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Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist" RSS Feed (Phoenix, AZ.)
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How Google Works
How Google Works
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Observations, Despite The Authors Being A Bit Overly In Love With Themselves, October 1, 2014
This review is from: How Google Works (Kindle Edition)
Google is an admirable company and an enviable place to work. In 'How Google Works,' Schmidt and Rosenberg encourage other companies should follow its style of leadership. That's a big mistake. While Google is very successful in its high-technology search and associated ad business, most companies operate in a far different environment not likely to benefit from the Google approach. Established trucking, grocery store, newspaper, restaurant, auto manufacturers, etc. companies should follow Google's very expensive creativity and operational freedom model - eg. allowing employees to spend 20% of their time on anything they want? No way.

One could also readily assert that Google's success in its basic search and ad business covers up major errors in other areas - for example, it has spent billions on developing the software and technology for driverless cars. Why? What evidence is there that Google will ever recover a dime for its efforts?

However, Google does represent some obviously solid thinking applicable to those thinking of establishing a new business, especially those centered around the Internet. And I'd love to see large healthcare organizations follow some of their key observations. And everyone can benefit from reading their emphasis on the customer being the foundation of a business, and taking note of a Google 'rule of thumb' - at least half its employees should be 'engineers' (technical experts).

More important, their observation that product excellence is now paramount to business success. Customers have never been better informed or had more choices. It is no longer possible for overwhelming marketing strength to turn poor products into winners. ('In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% to shouting about it. Today that inverts.' Jeff Bezos)

Another reason product excellence is so critical is that the cost of experimentation and failure has dropped significantly. Small teams of engineers etc. can create fabulous products and distribute them online globally for little or no cost. It has become ridiculously easy to imagine and create a new product, try it out with a limited set of customers, measure exactly what works and doesn't, iterate, try again, and if necessary, start over. Digital prototypes via 3-D printers also allow fast innovation in manufacturing areas. Thus, success can be achieved through speed of continual improvement, and the primary objective of any business now must be to increase the speed of product development and the quality of output.


The Glass Cage: Automation and Us
The Glass Cage: Automation and Us
by Nicholas Carr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.86
45 used & new from $7.83

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Long and Too Short-Sighted, October 1, 2014
The FAA sent out a safety alert on 1/4/13 encouraging airlines to promote manual flight operations when appropriate. Its studies had indicated that pilots had become too dependent on autopilots and other automated systems, degrading their 'ability to quickly recover from an undesired state.' That concern was realized later when a KAL 777 crashed on the runway at SFO airport, resulting in three deaths. Author Carr then wonders about self-driving cars - would people lose their driving skills, or never acquire any of substance? There's also error possibilities in other automated systems - CAD, financial trading, factory control, etc.

Carr then references a study linking happiness on the job to actual work, not leisure time on the job.

Two problems with the book: 1)Carr's points could and should have been summarized in an article, instead of rambling on for hundreds of pages. 2)While programming process automation is quite complex, those involved are always learning and improving - both in their initial programming and subsequent program testing. Thus, the validity of his concerns are likely to decrease over time.


The Shifts and the Shocks: What We’ve Learned—and Have Still to Learn—from the Financial Crisis
The Shifts and the Shocks: What We’ve Learned—and Have Still to Learn—from the Financial Crisis
by Martin Wolf
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.88
47 used & new from $15.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Needs Another Book on the Great Recession? We Do -, September 23, 2014
The 2007 financial crisis and subsequent malaise has largely destroyed other nations' confidence that the high-income countries know what they were doing in the economic policy world. (In addition, America's becoming bogged down in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Arab-Israeli dispute, along with its political paralysis, has further lowered U.S. standing.) Worse, the relative success of China's state capitalism has also undercut the credibility of Western democracy. These crises have also accelerated a transition in economic power and influence. Between 2007 and 2012, GDP of high-income countries rose 2.4% in real terms, per the IF. (The U.S. was up 2.9%, the Eurozone down 1.3%.) Over the same period, real GDP of the emerging nations rose 31%, and those of India and China by 39% and 56%, respectively. China's economy may already be the world's largest in purchasing-power-parity. Additionally, it is becoming increasingly possible that the incumbent global power (the U.S.) will no longer be able to provide political, military, and economic order, and the rising power (China) will not see the need to do so.

