Current Events, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovators perspectives on change

Even though change is a constant in our lives, it has never been easy to change. In fact, the more experience we have, the more difficult it is for us to change. Extend that difficulty to several generations or several centuries, and previously unacceptable activities become the norm of society(ies).

For over two hundred years, US history was written as the innovative cowboys overcoming the nomadic American Indians, partly with the help of diseases like measles and smallpox. Until the arrival of the internet, it has not been easy to highlight evidence such as Lord Amherst, for whom the city of Amherst, Massachusetts is named, was alleged to be among the first to engage in chemical warfare by intentionally distributing blankets from soldiers who died of these diseases to the American Indians. I was never educated that Andrew Jackson was a lifelong killer of American Indians.

Why is this relevant today? US citizens have accepted the norm that the cowboy stories are true, and the American Indians have been given opportunities to attend higher education but instead elected to pursue development of casinos. On a global scale, US citizens are often narcissists focused on ourselves instead of global events, partly because only 40% of US Citizens hold passports which are required for foreign travel. In other words, at least 60% of Americans have always lived within US borders.

Donald Trump is perpetuating the myth that the USA can still lead the world unilaterally through false hyperbole that focuses on self-aggrandizement. Trump believes what’s good for Trump is also good for his core supporters. Much like his declaration of Islamic extremists, there are many Christian extremists among Trump’s core supporters who are more likely to live in the US heartland where an even higher percentage of US Citizens have no experience outside the USA. He is also a narcissist whose life reflects values that he used to do whatever is necessary to succeed, independent of moral considerations.

Let’s change by becoming more knowledgeable about global events. In the last 50 years, it was China who lifted hundreds of millions of humans above severe poverty, following by far the most effective anti-poverty policies in a fast-growing economy. China is trying hard to change, as Hong Kong has the most stringent Intellectual Property laws in the world. Passing laws is insufficient to change, as the Chinese must overcome 200 years of foreigners not respecting Chinese laws when foreigners used gunboats to force opium trade into China, against Chinese laws. Why should we expect the Chinese to respect foreign laws when the Chinese laws were not respected for hundreds of years by foreigners? In other words, the Golden Rule did not apply. In order to change, let’s not forget The Golden Rule – do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

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Blockchain, Innovators World, Opportunity, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator Perspectives on Blockchains

Blockchains represent the computer hardware and software behind the bitcoins application. It is one of the hottest topics in the technology world today. Knowing we may step into stereotypes, it is instructive to observe blockchains from a moral innovation perspective to observe how humanity is changing.

To define a blockchain in its most basic form, it is the ability to communicate (from sender to receiver) information that can be valued by the sender and the receiver which define an application (such as bitcoin as a currency). The communications process itself uses the cloud to connect multiple servers with data that can be interpreted from one server to the next using encryption. The combination of not knowing how many servers in what configuration in this process, along with the encryption technology among each pair of servers make this “blockchain” impossible to hack with what we know today.

In a school, the most sensitive information include the student health records (i.e. HIPAA compliance) and transcripts. A blockchain application in a school could be the school issuing “coins” to students to carry their transcript wherever they go, without having to request a transcript from the school, as long as the recipient of the transcript (e.g. a college) accepts the transcript protected by the blockchain.

Even though customized blockchains can work now, it can be very expensive – too expensive for applications like transcripts. To achieve economy of scale, blockchain applications require an infrastructure with standardized protocols and/or very large transactions like movements of currencies. It is similar but not exactly comparable to the Internet released by DARPA in the 20th century, waiting for HTML(language) and IP (communication protocol) to emerge.

From a Moral Innovator perspective, the values of over 90% of humanity come from Christians, Muslims, Indians and Chinese. Christians and Muslims follow monotheistic values where Christians drive innovations. Indians and Chinese follow community based moral values where Chinese drive trade. (Humans cannot live off morality alone because morality does not feed us.) Less than 10% of humanity lives outside these four communities, the largest of whom are the Japanese. As outliers, Japanese have demonstrated that they can sacrifice their culture such as shogunate in order to emulate the Christian innovations to the extreme. It was the Japanese that delivered the greatest intensity of massacre during the second world war – more intense than the holocaust – when over 300,000 mostly women and children were killed over a 50 day period in 1937. About 100,000 additional Chinese were victims of chemical warfare experiments, the most notorious the unit 731 battalion based in Harbin, China. What makes this worse is the fact that war criminals are still celebrated in the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan today.

