James McGuiness

Virginia Beach, VA, United States

About James

Bio

Native of NYC living in Virginia Beach VA currently. Active in UN and NGO community as journalist and pioneer of innovations in journalism. Schooled at NY's School of Visual Arts and Pace University. I am seeking synergy with collaborators who will want to drive education reform with entrepreneurial invention rather than with theory negotiated though established channels. I have spent many years finding out that education reform will not happen no matter how strong the theory is. It must be driven from the outside by something which racially departs and delivers extraordinary value everyone will choose over the existing models. I have invented informatics upon which to base a new kind of communication and study and need help putting it into action in a place where it can't be ignored.

Areas of Expertise

Sustainable Development, Education Reform, Innovation in Journalism, Microfinace, Motivation and Inspiration, Informatics, Political Analysis, Media (social media, digital media)

An idea worth spreading

One idea is that knowledge of the intellectual growth dynamic known as "neuroplasticity" means that education as we know it is actually dysfunctional in significant regards and therefore education reform should cease arguing that a new model is merely "better" or "more effective". Indeed the old model is institutionalized dysfunction and no one will choose dysfunction when a new model corrects that dysfunction. The model I am pioneering under the banner of UNDERSTANDING Inc. does this and much more.

I'm passionate about

Social development, synergy, motivation, facilitation, sustainable social progress

Talk to me about

Anything you feel could bring about a synergy where we bring the future forward to the present.

People don't know I'm good at

Public speaking and writing.

My TED story

To be added later.

