Japan's disasters, education & renewable resources - Embedded.com

Japan’s disasters, education & renewable resources

I was preparing last week's Embedded.com newsletter just about the time the first news came in aboutJapan’s triple whammy – devastating earthquakes, monster Tsunamiwaves, and near-calamitous nuclear plant breakdowns.

The biggest storiesI was considering at the time included Apple’siPad 2 and A5 processor, Intel’scloud computing plans, unsecurewireless smartphone connectivity, and secureaccess key control. I was also reading Highereducation: Degree by iPad? Jack Ganssle’s newest column on thefinancial cuts in higher education in the United States.

For quite awhile the newsletter and Jack’s column – and the thoughts the latter triggered –were driven from my mind, as I tried to take in the devastation in Japan. Evenmore than the videos and radio reports, what bought the disaster home to me was“Don’tcall Japan, the line is busy,” by Junko Yoshida, editor in chief ofEETimes, who I have known for about 20 years.

In this story shedescribes trying to make contact by telephone and Internet with her family inJapan. But professional journalist that she is, she also tries to draw somethinglarger from it, some lessons for the future.  I look forward to what else shehas to say as she sorts through her reactions in coming weeks.

InJack’scolumn , he discusses the devastating cuts being proposed inuniversity education in the U.S. in response to the economic tsunami the worldhas been experiencing for the last two years. Compare that to Japan, where, inthe face of the same economic mess, it has not cut back education spending. AndI don’t think that even in the midst of dealing with the consequences of thisearthquake Japan will ever do so.

They know (as Intel’s Bob Noycesaid in U.S. congressional testimony years ago ) that unlike most financialinvestments a company – or a country – makes, the one that gives back a1000-fold is in the education of its employees and citizens. Considering thecutbacks in higher education in the U.S., obviously we did not listen. But theJapanese did. I do not believe education ever will be something they cut back onwhen those renewable resources are what will allow them to recover from thismost recent devastation. (Embedded.com Editor Bernard Cole, ,928-525-9087 )

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