One of the causes of the crisis was the huge net flows of capital from emerging economies into supposedly safe assets in high-income countries. Emerging countries' foreign- currency reserves reached $11.4 trillion in September of 2013, along with over $6 trillion in sovereign wealth funds. These flows are unsustainable because high-income countries have proven unable to use the money effectively - eg. building houses, assets that do not boost subsequent GDP.

Another likely unsustainable action - taxpayers bailed out institutions during the crisis whose businesses were heavily abroad, including those failures caused by regulatory incompetence and management malfeasance. Less globalized finance and/or more globalized regulation are likely in the future.

The biggest way in which the crises should have changed the world is recognizing that established visions of how the most sophisticated economies work are nonsense.

The world economy of the 2000s showed four closely related characteristics: 1)A hug balance of payment imbalances, 2)a surge in house prices and home-building - especially in the U.S., 3)rapid growth in the scale and profitability of a liberalized financial sector, and 4)soaring private debt in high-income countries, especially the U.S.

The Federal Reserve's decision to rescue Bear Stearns (bought by JPMorgan, with the Fed assuming some of the risk and providing backup funding) ended the era of free-market capitalism. The U.S. government then took Fannie and Freddie (guaranteed 75% of U.S. mortgages) into 'conservatorship' on 9/7 ($5.4 trillion in outstanding liabilities), allowed Lehman to go bankrupt 9/15 and Merrill Lynch to be sold to BofA on the same day, and rescued AIG (lending $85 billion) on 9/16. On 9/17, money-market funds managed by Reserve Management Corporation 'broke the buck,' threatening mass redemptions from the $3.5 trillion invested in such funds. On 9/25 FDIC took over Washington Mutual (6th largest U.S. bank) and on 10/9 Wells Fargo (5th largest commercial bank) took over Wachovia (4th). During this period the commercial paper market ($2.2 T) froze, even for AAA-rated G.E, and the Fed lowered ifs 'federal fund target rate' from 5.25% to 0.25% on 12/2008. This dependency of a supposed free-market financial system on the state cannot be forgotten or ignored, nor will the largesse (nearly free money) to banks, accompanied by foreclosures on a grand scale go away as a source of significant popular resentment.

World equity markets fell about 50% over 12 months, compared to about 20% in 1929-30.

Charles (Chuck) Prince's comments are remarkable because he understood what might happen, and felt unable to prevent it. Neither Mr. Bernanke nor Mr. Greenspan realized the dangers, or if they did, spoke out loudly in warning.

The advantage of debt over equity is that lenders do not have to closely monitor what borrowers are doing - an inherently costly action that many lenders are unable to do. However, once lenders learn that important classes of borrowers are close to or in default, they become nervous. Interest rates jump, and the market value of trade-able loans collapses. Lenders then provide funds on shorter maturities - less than those of the assets being funded). The result - finance is inherently unstable. The challenge for policymakers is to contain panic and the irresponsibility that breeds it, without stopping banks from taking reasonable risks.

Fraud is an inherent element of the fragility of finance. However, the author believes fraud does not cause booms nor does its discovery end them. Vastly more important is what is deemed legal. That shifted under Reagan and Thatcher - from trusting governments to trusting markets. (We'd forgotten the lessons of the 1930s.) Regulations went into bonfires, and laissez-faire boomed. Then came the financial innovation of mathematical pricing of derivatives. Between 6/98 and 6/08 their notional value went from $72 T to $673 T. (Market values are far less because derivatives are conditional claims on underlying assets - those rose from $2.6 T to $35.3 trillion 12/08.) Derivatives facilitated enormous growth in credit and debt, and a 'shadow-banking' system that expanded the scope of assets that could be collateralized.

