costa? PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Yes, yes. Q    Okay, I’m a student over there, me and my friends.  We are so lucky to be studying over there to get a job in tech, but there are so many young people still without these type of opportunities.  So what do you recommend to open more quality education or job opportunities for young people in Latin America? PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, the program you described is doing great work, and there’s a lot of good work all across Latin America.  One of the goals is to make sure that not only are we providing a great education for people at the youngest ages -- basic reading, arithmetic, all those things -- but today you also need to have some knowledge of technology.  And what we’re trying to do is to work with governments and NGOs to expand access to the Internet, to digital platforms.  And what we also want to do then is to help design curriculum and programs through the Internet so that online learning is accessible in places where previously there might not be opportunities. And we’re seeing some of those investments here in Peru.  That’s part of the broader educational program that we have throughout Latin America.  But we can still do more.  And it’s not just us, it’s a public-private partnership also.  So having Facebook participate, and Microsoft and Google and other big companies who have an interest in an educated population -- because the more educated and more wired they are, the more, over time, customers are using their products and their platforms. What we want to do is to make sure that everybody, even in the smallest village, has suddenly this library to the world and to the best educational opportunities, even if there’s not a big university in that small town.  And some of the learning that we can do, it doesn’t have to be four years.  Sometimes, a six-week program could teach people coding in computers, and suddenly right away that person has a job, and then they can learn more and ultimately go and get a four-year education.  But oftentimes what you need is just that first step.  And we’re doing this in the United States, by the way.  It's not just in Latin America.  In the United States, one of the things that we're finding is that we need to expand computer science and literacy in the schools.  We need to make sure, also, that we set up technical training systems where somebody who's unemployed in a city where there used to be a big factory but now the factory is closed; or because of automation and robots, fewer people are working there; those people who have lost their jobs, they may not be able to afford to just go to a four-year university, give them six weeks, eight weeks, ten weeks of training.  Get them in a job right now, and then over time they can learn even more. So, congratulations.  You guys are doing good work.  (Applause.)  All right.  Okay, so this is a team effort now.  It's good to see this cooperation.  Everybody is pointing at one person.  (Laughter.)  All right, this gentleman right here, right in the front.  (Applause.)  Q    Hello, Mr. President.  I'm a student representative from this beautiful university with this gorgeous group of people.  My name is Kai (ph).  And I'm going to give a little bit of context to my question.  You see, the smartest man I know is my dad.  My dad was born in Cuba.  And when he was seven years old, he went to the United States to get an opportunity.  He lived all of his university life there, from community college to doctorate, and he managed to do a lot of things because the USA had an open, honest towards him. Today, many immigrants can bring innovation to the USA because it has still this open, honest policy.  But the administration that is set to go after you is allegedly saying that it will have a closed door policy.  In your opinion, what do you think that today the stand of the USA is for offshore innovators that want to leave their comfort zone to the USA, to go to Harvard, MIT, Yale, to find -- to strive?  And what would be the damages of the USA closing their doors to these young innovators? And a final remark, I hope you have two amazing last months of presidency.  (Applause.)  PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Well, first of all, I know that your father is very proud that you said he's the smartest man you know.  I hope that Malia and Sasha would say the same thing about their father -- I don’t know.  But I'm sure that made him feel good.  Look, America is a nation of immigrants.  Those of you who visited America, if you walk in an American city -- not just New York or Los Angeles, but St. Louis or Indianapolis or Columbus, Ohio -- if you walk down the street, you see people that look like they could be from anyplace.  Because the fact is, is that except for the Native American populations, everybody in America came from someplace else.  All of us are immigrants.  And that's been our greatest strength, because we've been able to attract talent from everywhere.  I use this as an example:  You notice that the United States did really well in the Olympics.  Now, some of that is because we're a big country, we're a wealthy country, so we have all these training facilities and we can do all kinds of -- best equipment.  All that is true.  But you know what, China is a bigger country and spends a lot of money also.  The big advantage that America has, if you look at our team -- actually, two big advantages.  First, we passed something called Title IX many years ago that requires that women get the same opportunities in sports as men do.  (Applause.)  And that's why -- one of the reasons the American teams did so well is the women were amazing, and just because they've gotten opportunities.  