Even though blockchains started in the 1990s, it was the Japanese that introduced the bitcoin application in 2008. Large companies like IBM and Google seek the very large transactions (such as payment for the millions of barrels of oil transacted everyday) or the elusive “Big Data.” Without any infrastructure, Christians especially associated with Silicon Valley propelled progress of this innovation after 2008. As a potential instrument of trade to support their One Belt One Road initiative, China is working very hard to suppress the volume of activities through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) because the infrastructure simply does not exist. Germany is just now beginning to see ICOs and travelling to Silicon Valley to explore how blockchains can correlate to product qualify from standardized processes where the Germans excel. ICO valuation, as described by a Venture Capitalist, is “way out there.”

Without confidence on our innate morality, and without knowledge of a visible path to scalability, Moral Innovators need to focus on the value of the applications that come close to being accepted by coin buyers and sellers. As of April 2018, no compelling visible path exists for any ICO.

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Uncategorized

Moral Innovators perspective on US democracy

The USA may have the most sophisticated democracy on earth, but it is not a true democracy when Presidents have been elected by electoral college. In the “Federalist Papers” #39, James Madison proposed a mixture of state and population based elections for the President, even though he himself believed that a popular vote would be ideal. The key obstacle to a popular vote at that time was the difficulty in getting consensus given the prevalence of slavery.

In other words, we are still living in the shadows of slavery, and the situation is getting worse. The margin of Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory with 65.9 million votes was 2.9 million votes greater than Donald Trump’s 63.0 million votes. This margin of victory is substantially greater than the combined total of 3-4 previous Presidents who lost the popular vote (1876 Rutherford Hayes lost by 0.3 million, 1888 Benjamin Harrison lost by 0.1 million, 2000 George W Bush lost by 0.5 million, and 1824 John Quincy Adams won by contingent election but lost the popular vote by 0.1 million). It should not be surprising that Donald Trump is the least popular US President in his first year than any other President in US history, especially given the alleged collusion with Russia.

104 years after the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution which finally gave Americans the right to elect Senators, it is time to change the electoral college to a popular vote, closer to a true democracy. Let’s compare the process that led to the 17th Amendment to understand what it takes to make this change.

Until the year 1913 when the 17th Amendment was ratified, the US Senate was a “millionaire’s club” where the legislature selected the Senators from each state. The first attempts to change to a popular vote happened in 1826 when the House of Representatives proposed this change. The timing of this first proposal was two years after the Discovery Doctrine was used by the US Supreme Court as basis for granting land ownership to the European discoverers instead of Native Americans.

It took 87 years for the 17th Amendment to be ratified. In addition to the high pressure of campaign costs which require deep pockets, the GOP has multiple initiatives to re-draw congressional districts in the 21st century that are delivering some alarming results. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported an analysis of the November 2017 Doug Jones victory over Roy Moore as US Senator in Alabama: Even though Doug Jones won the popular vote in Alabama State-wide which includes six congressional districts, if all votes were counted by congressional districts, and we let the congressional districts dictate the winner, Roy Moore would have won by a 5-1 margin.

In this age of internet, moral innovators will be tested to take action and deliver a true US democracy. The new tax law just delivered an estimated $4 billion to Donald Trump family in the form of zero estate taxes while millions of Americans will likely lose medical insurance. We will not hear about these developments as the ultra-rich dictates Donald Trump’s approach to self-aggrandize at the expense of our democracy. The alternative is to remove our claim to be a democratic society.

Happy 2018!

