Where Does Creativity Come From?

In the beginning was the Word (Logos),
and the Word (Logos) was with God,
and the Word (Logos) was God.
~ John 1:1
In our age of overwhelming information, how do we find truth?
The characteristic common to God and man is apparently the desire and the ability to make things
Dorothy Sayers pointed out, “It is observable that in the passage leading up to the statement … [that man is made in the image of God], he has given no detailed information about God. Looking at man, he sees in him something essentially divine, but when we turn back to see what he says about the original upon which the ‘image’ of God was modelled, we find only the single assertion, ‘God created’. The characteristic common to God and man is apparently that: the desire and the ability to make things.”
“And all things you ask in prayer, believing [pisteuó from the root pistis], you will receive.”
~ Matthew 21:22

The Holy One spoke all of creation into existence through sound [the Word]
In Jesus’s time there was the practice of sacred sounds and sacred words, which means the actual words that Jesus spoke are a very important part of his teachings. Jesus was Jewish and according to the old Jewish mysticism, sound was considered to be creative. It’s said that The Holy One spoke all of creation into existence through sound….
Sound [the Word] has the power to create a new reality in our lives….
The way to peace for Christians and Muslims is to question theology and embrace the actual teachings of the prophets.
“Creativity is as important now in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”
~ Sir Ken Robinson

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I’m Now Very Impressed with Elon Musk

Update (April 14, 2018): Sir Ken Robinson:
I don’t mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. But we do know is that if you are not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. If you’re not prepared to be wrong.
And by the time that they become adults most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frighten of being wrong. And we run our companies this way, we stigmatizes mistakes. And we are now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing that you can make.The result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.
Picasso once said this “all children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” I believe this passionately, that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it.

Elon Musk, in an interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning that aired Friday, April 13th, admitted that he was wrong about automation in Tesla’s factory.


Elon Musk - Time magazine cover

I did a recent interview with Carnegie Mellon Professor Zachary Lipton and his comment about Elon Musk has been in the back of my mind ever since:
Elon Musk doesn’t really deserve to have a voice in the public discourse about machine learning. He’s not an expert, and his primary achievement in the area is that he pledged a lot of money to fund AI research. But the media hype about ML, and the amount of journalists hungry to spin out click-bait amplify his voice. Elon has a certain iconic status, and that means that there’s clicks in a story about him, and whatever sensational hooey he happens to be spinning at the moment.
It doesn’t take much digging to discover that many of Elon Musk’s ideas are fundamentally wrong. Musk believes that Tesla will out-Toyota Toyota when it comes to lean manufacturing. In a recent analyst call he said:
The car industry thinks they’re really good at manufacturing and actually they are quite good at manufacturing. But they just don’t realize just how much potential there is for improvement. It’s way more than they think.
He also called the pace of today’s auto factories slower than “grandma with a walker….Why shouldn’t it at least be jogging speed?”
By simplifying car design to make them easier to manufacture, installing more robots and packing cars more densely on the assembly line, Musk is convinced Tesla can build as many as one million vehicles a year in a single factory — four times the output of a typical auto plant and greater than even the world’s busiest factory, Volkswagen’s flagship plant in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Nassim Taleb

In 2017, Toyota sold over 10 million cars, while Tesla sold just over 100,000. Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and Antifragile, makes a great point 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.”

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All Our Children Can Create

The Key to New York’s Future is Education.

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.
That’s why we are introducing students to artificial intelligence (A.I.), computer vision, data science, machine learning, robotics and blockchain technology.
Tech’s biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence (A.I.) where typical A.I. specialists can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock.
We must educate our children for the 21st Century
Government is the instrument that citizens use to guarantee protection and empowerment for all. We all, together, provide what is needed for a decent life. Individual accomplishment rests on what other Americans have provided and keep providing.
Building the economy requires public investment — in public infrastructure, education, research, and much more.
Success is much more than money. It is your contribution to America as a whole — whether it is teaching, raising children, providing food, healing the sick, making useful products, guaranteeing our rights and our safety, or running businesses that make life better. America needs us all. And we all depend on each other.
America needs us all. And we all depend on each other.
The key to New York’s future is education. And we can show fairly conclusively that all our children can create. The challenging part is that there is no magic moment of creation. Creators spend almost all their time creating, persevering despite doubt, failure, ridicule, and rejection until they succeed in making something new and useful. There are no tricks, shortcuts, or get-creative-quick schemes. The process is ordinary, even if the outcome is not.
Creating is not magic but work, and we must teach this to our children.