Right?  Which teaches us something about the need to make sure that women and men, boys and girls, get the same opportunities.  Because you do better when everybody has a chance, not just some.  But the second thing -- you look at a U.S. Olympic team and there are all kinds of different sorts of people of all different shapes and sizes.  And part of it is because we draw from a bigger genetic pool than anybody -- right?  We have people who -- these little gymnasts, they're like this big.  Simone Biles came by the White House.  She's a tiny little thing.  Amazing athlete.  Then we have Michael Phelps, he's 6'8" and his shoulders are this big.  And that's good for swimming.  He couldn’t do gymnastics, but he's a really good swimmer. The point is, is that when you have all this talent from all these different places, then you actually, as a team, do better.  And that's been the great gift of America.  Now, what we have to do not just in the United States, but in all countries, is to find a way to have a open, smart immigration policy, but it has to be orderly and lawful.  And I think that part of what's happened in the United States is that even though the amount of illegal immigration that is happening has actually gone down while I've been President, the perception is that it has just gone up.  Partly this is because it used to be that immigrants primarily stayed in Texas and Arizona and New Mexico, border countries, or in Florida.  And now they're moving into parts of the country that aren’t used to seeing immigrants, and it makes people concerned -- who are these people, and are they taking our jobs and are they taking opportunity, and so forth. So my argument has been that no country can have completely open borders, because if they did, then nationality and citizenship wouldn’t mean anything.  And obviously if we had completely open borders, then you would have tens of millions of people who would suddenly be coming into the United States -- which, by the way, wouldn’t necessarily be good for the countries where they leave, because in some places like in Africa, you have doctors and nurses and scientists and engineers who all try to leave, and then you have a brain drain and they're not developing their own countries. So you have to have some rules, but my hope is, is that those rules are set up in a way that continues to invite talented young people to come in and contribute, and to make a good life for themselves.  What we also, though, have to do is to invest in countries that are sending migrants so that they can develop themselves.  So you mentioned Cuba, for example, where your father fled.  He left in part because they didn’t feel that there was enough opportunity there.  Part of the reason I said let's reopen our diplomatic relations with Cuba is to see if you can start encouraging greater opportunity and freedom in Cuba.  Because if you have people who have been able to leave Cuba and do really well in the United States, that means they have enough talent that they should be able to do really well by staying at home in Cuba.  There are enormously talented people here in Peru.  I don’t want all the young people in Peru to suddenly all go -- (applause) -- I don’t want you to feel as if you have to go to New York in order to be successful.  You should be able to be successful right here in Lima, right?  (Applause.)  So this is true in the Americas, it's true in Europe, where obviously they've been flooded -- and it's been very controversial -- with migrants, some of them displaced from war in Syria, but some of them just coming for economic reasons from Africa.  I just left meetings with European leaders, and we discussed the fact that if we're investing more in development in those African countries, and encouraging greater rule of law and less corruption and more opportunity in those countries, then people are less likely to want to come to Germany or Italy for their futures because they feel that they can make a future where they are.  But this is an example of what I was saying earlier.  If we think only about, in very narrow terms, about our borders and what's good for us, and ignore what's happening everywhere else, eventually it will have an impact on us whether we like it or not.  Because the world is just much smaller than it used to be.  Okay.  (Applause.)  Let's see, we got -- all right, young lady right there.  Go ahead, in the black.  Yes, you.  (Applause.)      Q    Oh, my God, thank you for this amazing opportunity.  More than a question -- well, I have to introduce myself first, sorry.  I’m Jennifer Schell, and I’m from Venezuela.  We already talked a little about my country, but I just want to thank you for giving us the women’s opportunity to make us feel empowered.      I’m the CEO and founder of the TrabajaMama, a social initiative that promotes values for mothers around the world.  I’m a mother.  I have a daughter, and it’s a little bit hard to become an entrepreneur.  And I know that you have been supporting woman empowerment.  You support a candidate who was a woman, Hillary.  You are supported by your wife, Michelle.  And what is --      PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Michelle is amazing.  (Applause.)      Q    I’m sure, I’m sure.  I’m sure of that.      So I know how you have been telling a lot of advice for young leaders.  What I want -- special advice for female entrepreneurs, for those who have to strive a little bit more, for those who are mothers who have to split their self, and ask herself, should I be a mother or should I be a professional.  I truly believe that we can be both at the same time, but I would like to hear it from you -- an advice for all the women, potential women that are going to become a mother, will have our future generations.  (Applause.)  And on behalf of all my YLAI fellows, thank you for this amazing opportunity.  And all the fellows that are looking -- there are more fellows looking right now from their countries because they couldn’t come to Peru, so thank you for all the fellows that are watching right us now.  (Applause.)       PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Okay.  Well, it’s a great question.  (Applause.)      I mean, Michelle probably would have more to say about this because, you know, she’s gone through it as a professional woman.  But let me offer just a few observations.      First of all, the leaders and the men in every country need to understand that the countries that are most successful are going to be the countries that give opportunities to girls and women, and not just boys and men.  (Applause.)  And if you look at which countries are doing best -- most advanced, grow the fastest -- it’s partly because you can’t have half the population uneducated, not working, out of the house, not in leadership positions, and expect to be as good as a country where 100 percent of the people are getting a good education, and having opportunities, and can do amazing things -- starting a business or entering into politics or what have you. So this is not just a problem for girls and women; men have to also recognize, this is good for you.  And if you’re a strong man, you shouldn’t be threatened that women are doing well.  You should be proud that women are doing well.  And families where women have opportunity, that means they’re going to be able to bring in more income, which means the family as a whole is going to do better.  And let’s be honest, sometimes, you know, that whole machismo attitude sometimes makes it harder for women to succeed, and sometimes that is coming even from those who love them.  So, men, those of you who end up being fathers and you’ve got daughters, you’ve got to lift up your daughters.  Just telling them they’re pretty is not enough.  You’ve got to tell them they’re smart, and you got to tell them they’re ambitious, and you have to give them opportunity.  (Applause.) So once you have the whole country thinking in those terms, then you need to start having policies that can support women, and the most important thing, in addition to making sure that girls from an early age are getting a good education and that they’re not being told, oh, you can just do certain things -- like engineering, that’s a man’s job, or being scientist, that a man’s job.  No, no -- girls can do everything.  It can’t just be, you know, be a teacher -- which is a wonderful profession, but, traditionally, women sometimes are just told there are a few things they can do -- nurse, teacher -- as opposed to anything.  Right? So that starts -- once you’ve done that, then you have to recognize that the big conflicts that women have in the professional world has to do with family and childrearing.  And for biological reasons, women have more of a burden than men do.  But it’s not just biology, it’s also sociology, all right?  Men’s attitudes is, well, yeah, I don’t have to do as much.  And even in my marriage with Michelle, I like to think of myself as a modern, enlightened man, but I’ll admit it -- Michelle did more work than I did with Sasha and Malia.  So part of what societies can do, though, is they can help with, for example, having smart policies for childcare.  One of the hardest things for professional women, particularly when their children are still small and not yet in school, is who’s going to take care of my baby when I’m working, and how do I make sure that they’re safe and that they’re trusted.  So making sure that governments have policies in place that help.  Now, having a mother-in-law who helps, that’s also very useful.  (Laughter.)  But not everybody has the option where they have family members who are close by.  So that’s an example of something that we have to really work on. Then we have to put pressure on institutions to treat women equally when it comes to getting loans to start a business.  Up until just maybe 20 years ago, in some places -- in the United States even -- a husband had to sign a loan document with a bank, even though it was the wife’s business, even if the woman was the one making the money, it was her idea, it was her investment, she was doing all the work.  Because of these old stereotypes, you’re having men co-sign.  That kind of mentality, that kind of discrimination still exists in a lot of institutions. So we have to push back against those, we have to fight against those.  Women who are successful, you have to then fight for the younger women who are coming behind you, and make sure that you are changing some of these attitudes.  If you are high up in a bank, then you got to make sure that these policies are good for women.  If you succeed in politics, then you have to help promote and encourage women who are coming behind you. So the last thing I guess I would say would be -- I know that Michelle says this to our daughters:  You can be a wonderful mom and have a wonderful family and have a really successful career.  You may have to kind of not try to do everything all at the same time exactly.  You may have to time things out a little bit and have a husband who supports taking turns a little bit.  So it may be that when the child is very young, you’re not doing something that is as hard, because having a really young child is already really hard, and you have to sleep sometimes.  But then as the child gets older, maybe that’s when you are doing something -- maybe your husband is doing something that gives him more time to support that child.  