Translation is straight thinking in the abstract

Truth is all that is. Since there is nothing other than Truth, Truth is alone. Therefore Truth is one. Since Truth is one, Truth is united. Since Truth is united, It is in unison. It is All for One and One for All.

All doesn’t mean each. It means totality.

There is no each. Nothing is independent of Truth.

No life form is independent of Truth. Truth is one being, one existence, one life, one living.

Formless and Self-sustaining, Self-assured, Self-contained. Selfless.

Selfless Being. Selfless Mind (because there is no being without an awareness of it).

Co-operating as one because It is one.

Loving as one because there is no other.


In 1943, Failed Presidential Candidate Wendell Willkie Advanced a Strikingly Anti-Racist, Anti-Colonial Plan to Bring the Planet Together

When Americans Fell in Love With the Ideal of ‘One World’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Wendell Willkie argued for “one world” as a global call for a world free of the racism and imperial exploitation fostered by nationalism. Illustration by Be Boggs.

by SAMUEL ZIPP | MARCH 29, 2020 (

What do you think of when you think of the phrase “one world?” Chances are it sounds like a vague gesture of unity or worldly inclusivity, like a stock phrase from the language of global marketing kitsch. No surprise: American Airlines has its One World alliance brand and OneWorld is a fast-fashion line featuring “ethnic” prints. The tourist attraction at the top of the One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan is, of course, the One World Observatory.

Even a generation ago, before the internet reached everyone, “one world” was an expression of idealism, signifying easy and carefree participation in a panoply of world cultures, all accessible by way of a flight, a screen, or a just-in-time supply chain. Think, for instance, of the Western vogue for so-called “world music” with its spirit of sentimental and nebulous togetherness: “One world is enough for all of us” went the refrain in Sting’s “One World (Not Three)” on his 1986 live album, Bring on the Night.

But now that the bloom is off globalization’s rose—world connection is just as likely to spur thoughts of climate change, inequality, or the spread of COVID-19 as global fellowship—we would do well to recall the longer, lost history of “one world.” Whether we know it or not, any modern use of the phrase, in both its hopeful and fearful senses, is indebted to the Republican Presidential candidate Wendell Willkie and his 1943 bestseller, One World.

If you’ve heard of Willkie, it’s likely because of his 1940 campaign for president against Franklin Roosevelt. A relative newcomer to politics, Willkie was drafted by business-friendly Republicans because he opposed FDR’s New Deal. He is often celebrated for his decision not to side with the so-called “isolationists” in the Republican Party—some of whom claimed the badge of “America First!” to resist American involvement in another European war.

Willkie is also revered for what happened after he lost that election. Instead of remaining in opposition, Willkie stepped up to support Lend-Lease, the President’s effort to send American war supplies to Britain. Willkie, it is said, helped FDR prepare America to save the world from fascism.

These stories, while powerful, actually slight Willkie’s true significance. He should be remembered more for his particular vision of “one world.” Specifically, Willkie argued for “one world” as a global call for a world free of the racism and imperial exploitation fostered by nationalism. His ideals may appear naïve at first, but they might give us some idea of what a visionary globalism is still good for in a time of resurgent nationalism and planetary fragility.

Willkie was not the first to use the phrase “one world.” Writers and thinkers had previously used it to describe how the steamship, the telegraph, the telephone, the airplane, the stock market, and the radio all shrank space and sped up time, bringing far-flung places and cultures into greater contact.

These forces unleashed chaos and disintegration, too, as war and conquest swept the globe. Nationalist leaders rose, offering stories of shared purpose and common destiny as balms for disruption. But nationalism marked territory with myths of blood and belonging, sparking competition for patches of soil on the map.

By contrast, internationalists countered nationalism’s primal pull with rational plans for cooperation between states. Fashioned properly, internationalism would ride the new networks of global communication and finance and transportation. It would have to, the internationalists said, or the future held only war and privation.