The 'system' became stretched by liberalization of regulations, globalization, financial innovation, increased leverage, and short-term incentives with little/no clawbacks.

Emerging countries' painful experiences with financial markets in the 1980s and 1990s led many to protect themselves from the vagaries of international finance by accumulating foreign-currency reserves and relying on export-driven rather than credit-driven economic growth. High-income countries had the advantage that they could print their way out of a crisis.

Rapidly rising inequality is one reason rapid credit growth in needed to generate adequate demand in high-income nations.

The emergency of a globalized economic and financial elite becoming more detached from the countries that produced them has undermined the notion of citizenship.


Ideology and Economic Reform Under Deng: 1978-1993
Ideology and Economic Reform Under Deng: 1978-1993
by Wei-Wei Zhang
Edition: Hardcover
24 used & new from $7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insights into the World's Greatest Economic Turnaround -, September 22, 2014
Deng Xiaoping's wide-ranging economic reforms have led many to declare that ideology in China is dead. Author Zhang, however, contends there has been constant conflict of different ideologies since 1978 - Deng himself admitted in 1992, 14 years after beginning his dramatic reforms, that the Left was still the major threat to his programs.

Neither Chinese liberals and conservatives abandon the Party in their pursuit of change - thus, ideology has become an important vehicle for communicating regime values to Party members and the whole population. Legitimacy of the government never solely relies on practical accomplishments, but also relies on ethical and moral power. Ideological renovations tend to be presented within a Marxist framework. Reformers led by Deng have attempted to gradually transform orthodox doctrine into a more elastic and pro-business ideology which retains some essential socialist values. Thus, Deng's 'socialism with Chinese characteristics.'


The Take
The Take
DVD ~ Naomi Klein
Price: $21.38
14 used & new from $12.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This May Be Where the U.S. is Headed -, September 21, 2014
This review is from: The Take (DVD)
Unemployed auto-parts workers walk back into their idled factory (closed due to globalization) and eventually succeed in taking over and restoring their jobs. This documentary attacks the IMF and those following its dictums that have brought profits to Wall Street and emptiness to Main Street - around the world. Turns out they're not the only ones - the workers argue that the factories had been subsidized by public money, and that now the workers deserve a chance if the owners no longer want this. (Owners, of course, see this differently, calling it theft.) Many of the factories reopened and were able to turn a profit. Come the 2001 economic crisis and elections, the IMF-following politicians were turned out.

At Zanon Ceramics, the first 'expropriated' factory, 240 workers resumed production in March, 2002 - without Zanon management supervision. By 2005, over 170 new workers had been hired, bringing the total to 410. The Zanon recovery was hindered by paying full price for utilities, vs. the prior owner paying only 20%. In 2012, the factory was still in operation.

Unfortunately, the film does not provide long-term outcome information - the little reported here came from the Internet.


The Friday Night Knitting Club
The Friday Night Knitting Club
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mindless, So-so, September 21, 2014
Neither the best nor worst for a first novel. The premise if shaky and the book is mindless - covering relationships including characters of almost all races and stereotypes. The point is to show how love and friendship help us find ourselves. Unfortunately, it is hard to understand the motives of most of the characters.


Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education Lessons from Pisa 2012 for the United States
Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education Lessons from Pisa 2012 for the United States
by Oecd Organisation For Economic Co-Operation And Development
Edition: Paperback
Price: $38.33
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Invalualable -, September 21, 2014
People compete for jobs not just locally, but internationally in today's globalized world. Job automation is proceeding at an even faster rate - routine work is increasingly likely to be automated. The obvious effects are to reduce demand for those only capable of routine work.