Comments & conversations

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James McGuiness
Posted over 1 year ago
How can we as citizens be empowered to reduce traffic and pollution in our densest cities? What’s one thing you would do to create change?
Making things simple is surely helpful. But it does not ensure and kind of unified model changes in the way individuals or organizations think and behave. This is what I have applied myself to since before the Internet "browser" caused a stampede of "rabbits" to over0run the Internet (if you will indulge me and liken the march of humanity toward the achievement of ideals to the fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare"). Even now, some 19 years since the browser began to make the net an "every-person" phenomenon, there is not much in the way of reform where it matters to show for all this. It could even be argued that we're worse off because the commercial and data-mining business models have created the illusion that everything beyond the cost of your computer and ISP fees should be "free"--which has eroded all manner of micro and some macro economic opportunities that used to better serve the middle class.. The culprits are the government and education--the two spheres which can most effect a shift in direction on a paradigm level have absolutely no self-reform mechanism, and there are interests within with great stakes at keeping change happening at minor incremental pace. It would be no one's power even to approve a model reform from theory. That's why change will come as it did when the automobile had to exist and people could see that they HAD to surrender to a new inevitability which impacted their personal economy and social mobility. People today make such decisions piecemeal. But the two monoliths holding society back have to be pushed by a phenomenon whose message and direction are inescapably profound. One way is to reduce everything to a new ethic and ideal that is achievable no matter how radical it may sound, and put that into motion in a product which no one can afford NOT TO HAVE. And to me that is trading in all the modalities in which we accept "hit or miss" where we tolerate a higher number of misses than hits, with "no miss" modalities.
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James McGuiness
Posted over 1 year ago
Will science ever tell us everything there is to know?
It doesn't work like that. All individual human beings are unique, born at different times, have ranges of differences in brain chemistry that shape emotions, and so forth. Even if every thing we think we could catalog in one computer were done so, there are limits to language and interpretation. How many peple do you think could converta ll that to exact working knowledge? On another front there are things we can't answer because of scale. What if there were an element so heavy that it creates a planet of sun around it. Can we rip open a planet and bring some back to a lab on Earth? No, it would be so powerful on the Earth that it could upset the planet we live on. Much of what is "known" of the universe is mathematical relationships which imply realities we assume to be realities even though we can't possibly study the real thing. We should continue to try but never assume like the 1899 US Patent Commissioner that everything than can be invented officially has been. There is always more. And we are not static ourselves. There are things unknown about ourselves that are still as vast and mysterious as far-flung cosmic phenomena.
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James McGuiness
Posted over 1 year ago
Do you think you have done something in your life to improve this world? If so. Could you explain?
The only question I can glean from your post is what am I doing now to make improvements happen throughout the world? I am but one person. And I come from a disadvantaged background. I burned through the money I got as a package to leave my job trying to fulfill the vision I spoke of.Accepting relegation to just paying bills when I know where there are trillions of dollars to be effected by the ideas I would put into motion--some which would profit me personally and allow me to take better care of myself is a depressing state of reality. All I can afford to do is vigilantly write on this primitive Internet and hope for serendipity before age claims me.But I have been in places at times to be able to engineer "convergence" media applications and the details can't fit into a little box here on TED. I don't mind dialoging on them and you can send me a message if you'd want to do that.
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James McGuiness
Posted over 1 year ago
Do you think you have done something in your life to improve this world? If so. Could you explain?
Oh yes. I have tried very hard. And serendipity was both kind and cruel to me. I'm 58 now. But at 35 I was given a generous severance package from a Wall Street bank after working there for 17 years. I had advanced knowledge of all technological trends and it was my job to report on movements in technology to the CTO. This was 1990. I wound up being swept by activism and vision into the UN/NGO community in NY where I was entrusted to be a UN representative for a leading NGO concerned with technology and communications. I got to be part of committees looking to reform the UN and create some kind of greater out-reach. At the time, my country was busy fouling up Iraq for the first time. It dawned on me that everyone was twice my age and had very little knowledge of the technology that was about to break. It began to dawn on me that I could be the one to make a major difference in facilitating the UN's mission and my mind began inventing solutions that created a way to bring secondary education into contemporary participation with the proactive and preventive outreach arms of the science divisions of the UN. I still sit on this knowledge--with patentable inventions which have to do with informatics and getting rid of generation loss which makes information still dynamic and useful instead of scattered, old and academic. But I was completely unaware that my country, the US, had a long right wing history of wanting no part of the UN and wanting to see it fail. I had not learned all the things I know today about the permanent war economy and the reasons they wanted to paint Agenda 21 as a nefarious "one world order" take-over. It is not only benign but a potential boon to global progress. And had I been able to secure funding I would have created this "node system" as a franchise for every university, high school and private business interested in micro-finance and development. It sickens me that I'll die with this knowledge and vision unfulfilled..
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James McGuiness
Posted over 1 year ago
How can we as citizens be empowered to reduce traffic and pollution in our densest cities? What’s one thing you would do to create change?
Energy policy and information policy must become almost equivocal. I have worked business and trades--especially in the American northeast where they don't have information coming from the time zones of the Atlantic Ocean so they tend to think they know everything and are very dismissive compared to other regions which see waste and error. It is alarming to me that so many businesses--especially in the building trades where different companies work from the same source document--that so many contributors have no standards and so many develop their own bad habits that meetings on job sites my be five or more times what they have to be because of variations and errors in documentation which could and should be addressed with state of the art information and/or knowledge management policy. I can only imagine how many times this goes on in the world in many kinds of industry where fat is built into the budget for lax attitudes about documentation and understanding of it. This is my specialty as a consultant. And if industrialized societies were to adopt "no miss" policies of treating information, standards and knowledge issues proactively, energy worth trillions could be saved over the decades. There is even climate change issues to be considered. The digital revolution means brining everything from school, to government, to employment to you rather than you going to it. This is the next frontier of energy exploration--it starts with our own perceptions and just a few intelligent policies and thinking changes to make a massive difference in this regard.
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James McGuiness
Posted over 1 year ago
What is art? And why should we care what it is?
Addendum, Lots of people thing Michaelagelo's Sistene Chapel is art. It's craftsmanship. But what was art was the taking of liberty to make the hand of god and Adam rather homo-erotic right above the noses of the Catholic hierarchy. Personally I missed that detail until someone made it an avatar, then I had a belly laugh. That's art. He gave them what they wanted which was a tremendous lot of religious propaganda done in exquisite craftsmanship. But he sneaked that bit of his own sexuality right in the middle to give them a bit of the old finger.
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James McGuiness
Posted over 1 year ago
What is art? And why should we care what it is?
Not only to we live in a society that has demonized socialism to the extent of cashing in our Buck Rogers future for the price of WMD enough to kill us all a million times over, It is not unfair to ask if the continued social development neglect in education even more than 20 years after the end of foreign collectivism being a threat is archetypal that we are not just anti-socialism but just plain anti-social. How this relates to your question is typified in the incredible sophistication in music technology while at the same time music has lost the heart, soul and character that made it a global renaissance phenomenon half a century ago. Is it just coincidence? Or is it emblematic? I see it as emblematic? There are no authentic pop ditties that communicate simple emotions that we could share and more. There is a lot of over-produced self-pity-ditties made made guys with 5 days beard growth, arms full of tatts all trying to recreate the gravel of Curt Cobain. Or there is manufactured girly music for the archetypically misunderstood bi-sexual. But the renaissance that was the art of music is long over because of social defaults to simply become alternative just to be alternative. That reflects a lack of empathy, unwillingness to open one's heart, snobbishness and social neglect. All the intelligence is still there--its in the technology. But lost is what to do with it--which was a product of times when a person built their own guitar out of scraps and used it to bring happiness to themselves and their peers. As impressive as technology is, it says nothing by itself and people are so socially screwed up they can't even look at each other. Every video is shot in tiny pieces of perfection that adds up to self-indugent twaddle to fake out people who don't know any better. I believe is social development as a societal commitment and returning to facing feelings of primitive but sincere character in song.
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James McGuiness
Posted over 1 year ago
Are the ethics of healthcare compatable with the ethics of business?
Yes. We must stop thinking in one totality versus another. There will be doctors who will limit their practice to friends and families of the wealthy and reap all the benefits--assuming they maintain the heights of professionalism. And there will be doctors who don't come from that kind of wealth who will still make more than satisfactory livings treating people in clinics. Once someone tries to turn it into one totality, the backlash will start and I guaranty it will result in more people "getting while the getting is good". The right has been scaring America with talk of socialized medicine for ages, and each time, that's what happens--money grabs that push up the prices for healthcare and medicine. I for on wish the Democrats would see the wisdom of formalizing commitment, law and language to keep this fear-mongering at bay by ensuring that we won't ever be a socialist totality but it is in our best interest to acknowledge and echo that a hybrid system will be our constant.
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James McGuiness
Posted almost 2 years ago
What do you think of a world without patents?
No we don't owe it to the world to share our ideas freely. The world is pretty damn cruel. No one gives you the time of day unless you are born into it. If you're from the wrong side of the tracks, you're screwed unless you work very hard and keep trying to break through to acceptance in circles that can empower you. If we were a different society--one with an educational model that treated "social development" as an imperative as critical as knowledge development where "cooperation" skills were as important as competition skills then I'd say society were likely to be way more "facilitating" and accommodating of individual insight. But as it is, people more often feel threatened and behave territorially than take risks on a wild card. It's crueler yet to just fleece someone who has paid their dues to bring an original idea to product.