Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Intuition and Scientific Advancement Among the Gifted Population

Giftedness is a trait that comes with high intensity, motivation, love of learning and emotional sensitivities that make a person highly functional in the environment. Many countries have gifted enrichment programs to ensure that such individuals can fully contribute to the development of society. The U.S. has not fully developed their programs. Understanding the power of giftedness and their intuition that leads to career success is important in fostering their abilities for the benefit of everyone. 

Science has moved beyond the definition of giftedness and is working on better ways to select and categories giftedness for better development (Porath, 2013). Intuition is one of those gifted traits that lead to higher mastery of the environment and scientific innovation through perceiving differences within the environment. That perception matched with the rigor of scientific logic encourages new discoveries.

Intuition can be extremely powerful and can culminate in all types of useful conclusions that would have taken years with the normal investigative process.  Intuition is seen as a cognitive style that has been described as the “sixth sense” where the unconscious recognizes patterns and solutions to those patterns before the conscious mind is aware (Pearson, 2013). Such processes can be used to make accurate decisions and investigated for clarity afterwards. 

Intuition is so powerful it can do things science cannot yet explain fully. For example, intuition can lead to health choices that put cancer in remission, picking a better deck of cards for better results, and selecting items behind screens without seeing anything that would tip a person off. According to Dr. Turner book Radical Remission the body picks up on environmental cues unconsciously and makes conclusions that manifest themselves in physiological responses (Turner, 2014). 

Gifted individuals have powerful senses of intuition and logic that can lead them to unique AND innovative methods of solving problems.  According to studies on highly intelligent and creative people, gifted individuals often display a preference for either rationality or intuition (Karwowski, 2008). The style they rely on will impact how they understand and approach their world. 

Intuition among the gifted is an interesting and often unexplored trait where their biological and psychological preference matches to create unique powers of understanding and reasoning. The same skill that allows them to find new discoveries in their respective fields also leaves many unable to follow their train of thought. Gifted individuals are considered relatively rare among the population and ensuring they have the social, legal, and intellectual support/protection is important for advancing society. 

Karwowski, M. (2008). Giftedness and Intuition. Gifted and Talented International, 23 (1).
Pearson, H. (2013). Science and intuition: do both have a place in clinical decision making? British Journal of Nursing, 22 (4). 

Porath, M. (2013). The gifted personality: what are we searching for and why? Talent Development & Excellence, 5 (2). 

Turner, K. (2014). The science behind intuition. Psychology Today. Retrieved https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/radical-remission/201405/the-science-behind-intuition

Monday, April 20, 2015

Middle Class Anxiety? A Factor of Employment and Savings

The middle class is the backbone of American society. It is a large slice of American pie that builds our cars, delivers our products, and sells us our next gadget. Like other classes, the middle class has their own concerns and fears over employment opportunities and the ability to put money away for the future.  Helping them transition to the new economy can go a long way in saving people from pending grief.

According to a Pew survey 47% feel they are solidly middle class, 11% upper middle class, and 29% lower middle class (As cited in Novak, 2015). Only 1% considers themselves upper class while 10% viewed themselves lower class. Entry into middle class is still an important part of the American dream and forms our class consciousness.

Without doubt the world is changing and jobs will change with it. A person in the middle class, earns around 30K to 100K per year based upon the state, obtains a college degree or trade certificate and can normally find gainful employment. They may run into a few hiccups here and there as they transition from one job to the next but still expect to support their families. 

The problem is that the economy is transitioning and some of the jobs are being phased out while others are growing. This means that occupational choices made a decade ago may not be relevant in the next decade. Training and education is one option in helping middle class workers find new occupations when job prospects dwindle. 

If this is the only problem then people should be jumping for joy as a training course, a college degree, or attending a few seminars should do the trick. Middle class people also have other challenges that include declining employment opportunities and high debt loads that make them less nimble for change. It can be difficult to make a transition when people are living paycheck-to-paycheck. 

 Middle class spending power is declining but pressure to buy more and do more with less is rising. Food, shopping and entertainment take an increasingly larger percentage of middle class and upper class disposable income creating a problem with savings (Marte, 2015). With less money in the bank the risks to catastrophic change rises creating higher levels of stress for families.