Willkie became an internationalist early on. Born in 1892 in Indiana, his first political inspiration was President Woodrow Wilson, hero to many internationalists for his call to “make the world safe for democracy” and his advocacy of the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations. Much to Willkie’s dismay, however, many Americans, bitter about World War I, rejected the League, and the U.S. never joined.The journey followed recently opened and occasionally un-scouted air lanes over Africa, the Middle East, the Soviet Union, and China, a route that skirted Axis-held territory—well within range of enemy aircraft—and brought Willkie face to face with everyone from Soviet factory workers and Siberian peasants to Joseph Stalin, Chiang Kai-Shek, and Charles de Gaulle.

As he built a career as a lawyer for the power industry and activist in the Democratic Party (he wouldn’t switch parties until just before the 1940 campaign), Willkie hoped for an American internationalist revival on more equitable terms than even Wilson, a racist and imperialist, imagined. But as the Great Depression deepened and war spread in Asia and Europe again, Willkie and other internationalists believed that nobody could now doubt that full international cooperation was necessary—and inevitable. In that spirit, Willkie supported Lend Lease in 1940. He also visited Britain in 1941, during the last days of the Blitz, and his genial, iconoclastic personality did much to lift spirits there.

By the late summer of 1942, the U.S. was in the fight, but active only in the Pacific. While the U.S. supplied aid and munitions to European Allies, the Nazis held Western Europe and occupied great swathes of Russia. Several American journalists working in Kuibyshev—the Soviets wartime capital—cabled Willkie to suggest he visit the beleaguered country to boost morale. Working with Roosevelt again, Willkie planned a much bigger undertaking: a closely watched, seven-week, 31,000-mile flying journey around the world that would take him to 13 countries on five continents.

The journey followed recently opened and occasionally un-scouted air lanes over Africa, the Middle East, the Soviet Union, and China, a route that skirted Axis-held territory—well within range of enemy aircraft—and brought Willkie face to face with everyone from Soviet factory workers and Siberian peasants to Joseph Stalin, Chiang Kai-Shek, and Charles de Gaulle. Millions followed his route via the papers and newsreels, discovering a world that had become, as Willkie would later put it, “small and completely interdependent.”

FDR saw the trip as a fact-finding mission and a morale-building effort. But his former opponent made it much more than that. Across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, Willkie discovered, the war was not just a struggle against Nazi fascism and Japanese militarism, but potentially a colossal turning point in world history. A whole generation of anti-imperial nationalists saw a war fought for democracy and freedom as a chance to persuade the great European empires to finally relinquish their hold on the globe.

This meant the U.S. was at a crossroads too. America would become the next great power—but what kind of power would it choose to become?

Here, in the midst of worldwide terror and destruction, Willkie discovered a fleeting opportunity: The United States had a chance to lead the planet to a new era of cooperation—but only if it would truly embrace its own ideals in an effort to end colonialism and colonial thinking. To win a lasting peace and a future of global cooperation, Willkie came to believe, Americans would have to accept a more cooperative relationship with the rest of the planet.

“There are no distant points in the world any longer,” Willkie announced in his book describing his journey. The volume was initially going to be called One War, One Peace, One World, but Willkie soon realized that the last third said it all. A planet shrunk by aviation and total war was unified by technology, and could be brought together politically, too, if only Americans would put in the work. The U.S., he argued, had to forego “narrow nationalism” or the “international imperialism” practiced by the European powers. Americans had to choose instead to support “equality of opportunity for every race and every nation.”

Millions read One World—some called it the fastest-selling book in American history to date—even though it was critical of America and the West. In fact, one of the chief lessons of his trip, he argued was that the linked forces of racism and empire were hampering the Allied war effort. “The moral atmosphere in which the white race lives is changing,” he wrote, conveying the demands he heard across the globe. People everywhere were “no longer willing to be Eastern slaves for Western profits. The big house on the hill surrounded by mud huts has lost its awesome charm.”

