Archive for May, 2009

SP0019 – World Crisis “Youth Formation”

May 15, 2009

 

 At the edge of the abyss

By Juan Chamero, from Caece University at Buenos Aires, Argentine, May 16th 2009

 Subject: Youth Formation, Crime, Terrorism

Source Info: Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More, By JENNIFER STEINHAUER, NYT Published: May 13, 2009

  boyscouts

Source: NYT: Explorers ready to enter a building taken by terrorists, in an exercise.

IMPERIAL, Calif. — Ten minutes into arrant mayhem in this town near the Mexican border, and the gunman, a disgruntled Iraq war veteran, has already taken out two people, one slumped in his desk, the other covered in blood on the floor.

The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out “active shooters,” like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.

“Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.”

One participant, Felix Arce, 16, said he liked “the discipline of the program,” which was something he said his life was lacking. “I want to be a lawyer, and this teaches you about how crimes are committed,” he said.

Cathy Noriego, also 16, said she was attracted by the guns. The group uses compressed-air guns — known as airsoft guns, which fire tiny plastic pellets — in the training exercises, and sometimes they shoot real guns on a closed range.

“I like shooting them,” Cathy said. “I like the sound they make. It gets me excited.”

If there are critics of the content or purpose of the law enforcement training, they have not made themselves known to the Explorers’ national organization in Irving, Tex., or to the volunteers here on the ground, national officials and local leaders said. That said, the Explorers have faced problems over the years. There have been numerous cases over the last three decades in which police officers supervising Explorers have been charged, in civil and criminal cases, with sexually abusing them.

Several years ago, two University of Nebraska criminal justice professors published a study that found at least a dozen cases of sexual abuse involving police officers over the last decade. Adult Explorer leaders are now required to take an online training program on sexual misconduct.

Many law enforcement officials, particularly those who work for the rapidly growing Border Patrol, part of the Homeland Security Department, have helped shape the program’s focus and see it as preparing the Explorers as potential employees. The Explorer posts are attached to various agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police and fire departments, that sponsor them much the way churches sponsor Boy Scout troops.

“Our end goal is to create more agents,” said April McKee, a senior Border Patrol agent and mentor at the session here.

Membership in the Explorers has been overseen since 1998 by an affiliate of the Boy Scouts called Learning for Life, which offers 12 career-related programs, including those focused on aviation, medicine and the sciences.

But the more than 2,000 law enforcement posts across the country are the Explorers’ most popular, accounting for 35,000 of the group’s 145,000 members, said John Anthony, national director of Learning for Life. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many posts have taken on an emphasis of fighting terrorism and other less conventional threats.

“Before it was more about the basics,” said Johnny Longoria, a Border Patrol agent here. “But now our emphasis is on terrorism, illegal entry, drugs and human smuggling.”

The law enforcement posts are restricted to those ages 14 to 21 who have a C average, but there seems to be some wiggle room. “I will take them at 13 and a half,” Deputy Lowenthal said. “I would rather take a kid than possibly lose a kid.”

The law enforcement programs are highly decentralized, and each post is run in a way that reflects the culture of its sponsoring agency and region. Most have weekly meetings in which the children work on their law-enforcement techniques in preparing for competitions. Weekends are often spent on service projects.

Just as there are soccer moms, there are Explorers dads, who attend the competitions, man the hamburger grill and donate their land for the simulated marijuana field raids. In their training, the would-be law-enforcement officers do not mess around, as revealed at a recent competition on the state fairgrounds here, where a Ferris wheel sat next to the police cars set up for a felony investigation.

Their hearts pounding, Explorers moved down alleys where there were hidden paper targets of people pointing guns, and made split-second decisions about when to shoot. In rescuing hostages from a bus taken over by terrorists, a baby-faced young girl screamed, “Separate your feet!” as she moved to handcuff her suspect.

In a competition in Arizona that he did not oversee, Deputy Lowenthal said, one role-player wore traditional Arab dress. “If we’re looking at 9/11 and what a Middle Eastern terrorist would be like,” he said, “then maybe your role-player would look like that. I don’t know, would you call that politically incorrect?”

Authenticity seems to be the goal. Imperial County, in Southern California, is the poorest in the state, and the local economy revolves largely around the criminal justice system. In addition to the sheriff and local police departments, there are two state prisons and a large Border Patrol and immigration enforcement presence.