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National Standards are the Wrong Bet: Interview with Professor Yong Zhao

Yong Zhao
Yong Zhao books

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. He is also a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia. He previously served as the Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Visit his site at: zhaolearning.com.

Terrance Jackson: You begin your book, World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students, writing about Suhas Gopinath, an entrepreneur who started a company at the age of 14. Why is this an important story about education?
Yong Zhao: It is important for three reasons. First, it says that young children, regardless of their background, can become great individuals with a global impact, thus education should focus on helping children achieve that potential. Second, it tells us current education is not helping young people like Suhas to become great individuals, as Suhas became what he became outside school or by not attending school. Third, Suhas represents what we need in the future–entrepreneurially-minded individuals who create jobs instead of employment-minded individuals who keep looking for jobs that may not exist.

TJ: In an 1995 interview, Steve Jobs said:
Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
Would you like to comment on this quote?
YZ: Love this quote. I always believe that each and every child has the potential to be great. They do not walk into a life created by others, they are the creators of their own life. This is the point that I elaborate in my upcoming book Teach for Greatness.

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Why is the U.S. 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.

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Fundraiser to Reverse Climate Change, Diabetes, and Unemployment

We are having a t-shirt fundraiser to reverse Climate Change, Diabetes, and Unemployment with our Prayer Breakfast and Genius Farm.
Our t-shirt design

Pieta t-shirt

By local artist and librarian Roxanne Mapp

Roxanne Mapp

Don’t try to interpret faith in terms of science and logic. Religious imagery is telling you what is becoming.

"Miracles happen" ~ Pope Francis

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Matthew 21:22
Our t-shirts are:
  • Grown in the USA
  • Certified organic cotton
  • Made in the Carolinas
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Water-based inks
  • Environmentally-friendly print process
  • Medium weight: 5.4 oz
Be proud each and every day you wear your tee knowing that your purchase supports more than 500 American jobs! Since it’s made from super-comfortable ringspun cotton, you’ll want to wear it every day. And because it’s made from a medium weight (5.4 oz) fabric that’s constructed for durability, you can actually wear it every day without it showing signs of wear.
Ask, and it will be given to you;
Seek, and you will find;
Knock, and it will be opened to you.
~ Matthew 7:7

Seven Magazine - A R Bernard

Click, and it will be opened to you.
Click the image above or below for a rough draft of Seven Magazine.

T-shirt fundraiser
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$6 Billion in 20 Minutes

Jeff Bezos - $6 Billion in 20 Minutes

I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com. Literally billions of dollars of failures. You might remember Pets.com or Kosmo.com. It was like getting a root canal with no anesthesia. None of those things are fun. But they also don’t matter.
What really matters is, companies that don’t continue to experiment, companies that don’t embrace failure, they eventually get in a desperate position where the only thing they can do is a Hail Mary bet at the very end of their corporate existence. Whereas companies that are making bets all along, even big bets, but not bet-the-company bets, prevail. I don’t believe in bet-the-company bets. That’s when you’re desperate. That’s the last thing you can do.
~ Jeff Bezos
According to Fast Company, on Thursday, April 28th, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made $6 billion in 20 minutes, after reported earnings beat expectations. Most people know Amazon as an online retailer but it’s collection of cloud computing services, Amazon Web Services or AWS, is Amazon’s new profit engine. The unit’s $1.9 billion in operating profit in 2015 was close to the $2.8 billion operating profit of the entire $99 billion retail business even though AWS constitutes only about 10% of Amazon’s overall revenues.

Amazon Web Services

It is important to understand that AWS started off as a bit of an industry joke. How could an upstart bookseller possibly compete with real data specialists or persuade companies to outsource data storage? Yet that’s what has happened. In Jeff Bezo’s 2016 annual letter to shareholders, he wrote:
This year, Amazon became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales. Also this year, Amazon Web Services is reaching $10 billion in annual sales … doing so at a pace even faster than Amazon achieved that milestone….

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