Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Very Great Mind -- Richard Feynman

Richard Phillips Feynman (May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulations of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics (he proposed the parton model). For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. He developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions governing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.

He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb and was a member of the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In addition to his work in theoretical physics, Feynman has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing and introducing the concept of nanotechnology. He held the Richard Chace Tolman professorship in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.
In high school, his IQ was determined to be 125—high, but "merely respectable" according to biographer James Gleick. Feynman later scoffed at psychometric testing. In the year 1933, in which he turned 15, he taught himself trigonometry, advanced algebra, infinite series, analytic geometry and both differential and integral calculus. Before entering college, he was experimenting with and re-creating mathematical topics, such as the half-derivative, using his own notation. In high school, he was developing the mathematical intuition behind his Taylof series of mathematical operators.

His habit of direct characterization sometimes rattled more conventional thinkers; for example, one of his questions, when learning feline anatomy, was "Do you have a map of the cat?" (referring to an anatomical chart).

Feynman attended Far Rockaway High School, a school also attended by fellow laureates Burton Richter and Baruch Samuel Blumberg. A member of the Arista Honor Society, in his last year in high school, Feynman won the New York University Math Championship; the large difference between his score and those of his closest competitors shocked the judges.

He applied to Columbia University, but was not accepted. Instead he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1939, and in the same year was named a Putnam Fellow. While there, Feynman took every physics course offered, including a graduate course on theoretical physics while only in his second year.

He obtained a perfect score on the graduate school entrance exams to Princeton University in mathematics and physics—an unprecedented feat—but did rather poorly on the history and English portions. Attendees at Feynman's first seminar included Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Pauli, and John von Neumann. He received a PhD. from Princeton in 1942; his thesis advisor was John Archibald Wheeler. Feynman's thesis applied the principle of stationary action to problems of quantum mechanics, inspired by a desire to quantize the Wheeler-Feynman absorber theory of electrodynamics, laying the groundwork for the "path integral" approach and Feynman diagrams, and was titled "The Principle of Least Action in Quantum Mechanics".

At Princeton, the physicist Robert R. Wilson encouraged Feynman to participate in the Manhattan Project — the wartime U.S. Army project at Los Alamos developing the atomic bomb. Feynman said he was persuaded to join this effort to build it before Nazi Germany developed their own bomb.
Feynman was sought out by physicist Niels Bohr for one-on-one discussions. He later discovered the reason: most of the other physicists were too in awe of Bohr to argue with him. Feynman had no such inhibitions, vigorously pointing out anything he considered to be flawed in Bohr's thinking. Feynman said he felt as much respect for Bohr as anyone else, but once anyone got him talking about physics, he would become so focused he forgot about social niceties.

Due to the top secret nature of the work, Los Alamos was isolated. In Feynman's own words, "There wasn't anything to do there". Bored, he indulged his curiosity by learning to pick the combination locks on cabinets and desks used to secure papers. Feynman played many jokes on colleagues. In one case he found the combination to a locked filing cabinet by trying the numbers he thought a physicist would use (it proved to be 27–18–28 after the base of natural logarithms, e = 2.71828…), and found that the three filing cabinets where a colleague kept a set of atomic bomb research notes all had the same combination. He left a series of notes in the cabinets as a prank, which initially spooked his colleague, Frederic de Hoffmann, into thinking a spy or saboteur had gained access to atomic bomb secrets. On several occasions, Feynman drove to Albuquerque to see his ailing wife in a car borrowed from Klaus Fuchs, who later was discovered to be a \
real spy for the Soviets, transporting nuclear secrets in his car to Santa Fe.

On occasion, Feynman would find an isolated section of the mesa where he could drum in the style of American natives; "and maybe I would dance and chant, a little". These antics did not go unnoticed, and rumors spread about a mysterious Indian drummer called "Injun Joe". He also became a friend of the laboratory head, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who unsuccessfully tried to court him away from his other commitments after the war to work at the University of California, Berkeley..

During a temporary depression following the destruction of Hiroshima by the bomb produced by the Manhattan Project, he focused on complex physics problems, not for utility, but for self-satisfaction. One of these was analyzing the physics of a twirling, nutating dish as it is moving through the air. His work during this period, which used equations of rotation to express various spinning speeds, soon proved important to his Nobel Prize-winning work. Yet because he felt burned out and had turned his attention to less immediately practical, but more entertaining, problems, he felt surprised by the offers of professorships from other renowned universities.

Despite yet another offer from the Institute for Advanced Study, Feynman rejected the Institute on the grounds that there were no teaching duties: Feynman felt that students were a source of inspiration and teaching was a diversion during uncreative spells. Because of this, the Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University jointly offered him a package whereby he could teach at the university and also be at the institute. Feynman instead accepted an offer from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) -- and as he says in his book Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman! — because a desire to live in a mild climate had firmly fixed itself in his mind while he was installing tire chains on his car in the middle of a snowstorm in Ithaca.

Feynman has been called the "Great Explainer". He gained a reputation for taking great care when giving explanations to his students and for making it a moral duty to make the topic accessible. His guiding principle was that, if a topic could not be explained in a freshman lecture, it was not yet fully understood. Feynman gained great pleasure from coming up with such a "freshman-level" explanation, for example, of the connection between spin and statistics. What he said was that groups of particles with spin ½ "repel", whereas groups with integer spin "clump." This was a brilliantly simplified way of demonstrating how Fermi-Dirac statistics and Bose-Einsein statistics evolved as a consequence of studying how fermions and bosons behave under a rotation of 360°. This was also a question he pondered in his more advanced lectures, and to which he demonstrated the solution in the 1986 Dirac memorial lecture. In the same lecture, he further explained that antiparticles must exist, for if particles had only positive energies, they would not be restricted to a so-called "light cone."

He opposed rote learning or unthinking memorization and other teaching methods that emphasized form over function. He put these opinions into action whenever he could, from a conference on education in Brazil to a State Commission on school textbook selection. Clear thinking and clear presentation were fundamental prerequisites for his attention. It could be perilous even to approach him when unprepared, and he did not forget the fools or pretenders.

Feynman played an important role on the Presidential Rogers Commission, which investigated the Challenger disaster. During a televised hearing, Feynman demonstrated that the material used in the shuttle's O-rings became less resilient in cold weather by compressing a sample of the material in a clamp and immersing it in ice-cold water. The commission ultimately determined that the disaster was caused by the primary O-ring not properly sealing due to extremely cold weather at Cape Canaveral.

Feynman devoted the latter half of his book What Do You Care What Other People Think? to his experience on the Rogers Commission, straying from his usual convention of brief, light-hearted anecdotes to deliver an extended and sober narrative. Feynman's account reveals a disconnect between NASA’s engineers and executives that was far more striking than he expected. His interviews of NASA's high-ranking managers revealed startling misunderstandings of elementary concepts. For instance, NASA managers claimed that there was a 1 in 100,000 chance of a catastrophic failure aboard the shuttle, but Feynman discovered that NASA's own engineers estimated the chance of a catastrophe at closer to 1 in 100. He concluded that the space shuttle reliability estimate by NASA management was fantastically unrealistic, and he was particularly angered that NASA used these figures to recruit Christa McAuliffe into the Teacher-in-Space program. He warned in his appendix to the commission's report (which was included only after he threatened not to sign the report), "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." He also rebuked some mathematicians for their exclusivity, saying "I have great suspicion that [mathematicians] don't know that this stuff is wrong and that they're intimidating people."

Feynman had a great deal of success teaching Carl, using, for example, discussions about ants and Martians as a device for gaining perspective on problems and issues. He was surprised to learn that the same teaching devices were not useful with [his daughter,] Michelle. Mathematics was a common interest for father and son; they both entered the computer field as consultants and were involved in advancing a new method of using multiple computers to solve complex problems—later known as parallel computing. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory retained Feynman as a computational consultant during critical missions.

In addition, he had some degree of synesthesia for equations, explaining that the letters in certain mathematical functions appeared in color for him, even though invariably printed in standard black-and-white.

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


"Anyone who claims to understand quantum theory is either lying or crazy," physicist Richard Feynman once said, according to legend.

Clinical Example of Subjective Memory

Introduction by the Blog Author
A test was conducted about the memory of visual information. A picture was shown of faint lines and a circular shape. The faint lines were made to vanish and, subsequently, the circle was dimmed. It was found that the dimming of the circle improved the chances that the lines would be noticed. This demonstrates subjective editing of what we have seen and its effect on what we remember.

Elsewhere, it has been suggested that the same editing takes place with what we hear, and that, by such editing, we are able to learn languages.