“My uncle was a sheriff’s deputy,” said Alexandra Sanchez, 17, who joined the Explorers when she was 13. Alexandra’s police uniform was baggy on her lithe frame, her airsoft gun slung carefully to the side. She wants to be a coroner.

“I like the idea of having law enforcement work with medicine,” she said. “This is a great program for me.”

And then she was off to another bus hijacking.

 

Comment: Here we have a sample showing us that certain scenarios and circumstances may break the barrier that keeps us off humanity.  Did you remember the Karate Kid Series?. Two human fighting archetypes were put face to face: the “normal boy” versus the “fascist” super boy and as expected the first won.

Who write these lines is a martial arts expert, a Zen master and a Human Excellence trainer. I have trained many people to excel since soldiers and athletes to executives and people with terminal diseases. In any circumstances we should behave as humans having in mind that the worst enemy is our ego. The human history tells us that concerning extreme situations “saints” always behave as best fighters than wicked and show off people.  I am also admirer of the Scout movement that always from its beginning and along times, and all over the world differentiate deeply from “Hitler youths” and the fascist Mussolini’s “Balilla”, in its principles and even in its compassionate spirit.

The World Crisis may drive us to face ruptures of this kind at exponentially mode. As long as ruptures induce us to imagine new ways of living and survival they could be considered evolutionary positive but negative if they ignite our most primitive instincts.

And lastly concerning Robert Baden Powell, the Boy Scout Movement creator, was a pioneer of the World Peace as a masculine version of the Mother Therese of Calcuta

Its Last Message to Scouts:

Dear Scouts,

If you have ever seen the play Peter Pan you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of good-bye.

Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over.

I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too.

I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness doesn’t come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.

Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.

But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. “Be Prepared” in this way, to live happy and to die happy– stick to your Scout promise always– even after you have ceased to be a boy– and God help you to do it.

Your Friend
Baden-Powell

Categories: people, youth, crime prevention, immigration,

 

Tags: Robert Baden Powell, mother Therese of Calcutta, youth, youth training, crime prevention, scouts training, terrorist fighting, terrorism fighting, Jennifer Steinhauer, Imperial County, Mexican border, Boy Scouts of America, explorers program, illegal immigration, border violence, true blooded, A J Lowenthal, marijuana fields, active shooters, border patrol, airsoft guns, plastic pellets, sexual misconduct, homeland security, homeland security department, April McKeee, learning for life, rescuing hostages, middle eastern terrorist, bus hijacking, karate kid, normal boy, fascist super boy, Zen master, human excellence, Hitler youths, Mussolini’s Balilla, Balilla, primitive instincts, Peter Pan, Last message to scouts

SPSP0018 – World Crisis “e-Health”

May 4, 2009

SP0018

e-Health Global Projects

By Juan Chamero, from Caece University at Buenos Aires, Argentine, May 4th 2009

Subject: e-health, IT&C, Social Networks, World Networks

 info source 1: Multi Knowledge Project, from e-HealthNews of European Union

mk1 

 

The MULTI-KNOWLEDGE Project aims to integrate different biomedical information from heterogeneous sources (clinical, laboratory and metabolic) with data on gene and protein expression provided by new high throughput technologies in a system committed to cardiovascular risk profiling.The classical approach in global cardiovascular (CV) risk assessment can be faulty: classical risk factors (such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, etc) are able to explain only 50% cases of CV events; it is furthermore not possible to assess the differential impact of risk factors in different subjects and it is still unclear whether the correction of risk factors can fetch CV risk to zero. There arises the need to to get a better prediction of the clinical events and a more efficient prevention strategy.The MULTI-KNOWLEDGE Project’s general goal is therefore the construction and implementation of a predictive algorithm combining clinical, laboratory, metabolic, gene and protein expression data to identify the presence of early signs of vessel wall atherosclerotic disease in subjects at different degree of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk on the basis of traditional risk factors and insulin resistance level.

Scientific-medical objectives: To investigate the impact of CV risk factors on systemic inflammation using gene expression profiling and To integrate clinical and molecular data to predict the presence of early signs of atherosclerosis.