Helping people move from declining occupations to growing occupations where they can earn a bigger paycheck is important. Likewise, helping families with financial options that leads to a brighter future is beneficial for reducing long-term stress. The middle class is an important part of the American dream but they may need some help from time-to-time to make transitions when the economy changes. 

Marte, J. (2015). Some in upper-middle class also struggle to save. Dispatch. Retrieved http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/04/19/01-some-in-upper-middle-class-also-struggle-to-save.html

Novak, M. (2015). 87 percent of Americans call themselves some version of 'middle class'. Gismodo. Retrieved http://factually.gizmodo.com/87-percent-of-americans-call-themselves-some-version-of-1697524227

E-Learning and the New World of Warfare

The world of warfare is changing and is more technology driven than at any point in history. The pitched battles between two large armies in standard WWI and WWII trench style combat no longer exist in the same form. Today’s military will either take the form of highly professional, technology-driven, adaptable units or low technology, low professional, socially networked adaptable units. Professional units are incorporating more e-learning to ensure their soldiers are up to speed with modern technology and knowledge requirements. 

A paper in the eLearning & Software for Education Journal describes the modern battlefield and the need for additional e-learning (Eparu, & Atanasiu, 2014). The battlefield of 2015-2025 will be tridimensional, transparent, technology driven, dynamic pulsing, multi-directional, cybernetic, digitized, integrated, and multinational.  Technology to handle change, communication, and run robotics will put pressure on traditional militaries to change. 

This means that higher skill levels are needed among current military members. They will integrate their actions more with digital technology and robotic systems working seamlessly on the field. The days of digging trenches and following simple commands are slowly disappearing to more adaptable systems where soldiers can work collaboratively and independently to achieve objectives. 

To work independently requires the ability to learn at new levels and continue to incorporate new knowledge for self-improvement that impacts the entire unit. This is expensive for militaries that seek to run the process over and over on new recruits in an effort to make them ready for battle. E-learning affords the opportunity to keep those costs affordable and keep soldiers learning from any place in the world. 

The process may include basic training, occupational schooling, and weapons training but will also require higher forms of knowledge-based learning. E-learning affords the opportunity to remotely train using forums, support networks, simulation games, decision making software, and much more. Our next generation of soldiers will rely heavily on e-learning after their initial training has been successfully integrated. 

Eparu, D. & Atanasiu, M. (2014). New training requirements for a successful military action. eLearning & Software for Education, 3.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

San Diego Attracts Investment Capital. Could more be Done?

Investment is the lifeblood of our economy that provides nourishment for our cities. Without investment we don’t grow, business doesn’t expand and people don’t get hired. Everything comes to a standstill and in and good fortune ceases. Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego are attracting investments to their unique industry clusters.  Letting the world know what San Diego has to offer in terms of investment opportunities can be a catalyst to greater growth.

Nationally, the last quarter experienced $13.4 billion dollars in investments and about a third of that took place in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County (as cited in Somerville, 2015).  According to the Venture Capital Association and Price WaterhousCoopers a total of 19 San Diego companies received around $270 in late stage venture capital funds (Money Tree, 2015). Not the largest share but certainly a sizable one.

Much of the money comes from large institutional investors that are looking for solid growth opportunities. Of these large investment opportunities around 36% were from hedge funds and mutual funds (As cited in Somerville, 2015).  There is still plenty of room to draw new investments from international investors that are also seeking high probably income outcomes. 

Companies invest in late stage start-ups because they can reduce their risks. Another option is to invest in a basket of companies to hedge the potential of loss on any one entity. The problem is that without knowledge of local investment opportunities investors are unlikely to fulfill to help businesses reach their full potential.  

Ensuring that emerging companies are easy to find and the proper mechanisms for investment are available will help further international investment in San Diego. Ensuring information is on public display via websites, is easily accessible from outsiders and targeted to both small and large investment entities helps to keep new industries budding and growing in a way that encourages local economic development.  

Freeman, M. (April 17th, 2015). San Diego start-ups net more venture capital. UT San Diego. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/apr/17/MoneyTree-Dow-Jones-VentureSource-ATyr-pharma/

Somerville, H. (2013). Tech companies continue to land mega VC deals. San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_27932457/tech-companies-continue-land-mega-vc-deals

The Money Tree. Retrieved April 18th, 2015 from https://www.pwcmoneytree.com/