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10/20/10
We wish the Elephant of BSP!to win large number of seats to acquire the MASTER KEY! and make Chief Minister Bahen Ms Mayawati Ji !as the Prime Minister PraBuddha Bharath Matha Maha Mayawati Ji!-First phase of Bihar elections (Factfile)-LESSON 65 FOUR JHANAS PART V 21 10 2010 FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY-Anyone Can Attain Ultimate Bliss Just Visit:http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org-”It is ignorance that smothers, and it is carelessness that makes it invisible. The hunger of craving pollutes the world, and the pain of suffering causes the greatest fear.”- The Buddha Quotes-BUDDHA (EDUCATE)! DHAMMA (MEDITATE)! SANGHA (ORGANISE)!-WISDOM IS POWER-Travelogue to the four jhanas by Ajahn Brahmavamso-Asoka Vijayadashami & Dhamm Chakra Pravartan-Do not allow osteoporosis to break you: doctors-kyphon balloon kyphoplasty-CONVERGENCE of Information Technology, Integrated Praduct Development, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology-GOOD GOVERNANCE-Hon’ble Chief Minister Ji directs officers to take necessary steps immediately to check spread of dengue and other fever related diseases Ensure fogging and spray of pesticides in affected areas-Saryu Canal Project started in 1978 got delayed due to careless approach of earlier Governments
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Posted by: site admin @ 11:48 pm

We wish the Elephant of  BSP!
to win large number of seats to acquire the MASTER KEY!
and make Chief Minister Bahen Ms Mayawati Ji !
as the Prime Minister PraBuddha Bharath Matha Maha Mayawati Ji!

First phase of Bihar elections (Factfile)

New Delhi, Oct 20 – The first of the six phases of the month-long elections to the Bihar state assembly is to be held Thursday.

Here is a factfile of the first phase:

Number of assembly constituencies – 47

Total voters – 10.7 million (5,678,567 men and 5,022,230 women)

Total number of candidates – 631

Total number of woman candidates – 52

Assembly constituency with maximum candidates – Kadwa (22 candidates)

Assembly constituency with minimum candidates – Singheshwar (Scheduled Caste constituency – seven candidates)

Party-wise list of candidates – Bahujan Samaj Party (45), Bharatiya Janata Party (21), Communist Party India (11), Communist Party of India-Marxist (7), Congress (47), Nationalist Congress Party (33), Janata Dal-United (26), Rashtriya Janata Dal (31) and other parties 156

Independent candidates – 238

Electronic voting machines to be used – 25,728

Largest assembly constituency area-wise – Saharsa

Largest assembly constituency voter-wise – Saharsa

IANS

LESSON 65 FOUR JHANAS PART V  21 10 2010 FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY

Anyone Can Attain Ultimate Bliss Just Visit:http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org

“It is ignorance that smothers, and it is carelessness that makes it invisible. The hunger of craving pollutes the world, and the pain of suffering causes the greatest fear.”- The Buddha Quotes

BUDDHA (EDUCATE)!                     DHAMMA (MEDITATE)!                   SANGHA (ORGANISE)!

WISDOM       IS    POWER

Awakened One Shows the Path to Attain Ultimate Bliss

COMPUTER IS AN ENTERTAINMENT INSTRUMENT!

INTERNET!

IS

ENTERTAINMENT NET!

TO BE MOST APPROPRIATE!

Using such an instrument

The Free ONLINE e-Nālandā Research and Practice University has been re-organized to function through the following Schools of Learning :

Buddha’s Sangha Practiced His Dhamma Free of cost, hence the Free- e-Nālandā Research and Practice University follows suit

As the Original Nālandā University did not offer any Degree, so also the Free  e-Nālandā Research and Practice University.

The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have…Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion.

§  Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar , Indian scholar, philosopher and architect of Constitution of India, in his writing and speeches

I.
KAMMA

REBIRTH

AWAKEN-NESS 

BUDDHA

THUS COME ONE

DHAMMA

II.
ARHAT

FOUR HOLY TRUTHS

EIGHTFOLD PATH

TWELVEFOLD CONDITIONED ARISING

BODHISATTVA

PARAMITA

SIX PARAMITAS

III.

SIX SPIRITUAL POWERS

SIX PATHS OF REBIRTH

TEN DHARMA REALMS

FIVE SKANDHAS

EIGHTEEN REALMS

FIVE MORAL PRECEPTS

IV.

MEDITATION

MINDFULNESS

FOUR APPLICATIONS OF MINDFULNESS

LOTUS POSTURE

SAMADHI

CHAN SCHOOL

FOUR JHANAS

FOUR FORMLESS REALMS

V.

FIVE TYPES OF BUDDHIST STUDY AND PRACTICE

MAHAYANA AND HINAYANA COMPARED

PURE LAND

BUDDHA RECITATION

EIGHT CONSCIOUSNESSES

ONE HUNDRED DHARMAS

EMPTINESS

VI.

DEMON

LINEAGE

with

Level I: Introduction to Buddhism

Level II: Buddhist Studies

TO ATTAIN

Level III: Stream-Enterer

Level IV: Once - Returner

Level V: Non-Returner
Level VI: Arhat

Jambudvipa, i.e, PraBuddha Bharath scientific thought in

mathematics,

astronomy,

alchemy,

and

anatomy

Philosophy and Comparative Religions;

Historical Studies;

International Relations and Peace Studies;

Business Management in relation to Public Policy and Development Studies;

Languages and Literature;

and Ecology and Environmental Studies

 Welcome to the Free Online e-Nālandā Research and Practice University

          Course Programs:

FOUR JHANAS PART V

http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Travelogue_to_the_four_jhanas_by_Ajahn_Brahmavamso

Travelogue to the four jhanas by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Travelogue to the four jhanas
By Ajahn Brahmavamso




This morning the talk is going to be on Right Concentration, Right Samadhi, on the four jhanas which I promised to talk about earlier this week and about exactly what they are, how to get into them, so one can recognise them after they’ve arisen and also to understand their place in the scheme of things. If one ever looks at the Buddha’s teachings - the Suttas - one finds that the word ‘jhana’ is mentioned very, very often. There is a common theme, which occurs in almost every teaching of the Buddha and is part of the eightfold path - Samma Samadhi - Right Concentration, which is always defined as ‘cultivating the four jhanas.’ In this meditation retreat, if we are really talking about meditation and we want to cultivate meditation, there is no reason why we shouldn’t aim to cultivate the jhana states, because they give a depth to one’s meditation which one can experience as something quite special and one could also experience the power of these states as well as the bliss of these states. It is that quality of bliss and that quality of power which you will later be able to use to really develop the powerful insights into the nature of your mind and the nature of all phenomena. I shall begin by talking about the Buddha’s own story which is related in the Suttas. He attained jhana almost by chance as a young boy sitting under a rose-apple tree, just watching while his father was doing some ceremony. It was a very pleasurable experience and what the Buddha, or the Buddha-to-be, remembered was just the pleasure of that experience and a little bit about its power. But like many people, like may meditators, many practitioners, he formed the wrong view that anything so pleasurable can have nothing at all to do with ending suffering and enlightenment, that something so pleasurable must be a cause for more attachment in this world. It was because of thoughts like these that for six years the Buddha just wandered around the forests of India doing all sorts of ascetic practices. In other words almost looking for suffering, as if through suffering you could find an end of suffering. It was only after six years of futility that the Buddha decided, having had a meal, and this is how it is actually said in the Suttas, that he recalled this pleasurable experience of the first jhana as a young boy, maybe he said “this might be the path to enlightenment.” and the insight knowledge arose in him, “This is the path to enlightenment, to Bodhi.” Because of that insight, the Buddha, as everyone knows, sat under the Bodhi tree, developed the jhanas and based on the power of that jhana, the clarity of that jhana, developed all of these wisdoms, first of all recollecting past lives, recollecting the action of kamma, the depth of kamma, how it sends beings to various parts of rebirth, and then lastly the Four Noble Truths.

It was only because of the power of that sort of mind that he could penetrate to such a degree of subtlety and uncover things which had been clouded completely from him. Since then he always tried to teach and encourage the practice of jhana as an essential ingredient of the Eightfold Path, an essential part of becoming enlightened. If one wishes to use Buddhism not as only a half-hearted path but to take it to its fullness, and aim for enlightenment, then sooner or later one will have to come across these jhanas, cultivate them, get to know them and use their power and do exactly the same as the Buddha did and become fully enlightened.

Many of the other talks which monks give tell you about the problem of suffering in existence, they tell you about the difficulties of life and the problems of rebirth and more death, but I think its also our responsibility, if we are going to tell you the problem, then we must tell you the solution as well and tell you the solution in all its detail, not holding anything back. Part of that solution, an essential part of that solution is developing these things which we call jhana.

Now what these jhanas actually are - I’ll just talk about the four jhanas this morning and I’m going to carry on from what I might call the launching pad of that second stage of meditation which I’ve been talking about a lot while I’ve been teaching meditation during this retreat. The second stage of meditation in my scheme of things is where you have full continuous awareness of the breath. So the mind is not distracted at all, every moment it has the breath in mind and that state has been stabilised with continual attention until the breath is continually in mind, no distraction for many minutes on end. That’s the second stage in this meditation. It coincides with the third stage in the Buddha’s Anapanasati Sutta, where the meditator experiences whole body of breath, where the body here is just a word for the accumulation of all the parts of an inbreath, all the parts of an outbreath and the sequential awareness of these physical feelings. The next stage, the third stage in my scheme, the fourth stage in the Buddha’s Anapanasati Sutta, is where, having attained that second stage and not letting it go, not letting go of the awareness of the breath one moment, one calms that object down, calms the object of the breath down.