Technical aim: To implement multiuser collaborative instruments to manage and analyze data from high-throughput technologies and clinical data

For further information, please visit Multi Knowledge EU

     
 Info source 2: ACTION-Grid, from e-HealthNews of European Union

action_grid

ACTION-Grid is a Specific International Cooperation Project on healthcare information systems based on Grid capabilities and Biomedical Informatics (BMI) between Latin America, the Western Balkans and the European Union (EU). Members of the consortium have published pioneering scientific papers in Grid and BMI. They participated in the BIOINFOMED and SYMBIOMATICS studies that contributed decisively to the last two FPs of the EC. See also ACTION Grid Website

Info source 3: The Users’ Guide to the Health Reform Galaxy, a series of authoritative articles about the American Healt Reform, most of them posted by Minna Jung, from Johnson & Johnson Foundation.

Vrwj

Robert Wood Johnson was one of the twentieth century’s most innovative and colorful business leaders. He built Johnson and Johnson into a world-renowned company and gave new meaning to the need for corporations to serve the public interest. His generosity created one of the nation’s most significant philanthropies dedicated to improve the health and health care of all Americans.

     

Categories: e-health. Establishment, Establishment e-health, people e-health, social research, Information Society

 Comment: we select this subject because in despite of dealing with a Health System apparently restricted to United States was always a model of philanthropy an their works pioneers of “for everybody’s ” Health Systems from the point of view of the actual “establishment”.

 

Tags: e-health, EU e-health, e-HealtNews, e-Health News, MK, Multi knowledge, Multiknowledge Project, global cardiovascular risk assessment, cardiovascular risk profiling, CV risk factors, CVD, cardiovascular disease, systemic inflammation, gene expression profiling, molecular data, atherosclerosis, high throughput technologies, action grid, BMI, Biomedical Information, Bioinfomed, Symbiomatics, health reform galaxy, Minna Jung, RWJF, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Johnson and Johnson, American health care,

SP0017 – World Crisis “e-Health” Vision

May 3, 2009

SP0017

Human Health Technologies

By Juan Chamero, from Caece University at Buenos Aires, Argentine, May 4th 2009

ehealth

Source: e-health UE Logo

 

Subject: Human Health Semantic Pills Series – e-Health, Virtual Worlds, Virtual Reality, Therapy Games, War Games, e-Training

 Info source 1: eHealth Initiative Lauds Inclusion of Health IT Provisions in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, from e-HealthInitiative.org.

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  FEBRUARY 17, 2009 The independent, non-profit, multi-stakeholder eHealth Initiative congratulates both Congress and President Obama on the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes an estimated net investment of $19 billion for health information technology (IT). This figure is comprised of $2 billion in immediate, discretionary funding for the Office of the National Coordinator, an estimated $29 billion to be paid out through Medicare and Medicaid incentives, and estimated off-setting savings of $12 billion

Info source 2: Video game therapy for mental health, from Nathan Wilkinson, Institute of Health and Social Policy, McGill University, Canada; Rebecca P. Ang, Division of Psychology School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, rpang@ntu.edu.sg; Dion H. Goh, Division of Information Studies, Wee Kim Kee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Future research into online video game therapy for mental health concerns might focus on two broad types of game: simple society games, which are accessible and enjoyable to players of all ages, and online worlds, which offer a unique opportunity for narrative content and immersive remote interaction with therapists and fellow patients. Both genres might be used for assessment and training purposes, and provide an unlimited platform for social interaction. The mental health community can benefit from more collaborative efforts between therapists and engineers, making such innovations a reality.”

 Info source 3: BBC News, Games therapy for burns victims,

 Playing on a Wii demands a user act out all the physical movements involved in sports such as tennis, golf and boxing. Specialists say using the Wii brings back flexibility to damaged areas and that most importantly – patients actually enjoy their treatment.

“When recovering from an operation, such as a skin graft, patients may need recover normal use of their hands and arms,” said Maureen Adams, head of therapy at Queen Victoria NHS Foundation Trust in East Grinstead.

“Using the Wii is a way of significantly improving movement, while not seeing the activity as therapy, which helps motivate them. Wii can also be done at home, so patients are able to continue their own personal therapies.”

