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Bikini Waxing

(As I read this, I’m so glad I’m a guy!)

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, and play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: ‘Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet.’

So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom. It was one of those ‘cold wax’ kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off.

No mess, no fuss.

How hard can it be?

I mean, I’m not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?!)

So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. (‘Cold wax,’ yeah…right!)

I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull.

It works!

OK, so it wasn’t the best feeling, but it wasn’t too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me!

I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire.

With my next wax strip I move north after checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship.

I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet.

Using the same procedure, I apply the wax strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my hoo-ha and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek (it was a long strip) ..

I inhale deeply and brace myself…RRRRIIIPPP!!!!

I’m blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!….OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!!

Vision returning, I notice that I’ve only managed to pull off half the strip.


Another deep breath and RIPP!

Everything is spinning and spotted.

I think I may pass out…must stay conscious…must stay conscious.

Do I hear crashing drums???

Breathe, breathe…OK, back to normal.

I want to see my trophy – a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip!

There’s no hair on it.

Where is the hair???


Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip…it’s not! I touch. .. I am touching wax!!

I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake…remember my foot is still propped upon the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down.

Sealed shut! My butt is sealed shut. Sealed shut!

I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself ‘Please don’t let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off!’

What can I do to melt the wax?

Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!

I’ll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right???


I get in the tub – the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment – I sit.

Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together, is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the tub…in scalding hot water.

Which, by the way, doesn’t melt cold wax.

So, now I’m stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cemented myself to the porcelain!! God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!!

I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It’s a very good conversation starter ‘So, my butt and hoo-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!’

There is a slight pause.

She doesn’t know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, ‘Are we talking cheeks or hole or hoo-ha?’

She’s laughing out loud by now…I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box.

YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else’s night.

While we go through various solutions, I resort to trying to scrape the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better than to have your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!!

By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event.

My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace….the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax.

What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and … OH MY GAWD!!!!!!! The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend.

Its sooo painful, but I really don’t care.


It works!!’ I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair…?


So I recklessly shave it off.

Heck, I’m numb by now.

Nothing hurts.
I could have amputated my own leg at this point.

Next week I’m going to try hair color……

I read Warren Buffett’s annual report every year.  This year it was on purchasing property, which I thought a bit unusual because Buffett is known for purchasing stock.  His advice though was simple and profound and applied to any purchase: Find something you like and understand; if it is a sustainable property or business that will make a predictable amount of money for many years to come, buy it and hold on to it forever.  At that point, you don’t need to watch it every day because your purchase should be great no matter what the economic conditions are.  You see, Buffett never swings for the fences with his purchases; he’s not in it for the quick cash.  He also ignores all the so called “experts,” who, by the way, usually do worse than average in predicting success.  Buffett sees these experts as “noise” to be avoided.

Buffet’s further advice is to stay well within your circle of competence when investing.  If you don’t know how a company works, skip it!  If you don’t know how stocks work, then buy a stock index and never sell it (Buffett recommends Vanguard’s S&P500 stock, VFINX).  By doing so, you will do better than the vast majority of “experts” let alone the average investor who might think he/she knows how to invest, but is in fact woefully out of his/her circle of competence.

Gee, If I had heard this advice 13 years ago when I started investing, I might still mostly own VFINX, which by the way was the first stock I purchased.  Over the past 13 years, I’ve mostly swung for the fences and I have succeeded some of the time, but I have also failed some of the time.  I only bought VFINX way back then as a holding place for my cash until I gained competency in how the stock market worked.  At that point, my goal was to beat the S&P500 index handily.  And for several years I did, but then 2008 happened and I lost all of my gains (so now I put stops on everything – had I done that in 2008, I would be in great shape today).  The last time I checked, I was ahead of the S&P500 by only 20% (over a 13 year span).  This might sound good, but I was beating the S&P by 8% per year until 2008.  Now, I’m merely on par with the average.  On the whole, I’ve not done to bad really, I’m still profitable, but if the S&P500 represents the average, and it does, then I can only conclude that I am a very average investor… but hey, at least I’m investing!

Mindy’s Fitness Log

My sister Mindy is on a fitness kick to start off her 2014 year.  Yes, it’s a New Year’s resolution!  Let’s see how she’s doing so far:

Mindy’s 2014 Fitness log day 1 & 2:

I decided that 2014 is going to be my, find my 18, or 19, or 20 or 21 year old body year. I’d call it my New Year’s resolution, but the fact that I hate to be so cliche’ and quite possibly a damn liar should I (when I) stray from my goals, I’ll refrain from such a statement. We’ll call it what it is, my good intentions, but probably fall real short of my goals, 2014 fitness plans.

