Human Brain Project


Meet the billion euro projects: Human Brain and Graphene

By  | January 24, 2013, 11:14 PM PST

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Meet the billion euro projects: Human Brain and Graphene

By  | January 24, 2013, 11:14 PM PST

After a two-year, high-profile contest, the European Commission has selected two research proposals to fund: one will model the whole brain using a supercomputer and the other will push graphene into the marketplace.

They’ll receive half a billion euros each. Nature News reports.

Launched in 2009, the Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship competition was a challenge to apply information and communication technologies to social problems.

The Human Brain Project plans to simulate everything known about the human brain — its cells, chemistry, and connectivity — in a supercomputer. The project, led by Henry Markram at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, claims it will aid medical advancement in brain disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Graphene project will develop graphene — an ultrathin, flexible form of carbon that can conduct light and electricity — for applications in computing, batteries, and sensors.

“We would start with applications in communication technology, like a fancy radio that operates at frequencies that cannot be used today,” project leader Jari Kinaret at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden told ScienceInsider. Other goals, such as artificial retinas and other bio-implants would be pursued at a later time.

The projects will now enter the ‘ramp-up’ phase, receiving €54 million each for the first 2.5 years. They expect to receive €1 billion over a decade.

This is the biggest funding contest the European Commission has ever hosted. The commission will make a formal announcement in Brussels on Monday.

[Via Nature NewsScienceInsider]

Image: Henry Markram / Human Brain Project

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Bob, Bill and the global village

In case you missed it:

Evening Standard 27 June 2012.

“We are living in the most interdependent time in history. The evidence is all around us. Wealth and talent now cross borders that are more like nets than walls but so do less positive forces. The financial crisis that started in the United States and swept the globe proved just how deeply our social and economic fates are intertwined – we can’t escape each other any more.
The good news is that we have more power than ever to build a world of shared values and shared opportunities- and nowhere is this clearer than in Africa.” President Bill Clinton (the one that cleared the deficit!)

“Of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world, most are African. The IMF predicts the continent’s economy will expand by more than five percent this year……That’s just the start. Africa is young-half the population is under 16. Within a few years, it will have the worlds youngest, most energetic workforce. And they will be living increasingly in Africa’s great cities. It already has more cities of more than one million than China and India.”
Don’t they know it’s Christmas? Thanks, Sir Bob – it looks like it’s coming!

For God , Queen, and Country!

Porlock welcomed the Olympic Flame this week, and Vera, in her 100th year, was there, an Olympian.

Today we bury Margaret, another Olympian. Then we will celebrate the Jubilee of the Greatest Living British Olympian, Her Majesty the Queen. Each excelled, the world notices them by their deeds and each of these ladies was, and are, quietly, but powerfully, selfless. They each get ‘First’ for being ‘Last’ – the ultimate accolade. A lifetime of persistence and determination. Nothing glamourous,but, each story is enormously deep and touches the very core of our human psyche, the sort that sends tingles up your spine.

The Olympic Torch procession through the country is just a dress rehearsal for Her Majesty’s Jubilee. It has been a strangely emotional week; a change from the rush and self obsessed life portrayed by the media. It is as if the real story took over from the copywriters and camera lens, it showed us another world.

More people than expected, turned out. Often heard was “it made me quite emotional,I never thought it would be anything like this”.

Someone discussed the Queen’s tireless schedule; ”do you think she ever wakes up and says ‘oh, another hospital, school,……” Absolutely not, her sense of duty is as instinctive as breathing, always with a smile and good humour. Her Majesty meets the Veras and Margarets every day – they look each other in the eye, and they know: they know that which never needs to be spoken. They know the depth of total love for others, the unrelenting desire to help others, to listen, to sympathise, to give us poor ‘only humans’ the priceless gift – ‘someone cares, someone loves me, someone understands me. I am alone no more. I am at peace’.

It is often said of the Queen, by those that have met her, ‘she was so normal’. What a compliment. But what does it take to be normal? Thats the Olympic Gold in all of these ladies. To strive to win, but not for me; for my country, for my family, for my world. Beware, oh, ye doom merchants, for inspired by such as these, we are on our way to new Olympian heights! Perhaps more items of good news from the media might be in order?