  

Info source 4: Playing a video game? No, it’s health therapy, by By John Gaudiosi, from REUTERS

wii_fitness 

“RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters Life!) – Video games are known to improve hand-eye coordination but can they help someone quit smoking or lose weight?

Hot on the heels of Nintendo’s smash success, “Wii Fit,” game makers are introducing new titles with a healthy focus, such as French game publisher Ubisoft’s “Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking” that hits on Nintendo DS in November.

Over 10 million smokers worldwide have turned to Allen Carr’s Easyway books, clinics or DVD in order to stop smoking but now smokers wanting to quit can instead play 14 mini-games.

Info source 5: Iraq War Veterans Rehabilitation Therapy, from GamePolitics.com and Virtual Reality Training, from Encyclopedia.com.  

 

Comment: Of course we are to be open minded in order to procure for a better world. So each idea about our body-mind health and improving must be heard, seen and tested. I’m a Zen master and supposedly a body-mind expert trusting in our innate abilities to maintain healthy, long lasting and aware as much as possible in any circumstances. However I believe that is perfectly possible to tune our body with all forms of environment energies. Even in Zen we extensively use imagery to enhance our body mind power for example by tuning with nature: the breath of trees, the flow of rivers and creeks, the calm of lakes so it is perfectly possible to tune with imagery waves thru animated computing. For example in Zen we advise athletes to continue their High Intensity training when injured, “playing and making gym by imagery seen others doing it!.”

 

 

Info source 6: Does violence in video games contribute to real life violence?, by Melinda Clayton from Helium.com

 

YES: 47%, NO: 53%

It is then a controversial subject!.

 

 “As a psychotherapist, I have often had to explain my techniques to concerned foster parents. In our play therapy room we had toy guns, toy handcuffs, toy knives, and empty liquor bottles. The children with whom we worked had often been through horrendous abuse. They were drawn towards these items in an attempt to “explain” to me, through their play, what had happened to them and how they felt about it.

I had to explain to the concerned foster parents that children need to be able to work through their feelings and issues in a safe place. To responsibly allow them to do so would not create violence. The violence that came out in their play in the play therapy room was a direct result of the violence they had experienced at home, and allowing them to process it through play enabled them to move through it towards a healthy resolution.

Do violent video games create violence? No. But children who are drawn to these games may be crying out for help due to violence and trauma experienced in real life.”

 

 

Info source 7: Games is in a saddle point in between e-health AND e-learning: article I by Hartmut Gieselmann and and article II by Christian Swertz from Eludamos.org.

 

Hartmut Gieselmann wrote:

 

Whenever war and computer games are discussed in public, politicians and educators are mainly concerned about the gruesome brutality that domesticates violence into children’s heads. Killing small figures on the screen and fountains of red bloodpixels coming out of the victimized bits and bytes make them fear that teenagers will become more aggressive in real life. This discussion is one of the oldest when it comes to criticising new media. The same concerns were raised about Greek tragedy, Goethe’s Werther, television, comics, and Rap music. But when you take a closer look at war games, you will realize that the violent scenes that are shown there are not nearly as gruesome as in fictional games featuring monsters and vampires. The main reason behind this is that here violence will only be recognized as entertaining for the gamer (or any other audience in literature or film) when he (much more than 90 Percent of war gamers are male) can draw a strict line between the real world and the non real gaming world – otherwise he would be scared by what he sees and stop feeling comfortable.

 

Horror games as well as splatter movies are turning violence so much over the top that everybody realizes that what is shown on the screen cannot be real. War games on the other hand try to be as accurate as possible: They try to emulate real battles. Showing too much gruesome violence would distract the gamer and the game could no longer be recognized as an accurate simulation of real wars. By just pointing at the most violent games, critics overlook that war games have a much greater impact on gamers’ opinions and their world views because they do not show the actual violence. It is hidden behind complex simulations of real guns, tanks, jets, and squad tactics. This is why authorities are more concerned about a gangster game like Grand Theft Auto than a recruitment tool like America’s Army.

When you compare recent World War Shooters to the older Doom Game you will find several differences, despite they both are referred to as First Person Shooters. In Doom, the player fights on his own against masses of monsters. He has no buddies at his side that he has to take care of. He is a one man army. The Doom plot was often copied to real war scenarios. But this type of lonely hero is a discontinued soldier model. It was popular during the Reagan era when the Rambo-movies were shown at theatres. Rambo was the prototype of a dumb muscle machine that was trained by the military to kill everything that moves: Very effective for covered actions in the jungle of ‘Third World’ countries but not appropriate to represent the intelligent and well organized army of the 1990s.