Day 1: I wake up early, okay, before noon for those that know me well, and I head off to softball practice. Feeling pretty good, as I know I’m headed off to two hours of physical activity. Feeling less good about myself when I realize that it’s the kids that engage in the physical activity, I just tell them what to do. No worries, I’ll make up for it when I get home…oh wait, I’m going to ihop after practice to indulge in their all you can fatten up with pancakes they have going on. No worries, I’ll make up for it when I get home and add an extra 10 minutes to my routine. So I get home and park my even larger ass on the couch to get ready to watch the wild card games. I need to settle on a few exercises I can do while I watch football. I can feel that 4th pancake resting ever so rudely in the pit of my stomach. I need to work it, and the 3 that went before it, off my thighs and stomach. What to do? What to do? Wait? What? The first quarter is over and Im still thinking about a routine? This is stupid. Shit or get off the pot Mindy. If thinking about what excercises I should be doing made me fit, I’d be one very fit woman. Alas, this fitness plan, like my lottery retirement plan, is a massive fail. I then have this brilliant idea, I’ll do stair runs during the commercial breaks! Yeah, I’m pumped now. Thighs, ass, calves, core, and I’m certain even my brains is going to be stronger. Let’s do this!! First commercial break comes on, lets go get fit!! Weird, this commercial break seems to be lasting at least 23 minutes. No worries, I made it through, I’m in shape!! I didn’t die!! Sit back down. Oh, look, San Diego called a time out. But I just sat down. No worries, I’ll just pace myself better. Holy commercials, this break is lasting 34 minutes…WTF?? After my first two sets I quickly came to 2 conclusions:

1. There are entirely TOO many commercials during a football game.
2. Not only are there a ridiculous amount of commercial breaks, they seemingly last 87 minutes. WTH??

The stair run routine quickly went from every commercial break to every third commercial break. The other 2 breaks went for thinking about other ways I could get fit. Again, if ideas were the key to fitness, I’m one hot looking 29 year old Asian!
Wait, what do you mean there are TWO games on today. Holy fitness hell, what is this nonsense. I no longer like the NFL.

Day 2: After scouring the internet the day before during my 2 commercial breaks that I thought about fitness, I decided I need a visual guide. I need a fitness trainer that has an instructional video on youtube. Hours of research told me Shaun T seemed to have a few good videos and so does Jillian Michaels. I had bookmarked a couple of videos the day before and decided to try them out today. They looked simple enough and both Shaun T and Jillian seem like nice easy going folk with a slight sense of humor. I think I can do this! No, check that, I KNOW I can do this! Bring on Mindy’s commitment to fitness 2014!! On with the Jillian Michaels video. Hers is only 30 minutes. Who can’t do 30 minutes?? Seriously?? You’re a giant wuss if you can’t last that long. How hard can it be?? Jillian, you and I are going to be best friends. I steam my laptop through my tv so I can watch it in HD. If I’m going to be getting ripped, I’m going to do it in HD. This is weird, there are red lines running through the video that are around Jillians head and seem to follow her. Hmm, probably just a cheap HDMI cable causing that. Lets go Jillian! Show me what you got! Look at us, lunging, squatting, jumping, pumping!! Look at me sweat, man I feel good. I got this! We’re almost done she says Wait? What? That was the warmups? Just warmups? Are you kidding me? I’m liking you a little less now Jillian, but I think I can do this. There are only 10 minutes left….OMG, that warmup only lasted 3 minutes? I don’t think I have any more sweat to give? Wait, why aren’t you taking a break Jillian? I hate you Jillian. Those red lines are looking more and more like devil horns. You are the devil Jillian. How are you talking through all of this? How are you smiling through all of this? What the hell is wrong with you? Oh darn the dogs want to go out. I must pause the video…..I’ll resume it tomorrow. Maybe I’ll like Jillian a little better tomorrow

Philippines Report

One of my students went to the Philippines for Christmas. I gave her the assignment of sending me a Philippines Report in exchange for her time off from school. Actually, I give this assignment to all my students who miss school to go overseas somewhere. I do this because in America, we get numb to the realities that the rest of the world faces on a daily basis. This is the true value of travel; coming to terms with how the rest of the world lives. Travel changes lives and perspectives.

As for me, when I go to another country, I am always amazed by how hard the people work (yet also how they don’t overwork for the sake of profit), how genuinely happy most are, and how ingenious their solutions are in solving problems. My student really got it, so I thought I’d share what she wrote:

From all of the things I’ve seen during my one month stay here, I know that one thing is certain. Even through all of the rough times the Philippines has gone through, everyone remains happy and united. Coming from America, I’m not used to a lifestyle where poverty is so common. You go into a richer area of a city and barely 2 minutes away are broken houses with clothes hanging on lines to dry. You see people taking showers outside using buckets and dirty water, something that you’d never see in America. Even the homeless people in America don’t take showers, naked for everyone to see in public.