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

Cueing Attention after the Stimulus Is Gone Can Retrospectively Trigger Conscious Perception

Current Biology, Volume 23, Issue 2, pages150-155, 13 December 2012
Authors -- Claire Sergent, Valentin Wyart, Mariana Babo-Rebelo, Larent Cohen, Lionel Naccache, Catherine Tallon-Baudry


  • Highlights
  • Orienting our attention after stimulus offset can make us perceive it consciously
  • This retroperception effect can occur as late as 400 ms after stimulus presentation


Is our perceptual experience of a stimulus entirely determined during the early buildup of the sensory representation, within 100 to 150 ms following stimulation [1,2]? Or can later influences, such as sensory reactivation, still determine whether we become conscious of a stimulus [3,4]? Late visual reactivation can be experimentally induced by postcueing attention after visual stimulus offset [5]. In a contrary approach from previous work on postcued attention and visual short-term memory, which used multiple item displays [6,7], we tested the influence of postcued attention on perception, using a single visual stimulus (Gabor patch) at threshold contrast. We showed that attracting attention to the stimulus location 100 to 400 ms after presentation still drastically improved the viewers objective capacity to detect its presence and to discriminate its orientation, along with drastic increase in subjective visibility. This retroperception effect demonstrates that postcued attention can retrospectively trigger the conscious perception of a stimulus that would otherwise have escaped consciousness. It was known that poststimulus events could either suppress consciousness, as in masking, or alter conscious content, as in the flash-lag illusion. Our results show that conscious perception can also be triggered by an external event several hundred ms after stimulus offset, underlining unsuspected temporal flexibility in conscious perception.

Full text available at:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Classic Parker "T-Ball" Jotter

The Parker Jotter is the Parker Pen Company’s first and bestselling retracting refillable ballpoint pen. Later they added a fountain pen, mechanical pencil and rollerball pen that match its design. As with many other ballpoint pens, it can be turned into a gel pen if its cartridge is changed.  Since 1954, over 750 million have been sold worldwide.

 Its refill, called T-Ball (T is for tungsten), is the first textured ballpoint and is now a standard in the industry.  Also, the external design of the T-Ball is a standard design for many brands of refillable pens.


The Jotter is distinguished by a button and cap made of stainless steel, chrome or another metal, a stylized arrow-shaped clip, a smooth styrene or metal barrel and a metal nozzle. . If styrene, the barrel originally came in black, blue, green and red. Over many years of production, the jotter has been produced in numerous colors, some quite rare.

One popular version, scarce in early models, is identified as the laboratory or "flighter" version. These pens have an alloy cap with a matching alloy barrel. The all-alloy bodied pens come with a gold or chrome clip. Another version is the clear barreled "demonstrator," usually sold to dealers to show the inner workings of the pen.

The so-called "girl's" Jotter is a smaller version of the original. It was manufactured in the early 1960s and was popular for a time. It came in nine colors (the rarest being brown, yellow and white), as well as a clear "demonstrator." The girl's jotter shares its barrel with the Parker Tiara. Theoretically, both pens came in the same colors. However there is some question whether or not the "girl's" jotter was available in orange, white or yellow. However, such models have been found and were perhaps the result of enterprising Parker employees who took it upon themselves to "create" new colors. This area requires some research and elaboration.

It appears that the employees occasionally experimented with their own combinations of colors. These pens have a marbleized appearance and are the result of cleaning the production machinery. If the production run called for blue, and they had been making gray jotters, the last of the gray plastic would blend into the blue creating what were sometimes called "lunch room" specials. These pens are considered quite collectible, but they are usually not "prototypes" as commonly thought.

Management was always trying to expand the market for this pen and commissioned the design department to explore new designs and materials. Several of these prototypes exist and are also coveted by collectors.

There are many variations of these pens and a large collection can be assembled by the serious collector.
The variety is immense if a collector includes the advertising variations. All versions of the pen were used in advertising for a long list of organizations.

Additionally, the Jotter has been manufactured in Canada, England, Australia and Argentina and these pen's caps are stamped with their point of origin. The Jotters manufactured in Australia and Argentina are difficult to find and command higher prices than the United States or English versions. (locations of manufacture require further research).

The refill comes in ball pen and gel styles, as well as in three point sizes. The pen also comes in a boxed set with a mechanical pencil which is collectible in itself.


  • In 1954, the Parker Jotter had an inverted "V" style clip without the arrow engraving. The 1954 Jotter came with red, green, light gray, dark gray and black barrels, made of grooved nylon, not smooth plastic. The following year, because of the popularity of the pen, the choice of colors was extended to include bright red, mustard yellow, bright green and bright orange. These later colors are more difficult to find. At least one example has been found in white, perhaps a "nurses'" model, indicating that there was at least a brief run of white nylon jotters, a subject requiring more information. Another model was recently advertised on eBay for a substantial sum of money. It was a flighter model with a grooved barrel and cap. There may be other models not commonly known. There are also cap variations resulting from differences in imprints, most noticeably the Parker arrow. These represent different examples making it difficult to obtain a complete set of variations.
  • In 1956, the company made the Jotter barrel smooth plastic and changed the clip to the "21" style. This clip used a reversed "V" rather than an inverted one. It incorporated a ball for pocket retention. This clip remained in use for about two years. During the period this variation was in production a metal barrel end was added in response to complaints that the plastic tip broke from pressure. Examples without the metal tip and the "21" clip are relatively rare. There are also some examples of the grooved nylon barrel being mated to the "21" clip and the inverted clip being mated to smooth barrels without tips. One can only conjecture that this was an effort on the part of the factory to use up surplus parts from different series. Barrels and caps all interchange during this period.

Coincidentally a jotter was introduced with a substantially larger diameter barrel. Most found to date have an unusual moss green barrel. Black and White versions of the large diameter jotter have also been found.

According to experts, this model was known as the "Industrial Jotter" as opposed to the standard diameter version known as the "Commercial Jotter". Parker's sales staff never liked the original jotter because the grooves made imprints on the barrel impossible and required clip devices if sold for advertising purposes. They were pleased when the smooth barrel was introduced which permitted advertising imprints.

Subsequently the marketing department successfully lobbied for a model with a larger diameter barrel which would allow more space for corporate messages. Apparently this version was not popular and was discontinued after a short period of time (est.<than two years)due to relatively weak sales. It is believed that this model was illustrated only in the commercial catalog and not available to retailers. They remain rare and can be recognized by the sharp taper at the end of its barrel. Recent sales of these large diameter jotters have been in the $200 range if and when they are available.

It is believed that this version was also available in red. In keeping with the practice in the pen industry of issuing models in red, blue, green and black, there are probably blue and red versions in existence.

In 1957, the company launched the T-Ball refill, which contained reformulated ink and a textured tungsten carbide writing ball.

In 1958, the company added an arrow to replace the ballclip design. The arrow has remained on all production Jotters since then. Occasionally a jotter slipped through with a clip that had no embossed arrows (some collectors believe that this was an marketing effort by Parker). These are now collector's items. Recent production (English manufacture) have clips in the shape of an arrow, but no feathers.

At some period the interior diameter of the Jotter was reduced and a new refill introduced. There are two primary variations, the large diameter version and the smaller diameter. This was probably done to increase refill sales as the initial refill had a very large capacity. Be aware that some barrel colors were not made in the wide diameter versions. Some pens have been found with early caps fitted to the later small diameter barrels and represented as rarities. Additionally, there are several cap variations resulting from changing the imprints on the cap. The period from 1958 to 1973 has many slight changes making it difficult for the collector to obtain a representative example of each production specimen. Some collectors believe that caps without lettering are used to present samples to a prospective customer.
  • In 1965, the company launched a Jotter desk pen in brushed chrome.
  • In 1973, the company flattened the dome-shaped plunger and placed an imprint of the Parker logo on the plunger.
  • In the 1980s, the company changed the inner cap threads from brass to plastic. At this time they introduced a date code on the cap. From about 1979 through today there are at least four cap variations for each year of production. This adds to the challenge of collecting an example of every Jotter. To further complicate matters, some later barrels have a small extraction notch on the rim of the threads, while others of the same color do not. It appears that all of the Jotters currently in production in England have this notch. Also be aware that some older style plungers are mated with later caps; creating yet other variations.
  • In 2004, the Jotter's Jubilee, the company released limited edition designs in boxed sets. The dome shaped button was restored to its original rounded shape that it had prior to 1973 when the flattened dome shaped button took over. The sterling silver Jotters were made for only one year, 2004.
Sterling silver Jotters were available in the United States in the 1970s. Threads are silver.

There were several barrel colors issued to celebrate the Jotter's 50th anniversary. The plain anniversary clips have been seen attached to later barrels, and earlier and later plungers attached to later caps, creating even more variations. Earlier colors have been found with later caps indicating that Parker was cleaning out their old inventory.
Recently, a series of 24-kt gold plated models have been distributed in the United States. Both the cap and the tip are plated. They have been found in several colors. There is another variation from England that has gold clip attached to chrome caps. The barrels of these pens have chrome tips. These are in addition to the black version with the gold clip and tip.

Today's Jotters are similar to the popular, "ruggedized" version that first came out in 1954. Over 700 million Jotters have been produced since 1954 and production continued at Parker's plant in Newhaven, England after being transferred there from Janesville, Wisconsin in 1999.