There are several ways of doing that. Perhaps the most effective is just developing an attitude of letting go, because the object of the breath will calm down naturally if you leave it alone. However, sometimes some meditators have difficulty letting go to that degree and so another method which can be very effective is just suggesting calm, calm, calm. Or suggesting letting go. There is a great difference between the attitude of letting go and suggesting letting go. With suggesting letting go, you are still actually controlling things, you are getting involved in it but at least you are getting involved by sending it in the right direction, sending it towards the place where the attitude of letting go is occurring, without the need to put it into words or to give it as orders or commands. You are programming the mind in the right direction. But I use both, either just letting go as an attitude of mind or subconscious suggesting, just calm, calm, calm, and to feel the object of your attention, being here the feeling of the breath, get more and more refined, more subtle. The difficulty or the problem here will be that you have to always maintain your attention clearly on the breath. In other words, not letting go of the second stage when you develop the third stage. Keep full awareness of the breath, but just make that breath softer and softer and softer, more and more subtle, more and more refined, but never letting go of it. As the breath gets more and more refined, the only way of not letting go of it is by treating it very, very gently. You’re going towards an effortless awareness on the breath, an effortless attention where the breath is just there.

A bit of a problem here with many meditators is that they are not quite sure of the correct way of knowing the breath in this state. There is a type of knowing which is just knowing, being mindful of, without naming, without thinking, without analysing, a sub-verbal type of knowing. You have to be confident that you are actually watching the breath. Sometimes you may not have the width of mind to know exactly what type of breath you are watching, but you know you are watching the breath. The point is, it’s a type of knowing which is getting much more refined. Our usual knowing is very wide and full of many details. Here, the details are narrowing down until a point comes where sometimes we have so few details that we don’t know if we truly know, a different type of knowing, a much more refined knowing. So the wisdom has to be very strong here and confidence has to be strong, to understand that one still knows the breath. The breath hasn’t disappeared at all and you do not need, as it were, to widen the width of knowing through effort of will, this will just disturb the mind. Just allow everything to calm down. The object will calm down and so will the knowing start to calm down. It’s at this stage where you start to get a samadhi nimitta arising. I call this part of the third stage.

If you calm the physical feeling of breath down, the mental feeling of breath starts to arise — the samadhi nimitta – usually a light which appears in the mind. However, it can sometimes just appear to be a physical feeling. It can be a deep peacefulness; it can even be like a blackness. The actual description of it is very wide simply because the description is that which everyone adds on to a core experience, which is a mental experience. When it starts to arise you just haven’t got the words to describe it. So what we add to it is usually how we understand it to ourselves. Darkness, peacefulness, profound stillness, emptiness, a beautiful light or whatever. Don’t particularly worry about what type of nimitta it actually is.

If you want to know the way to develop that nimitta, then this fourth stage of developing the four jhanas is to pay attention to that aspect of the nimitta which is beautiful, which is attractive, which is joyful, the pleasant part of it. And again, it is at this stage where you have to be comfortable with pleasure and not be afraid of it, not fear that it is going to lead to some sort of attachment, because the pleasure of these stages can be very intense at times, literally overpowering: overpowering your sense of self, overpowering your control, overpowering your sensitivity to your physical body. So you have to look for that pleasure and happiness which is in the nimitta, and this becomes the fourth stage because once the mind has noticed the pleasure and happiness in the nimitta, that will act like what I call the magnet or the glue. It is that which will draw one’s attention onto it, and it’s not the will or the choice or the decision which takes the attention and puts it onto the samadhi nimitta. In fact once the choice, the intention, the orders inside yourself arise, they’ll actually push you away. You have to let the whole process work because the samadhi nimitta at this stage is very pleasurable; it literally pulls the mind into it. Many meditators when the possibly experience their first taste of a jhana, experience the mind falling into a beautiful hole. And that’s exactly what’s happening. It’s the joy, the bliss, the beauty of that nimitta which is before the mind that actually pulls the mind into it. So you don’t need to do the pushing, you don’t need to do the work. At this stage it becomes a natural process of the mind. Your job is just to get to that second stage, calm that breath down, allow the samadhi nimitta to arise. Once the samadhi nimitta arises strongly, then the jhana happens in and of itself.

Again, because the quality of knowing is very strong but very narrow in these states, while you are in these states, there is no way that you can truly assess where you are and what’s happening to you. The ability to know through thinking, through analysing, is taken away from you in these states. You usually have to wait until you emerge from these states, until your ordinary thinking returns again, so you can really look back upon and analyse what has happened. Any of these jhana states are powerful experiences and as a powerful experience, they leave a deep imprint on your mind.

Unfortunately there is not a word in our English language which corresponds to a positive trauma. The word ‘trauma’ is like a very strong negative, painful experience which leaves its imprint in you. This is similar in its strength and result to a trauma and you remember it very clearly because it has a severe impact on your memory. However, these are just purely pleasant experiences, like pleasant traumas, and as such you recall them very easily. So after you’ve emerged from a jhana, it’s usually no problem at all just to look back with the question, “what was that?” and to be able to see very clearly the type of experience, the object, which you were aware of for all this time and then you can analyse it. It’s at this point that you can find out exactly where you were and what was happening, but in the jhana you can’t do this.

After the jhana, one can know it by what the Buddha called ‘the jhana factors‘. These are the major signposts which tell you what particular states you’ve been in. It’s good to know those signposts but remember, these are just signposts to these states, these are the main features of these states and in the first jhana there are many subsidiary features. In fact the first jhana is quite wide. However, if it’s a first jhana experience it has to have the five main features, the five main jhana factors. The second jhana is much narrower, much easier to find out whether this is where you’ve been. It’s the same with the third and the fourth jhana, they get narrower still. The width of description for this experience, which you may offer, narrows down as you attain more profound depths of letting go.

But with the first jhana, the Buddha gave it five factors. The main factors are the two which is piti-sukka. This is bliss. Sometimes, if you look in books about the meaning of these terms, they will try and split them into separate factors. They are separate things, but in the first couple of jhanas piti and sukka are so closely intertwined that you will not be able to distinguish one from the other and it’s more helpful not to try, but to look at these two factors as just ‘bliss’. That’s the most accurate description which most people can recognise: “This is bliss.” The Buddha called it vivekaja piti-sukka, that particular type of bliss which is born from detachment, born from aloofness, born from seclusion. Viveka is the word for ’seclusion’, ‘aloofness’, ’separateness’ and it means ’separated from the world of the five senses’. That’s what you’ve separated yourself from and this is the bliss of that separation, which is the cause of that happiness and bliss. And that bliss has a particular type of taste which other blisses do not share, it is the bliss of seclusion. That is why it is also sometimes called the bliss of renunciation. You’ve renounced those things; therefore you are secluded from them.

There are two other factors which confuse people again and again. They are the two terms ‘vitakka’ and ‘vicira’ — which Bikkhu Bodhi in his Majima Nikaya translates as ‘initial’ and ’sustained’ application of thought or ‘initial’ and ‘applied’ thought. However, it should be known and recognised, that thinking, as you normally perceive it, is not present in these jhanas at all. That which we call thought has completely subsided. What these two terms refer to is a last vestige of the movement of the mind which, if it was continued, would give rise to thinking. It is almost what you might call sub-verbal thought. It is a movement of the mind towards a meditation object. That’s called vitakka. However it has to appear on a sub-verbal level, just a movement, just an intention, without the mind breaking into words and labels.

The mind moves onto the object, and remember the ‘object’ here, the thing you are aware of, is the piti-sukha. That is why it is the main factor of this jhana, because you are aware of bliss. That’s the object of your meditation, not the breath, not the body, not any words but you are aware of bliss. And you will also be aware, and this is one of the characteristics of the first jhana, that the mind will still be wobbling a little bit. The bliss which is the object of your awareness will appear, as it were, to fade or to recede, and as it fades, as it recedes, as it weakens, the mind will go towards it again. Attracted as it were, by its power, by its bliss, the mind goes towards it; that is called ‘vitakka’, the movement of the mind onto its object. When it reaches the object it will hold onto it, this is called ‘vicira’, which will be an effort of mind, but a very subtle effort of mind. This is an effort of mind; this is not an effort of will. It is not an effort coming from you, it’s the mind doing it by itself. All along you are a passive observer to all of this. And as it holds onto it, eventually, as it were, it will lose its grip and will recede away from the object of bliss again. In this way, the object of bliss will appear to be wobbly, not truly firm. As such, the mind will seem to have a little bit of width to it, but not be truly solid. However, that width is very small and you never move far away from that bliss because as soon as you move a little away from it, it retracts and pulls the mind straight back again.

Because it’s only got a little bit of width this is called one-pointedness of mind: all of the energy, the focus, of the mind being in one point, both in space and one point in time. This experience does not change over many, many, many minutes in a full first jhana. This experience is maintained, it’s just the mind going towards this bliss and this bliss lasting there for a long time. Now again, this is only how you’ll see it when you emerge from the jhana. You will not be able to analyse this experience into five factors during that time because the mind will not have that width, that ability to think, the ability to analyse, while you are in the state. While in the state all you’ll be aware of is just the bliss. You are literally blissed out, not really quite knowing why or what’s happening, but having some sort of feeling or confidence that this is worthwhile, this is beautiful, this is profound, this is worth doing, so that you can stay in those states.

It’s usual that a person’s first experience of jhana will be the first jhana. After a while, the strength of the samadhi, what you actually brought into that state with you, will begin to decline and the mind will move away from the bliss, and the vitakka will not be strong enough to take it back into it again, and you emerge from the jhana. The jhana will break up and you will be able to think and analyse again. Thoughts will come up into your mind and this will probably be one of the first things which arises after the jhana breaks, as it were. The mind will still have a lot of happiness and bliss to it but will not be as one-pointed. The body will usually not be recognised at the beginning and only later will the mind care to look and see what the body has been doing all this time.