The U.S. gained an advantage after WWII due to not having incurred damage to its production facilities and massively increasing education through the G.I. Bill and other initiatives. Those advantages have now been largely eroded. Only 8 of the 34 OECD countries now have a lower high-school graduation rate than the U.S - about 75%. Germany and Japan now graduate over 95% of youngsters, 94% in South Korea, while other nations have moved up in rank order position. The U.S. has also slipped from #2 to #13 in college graduation rates from 1995 to 2008, not because graduation rates have declined but because they rose much faster elsewhere.

Other nations have also dramatically improved the quality of learning outcomes. For example, Korea doubled the share of pupils demonstrating excellency in reading, Poland has raised overall performance by the equivalent of more than half a school year, and Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Singapore and Peru have also made impressive gains.

U.S. performance on the 2009 PISA assessment of 15-year-olds was about average in reading (#14) and science (#17), and below average in math (#25) among the 34 OECD nations. There is significant variability within the U.S. - schools in the northeast perform better than the OECD average (comparable with the Netherlands), but still well below the highest-performers, followed by the Midwest (comparable with Poland), the west (comparable with Italy), and the south (comparable with Greece). Performance varies even more between schools and social contexts - in fact, the relationship between socio-economic background and learning outcomes is stronger in the U.S. than high-performing systems. The U.S. has seen significant performance gains in science sine 2006 - mainly driven by improvements at the bottom, while performance was unchanged at the top end. Performance in reading and mathematics has remained broadly unchanged since 2000 and 2003, respectively, when PISA began to measure these trends.

Reading performance of U.S. pupils w/o an immigrant background is only marginally higher than the performance of all students, and the gap is smaller in the U.S. than the average across OECD nations.

Only 6% of the variation between OECD countries' mean scores can be predicted on the basis of their GDP/capita. Only Luxembourg spends more/student. Across OECD countries, this explains 9% of the variation in PISA mean performance between countries. Moderate spending/student does not equate with poor performance - Estonia and Poland pupils perform at the same level as Norway and the U.S. - despite spending only 40% as much. New Zealand spends well below the average/pupil - yet is one of the high-performing in reading. The U.S., however, is one of only three OECD nations in which socio-economically disadvantaged schools cope with less favorable student-teacher ratios than their socio-economically advantaged counterparts. U.S. high school teachers teach far more hours, but with smaller class sizes. Japan and Korea pay teachers comparatively well and provide ample time for work besides teaching in front of classes, and pay for the costs with comparatively large class sizes. The U.S. also spends 11.6% of its resources for schools on capital outlays, exceeded only in the Netherlands, Norway and Luxembourg (OECD average 7.6%). Another comparison - the percentage of parents of 15-year-olds assessed in PISA with secondary or tertiary education ranks the U.S. 8th among the 34 OECD nations.

The U.S. proportion of socio-economically disadvantaged children above the OECD average, and it has the 6th largest proportion (19.5%) of pupils with an immigrant background. However, the share of such pupils explains just 3% of performance variation between nations, and of the 8 OECD nations with between 15% and 30% of pupils with an immigrant background, four show a smaller performance gap while three show a larger one.

Eighteen per cent of U.S. 15-year-olds do not reach PISA baseline Level 2 reading proficiency, about the OECD average and unchanged since 2000. excluding pupils with an immigrant background reduces the percentage of poorly performing pupils to 16%, while in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Canada, Finland and Korea the proportion of poor performers is 10% or less. At the other end, U.S. students do comparatively well at the very highest levels of reading proficiency (1.5%, vs. 0.8% OECD average and 1.8 to 2.9% for Australia, Canada, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Shanghai) have an average share of top performers in science 1% at the top - the OECD average, with 4.6% in Singapore, 3.9% in Shanhai, 3.6% in New Zealand, 3.1% in Finland, and 3% in Australia), and a below-average share of top performers (2%, vs. an OECD average of 3% and as high as 27% in Shanghai) in mathematics.