Parker closed its factory in England late in 2010 and production was moved to Nantes, France. Jotters are now imprinted with "Made in France", giving the collector another opportunity to expand their collection. Recently one was offered on eBay at an inflated value. As time progresses the new variation will become available at more reasonable prices. Probably, it will first be released in blister packaging to the national stationery chains. The collector can check the reverse of the packaging to determine if the Jotter is of French manufacture. Additionally some Parker products are produced under license in India and China for consumption in the Far East. Production from these licensees is not imported to the United States or Europe, but has been available from Australia. At this time there is no information as to whether the Jotter has been or will be manufactured by these licensees creating possibly even more variations (ths discussion about Far East variations requires elaboration).

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

Comments by users of the Parker Jotter and many suggestions for using superior refill poducts such as the refills from:

Schmidt 9000
Visconti gel
Fisher space pen
TUL ballpoint cartridge

are listed and discussed at:

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


A Note by the Blog Author

The Parker "T-ball" Jotter was something of a status icon and almost a membership symbol to suburban public school students in the 1960s.  Particularly in vogue with the children of parents with white collar jobs, the Parker Jotter wrote many school notes and term papers in those days.

Appreciated by adolescents and teenagers was the supreme balance of the Jotter.  The center of gravity was almost exactly at the point where the stainless steel cap met the colored barrel.  This made the pen fun to play with, especially to flip or spin while being thrown into the air and then caught by the throwing hand.

This "flippability" of the Jotter got millions of students through tedious "social sciences" classes without the embarassment of falling asleep in class.  Modern Jotters have maintained this balance. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Solar Power Can Produce Hydrogen

Splitting water with solar power
Edouard Stenger’s blog on December 21st, 2012
This is a guest post from Mathias Aarre Maehlum, an environmentalist who studies energy engineering. In his spare time he works as a freelance writer. Read more of his stuff at Energy Informative [ ]

Researchers at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have figured out a way to split water molecules (H2O) into hydrogen by using the sun.Hydrogen has long been touted as the energy carrier of the future.

Only time will tell whether or not this actually turns out to be true, meanwhile hydrogen does bring several promising benefits to the table.

  • The only byproduct of extracting power from hydrogen is water vapor – as opposed to carbon dioxide or other nasty climate gases.
  • Fuel cells that run on hydrogen are more efficient than combustion engines that use gasoline. Your car can actually drive about twice the distance on hydrogen.

"Our approach is the first of its kind. We have found a way to trap light in ultrathin films of iron oxide that are 5,000 times thinner than typical office paper. This is the enabling key to achieving high efficiency and low cost. " says lead researcher Associate Prof. Avner Rothschild.

Iron oxide, more commonly known as rust, is inexpensive, cheap and stable. All reasons that explains why the molecule has been the subject of interests for many scientists over the years. However, iron
oxide is also associated with certain issues – the main one being poor conductivity.

"Our light-trapping scheme overcomes this, enabling efficient absorption in ultrathin films wherein the photogenerated charge carriers are collected efficiently," Prof. Rothschild continues. Their discovery could potentially lead to some sort of a hybrid solar cell capable of generating both hydrogen and electricity, as well as storing energy. An ultrathin layer of iron oxide is also thought to yield higher efficiency rates when on top of a conventional silicon-based solar cell.

Finding new materials that are abundant and cheap can possibly send the solar industry into an entirely different course. The Israli research team says their technology possibly could limit as much as 90% of all rare elements used in today`s solar cells, which in the long run undoubtedly would lead to serious cost reductions.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Coming Automated Economy

The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future --By Martin Ford

Editorial Review From the Publisher

THE LIGHTS IN THE TUNNEL takes an in depth look at current trends in information technology and globalization and examines what the likely economic impact will be in the coming years and decades.

Here are just a few of the questions explored in the book:

How will job automation impact the economy in the future?

How will the offshore outsourcing trend evolve in the coming years?

What impact will technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence have on the job market?

Did technology play a significant role in the 2007 subprime meltdown and the subsequent global financial crisis and recession?

Globalization. Collaboration. Telecommuting. Are these the forces that will shape the workplaces of the future? Or is there something bigger lurking?

How fast can we expect technological change to occur in the coming years and decades?

Which jobs and industries are likely to be most vulnerable to automation and outsourcing?

Machine and computer automation will primarily impact low skilled and low paid workers. True or false?

Will advancing technology always make society as a whole more wealthy? Or could it someday cause a severe economic depression?

What are the implications of advancing automation technology for developing nations such as China and India?

Will a college education continue to be a good bet in the future?

Recent economic data suggests that, in United States, we are seeing increasing income inequality and a dwindling middle class. How will this trend play out in the future?

What will be the economic impact of truly advanced future technologies, such as nanotechnology?

Retail positions at Wal-Mart and other chain stores have become the jobs of last resort for many workers.

Will robots and other forms of machine automation someday threaten these jobs? If so, what alternatives will the economy create for these workers?

And much more...

About the Author

MARTIN FORD is the founder of a Silicon Valley-based software firm. He has over twenty-five years experience in the fields of computer design and software development. He holds a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan and a graduate business degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

 Book Description from

What will the economy of the future look like? Where will advancing technology, job automation, outsourcing and globalization lead? This groundbreaking book by a Silicon Valley computer engineer explores these questions and shows how accelerating technology is likely to have a highly disruptive influence on our economy in the near future--and may well already be a significant factor in the current global crisis. THE LIGHTS IN THE TUNNEL employs a powerful thought experiment to explore the economy of the future. An imaginary "tunnel of lights" is used to visualize the economic implications of the new technologies that are likely to appear in the coming years and decades. The book directly challenges conventional views of the future and illuminates the danger that lies ahead if we do not plan for the impact of rapidly advancing technology. It also shows how the economic realities of the future might offer solutions to issues such as poverty and climate change.

Two very cogent straightforward reviews of the book: 

Dan Usiskinj says:

This author gave a great deal of thought to his researched project. His book is an important contribution to the work force of the United states and its response to globalization and fair trade practices. If he is only half right than the world is in for volatility in its markets and the U.S. as well- and persistant unemployment above 7% and sluggish growth because jobs quickly become obsolete or saturated with workers looking for predictable incomes long term. He has done well in making his case and time will reveal thisl. say in the next ten years if he is right This said, One must be well rounded and seek information at every turn to get a fair perspective on macro economies. Obama touched on points in the Audacity of Hope, A stanford professor whose name I can't recall owns an international political consulting firm, watching cnbc, figuring out what portfolio managers are doing etc. This book in not a war of the World's scenario but a discourse that intelligently bestows its gifts on readers without endless foot notes and statistics and quantative verbocity. The author knows of what he speaks and again if he is half right, America is in for nasty volatility in its markets, labor shifts, and persistant high unemployment. What to do? Try synthesising what every country in the world does right......

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

[3 stars] A serious and growing problem with few easy solutions
, September 14, 2011 By John K. Hawley

Martin Ford's book, The Lights in the Tunnel, is one of the latest in a progression of books addressing the economic and social problems partially attributable to rapidly advancing technology. I think his problem analysis is spot on. However, I think his proposed solutions are impractical and probably unworkable. The allocation (or misallocation) of wealth created by the prevailing economic system is an historical problem, one that is being exacerbated by the growing skill-bias of technology. But I can't imagine that any non-market-based wealth allocation scheme developed and administered by government would end up being other than a welfare program or a mechanism for rewarding political "favorites." Politics and cronyism would replace merit and effort. Government can't escape the specter of politics. Like it or not, the market imposes a reality and discipline that is simply not present in most government decision making.

All of the above said, the economic and resultant social problems associated with the increasing skill-bias of technology are serious and not likely to be a temporary phenomenon. Moreover, I don't believe that solutions will be easy to develop or implement. In my line of work (a psychologist working systems acquisition for the US Department of Defense), we began to encounter this problem more than 30 years ago with the widespread introduction of information technology into military systems. Back in those days, we referred to it as "skill creep," and understood that it had significant design, aptitude, and training implications. What came in on cat's paws back in the 1970s is now becoming a perfect storm across the economic spectrum. I should also note that in spite of 30 years of experience with it, DoD still struggles to cope with the skill-bias effect.

Based on 30 years of hands-on experience with this issue, I don't think the end result will be as extreme as Ford suggests in his book. Technology-dominated, "smart" machines will still require human support--and for the foreseeable future, "guidance." However, fewer people will be required to fill this role, and their aptitude, educational, and training requirements will be high. This is the essence of the skill-bias problem. More and more people will be displaced from the traditional job ladder and find themselves either unable to get on or only able to get on at a lower level in so-called service industries. Many proposed solutions will run up against what might be called the bell-curve problem (mental ability is not evenly distributed in the population); and serious, across-the-board educational reform will be a necessity. Most current proposals for educational reform do not fit my definition of serious. It should also be noted that most of our efforts in the area of job "retraining" have not been particularly successful. Many of the things we are going to be required to do to manage this problem will not be politically correct or will not fit into our prevailing political and social worldview.

I agree with Ford that current trends in job off-shoring likely are a temporary expedient. China, India, and other low-cost countries eventually will face the many of the same issues we in the developed world now face. It will be interesting to see how China fares in its Red Queen race between economic growth and the rising expectations of the hundreds of millions of non-participants in its economic miracle.