Americans were not exempt, either. The U.S., Willkie wrote, had long “practiced inside our own boundaries something that amounts to race imperialism.”

However, Willkie was less critical of American imperial power. In general, he saw the United States as crucial to a global solution rather than part of the problem, a perspective that suggests how Americans tended to discount the negative impact of their power abroad. The idea of “one world” would become broadly influential during the war years, but a current of resilient nationalism would eventually undermine his hopes. Willkie’s bid for the 1944 Republican nomination never got off the ground. He argued for a fully democratic structure for the United Nations—one that would give smaller nations equal power and open a clear path to freedom for colonized countries. But FDR’s preferred plan—dominance by the Great Powers in the Security Council—won the day.

Tragically, Willkie never saw the U.N. convene. He died, unexpectedly, in October 1944 at only 52.

Before long, “Willkie” began to seem like a name from another time. One World has often been recalled as an oddity of wartime life, a naïve statement of wishful global harmony, and Willkie was remembered as an almost-President who helped Roosevelt save democracy in 1940. But if Willkie’s own name has faded, the phrase he made popular lived on, inspiring a host of global visions down to our own time.

“One world or none!” declared pacifists, world government advocates, and anti-nuclear activists in the 1940s and ’50s. Anti-imperialists like Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru of India claimed it as a slogan, too, as they harnessed the U.N. to help usher colonialism off the world stage. Later it resurfaced as an environmentalist credo, echoed by the early astronauts who first saw the Earth from space. “When you’re finally up at the moon looking back at the Earth,” Apollo 8’s Frank Borman mused in 1968, “all those differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.”

With the precipitous globalization of the 1980s and ’90s the idea came rushing back. Global capitalism, some argued, was leveling barriers to opportunity everywhere. But this new “one world” felt like a threat to others. One World, Ready or Not, announced journalist William Greider in his 1997 expose of the borderless world of free trade and finance. Greider observed that Willkie’s idealism had been replaced by “the manic logic of global capitalism,” which would doom local industry and community and drive inequality to new heights.

Since then, of course, the perils of “one world” have swamped any lingering promise the phrase once held. Al Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Center, the resulting “war on terror,” the financial crisis of 2008, the refugee crisis, Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic: all spring from the precarious state of a planet in which all of us are inescapably joined in a web of communications, market transactions, greenhouse gasses, possible pandemics, migration routes, and interlocking political alliances, resentments, and inequalities. Globalization, we are told, continues to lift more people out of poverty than it immiserates, but that’s statistics, not perception.

When another political outsider—like Willkie, a former Democrat from the world of business—took the presidency by storm in 2016, he promised to turn back the clock, invoking the name of his predecessor’s bête noir. “From this moment on,” Donald Trump declared at his inauguration, “it’s going to be ‘America First.’”

Trump is not alone, of course. The worldwide retreat into nationalism is spurred by both inequality and xenophobia. And it denies what Willkie—were he still with us—would surely say: We are one world made out of many creatures—human and nonhuman—living together on a single fragile earth.

SAMUEL ZIPPteaches American Studies and Urban Studies at Brown University and is author of The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World.


Misguided Fears of These Flying Mammals Distract From the Real Reasons New Viruses Can Lead to Epidemics

Stop Blaming Bats for This Pandemic | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

This is “Poppy,” a female bat discovered on a Connecticut lawn. Courtesy of Bob Child/Associated Press.

by MERLIN TUTTLE | MARCH 27, 2020 (

It has been a bad decade for bats. Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, they were already in severe decline worldwide. Now, they are blamed as the culprits behind one of the costliest pandemics in modern history, even though the source and method of transmission haven’t been identified. Although scientists have an obligation to promptly disclose new threats, premature speculation about bats has been exaggerated in attention-grabbing media headlines. The result has been needless confusion, leading to the demonization, eviction, and slaughtering of bats even where they are most needed.

