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Newsletter of Project Renaissance and Win Wenger November 2007
IN THIS ISSUE:
* Quote of the Month
* Announcements, News Items, Books
* Events, Workshops
* FEATURE ARTICLE:
by Win Wenger
* Comments, Feedback
Win Wenger on Mechanism Design Theory
Win Wenger on Google's $30 million Lunar X prize
Michelle James on Improv
Jonathan White on Image-Streaming in reverse
* Organizational Notes
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"Every choice before you represents the universe inviting you to
remember who you are and what you want."
- Contributed by Elan Sun Star
ANNOUNCEMENTS, NEWS, BOOKS
WELCOME to all new members who have joined us recently. We hope to hear
from you and to give you much food for thought. Back issues are available
upon request. Just add the month to the subject line:
Or see the online archives: http://www.winwenger.com/strmlist.htm
Project Renaissance is organizing a partners' bureau or real-time chat
resource online via Skype, msn or yahoo messenger for people looking
for partners with whom to do live Image-Streaming. If you're interested
in joining this resource, please send your contact information and
preferences, such as time of day, language, type of Image-Streaming,
and we will add you to a cross-reference index of partners to talk online.
Contact: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=PartnersOnline . If you
have already signed up, we will let you know as soon as the program goes
is interested in learning and practicing Image-Streaming, in Italian
or English. Please contact him if you are already knowledgeable in
this technique and in the
at mailto:email@example.com about starting a problem-solving
and idea-testing group in the
attending meetings of Project Renaissance members in the
would like to meet with other members of Project Renaissance in the
Dallas/Fort Worth area of
in attending meetings of Project Renaissance members in
interested in joining an Image-Streaming group in the
would like to practice Image-Streaming with a live listener in his area.
if there is anyone in the
PROJECT RENAISSANCE'S NEW COREBOOKS
A series of compact handbooks of Win Wenger's key techniques. The first
four volumes are now in print and easy to order from the publisher:
* SUPER SKILLS FOR STUDENTS by Isa McKechnie
* WIN WENGER'S IMAGE-STREAMING by Charles Roman
* END WRITER'S BLOCK FOREVER! by Mark Bossert, Win Wenger
* DYNAMIC TEACHING by Harman Benda and Win Wenger
Order from the CoreBook storefront: www.lulu.com/ProjRen - great gifts!
This study comes out of
researchers, noting that music therapy has already been shown to reduce
pain, improve sleep quality, and improve mood in cancer patients
undergoing therapy and multiple-sclerosis patients, wondered if music
might alleviate depression as well. It does. They took 56 depressed
subjects, had them listen to Beethoven's 3d and 5th piano sonatas for
15 minutes twice a week in a clean, otherwise quiet room -- and saw
their depression scores on the standard Beck Depression Scale go up
signficantly. No side effects! And music is cheap -- a lifetime of
Beethoven for the price of a couple of weeks of Prozac.
GENE EXPLAINS WHY BREAST-FEEDING MAKES KIDS SMARTER
Breast-fed children had a higher IQ by about 6 to 7 points, but only
if they had a variant that made the gene more efficiently process
fatty acids. Six points here is almost as much as the advantage kids
involved with music or art have over those not. To
Dirkson: a half dozen points here, a dozen there, and pretty soon
you're dealing with real IQ differences.
- Win Wenger
PUSH FOR INFANT ACADEMICS MAY BE A MISTAKE
Researchers from the National Institutes of Mental Health performed
periodic MRI brain scans on children and teens ranging in age from 5
to 19, tracking the relationship between the thickness of the brain's
outer mantle, or cortex, with the subject's IQ. They found that the
people whose IQ scores put them in the "superior intelligence" category
had cortexes that matured much later than those of average intelligence.
The cortexes of the smartest kids peaked at around age 11 or 12, whereas
the average kids' peaked by around age 8.
