Why is the U.S. Is One of the Most Unequal Countries on the Planet?

One key factor is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy.

Steve Denning’s Forbes article, “Roger Martin: How ‘The Talent’ Turned Into Vampires” also sheds light on why we need to rethink our education paradigms:
How did America—a country dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—become one of the most unequal countries on the planet? Why do the nation’s leaders now spend so much of their time feeding at the trough and getting ever more for themselves? Why has public-mindedness in our leaders given way in so many instances to limitless greed?
These questions are being raised, not in some anti-capitalist rag from the extreme Left, but in the staid pro-business pages of the Harvard Business Review, in a seminal article by Roger Martin, the former dean of the Rotman School of Business and the academic director of the Martin Prosperity Institute: “The Rise and (Likely) Fall of the Talent Economy.
One key factor, argues Martin, is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy. Fifty years ago, “72% of the top 50 U.S. companies by market capitalization still owed their positions to the control and exploitation of natural resources.” But in the latter part of the 20th century, a new kind of organization began to emerge: an organization that prospered not by natural resources but through “the control and exploitation of human talent.”
“By 2013 more than half of the top 50 companies were talent-based, including three of the four biggest: Apple, Microsoft, and Google. (The other one was ExxonMobil.) Only 10 owed their position on the list to the ownership of resources. Over the past 50 years the U.S. economy has shifted from financing the exploitation of natural resources to making the most of human talent.”
This inequality is also addressed in a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, by Peter Temin, an economist from MIT. Temin argues that, following decades of growing inequality, America is now left with what is more or less a two-class system: One small, predominantly white upper class that wields a disproportionate share of money, power, and political influence and a much larger, minority-heavy (but still mostly white) lower class that is all too frequently subject to the first group’s whims.

Continue reading

I Could Be… The Documentary

Chess in the Park
Saturday, September 30th – Morningside Park
Monday, October 9th – New Rochelle, NY [Columbus Day]
Want Your Children to Succeed?

I Could Be... The 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

Prince Van Jones

Where are the black and brown Mark Zuckerbergs? That was essentially the question — the challenge — that the late musician Prince asked Van Jones, civil rights activist, founder of the Dream Corps, and host of CNN’s The Messy Truth with Van Jones.
Prince was a great musician

“Prince came in, and he said to the labels, ‘Do not try to just put me with the urban group; I want the world. I want to be with the pop staff. I’m going to make rock and roll, as well as soul, as well as funk…I don’t want to just go to Soul Train, I don’t want to just open up for Rick James, I want to be on Dick Clark.’”

Continue reading

Our Children Are Underserved by Schools

Chess in the Park
Saturday, September 30th – Morningside Park
Monday, October 9th – New Rochelle, NY [Columbus Day]
Want Your Children to Succeed?

Billionaire chess

All children and especially children of color are underserved by our educational system. This is no accident. It is by design.
Understanding why our children are underserved by schools, requires learning the real history of modern schooling. The real makers of modern schooling weren’t at all who we think.
Cotton Mather Not Cotton Mather
or Horace Mann Horace Mann
John Dewey or John Dewey.

Continue reading

Who Owns New Rochelle?

Most people don’t know how commercial real estate is owned and funded. Who profits from the places that you live and shop?
Who is building New Rochelle?
The short answer is not you and probably not anyone that you know. That’s a strange notion. One hundred years ago, everything that you invested in was local and now nearly nothing is. And local people, local families used to owned the local real estate. People who were invested in the community used to be part of the decision making of what got built.

Institutional Real Estate Investment
Continue reading

Want Your Children to Succeed?

Teach Them Chess & Computer Programming!
Top 5 Billionaires

According to studies:
  • Chess boosts brain power in kids.
  • Chess improves IQ.
  • Chess enhances arithmetical skills.
  • Chess hones verbal skills.
  • Chess sharpens critical thinking skills.
  • Chess boosts emotional intelligence and psycho-social skills.
Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Will Smith, Bono, and Madonna were or are avid chess players. Tennis legend and six-time Grand Slam singles champion Boris Becker said:
“I used to prepare for my tennis matches by playing chess, and it would get my mind stimulated and focused before going on court. It was essentially a mental warm-up.”

Bezos, Obama, Zuckerberg, and Gates playing chess

And learning computer programming has never been more important. According to Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed:
When human beings acquired language, we learned not just how to listen but how to speak. When we gained literacy, we learned not just how to read but how to write. And as we move into an increasingly digital reality, we must learn not just how to use programs but how to make them. In the emerging, highly programmed landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software. It’s really that simple: Program, or be programmed.
Zuckerber & Carlsen

Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg playing World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. As of March 27, 2017, Facebook stock is trading at $139 per share which makes Zuckerberg’s stake worth $58.6 billion.

Continue reading

Northeast STEM Starter Academy

The mission of Northeast STEM Starter Academy (NSSA) is to introduce the marvels of technology and science (STEM) to underserved children through a cutting-edge informal educational center.

Based on recent events, NSSA considers themselves one step closer to realizing a building that will allow them to host a science and technology center enabling the engagement of all 9000 students in the Mount Vernon Public School System twice each school year. The three-hour educational tour for every student in every school of the planned facility will provide access and exposure to state-of-the-art interactive displays and exhibits, science and technology labs, tech-theater, classrooms and many other exciting elements that can change the lives of youngsters eager to learn and pursue careers within the STEM field. While the initial tour of the facility will get their attention, a collection of after-school, weekend and summer learning programs will be available to empower them to see and realize their future as doctors, scientist, engineers, technologists and astronauts.
NSSA has received support from the local school district. Dr. Kenneth Hamilton took over the Mount Vernon city school district as superintendent in August 2014, and some of the first conversations he had with colleagues were about expanding students’ access to STEM.

Continue reading

Closing The Achievement Gap

The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

Hidden Figures

Mary Jackson

Mary Jackson grew up in Hampton, Virginia. After graduating with highest honors from high school, she then continued her education at Hampton Institute, earning her Bachelor of Science Degrees in Mathematics and Physical Science. Following graduation, Mary taught in Maryland prior to joining NASA. Mary retired from the NASA Langley Research Center in 1985 as an Aeronautical Engineer after 34 years.
Credits: NASA

Decades ago, women pioneered computer programming — but too often, that’s a part of history that even the smartest people don’t know. There is more about the pioneering women of computer programming below.
The Achievement Gap
For decades, educators have struggled to close the “achievement gap,” the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders.
When it comes to technology skills, the U.S. comes in last place — right below Poland. In addition, there was a significant racial difference with non-whites scoring below whites.

The Genius Farm

We taught a class in Larchmont on Unity programming.
Psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference. Terrance Jackson, the publisher of Pistis, adopted some of these simple interventions in a class called “Creating Computer Games with Terrance Jackson” that was offered to local 5th-8th graders at Larchmont Library. The game that they created using the Unity game engine is below. Pokémon Go uses Unity. We are looking to expand this program.
Roll-a-Ball

Roll-a-Ball

Click here to play.

Continue reading