As of mid-March, “patient zero” for COVID-19 still had not been found, and who or what infected that person remains a mystery. There is even uncertainty about whether the viral jump from an unknown intermediate host to humans occurred in the location initially identified: an animal and seafood market in Wuhan, China. Despite these uncertainties and with no small assistance from scientists, the media has sensationalized the risks, settling on bats as the likely culprit and thus making them targets in a viral witch hunt.

Around the world, bats are feeling the effects of this misinformation. My Malaysian colleague Sheema Abdul Aziz has spent years documenting the key role of flying fox bats as essential pollinators of Southeast Asia’s multi-billion-dollar-a-year durian crop. Growers were planning to join her in a public education campaign explaining the value of bats, but now they fear a public backlash and are reluctant to support her efforts. A local resort has expressed fear of loss of sales due to a nearby flying fox colony. Fearing her research will trigger a new disease outbreak, private citizens have even asked the government to stop her from handling bats and to support eradication—a response already reported in neighboring Indonesia. My colleagues in China are also deeply concerned about the demonization of bats and calls for their eradication.

Even in my home city of Austin, Texas, where we have safely enjoyed sharing a downtown bridge with 1.5 million bats for decades, growing numbers of people are asking about disease risks. Despite warnings from poorly informed health officials that our bats were rabid and dangerous, they’ve yet to transmit a single case of disease. They simply attract millions of tourist dollars each summer and control tons of crop pests each night. Texas bats are worth more than a billion dollars annually. Now bat-lovers are experiencing a backlash against putting up bat houses because neighbors say they fear that attracting bats will bring disease.

But simply telling people that bats are valuable and shouldn’t be killed can’t counter panic. I have personally investigated instances where fearful humans burned, poisoned, or sealed caves, killing millions of bats at a time. Based on my experience, I have concluded that there is no greater threat than the intolerance and eradication that results from misguided fear.

Exaggerated warnings of bat disease risks aren’t just misguided. They threaten the health of entire ecosystems and economies. Researchers in Indonesia conservatively estimate that bats save cacao growers more than $700 million annually in avoided insect damage. In Mexico, tequila and mescal production worth billions annually relies on bats that pollinate agaves. From Southeast Asia to the Mediterranean, bats provide key pest control for rice growers. In South Africa, macadamia growers benefit from bat control of stink bugs.Exaggerated warnings of bat disease risks aren’t just misguided. They threaten the health of entire ecosystems and economies.

Despite a long tradition of being misunderstood and feared, perhaps it’s because of their nocturnal habits and erratic flight that bats have an outstanding record of living safely with humans. Millions living in backyard bat houses, city parks, and bridges have proven to be safe neighbors. I have never been attacked and am still healthy after more than 60 years studying and handling hundreds of species worldwide, sometimes surrounded by millions in caves. Because, like veterinarians, I am occasionally bitten by unfamiliar animals I handle, I’m vaccinated against rabies.

For anyone who simply avoids handling bats, the odds of contracting any disease from one is incalculably small. All diseases attributed to bats are easily avoided, even when bats live in one’s yard.

However, these facts typically go unreported, while risks are often magnified. The March 11 issue of Scientific American provides an excellent example. Its COVID-19 article subhead reads, “Wuhan-based virologist Shi Zhengli has identified dozens of deadly SARS-like viruses in bat caves, and she warns there are more out there.” The use of “deadly” is unjustified speculation.

The article also claims that the Wuhan outbreak is the sixth outbreak caused by bats in the past 26 years. In fact, the first four listed (SARS, MERS, Hendra, Ebola) appear to have been transmitted to people by animals other than bats—yet bats still receive primary blame. The fifth, the Nipah virus, which likely is spread to people from flying fox bats, is easily prevented by simply covering collection containers or pasteurizing contaminated palm juice.

Two possible scenarios have been hypothesized for the COVID-19 outbreak. The first is that a new coronavirus entered an intermediate host animal, such as a pangolin, where it evolved over an undetermined period to gradually become a threat to people. Alternatively, the new coronavirus could have been harmless when it first entered humans, but over time evolved to become virulent. Such scenarios would be difficult to predict, and a publication currently under review even points to mice and domestic pigs as possible sources.