About 28% of U.S. pupils can be considered resilient - coming from the 25% of the most socio-economically disadvantaged students but performing much better than would be predicted, about average for the OECD; however, in Korea, Hong Kong and Shanghai the proportion is about twice as high.

Fifteen-year-olds in the U.S. usually rate themselves comparatively high in academic performance on PISA, even if they do not do well comparatively. One interpretation is that they are being commended for work that would not be acceptable in high-performing education systems.

Teachers in mainland China do not receive high salaries, but often have other significant income eg. from private tutorials, sponsoring fees collected from students from other neighborhoods or whose test scores are below the official admissions cut-off. The national class-size norm is 50, but not unusual to see classes of over 80 in rural areas. In many cases, teachers are observed by the school principal or district education officers when being considered for promotions or awards. Teachers may observe each other or observed by peers (eg. in the instance of curriculum change), new teachers, senior teachers and the principal(mentoring), and sometimes expected to teach demonstration lessons for large numbers to observe and comment on. Promotions from one grade to another often requires giving demonstration lessons, contributions to induction of new teachers, publications about education, etc.

Over 80% of Shanghai's higher education age cohort are admitted into higher education, compared to the national 24% figure. Non-attentive students are not tolerated. It is estimated that over 80% of parents send their children to tutorial school, most are for-profit. Students also take an hour/day of P.E., turns in cleaning classrooms and corridors, and organized to visit rural villages or deprived social groups. Every teacher is expected to complete 240 hours of professional development within five years. Teacher performances are evaluated by observation that includes the time given to student participation and how well student activities are organized. Teachers do not mind imitating others' good practices.

Low-performing schools are paired with high-performing schools, sometimes even administered by the high-performing school principal. Another practice - rotating teachers between weak and strong schools, adding funding to the low-performing schools.


Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World
Price: $12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful Point of View, September 20, 2014
Cheating scandals have been discovered/strongly suspected in almost every major school district reporting great improvements - Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, El Paso, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York. Author Yong Zhao, former teacher in China, contends that we're pursuing the wrong goal - that China has produced superior test takers who have maintained a great civilization for millennia but failed to cultivate talents to defend against Western aggressions back by modern technology and sciences in the 1800s. As for Andreas Schleicher's defending China's top PISA ranking by noting how much more likely (vs. counterparts in France) Chinese students are to blame themselves instead of their teachers, the author contends the cause is an authoritarian culture that tends to shift blame from the authority (no one dares to question) to the students. (On the other hand, some of the worst performers - Kazakhastan, Albania, Malaysia, and even average-performing Russia are also low on the blame-the-teacher scale, while some most likely to blame teachers come from high-scoring Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Germnay.

Yong Zhao contends that as traditional routine jobs are offshored and automated, the U.S. will increasingly need more globally competent, creative, innovative citizens.

Shanghai students have ranked at the top of PISA test twice in a row - Yong Zhao sees this a the outgrowth of intense competition for elite jobs, often controlled by the state. A byproduct is an undervaluing ot creativity, entrepreneurial thinking, development of non-cognitive capacities. He sees China now moving to broaden the curriculum and reduce the impact of tests.

('Chinese Lessons: Shanghai's Rise to the Top of the PISA League Tables') Shanghai's lead on PISA tests are estimated to be the equivalent of its students having had three additional years of schooling, per OECD estimates. There are lessons to be learned from China. Its teachers generally have only B.A. degrees, but most be in the subject the teacher will teach - even for primary school teachers. Thus, Liping Ma's finding of superior Chinese teacher understanding of elementary school mathematics vs. their American peers. As for mastering the craft of teaching, the Chinese accomplish this with a rigorous career ladder system with top teachers serving as the masters of apprentice teachers just starting out. American teachers, by contrast, receive instruction by people who have not been in school classrooms for years, if ever, and may not have been master teachers.

