Meridian Star


August 11, 2013

Increase your brain power

MERIDIAN — Far, far away, years from now, will the newly landed inhabitants of this planet study our culture and write us off as beastly things for the way we treat our animals?     When they locate the remains of diseased and starving cats and dogs amongst the debris of the 21st century, will they gasp in horror and contempt? Or, will they react that way when they hear of how our elders are placed in cubicles in overcrowded homes, left alone and forgotten?

    Maybe they will wonder at the rising state of our technology, how quickly we progressed with our cell phones, Wi-Fi, computer usage ... at how there was such a large population of wealthy citizens ... yet overwhelmed by the hungry poor, jobless, homeless among them. That with all our intelligence and far sightedness we still live divided by race, religion and politics. It is a theme long enacted in science fiction drama, in books, television and film.

    Consider how far we have traveled in just the past 10 years. I had my first GPS experience when invited to a concert at the casino five or six years ago. My friend had a fairly new car – the dashboard was lit up like a 707 airliner – when a woman’s voice told us to prepare to turn in the next 100 yards. Then we missed the turn and she patiently told us to try again. I was so impressed!     

    This past week, my friend had us listening to her conversation with her contractor over her car phone via Bluetooth. At home, she connected her iphone to her flatscreen and we watched a "slide show" of photos taken that day. Then, I just heard about a new device similar to "roku," that is tiny as a flashdrive that you plug into your television to stream Netflix films. I suspect some of you out there won’t know what in the world I am talking about; it’s a totally new language (and I’m probably not using the terminology correctly).

    Remember years ago we heard of studies on the brain that indicated that we are only using one fifth of our brain’s capacity ... or something like that? Late night talk show host Charlie Rose had as his guest Max Levchen, a young 38 year old who is one of the founders of PayPal and some other programs that were sold for enough to make him worth billions. Imagine that! From what I’ve read, he owns a multi-million dollar home, but sleeps in his studio – where all his computer gear is kept – in a sleeping bag on the floor!

    Despite all that, he was a pretty impressive fellow. Do you think he is using two-fifths of his brain? I like the idea he is using his brain power for developing programs to help people, not take advantage of them.

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