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

A discussion of comments about the review immediaterly above are included on and are selected by the blog author as posted below:

BLOWBACK NUMBER ONE: The American educational system of publically funded, unionized baby sitters spoon-feeding out of date politically correct babble enslaves the students and under-provides economic worth for the young adults at the end of the process. Therefore there will be a revolution in modernizing and computerizing education, to wit:

Woman in a Strange Land says:

I work in health care. The textbooks in place today to teach students the subjects I took many years ago, show a distinct focus on teaching to the lowest common denominator. This is a fundamental issue with overall education at this time. This country no longer teaches students how to be inovative thinkers. There is a cookie cutter style of teaching topics that is fundamentally simplistic. When I applied to Nursing school I had to take a really difficult entrance test. Only the top 3% percent were accepted into the nursing school. Now, there is a lottery system in place. Thus a really smart person can be in the same class as someone who is not as motivated or prepared for the rigors of learning how to advocate for patients. New grad nurses today are less prepared to care for patients with complex disease processes. Who wins in such a system? Not the patients, not the current health care system. This seems to be a wide-spread methodology of how higher education currently prepares people to meet the future needs of the country. It's sad that this country wastes so much money on poorly planned eduational systems that are not future focused.

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

BLOWBACK NUMBER TWO: What happens to economic stratification once machines are doing the work, thinking and building newer machines? Here is a discussion and argument on that theme between Morgan P. Smith and C. Collins:

Morgan P. Smith says:

Massive displacement is one theory. However, it seems to me that having infinitely capable machines that will work for free should lead to leisure for the human race. It should be like having a race of slaves for everyone. I mean when you have robots building robots, the cost of goods should approach zero. The effort of the robots is not rewarded and they require no fulfillment. The bottom line is that if we build a race of machines to do all of the work, then work is unnecessary.
C. Collins says: Morgan,

"However, it seems to me that having infinitely capable machines that will work for free should lead to leisure for the human race."

The issue you raise is a question of redistribution, not of technology. It seems obvious to me that your scenario would only hold true within a system/society that is not afraid to redistribute (massively) its fruits to the many. That is, a society may - in principle - have the means to reliably increase the size of its economic 'pie', year-in, year-out, but this would tell us *nothing* about how that pie should/might be divided. So, to whom should the rewards go? This would be analgous to the days when the EU sat on vast food (e.g. grain and butter) surpluses whilst millions in African countries starved.

So, likewise, it could be the case that the lion's share of a country's national product is 'earned' only by an elite few - say, by those with PhDs or by those with very particular entrepreneurial abilities. As things stand, it is those few who will be rewarded accordingly. Thus, there is no *necessary* reason why the earnings of those few should be redistributed to the (redundant) many in any direct sense. So, how extreme would this tendency need to be, before the case for massive redistribution becomes overwhelming?

As I understand, in some arab countries, it was the case - don't know if this is still the case - that every national was paid a significant income, not because of what they did, but merely because they were fortunate enough to have been born in a country blessed with massively desirable natural resources. Sadly, however, relatively few seem to accept that they owe a debt to society at large, preferring to assert that they are truly the architects of their own good fortune. Anglo-Saxon cultures, like the US for example, have traditionally been geared towards fostering such attitudes and to rewarding the efforts of 'heroic' individuals, rather than geared towards acknowledging the simple fact that some are extremely fortunate, whilst many are much less so, i.e. outcomes are, essentially, arbitrary.

"It should be like having a race of slaves for everyone."

Yours is one possible outcome but, in practice, a far more likely outcome would seem to be one where a small elite would have entire armies of slaves whilst the rest of us would have to continue doing our own housekeeping.

"I mean when you have robots building robots, the cost of goods should approach zero."

I think this is predicated on a host of assumptions that are unlikely to hold true, short of unprecedented reform. For example, look at pharmaceuticals and at the 'economic rent' that pharmaceutical companies will try to squeeze from the market in the name of getting a return on their original investment. So, who would be the 'owner' of the technology that would enable such advancements - entire societies or only a handful of unfeasibly fortunate individuals and corporations?
Morgan P. Smith says:
Hello C.Collins,

'So, likewise, it could be the case that the lion's share of a country's national product is 'earned' only by an elite few - say, by those with PhDs or by those with very particular entrepreneurial abilities. As things stand, it is those few who will be rewarded accordingly'

My point is that in the extreme future of true thinking machines imagined by the author, there will not be anybody who is capable of producing value. The smartest PhD will also be useless in this rather extreme thought experiment. In a sense, the only value left is land and natural resources, where it all began! And rather than utopia, there would probably be wars.

I don't believe that thinking machines are due for quite awhile. I say that as someone who has spent 20 years programming stupid machines, and I find them to be quite faster, but not an iota smarter than when started.
C. Collins says:
Hi, Morgan

My point is that in the extreme future of true thinking machines imagined by the author, there will not be anybody who is capable of producing value."

Thanks for your response. On the one hand, however, it seems questionable as to whether that 'point' - to which you refer - is ever likely to actually be reached but my question relates - given your scenario - as to whether, there will remain an elite few who will be able to extract economic rent from 'ownership' of the technology embodied within the "true thinking machines" to which you refer. In a sense, it is those individuals or corporations who will, once again, 'own the means of production', just as did the 'capitalists' of the industrial revolution, and they will reap their disproportionate rewards irrespective of the fact that they 'produce' nothing.

On the other hand, if you are envisaging a wholly autonomous class of 'thinking machines' - humanoids, of some description - what would be their status, vis a vis mere humans, and what incentive(s) might they have to make *our* lives (i.e. those of humankind's) any better? Just wondering whether you might also have speculated upon these sorts of questions...

Of course, I may be entirely misconceiving what you have in mind. In any case, however, rest assured that I intend to read this book in the very near future.

C. Collins says:

"I don't believe that thinking machines are due for quite awhile... I find them to be quite faster, but not an iota smarter than when started."

On a slightly different note, then, do you think/believe that the defeat of Garry Kasparov, by Deep Blue, represented any particular kind of 'watershed' moment in terms of AI?

Morgan P. Smith says:
I'd love to create a forum somewhere for this topic! I actually find it a brain teaser. I , by nature, like to take things to an extreme and see what it looks like. The 'thought' experiment. So, yes, the point I am referring to is pretty well science fiction and very hard to talk about in practical terms. However, the author is envisioning software that can write legal opinions, do creative engineering work, be a doctor etc. That's pretty extreme to me given the technology of today. And if it ever happens, I don't think anyone could accurately predict the effect on society. I agree that history does indicate that the few will always try to control the many and I won't argue with that!

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

Afterword by the Blog Author:
On the coming education revolution – stay out of education as a career if you are young! Live teaching in front of a blackboard is about to go the way of the stenographer, receptionist, secretary, bookkeeper and elementary school music teacher, all of which have been mostly or completely computerized.

The Morgan-versus-Collins arguments about smart machines and economic paradise or disparity: war or peace, comity or resentment are going to be decided by the emerging legal system. The only plausible alternative for sheer workability is going to be a system that becomes more civilized and logical as time goes on – and – the system that became better and better over the centuries, technological changes and mutations was English Common Law (although foolishly banished from American federal law by fiat of the Supreme Court in 1938). See my common law postings in the companion "Quiddity" blog (postings #30, #31, #32 and #33) clickable from this "Daily Quiddity" blog main page for details about the genius and durability of common law. To the extent that the author of The Light in the Tunnel favors governmental central planning instead of rule of law, due process and common law, I disagree with such a top-down boondoggle.

For examples of revolutionary advances that smashed empires, see American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips (2006).  This book is also discussed at length on the "Quiddity" blog.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

American Stagnation Since 1973

The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will(Eventually) Feel Better By Tyler Cowen


Book Description [on]

Release date: June 9, 2011 | ISBN-10: 0525952713 | ISBN-13: 978-0525952718
America is in disarray and our economy is failing us. We have been through the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, unemployment remains stubbornly high, and talk of a double-dip recession persists. Americans are not pulling the world economy out of its sluggish state -- if anything we are looking to Asia to drive a recovery.Median wages have risen only slowly since the 1970s, and this multi-decade stagnation is not yet over. By contrast, the living standards of earlier generations would double every few decades. The Democratic Party seeks to expand government spending even when the middle class feels squeezed, the public sector doesn’t always perform well, and we have no good plan for paying for forthcoming entitlement spending. To the extent Republicans have a consistent platform, it consists of unrealistic claims about how tax cuts will raise revenue and stimulate economic growth. The Republicans, when they hold power, are often a bigger fiscal disaster than the Democrats. How did we get into this mess?

Imagine a tropical island where the citrus and bananas hang from the trees. Low-hanging literal fruit -- you don’t even have to cook the stuff. In a figurative sense, the American economy has enjoyed lots of low-hanging fruit since at least the seventeenth century: free land; immigrant labor; and powerful new technologies. Yet during the last forty years, that low-hanging fruit started disappearing and we started pretending it was still there. We have failed to recognize that we are at a technological plateau and the trees are barer than we would like to think. That’s it. That is what has gone wrong. The problem won’t be solved overnight, but there are reasons to be optimistic. We simply have to recognize the underlying causes of our past prosperity—low hanging fruit—and how we will come upon more of it.