Another important difference involves how the Chinese support and incentivize improvement of teacher performance. There is a much greater animating spirit in Chinese professional teacher development, along with a desire to put teachers at the center of the improvement process. Teachers are trained in research methods and organizing schools so that teachers, not administrators, can lead the process of improving curriculum and teaching methods - working as a team. Mentor teachers run weekly meetings with teams of teachers from the same subject or grade, and focus on an aspect needing improvement. There is also a considerable amount of classroom observation taking place about 30 times/year. These teachers observing each other, student teachers observing master teachers, and groups of teachers from other schools puts subtle pressure on teachers to improve their skills, and also gives them an opportunity to see how others get better results.

As senior teachers move up the ladder they may also undertake action research projects. They select a particular education issue and review the literature, test out different approaches, and report on the results. There are about 900 researcher teachers in Shanghai - working in groups and sharing results across schools and the district. The result is a reduction in disparity between schools. The tradeoff for this continuous professional development system is larger class sizes because teachers aren't in front of students as many hours/day as in the U.S.

China has found PISA questions encourage problem-solving and application of knowledge. So Shanghai uses PISA questions with all its students to promote problem solving. Chinese classrooms are more likely to engage in purely intellectual activity - eg. thinking about how to conduct an investigation, as well as lab work. In the Chinese classroom, questions come from the teacher, vs. from students in America.

Shanghai's embrace of PISA is one aspect of a very strong national drive to make an opening to the rest of the world, to learn as much as possible from the world's most developed countries.

To bring up its struggling schools, usually with large numbers of poor students of families who had migrated from the countryside, the high-performing schools became expected to partner, form clusters to share resources, spend time in each other's schools. Teachers wishing to reach the top of the 13 levels must spend time teaching in a lower-income area.

Very few trainers will give training courses without mentioning the work of foreign scholars - during a typical half-day in-service training course for teachers there will almost always be at least some mention of the latest theories or practices from other nations.

National level staff create a national curriculum framework, especially in math and science. Rural schools have been consolidated to improve quality and resources, a vast system of satellite-delivered courses have been created, as well as professional development 'sabbaticals' for teachers in rural areas.

The examination system may not be the best approach, but it keeps things equal and fair, and allows hope and high expectations to be 'real.' China's teachers are evaluated in part on their contributions to the development of effective student learning habits, along with their participation in professional development opportunities.


The Globalization of Clean Energy Technology: Lessons from China (Urban and Industrial Environments)
The Globalization of Clean Energy Technology: Lessons from China (Urban and Industrial Environments)
Price: $15.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the 'Bamboo Curtain', September 19, 2014
The author uses case studies of gas turbine, solar PV, coal gasification, and advanced vehicle batteries to understand technological development in China. She opens with a description of a leading solar photovoltaic manufacturer in China. The factory is almost fully automated, the Chinese CTO (PhD from an Australian university) was supervising the assembly of a new factory line constructed with mostly Japanese and German manufacturing equipment - but none from America. All this within the context of Americans complaining about trade barriers and currency manipulation, infringement on American intellectual property, nontariff barriers such as local content requirements, and its shipped products having to compete with subsidized fossil fuels that are not required to pay for their adverse health effects and climate change impact. Meanwhile, China uses this new technology to dominate exports of cleaner technologies, accrue more foreign currency, and maintain its status as banker to the world.

First an important comparative statistic: Total investment as a percent of 2011 GDP: China 48%, India 34%, Brazil 21%, Japan 205, Germany 185, and the U.S. 16%. China's energy market is already the world's biggest, and its government is challenged to satisfy those needs without further harming human health or the environment/climate and ideally improving those areas.

