International Perspectives by J.C. Scull


June 2016

When consciousness, self-awareness and a smart machine come together

Words Spoken by Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1 — William Shakespeare:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;

In this, the most popular and most searchable of Shakespeare’s quotes, Hamlet is thinking about life and death. He is pondering about a state of being versus a state of not being. In essence, being alive and being dead. Consciousness and self-awareness or nothing. Is the lack of consciousness which in a way is the absence of self-awareness represents death?

Humans have been pondering these thoughts for many millennia.

Continue reading “When consciousness, self-awareness and a smart machine come together”



I know, I know. The picture above is full of generalities, biases and it is an unfair comparison between Latin American men and American men. But I just could not help myself!!

Latin American Machismo is not the same as American Male Chauvinism although they have some similarities.

In Spanish and Portuguese, the meaning of the word macho was associated with the ideal societal role men were expected to play in society. These included to some degrees the quixotic notion of “caballerismo” or chivalry and knighthood. During the 1960s and 70s, Latin American feminists began to refer to the word machismo as a way to describe male aggression and violence. The term was also meant as a criticism of what feminists and scholars saw as Latin American male patriarchy.


Don’t Quit Your Daydream

Bryan is thinking about how he is going to perform in his 6th U.S. Open. This prestigious tennis competition, and one of the four Grand Slam tournaments in the world, brings in all of the top ranked tennis players in the entire planet. Only the best of the best are able to compete on the acrylic hard courts at the iconic USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York City. In recent years making it into the men’s quarter finals or better at this world class facility has been a superhuman feat left to the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and a handful of other top notch gladiators that compete worldwide at a level of tennis that only the mere mortal can dream of.

Continue reading “Don’t Quit Your Daydream”

Dispositivo y método sensible a las influencias de la mente.

Leemos estas palabras habladas por Hamlet, Acto 3 Escena 1 — William Shakespeare:
Ser o no ser, ésa es la cuestión. ¿Cuál es más digna acción del ánimo, sufrir los tiros penetrantes de la fortuna injusta, u oponer los brazos a este torrente de calamidades, y darlas fin con atrevida resistencia? Morir es dormir. ¿No más?

En este, el más popular y más investigable de citas de Shakespeare, Hamlet piensa acerca de la vida y de la muerte. Esta ponderando sobre un estado de existencia o un estado de no existencia. En otras palabras, estar vivo o estar muerto. La consciencia y la consciencia de sí mismo o el alternativo; absolutamente nada. ¿Sera que la falta de consciencia de alguna manera es la falta de reconocerse a sí mismo y representa la muerte?

Los seres humanos han estado reflexionando sobre estas ideas por miles de años.

Continue reading “Dispositivo y método sensible a las influencias de la mente.”

Happy Father’s Day from a Mr. Mom wannabe

Michael usually sits with his two daughters at one of the picnic tables at the tennis and swim club to which his family and I belong. His wife Alexis is one of the tennis pro’s at the club. Michael is a an ex track and field super star from the University of Florida.

Michael and Alexis are both marvels of human form and physical development. She is as sleek as a Florida panther and just as fast. He can jump over the tennis net from a standing still position. I stand here as witness to such feat.

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The continental divide in the Americas is by far more cultural than geographic. Gender bias is astonishingly more pronounced in North America than south of the border. Latin American males, the epitome of the “macho men”, are far more accepting of strong women who fight in a military unit or rise to the position of presidents and political leaders than their U.S. and Canadian counterparts.

Consider that in the combined history of Canada and the U.S.A., there has only been one woman Canadian Prime Minister and no woman U.S. President. Canada’s sole woman Prime Minister is Kim Campbell who served as 19th Prime Minister from June 25, 1993, to November 4, 1993. Campbell was the first, and to date, only female prime minister of Canada. Here in the United States for the first time in our history we have a female presidential candidate representing one of our major parties.




In recent months a great deal has been made of the impact that globalization, international trade and free trade agreements in particular have had on the U.S. economy. In 1994, NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect. It was originally sold as “creating one of the world’s largest free trade zones and laying the foundations for strong economic growth and rising prosperity for Canada, the United States, and Mexico.” (NAFTANOW.ORG)

Most people may not be aware, but NAFTA was not the first free trade agreement the U.S. signed with another country. In 1985 the Israel — United States Free Trade Agreement (including the Palestinian Authority) was signed into law. The IUSFT is a trade pact that lowered barriers to trade in some goods while reducing or eliminating duties on merchandise exported to U.S. from Israel, Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Notice that no reduction in duties to U.S. goods exported to this region was included in the pact.


The Difference Between Free Trade and New Trade

So one of the Chinese professors from Peking University got up and said “Developed countries, including the U.S.A. were once underdeveloped. Mercantilism allowed them to become developed. Now that they are developed they want to push free trade on the rest of the world” — Beijing Symposium on Trade. Tsinghua University — 2012)

Traditionally members of the Republican Party have been proponents of a Laissez-Faire approach to markets promoting unrestricted trade. Democrats on the other hand have been more interested in partnering with unions and labor in order to protect jobs.

However, the last two democratic presidents have been very willing to create free trade agreements those unions, labor and progressives within the Democratic Party have called damaging to the U.S. economy. At this point in time however, it seems that the U.S. is pretty much on board with promoting and practicing free trade on a grand scale.

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On Creativity, Innovation and Change

 “Change is ongoing in organizations as new ways of working replace, reshape and overlap traditional structures. New working environments are sought where people can contribute their creativity and where new ideas can be nurtured and developed into further innovations that transform organizations and lead to the production of new commodities and the delivery of new services. Change, creativity and innovation represent key processes to organizations operating in the 21st. Century.” (Andriopoulos and Dawson. “Managing Change, Creativity and Innovation” )

Technology is advancing faster every day. The world is changing at an incredibly fast pace. In fact the pace of change will continue to accelerate so dramatically that we will re-invent the world by each passing generation. All aspects of society will be affected. Business, health care, politics, war, education, the very fundamentals of human interaction will be forever changed.

Continue reading “On Creativity, Innovation and Change”

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