I’ve seen kids, half my age working out on the streets, but they didn’t at all ask for food. All they did was sell stuff and work hard for what they had. I’ve seen people older than my grandmother sleeping on sidewalks soundlessly and everyone walked past them like it was nothing. On another side of the city, people were eating at fancy restaurants similar to the ones at America and shopping at all of the designer brands at the mall. Police officers filled the streets because it was so common for people trying to come in and steal something, while we barely have two security officers in the mall where we live.

The divide between the rich and the poor is as great as the distance between the Western and Eastern hemisphere. While we, in America, get to eat the same food that the richer people can eat in America, people in the Philippines with no money barely get to eat at all. Seeing the sad looks on people’s faces because they have nothing to eat today isn’t something you see every day in America, and it breaks my heart.

  1. A logician’s wife is having a baby.  The doctor immediately hands the newborn to the dad.  His wife asks him impatiently: “So, is it a boy or a girl?”  The logician replies: “Yes.”
  2. Two scientists walk into a bar.  The first one says “I’ll have some H2O.”  The second says “I’ll have some H2O too.”  The second scientist dies.
  3. Why did Karl Marx dislike Earl Grey tea?  Because all proper tea is theft.
  4. Two kittens on a sloped roof.  Which one slides off first?  The one with the lowest mew.
  5. A Roman walks into a bar and asks for a martinus.  “You mean a martini?” the bartender asks.  The Roman replies, “If I wanted a double, I would have asked for it!”
  6. There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors.
  7. It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.
  8. Entropy isn’t what it used to be.
  9. Higgs Boson walks into a church and the priest says “we don’t allow Higgs Bosons in here.”  The Higgs Boson then replied “but without me, how could you have mass?”
  10. A Buddhist monk approaches a hotdog stand and says “make me one with everything.”
  11. Why do engineers confuse Halloween and Christmas?  Because Oct 31 = Dec 25
  12. Three logicians walk into a bar.  The bartender asks “Do all of you want a drink?”  The first logician says “I don’t know.”  The second logician says “I don’t know.”  The third logician says “Yes!”
  13. Heisenberg was speeding down the highway.  A cop pulls him over and says “Son, do you have any idea how fast you were going back there?”  Heisenberg said, “No, but I knew where I was.”
  14. Einstein, Newton and Pascal were playing hide and go seek.  It’s Einstein’s turn to count so he covers his eyes and starts counting to ten.  Pascal runs off and hides.  Newton draws a one meter by one meter square on the ground in front of Einstein then stands in the middle of it.  Einstein reaches ten and uncovers his eyes.  He sees Newton immediately and exclaims “Newton!  I found you!  You’re it!”  Newton smiles and says “You didn’t find me, you found a Newton over a square meter.  You found a Pascal!”
  15. Helium walks into a bar and orders a bar.  The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve noble gasses here.”  He doesn’t react.
  16. Idi you hear about the man who got cooled to absolute zero?  He’s 0K now.
  17. The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread.  If they have eggs, get a dozen.”  The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.
  18. There’s a band called 1-23MB.  They haven’t had any gigs yet.
  19. Jean-Paul Sartre is sitting at a French café, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness.  He says to the waitress, “I’d like a cup of coffee, please, with no cream.”  The waitress replies, “I’m sorry, Monsieur, but we’re out of cream.  How about with no milk?”
  20. How can you tell the difference between a chemist and a plumber?  Ask them to pronounce unionized.
  21. What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?

When closed captioning fails

Today I watched “Quest for Fire.”  Because I had fans and a humidifier on, I opted to turn on closed captioning.  Now, think about that for a second… I’ll wait…

The captioning was both useless and hilarious. All I saw were phrases like “Awk quarg oot!” or notations like “prehistoric language” or “hopeful grunting.”  It may have made the movie better.

Dogs and sarcasm

Dogs don’t get sarcasm.  Every day, I tell my dog that he’s my favorite dog.  Every day, he believes me.  I only have one dog, I’m allergic to him, and he’s kind of a jerk.  He’s only my favorite because I own no other dog.

Horary for the Lefties!

