Video of MIT Talk about our Ceaseless Society

Are we living in a Ceaseless Society? This is the term that used in the title of this 2006 talk at MIT titled “The Ceaseless Society: What Happens to Our Mind, Body, and Spirit When we Just Never Stop?”

Does it seem like we are always trying to get somewhere or accomplish something? If we are not doing “this”, then we are doing “that”. It seems like we are always “doing” and not just “being”. Sometimes it is just good to not be doing anything and just “being”. We are after all called “human beings”.

WATCH VIDEO of the talk »

There are a few preliminary before Jon actually goes on stage to talk. If you want to jump directly to Jon’s talk, skip to 18 minutes into the video.

One of the speaker is Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn who had received a Ph.D. in molecular biology from MIT in 1971. Kabat-Zinn specializes in mind-body medicine and mindfulness living.

Kabat Zinn is Founding Director of Stress Reduction Clinic at University of Massachusetts Medical Center and wrote many books, two of which are Full Catastrophe Living and Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.

Kabat-Zinn talks about how due to our business of our lives we sometimes lose sight of the present. We are so constantly striving to get “someplace” we forget where we are. He also discusses how mindfullness mediation and being in the moment can help us.

To boil it down, Kabat-Zinn says mindfulness meditation is basically… “Paying attention, on-purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally”.

Near the end of his talk, he recommended two reading material:

(1) Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

(2) Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

Watch Video of Exciting Race of Autonomous Vehicles

There is an hour long Nova documentary program called “The Great Robot Race”. It is divided in seven chapters which are completed online for your free viewing at


Teams modified vehicles with hardware sensors and software code so that the vehicles can navigate an 132 miles course in the Mohave desert without any driver or remote control. And the course must be completed within 10 hours. This race is known as the Grand Challenge with a 2 million dollar prize to the winner. This may sound easy, but it is a tough problem that takes a large amount of work and effort by many people to solve.

MIT Physics Lectures by Walter Lewin – videos available online

Walter Lewin is an entertaining physics lecturer at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) that makes learning fun.

Here are some of his notable lectures…
How to Make Teaching Come Alive
Polarization: Light Waves, Rainbows, and Cheap Sunglasses
The Birth and Death of Stars
The Sounds of Music
The Mystery of Light

Here are his regular curriculum physics courses.
Physics I Course
Physics II Course — Electricity and Magnetism
Physics III Course — Vibration and Waves

How Our Monetary System Really Works

Most people have the traditional view that people deposit money into banks and then bank lend those money out to other people. Banks make money because it charges higher interest on lending money out than it gives back in depositor’s interest.  This is true to a certain extent.  But it is not a complete big picture of how the monetary system works in modern times (such as in the United States).

Think about all the big mortgages and large car loans that many people have taken out currently.  The banks have lend them all these money.  Do you think depositors have deposited that same amount of money into the banks?  Considering that the savings rate is around 1% and 2% in the United States around the years 2006, it doesn’t seem likely.

Perhaps the banks have all this money to lend out because the wealthy has deposited a lot of money into banks.  With saving interests rates often below inflation rate, do you think the wealthy really save all their money in a bank savings account?   More likely, their money is in investments such as stocks, bonds, and assets.

So where do banks get all this money to lend out to people?

The truth is that banks are lending out money that they don’t have.  They are lending out more money than what people are depositing into the banks.  If banks are lending out more money than deposits are putting in, where is that money coming from?   Banks are creating money. Money just appears whenever someone sign their signature for a loan.  In essence, money is debt.

You can learn more in the 2006 video “Money As Debt” by Paul Grignon

WATCH VIDEO on Google Video »

And this is legal?

Yes, in the United States it is legal.  It is known as the partial reserve system.

In 2009, Paul Grignon created its sequel “Money As Debt II”.  The movie is appear to be in part a response to the economic financial crisis that the United States is in at the time.


You can learn more on their website at which have a references to quotations and transcripts.

Economist and Physics


Economist Andrew Lo speaks at MIT about economics and physics.  He talked about ideas that he and physicist Mark T. Mueller came up with as to why financial crisis happens.

It is a timely talk presented in June 2010 after the 2007 to 2009 recession.

He explains the Ellsberg Paradox by introducing to the audience a hypothetical game.

One of the main points of the talk is that financial crisis happens when tools developed are not appropriate for the level of uncertainty and risk involved.

More People on Facebook than in United States

Facebook itself says it has “More than 500 million active users” on their Press Room page.

According to the United States Census data of 2010, there are 309 million people in the United States.

That means there are more people on Facebook than in the United States.

Although a surprising fact, it is not inconceivable, since 70% of Facebook’s users are outside of the United States.

Fact Check:

To corroborate those numbers, lets check some other sources…

According to stat found on, there are 500,000,000 active Facebook users as of 2011.

U.S. World Population Clocks says population of United States is 310,920,549.  And population of the world is 6,903,350,805 (as of 5:37 UTC March 03, 2011).

Doing some math, it means about 7% of the world population is an active user of Facebook.


Hence, it is fairly certain that Facebook has more active users than the number of people in the United States.