I Could Be… a documentary addressing inequity

I Could Be... A Documentary

I could be a congresswoman
Or a garbage woman or
Police officer, or a carpenter
I could be a doctor and a lawyer and a mother
And a good God woman what you’ve done to me
Kind of lover I could be
I could be a computer analyst
The Queen with the nappy hair raising her fist
Or I could be much more and a myriad of this
Hot as the summer, sweet as the first kiss
And even though I can do all these things…
~ Jill Scott
The Fact Is (I Need You)

Nassim Taleb

Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and Antifragile, wrote in a Forbes article called “You Can’t Predict Who Will Change The World:“
“It is high time to recognize that we humans are far better at doing than understanding, and better at tinkering than inventing. But we don’t know it. We truly live under the illusion of order believing that planning and forecasting are possible. We are scared of the random, yet we live from its fruits.”

Billionaire chess

Want Your Children to Succeed?

Raspberry Turk

We are organizing a group of students to build a robot that can play chess on the Ethereum Blockchain. This project will introduce our students to computer vision, data science, machine learning, robotics and blockchain technology. The design will be based on Joey Meyer’s Raspbery Turk and a Chess game for Ethereum from the Technical University of Berlin.

Zaleik Walsh and Julian Harris programming the Raspberry Pi for the chess-playing robot.

“In the past,” says Andrew Ng, the former chief scientist at Baidu Research and founder of the “Google Brain” project, “a lot of S&P 500 CEOs wished they had started thinking sooner than they did about their Internet strategy. I think five years from now there will be a number of S&P 500 CEOs that will wish they’d started thinking earlier about their AI strategy.”

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Blockchain: Nobody Really Understands

While there is a great deal of corporate and venture capital investment in blockchain technology, there is also still plenty of room for tinkerers to have big impacts.
Humans are far better at doing than understanding and better at tinkering than inventing.

Money raised by ICO

According to Coinschedule, so far this year, more than $3 billion has been raised via ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings, yet the ICO was created by J. R. Willett, a guy you probably never heard.
Blockchain is the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. But it is also being developed for use in a variety of industries from finance to insurance, promising cheaper and faster processes.
In 2009, bitcoin was quietly launch by Satoshi Nakamoto, maybe as an experiment to show the world it was possible to create a secure and private means to send money between people without the need of a trusted third party (e.g. Visa or PayPal). No one knows the true identity of Nakamoto, but people do know that a single bitcoin is valued at over $5,600, with a total market cap of over $90B. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and companies who help people purchase bitcoins with real dollars are wallets. Wallets are regulated as money transmitters; bitcoin is money. People who profit from selling their Bitcoins pay taxes to the IRS. Bitcoin is real and it’s growing at unprecedented rates.
Through 2009 and early 2010, bitcoins had no value at all, and for the first six months after they started trading in April 2010, the value of one bitcoin stayed below 14 cents. Then, as the currency gained viral traction in summer 2010, rising demand for a limited supply caused the price on online exchanges to start moving. By early November, it surged to 36 cents before settling down to around 29 cents. In February 2011, it rose again and was mentioned on Slashdot for achieving “dollar parity”; it hit $1.06 before settling in at roughly 87 cents.
You can’t possibly get a good technology going without an enormous number of failures.
A few years ago, a new concept emerged called the Initial Coin Offering or ICO. ICOs are a way for new cryptocurrencies or coins to raise capital in an online offering. The logic behind ICOs is that companies who create new cryptocurrencies do not want to give it away for free, hoping people use it and put a value on it. If these are currencies, then a value must be put on it. This is what an ICO does. It allows a person or a company to sell a set number of coins or tokens to others in exchange for bitcoin or some other well-recognized cryptocurrency (ie: ether). An ICO is similar in many ways to an IPO. In an IPO, a company goes public and issues shares. In an ICO, a company issues a limited number of their own coins.

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Why Jeff Bezos is So Amazingly Successful

Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time.
On July 27, 2017, Jeff Bezos became the world’s wealthiest person. That lasted for a few hours and now he is just the world’s second wealthiest person behind Bill Gates. Poor Jeff!

Jeff Bezos

Thomas Edison, one of the greatest innovators of all time, said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Like Thomas Edison, Bezos is so amazingly successful because he and his team at Amazon fail big and often. In Amazon’s 2016 annual shareholder letter, Bezos writes:
One area where I think we are especially distinctive is failure. I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.
Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there. Outsized returns often come from betting against conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is usually right. Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time. But you’re still going to be wrong nine times out of ten.
We all know that if you swing for the fences, you’re going to strike out a lot, but you’re also going to hit some home runs. The difference between baseball and business, however, is that baseball has a truncated outcome distribution. When you swing, no matter how well you connect with the ball, the most runs you can get is four. In business, every once in a while, when you step up to the plate, you can score 1,000 runs. This long-tailed distribution of returns is why it’s important to be bold. Big winners pay for so many experiments.