I’m left-handed, so whenever I see an article about being left-handed, I can’t help but read it.  Because these articles usually say nice things like “lefties tend to be geniuses,” I tend to believe every word (I skip over the downsides of being left-handed, like shorter life span).  According to this article, I should be left-handed: I’m smart, dyslexic, visual-spatial and I have been doing “architecture” for years (IC layout).  All I can say is “Horary for the Lefties!”

Left-Handedness Stumps Science

(Exerpt from Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer)

Stable minority

No one knows why lefties became a stable minority. Whereas many animals favor one or another paw, the number of righties and lefties is roughly equally distributed in most animals.  But between 5 percent and 20 percent of people are lefties in different populations.  “In every population of the world studied so far, we always find a minority of left-handed people.”

Genes or environment?

While several researchers have found a few genes implicated in handedness, many genes are probably at play.  And the environment clearly plays a big role: Identical twins often have different dominant hands.

About half of left-handedness may be a byproduct of damage during fetal development or birth. Studies have found southpaws have higher rates dyslexia, schizophrenia and immune problems, such as allergies and lupus.  Because males are overrepresented among lefties, some scientists propose exposure to testosterone in the womb may affect handedness.

Subtle differences

Lefties may have a higher propensity to certain health problems, but they are also overrepresented amongst geniuses.  Four of the last seven presidents have been lefties, and Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin were southpaws as well.  Lefties tend to excel in fields that require excellent visual-spatial abilities, such as architecture and graphic design, he said. Southpaws are also overrepresented among chess masters, but tend to be underrepresented in science.

I spent the day today going through TED videos, mostly on education.  I am now very energized about teaching!  But more so: I see where education could be headed, if traditional education doesn’t get in the way (which it might – it’s very powerful).  Now, I’m not against traditional education – I’m a product of traditional education – but I also know from my background as a Silicon Valley tech guy that the most successful and useful “innovators” and entrepreneurs are the ones who do not think traditionally (or rather, have unlearned how to think traditionally).  I am also one of those people – I think outside the box.   This is also why I might spend a day watching TED videos for fun – I love to learn, but on my own terms.  And you know what?  Kids feel the same way.

I’m now training to become a teacher so I can help the next generation.  I figure I’ve been in tech long enough.  I do not want to teach in a traditional manner however.  Traditional education is quickly becoming obsolete.  I want to use my knowledge, skills, creativity and non-traditional thinking to guide the next generation.  Even if I land a job in a traditional setting, I would still try my best to teach in a non-traditional manner.  For me, the overriding question is: “how do we teach our children to think about possibilities and solve complex problems (in other words: innovate)?”  Fortunately, U.S. educational system is asking the same question.  Common Core is coming online which will create an environment of deeper thinking and collaboration: two vital components for innovation.  As for the teachers however, what they will need to do is: 1. encourage, not discipline; 2. understand and use technology; 3. get out of the way and let creativity happen.  This will not be easy for many traditional teachers.  It will be easy for me though because this is how I’ve taught people for the last 30 years.  It’s how the tech industry works… so why wouldn’t schools look and act the same?  I’m ready to lead the charge!

Oh ya, here's a small list of my favorite TED talks as of April 2013:

On education

Re-imagining school (12 talks)
1.  Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity
2.  Salman Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education
3.  Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud
4.  Daphne Koller: What we're learning from online education
5.  Geoff Mulgan: A short intro to the Studio School
6.  Sugata Mitra shows how kids teach themselves
7.  Peter Norvig: The 100,000-student classroom
8.  Dave Eggers' wish: Once Upon a School
9.  Liz Coleman's call to reinvent liberal arts education 
10. Arthur Benjamin: Teach statistics before calculus!
11. Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge
12. Patrick Awuah on educating leaders

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover

Other interesting stuff

Richard St. John's 8 secrets of Success

Hans Rosling: Stats that reshape your worldview

Seth Godin: This is broken

Seth Godin: The tribes we lead

Ken Jennings: Watson, Jeopardy and me, the obsolete know-it-all

Kaki King rocks out to "Pink Noise"

Where do ideas come from? (5 talks)
1. Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from
2. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius
3. Derek Sivers: How to start a movement
4. Matt Ridley: When ideas have sex
5. Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

TED: Best of the Web


I just read an insightful article about how to handle the debt crisis, and the problems ahead, whether we handle the debt crisis or not, and how to get ready for them as well.  Depending on what we do this year, and in (near-term) future years, we may get out of this debt eventually, fall into stagnation (become forever poor), or become the next Rome and die in a mountain of debt (Rome died because it stopped expanding {expanding = $}, but never cut back its lavish lifestyle when the money stopped.  Sound familiar?).