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Innovators World, Opportunity, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovators perspective on where we are today, looking forward

Looking at humanity from the beginning of time, we know that humanity created morality about 2500 years ago when Socrates in Greece, Ashoka in India, and Confucius in China described the virtues to strive for in order to live peacefully together. Christians and Muslims have been influenced by Socrates. Ashoka remains influential in India today as his wheel is prominently displayed in the middle of the Indian flag. Confucian values still influence Chinese behaviors as Chairman Mao proclaimed: The laws written by students of Confucius from Qin Dynasty over 2,000 years ago remain in effect in the 20th century. Chinese President Xi Jinping continues with the development of harmonious societies based on “belts and roads” trade that modernize the Silk Road.

Two millennia later, Portugal approved Columbus’ voyage before Spain, but had no money to finance a voyage. Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella defeated the Muslims in the battle of Granada in 1491 which probably financed the Columbus voyage in 1492, before the Spanish-born Pope Alexander VI drafted the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1493 that claimed the entire world for Spain and Portugal, irrespective of the fact that millions of people live around the world.

In other words, morality evolved independently for 2,000 years and we are talking through each other across cultures because the definition of right and wrong has evolved inconsistently around the world. Christians and Muslim interpret morality through religions that are in absolute contradiction with each other. Non-Christians go to hell, and Non-Muslims go to hell. The end result is everyone on earth is condemned to hell since no one can believe in Islam and Christianity at the same time. Among Muslims and Christians, nearly half the world’s population in India and China has no say in their destiny.

Britain became prominent as pirates who stole treasures from ships returning from the Americas. They turned greedy after the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588 and created the British East India Company (BEIC) 1600 to steal treasures from around the world. BEIC survived longer than its similarly corrupt cousin Dutch East India Company partly because the British government granted BEIC monopoly power in opium trade, before the entire world stole what they can in China through opium (e.g. 70,000 tons of silver) within 80 years. USA broke away from Britain 250 years ago. For 200 years (with exceptions like Jeffersonian democracy), USA gave voting power to Caucasian adult males with property ownership, supported by the Supreme Court Chief Justice’s 1823 decision that took land from Native Americans and gave it to European “discoverers.” USA tried hard to reach moral high ground as a global leader which has been completely annihilated by Donald Trump who stole the Presidency.

A century ago, Rudolph Steiner started anthroposophy that respects, but does not follow religions. Anthroposophy incorporates Indian karma and re-incarnation, but not yet the Chinese Confucian philosophies. Anthroposophy integrates mental, physical and spiritual development of children and emulates an egalitarian society. It is the largest secondary school system not affiliated with any religion. By incorporating Chinese morality, it can be nurtured into a global benchmark for educating responsible adults and moral innovators.

Those who ignore history are likely to repeat it. Donald Trump is not only ignoring history, he is blaming history to support his fake reality TV show at the White House. His main goals includes $1 billion income for himself by eliminating the Estate Tax for the rich. Hopefully he will remain an anomaly in future US history.

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Innovators World, Opportunity, Uncategorized

Moral Innovators’ perspectives on making America great again

On this Thanksgiving Day 2017, USA is a divided country focused on history of sexual harassment by civil servants and Hollywood stars in the last 50 years. While it is fantastic that we are addressing an important issue, we are distracted from the theme of making America great again.

With less than 5% of the global population, USA once commanded as high as 34% of global GDP, or about one out of every three dollars of economic activity in the world was American as recently as 50 years ago. We may still have the #1 or #2 economy in the world today, but our share of global GDP has declined to less than 18% on PPP basis. Making America great again means reversing the trend of declining share of USA in global GDP. The current tax package that eliminates the estate taxes will give Donald Trump another $1 billion to his family which definitely will not help reverse the decline in US share of global GDP.

What will make America great again? We need to understand the world around us, and work hard to add value through moral innovations. This is a lot more difficult than just focusing on innovations without regards to morality which history has shown to be unsustainable (including the current tax package which is innovative but without morality). To illustrate, let’s focus on blockchain technologies that deliver privacy, not speculation on currencies (like bitcoin) which George Soros has proven 20 years ago that could cause havoc in the crisis that impacted Asia and soon followed by the internet bubble burst.