The idea is, patience pays off. "It's like the tortoise and the hare,"
says Jay Giedd, one of the lead researchers, a psychiatrist and brain-
imaging specialist. "I'm not suggesting that we tell people to celebrate
if their child is not reading at age 6. But for many people who didn't
read at age 2 - which is a ridiculous level - they may not only catch
up, but actually surpass those few kids that did." The point, he says,
is "that until the brain is at a certain level, a lot of that instruction
Win Wenger comments:
It is also a matter of the thickness of the cortex, the layer over the
white matter part of the brain. The thickness of the cortex layer
reportedly correlates closely with intelligence, and is usually quite
thick in highly gifted individuals. Part of this study - not clear how
much of it - reflects the propensity of some people's cortex to "finish
growing" sooner than does that of others, and larger cortices generally
take longer to finish. Indeed, the study may be showing us instead just
how much of the higher potential is wasted among our gifted people as
measured in that study. The failure to clarify that point makes me think
that this study may be yet another in a long line of attempts to "make
it all right to be slow" or worse, in the same sense that "it's all
right" for the
current generation of youth to handle math and science. That's OK,
nothing to be done about it, it's natural and may have a pleasant
outcome, just close your eyes and forget about it, don't try to do
anything about it. z-zzz-z
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON OPTIMISM
New research reveals the biological roots of positive thinking. How a
rosy outlook can affect your health.
We humans tend to be an optimistic bunch. In fact, it's long been
established by psychologists that most people are likely to be
irrationally positive. The optimism bias, as it's called, accounts
for the fact that we expect to live longer and be more successful
than the average and we tend to underestimate the likelihood of
getting a serious disease or a divorce. This tendency is adaptive;
many researchers have claimed that a positive outlook motivates us
to plan for our future and may even have an effect on our long-term
MELTING ARCTIC SEA ICE - ONE PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS:
Or locate it on this search results page:
Arctic sea ice floats on the surface and does not, directly, raise sea
levels. Its exposure of the dark waters underneath, however, means a
lot more sunlight getting absorbed in Arctic regions and the effect of
THAT on mountain glaciation such as that in
effect on sea levels - is one important question. That is part of the
Albedo Driver, pushing
whichever directions they are going until something flips them over.
Further comment: Historically,
green and agricultural: the Viking colony there thrived at first before
the Little Ice Age moved in.
Further further comment: Some scientific studies show ice deepening
in some interior regions of
are rapidly losing it. With science on both sides corrupted, it's a
challenge to make enough sense out of the uproar to project what is
- Win Wenger
This center uses The Better Baby book by Susan Wenger as its inspiration
and guide. The center cares for babies aged newborn to 24 months. "This
is the finest infant care center I've seen anywhere," observed Susan
Wenger after visiting Fireflies. And Win Wenger remarked, "This day care
system is a concrete result of some of our work, and a most excellent
outcome. All the babies there were remarkably bright-eyed and bushy-
tailed. Days-old infants were looking around their room clearly SEEing
things and responding to them." Have a look at their website,
AN INGENIOUS WAY TO TURN SALT WATER INTO FRESH WATER
The WaterconeR is a solar-powered water desalinator that takes salt
or brackish water and generates freshwater. It is simple to use,
lightweight and mobile. The technology is simple in design and
use and is described by simple pictograms. With max. 1.6 liters a
Day, the WaterconeR is an ideal device to cover a child's daily need
of freshwater. UNICEF: "every day 5000 children die as a result of
diarrhea caused by drinking unsafe water."
Win Wenger comments:
This is a superbly simple evaporation trap system, usable in just
about every setting. I hereby add this to the refrigerator-without-
electricity, and the mosquito netting pre-sprayed with repellent, as
examples of the kinds of invention I'd like to get created in an
invention-training workshop tailored specifically to developing-world
conditions. These can do a lot of people tremendous good.
EYE MOVEMENT CAN AFFECT PROBLEM-SOLVING
Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Date: September 27, 2007
A pair of Beckman Institute researchers at the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign has discovered that by directing the eye movements
of test subjects they were able to affect the participants' ability to
solve a problem, demonstrating that eye movement is not just a function
of cognition but can actually affect our cognitive processes.
Researchers found that by occasionally guiding the eye movements of
participants with a tracking task unrelated to the problem, they were
able to "substantially affect their chances of problem-solving success."
TRANSLATORS WANTED - in any language, to translate selected contents of
the Project Renaissance website, the new CoreBooks series, and certain
books by Win Wenger. Please contact Win at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
if you are able and interested in collaborating on these projects.
Sunday, December 2, 2007--Singing Yoga, in Maryland
with Kathy Carroll and Lynne Feingold
A joyful workshop as you learn to flow with sound and movement.
Monday, December 3, 2007--Free monthly meeting of The High Thinktank
of Capital Ideasmiths and Mensa's Creativity S.I.G. Open to the public.
Don't miss this last session of the year, in Washington, D.C.
THE FIREBIRD: Creativity, Danger and Transformation
An evening of Story and Song
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
7:00PM-? (however long you stay!)