Here are the 10 things our Nation must do, according to economists: Daniel Stelter, Ralf Berger, Jendrik Odewald & Dirk Schilder (as presented by John Mauldin):

  1. Deal with the debt overhang—immediately

A combination of write-offs, austerity, higher taxes and sizable inflation will be necessary (Post Great Depression/WWII, taxes were as high as 90% for the rich and not much less for everyone else!).  The critical starting point is to accept the fact that many of today’s debts will never be repaid and to embrace debt restructuring and defaults.  Bite the bullet now, and we can avoid the “lost decade” that Japan experienced, and is still experiencing 20 years later.

  1. Reduce unfunded liabilities

Several things will be necessary:  Raise the retirement age (we have to – the original plan called for only a third of all workers to even reach retirement age); Reduce Social Security payouts (Did you know that Social Security was meant to be temporary back in the 1930s?  It is now one of our top expenses as a Nation); Make healthcare more efficient (other nations offer better healthcare for less than the US); drastically reduce welfare by creating “welfare jobs” (welfare was also meant to be temporary, and Roosevelt did a great job of creating jobs to build US infrastructure… which we should do again!).

  1. Increase the efficiency of government

A smaller government works better and costs less.  Start by simplifying welfare – it’s a bureaucratic nightmare, and then move on to other government jobs that can be done better and cheaper by a private workforce (a workforce that will also generate GDP instead of spending it).

  1. Prepare for labor scarcity

It seems strange, since there are currently so many jobless workers out there, but simple demographics shows that between now and 2050, we will experience a massive shortage of workers.  To combat this, the elderly will need to work longer, and we’ll have to increase immigration.

  1. Develop smart immigration policy

Even if developed countries do the first four things, it will still not be enough to reverse demographic trends. Therefore, these countries also need to become far more open and attractive to immigrants.  They will need to concentrate on higher education immigration.  In the US, currently, 18% of all entrepreneurial advances (via patents) come from immigrant entrepreneurs.  In Silicon Valley, 50% of start-ups are founded by Chinese entrepreneurs alone!  We need more educated immigrants.

  1. Invest in education

The US is really lagging in education, and is getting worse, not better.  Other nations, who are better than us, have shown that there are three very specific things that will improve education: Pay (highly qualified) teachers well and supply them with technology (this has proven to be more effective than more training/education); push science & engineering as careers; have specific programs/tracks for gifted students that pay their way through college and/or into entrepreneurialism.

  1. Reinvest in the asset base

Modernize public infrastructure, and get the private sector to invest in it (through tax breaks).  Also, make it more attractive for individuals to invest in the market, but make it more painful to take distributions (lower tax rates for long-term holding; higher taxes for short-term holding and for dividends).

  1. Increase raw-material efficiency

The age of cheap resources may have come to an end. Developed countries have to increase their efforts to decouple economic development from resource consumption.

Even with recent discoveries of more fossil fuel in the US, the supply is short-lived.  The key is to pursue and push alternative energy technologies now, and have the government fund it using innovative pilot projects which are short-term, but will have a long-term impact.

The age of cheap resources may have come to an end. Developed countries have to increase their efforts to decouple economic development from resource consumption.

  1. Cooperate on a global basis

Sure, every nation wants to increase exports and hire the best educated people in the world, but making trade barriers to change the import/export balance really hurts emerging economies, many of which owe money to developed economies.  To get that debt repaid, the stable economies must lower restrictions so the little guys can make a profit.  Conversely developed countries must try to balance trade with each other, or we’ll have a situation like China, which owns $1.2T in US Treasury bonds and about half as much in Euro debt.  China is cash rich because of a massive trade imbalance.

  1. Invest in entrepeneurs

The government needs to make it easier for engineers and technologists to innovate and for entrepreneurs to start new businesses.  Many government policies in the developed world are designed to protect traditional industries, which eventually decline and cost jobs and money, but also postpone future technologies and future industries in the process.  The net creators of jobs in the US are small businesses founded by entrepreneurs.  This is also where most of the technological advances come from.

Encourage risk taking. Innovation tends to appeal to the young. Some of the most innovative companies—Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft—were all founded by university students in their early twenties. Therefore, it is important for societies to encourage risk taking at a younger age and to make entrepreneurship more attractive and rewarding than working in other functions in the economy.

Increase social acceptance of innovation. In many developed countries, especially in Europe, the public has grown skeptical of innovation and new technologies. The classic example is biotechnology and its application in food production and in some parts of health care research. In our view, this resistance to innovation is largely a function of the average age of a country’s population. The higher the average age, the more the population seems inclined to protect the status quo and be wary of the new. Leaders in these societies will have to persuade citizens that only increased innovation can help deal with the costs of demographic change if overall levels of wealth are to be preserved.