Natural gas accounts for only 3% of Chinese energy supply, and is normally used for fertilizer production and residential fuel supply. However, China also has the largest estimated reserves of shale gas in the world, and the government has targeted producing 6.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas by 2015. The three major global producers of heavy-duty natural gas turbines for power generation are Siemens, G.E., and Mitsubishi. Each has a relationship with a Chinese counterpart. At it's Lingang complex, a joint venture with Siemens, it builds steam turbines for 30% less than Siemens does in Europe. In 1949, the Chinese converted about 21% of coal's energy to usable power, vs. 24% in the U.S.; by 2011 China was at 37% and the U.S. at 30%, and plans to hit 42% at its new GreenGen plant.

The current Chinese fuel-efficiency standard (42.2 mpg) exceeds that in the U.S. (35.5 mpg, by 2016) does not require use of advanced batteries. However, adoption of new battery technology is hindered by China's lack of a gas tax. Life-cycle EV emissions are higher if EV cars are charged from coal-fired generators, lower if nuclear and renewable sources were used.

The Chinese originally acquired coal gasification technology through product purchases, some of which didn't work - partly due to poor after-sales service by the providers. Now the Chinese have become the global leaders in this area - both in usage and technology levels. It's Shidongkou plant on the Yangtze River traps carbon from the smokestack for $39/ton, in 2011 - about a third of the cost for most capture experiments in the U.S. The government plans to capture a million tons/year of carbon in a demonstration that will begin by 2015, then blast the product into oil wells to boost production. Meanwhile, Duke Energy has completed a 618-MW IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) plant in Edwardsport, Indiana, using gasifiers designed by G.E. and build in China. The former 160-MW plant where ran less than 30% of the time and emitted about 13,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulates/year - the new plant, running 100% of the time, would emit only 2,900 tons of those pollutants - a reduction of about 92%/kwh.

Author Gallagher contends that the Obama Administration's decision to impose a 31% tariff on solar panels imported from China is short sighted. The U.S. currently has a trade surplus with China in solar energy because of large U.S. exports of poly-silicon to China, and jobs in the solar sector grew 7% in 2011 - mostly in the solar installation business. By supporting renewable energy, China is correcting for market distortions with the U.S. should do also. Fossil fuel imports also account for 59% of the U.S. trade deficit, and raise the perceived need for defending international shipping lanes to deliver that product. Finally, prices of Chinese-made PV modules in China are lower than outside China, thus it's hard to see how they are 'dumping' on the U.S. market. The U.S. government also supports it solar industry with loan guarantees, investment tax credits, and production tax credits; SolarWorld Industries America (the lead filer of the complaint - a German firm) itself received millions in tax breaks and subsidies by locating in Oregon. SolarWorld had only six co-filers, but more than 100 U.S. firms lined up in opposition.

Another example - Jane Chuan and Wang Youqi married in 1988 after achieving doctorates in the U.S. They co-founded companies in Silicon Valley, and then tried to entice U.S. investors on cleaning China's coal - with limited success. Moving back to Shanghai in 2003, they found a way to convert methanol extracted from coal into a fuel-additive the will eliminate 90% of black carbon soot from Shanghai buses.


Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast: A Blueprint for Transformation from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation
Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast: A Blueprint for Transformation from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation
by MD, Nicholas LaRusso
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.44
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misfocus - A Major Waste of TIme and Paper, September 18, 2014
A better title would be 'Wasting Your Time on Trivia.' Mayo Clinic didn't attain its high status/respect by maximizing customer satisfaction, nor did America's health care system become the mess it is by failing to do so. The greatest problem with American health care is excessive costs (we spend almost 18% of GDP, vs. Asian competitors (eg. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan) spending about 8-10%, and Singapore only 4%. The second biggest problem is relatively poor quality - Joan Rivers being the latest public victim. Credible experts contend that at least 100,000 Americans die/year from avoidable medical errors, and that overall, American health care quality lags that of a number of other developed nations.

Putting smiles on patients and their children is nice - however, it is NOT one of our prime health care problems. Neither is developing a pediatric phlebotomy chair - the authors' pride and joy, depicted very early in the book.


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