How do we know if we are making efforts to understand the world around us? A metric is to know how many Americans hold US passports to travel overseas. Holding a passport does not guarantee that we travel overseas, and this metric is skewed by about 44 million out of 326 million total Americans who were not US citizens at birth. Nonetheless, it is instructive to look at the trend of passport holders under our last four Presidents: HWBush, Clinton, WBush, and Obama. Under both the HWBush and Clinton administrations, the number of US passport holders more than doubled. This trend has declined to less than 100% under WBush and less than 50% under the Obama administration. In all, only 40% of all Americans hold US passports today. The 40% figure is even lower if we take into consideration that the 44 million American immigrants have a higher likelihood of holding passports.

This may be an important factor why USA is divided today: One third of us travel with passports (and know our declining global position), one third of us are passionate and unwavering Trump supporters, the final one third determines who will be elected in the next election.

Remember, Donald Trump was NOT a four year Ivy League graduate and he was not a top student. He was a third year transfer student into The Wharton School. When he graduated from University of Pennsylvania, he was not on the Deans List which was made up of the top 15% of his class the year he graduated. Please don’t let a fake Ivy League graduate who was not among the top 15% of his class fool you by making the White House a reality TV show. Get to know your neighbors and friends who have worldly experience and thrive by knowing your place in the world. Let’s do the right things and make this world a better place.

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diversity, Innovators World, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovators perspectives on Making America Great Again

At 228 years old, United States of America has the longest sustained Constitution in the world today. There have been ups and downs to USA’s growth, but generally one growth path from the 1770s to the 1950s, and decline after the 1950s through today. How can we reverse the trend to be great again?

Let us look at history before we project forward.

Our Founding Fathers started as highly motivated immigrants in search of better lives. They overcame British oppression through the 1773 Boston Tea Party. After the Constitution was ratified, the very innovative Americans imposed the 1823 Discovery Doctrine on Native Americans to take land ownership and leveraged slavery in the production of cotton and coolies in construction of the transcontinental railway through most of the 19th century. These actions of low morality transitioned during the Gilded Age that provided concentrated wealth to Rockefellers, Carnegies and Morgans who often turned into philanthropists partly because the estate tax rate was as high as 77%. In the 20th century, Henry Ford helped create the middle-class by giving high wages to workers to buy homes and cars. The USA expansion continued through the unofficial entry into the second world war with the Lend Lease program in 1941 until Pearl Harbor, and sustained growth after the second world war with the Marshall Plan. With about 5% of global population, USA commanded 35% of global GNP at its apex in the 1950s.

Lack of experience in a globalized world has stymied our growth. Arrogance marked the beginning of the downturn when President Eisenhower was convinced by Winston Churchill to implement Project Ajax, a 1953 coup that imposed the Shah onto the Iranians, against their will. We fooled ourselves in the Vietnam War when General Westmoreland publicly stated “Vietnamese do not value their lives” in the documentary movie “Hearts and Minds.” These mistakes correlated to the decline of our share of global GNP to 16% today, despite innovations like internet, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Walmart, etc.

Looking domestically, an estimated 64% of Americans have never left US borders. Our K-12 education never taught us about discovery doctrine nor project ajax. Hidden behind the aura of religions like Christianity are values of superiority. The original sermons delivered by Jesus focused on loving thy neighbor. As a messenger of God, Mohammad created an egalitarian religion 1400 years ago, before the Chinese Mongolians defeated Muslims in Damascus and Aleppo 800 years old that changed Islam into the current form of women oppression under the name of Islamic fundamentalism .

We are changing the ways we approach education and redress past inequities with programs like Affirmation Action. Textbooks are acknowledging the annihilation of Native Americans. However, these changes did not happen uniformly across the USA. A large swath of Americans not living in east or west coasts of the USA still have not changed their values partly because changes to their education have not happened fast enough. They associate the American decline to Affirmative Action and new immigrants. Among early evidence of their strength was the high rating of the TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” in the 1980s. Donald Trump found a way through bullying and intimidation to reach the US Presidency without winning the popular vote, in violation of the definition of democracy. It is not surprising that Americans who believe in white supremacy feel their representative is in the White House.

What about the path forward?