Cleveland Park Club House
3433 33rd Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Seth Kahn, change leadership specialist and master storyteller
and Laura Baron, award-winning singer/songwriter
Join us for wine, food and fun...and bring your business cards!
$20 at the door - $15 with a dish to share
Please RSVP to Michelle James,
Capitol Creativity Network
February 1-3, 2008 - Invention-on-Demand Training Workshop
with Win Wenger and Chuck Roman, in Gaithersburg, MD.
May 23-29, 2008 - Annual Double Festival - Mark your calendar now!
16th Annual Conference on Creative Problem-Solving Methods
and Enhanced/Accelerated Learning Techniques
and Spring Workshops of Project Renaissance
QUICK SHORT-LIST OF HOLISTIC WAYS
TO IMPROVE YOUR INTELLIGENCE
by Win Wenger
To see quite a phenomenon on your own screen, go to Google search and
type in "Brain Plasticity." Then sample some of the thousands of
scientific studies that come onscreen for you, which examine one or
more aspects of the brain's tendency to change its structure, its shape,
its size and even its mass, to better handle the type and quantity of
information it has been handling over the previous year or so. Each of
the various hundreds of different "environmental factors" cited among
these studies can be regarded, in a sense, as a technique for increasing
However, some of those "techniques" are more effective and efficient in
improving intelligence than are others. And hundreds upon hundreds of
techniques and "techniques" may be somewhat less than practical for you.
So here, instead, is my "short list" of recommended ways you can use to
increase and improve your own intelligence, or that of other human
beings whom you care about. Here is that list:
* ImageStreaming, as per the curriculum on that topic which begins at
* Improving your wind - especially the 3-week marathon self-improvement
program via held-breath underwater swimming, as per
* Regular or frequent, light to moderate, physical exercise. The past
few years of research have been demonstrating that some of the by-
products of muscle use improve brain function.
* Good nutrition.
* De-congestant food and drink. Less congestion in and around the eyes
makes for better eye-movement responses in the brain's patterns for
seeking various kinds of information, so that the mind functions
* Breathing away day-to-day frustrations and irritants, not only big
issues, and pleasure-breathing generally - see
Winsights No. 28, www.winwenger.com/part28.htm
Winsights No. 29, www.winwenger.com/part29.htm
* Learn to, or improve your skills to, sight-read and play music, which
better integrates the brain (see www.winwenger.com/part73.htm).
* Improvisation and Improvitaping -
www.winwenger.com/archives/part13.htm for some of how,
www.winwenger.com/feed1.htm for some of why.
* Pursuit of art and the arts in their more subtle and elegant forms.
Responding in some specific or concrete way to your awarenesses,
reinforcing your ability to handle subtle matters.
* Get good at table tennis and at complex, fast-response computer games
requiring accuracy - see www.winwenger.com/part71.htm
* Most or all of the measures on our website, including Image-Streaming,
for engaging and communicating with your beyond-conscious. That means
all problem-solving techniques, all accelerated learning techniques,
all invention and innovation-finding techniques which are sitting
there awaiting your exploration and use.
* Get a few "wins" under your belt and build around them. Not only a
matter of self-image, but "flow." Get on a roll, stay on a roll, get
back on that roll as quickly as possible once you've fallen off it,
keep on as other things fall into and become part of that roll.
* Teach your best insights to a reasonably bright ten-year-old. This
is more than the problem-solving technique described in
www.winwenger.com/ideagen2.htm - a little of this action can go a
long way toward making everything clearer for you and easier to sort
* Portable Memory Bank or Flash-Catcher. Each time you let an idea or
a perception get away from you, you reinforce the idea that your own
ideas and perceptions aren't worth the bother. Each time you make
some specific response to them instead, such as recording them in a
pocket journal, you reinforce your own creativity and your own power
* Each time you catch yourself noticing something which others haven't,
and each time you come up with a good idea or observation, do
something specific to give yourself a good mental pat on the back -
as further good reinforcement for the associated behaviors and traits.
* Decide to notice more of what's going on in and around you, then make
practice of doing so.
There are also some more formalized training and self-training programs
emerging, two of which are based partly on the three-week brain-building
marathon suggested in my now out-of-print book on building intelligence.
One of these you can find through Yahoo at BrainMarathon@yahoogroups.com.
The other is a new program currently being built by a friend and we will
announce here when that becomes ready.