There was another moment this week where a softly spoken, thoughtful, Brit got his Gold, from Her daughter: “Arise Sir Jonathan Ive – still British to the Core”. “The honour is incredibly humbling” – Well, thanks Jonathan, for iPods, iPhones, iPads! We always knew they couldn’t do it without an Englishman!

Inspired by such as these we can do anything – thank God for all the Elizabeths, Margarets, Veras and Jonathans, by their example, we can be sure we are living with the great Elizabethans. Last word from Sir Jonathan : ‘All I’ve ever wanted to do is design and make: it’ s what I love doing. Its great if you can find what you love to do. Finding it is one thing but to be able to practice and be preoccupied with that is another’ And so say all of us!

Thank God for them all!!! But don’t show them this because, you know what they would say……

Taxi! Are you RELEVANT?

If you are walking down the street and you need a Taxi your senses are finely tuned to spot that little light in the midst of all the traffic, noise and other people. It’s a bit like trying to attract attention on the Internet. Understanding what the brain is doing in this situation gives us clear guidance as to the answer. The brain is receiving masses of signals up your spinal column all the time – try stroking the hairs on your arm. See! You feel them immediately….but, why haven’t you been feeling them since you woke up this morning? The answer is in your ‘Headware’ . Your brain filters out ALL that is not RELEVANT. Years of evolution have fine tuned us to spot danger and opportunity to survive. It’s a very strong effective  ‘headware package’ that’s running  –  it’s very effective at getting your taxi – but it excludes everything else!

So, before you post your message you must know what’s relevant in any given set of circumstances. All sites, Google, wordpress, are looking automatically, like you for KEY WORDS. Look to your right…. The system has picked out key words that it thinks are RELEVANT.

Let’s look at Your Company and see what’s relevant to you and your customers.

How relevant is the finance function of the business to your job? How relevant is their knowledge about the importance of the efficient monitoring and recording of all financial aspect to your job Is  it as RELEVANT to each of the people you are responsible for as you?

How relevant is your effectiveness to your business plan and your financial health? Ask yourself the questions. Is what you are doing, and see as relevant, as relevant to the people you are employing?

Start noting key words not sentences.

How relevant is everything you do to your clients? If they were to be asked the same question, would the answers match? Look at what you present to the world, whether it is written, an email, or on your website. Is it RELEVANT Are you relevant or are you irrelevant? When you and your actions become relevant to your client they will ask you to provide goods and services. It is relevant to them…..what is irrelevant to them?

Ask yourself the question: how relevant is what you are currently offering to all of your clients? How relevant is what you think (as the manager) you are offering to your clients, to each of the people you employ? Is it ‘just making the grade’ or is it the most relevant thing they have during their working time?

How relevant is the administration of your business to the overall effectiveness of your team plan? Where does it become irrelevant? What are the consequences of it being irrelevant? How relevant are the goals of your team to the goals of the administration team? Are you just the ‘ bloody nuisance down the corridor’ or do they see it as a most important part of their job to keep you being as effective as possible? How relevant are all the people who interact with you and your department to them and their department?

Note the key words

The Management function

Whether it’s a board of directors, or the managers the shareholders expect them to produce the best. The level of performance poses a question -what level of performance is relevant? – you know perfectly well what happens if it becomes irrelevant because – You are not fulfilling your targets, you are not up to the grade. Then it becomes very relevant to you personally. It used to be ‘ if at first you don’t succeed try, try, again……’- It isn’t in today’s world, it’s ‘if at first you don’t succeed – fix the blame fast! Well, ‘fixing the blame fast’ is one way of doing things but it does tend to focus the minds of the people on the relevance of ‘how to avoid a crisis” as opposed to anticipating events before they become a crisis.

So, in conclusion, look at your work, look at your family, look at yourself – you know who all the relevant people in your tribe Work out your RELEVANT key words.

What’s is their relevance? If you are not getting 100% relevance in all the areas that count, with all the people that count, then you will become an outcast in the ‘village’. You won’t see it to begin with, but people just stop asking you around, they stop asking your opinion, they don’t return calls or emails, and that fantastic brain of theirs starts to use ‘creative avoidance’ in order to minimise your irrelevance.