Thomas Edison
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Blockchain to Reverse Climate Change & Diabetes

We are researching Blockchain applications for Urban Agriculture.
“Food is key to nearly everything,” solutions for food production will actually come from cities, and blockchain technology will be critical in developing those solutions.
[T]he issues that confront most Americans directly are income, food (thereby, agriculture), health and climate change. (And, of course, war, but let’s leave that aside for now.)

Mark Bittman

These are all related: You can’t address climate change without fixing agriculture, you can’t fix health without improving diet, you can’t improve diet without addressing income, and so on. The production, marketing and consumption of food is key to nearly everything. (It’s one of the keys to war, too, because large-scale agriculture is dependent on control of global land, oil, minerals and water.)

Jane Jacobs - The Economy of Cities

“Food is key to nearly everything” and the solutions for food production will actually come from cities. As Jane Jacobs wrote in The Economy of Cities:
Current theory in many fields—economics, history, anthropology—assumes that cities are built upon a rural economic base. If my observations and reasoning are correct, the reverse is true: that is, rural economics, including agricultural work, are directly built upon city economics and city work.
Jacobs theorized that cities predated agriculture. She is probably wrong on that particular premise, but she was pointing to a deeper truth, as a Planetizen article notes:
[D]espite the “total fallacy” of Jacobs’s statement that cities came first, she had a valid point when she stated that agricultural development benefited from urban stimuli. Monica Smith also notes that the Cities First model “requires modifications but still contains an element of truth in that cities provide significant boosts to rural productivity” by promoting certain efficiencies of cultivation….
I support… the archaeological consensus on the relationship between agriculture and urban origins. At best, agriculture and cities evolved hand-in-hand in what Soja describes as a “mutually causal and symbiotic relationship.” But perhaps there’s still something to the idea of Cities First if we focus on cities not as things (or, products) but as processes.
Solutions for food production will come from cities, and blockchain technology will be critical in developing those solutions.
Blockchain technology came to popular notice with the rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The technology allows for highly secure digital transactions and recordkeeping. Even though blockchain found its first use in cryptocurrencies, the concept can be applied to all sorts of transactions, including agricultural ones.

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Reversing Diabetes, Unemployment & Climate Change

Building a Food Computer in Harlem
In March 2016, Terrance Jackson did a presentation:
Genius Farm
Teaching young people to grow food for their communities and solve the critical problems of our times.

We will organize a group of students from Harlem to build a personal food computers based on the work of the MIT Media Lab’s Open Agriculture Initiative. The OpenAg Initiative is developing open source “Food Computers.” A Food Computer is a controlled-environment agriculture technology platform that uses robotic systems to control and monitor climate, energy, and plant growth inside of a specialized growing chamber. Climate variables such as carbon dioxide, air temperature, humidity, dissolved oxygen, potential hydrogen, electrical conductivity, and root-zone temperature are among the many conditions that can be controlled and monitored within the growing chamber.
Personal Food Computer

Caleb Harper, Director of MIT’s Open Agriculture Initiative, demonstrating a personal food computer and showing students how controlled environment plant-growing works.

It’s important that young people learn about growing food and programming computers.

comp sci
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Time to Talk about God in a Grown-up Way

If the church can get over its anxiety about talking about God in a grown-up way, we would actually reach out to and speak to more people than we do right now.
Prayer Breakfast in Harlem
I cooked breakfast for over a year at The Salvation Army in New Rochelle and now I am helping to organize a free prayer breakfast in Harlem.
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The Salvation Army
New Rochelle Corps
Prayer Breakfast
Harlem’s Fading Black Churches
Nearly two dozen churches have either closed or been sold to developers for more than $50 million over the last decade, according to a review by DNAinfo New York and Harlem historian Michael Henry Adams.
Black churches, once powerful cultural institutions in Harlem, have slowly been losing relevance for decades, said Clarence Taylor, a retired professor from Baruch College who wrote a book about the involvement of churches in urban areas.
Harlem’s African-American population has decreased while the white population has drastically increased since 2000.

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Random Collisions: The Documentary

How did America—a country dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal—become one of the most unequal countries on the planet?

Random Collisions: The Documentary.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 & Thursday, June 7, 2018
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
John 10:10

Nas Coinbase

Is the Blockchain a technology of abundance?

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