The mind will be very powerful at this stage. You’ve just emerged from a jhana, you’ll still have a lot of happiness and bliss and in the words of the Buddha the mind will be ‘malleable’, it will be ‘workable’. It will be like a piece of clay which is not too wet and not too dry, which you can turn into any shape you want with ease because of the power which you invested in the mind, and that becomes the experience of the first jhana. Once you’ve experienced that once then it’s good to find out what caused that jhana to arise. What did you do? Or more appropriately, what did you let go of, to give rise to that jhana? Rather than what you did, what you let go of becomes a much more powerful indicator of the ways into these states. You usually find out that you developed that second stage when you started to let go of this ‘controller’, let go of the wandering mind, let go of the fear of these states and especially when you let go of the controller and just allowed the mind to show its face when you’re not there, giving all the orders. Once you start to get to know this and get to know the ways into these jhanas, then you should try and develop them, to repeat them again and again because not only are you developing insight, you are developing the skill, the skill of letting go of things which are the causes of deep attachment.

As you develop these jhanas more and more, they are very enjoyable things to develop. Sometimes people feel that a holy life, a spiritual practice should be harsh and severe. If you want to make it harsh and severe that’s up to you, but if you want to go on a happy path, a path of bliss which is also going to lead to enlightenment at the same time, this is it. Even though these are very strong pleasures, mental pleasures, the Buddha said they are not to be feared. He said this in many places in the Suttas and there was one place, in the Digha Nikaya, where he told the monks: if a person develops these jhanas, makes much of them, is almost attached to them, attached to their development then there are four consequences of that attachment to that development. The word I am translating here as attachment is anuyoga. Our word ‘yoke’ comes from this word ‘yoga‘ which means ‘tying onto’. Anu means ‘along with’ or ‘tied along with’ so it literally means ‘practising frequently’, doing it again and again and again, what some people would interpret as ‘being attached to.’

So there are four results from practising jhanas in this way, not five results, not three results, but four results. And those four results of practising jhana again and again and again are stream entry, once returner, non-returner and Arahat. The Buddha was unequivocal about this. It does not lead to more attachment to the world, it actually leads to the enlightenment experiences, to separation from the world. The way to develop them is that as you develop the first jhana more and more, you can aim towards the higher jhanas. The only way you can aim towards the higher jhanas is to do it before you enter this whole area of the mind we call the jhana realm. Because once you are in any jhana, you are stuck there and you cannot give any orders or any commands, you cannot drive your vehicle once you are in any of these absorptions. The aiming, the driving, the putting in of instructions has to be done beforehand.

It is very difficult to find similes for this. A very weak simile, but one I’ve used before is like someone charging into a house with four rooms and the fourth room is way down the back, the third room is just a little bit before that, the second room a bit before that and the first one is just inside the door. The floors are made out of this very, very slippery ice so you cannot make any momentum once you have got in the first door. All your momentum has to be built up from outside, so you charge the first door and if you are going very fast, you may be able to slip right through the first room and into the second room. If you are going really fast you may even get into the third room and if you are going very, very fast as you charge the front door, you may slip all the way into the fourth room. But once you are in any of these rooms you cannot add to your momentum. So the only way you can gain these deeper jhanas is, before you enter any of these states, making sure that your effort to let go, your resolve to abandon, that your desire to settle all disturbances is so strong that you settle the disturbance of this doing mind and next you settle the vitakka-vicira, this movement of the mind, and you settle many other things as well. The mind settles down, one thing after the other, as it goes into the deeper jhanas.

The second jhana is the first true state of samadhi because here you’ve settled down that which was a disturbance of the first jhana, which was a wobbling of the mind, the vittaka-vicara has been abandoned. So now the mind has the object of bliss firmly unified with it, and this state is one of rock-like samadhi, where there is this one object in the mind, of bliss, and there is no room in the mind at all. It is completely one-pointed, stuck solid as a rock and blissed out, so the object is not moving at all, not changing an iota, it is there one moment after another moment after another moment. Because of the solidity and stability of that state, the second jhana will last much, much longer than the first jhana; the deeper the jhanas, the longer they will last and you are usually talking in terms of hours for the second jhana, simply because it is a very solid state. Whereas the first jhana can be just for a matter of minutes, a good second jhana should be quite long — and it is very solid. Once you are in it there is no way you can get out until the energy of that jhana just uses itself up. That’s the only way, because you cannot form the resolution, “now’s the time to come out.” If someone calls you, you just will not hear them, if someone taps you on the shoulder, you will not recognise that, because you are completely separated from the external world. You are literally right in the centre of your mind and you cannot be contacted. Again, that second jhana, once it starts to break up, will break up into what is tantamount to first jhana then it will break out into the verbalisation of thought. You come down again.

For those who want to explore these states a lot, one important thing one can do, rather than to leave it to the momentum of your energy to quieten down your energy of samadhi, is to make resolutions before you enter these states. You just need to say to yourself, “I’ll just enter the jhana for half an hour or for one hour.” Because the mind is very refined in these states it will have power, your suggestion will be like programming a computer and once the hour is up, the mind will just come out of the jhanas. I can’t say exactly how it works, but it does. In the same way you can go to sleep and say, “I’ll wake up at three o’clock” and you do wake up at three o’clock or five minutes either side, without the use of an alarm clock. The mind, if you programme it with mindfulness, responds. And so that is a very useful way and a very good instruction; to use those resolutions so that you do not spend over long in those states when you have maybe an appointment or some things you have to do. Make a resolution first of all. However, when you are in that state, you cannot make a resolution, you cannot think, you cannot analyse. All you know is that you are blissed out, you are not quite sure what is happening and only afterwards you have the opportunity to emerge and then to analyse and to see what has gone on and why.

If one wishes to go deeper into the jhanas, then at this point one has to understand that that bliss, which is in the second jhana born of samadhi, born of full unification of mind, a bliss with a different taste, has an aspect to it which is still troublesome to the mind and that is this aspect of piti. This is almost like a mental excitement and that can be overcome if one aims to quieten that bliss down.

 Ajahn Brahmavamso
Perth, Western Australia, 1998
 (Edited from a talk given by Ajahn Brahmavamso during the 9-day retreat in North Perth, Western Australia, December 1997)

Asoka  Vijayadashami  & Dhamm Chakra Pravartan< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

Celebration at < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Doha, Qatar

Date : 15th October, 2010

Indian Buddhist friends celebrated Asoka Vijayadashami & Dhammchakra Pravartak Din at Srilankan Embassy Qatar

. This celebration is very unique as there were presences of more than hundred children with white uniform for the dhamma class. This environment reminds us feeling of Dikhaboomi Nagpur participation & celebration at our home town india.

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We revised the Trisharn; Panch-sheels followed with dhamma talk at beautiful Vihar of embassy premises at morning 9:45hrs.

We were amazingly viewing the activities of Dhamma Classes. This class is conducted every alternate Friday to rejuvenate Pali language in which abundantly Buddhist literature written & available.  It also helps to sustain cultural activities for coming generation. Such type of dhamma class is really useful for student & younger to understand what is Buddhism & associate culture.

His Excellency Srilankan Ambassador Mr. Vijaya Padukkage welcomed us with pleasant smile and spared an hour to discuss the intention of over visit. He explained; Buddhism is nothing but Science. He noted that we were the first Indian Buddhist who met.

He added the importance of Dhamma class, Tourism at Srilanka in view with Buddhist pilgrimage. He also visited to North India region from Lumbini – Nepal, Sarnath, Kushinara, Varanasi, Gaya etc. Srilankan respects India as Buddhist origin & King Asoka work.  He granted permission to visit vihar in week days & also off days with 2 days prior oral notification.

This visit & celebration was possible with the consistent effort of Mr. Uttam Vaidya & his srilankan friend Mr. JAGGTHA.

Srilankan Kids at dhamma class.

Ambassador narrating the srilankan caves painting like Ajanta, India paintings Cave

Later we discussed the Dhamma Dana importance & to help project for underprivileged at maharastra area. We decided to contribute the Dana monthly basis 25 Qatari Riyal at least, can be paid yearly basis also. We also decided to meet last Friday of every month for the feasibility of projects; dhamma talk and other activities.  We enjoyed the lunch at Hotel Alishan.

Mr.  Rajendra, Mrs. Nirupama Panchabhai and children Arin & Arya presence enhanced, motivated and reminded us to celebrate such occasion with family. Mr. Roshan Jambulkar, Mr. Prashant Bele, Mr. Vipin Nimbalkar, Mr. Nilesh Sahare, Mr. Sheshrao Ranveer, Mr. Dipesh Sonare & Naresh Lanjewar were present;

Reported by

Naresh Lanjewar

 Do not allow osteoporosis to break you: doctors

If you are of a certain vintage and rather unmindful of your diet and lifestyle, there could be trouble ahead, particularly concerning your bones. You will do well to be careful the next time you come across road humps or potholes as bumpy rides can injure or even fracture your spine. With 83 per cent of all spinal fractures in the country caused by osteoporosis, spine surgeons say vehicles negotiating road humps could harm the spine of those suffering from osteoporosis.

With October 20 being observed as World Osteoporosis Day, spine surgeons are propagating the prevention mantra. Lifestyle changes including quitting smoking, curtailing excessive alcohol intake, exercising regularly and consuming a calcium-rich balanced diet along with adequate intake of Vitamin D are the essential aspects in preventing osteoporosis.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes thinning and weakening of bones, resulting in their breaking easily. It is a progressive disease although people do not develop it all of a sudden. Fracture of arms, legs, wrist and spine in a patient will heal normally, but they are susceptible to suffer fractures more often.

Spine surgeons Rajagopalan of St. John’s Hospital and Mahesh Bijjawara of Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, who are also members of the Association of Spine Surgeons of India, who spoke to presspersons on Tuesday, say warning signs include persistent back pain, spine deformities, recurrent fractures and chronic medical problems, including a decrease in height. In most cases, fracture is the first indication of the problem. The most common diagnostic test for osteoporosis is a bone mineral densitometry, a non-invasive scan that measures bone density in the hip, wrist, heel or hand, they say.

Osteoporosis is becoming a major distressing disease, acquiring a household status. The doctors say developing the condition means loss of vital minerals in the bone — mainly calcium — and causing bones to become extremely brittle.