So why has the media almost universally blamed bats? In part, because scientists have disproportionately focused on sampling them.

Since 2005, when coronaviruses in horseshoe bats were first hypothesized to be the ancestors of the coronavirus that caused SARS, bats have received far more scrutiny than any other group of animals. For example, in the study on which the scariest headlines were based, researchers sampled nearly twice as many bats as rodents, shrews, and nonhuman primates combined and didn’t even include carnivores or ungulates.

Easily blamed due to their lack of popularity, bats are also the easiest mammals to quickly sample in large numbers. This led to rapid publication of the results, and sensational speculations were deemed more acceptable when focused on already-feared animals.

Not surprisingly, more viruses have been found in bats than in less-surveyed species, so biased speculation has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don’t yet know if bats have more viruses than other animals because we haven’t similarly sampled others. And even if bats do have more, the number of viruses isn’t necessarily indicative of transmission risk. Many viruses are innocuous or possibly even beneficial.

Some virologists have capitalized on the fear of pandemics to promote funding for viral surveys in nature as a possible means of preventing or mitigating these scary events. They convinced the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to budget $4.8 billion in 2019 for surveys searching for potentially high-risk viruses. Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, longtime surveying proponents now argue that the best way forward is to prevent future outbreaks by beginning with surveys to find and catalog wildlife viruses globally, focusing particularly on high-risk groups such as bats.

However, many leading experts strongly disagree. They argue that such surveys would be extremely costly and have little practical value. Viral-caused outbreaks are exceedingly rare, and their emergence is unpredictable. The evolutionary virologist Edward Holmes and associates note that even if all current viruses could be cataloged, new variants of RNA viruses are constantly evolving. They bluntly warn of arrogance and loss of credibility resulting from promises that viral surveys could prevent or even mitigate pandemics.

To understand why surveying will fail as a strategy, consider the examples of MERS, West Nile, and Zika viruses. MERS jumped to humans from a seemingly unlikely source—camels—in Saudi Arabia, previously believed to be an extremely improbable location for such an incident. Robert Tesh, an expert on emerging viruses, has pointed out that neither West Nile nor Zika viruses are new. They simply spilled over when transported to new areas in incidents that couldn’t have been predicted.

A growing number of leading epidemiologists agree that it isn’t possible to predict the animal origin of the next viral outbreak. Unfortunately, their warnings are seldom covered by public media. When they are, they tend to be de-emphasized.

Finding the true source and means of infection for patient zero in the current outbreak seems far more important than condemning bats or spending billions on searches for potential pathogens. Such public health funds would be much better directed toward improved early detection in humans.

But we humans must also address our own culpability. Caging and slaughtering a wide variety of animals in markets virtually guarantees the spread of viral infections. Blaming already unpopular bats only increases already severe threats to their survival, despite scientific certainty about the enormous benefits they provide to both the environment and societies. Care about bats or not, we should see COVID-19 as a grim reminder that human well-being requires responsible stewardship of nature—not just dominance.

MERLIN TUTTLE is a leading bat researcher who founded and directed Bat Conservation International for 30 years. He now directs Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation and is a research fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin.

What a 16th-Century Mystic Can Teach Us About Making Good Decisions

At times we just don’t know the right thing to do. St. Ignatius developed a method of discernment that can be useful even to those who aren’t religious.

The Conversation|

  • Annmarie Cano

Sculpture of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, on the campus of Boston College. Photo by Jay Yuan/

Decision-making is a complex process. As individuals, working through our daily lives, we often take a number of shortcuts that may not always serve us well. For example, we make impulsive decisions when stressed or allow others to make them for us, at times with disappointing or disastrous consequences.

But most of us can do better. Among the many decision-making methods for life’s big decisions, one that stands out is from an early 16th-century soldier-turned-mystic, St. Ignatius of Loyola.