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

Below is an excellent, topic-by-topic outline of the book submitted to as one of the reviews:
[5 stars] Great essay, wish people would read it before reviewing it
by Chuck Crane, Scottsdale, Arizona
Some reviewers have done a good job here, but some have utterly missed major points, if they have read the essay at all, which I doubt, so I will give potential readers an outline.

I. The low-hanging fruit we ate
..A. Examples in the United States
....1. Free land (Homestead Act, etc.)
....2. Technological breakthroughs (electricity, motor vehicles, telephone, radio, television, computers etc.)
....3. Smart, uneducated kids (who were made productive through excellent public education).
....4. This is a partial list; clearly other candidates can be proposed, e.g. cheap fossil fuels.
..B. Examples in other countries ("catch-up growth")
....1. Leveraging the technological breakthroughs of the West (e.g. China, India)
....2. Smart, uneducated kids (e.g. China, India)
..C. MEDIAN income growth in the U.S. has slowed notably since 1973.
....1. Decline in household size is not the cause.
....2. Unmeasured quality improvements (think electronic gadgetry) are not a counter (because there is also unmeasured quality degradation, think traffic jams and AIDS)
..D. Rate of technical innovation has declined notably since 1873 and even more since 1955
....1. Innovation is getting harder; the low fruit has been picked.
....2. Recent innovations have slight marginal benefits
..E. Recent and current innovation is more geared to PRIVATE goods than to PUBLIC goods.
....**This is the driver of the Great Stagnation.

....1. Extracting resources from the government (subsidies for solar power, farm products, other junk;
.....useless construction; useless government employees; legal services, etc.) by lobbying.
....2. Extreme protections of intellectual property (e.g. by ridiculous patent laws that grant monopolies for incandescently obvious ideas, enabled by our retarded judiciary)
....3. Recent financial innovations (CDO's, derivatives, etc.) that benefit Wall Street at public expense.

II. Our New (not so productive) Economy
..A. Most recent productivity gains in the private sector have been achieved by cutting out dead wood
....("discovering who isn't doing much and firing them").
..B. GDP statistics are flawed because they value expenditure at cost; actual value of the expenditure is
.... unknown in sectors where market forces do not operate.
..C. Underperforming sectors where valuation at cost is a big problem:
....1. Government.
......a. The marginal value of government, even if positive, falls as government grows larger.
........(1) Basic expenditures deliver high value. e.g. police, basic infrastructure, national security)
........(2) Ancillary expenditures deliver less value (e.g. bridges to nowhere, urban renewal boondoggles,
......... salaries for school administrators and federal drones
......b. Because government contribution to GDP is valued at cost, the larger the government grows,
........ the more GDP growth and living standards are overstated.
....2. Health care
......a. No bloody clue what things are actually worth; they are valued at cost.
......b. America currently spends 17% of GDP on health care, with outcomes worse than countries that spend far less.
......c. Disproportionate spending on end care for the elderly.
......d. David Cutler's study: health care productivity growth 1995-2005 was negative.
....3. Education
......a. 6% of GDP at present.
......b. No improvements in student reading or math performance since mid 70's.
......c. But we are spending (constant dollars) twice a much now per student as we did then.
......d. High school graduation rate peaked at 80% in late 60's.
......e. Government claims of 88% graduation rate are nonsense.
......f. 20% of all new high school credentials each year come from passing equivalency tests.
... This is where Cowan fails to state solutions clearly, which may disappoint readers, but his point is that these are areas where innovative thinking is required and good solutions need to be developed. My summary and suggestions:

....1. "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." Use market approaches, intelligently ascertain value by
..... other means, and if measurement fails, arbitrarily force cuts in low-performing sectors (as a last resort).
....2. Government: 10% staff cuts. Strict spending limits pegged to per-capita government spending during a
.... benchmark period.
....3. Education: Standardized tests, charter schools, e-learning, vouchers (all of course resisted by the
..... education lobby).
....4. Health care: determine what works and pay only for that. Extending the life of an 90-year-old terminally
..... ill person for one month at a cost of $200,000 is not something that works.

III. Does the Internet Change Everything?
..A. Similar to early years of industrial revolution (advances made by amateurs)
..B. Hard to measure its productivity because its value lies largely in the mental dimension; most stuff on the internet is free.
....1. Traditional activity does occur (advertising, sale of goods). eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, ads on Google.
....2. While a public good, benefits of the Internet skewed to the intellectually curious.
....3. GDP is understated to extent it does not include the value of free internet pleasures.
..C. As an innovation, the internet has generated few jobs and revenue, compared to earlier innovations.
... (Example: Google employs 20,000, Twitter 300)
..D. Internet has also destroyed jobs in the music industry, book stores, and other forms of entertainment.
..E. So we're getting away from materialism, but it really hurts and people are yelping about it.

IV. The Government of Low-hanging Fruit
..A. Days of government largess are past; we can't slop the public trough like we used to.
..B. We won't be getting real income growth of 2% to 3%. We'll be lucky with 1%.
..C. Tax cuts without spending cuts (right wing approach) are untenable in the long term.
..D. Taking from the rich is also untenable in the long term; top 5% already pays for 43% of the federal government; top 1% for 27%.
..E. As real growth stagnates, demands from interest groups (corporations for tax breaks, K-12 teachers for job security, medical device makers for Medicare payments, public employees for pensions) will grow more strident. Expect more vociferous arguments about how to divide up the stagnant pie.
..F. Because government cannot continue to grow under current conditions, Liberals have become the new conservatives, supporting the status quo of handouts, bribes, and squandering.

V. Why did we have such a big financial crisis?
....1. We made plans expecting continued 3% productivity growth and the asset prices such growth would bring.
....2. We were lulled by successful handling of prior crises (e.g. the S&L bust and real estate bubble in the 80's) into believing all risk could be managed effectively.
....3. Overconfidence was the problem. For everyone. Borrowers, investors, bankers, politicians, regulators.
..B. Markets and government failed miserably in estimating risk.
..C. Government encouraged risk by taking by overlooking accounting scandals (Freddie and Fannie) and promoting home ownership for everybody.
..D. Short-term response to stagnant incomes was to borrow against appreciated assets (home equity loans, mortgage refis), foolishly expecting continued asset appreciation. From 1993 through 2005, homeowners extracted equity equal to 11.5% of GDP.
..E. Fiscal stimulus in 2009 was inadequate, but a larger stimulus would not have helped. Problem is not lack of aggregate demand, but lack of revenue-generating innovation.
..F. Replacing private debt with public debt solves nothing. Sooner or later you have to pay the piper.
..G. The internet, by giving people much to do for free, may be exacerbating the current stagnation.

VI. Can we fix things?
..A. Promote favorable trends
....1. India and China
......a. Science and engineering interest in India and China: should yield innovations we can exploit.
......b. Offloading unskilled labor abroad gives us more time to pursue innovation (if we are smart enough).
......c. Consumers in China and India can offer a market for our innovations.
....2. Internet may do more for revenue generation in the future
......a. Promotes scientific learning and makes science more of a meritocracy; ideas rapidly shared and improved.
........ (Archaic intellectual property laws will need to change if we are to take advantage of this)
......b. Promotes self-education; a lot better than watching TV.
......c. These should all yield productivity gains.
....3. Improvements in K-12 education
......a. Majority of electorate no longer sides with education lobby.
......b. School choice, charter schools, incentives, better monitoring are now in favor.
....4. Raise the social status of scientists
......a. Science is what fuels economic growth, yet we reward law, medicine, and finance.
......b. [Aside: this is not the case in China and India, where engineers and scientists are more highly esteemed, and occupy the highest offices in government. Here, we have poli sci graduates running things.]

......c. Culture of science is what drove the industrial revolution.
......d. We should not trust individual scientists uncritically, but we should respect science at the higher level (a lot more than law or finance)
..B. Avoid unfavorable trends
....1. Cool the rhetoric, avoid useless strife.
....2. Stick to facts. Educate yourself. Don't demonize those you disagree with.
....3. A prolonged period of slow growth need not be bad -- Japan has tolerated it very well.
..C. Final Word
....1. The next low-hanging fruit may pose dangers. Be vigilant and quick to respond.
....2. Axis and Communist powers turned new technologies to destructive and oppressive ends.
....3. Balance of power can be upset.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bobby Jindal's New Republican Focus

Remarks by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to the Republican National Committee in Charlotte, N.C., January 24, 2013.

Thank you all for having me here tonight. And thank you Reince for the outstanding leadership you provide to the Republican Party. And I want to thank our great RNC members from Louisiana, Chairman Roger Villere, National Committeewoman Lenar Whitney, and National Committeeman Ross Little for all of their hard work.
Let me warn you in advance that I plan to talk big picture here tonight, and I plan to say some things that may challenge your assumptions.

You may not agree with all of it, but that’s ok, ours is a party that can handle real discussions.

And now, after losing two Presidential elections in a row, is certainly the time for some candid discussion.

I. America is not the federal government.
The first concept I want to talk about is simply this – America is not the federal government.