Incidence

In India, one in three women above the age of 50 is combating osteoporosis, along with one in five men. Although early detection and timely treatment can substantially decrease the risk, it is difficult to rebuild a bone that has been weakened by the condition. But with advances in medicine and availability of several modes of treatment including kyphon balloon kyphoplasty, osteoporosis patients can cope better with the condition.

http://www.kyphon.com/us/patient.aspx?contentid=17

Balloon Kyphoplasty

If you have been diagnosed with a spinal fracture caused by osteoporosis, cancer or benign tumors, balloon kyphoplasty is a treatment option you may want to consider. Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that can significantly reduce back pain and repair the broken bone of a spinal fracture.

The procedure is called balloon kyphoplasty because orthopaedic balloons are used to lift the fractured bone and return it to the correct position.

Before the procedure, you will have a medical exam and undergo diagnostic studies such as X-rays, to determine the precise location of the fracture. Balloon kyphoplasty can be done under local or general anesthesia—your physician will decide which option is appropriate for you.

Balloon kyphoplasty takes about one hour per fracture treated. It can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on medical necessity. After the procedure, you will likely be transferred to the Recovery Room for about an hour for observation.

 

How Balloon Kyphoplasty Works

While in the hospital, you may be encouraged to walk and move about. Patients usually report immediate relief from pain [17,19,29]  and are able to walk and move about during their hospital stay.

Your doctor will probably schedule a follow-up visit and explain limitations, if any, on your activity. Most patients report being satisfied with the procedure and are gradually able to resume activity once discharged from the hospital. [17,19]

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and serious adverse events can occur. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor.

Also, please note that not all patients are candidates for balloon kyphoplasty.

CONVERGENCE of Information Technology, Integrated Praduct Development, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology

What is Biotechnology?

Pamela Peters, from Biotechnology: A Guide To Genetic Engineering. Wm. C. Brown Publishers, Inc., 1993.

Biotechnology in one form or another has flourished since prehistoric times. When the first human beings realized that they could plant their own crops and breed their own animals, they learned to use biotechnology. The discovery that fruit juices fermented into wine, or that milk could be converted into cheese or yogurt, or that beer could be made by fermenting solutions of malt and hops began the study of biotechnology. When the first bakers found that they could make a soft, spongy bread rather than a firm, thin cracker, they were acting as fledgling biotechnologists. The first animal breeders, realizing that different physical traits could be either magnified or lost by mating appropriate pairs of animals, engaged in the manipulations of biotechnology.

What then is biotechnology? The term brings to mind many different things. Some think of developing new types of animals. Others dream of almost unlimited sources of human therapeutic drugs. Still others envision the possibility of growing crops that are more nutritious and naturally pest-resistant to feed a rapidly growing world population. This question elicits almost as many first-thought responses as there are people to whom the question can be posed.

In its purest form, the term “biotechnology” refers to the use of living organisms or their products to modify human health and the human environment. Prehistoric biotechnologists did this as they used yeast cells to raise bread dough and to ferment alcoholic beverages, and bacterial cells to make cheeses and yogurts and as they bred their strong, productive animals to make even stronger and more productive offspring.

Throughout human history, we have learned a great deal about the different organisms that our ancestors used so effectively. The marked increase in our understanding of these organisms and their cell products gains us the ability to control the many functions of various cells and organisms. Using the techniques of gene splicing and recombinant DNA technology, we can now actually combine the genetic elements of two or more living cells. Functioning lengths of DNA can be taken from one organism and placed into the cells of another organism. As a result, for example, we can cause bacterial cells to produce human molecules. Cows can produce more milk for the same amount of feed. And we can synthesize therapeutic molecules that have never before existed.

GOOD GOVERNANCE

Press Information Bureau

(C.M. Information Campus)

Information & Public Relations Department, U.P.

Hon’ble Chief Minister Ji directs officers to take necessary steps immediately to check spread of dengue and other fever related diseases

Ensure fogging and spray of pesticides in affected areas

Lucknow : 20 October 2010

The Hon’ble Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati Ji directed the

officers to take necessary steps immediately to check spread of dengue and

other fever related diseases. She directed the officers to ensure that all the

necessary medicines were available in the Government hospitals and hold camps

in the areas affected badly by dengue. She said that any laxity in the treatment

of the patients would not be tolerated and the guilty would be punished after

fixing their responsibilities.

Hon’ble Chief Minister Ji, after returning from her Bihar visit, reviewed the

steps being taken by the Health Department to check the spread of the dengue

and other fever related diseases at a high level meeting held at her official

residence here today. She directed the officers to ensure that the serious

patients were admitted to the hospitals and the beds were also available. The

dengue patients should be treated properly, she warned.

Hon’ble Chief Minister Ji has directed all the CMO’s and the CMO (Family

Welfare) to ensure that medicines were available in their respective hospitals in

adequate quantity. The State Government had already provided funds for the

purpose, she pointed out. Still, if more funds were required then the demand

should be forwarded to the government so that the same could be allocated.

Directing the officers to quickly control the spread of dengue and other infectious

diseases, she said that fogging and spray of pesticides should be ensured in the

affected areas.

Hon’ble Chief Minister Ji directed that the doctors should ensure their

availability in hospitals round the clock and arrangement of ambulances should

be ensured so that dengue and other patients could be quickly taken to the

hospitals. She asked them to ensure effective arrangement of the testing of the

patients and availability of blood for patients should also be ensured on priority

basis. She asked the officers to ensure that the control rooms set up by Health

Department at State HQ and district HQs remained functional round the clock.

During the review meeting, the senior officers of the Health Department

apprised the CM that the death of some people in the Khadra area of Lucknow 2-

3 days back had been taken very seriously. The Principal Secretary Medical

Health and Family Welfare and DG Medical Health and Family Welfare twice

visited the affected area today and took stock of the situation.

It was informed at the meeting that ten mobile teams had been set up at

three important hospitals viz. Balrampur Hospital, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee

Hospital and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital to deal with the dengue. The

mobile teams would look after the patients at the camps and provide them

treatment and medicine and serious patients would be taken to the hospitals

through ambulances and treated. Round the clock medical treatment and testing

facilities has been provided in the Khadra area. The medical camp and the

availability of ambulance would continue till the situation becomes normal.

—————

Saryu Canal Project started in 1978 got delayed due to careless approach of earlier Governments

Lucknow: 20 October 2010

A Spokesman of the State Government has said that Saryu

Canal Project started in 1978 got delayed owing to careless

approach. Terming the delay in earlier years as unfortunate, he

said that Bahraich, Shrawasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Basti, Sant

Kabir Nagar, Siddharth Nagar and Gorakhpur etc. districts got

affected owing to non completion of the project. The present

Government had taken the action of providing maximum amount

of money every year for the progress of Saryu Canal Project and

keeping in view the importance of the project continuous request

had been made to the Government of India to include this

project into ‘’National Project'’ with a view to completing it

timely. Further action would be taken after getting the money

from the Union Government, he added.

The spokesman said that Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar

Pradesh is reviewing the project from time to time, in which it

was found that this project got delayed owing to careless

attitude of earlier Governments and the districts which had to be

benefited were devoid of it. He said that an amount of Rs. 78.68

cr. was sanctioned in 1978 for this project. By creating 14.04

lakh hectare irrigation capacity in Ghaghara-Rapti-Doaab, an

amount of Rs. 299.20 cr. was sanctioned on March 24, 1982 on

the name of Saryu Canal Project. The cost of this project was

revised as Rs. 1256.00 cr. in 1992-93. Again, the revised cost

was estimated Rs. 2765.16 cr. in 1998-99.

Giving this information, the Spokesman said that Central

Water Commission had sanctioned the cost of the project as Rs.

7270.32 cr. in the meeting of TAC on March 11, 2010 including

the works of first, second and third phase of Saryu Canal Project.

The Spokesman said that during review it was found that

budgetary provision was not made according to the demand till

1995-96. Railways and National Highway Authority also

constructed bridges with delay. He said that after 1995-96,

money was not made available by Nabard/AIBP.

********

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LESSON 64 FOUR JHANAS PART IV 20 10 2010 FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY

Anyone Can Attain Ultimate Bliss Just Visit:http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org

“One who previously made bad kamma, but who reforms and creates good kamma, brightens the world like the moon appearing from behind a cloud.”- The Buddha

BUDDHA (EDUCATE)!                     DHAMMA (MEDITATE)!                   SANGHA (ORGANISE)!

WISDOM       IS    POWER

Awakened One Shows the Path to Attain Ultimate Bliss

COMPUTER IS AN ENTERTAINMENT INSTRUMENT!

INTERNET!

IS

ENTERTAINMENT NET!

TO BE MOST APPROPRIATE!

Using such an instrument

The Free ONLINE e-Nālandā Research and Practice University has been re-organized to function through the following Schools of Learning :

Buddha’s Sangha Practiced His Dhamma Free of cost, hence the Free- e-Nālandā Research and Practice University follows suit

As the Original Nālandā University did not offer any Degree, so also the Free  e-Nālandā Research and Practice University.

The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have…Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion.

§  Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar , Indian scholar, philosopher and architect of Constitution of India, in his writing and speeches

I.
KAMMA

REBIRTH

AWAKEN-NESS 

BUDDHA

THUS COME ONE

DHAMMA

II.
ARHAT

FOUR HOLY TRUTHS

EIGHTFOLD PATH

TWELVEFOLD CONDITIONED ARISING

BODHISATTVA

PARAMITA

SIX PARAMITAS

III.

SIX SPIRITUAL POWERS

SIX PATHS OF REBIRTH

TEN DHARMA REALMS

FIVE SKANDHAS

EIGHTEEN REALMS

FIVE MORAL PRECEPTS

IV.

MEDITATION

MINDFULNESS

FOUR APPLICATIONS OF MINDFULNESS

LOTUS POSTURE

SAMADHI

CHAN SCHOOL

FOUR JHANAS

FOUR FORMLESS REALMS

V.