As a clinical psychologist, I first became acquainted with Ignatian discernment during an internship program in spirituality and have found it useful to incorporate it in my research on mindfulness and other reflective practices.

Ignatius uses the language of faith, but, I believe, anyone can apply his method to make more informed decisions.

Who Was Ignatius?

Ignatius, baptized Iñigo, was born into a noble family in the Basque area of Spain in 1493. After suffering a grievous leg wound during a battle with the French that affected his health for the rest of his life, Ignatius lay in bed for months reading and reflecting on his situation.

He realized that pursuing worldly honor was not as fulfilling as doing the work of God. During the next year and half of reflection and prayer, he experienced a profound spiritual conversion with spiritual insights that would form the basis of “Spiritual Exercises,” a program of prayerful self-examination aimed at developing a deeper relationship with God.

He decided to serve God by becoming a priest and with two of his University of Paris colleagues, was given approval by the Vatican in 1540 to found the Society of Jesus also known as the Jesuits. The Jesuits are known for their work in education, with a network of schools and colleges, and for running guided retreats.

Perhaps lesser known is the fact that Ignatius also developed a method of discernment or decision-making that is still relevant today and that can be applied by people of all faiths and adapted to those who are not religious.

1. Rely on Reason and Feelings

Ignatius advises creating a list, but also takes it a step further by urging people to listen to their feelings as they consider the pros and cons for each option.

Emotions act as compass points to one’s deepest desires. So, he asks individuals to consider: Do some pros or cons stand out because they bring you a sense of peace, joy or hope? Or feelings of dread, anxiety or despair?

He advises probing the origin of the feelings to find out if they come, for example, from desires for power or greed, fear of what others may think, a desire to do good or to be selfless.

Ignatius teaches that freedom from attachment to a particular choice or outcome is essential. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step, even if you can’t see the whole staircase.”

Ignatius also advises that individuals share their deliberations with a confidant, advice that he followed when making his own decisions. Modern psychological science too has found that the process of sharing emotions with others helps make sense of our thoughts and feelings.

He also urged people to make decisions for the “greater glory of God.” How can non-religious people use this advice? I argue they can consider how their decisions will affect the vulnerable, the poorest and the most marginalized.

2. Imaginative Reflection


Ignatius offers some exercises to help reach a decision. Photo from Suphaksorn Thongwongboo /

Ignatius offers three imaginative exercises if no clear choice emerges:

  • Imagine that a friend comes to you with the same situation. They describe their choices, pros and cons, and their thoughts and feelings about these proposals. What would you advise them?
  • Imagine that you are on your deathbed. Looking back at your life, and assuming you made the decision in question, how do you view it from that perspective?
  • Imagine a conversation with the divine. Those who do not believe in a God could have an imaginary conversation with someone they loved and trusted and who has passed away. What does this person say to you about your options? Would they be pleased, disappointed or neutral about your decision?

Imaginative reflections like these offer clarity to decision-making by providing another perspective to the decision at hand.

3. Seek Confirmation

Ignatius advises individuals to act on reason, feeling confident that they have invested their time and energy to make a good choice. But he also says that people should seek out additional information to see if reason confirms the choice. The emotions they feel following a decision, such as peace, freedom, joy, love or compassion, might give an indication if it is the right choice.

In today’s hurried world, a 16th-century Catholic mystics’ advice may seem quaint or his process tedious. However, many modern psychological approaches confirm the value of such reflective practices.

Annmarie Cano is a Professor of Psychology and the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Success at Wayne State University.

This article was originally published on January 18, 2019, by The Conversation, and is republished here with permission.

Billionaire businessman brings together top AI experts to take on COVID-19

Tom Siebel is coordinating an effort among top scientists in the world to improve AI technologies in order to slow down COVID-19 and other pandemics.

By Brian Rinker  – Staff Reporter, San Francisco Business Times

Mar 27, 2020 (

Billionaire CEO and author Tom Siebel believes artificial intelligence can improve nearly all aspects of business and society, including slowing down the spread of COVID-19.