Take a minute to let that thought sink in. America is not the federal government.

In fact, America is not much about government at all. In America, government is one of those things you have to have, but you sure don’t want too much of it…kind of like your in-laws.

This is of course the polar opposite of the political debate in our country today.

At present we have one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can expand it, and one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can get it under control.

It’s a terrible debate, it’s a debate fought entirely on our opponents’ terms.

A debate about which party can better manage the federal government is a very small and shortsighted debate.

If our vision is not bigger than that, we do not deserve to win.

In our public discourse today, America is pretty much defined by government, by the latest moves that occur in Washington.

If you landed from outer space…and read the news…and watched TV for a week…you would have to conclude that Washington is the hub of America and that what happens in Washington is what drives and dictates the success or failure of America.

In addition to Washington, there are a bunch of outlying areas we call states, but they are pretty much just adjuncts of the federal government.

This is not the idea of America. But…this is what America will become if we do not reorient our way of thinking right away.

As government grows ever larger, it will become what America is all about…if we let it. This is our challenge; this is what we are here for.

Look at the debates that have dominated Washington in just the last few weeks:

The fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling, and Joe Biden’s gun control task force.

These are in reality sideshows in Washington that we have allowed to take center stage in our country – and as conservatives, we are falling into the sideshow trap.

All of these sideshow debates are about government.

Government and government power are the leading lady and the leading man.

Today’s conservatism is completely wrapped up in solving the hideous mess that is the federal budget, the burgeoning deficits, the mammoth federal debt, the shortfall in our entitlement programs…even as we invent new entitlement programs.

We seem to have an obsession with government bookkeeping.

This is a rigged game, and it is the wrong game for us to play.

Today it’s the fiscal cliff, tomorrow it’s the fiscal apocalypse, and then it will be the fiscal Armageddon.

But I have news for you; our government already went off the fiscal cliff.

It happened years ago, and has happened every year for many years.

Today’s conservatism is in love with zeroes.

We think if we can just unite behind a proposal to cut the deficit and debt…if we can just put together a spreadsheet and a power point and a TV ad….all will be well.

This obsession with zeroes has everyone in our party focused on what? Government.

By obsessing with zeroes on the budget spreadsheet, we send a not-so-subtle signal that the focus of our country is on the phony economy of Washington – instead of the real economy out here in Charlotte, and
Shreveport, and Cheyenne.

We as Republicans have to accept that government number crunching – even conservative number crunching – is not the answer to our nation’s problems.

We also must face one more cold hard fact – Washington is so dysfunctional that any budget proposal based on fiscal sanity will be deemed ‘not-serious’ by the media, it will fail in the Senate, and it won’t even make it to the President’s desk where it would be vetoed anyway.

In fact, any serious proposal to restrain government growth is immediately deemed ‘not-serious’ in
Washington. The Balanced Budget is deemed ‘not-serious’ in Washington.

Term Limits are deemed ‘not-serious’ in Washington. Capping federal growth by tying it to private sector economic growth is deemed ‘not-serious’ in Washington.

The truth is nothing serious is deemed serious in Washington.

When then-Senator Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling, he said he was doing so because the national debt was at an outrageous 8 trillion dollars…and he clarified for effect, saying that is "trillion with a T."

Now President Obama has our national debt over 16 trillion dollars and climbing…larger than our entire economy. And he’s not worried about it in the least.

He calls it progress. You remember his campaign slogan, he says it is "Forward."

I have news for the President – If Washington’s debt is going forward, America’s economy is going backward.

Instead of worrying about managing government, it’s time for us to address how we can lead America… to a place where she can once again become the land of opportunity, where she can once again become a place of growth and opportunity.

We should put all of our eggs in that basket.

Yes, we certainly do need folks in Washington who will devote themselves to the task of stopping this
President from taking America so far off the ledge that we cannot get back.

We must do all we can to stop what is rapidly becoming the bankrupting of our federal government.

But we as conservatives must dedicate our energies and our efforts to growing America, to growing the American economy, to showing the younger generations how America can win the future.

That path does not lie in government. If more government were the answer, our economy would be booming right now. That path has been tried.

You can’t hire enough government workers or give enough taxpayer money to your friends who own green energy companies to create prosperity. The facts are in, it’s a disaster.

Balancing our government’s books is not what matters most. Government is not the end all and be all.

The health of America is not about government at all. Balancing government’s books is a nice goal, but that is not our primary objective.

Our objective is to grow the private sector. We need to focus our efforts on ideas to grow the American economy, not the government economy.

If you take nothing else away from what I say today, please understand this – We must not become the party of austerity. We must become the party of growth. Of course we know that government is out of control. The public knows that too. And yet we just lost an election.

Again, we cannot afford to fight on our opponents’ terms. The Republican Party must become the party of growth, the party of a prosperous future that is based in our economic growth and opportunity that is based in every community in this great country and that is not based in Washington, DC.

We have fallen into a trap of believing that the world revolves around Washington, that the economy is based there. If we keep believing that, government will grow so big that it will take us all down with it.

If our end goal is to simply better manage the disaster that is the federal government, count me out, I’m not signing up for that. It’s not a goal worth attaining.

Which of you wants to sign up to help manage the slow decline of the United States of America? I sure don’t. That’s what we have Democrats for.

The Democrats promise to be the party of "more from government," but they are actually the party of less.

They are the party of economic contraction, austerity and less from the economy. The Republican Party is the party of "more," the party that creates "more from the economy."

As Margaret Thatcher famously observed – first you must win the argument, then you can win the elections.

And by the way, it’s time for all of us to remember that we are not in this just to win elections.

We are in this to make America the greatest she can be, to make America the prosperous land of opportunity that she can be. To do this, we will certainly have to win some elections, but first we must win the argument.

If this election taught us anything – it is that we will not win elections by simply pointing out the failures of the other side. We must boldly paint the picture of what America can be, of just how incredibly bright America’s future can be.

II. How we win the argument

So…you ask…what does that future look like? How do we win this argument?

For starters, we have to recalibrate the compass of conservatism.

We do not need to change what we believe as conservatives – our principles are timeless.

But we do need to re-orient our focus to the place where conservatism thrives – in the real world beyond the Washington Beltway.

We must lay out the contrast between liberalism’s top-down government solutions and our Bottom-Up real world philosophy.

We believe in creating abundance, not redistributing scarcity.

We should let the other side try to sell Washington’s ability to help the economy, while we promote the entrepreneur, the risk-taker, the self-employed woman who is one sale away from hiring her first employee.

Let the Democrats sell the stale power of more federal programs, while we promote the rejuvenating power of new businesses.

We don’t believe old, top-down, industrial-age government becomes a good idea just because it agrees with us or because we are running it.

We must focus on the empowerment of citizens making relevant and different decisions in their communities while Democrats sell factory-style government that cranks out one dumbed-down answer for the whole country.

This means re-thinking nearly every social program in Washington. Very few of them work in my view, and frankly, the one-size fits all crowd has had its chance.

If any rational human being were to create our government anew, today, from a blank piece of paper – we would have about one fourth of the buildings we have in Washington and about half of the government workers.

We would replace most of its bureaucracy with a handful of good websites.

If we created American government today, we would not dream of taking money out of people’s pockets,
sending it all the way to Washington, handing it over to politicians and bureaucrats to staple thousands of pages of artificial and political instructions to it, then wear that money out by grinding it through the engine of bureaucratic friction…and then sending what’s left of it back to the states, where it all started, in order to grow the American economy.

What we are doing now to govern ourselves is not just wrong. It is out of date and it is a failure.

We believe in planting the seeds of growth in the fertile soil of your economy, where you live, where you work, invest, and dream, not in the barren concrete of Washington.

If it’s worth doing, block grant it to the states.

If it’s something you don’t trust the states to do, then maybe Washington shouldn’t do it at all.

We believe solving problems closer to home should always be our first, not last, option.

We believe hiring others, far away, is the last and least effective way to meet our social responsibilities to others.

States should not face a moral dilemma when they try to right size their own budgets and federal strings stand in the way.

While the Democrats work on taking more from working Americans, we should stand for radically simplifying our tax code – not for the benefit of Washington, but to get the Washington out of the way.

Get rid of the loopholes paid for by lobbyists and blow up the incentives that Washington uses to coerce behavior from the top-down.

It shouldn’t be complicated for a taxpayer to fill out his taxes…or to live his life without fear of the tax consequences of his or her choices.

When it comes to education — let the Democrats extoll the virtues of our hopelessly antiquated one-size-fits-all factory schools where the child follows the dollars.

Meanwhile, let us feature the success of child-centered education solutions that meet the needs of the digital age, education where the dollars follow the child.

These are but a few examples of the way we must fight the battle of ideas, or as Thatcher said, how we must win the argument.

One thing we have to get straight — Washington has spent a generation trying to bribe our citizens and extort our states.

As Republicans, it’s time to quit arguing around the edges of that corrupt system.

III. How we win the election

Now let me shift gears and speak to changes I believe we must make if we are to win elections.

As I indicated before, I am not one of those who believe we should moderate, equivocate, or otherwise abandon our principles.