FIVE TYPES OF BUDDHIST STUDY AND PRACTICE

MAHAYANA AND HINAYANA COMPARED

PURE LAND

BUDDHA RECITATION

EIGHT CONSCIOUSNESSES

ONE HUNDRED DHARMAS

EMPTINESS

VI.

DEMON

LINEAGE

with

Level I: Introduction to Buddhism

Level II: Buddhist Studies

TO ATTAIN

Level III: Stream-Enterer

Level IV: Once - Returner

Level V: Non-Returner
Level VI: Arhat

Jambudvipa, i.e, PraBuddha Bharath scientific thought in

mathematics,

astronomy,

alchemy,

and

anatomy

Philosophy and Comparative Religions;

Historical Studies;

International Relations and Peace Studies;

Business Management in relation to Public Policy and Development Studies;

Languages and Literature;

and Ecology and Environmental Studies

 Welcome to the Free Online e-Nālandā Research and Practice University

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FOUR JHANAS PART IV

http://noaimiloa.livejournal.com/49509.html

THE FOUR JHANAS - The Buddha
THE FOUR JHANAS

From A Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines:

jhana: ‘absorption’ (meditation) refers chiefly to the four meditative absorptions of the fine-material sphere (rupa-jjhana or rupavacara-jjhana; see: avacara). They are achieved through the attainment of full (or attainment-, or ecstatic) concentration (appana, see: samadhi) during which there is a complete, though temporary suspension of the fivefold sense-activity and of the 5 hindrances (see: nivarana). The state of consciousness, however is one of full alertness and lucidity. This high degree of concentration is generally developed by the practice of one of the 40 subjects of tranquility meditation (samatha-kammatthana; see: bhavana). Often called the 4 immaterial spheres (arupayatanaare called absorptions of the immaterial sphere (arupa-jjhana or arupavacara-jjhana).

Samadhanga Sutta

The Four Jhanas

There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: 

rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal.


Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thought and evaluation, he enters and remains in the second jhana: 

rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure.


And furthermore, with the fading of rapture, he remains in equanimity, mindful and alert, and physically sensitive to pleasure. He enters and remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.’:

He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture.


And furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure and stress — as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress — he enters and remains in the fourth jhana: 

purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness. (Anguttara Nikaya 5: 28. From: accesstoinsight.org: Samadhanga Sutta.)

Special focus on animation industry

CONVERGENCE of

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT)

INTEGRATED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT (IPD)

BIOTECHNOLOGY (BT)

NANOTECHNOLOGY (NT)

Focus on small and medium enterprises in the IT sector. “The future growth of IT business in India will be driven by small and medium enterprises, particularly in tier-II and tier-III cities

Focus on several areas of innovation, including the Animation

Innovation Animations

To look  at the “innovation” animated cartoon page from the CartoonStock Animation directory, the web’s biggest searchable archive of cartoon animations for licensing.

visit:http://www.cartoonstock.com/animation/directory/i/innovation_animations.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Age_of_American_animation

Golden Age of American animation

The Golden Age of U.S. animation is a period in the United States animation history that began with the advent of sound cartoons in 1928, with a peak between the second half of the 1930s and the first half of the 1940s, and continued into the early 1960s when theatrical animated shorts slowly began losing to the new medium of television animation. Many memorable characters emerged from this period including Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Goofy, Popeye, Betty Boop, Woody Woodpecker, Mighty Mouse, Mr. Magoo, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner , Tom and Jerry, and an incredibly popular adaptation of Superman. Feature length animation also began during this period, most notably with Walt Disney’s first films: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi.

http://www.google.co.in/#q=Innovation+in+animation&hl=en&sa=G&prmd=v&source=univ&tbs=vid:1&tbo=u&ei=C9q-TKj3CpCrcaH6xM8N&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=8&ved=0CD0QqwQwBw&fp=e1a3d43ccb78281d

 

 VFX

VFXKits

Can low budget features deliver great VFX?

Our Cross Channel Film Lab is currently researching the potential of visual effects in low to mid budget feature films (we’re looking at budgets of up to €10 milion). How can the latest technological developments be opened up to film-makers at every level - great VFX no longer solely the preserve of Avatar or even District 9?


The infamous VFX short “Panic Attack” by Uruguayan Fede Alvarez that led to a Hollywood deal, Neill Blomkamp’s pre-District 9 short - these successes demonstrate the potential of low budget ‘bedroom VFX’ (as in VFX made in someone’s bedroom, not VFX set in the bedroom, and probably not literally made in the bedroom, though you never know…) and of individuals using existing software to produce unexpectedly stunning visuals.


Other curious innovations at the very low budget end include international creatives collaborating on projects like Iron Sky at Wreckamovie, offering up an intriguing crowd-sourced VFX paradigm. While Blender continues to be a fascinating model for free ‘3D content creation’ technology that develops with its users. 


Will the next tier of low budget VFX be led by innovations in technology - or by innovations in the use of existing technology? Do the most exciting opportunities lie in creating new tools or in bringing the most creative people together to do clever things with standard software? What other opportunities for innovation exist where the development doesn’t cost a fortune?


THE VFX LAB


Our emerging proposal is the creation of a UK/French VFX lab that can match VFX experts and trainees with advanced film projects (and of course their creative teams) to stretch the possibilities of their visions and budgets - ultimately developing short taster tapes for each project as a route to finance. We want to explore whether such a model could inspire lower budget film-makers to realise greater ambitions, and more sensational visual effects…


Our research process is just beginning, and it’s very much a new world to me - so of course, it’s very exciting - and a bit scary. We’re starting to talk to a range of inspiring people about if and how a VFX lab could work. Should it also support professional development and graduate training for creatives and VFX specialists? Does it meet a current need - or are we barking up the wrong computer-generated tree?


WHAT DOES THE INDUSTRY THINK SO FAR?

So far the response has been very positive - there seems to be an appetite amongst VFX professionals for a space where visual effects could be pushed to their limits, where creatives could learn more about the possibilities and costs of VFX, and industry entrants get practical experience of workflows, pipelines and real life projects. 


Talking to those on the development side, there also seems to be a growing desire from emerging writers and directors to make films with a distinctive visual sensibility - using visual effects or ‘stereo 3D’ technology at a lower budget level in order to make something really striking, with potential to attract a broad audience. 


The UK Film Council mention an increase in material coming in from creative teams with a more ‘comic book’ sensibility or stronger visual aspirations.  Gareth Edwards’ up and coming sci-fi film “Monsters” is currently highlighted as a more recent example of great bedroom VFX. While in the world of 3D, “Street Dance 3D” was made for just £5 million (but has already apparently taken £12 million at the UK box office alone) and offers proof that populist 3D films can be made at a lower budget.


The short format also seems to serve a viable purpose when playing with VFX or 3D material - both as an R&D opportunity and a financing tool. The shorts mentioned above have reached a broad audience and led to greater opportunities for new writer/directors. While established producers are also exploring the role of shorts to ease entry into these brave new worlds. Producer Julie Baines recently developed a powerful trailer (not a scene from the proposed film, but a self contained story) for a 3D movie with which to explore the film-makers’ vision, learn about the technology and raise finance for the future film.


I’ve also heard positive examples of VFX companies getting involved in TV projects at a very early stage of development - helping producers to budget effectively, and run their shoot so that they can get the best possible results from a lower VFX budget. Here again, it seems to be more about a creative use of what exists than the development of a completely new process - but we’re keen to explore this further.


THE POLITICAL CONTEXT


It’s also interesting political timing for innovations in VFX. The government has recently announced an independent review into the UK’s VFX and gaming industries - to be delivered by Nesta and Skillset; and the VFX industry is currently on a Home Office Skills Shortage list. 


The UK Companies I’ve spoken to so far are busy, particularly with US projects. Recently, visual effects in Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean, and of course Harry Potter’s wizardry have been generated by UK companies. ‘Mid size’ companies likeRushes have doubled in size in the past two years. Yet the VFX industry is still talking about how hard it can be to find graduates with the right skills. There’s clearly a need for some further innovation, and training.


It is of course a very challenging time in the UK for accessing funding for projects that attempt to innovate in film-making. The future for the UK Film Council and regional development agencies looks bleak, and we don’t yet know how the regional screen agencies will fare. Budgets are being cut across the board. 


On the positive, this sets a strong context for innovations at the lower budget level. But even if our VFX lab develops into a project with clear value, and we can prove a strong economic benefit for the UK film industry, one of our biggest challenges yet may lie in finding secure sources of funding. 


WHAT NEXT?


Our research is ongoing - so everything I’ve mulled over here may change. But at the moment, it’s really exciting to see that a lab with the best talent from the UK and France could serve a clear purpose and generate real progress. And perhaps more importantly, it’s exciting to see genuine potential for low-mid budget film-makers to use VFX in ever more compelling ways.


(And I haven’t even started to talk about the potential benefits of getting VFX practitioners and screenwriters to inspire each other at an early stage - that’s for another post…)


If you have any thoughts about how VFX can best be developed for lower budget films, do please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

http://www.davidtan.org/amazing-visual-effects-100-years-of-innovation/

This video shows how visual effects in movies has evolved since 1900.

 

 Innovation in Gaming

Innovation: Why labs love gaming hardware

Innovation is our regular column that highlights emerging technological ideas and where they may lead

Blasting zombies may seem to have little to do with serious research, but video game hardware is helping scientists in a variety of ways including helping them to unravel the mysteries of the brain.

Specialist programmers have long been repurposing the graphics processing units (GPUs) that power action-packed scenes in games for non-graphics tasks. Now recent advances have opened up GPU-based supercomputing to non-specialists.

GPUs have greater raw computational power than conventional CPUs, but have a more limited repertoire of tasks. Combining hundreds of individual processors, they excel at applying simple repetitive calculations to large bodies of data.

Nicolas Pinto of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is using them in his efforts to crack the brain’s formula for recognising objects in images. “The interesting thing about a GPU is that they are made to produce a visual world,” he says. “What we want to do is reverse that process.

