Your brain synapses are actually more like individual microprocessors than simple on/off switches, and your brain has hundreds of trillions of them.
According to Stephen Smith, a Stanford professor of molecular and cellular physiology, the brain is vastly more intricate than we had ever imagined:
One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
Yup, you’ve got the world’s craziest network right on top of yer shoulders.
On Thursday 17 November in Melbourne the School of Thinking celebrated its 32nd birthday with an informal gathering of some local friends of the school.
On a perfect spring evening beside the Yarra River at The Boatbuilders Yard the Chairman of the Council of the School of Thinking, Dr Brian Monahan, welcomed members of the Council and their guests from Melbourne and Sydney.
David Sharry, the creator and owner of The Boatbuilders Yard is also a long standing SOT Council Member. His legendary hospitality kicked off the evening with French champagne followed by the best of Australia’s wines and ales. After a little lateral drinking the thinkers were very pleased when the delicious prawn and chorizo skewers appeared on the scene along with all the many other tasty treats.
Another legendary SOT birthday event. It was tastefully planned to go from 6 to 8 but a determined core group were still pontificating and laughing by the river at 11. La dolce vita!
L to R: Anthony Bertini, Dean of the Graduate School, Dr Brian Monahan, The Hon Neil Brown QC, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson. Background: Professor Michael Georgeff, Diana Georgeff and David Sharry.
L to R: Polly Flanagan, Principal, Shelford Girls Grammar School; Maj Paul Cooke; Dr John Chambers; Ms Petrina Gillespie Mng Dir SOT; Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson.
L to R: Anthony Bertini; Dr Carl Ramage; Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson; Newell Lock, SOT Council Member.
Timewise, it’s interesting to see that the celebrated Greek thinker Plato lived in ancient Athens around 2500 years ago. Because just around the same time, in ancient China, lived another great thinker … K’ung Fu Tzu.
This ancient Chinese master started one of the world’s most successful schools of thinking and his memes have gone viral and spread around the world and infected even more people than Plato’s.
Master K’ung (or Confucius as he has come to be known in the West) developed positive memes on ethics, behaviour and relationships and devoted his thinking to finding better possibilities in the world. He was a great master of CVS to BVS thinking.
Confucius had an insatiable thirst for knowledge of antiquity. In his sayings, he rarely used negative prohibitions but preferred to offer positive memes on how to find a BVS if you wish to behave as a chun-tzu or gentleman. What moved him was no lust for power but the will to attain true mastery. If you seek ‘self x10’ then understand your strengths and develop them with practise and mastery. But he was no abstract philosopher. He saw the need to be both a man of thinking and a man of action.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I do and I understand”.
His nature strikes us as smiling, open and natural. He was a man of the world and of the street who was driven to find ways to help improve the human condition. He founded a school for future statesmen. He edited the classics. And, most significant of all he is credited with beginning China’s great explosion of thinking in all its breadth and potentiality.
As a teacher Confucius was always encouraging his students to learn. He also believed in the importance of daily training and practise.
The Master said:
Is it not pleasant to learn continually and then to put it into practice?
Regardless of how the world treated him, Confucius could still maintain a positive attitude and go on learning and teaching.
Like Confucius SOT also uses Practise, Repetition and Rehearsal (PRR) to teach thinking using tools like brain software cvs2bvs.
We also develop and use advanced tools like the TRIIII matrix below in some of our workshop sessions with clients.
TRIIII: The Three Levels
Once you get started with the TRIIII there are three levels of XIO thinking: 1 to 10, 10 to 100, 100 to 1000.
For the first time, all of the top 10 systems achieved petaflop/s performance. The U.S. is tops in petaflop/s with five systems performing at that level; Japan and China have two each, and France has one.
Bumped to second place after capturing No. 1 on the previous list is the Tianhe-1A supercomputer the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China, with a performance at 2.6 petaflop/s. Also moving down a notch was Jaguar, a Cray supercomputer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, at No. 3 with 1.75 petaflop/s.
– How does a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) make a strategic business decision?
– How does an executive form an opinion on the balance between a return on an allocation of resources and the potential risk involved?
– How do bankers or investors decide to invest their capital and how do they weigh up the balance between the hoped for Return On Investment (ROI) and the possible loss of their capital?
– How do they ‘see’ a business? On what basis is their ‘perception’ of the business formed? What model do CEOs use to get a map of a business in their mind?
Amazingly, most of today’s investment and business decisions are still based on an invention that has not yet been updated for over 500 years!
In Venice in 1494, a Franciscan monk and collaborator of Leonardo Da Vinci, Fra Luca Pacioli, invented double-entry bookkeeping and published the world’s first textbook on accounting principles and practice. Ever since, this has been the basis of investment decisions. Double-entry bookkeeping shows a map of how money and goods flow through a business.
This allowed investors and business people to ‘see’ a business, evaluate risk and return and then form an opinion on whether or not to make an investment.
In those days and even on through the industrial revolution, a business consisted of things. Things are tangibles like property, buildings, inventories, cash in the bank and so on. So the double-entry bookkeeping system seemed like a useful way of organising one’s view of the ebb and flow of these tangibles and one simply accepted this way of looking at things and then went on to make one’s investment decision.
That was then, this is now. Since the knowledge and information revolutions, it’s hard to imagine how young business people could be misled more than to be given the impression that this is what today’s businesses are still made up of – tangibles. Yet we find that in business colleges and MBA programs around the world the medieval measurement, the ‘double-entry’ view of a business, is still being taught as though it were enough.
In the 2000s we already have computers that can do more than 100 billion computations a second and we are still using pre-Newtonian physics to make our business decisions. In the next few years, this will have to change.
In knowledge-based companies like Apple and Google what does the traditional accounting system capture? Hardly anything.
The old accounting system is blind to knowledge-based assets and is often limited to just considering labour and material costs. In today’s fastest-growing, market-responsive businesses the cost components of many products are intellectual capital like R&D and customer-service.
As clever companies increasingly recognise their intellectual assets, they will increasingly direct their attention to developing those assets. When it comes to productivity, two heads are always better than one and that means networking – intranets, extranets and the Internet. It means the messaging on Facebook and Twitter and the other emerging cognocracies.
Intellectual Capital (IC)
These ‘far-seeing enterprises’ will be exploiting, managing and measuring the primary ingredient of their economic performance, their intellectual capital or IC as it is now being called. The intangible IC assets of information, knowledge and skill will be formalised, captured and leveraged to produce higher-valued assets, higher performance and a more profitable enterprise.
Also, hi-tech manufacturing companies of today and tomorrow will derive most of their value-added from knowledge and skill. This will have to be accountable. Those businesses that are not accounting for their IC assets will be under-valued and left behind. Those that do will more than double their assets and move ahead.
ICD and Investing in People
In business, people are now becoming more important than money. IC is becoming the most valuable asset of many corporations. IC accounting is how a modern business gets a more accurate view of its people assets when knowledge is its chief resource.
Suppose you are an investor. You can form a more useful and realistic perception of companies like Google by accounting for their ‘soft’ IC assets than you can by merely accounting for their ‘hard’ assets like their office buildings, cash and equipment.
FACT: The value of the tangible (money) assets on today’s balance sheet is exceeded many times by the value of the IC (people) assets of the enterprise.
FACT: The intellectual capital of the enterprise is the raw material from which all financial results are derived.
FACT: The intellectual capital owned by the enterprise can be measured, managed and developed along with the financial capital and tangible assets currently recorded on the balance sheet of the enterprise.