This badly disappoints many of the liberals in the national media of course. For them, real change means:

-Supporting abortion on demand without apology
-Abandoning traditional marriage between one man and one woman
-Embracing government growth as the key to American success
-Agreeing to higher taxes every year to pay for government expansion
-And endorsing the enlightened policies of European socialism

That is what real change looks like to the New York Times editorial board.
But that’s crazy talk. America already has one liberal party, she doesn’t need another one.

Government spending still does not grow our economy.

American weakness on the world stage still does not lead to peace.
Higher taxes still do not create prosperity for all. And more government still does not grow jobs.

If you believe in higher taxes, more debt, more government spending, weakness abroad, and taking guns from law-abiding citizens – you already have a party that is well represented in Washington.
No, the Republican Party does not need to change our principles…but we might need to change just about everything else we do.

Here are seven things that I believe we must change if we are to amass a following worthy of our principles, and if we are to be in position to win elections and lead America:

1. We must stop looking backward. We have to boldly show what the future can look like with the free market policies that we believe in. Many of our Governors are doing just that. Conservative ideals are aspirational, and our country is aspirational. Nostalgia about the good old days is heart-warming, but the battle of ideas must be waged in the future.

2. We must compete for every single vote. The 47 percent and the 53 percent. And any other combination of numbers that adds up to 100 percent. President Barack Obama and the Democrats can continue trying to divide America into groups of warring communities with competing interests, but we will have none of it. We are going after every vote as we work to unite all Americans.

3. We must reject identity politics. The old notion that ours should be a colorblind society is the right one, and we should pursue that with vigor. Identity politics is corrosive to the great American melting pot and we reject it. We must reject the notion that demography is destiny, the pathetic and simplistic notion that skin pigmentation dictates voter behavior. We must treat all people as individuals rather than as members of special interest groups. The first step in getting the voters to like you is to demonstrate that you like them.

4. We must stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. It’s time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. We’ve had enough of that.

5. We must stop insulting the intelligence of voters. We need to trust the smarts of the American people. We have to stop dumbing down our ideas and stop reducing everything to mindless slogans and tag lines for 30-second ads. We must be willing to provide details in describing our views.

6. We must quit "big." We are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, or big anything. We must not be the party that simply protects the well off so they can keep their toys. We have to be the party that shows all Americans how they can thrive. We are the party whose ideas will help the middle class, and help more folks join the middle class. We are a populist party and need to make that clear.

7. We must focus on real people outside of Washington, not the lobbyists and government inside
Washington. We must stop competing with Democrats for the job of "Government Manager," and lay out ideas that can unleash the dynamic abilities of the American people. We need an equal opportunity society, one in which government does not see its job as picking winners and losers. Where do you go if you want special favors? Government. Where do you go if you want a tax break? Government. Where do you go if you want a handout? Government. This must stop. Our government must pursue a level playing field. At present, government is the un-leveler of the playing field.

This is a pathway forward for the Republican Party, one that honors our principles, the American people,
and also, will help us win elections.

IV. Conclusion

Let me conclude by making this observation – America is facing her greatest choice, and the hour is late.
We can either go down the Government path or the American path.

The left is trying to turn the government path into the American path.

Shame on us if we let them do that.

We believe freedom incentivizes ordinary people to do extraordinary things and that makes America an exceptional nation.

In the last few years it has become fashionable to talk about American Exceptionalism – the idea that this country is better and different than any other on the planet.

As Republicans we have criticized President Obama for not believing in American exceptionalism.

It is imperative that we not only promote America’s exceptionalism, we must also define it.

During the inauguration I heard a lot of commentators remark on the uniquely peaceful transfer of power we have in this country.

But let us not get confused….

Even as we must never take for granted the peaceful transition of power, America is not great because of the design of our government.

Our nation is not exceptional because of its commitment to free elections.

The genius of America is that our strength and power and growth come from the individual actions of our people.

Government does not order greatness. Government cannot command outcomes that exceed those in other nations.

But free individuals…taking risks…building businesses…inventing things from thin air…and passing immutable values from one generation to the next…that is the root of America’s greatness.

And that is our mission as we build a new Republican Party.

We must shift the eye line and the ambition of our conservative movement away from managing government and toward the mission of growth.

It falls to us to show the younger generations the wisdom and the great benefit of the American path.

It falls to us to unleash a new dawning of the American Dream – the dream my parents came to America for – a dream of growth, prosperity, and equal opportunity.

It is our responsibility to seize this opportunity and lead our country into a new era of possibility, progress, and prosperity.

It falls to us to take the ever-fresh principles of freedom and apply them to the future.

Make no mistake; I’m not calling for a period of introspection and navel gazing. Far from it.

I’m calling for us to get busy winning the argument…and then, after that…winning the next election.

Thank you, and may God richly bless you.

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

Jindal’s character was immediately attacked by Joan Walsh from the liberal establishment online publication Salon. Swatting aside the positive reviews of Jindal’s speech by the Washington Post and New York Times, she views Jindal’s approach as one that is cruel to the dying, indifferent to children, and poison to anything that might "make life better for low-income people." See

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The 24,356 Righteous Among the Nations

Righteous among the Nations (Hebrew: חסידי אומות העולם, khassidey umot ha-olam "righteous (plural) of the world's nations") is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.

The term originates with the concept of "righteous gentiles," a term used in rabbinical Judaism to refer to non-Jews. As ger toshav and ger zedek, who abide by the Seven Laws of Noah.

When Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, was established in 1953 by the Knesset, one of its tasks was to commemorate the "Righteous among the Nations". The Righteous were defined as non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Since 1963, a commission headed by a justice of the Supreme Court is Israel has been charged with the duty of awarding the honorary title "Righteous among the Nations". The commission is guided in its work by certain criteria and meticulously studies all documentation, including evidence by survivors and other eyewitnesses; evaluates the historical circumstances and the element of risk to the rescuer; and then decides if the case accords with the criteria.

To be recognized as "Righteous", a person has to fulfill several criteria:

  • only a Jewish party can put a nomination forward;
  • helping a family member or Jewish person convert to Christianity is not a criterion for recognition;
  • the assistance has to be repeated and/or substantial; and
  • the assistance has to be given without any financial gain expected in return (although covering normal expenses such as rent or food is acceptable).

A person who is recognized as "Righteous among the Nations" for having taken risks to help Jews during the
Holocaust is awarded a medal in his/her name, a certificate of honor, and the privilege of having the name added to those on the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. (The last is in lieu of a tree planting, which was discontinued for lack of space.) The awards are distributed to the rescuers or their next-of-kin during ceremonies in Israel, or in their countries of residence through the offices of Israel's diplomatic representatives. These ceremonies are attended by local government representatives and are given wide media coverage.

The Yad Vashem Law also authorizes Yad Vashem "to confer honorary citizenship upon the Righteous among the Nations, and if they have passed away, the commemorative citizenship of the State of Israel, in recognition of their actions." Anyone who has been recognized as Righteous among the Nations is entitled to apply to Yad Vashem for the certificate. If the Righteous among the Nations is no longer alive, their next of kin is entitled to request that commemorative citizenship be conferred on the Righteous among the Nations who has died. Recipients who choose to live in the state of Israel are entitled to a pension equal to the average national wage and free health care, as well as assistance with housing and nursing care.

As of 1 January 2012, 24,356 men and women from 45 countries have been recognized as Righteous among the Nations, representing over 10,000 authenticated rescue stories. Yad Vashem's policy is to pursue the program for as long as petitions for this title are received and are supported by solid evidence that meets the criteria.

The Righteous among the Nations are honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on July 16.

In Israel
At least 130 righteous gentiles have settled in Israel. They were welcomed by Israeli authorities, and were granted citizenship. In the mid-1980s, they became entitled to special pensions. Some of them settled in British Mandatory Palestine before Israel's establishment shortly after World War II, or in the early years of the new state of Israel, while others came later. The ones who came in the early days came to speak fluent Hebrew and integrated into Israeli society.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Noahide Laws
In Judaism, the Seven Laws of Noah (Hebrew: שבע מצוות בני נח Sheva mitzvot B'nei Noach) form the major part of the Noachide Laws, or Noahide Code. This code is a set of moral imperatives that, according to the Talmud, were given by God as a binding set of laws for the "children of Noah" – that is, all of humankind.

According to religious Judaism, any non-Jew who adheres to these laws is regarded as a righteous gentile, and is assured of a place in the World to Come (Olam Haba), the final reward of the righteous. Adherents are often called "B’nei Noach" (Children of Noah) or "Noahides" and may often network in Jewish synagogues.

The seven laws listed by the Tosefta and the Talmud are

  1. Prohibition of Idolatry
  2. Prohibition of Murder
  3. Prohibition of Theft
  4. Prohibition of Sexual immorality
  5. Prohibition of Blasphemy
  6. Prohibition of eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive
  7. Establishment of courts of law

Noachide Laws comprise the six laws which were given to Adam in the Garden of Eden, according to the Talmud's interpretation of Gen 2:16, and a seventh one, which was added after the Flood of Noah. According to rabbinic Judaism, the 613 mitzvot or "commandments" given in the written Torah, as well as their reasonings in the oral Torah, were issued to the Jews only, and are therefore binding only upon them, having inherited the obligation from their ancestors.