Now TAXI! -Or call us…

The Nelson Touch

“Traditionally a sea battle would be fought with the two opposing fleets drawing themselves up to form two lines of battle. This tactic did not favour what was perceived to be the faster, more accurate gunnery of the Royal Navy and would often bring about indecisive results, usually with the enemy escaping. Nelson’s idea was to quickly bring about a melee in which, due to superior gunnery, the British would have a distinct advantage.”

” Creating trust amongst his officers was crucial to Nelson. It allowed him to rely on simple strategies rather than complicated battle plans, certain in the knowledge that his subordinates would support one another in achieving the overall objective and be confident enough to use their own initiative when required.”

‘Do you remember that in classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, “How well he spoke” but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, they said, “Let us march.”?’
Adlai Stevenson and The World: The Life of Adlai E. Stevenson (1977) by John Bartlow Martin, p. 549:

“Bloodless bean-counters rule over us – Where are the leaders?” Charles Moore The Daily Telegraph 12/5/12.

‘Managerialists..are a group who consider themselves separate from the organisations they join’.They are not interested in the content of the work their organisation performs. They are a caste of people who think they know how to manage. They have studied the “24 hour MBA”. There is a clear benefit from their management, for them: they arrange their own very high salaries and bonuses. Then they can leave quickly with something that looks good on the CV. The benefit to the company is less clear’

‘But it struck me that the qualities of a tribal chief are now shockingly rare in big modern organisations. The point about a tribe is that it unites its members by ties that are very hard to break. Tribalism, for sure, can be a bad thing, but a tribe understands matters of life and death ….the chief of the tribe is not a manager: he is a leader’

Understanding the above combines ancient beliefs tried and tested but adding up to date ‘headware updates’ equips you for leadership in the Internet age – the Knowledge Revolution.

Shareholders are Revolting! The worms that turned…….

The recent rash of shareholder revolts in companies such as Barclays, easyJet, Trinity Mirror, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup is just the start, ‘but more looks like the start of a trend’.

‘So while the bosses made millions, the people they are supposedly working for made nothing’
”Eventually shareholders are going to become fed up with a stock market that rewards the people who manage companies but not the people who own them.’
Matthew Lynn 4th May 2012.

Oh, the revolution again….Pensioners who have saved all their lives are seeing minimal returns, when they expected comfortable twilight years. Then they discover what charges were taken from their returns. Governments seeking to clear their deficits by allowing inflation rates of 3%+ while deposit holders receive a pitiful 1% are seeing anger and frustration in recent polls. As for Greek, Spanish and other European countries – well, they are revolting. The US elections will be upon us soon, and the tax hikes will become Obama’s nightmare.

The talk around the board table will be all about ‘doing something’. The rise of the revolt led by Internet ‘noise’, will see a growing number of corporate charm offensives using a means new and unknown to many – the Internet. They dip their toe into ‘web water’ with misgivings at best and a naive innocence at worst that spells danger. If you, as a director, can put your hand on your heart and say, we know where we are, why we are doing it, where we are going to, and – most important, – that all of us are committed together to our shareholders (and our staff who are also in many case shareholders) then a properly portrayed web presence and message can be vital, virile and effective. If there is the slightest doubt or lack of integrity, you will not just be found wanting, but double the risk of being found out with consequences posted for all to see. Who’s for the ‘muppet award’?

Frightening, but full of potential to get it right. If you know how, great, – you will be a world leader, if not its risky. Talk to the experts – talk to us!

Why Boris won?

First I should admit bias, the Johnson’s are also an Exmoor family. As I write, about  Savannah man to Zettabyte man, I elude to ancient British sites on Exmoor, as opposed to the hi- tech Knowledge Revolutionaries in the Capital.

There’s an echo of ‘the rumble in the jungle’ about Boris. The Knowledge Cloud is focussed on constantly asking ‘what is RELEVANT – to you, your job and your family and vice versa; why? Because to the rest of the world it is irrelevant, ‘Twas ever thus, from Exmoor to City Hall. Voters vote at polling stations today,they gave up the bludgeons of their forebears long ago (no lifts in those days!), to settle their differences!