There is no magic dust that can make change happen overnight. Please remove our emotions and develop a sustainable path forward. There will be ups and downs, but the path to growth requires a balance of innovations with integrity. There are two key dimensions:

1. Let innovation thrive. This includes the continuation of Silicon Valley practices to find the best talent anywhere on earth. For example, we may lead the world in Global Positioning System (GPS) with 5 meter accuracy today. China’s Big Dipper will have more satellites with encrypted accuracy of 0.1 meter. If left alone, Big Dipper will become the global standard this century.

2. Encourage global education throughout the USA by including topics like the Discovery Doctrine and Project Ajax. Broaden the horizon of the 64% of Americans who have never left the US border. This disparity of knowledge is a factor in our divided USA. We need to past the tipping point as defined by Malcolm Gladwell to embrace our globalized world.

The only constant in life is change. We must embrace change and do the right things together!

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator perspectives on 2016 Presidential Election

If we compare what is happening today to what have happened in history, USA is heading for a Civil War this century unless we collectively take action to protect our democracy.

Humanity has not changed much for 5,000 years. Four communities (Egyptians, Sumerians, Indians, and Chinese) represented over 90% of humanity 5,000 years ago. Egyptians became Christians; Sumerians became Muslims; Indians have been divided by religions, and Chinese remained largely atheists for 5,000 years. Today, Christians, Muslims, Indians and Chinese represent over 90% of humanity.

Among Christians, Catholics was the dominated sect between 1,600 and 1,000 years ago, when the Roman Empire controlled Europe. After the downfall of Western Roman Empire, Orthodox Christians split from the Catholics 1,000 years ago. Orthodox is still the dominant sect in Russia today.

Soon after the Roman Empire was extinguished in the form of Byzantine Empire in 1453, Catholic indulgences, including the infamous Pope Alexander VI who sold the reading of Rosary for a shorter time in purgatory before reaching heaven, led to the Protestant split in 1517 by Martin Luther and John Calvin. Today, our global leaders live in Protestant nations like the USA.

Without imperial influences after 1453, Catholics found an opportunity to sustain prosperity after Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon defeated the Muslim Moors in Granada and paid for the voyage by Christopher Columbus in 1492. It was the same infamous Pope Alexander VI (born in Spain) who drafted the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1493 that gave the world to Spain and Portugal. 20% of treasures extracted (i.e. taken) in North and South America were paid to the Spanish King and Catholics for several centuries. Britain started out as pirates and stole from the Spanish ships loaded with treasures from the Americas. After Britain defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, British East India Company was formed in 1600, followed by the Dutch East India Company in 1602 to directly compete for global treasures.

For 200 years after the 1588 Armada defeat, Spain (and other Christians) took millions of Africans as slaves to the Americas (that kept the population in Africa the same between 1600 and 1850 while the rest of the world’s population more than doubled). The victims include Native Americans who were almost annihilated. Despite these amoral acts, Spain still lost North America to Protestants.

Spain was left without external sources of wealth. A large wealth gap became apparent that led to the 1936-1939 civil war which was won by Francisco Franco who became a dictator until his death in 1975. King Juan Carlos I succeed Franco and led the Spanish transition to democracy today.

USA became a global leader through industrialization when the cotton gin based economy succeeded with slave labor. We prospered as a munitions supplier in both world wars. However, Korean Armistice, Vietnam War, and the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts have drained American wealth, and US companies helped Muslims in Saudi Arabia establish ARAMCO and later the OPEC cartel that is transferring an average US$2 trillion/year since 1973. Just like Spain, USA wealth gap has emerged. Ronald Reagan was the first to introduce trickle-down economics, and Donald Trump is a beneficiary of trickle-down economics. There is a large base of less educated Americans who seek opportunities for their own American dreams. By focusing on gun control, we are distracted from the historically low inheritance tax that sustains the wealth gap. If not Donald Trump, there will be a stronger representative similar to Spain’s Francisco Franco. This stronger representative today is Hilary Clinton. We must remain diligent in monitoring her actions, or we will head for another civil war. For 2017, three cheers for our first female President!

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