Hidden rules

“When an object moves across your retina, it will obey certain rules, the physical rules of the world,” Pinto says. “We are trying to learn these rules from scratch.”

Last year, for less than $3000, he built a 16-GPU “monster” desktop supercomputer to generate and test over 7000 possible variations of an object-recognition algorithm on video clips.

To test each model, Pinto’s makeshift supercomputer performed statistical analysis in both space and time on thousands of frames of video to find objects moving through the scene. Selecting for the models best able to decipher the action, he was able to match or better more traditional approaches.

He says this kind of work would previously have only been possible with a fully fledged supercomputer.

“If we weren’t newcomers in this field and could apply for multi-million dollar grants, then yes, we could probably get one of these massive computers from IBM,” he says. “But if money is an issue, or you are a newcomer, that is too expensive. It’s very cheap to buy a GPU and explore.”

Easy power

The latest graphics cards, from manufacturers ATI and Nvidia have 512 individual processors. By dividing the work among these processors, they can reach speeds of half a trillion calculations per second.

Previously it took specialist programming skills to set GPUs to work on serious, non-graphics science, but the process was difficult and time-consuming.

“The path from describing the problem to getting results was pretty treacherous,” says Nvidia general manager Andy Keane.

“Things were in computer graphics shader languages and texture coordinates – none of the stuff we were used to in scientific computing,” says Chris Johnson, director of the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. “It was extraordinarily difficult to map your problem to a GPU.”

Johnson says this changed around 2007 with the advent of new programming languages that make it easier for programmers without specialist graphics experience to program GPUs. Since then, researchers in both academia and industry have used them to, for example, analyse astronomical signals,simulate molecular interactions and rapidly check files for malware.

Exaflops beckons

While GPUs make desktop supercomputing accessible to a wide range of researchers, flagship computing centres such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have also taken notice. Oak Ridge announced last October that its next supercomputer, predicted to be the world’s fastest, would be built from GPUs.

“As we look at how to get the next 1000 times faster, to an exaflops, or 1018calculations per second, we see a lot of big challenges,” says Buddy Bland, a project director at Oak Ridge.

He says that the lab already uses clusters of GPUs for some number-crunching computing tasks such as climate modelling and simulations of supernovas. He says that increased precision and speed, along with reduced power consumption, make the cards an attractive option for the next generation of supercomputers. “We think this is one path to getting the higher-performance computing that we need.”

Read previous Innovation columns

: The Wi-Fi database that shamed Google, One web language to rule them all, Robots look to the cloud for enlightenment, iPad is child’s play but not quite magical, Only mind games will make us save power, Gaze trackers eye computer gamers, Market research wants to open your skullMovie Camera, Sending botnets the way of smallpox,Bloom didn’t start a fuel-cell revolution.

 

 Comics (AVGC) sectorVFX War WinnerGrapixModeling Challenge Winner: Starcraft Fanart ChallengeMarjaani WadalinPratik1213Nandlaskarhttp://www.cgtantra.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=399&Itemid=41]

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Duke Nukem PC

Innovation in

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT)

Innovators Will Thrive

Future Computer Technology Trends and Innovations: You may have heard that the original author of Executive Boardroom has taken a new job at Sun. After 22 years as the CEO, our founderScott McNealy is stepping up as Chairman of the Board. For this, my inaugural edition of the Executive Boardroom newsletter, I’d like to recognize that while the tone of these letters may be subtly different, Sun’s viewpoint remains the same. In this innovation presentation see howindustry leaders in information technology view future technology trends and computer technology innovation.
 

Innovation in INTEGRATED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT (IPD)

MANAGEMENT OF INNOVATION & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MBA TRACK

It is the most important business topic of all: identifying and fulfilling the unmet opportunity. Few business schools teach about it. Fewer still give you the experience of doing it.

The Management of Innovation and Product Development track teaches a rigorous and analytical process that structures the work involved in innovation, a process that allows innovation to be ongoing and replicable. Students gain not only knowledge and skills relevant to innovation but also gain experience in an innovation project. The initial phase of the innovation process is to identify problems to solve, which is to elicit what the target market wants even when they don’t yet know it. Middle phases focus on translating research findings into product specifications. The latter phase focuses on conceptualization and refinement of the solutions, both of the product prototype and of the solution business plan. Students learn and experience the process in the corporate-sponsored capstone course, where faculty from Carnegie Mellon’s top ranked schools of business, engineering, and fine arts provide coursework and team guidance.

By design, the track is multidisciplinary, using not only skills from various disciplines but also collaborative platforms to rapidly interconnect marketplace research, design insight, technology solutions, and business models. Companies are simultaneously becoming both analytical and innovative, making the experience and skills from the Management of Innovation and Product Development track relevant and valued in today’s marketplace. 

WHO SHOULD APPLY

Graduates of this track are adept at knowing not just how to solve problems but how to define them. They know how to collect and integrate varied perspectives into a valued product (software, service, system, or brand). They know how to communicate their concept in a proposal to senior management and to manage the project through to commercialization. Previous graduates have taken positions at small and large companies that are open to change, including Apple, eBay, PowerCast, RedZone Robotics, Plextronics, and IDEO. Students enrolling in the track should have a rigorous focus on understanding and documenting marketplace needs as well as company technologies, capabilities, and skills. They should be willing to shoulder risk to achieve what they find will be profitable for company and customers alike. Students should want to work in environments where they provide their own structure to their work, maybe even writing their own job description. In sum, applicants should not only exhibit intellectual achievement but also motivation, responsibility, perception, and an open mind.

REQUIRED TRACK COURSES 

Track course teach requisite skills for innovation as well as give students the experience of working with topics and people in other relevant disciplines. The track includes the following required courses.

  • New Product Management
  • Marketing Research
  • Interpersonal Negotiation
  • Groups and Team in Organizations
  • Industrial Design Fundamentals
  • Design for Manufacturing (or) Engineering Design (or) Quantitative Methods for Product Design and Development

Students with an engineering degree may be exempted from the engineering requirement. Likewise, students with a degree in industrial design may be exempted from the industrial design requirement. In addition to the required courses, students must complete an additional 1-2 electives selected by the student and approved by the track faculty coordinator.  Example electives include:

  • Design History
  • Pricing
  • Marketing Communications and Buyer Behavior
  • Business to Business Marketing
  • Brand Strategy
  • Entrepreneurial Thought & Action
  • Organizational Power and Influence
  • Managing Intellectual Capital & Knowledge Intensive Business
  • Product Planning

The program culminates in a capstone project course that is sponsored by an industry partner. Past sponsors include Ford, New Balance, Respironics, BodyMedia, Dormont Manufacturing, and International Truck. Sponsoring companies have applied for more than 15 patents on student projects in the course.

FACULTY COORDINATOR

For further information about the Management of Innovation and Product Development track, please contact the faculty coordinator:

Peter Boatwright
Associate Professor of Marketing
Tepper School of Business
pbhb@andrew.cmu.edu

 

 

Innovation in BIOTECHNOLOGY (BT)  

Monopoly Power, Price Discrimination, and Access to Biotechnology Innovations
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University
Price discrimination and monopoly power in the provision of an intellectual property (IP) protected innovation are analyzed. A general analytical model parameterized with data from the US introduction of Bt cotton is used to examine welfare transfers from the imposition of price discrimination. When two markets are being served under a one-price policy, total welfare increases from price discrimination because monopolist gains exceed farmer losses. If only one market is being served under a one-price policy, farmers in the new market and the innovator gain, while farmer welfare in the existing market is unchanged.
Key words: agricultural biotechnology, intellectual property protection, monopoly, price discrimination, welfare distribution.

The private sector has dominated the development and delivery of transgenic, or GMO, crop varieties in all countries except China. The commercialization of GMOs has been highly concentrated. Just four crops (cotton, soybeans, maize, and canola) account for virtually all of the GMO area; 97% of world area occurs in five large countries, and 96% of world investment occurs in industrialized countries (James, 2002). Because GMOs originate in the private sector, they are subject to intellectual property (IP) protection. This confers limited monopoly power to innovators and affects research and development (R&D) investment incentives, pricing strategies, and the availability of technology. When the monopolist/innovator is able to prevent buyers from reselling their product, they may be able to price discriminate to accentuate the effects of monopoly power.

In this paper we examine the welfare effects of monopoly and price discrimination in the marketing of biotechnology discoveries. Two main issues are examined. The first issue is the general case of the distribution of benefits when the attempt to price discriminate is added to the effect of intellectual property rights (IPR)-induced monopoly power. Secondly, the effect of price discrimination on the availability of technology in small markets is examined. We demonstrate that even though price discrimination is often considered to be an unwanted market distortion, it may increase total welfare by increasing total output and by making goods available in markets where they would not appear otherwise. The policy implication is that in some cases, allowing price discrimination may be a desirable policy for encouraging private-sector investment in small markets. Several empirical studies have shown that farmers can receive significant benefits from private-sector provision of improved inputs, even in the presence of monopoly power (e.g., Falck-Zepeda, Traxler, & Nelson, 2000; Jefferson-Moore & Traxler, in press; Oehmke & Wolf, 2004; Qaim & Traxler, 2005), but the effect of price discrimination has not been examined within this context.

At present, the majority of biotechnology investments occur in developed countries (Table 1), and about 70% of that investment is from private sources. Few developing countries currently have access to biotechnology products, and virtually all biotechnology products used in developing countries today are spillovers from developed countries.

Table 1. Table 1. Estimates of global R&D expenditures on crop biotechnology, 2001.

Funding source Expenditures ($ million)
Industrial countries (96%) Private (70%) 3,100
Public (30%) 1,120
Total 4,220
Developing countries (4%) China 115
India 25
Brazil 15
Others 25
Total 180
World total 4,400
Note. Data from James (2002).