So there’s going to have to be finding the right balance throughout your life in order to be successful. But congratulations on the good work you’re doing.  (Applause.) All right, I've got time for -- so I only have time for two more questions.  I'll call on that gentleman up there with the glasses, in the blue shirt.  No, no, right here.  Let him ask his question, and then I'll ask the last one.  Go ahead. Q    Hello, Mr. President. PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Hello! Q    It's really an honor to ask you this question.  Well, my name is Alonso Cornejo (ph).  I'm studying marketing at Universidad San Ignacio Loyola.  (Applause.)  And my question is about what advice will you give to Peruvian students that they are starting to think different, to making a change not just in Peru, [but] worldwide -- make a change about worldwide.  What advice will you give?  Right now we live in a world that maybe the bad is good, and the good is bad.  So what advice will you give them to chase their dreams, make the country better -- not Peru, just worldwide?  That will be my question.  Thank you. PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, look, you're already doing so well.  I don’t know that I can give you the perfect advice.  But I'll tell you what I tell my young people who work in the White House and who I meet in the United States, because I think what's true in the United States is true for you, as well.  We live at a time where you're always seeing bad news.  Everybody -- bad news gets a lot of attention.  But the truth is that, in some many ways, the world is better now than it was 20 years ago or 40 years ago, or 100 years ago.  People are healthier today, they're wealthier today, they're better educated today.  The world, if you look overall, is less violent than it was.  Look at the 20th century -- millions of people dying everywhere.  Look at Latin America and the wars that were taking place everywhere across the continent.  And so you actually are living in a time of relative peace and historic prosperity.  And I say that so that you should feel optimistic about the future.  You shouldn’t feel pessimistic.  Yeah, you're always seeing bad news, but the truth is the world is in a place where it can solve its problems and be even better 20 years from now or 50 years from now.  You have to start with that hope, that sense of optimism inside you, because if you don’t feel that way, then you don’t bother to try to have an impact because you think, ah, every politician is corrupt and all the governments are terrible, and people are greedy and people are mean, and so I'm just going to look out for myself.  And then nothing gets better.  So you have to start knowing that things have gotten better and can continue to get better.  That's number one.  Number two, I always tell young people to -- and I don’t know if this translates well in Spanish -- but I say:  Worry more about what you want to do, and not what you want to be.  Now, here is what I mean.  I think a lot of people, they say to themselves, "I want to be rich," or they say to themselves, "I want to be powerful."  Or they say, "I want to be the President," or "I want to be a CEO," so they -- or "I want to be a rap star."  So they say they have this idea, but the people I know who are most successful, usually they're successful because they found something that they really care about, and they worked at it and became really good at it.  And over time, because they were so good at what they did, they ended up being rich, or they ended up being powerful and influential.  But in the meantime, they were constantly doing what they enjoyed doing and learning, and that's what made them successful.  So what I would say to all of you is, find something you care deeply about.  If you care about poor children, then find a way right now that you can start helping some poor children.  Don’t wait, saying to yourself, oh, someday, when I'm President of Peru I'm going to help poor children.  No, go now and find an organization or create an organization that is helping poor kids learn or be exposed to new experiences.  If you care about the environment, don’t wait.  In addition to your studies, you could start having an impact right now on trying to improve your local community, or trying to be involved in some of the work that's being done around things like climate change.  The point is that once you decide what it is that you really care about, there are ways for you to now get involved and pursue that passion.  And if you pursue that passion and you get good at it, you're not going to change the world overnight -- nobody does.  I mean, I eventually, at the age of 45, became a senator and then the President of the United States, but I worked for 25 years in poor communities, and worked on issues.  And hopefully I was doing some good, even before I was famous or powerful, so that if I hadn’t ended up being President I could still look back and say, I worked on the things that I cared about and I got something done that was important.  (Applause.)  And that, I think, is the most important advice that I have for you. All right, last question.  It's a woman's turn.  So all the men, you can put your -- all the boys can put their hands down.  It's a woman's turn. Okay, go ahead, right there.  Q    Okay, first of all, my name is Melisa.  I represent Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas.  (Applause.)   Besides, I'm a proud member of UPC (inaudible).  And once again, I want to welcome you to this amazing country.  And on behalf of this whole audience, I would like to thank you for this amazing opportunity. Okay, so my question is the following.  As it is well known, during your presidency you have stepped up and accepted mistakes you made yourself or maybe the team you're leading.  