While some Jewish organizations, such as Chabad have worked to promote the observance of the Noachide laws, there are no figures for how many actually do.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Positive Quiddity: Erik Erikson

Erik Erikson (15 June 1902 – 12 May 1994) was a German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychosocial development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identity crisis. His son, Kai T. Eriklson, is a noted American sociologist.

Although Erikson lacked even a bachelor's degree, he served as a professor at prominent institutions such as Harvard and Yale.

Early Life

Born in Frankfurt, Erik Erikson's lifelong interest in the psychology of identity may be traced to his childhood. He was born on June 15, 1902. The circumstances of his birth were concealed from him in his childhood. His Danish-born mother, Karla Abrahamsen, came from a prominent Jewish family in Copenhagen.  At the time of her son's birth in Germany, Karla Abrahamsen had not seen her husband, Jewish stockbroker Jewish stockbroker Waldemar Isidor Salomonsen, for several years.

Nonetheless, the boy was registered as Erik Salomonsen. There is no more information about his biological father, except that he was a Dane and his given name probably was Erik. It is also suggested that he was married at the time that Erikson was conceived. Following her son's birth, Karla trained to be a nurse, moved to Karlsruhe and in 1905, married a Jewish pediatrician, Theodor Homburger. In 1908, Erik Salomonsen became Erik Homburger and in 1911 he was officially adopted by his stepfather.

The development of identity seems to have been one of Erikson's greatest concerns in his own life as well as in his theory. During his childhood and early adulthood he was known as Erik Homberger, and his parents kept the details of his birth a secret. He was a tall, blond, blue-eyed boy who was raised in the Jewish religion. At temple school, the kids teased him for being a Nordic; at grammar school, they teased him for being Jewish.

Psychoanalytic experience and training
Erikson was a student and teacher of arts. While teaching at a private school in Vienna, he became acquainted with Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud. Erikson underwent psychoanalysis, and the experience made him decide to become an analyst himself. He was trained in psychoanalysis at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute and also studied the Montessori method of education, which focused on child development.

North America
Erikson's wife, Joan Serson Erikson, was born in Canada. They married in 1930 and Erikson converted to Christianity during their marriage.

Soon after his graduation from the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute in 1933, the Nazis came to power in Germany. Now Erikson and his wife emigrated, first to Denmark and then to the United States, where he became the first child psychoanalyst in Boston. Erikson held positions at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Judge Baker Guidance Center, and at Harvard Medical School and Psychological Clinic, establishing a singular reputation as a clinician.

In 1936, Erikson joined the staff at Harvard University, where he worked at the Institute of Human Relations and taught at the Medical School. After spending a year observing children on a Sioux reservation in South Dakota, he moved to the University of California at Berkeley; there he affiliated with the Institute of Child Welfare and opened a private practice as well. While in California, Erikson also studied children of the Yurtok Native American tribe.

In 1950, after publishing the book, Childhood and Society, for which he is best known, Erikson left the University of California when professors there were asked to sign loyalty oaths. He spent ten years working and teaching at the Austen Riggs Center, a prominent psychiatric treatment facility in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where he worked with emotionally troubled young people.

He returned to Harvard in the 1960s as a professor of human development and remained there until his retirement in 1970. In 1973 the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Erikson for the Jefferson Lecture, the United States' highest honor for achievement in the humanities. Erikson's lecture was titled "Dimensions of a New Identity".

Theories of Development and the Ego

Erikson's greatest innovation was to postulate not five stages of development, as Sigmund Freud had done with his psychosexual stages, but eight. He then later added a ninth stage in his book "The Life Cycle Completed". Erik Erikson believed that every human being goes through a certain number of stages to reach his or her full development, theorizing eight stages that a human being goes through from birth to death. Erikson elaborated Freud's genital stage into adolescence, and added three stages of adulthood. His widow Joan Serson Erikson elaborated on his model before her death, adding a ninth stage (old age), taking into consideration the increasing life expectancy in Western cultures. Erikson is also credited with being one of the originators of Ego psychology, which stressed the role of the ego as being more than a servant of the id.

According to Erikson, the environment in which a child lived was crucial to providing growth, adjustment, a source of self-awareness and identity. Erikson won a Pulitzer Prize and a U.S. National Book Award in category Philosophy and Religion for Gandhi’s Truth (1969), which focused more on his theory as applied to later phases in the life cycle.

Erikson’s Theory of Personality

Erikson was a Neo-Freudian. He has been described as an "ego psychologist" studying the stages of development, spanning the entire lifespan. Each of Erikson's stages of psychosocial development is marked by a conflict for which successful resolution will result in a favourable outcome, and by an important event that this conflict resolves itself around.

Favorable outcomes of each stage are sometimes known as "virtues", a term used in the context of Erikson's work as it is applied to medicine, meaning "potencies." Erikson's research suggests that each individual must learn how to hold both extremes of each specific life-stage challenge in tension with one another, not rejecting one end of the tension or the other. Only when both extremes in a life-stage challenge are understood and accepted as both required and useful, can the optimal virtue for that stage surface. Thus, 'trust' and 'mis-trust' must both be understood and accepted, in order for realistic 'hope' to emerge as a viable solution at the first stage. Similarly, 'integrity' and 'despair' must both be understood and embraced, in order for actionable 'wisdom' to emerge as a viable solution at the last stage.

The Erikson life-stage virtues, in order of the eight stages in which they may be acquired, are:

  1. Basic trust vs. basic mistrust - This stage covers the period of infancy. 0-1 year of age. - Whether or not the baby develops basic trust or basic mistrust is not merely a matter of nurture. It is multi-faceted and has strong social components. It depends on the quality of the maternal relationship. The mother carries out and reflects their inner perceptions of trustworthiness, a sense of personal meaning, etc. on the child. If successful in this, the baby develops a sense of trust, which "forms the basis in the child for a sense of identity".
  2. Autonomy vs. Shame - Covers early childhood - Introduces the concept of autonomy vs. shame and doubt. During this stage the child is trying to master toilet training.
  3. Purpose - Initiative vs. Guilt - Preschool / 3–6 years - Does the child have the ability to or do things on their own, such as dress him or herself? If "guilty" about making his or her own choices, the child will not function well. Erikson has a positive outlook on this stage, saying that most guilt is quickly compensated by a sense of accomplishment.
  4. Competence - Industry vs. Inferiority - School-age / 6-11. Child comparing self-worth to others (such as in a classroom environment). Child can recognize major disparities in personal abilities relative to other children. Erikson places some emphasis on the teacher, who should ensure that children do not feel inferior.
  5. Fidelity - Identity vs. Role Confusion - Adolescent / 12 years till 20. Questioning of self. Who am I, how do I fit in? Where am I going in life? Erikson believes, that if the parents allow the child to explore, they will conclude their own identity. However, if the parents continually push him/her to conform to their views, the teen will face identity confusion.
  6. Intimacy vs. isolation - This is the first stage of adult development. This development usually happens during young adulthood, which is between the ages of 20 to 24. Dating, marriage, family and friendships are important during the stage in their life. By successfully forming loving relationships with other people, individuals are able to experience love and intimacy. Those who fail to form lasting relationships may feel isolated and alone.
  7. Generativity vs. stagnation is the second stage of adulthood and happens between the ages of 25-64. During this time people are normally settled in their life and know what is important to them. A person is either making progress in their career or treading lightly in their career and unsure if this is what they want to do for the rest of their working lives. Also during this time, a person is enjoying raising their children and participating in activities, that gives them a sense of purpose. If a person is not comfortable with the way their life is progressing, they're usually regretful about the decisions and feel a sense of uselessness.
  8. Ego integrity vs. despair. This stage affects the age group of 65 and on. During this time an individual has reached the last chapter in their life and retirement is approaching or has already taken place. Many people, who have achieved what was important to them, look back on their lives and feel great accomplishment and a sense of integrity. Conversely, those who had a difficult time during middle adulthood may look back and feel a sense of despair.

On ego identity versus role confusion, ego identity enables each person to have a sense of individuality, or as Erikson would say, "Ego identity, then, in its subjective aspect, is the awareness of the fact that there is a self-sameness and continuity to the ego's synthesizing methods and a continuity of one's meaning for others" (1963). Role confusion, however, is, according to Barbara Engler in her book Personality Theories (2006), "the inability to conceive of oneself as a productive member of one's own society" (158). This inability to conceive of oneself as a productive member is a great danger; it can occur during adolescence, when looking for an occupation.

Major Works
  • Childhood and Society (1950)
  • Young Man Luther. A Study in Psychoanalysis and History
  • (1958)
  • Identity: Youth and Crisis
  • (1968)
  • Gandhi’s Truth: On the Origin of Militant Nonviolence
  • (1969)
  • Adulthood
  • (edited book, 1978)
  • Vital Involvement in Old Age
  • (with J.M. Erikson and H. Kivnick, 1986)
  • The Life Cycle Completed
  • (with J.M. Erikson, 1987)