Our long developed instincts do shed a view on the contest. In a tribe, we all circle around the potential leaders. Ken is associated with his newts – perhaps newts if they talked, would sound like him. He’s keen on protecting his bit of the river bank and his supply of worms, he’s quite happy to share your worms, but not his own! Whereas, Boris could only be a ‘big beast’! Do we instinctively like the leonine mane, the roars, the disdain for the others in the jungle – with a kind heart not unlike the lion in The Wizard of Oz?

London is the pre-eminent financial centre of the world and produces £1 in every £5 of UK tax revenue. The big beasts meet around the City watering hole. Alpha males and predatory instincts abound.

The other ‘Big Beasts’ instinctively ‘felt he understood the drivers of commerce and the need for wealth creation …  others for more prosaic reasons…changing mayors would be unsettling’. James Ashton, City Editor, Evening Standard. Timeless judgements, but with no disrespect to the other candidates, the others were like hyenas at the heels of the Lion and the Newt.

Boris also exhibits other ‘real’ or ‘perceived’ characteristics:  most people would find it hard to be the character he is – Boris doesn’t know he is…’s instinctive! In the genes, sorry, Stanley! He appears somewhat bemused by the observations of the media jackals. However, since none of us can tell our Peloponnesos from our Peloponnesus, he does not feel the need to explain!

Just ‘keep on runnin’ Boris! Let’s ensure London is the finest city in the world – and learn to be proud of it, even if you come from Exmoor!

A Tale of Two Screams

the scream by edvard munch Pictures, Images and Photos

The iconic picture of the Scream by Edvard Munch was sold for a record £73m yesterday. Most of us would never envisage paying that amount of money for a picture. Why is this relevant? It probably isn’t – so we’ll put it in the ‘interesting’ box.
The second scream is that of parents who are watching their child’s life ebb away for lack of a suitable organ doner.
Mark Zuckerbergs enlightened addition to Facebook yesterday is a remarkable illustration of the Knowledge Revolution in action. By clicking on your account you can elect to donate your organs if you should die – have you done it yet? It is not the concept that is so remarkable –  it is the consequence……US donors rose a staggering 700-% in a matter of hours and we will see what happens in the UK.
Bill Gates has philanthropically won Gold medals for his various health campaigns in Africa. Mark may achieve the same result in days in north America and Europe by the click of a button.
In the UK we have had campaigns to carry donor cards costing millions. Where’s yours? In the bottom of your handbag or briefcase? Or has it ‘got lost’ ? It’s difficult to say to the doctors that you had one somewhere when you are unconscious. Your family would be placed in a horrific situation whilst unbeknown to you the parents of that child are down the corridor in a similar state.
What a scream!   Make it a scream for joy and remember this every time you see ‘the Scream’.

A Facebook miracle

The following article was published today in The Drum ( – it just shows the power of Social Media.

2 May 2012 – 12:04am Updated | by Noel Young | 0 comments

Facebook miracle! Organ transplant donors up 700% in a few hours

Zuckerberg: inspired by Steve Jobs
Zuckerberg: inspired by Steve Jobs

Facebook demonstrated the immense power of its marketing muscle yesterday after boss Mark Zuckerberg announced on morning TV that the social network was allowing its 900 million users to begin registering online as organ donors.

Within hours , an organisation in California reported a 700 per cent leap in people registering as donors. Facebook said last night that were “on track” to have 100,000 pople declare they were registered donors on Timeline as their profile page is now known.

The scheme , initially available in Britain and America, looks set to spark a huge jump in transplant donors , with the the ability to bring in young people a key element.

Zuckerberg said his friendship with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs , who got a liver transplant before he died last year, helped spur the idea. Mark had also talked talks with his,girlfriend medical student Priscilla Chan.

The organisation that reported a 700 per cent spike within hours of Zuckerberg’s announcement was Donate Life California, which is partnering with Facebook. By 5pm the figure was up to 1400%.

CEO Charlene Zitte said that the group got about 75 online sign-ups most days. By 11:20 a.m. yesterday , it had already received 416.

On “Good Morning America” Zuckerberg said they were allowing people to mark the date they became a registered donor on their Facebook Timeline in both America and Britain via links to official registries . The links should make it easier for people who want to donate their organs to sign up.