And that's -- I believe that shows how you reaffirm your belief in introspection and how you want to leave the past behind.  What would your advice to us entrepreneurs, most of us, that would like to leave the mistakes -- learn from them, step up, and leave what's the past in the past?  Thank you, President.  (Applause.)  PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, you know, I don’t -- you shouldn’t ignore the past.  You should learn from it.  And you should learn from history, and learn from experience. The truth is that I was -- right before I came to Peru, I was in Europe, and I started my trip in Athens.  And I went to the Parthenon, the birthplace of democracy.  And you look at all these buildings from ancient Greece, and you try to imagine all the things that were happening in that time, and it seems very long ago.  But the fact of the matter is, is that humanity keeps on making the same mistakes, and we oftentimes find ourselves dealing with the same problems and the same issues.  So studying our past, studying our history, is very, very important.  But the main thing I tell you and I tell my own daughters is, you can't be trapped by the past.  There's a difference between understanding your past.  You need to know the history of Peru.  If you live in the United States, you need to know how America came about -- and that includes both the amazing and wonderful things, but also the bad things.  If you want to understand America today, then you have to understand slavery, and you have to understand the history of immigration, and how the debates we’re having today about immigration aren’t that different from when the Irish or the Italians came and people were saying, we can’t have any more Italians and we can’t have any more Irish.  If you don’t know that then you aren’t going to understand the patterns that we are having today. But the point is, is that we have the power to make our own history.  We don’t have to repeat the same mistakes.  We don’t have to just be confined to what has happened before or what is going on today.  We can think differently, and imagine differently, and do things differently. The one thing that we should remember, though, is that even as we try to do things that are new, we should remember that change generally doesn’t happen overnight.  It happens over time.  So I say that to young people because sometimes they get impatient.  In the United States, sometimes people say to me, oh, why haven’t we eliminated racial discrimination in the United States?  And I say, well, we’ve made a lot of progress since I was born.  In terms of human history, if you think on the scale of hundreds of years or thousands of years -- in 50 years, the changes that have taken place have been amazing. So you have to understand that even though we can think differently, societies don’t move immediately.  It requires hard work, and you have to persuade people.  And sometimes you take two steps forward and then you take one step back.  And you shouldn’t be discouraged when that happens, because history doesn’t just move in a smooth, straight line.  The good news is that we have more access to information than we’ve ever had before.  Young people are in a position to change the world faster than ever before.  And I am confident that if you are respectful of people and you look for what you have in common with humanity, if you stay true to the values of kindness, and respect, and reason, and trying to live together in peace, that the world will keep getting better.  And I’ll be looking forward to seeing all the amazing things that you do in the years to come. Okay?  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.  (Applause.)                           END                 3:47 P.M. PET

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Тенденции в ИТ секторе США

С этой Украиной народ совсем все запустил. Учитывая степень накала можно предположить, что ньюсмейкеры искусственно нагоняют истерию, чтобы отвлечь внимание от более глобальных тенденций, как например развал Еврозоны, провал «японского чуда» и политики Абе, затяжная рецессия в США, очередной провал корпоративных отчетов. Кстати, в последнее время говорят о чем угодно, но только не о последних результатах крупнейших мировых гигантов. Что там с ними?  Из 30 наиболее крупных ИТ компаний в США 11 компаний сокращают годовую выручку по сравнению к 2013 году. Это HPQ, IBM, Intel, Western Digital, Computer Sciences, Seagate Technology, Texas Instruments и другие. Наибольшее годовое сокращение выручки у Seagate Technology – почти 15%. С оценкой 5 летних тенденций, то в наихудшем положении Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Computer Sciences и Texas Instruments, у которых выручка находится на 5 летних минимумах. В таблице данные, как сумма за 4 квартала. Но есть и те, кто вырываются вперед – Microsoft, Google, Ingram Micro, Qualcomm. Apple замедляет в росте и переходит в фазу стагнации с последующим сокрушительным обвалом на фоне роста конкуренции. Intel в стагнации, как 3 года. Данные за 1 квартал предварительные, т.к. еще далеко не все отчитались. Но общие тенденции нащупать можно. Примерно 35-40% крупных компаний сокращают бизнес активность, 25-35% компаний в стагнации и еще столько же растут. Отмечу, что рост отмечает в отрасли, связанной так или иначе с мобильными девайсами – либо производство софта, либо реклама на них, или поставки аппаратной части, как Qualcomm. По прибыли.  Здесь еще хуже. Мало компаний, показывающих приращение эффективности. Около 60% компаний сокращают прибыль, либо стагнируют. Относительно стабильный тренд увеличения прибыли у Google, Oracle, Qualcomm. Хотя темпы прироста наименьшие за 3 года.