Friday, August 19, 2011

The Secret of a Long and Happy Life: Douwe Draaisma Writes About How the Memory of Our Brain Works and How We Can Change Our Behavior to Live Better and More Courageously

Douwe Draaisma is a Dutch psychologist and Professor at the University of Groningen. He writes about how the memory of our brain works and what we can do with our memory to make our lives better.

I ran across his article in German as "Das Geheimnis eines langen gl├╝cklichen Lebens" in the current edition of the woman's magazine Brigitte (12/2011) which my wife obtained for me, knowing my interest in the subject. See also Draaisma and Unser Leben ist Erinnerung (Our Life is Memory) at Brigitte-woman online.

What Draaisma writes about is among the most important of all subjects: our memory, our life, and how we can make it better, and even extend it, happily, by living more courageously and opening ourselves to new experiences. Happiness is a matter of the moment! Sound familiar?

Draaisma writes that almost everyone remembers their first 18 years of life about as well as all the rest of the years of life put together. Why is that so?

The key is that everything is new when we are young, whereas things become "old hat" as we grow older.

Experiencing new things in later life keeps our brain young.

Draaisma says that a long and happy life can more likely be achieved if we change our patterns of behavior and live more courageously, yes, even wilder, as we grow older. Most people do the reverse.

It has to do with how our MEMORY functions. That is why holidays away from our own four walls can be so refreshing. Our brain needs new inputs and our nerves need new surprises. How about an adventure vacation? Absolutely.

Repetition, on the other hand, compresses time and shortens our life.
To lengthen our life, we must get out of our routines and do new things.

Land of the Free, Home of the Poor | PBS NewsHour | Aug. 16, 2011 | PBS

Land of the Free, Home of the Poor | PBS NewsHour | Aug. 16, 2011 | PBS
"[E]verybody in this country owes their good fortune in some way to the rest of the country." - Warren Buffett

A Learning-Centered Life Driven by Questions: David Brooks at the NY Times on Philip Leakey

Who needs civilization?

Take a look at David Brooks in Rift Valley, Kenya, reporting on Philip Leakey in The Question-Driven Life.

Here is the teaser. Brooks writes:
"There are certain people whose lives are permanently shaped by their frontier childhoods."
Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Trekkies! Is iPad2 a Copy of the Star Trek PADD? ZDNet Comments Samsung and Apple Injunction Battle over Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Apple iPad2 as Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols Lambasts German Court

Is the Apple iPad2 nothing more in its basic design than a modern copy of the flat rectangular version of the StarTrek PADD?

Although LawPundit has already commented in depth on this topic in prior postings, there is a wonderful article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols at titled: Apple gets Samsung Galaxy Tab banned in E.U. with moronic ruling.

Particularly of interest is the link there to the registered EU Community Design 000181607-0001 upon which the preliminary injunction is based. Take a look and don't laugh, or cry. As Vaughan-Nichols writes:
"I’ll tell you what I see, it’s a freaking tablet. Yes, it looks like an iPad. But, it looks just as much like every tablet that’s ever existed or ever will exist. It’s a tablet."
Read the rest of the article, especially for some links to earlier prior art in tablets, also in Star Trek, where they were called PADDs (Personal Access Data Display). This Star Trek PADD looks as if the iPad were copied right from it:

Indeed, already on July 13, 2011, prior to the injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, wrote in Star Trek PADD app for iPad sees sci-fi tech come full circle:
"The fantasy technology of Star Trek has always been ahead of its time and has very much inspired future generations. You can see the influence of Gene Roddenberry’s universe in many of the gadgets we use today particularly in the developments of early mobile phones (remember the flip front communicators of the 1960s original?) and later in what we now know as tablet computers.

As tech in the 24th century (and the late 1980s) moved on we saw the USS Enterprise get a gadget overhaul and in Star Trek: The Next Generation we were introduced to PADD (Personal Access Display Device). This gadget allowed the crew to bring up vital information at a touch. Generally as a large screen it was also seen as a handheld unit which, to bring it up to date, bears uncanny resemblance to an iPad. [emphasis added by LawPundit]"

Business Method Patents Goodbye? CyberSource Corp. v. Retail Decisions, Inc.: Federal Circuit Invalidates The Software Patent At Issue in the Case As An Unpatentable Mental Process

Gentlemen, start your engines!
and get out those pencils and paper. We are ready to roll!

Cybersource Corp. v. Retail Decisions, Inc.
N.D. Cal., March 26, 2009, No. C. 04-03268 MHP

Sheri Qualters at The National Law Journal reports: In Notable Post-'Bilski' Ruling, Federal Circuit Finds Software Patent Invalid, wrote:
"In a closely watched case about business method patentability following the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Bilski v. Kappos, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found broad software patent claims invalid because they attempt to capture "unpatentable mental processes.""
quoting the opinion of Judge Dyk:
"[M]erely claiming a software implementation of a purely mental process that could otherwise be performed without the use of a computer does not satisfy the machine prong of the machine-or-transformation test...."
See also:

Evan Kubota (edited by Caitlyn Ross) at JOLT DIGEST, District Court Applies Bilski to Deny Validity of Business Method Patent Claims

but compare:

Timothy B. Lee at ars technica: Does not compute: court says only hard math is patentable

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