There was no word yet of sign-up totals in Britain and other parts of the US.

Charlene said,”We are seeing an immediate spike. It’s a great day. The reality is we’re saving lives today and I am so grateful to Mark Zuckerberg for his leadership, for being such a wonderful citizen.”

More than 112,000 Americans are waiting for organs and 18 people die every day .

Transplant surgeon Dr. Marc Melcher , of California”s Stanford Hospital said Facebook had brought “a bolt of hope… It was really amazing they took a big step like that,” , He changed his own Facebook profile to indicate he was a donor by 6:30 a.m. yesterday

Robert Redford’s son James , a liver transplant surrvivor, endured the wait for a matching donor. He said the Facebook initiative should make things easier. “It’s not saying you have to do it. I don’t believe you should ever say that. It’s allowing you to make a choice — if you want, you can.”

Facebook users who are already organ donors can add that information to their profile page, now known as their Timeline.

“We never could have anticipated that what started as a small network would evolve into such a powerful tool for communication and problem solving,” Zuckerberg and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a blog post.

“We hope to build tools that help people transform the way we all solve worldwide social problems.”

Facebook is preparing an initial public stock offering expected later this month that could value the the company’ at $100 billion.

The Knowledge Revolution

The French Revolution – Bastille Day July 14th 1749

How do you know that you are in a Revolution?
All around you,you can hear shouts, explosions, emotions are running high. Fear, confusion, anger, frustration has boiled over.
People are risking their lives.
How do you behave rationally?
How do you know which side you should be on?
Get it wrong and you might get hurt or die.
Get it right and you might be on the senate……and have your head chopped off six months later!

We are in the first stages of the Knowledge Revolution. For the first time in the history -48,000 years in the UK- of homo sapiens everyone has access to knowledge.

‘Knowledge ‘ = “ resources,treasure,means,wealth,power, substance and might”, OED

The wireless Internet world has reduced us to a global village. That cliché holds a hidden strength – your have thousands of years of hard-wired DNA based experience: fear, greed, fight, flight- that’s why we are here and Neanderthals aren’t. But sometimes we behave like them. Everyone is getting used to instant information. President Mubarak woke one morning to coffee served in his bedroom, yet days later he was in a prison cell.

In this year of the Olympics we see the highest degree of physical fitness. But, more than ever, coaches focus as much on the mental fitness of the athlete. It used to be enough to lecture on ‘grit and determination’ – it still is! But modern technology has also given us more knowledge of that most mysterious of organs – our brains. More importantly, the instructions we give our brains – see my review of Dr Steve Peters -the Chimp Paradox.  Peters coaches Sir Chris Hoy whose recent sprint from fourth to first was described as ‘miraculous’. Was it?

Following the success of the human genome project, scientists are now attempting to reproduce the ‘ I’m only human’ brain. The disturbing facts that are arising are both challenging and puzzling. The brain cell – a neuron- is ‘as powerful as your lap top’. Fine, but you and everyone you pay to run your business has 10 billion of them. Each would ‘cost £700,000 of electricity’ to run annually. What’s your real IT spend?

Twitter, Facebook, and websites are exploding at a rate that is ‘unreal’. The global village is communicating with itself just as a medieval or more ancient village did. But, by how much and what does it mean to you? Advertising spend on Google is now larger than on all traditional news in the US! Apple downloaded 24 billion apps to March 2012.

So what? A single YouTube clip of your company, your product can go viral and be seen by millions in a matter of hours. See examples on YouTube : ‘the cat and the printer’ has had 7.5m viewers to date!

So, know very clearly, where you are, where you are going and how each of your team can be a ‘Chris Hoy’ and make ‘miraculous’ an every day event – before some one else does. Life’s changing as you watch……Now where’s my Blackberry! Your fax machine and your……????…. sorry too busy! Too busy, we are all too busy, until we have a crisis. Back to the Bastille!

We don’t have to make this up, read, listen, – it’s all around you.

What’s being tweeted by the people in your business, and outside your business?

Careless talk costs lives. It can also save lives. This can damage your health and wealth or do the opposite. Can you take a chance?

The Knowledge Cloud is a focus for how to empower you and your team to keep ahead of the game! No time like the present….When shall we meet?