Monopoly Pricing and Price Discrimination

A monopoly does not always lead to inefficient production due to price-setting behavior. Marginal cost pricing under perfect competition does not guarantee efficiency, because revenues from marginal cost pricing may not always cover total costs and may reduce future investment (Varian, 1996). Robinson (1933) pointed out that the comparison between monopoly and competitive output levels under similar cost structures may be flawed, because a monopolist can only exist in an imperfect market. In addition, the monopolist may have a different cost structure, including a downward-sloping marginal cost curve, from that of the (long run) total cost structure of the perfectly competitive market (Robinson, 1933). Moschini and Lapan (1999) also showed that if the efficiency of the improved seed compared to the conventional variety is high enough, then the monopolist price measured in efficiency units may be lower than the price of conventional seed when measured in efficiency units.

Under certain conditions, it is possible for a monopolist to price discriminate. For the monopolist to take advantage of the different valuation of the output by consumers, arbitrage opportunities must be absent, and the market must be segmented.

The output level and welfare impact of adding price discrimination to monopoly power has received a significant amount of attention dating back to Pigou (1920) and Robinson (1933) with substantial recent contributions from Varian (1985,1996), Schmalensee (1981), and others. Few general conclusions can be drawn from the literature, but the change in output and welfare induced through price discrimination can be analytically determined for any given case. Robinson showed that differences in “concavities” of the marginal revenue curves of the separate markets is necessary for price discrimination to lead to an increase in total output. She went on to say that whenever total output produced under discrimination is higher than under simple monopoly, society is better off, and in situations where total output under discrimination and simple monopoly are the same, society may be better off depending on the tradeoff between welfare of the “weak” (more elastic) markets compared to the “strong” (less elastic) markets. A number of studies, including Schmalensee (1981), Varian (1985), Shih, Mai, and Liu (1988), and Layson (1988) have attempted to refine these claims.

A review of these studies indicates that whether discrimination leads to an increase or decrease in social welfare is an empirical question. Knowledge of the shape of the demand and marginal revenue curves and the magnitude of the demand elasticities (and to some extent, the shape of the marginal cost curve) help to determine the sign and magnitude of the change in welfare. However, it is unequivocal that with price discrimination, total output and welfare will increase if small (niche) markets that would otherwise be priced out of the market for the technology enter the market at the lower discriminated price (Varian, 1996).

Three types of price discrimination are discussed in the literature. We assume third-degree price discrimination in the market for cotton seed.1 Here, buyers may be grouped into a number of separate segments. Each segment pays a different price for the same output. The more elastic group pays a lower price than the less elastic markets. With regard to the welfare implications of third-degree price discrimination, the seller captures more of the benefits and possibly less deadweight loss than a nondiscriminating monopolist. In addition, there is a redistribution of benefits among buyers—from the less elastic to the more elastic markets.

Price Discrimination in the Seed Market

The sunk or fixed costs of developing an innovation such as herbicide tolerance are often large. However, once developed, the marginal cost of producing additional improved seed is very small. The laws and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) have provided innovating firms with some monopoly power in the market for seeds (Falck-Zepeda et al., 2000), allowing the innovating firms to set a price higher than marginal cost. This provides a powerful incentive for private-sector innovation, for without monopoly power innovators may not be able to cover their total costs, thus restricting the range of technologies available to farmers. In the section that follows we present a model that compares the welfare consequences of price discrimination versus a one-price policy for an IP protected innovation suitable for two separated markets. The implication is that if the ability to price discriminate is restricted through natural arbitrage or commercial policy, total welfare may be less.

Bt cotton presents a case of potential price discrimination. Monsanto has been essentially a monopoly supplier of Bt cotton because it owns the patents to the key genetic events—even though a number of seed companies sell a number of different varieties of Bt cotton, they all rely on the same genetic event. (In 2003, Dow and Syngenta each successfully petitioned for deregulation of a genetically modified Bt cotton variety, which may erode Monsanto’s monopoly position.) The potential for a monopolist to price discriminate in Bt cotton exists for two reasons. First, upland cotton varieties tend to react to small agro-climatic variations, restricting possibilities for spatial arbitrage. This allows a certain amount of price discrimination by geographic area. Second, Monsanto (or other companies) could require the farmer to sign a technology contract with a “no resale” clause in it, effectively segmenting the market.

The Model

Assume that the price-discriminating monopolist faces two or more demand schedules that describe the monopolist’s markets: Q1 = Q1(P) and Q2 = Q2(P). With price (P), total demand faced by the monopolist is then

QT = Q1(P) + Q2(P). (1)

The nondiscriminating monopolist maximizes profit such that

MRT = P(1 + 1/ηT) = c′(QT) = MC(QT), (2)

where MRT is the marginal revenue of total demand, MC(QT) is the marginal cost of production, and ηT = ∂QTP / ∂PQT is the elasticity of total demand. The profit-maximizing total quantity produced by the nondiscriminating monopolist is

QT(P) = QT( ηTc′(QT) / ηT+1 ) = Q1( ηTc′(QT) / ηT+1 ) + Q2( ηTc′(QT) / ηT+1 ). (3)

The price-discriminating monopolist maximizes profits when MR1 = MR2 = MRT= MC(QT) = c′(QT), so for market i,

MRi = Pi(1 + 1/ηi) = c′(QT) = MC(QT), (4)

where ηi = ∂QiPi / ∂PiQi is the elasticity of market i demand. Thus, the profit-maximizing total quantity produced by the discriminating monopolist is

QDT(P) = Q1( η1c′(QT) / η1+1 ) + Q2( η2c′(QT) / η2+1 ). (5)

As shown by Robinson (1933), Schmalensee (1981), and Varian (1985), there is an increase in welfare from a simple monopoly to a price-discriminating monopoly only if total quantity produced increases. Welfare change is the sum of monopoly profit and consumer surplus changes.2 Consumer surplus changes are the change in the area beneath the respective demand curves as a result of the price changes, and monopoly profit is the product of the difference between the technology fee and average cost (or marginal cost, because we model constant marginal cost) and the quantity of seed demanded by the market.

Welfare Calculations

To calculate the distribution of benefits from price discrimination we follow the general procedures outlined in Alston, Norton, and Pardey (1996). Farmer benefits from discrimination are the change in consumer surplus—the area beneath the respective input demand curves and above the market price. Benefits to the innovator are taken to be the change in monopoly profit—the area above the marginal cost curve and the below the price in each market.

If the output market is competitive, the change in consumer surplus measured in the input market is equal to the change in total surplus in the output market (Jacobsen 1979; Schmalensee, 1976). For this study, we assume that farmers sell their output in a competitive market, so total welfare change from the introduction of the improved technology is the sum of the change in monopoly profit in the intermediate (seed) market and the change in consumer surplus in the input market (Moschini & Lapan, 1997). Also, Just and Hueth (1979) showed that when demand curves are estimated econometrically without including prices in other linked markets, the demand obtained is equivalent to a general equilibrium demand curve, and thus the welfare areas calculated in the seed market comprise the total welfare change within the system.

Data

We use data from Hubbell, Marra, and Carlson (2000) empirically to examine the case of potential price discrimination in Bt cotton. Hubbell et al. (2000) presented, using data for 1996, the Bt cotton demand of cotton growers in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina divided into two regions (Upper South and Lower South) with different levels of insect resistance to pesticides and therefore with two derived demand curves. The objective of their study was to simulate the costs of reducing conventional insecticide applications through subsidization of Bt cotton. The total Bt cotton seed demand for the region comprises the Upper South (North Carolina and South Carolina) with no resistance experience (US/NR) and the Lower South (Alabama and Georgia) with some resistance experience (LS/R). Demand for Bt cotton is less elastic when insects are resistant to chemical pesticides. Data for Hubbell et al. (2000) were obtained from a survey of cotton growers conducted in 1997. From Hubbell et al. (2000), Bt cotton demand was:

BTACRES = Pr(z(p))(BTPROP(v(p))(TOTCOT), (6)

where BTACRES is the number of acres planted to Bt cotton, Pr(z(p)) is the probability that a farmer adopts the Bt cotton technology at price p, BTPROP is the proportion of cotton land planted to Bt cotton once the decision is made to adopt, and TOTCOT is the total cotton area in the region. Further, the probability of adoption is calculated as Pr(z(p)) = 1 - Φ(z(p)), where Φ(z) is the standard normal cumulative density, and z(p) = x′β + α(Δy - p) was estimated to obtain estimates of β and α, the coefficients of the variables of farm and farmer attributes (x) and price, respectively. Farm and farmer attributes included in thex vector were total acres planted to cotton, share of income from cotton, percentage damaged bolls in 1995, operator’s age, number of years of growing cotton, and dummy variables for insect resistance to conventional insecticides experienced in 1995, farm location, and college education by the operator.

The proportion of cotton land planted to Bt cotton was estimated asBTPROP(v(p)) = w′γw + γpp + γλλ, where w is the vector of farm and farmer attributes and λ(z(p)) is the Mills ratio included as a variable, because BTPROP is only observed for those farmers who either adopted in 1996 or indicated their willingness to adopt at the hypothetical technology fee. Farm and farmer attributes included in the BTPROP equation were share of income from cotton, percentage damaged bolls in 1995, number of years growing cotton, and dummy variables for insect resistance to conventional insecticides experienced in 1995, farm location, and college education by the operator.

Results and Discussion

Using the demand curves for US/NR and LS/R from Hubbell et al. (2000), we determined the profit-maximizing discrimination prices and quantities for each region when the innovator (monopolist) is able to discriminate. The marginal cost of the innovator was estimated from the technology fee and the total demand elasticity (using Equation 2). The elasticity of total demand at a given price was estimated as

ηT = (QUS/NRηUS/NR + QLS/RηLS/R) / QT. (7)

Given the demand function in Equation 6, elasticity of demand in market i = US/NR, LS/R is

ηi = p × [(∂Pr(zi) / ∂p) × BTPROP(vi) + (∂BTPROP(vi) / ∂p) × Pr(zi)] × (TOTCOTi / BTACRESi). (8)

At the observed market price in 1996 of $32/acre, the elasticity of total demand was estimated as -2.1, which results in an implied marginal cost of $16.88/acre.