On Thursday, Siebel launched a collaborative effort called the Digital Transformation Institute to bring together the leading U.S. research universities to advance AI technologies and join in the world’s fight to end the coronavirus pandemic.

To do that, they have put out a call for research papers that will address innovative ways for using AI against the disease. For example, AI could predict where the disease will spread next, allowing resources to be allocated as needed. It can also be used, Siebel told me, to figure out what types of human behavior are linked to a predisposition toward infection.

“AI is the perfect weapon to point at this problem and say, ‘How can we contain this thing before it overwhelms us,’” he said.

The collaboration includes Siebel’s Redwood City-based AI software company, Microsoft Corp. and a handful of partnerships with UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Princeton University, the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC.

Siebel, who characterized the research collaboration as a “dream team,” helped to kickstart the initiative, but management of the consortium will be handled by UC Berkeley and UIUC. The deadline for papers is May 1. Selected researchers will receive $100,000 to $500,000 in funding to support their ideas.

Beyond the Digital Transformation Institute, other research groups in the Bay Area are also exploring ways to apply AI to COVID-19. For instance, data scientists at Google Cloud-backed Kaggle Inc. and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative have unleashed AI programing to scour millions of pages of peer-reviewed studies related to COVID-19.

While Siebel does run a massive enterprise AI software company, he insists the institute’s mission is not to benefit his company.

“All of the work that’s being done goes into the public domain. It will be available to everybody in the world under nonexclusive royalty free licensing,” he said.

Siebel has demonstrated over his career to be an effective and successful businessman. He sold his previous company, Siebel Systems, for $5.8 billion to Oracle and in 2016 was named by the San Francisco Business Times as a Most Admired CEO. He is also a best-selling author. and Microsoft will fund the research with cash and in-kind use of technical tools valued at $367 million over five years. Researchers will get to use’s suite of AI tools and Microsoft’s cloud computing services, as well as have access to data and the supercomputer at UIUC. The first year of the project will be focused on COVID-19 with future years dedicated to other problems, like cyber security or data anonymization.

The Digital Transformation Institute was in the works for two years before debuting on Thursday. Originally, the institute wanted to focus on anonymizing data, which is a huge bottleneck in moving AI to the next stage, Siebel said. But 10 days ago, Siebel decided to pivot as the coronavirus pandemic worsened.

“It became apparent that this COVID-19 thing is the real deal,” Siebel told me. “If we’re gonna do a call for papers right now and it’s not COVID-19, what would it be?”

He got everyone involved on the phone and they all agreed that tackling COVID-19 was the right move, but they would need to do it now, not later.


Those who think they are learned
are probably the least learned.
Those who know they should learn
will probably become learned.

— Shilashanti

All of us act like those close-minded experts sometimes, and all of us can benefit from a bit more beginner’s mind. This is as true at home as it is at work. It’s true everywhere in life. Parents can learn from their kids, teachers from their students, and (perhaps especially) bosses from their employees. The great Indian Buddhist teacher Santideva knew this way back in the eighth century. He wrote: ‘One should be the pupil of everyone all the time.’

Zen master Dogen was a bit more grandiose in his wording. As he put it, ‘A beginner’s wholehearted practice of the Way is exactly the totality of original enlightenment.’ In simpler terms, the path to awakening is to approach your whole life with beginner’s mind.

Excerpt :Master Being A Beginner

(Contributed by Sue Beck, Ph.D.

One More Day!

This is the last one we are going to do on a lockdown theme, but it felt very apt. And it might be just in time to cheer up some friends and family who have had – or are about to have – birthdays, all by themselves. Decided to include a bit of the intro so that you can see what kind of madness Danielle Marsh and I would be dealing with, if we didn't occupy them with music making…Hope everyone out there is doing okay.

Posted by Ben Marsh on Sunday, March 29, 2020