Sunday, May 19, 2013

How much critical mass of scientist potential results in one award-winning young scientist?

Facebooker 1: Why can't we invent something like that [American teen who won the Intel award for creating an energy storage device that can charge cell phones in 20 seconds so we don't have to pause between text messages]?
Facebooker 2: We are not THAT smart.
Facebooker 3: You are smarter than you think. Unless you put limits on yourself. Your brain will believe it.

Eavesdropping Facebooker 4, which is moi, can't keep some thoughts to herself.  So, here, they tumble out:

The constraints do not come from individuals imposing limits on their own smartness, but from governments and societies passing up organized opportunities to tap into their citizens' smartness.  If every country, every government, every society, invested in and developed the collective potential of their peoples, then more 18-year-olds across the globe will have solutions to problems most pressing to them and their neighbors--and this may or may not include a focus on charging cell phones on the go.

And if you have not heard that Ionut Alexandru Budisteanu, 19, of Romania, won the Gordon E. Moore Award for using artificial intelligence to create a viable model for a low-cost, self-driving car, don't feel bad.  You are not alone.  I am with you.  I was so taken up by the promise of charging my ever-dead cell phone in 20 seconds in the near future that I did not dig up the news story that promises freedom from having to drive myself on the interstate.  Thank you, Romania, for investing in *your* smart and thoughtful teen.

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