President Clinton had a different military doctrine. He transformed the army (again) into a world police that should fight for freedom and justice all over the world. The army should no longer be thought of as a group of aggressive Rambos but as a high tech machinery that tries to prevent civil victims with their smart bombs. The soldier was no longer an animalistic macho but a cool thinking engineer who merely followed orders and functioned like a gearwheel in a clockwork. The former mentioned technical war simulations of the 1990s supported the new image of the army and were in sync with the Clinton doctrine.

George W. Bush changed that. After 9/11 he had to galvanize the US society with a common destiny. Osama Bin Laden played to his hands since Bush was able use the fear of terror to justify a higher military funding and the cut back of civil rights for his homeland security program. And here come the World War Two games that make the gamer believe that he can take part in an important battle that changes history. He also has a common destiny with his comrades. It is no longer the Rambo type of soldier that was promoted by games in the 1990s. It is the figure of the caring father who has to look after his company, his “brothers in arms”. To free the world of tyrants like Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden, you have to fight for America like your grandpa did in World War Two against Hitler. You have to fight, as if you would defend your own family. That is the new picture in the games that support the Bush doctrine.

Christian Swertz wrote:

And now there are digital games and learning, acting as serious games. Serious games promise freedom and force at once, don’t they? Sounds like a vintage contradiction in the first place, a pretty good dilemma, or maybe just mucking around with the player, since selling hard work as fun and having people pay for it must be the robber baron’s dream. And then it’s a trap you don’t want anybody to stumble in, unless we are witnessing a dialectical miracle – the final synthesis of force and freedom.

A little step back to look behind the scene might shed some light on the issue here. The idea of combining games and learning is not exactly new. In the 18. century games were applied for educational purposes by Basedow (Parmentier 2004). He was picking up earlier ideas like the negative education by Rousseau (1972). Looking behind this concept shows that learning objectives were not explicitly taught but expressed in the rules of the games. The objectives are learned in the game by discovering the rules – and rules of games are forces, particularly if the toy is a computer, since computers can’t negotiate rules. But the player still experiences the game as play and thus the freedom in the game, even if it is forced, by rules. So playing games in general, and serious games in particular, is a kind of a dialectical miracle. But that’s the miracle that accomplishes all learning: On the one hand, the learner is forced to learn something, and thus forced by that something. On the other hand, learners are free to understand what and however they want to. The learner is free to play within and with the force of teachers rules (Litt 1952).

Comment: We in the Western culture used to sum ourselves to extremes keeping as much as possible off “middle ways” where however wisdom used to transit. Virtual words, games, virtual games, virtual reality, virtual body mind fitting are extreme options to enjoy, being healthier, and to be wiser as well almost without “effort”, privately and secure. On the other hand we have the “hard way” alleging that health, wisdom, and virtues are only obtained with sacrifice.      

Categories: people, health, people health, games, health – e-health,  education – e-learning, e-learning

Tags: e-health, virtual words, games, gaming, health Initiative, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Medicaid incentives, Medicare incentives, video game therapy, mental health, Nathan Wilkinson, Rebecca P. Ang, Dion H. Goh, Nanyang Technological University, society games, online worlds, games therapy, burns victims, John Gaudiosi, Reuters, hand-eye coordination, Nintendo, wii fit, ubisoft, Allen Carr’s, stop smoking, Iraq war veterans, rehabilitation therapies, virtual reality training, encyclopedia.com, body mind therapies, zen fitting, zen imagery, zen meditation, video games violence, Melinda Clayton, Helium.com, eludamos.org, war games, male gamers, Hartmut Gieselmann, soldier image, doom game, Rambo aggressiveness, military doctrine, Bill Clinton, civil victims, rambo movies, Clinton doctrine, George W Bush doctrine, 9/11, Osama bin Laden, Rambo type, whealti, world war two, military computer games, animalistic macho, cool thinking engineer, Bush doctrine, military propaganda, Call of Duty 2, Xbox 360,