Reinforcing any or all of the above is the question of intention. What
will you do with that higher intelligence, once you have it? How will
you know when you have it, or how will you know if you are progressing
toward that goal? What (if anything) has been between you and that goal
besides need of more intelligence? What are other things you intend to
do or enjoy once you have higher intelligence? Clarifying and specifying
your intention(s) will make all the difference when it comes to that
extra effort that brings you the rest of the way toward success.
Lastly, I'd like you to at least entertain the thought possibility that
you are worth the effort. You are brighter than you think. You have seen
things which no one else has seen, thought thoughts which no one else
has thought, there are some things in your experience that you can feel
pretty good about. There is much you can yet do that can make a positive
difference. Improve your capabilities, and other good things will follow.
To send feedback privately to Win Wenger, email to:
To send your comments about this article to The Stream, write to:
COMMENTS and FEEDBACK
Win Wenger ( mailto:email@example.com ) writes:
"Mechanism Design Theory" awarded Nobel Prize
On Monday, October 15, 2007, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics to American economists Leonid
Hurwicz, Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson for laying the foundations of
an economic theory that determines when markets are working effectively.
The three established "mechanism design theory," which looks at how
well different institutions fare in allocating resources and whether
government intervention is needed.
The academy said mechanism design theory now plays a central role in
many areas of economics and parts of political science."Adam Smith's
classical metaphor of the invisible hand refers to how the market,
under ideal conditions, ensures an efficient allocation of scarce
resources," the academy said. "But in practice conditions are usually
not ideal," it added. "For example, competition is not completely free,
consumers are not perfectly informed and privately desirable production
and consumption may generate social costs and benefits."
For "social costs and benefits," read the "external economies and
diseconomies," or "externalities" and "indivisibilities," which have
featured in our discussions in Incentives As A Preferred Instrument of
Corporate and Public Policy ( www.winwenger.com/incentiv.htm ). It is
gratifying to see someone at last starting to address these crucial
- Win Wenger ( mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org )
Win Wenger ( mailto:email@example.com ) writes:
Google to Sponsor $30 Million Lunar X Prize
This is one more splendid reason to admire Google, best known for the
convenience of its search service which has made Googling to doing
research what Lectrolux once was to vacuums and Frigidaire once was to
refrigerators. - And also best known for its amazing goal of making all
human knowledge immediately available to every human being anywhere on
I'm thinking that this prize could be a wonderful occasion for someone
out there to create a foundation by subscription, to add substantially
to that $30 million prize and incentive, to be awarded automatically to
supplement whoever wins the Google prize. That could make a real
difference, since the cost of developing such a vehicle would be much
more than the $30 million, and firms might want to compete for more than
the prestige of winning and prospective contracts down the line. Plenty
of people would gladly contribute a hundred or so dollars to such a fund
in return for appropriate acknowledgment and association with such an
event and development. You saw the suggestion here first - pass it on
to where it seems appropriate.
- Win Wenger ( mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org )
Michelle James ( mailto:email@example.com ) writes:
I know some of you are thinking about bringing/already do bring improv
into your organization, your client's organizations or the government.
The following is an interview I did with WTOP radio about using improv
in the federal government. While this interview is short - about six
minutes - and was a bit rushed (I needed that time just to get warmed
up!), it's all part of the larger mission of "mainstreaming" creativity
and improv principles and practices for positive change in community
and organizational systems. (Perhaps you can use some of it to help
your "case" for using improv in your own training.)
Here's the interview: www.federalnewsradio.com/?sid=1231658&nid=250
Scroll down to "Making it Up as We Go Along"...and also on their front
page under "Audio files." Or type "Michelle James" in the search box.
- Michelle James ( mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org )
Chief Emergence Officer
The Center for Creative Emergence
Jonathan White ( mailto:email@example.com ) writes:
I've really enjoyed Image-Streaming...and its benefits.
There's a lot of buzz about "The Secret" and the "law of attraction."
I've been doing a kind of reverse Image-Streaming. Describing goals in
detail, just as I would describe random images, involving all the senses
till I see them.
Instead of mining the subconscious I'm sort of planting stuff in it.
I've enjoyed many Nightingale/Conant programs over the years, and the
Einstein Factor seems to unlock even more of the benefits of positive
thinking and accelerated learning...
The specific techniques of Image-Streaming reversed make it easier to
maintain visions of goals and ideals both material and spiritual. Image-
Streaming increases intelligence by means that are measurable; can it in
reverse application increase satisfaction with life and more consistent
achievment of goals and worthy ideals?
P.S. Thanks again for the Einstein Factor. I saw it first at my library
on cassette and bought the CDs at first opportunity.
- Jonathan White ( mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org )
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