We assume constant marginal cost and the same cost structure whether or not discrimination occurs.3 By equating the individual marginal revenues to estimated marginal cost of total production, we obtained the profit-maximizing prices that the price-discriminating innovator can charge in each market. Figure 1 presents an initial situation under monopoly pricing (selling quantities a and bin the two markets), where total marginal revenue equals marginal cost, and shows the potential change from uniform pricing to price discrimination. Because US/NR is the more elastic market, the innovator charges a lower price (at point c) and sells more (from point b to point f) to farmers in that region and charges a higher price (at point d) and sells less (from point a to point g) to farmers in the less elastic market. With a marginal cost of about $16.88/acre, the innovator can charge about $25.92/acre in US/NR and about $33.09/acre in LS/R.

Figure 1. Effects of price discrimination of Bt cotton seed in Southern United States.

Note. Data from Hubbell et al. (2000) and authors’ computations.

At the discriminatory prices, the number of acres cultivated to Bt cotton would increase from about 60 to 142 thousand acres in US/NR and decrease from about 747 to 701 thousand acres in LS/R. The total number of Bt cotton acres will increase by about 35 thousand acres. Table 2 shows the change in quantities, prices, and welfare in both markets after price discrimination. Under price discrimination, total welfare, computed as the sum of consumer surplus and monopoly profit, increases.4 Welfare to farmers in US/NR increases by about 32%, while welfare to farmers in LS/R decreases by about 3% of the value of Bt cotton seed initially sold in each market. The monopolist’s profits increase by 2%.

Because both markets were being served under uniform pricing, welfare of farmers in one of the markets (in this example, LS/R) necessarily decreases under differential pricing.

Table 2. Change in prices, quantities, and welfare under price discrimination.

Region Price ($/acre) Quantity (acre) Welfare change ($) Welfare change as a share of initial cost of seed (%)
Initial Discriminating Initial Discriminating
Upper South 32 25.92 60,496 142,279 616,198 32
Lower South 32 33.09 747,499 700,551 -792,233 -3
Innovator 32 807,995 842,830 428,626 2
Total welfare change 252,590a
Note. Data from authors’ computations using Hubbell et al. (2000).
a Differences due to rounding error.

Conclusion

In this paper, we analyzed the welfare effect of adding price discrimination to monopoly power in the provision of IP-protected innovations. The theoretical literature has produced few general results regarding the welfare implications of price discrimination, suggesting that empirical studies are needed. We presented a general analytical model which was parameterized using data from the introduction of Bt cotton in the southern United States. Results suggest that where both markets are being served under a one-price policy, there is a welfare loss to farmers in the less elastic market and gains to the innovator and farmers in the more elastic market.

In the Bt cotton case, the fact that the innovator (Monsanto) was not price discriminating at the time the data for this study were collected may have been due to the difficulty in preventing arbitrage between markets. Spatial arbitrage is more difficult when the second market is in a developing country (niche) market because of the geographical separation of the two markets. In this situation, a policy of differential input pricing will benefit the innovator by helping defray the investment incurred by the innovators and may represent a path for assisting developing countries to gain access to new technologies generated by R&D efforts.

A more interesting case is that of a small market not being served under uniform pricing (for instance, the case of most developing countries) but that may obtain access to the technology under price discrimination. The ability to use price discrimination to market biotechnology innovations in separated markets may be more important for developing countries to access these innovations, even though this is a controversial subject. However, this is a potentially important strategy for providing access to needed technology that may benefit both the biotechnology industry and the small market countries. Without access to cost-reducing technologies, developing countries that compete with developed-country producers will see welfare reduced because of the output price-reducing impact of technological change. Putting in place conditions under which firms are able to price discriminate across international markets holds the potential to enhance developing-country access to private-sector technology.

Endnotes

1 We model third-degree price discrimination, which may occur when markets are characterized by different demand schedules and when few arbitrage opportunities exist. To some extent, this form of price discrimination is curently employed by innovators who charge lower prices in some (small and more elastic) foreign markets than in (large and less elastic) domestic markets. First- and second-degree price discrimination, characterized by charging a different price for each unit and by charging different prices depending on the quantity purchased, are not likely to occur in the cotton seed market.

2 Benefits to cotton producers are referred to as consumer surplus, because we are dealing with the market for seed.

3 This is assumed to simplify the analysis, but even if this were not true, the relevant marginal cost for determining the discriminating prices and quantities for the two regions is the marginal cost of total production. Thus, assuming constant marginal cost is not a limiting assumption. However, if the cost structure of the innovator changes if they are allowed or able to discriminate, then the shape/slope of the marginal cost would be significant.

4 The demand functions are not linear, so the estimates of consumer surplus obtained are only approximations—but good approximations, because the price changes are not too large.

References

Alston, J.M., Norton, G.W., & Pardey, P.G. (1996). Science under scarcity: Principles and practices for agricultural research evaluation and priority setting. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Falck-Zepeda, J.B., Traxler G., & Nelson R.G. (2000). Surplus distribution from the introduction of a biotechnology innovation. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 82(2), 360-369.

Jacobsen, S.E. (1979). On the equivalence of input and output market marshallian surplus measures. American Economic Review, 69(3), 423-428.

James, C. (2002). Global review of commercialized transgenic crops: 2001 feature: Bt cotton (ISAAA briefs 26). Ithaca, NY: International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications. Available on the World Wide Web:http://www.isaaa.org/kc/Publications/pdfs/isaaabriefs/Briefs%2026a.pdf.

Jefferson-Moore, K.Y., & Traxler, G. (in press). Second-generation GMOs: Where to from here? AgBioForum. Available on the World Wide Web:http://www.agbioforum.org/.

Just, R.E., & Hueth, D.L. (1979). Welfare measures in a multimarket framework.American Economic Review, 69(5), 947-954.

Hubbell, B.J., Marra, M.C., & Carlson, G.A. (2000). Estimating the demand for a new technology: Bt cotton and insecticide policies. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 82(1), 118-132.

Layson, S. (1988). Third-degree price discrimination, welfare and profits: A geometrical analysis. American Economic Review, 78(5), 1131-1132.

Moschini, G., & Lapan, H. (1997). Intellectual property rights and the welfare effects of agricultural R&D. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 79(4), 1229-1242.

Oehmke, J.F., & Wolf, C.A. (2004). Why is Monsanto leaving money on the table? Monopoly pricing and technology valuation distributions with heterogeneous adopters. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 36(3), 705-718.

Pigou, A.C. (1920). The economics of welfare (1st ed.). London: Macmillan.

Qaim, M., & Traxler, G. (2005). Roundup ready soybeans in Argentina: Farm level, environmental, and welfare effects. Agricultural Economics, 32(1), 73-86.

Robinson, J. (1933). The economics of imperfect competition (1st ed.). London: Macmillan.

Schmalensee, R. (1976). Another look at the social valuation of input price changes. American Economic Review, 66(1), 239-243.

Schmalensee, R. (1981). Output and welfare implications of monopolistic third-degree price discrimination. American Economic Review, 71(1), 242-247.

Shih, J., Mai C., & Liu J. (1988). A general analysis of the output effect under third-degree price discrimination. Economic Journal, 98(389), 149-158.

Varian, H.R. (1985). Price discrimination and social welfare. American Economic Review, 75(4), 870-875.

Varian, H.R. (1996). Differential pricing and efficiency. First Monday, 1(2). Available on the World Wide Web:http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue2/different/index.html.

Authors’ Notes

Albert K.A. Acquaye is a project economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis. Greg Traxler is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University. The authors wish to thank Michele Marra for kindly agreeing to share data for use in this study and James Oehmke and Carl Pray for their useful comments and suggestions. Financial support was received from the USDA/IFAFS.

 

Innovation in NANOTECHNOLOGY (NT)  

Strategies for sustainable design of nanotechnology products

Innovations in Nanotechnology (NT) inspire designers and entrepreneurs to deploy nanomaterials for the creation of products that offer superior functions. There are high expectations on NT to enable substantial benefits for sustainable production and consumption. For instance, there are opportunities for improvements of energy and resource efficiency in various industrial and consumer sectors. Moreover, reduction in the use of hazardous chemical substances in products seems possible if nanomaterials replace for them. On the other hand, the use of nanoparticles in consumer products has given raise to concerns over their safety to human health and the environment. Thus far, the scientific knowledge on risks of NT is insufficient but there are early warnings that free nanoparticles can have adverse side effects.

How can prudent designers and enterprises utilize NT for the creation of innovative products that are economically and ecologically sustainable? How to take advantage of NT while avoiding unsustainable side effects?

The workshop provides a forum for knowledge cooperation and networking among researchers, designers and entrepreneurs that are interested in NT. It allows for exchange of ideas on sustainable NT and experiences (lessons learned) with mitigating risks. The aim of the workshop is encouraging a goal-oriented discussion on risk preventative innovation strategies in NT. The session starts with a short introduction in the opportunities and risks of NT as a basis for further discourse. Then, the participants engage in parallel round table discussions. They will be prompted with pre-defined questions and asked to elaborate propositions how to use NT in service of sustainable innovation.

The intended outcome of the workshop is an agenda to move nanotechnology into the real world in a sustainable way for the benefit of society, the economy and the environment.

The Scanning Probe Microscope SOLVER NEXT

The Scanning Probe Microscope SOLVER NEXT – the Product of NT-MDT Co. – got the Grand Prix of the Federal Russian Competition “Russian Innovations”

On May 27th 2010 the Federal Russian Competition “Russian Innovations” summed up and hanged over awards. The Scanning Probe Microscope SOLVER NEXT by the global nanotech producer NT-MDT Co. got the Grand Prix of the competition. The main goal of the competition is to announce and promote new innovative products, systems and tools in Russia and worldwide.

The Competition “Russian Innovations” is 9 years old. It is held by authoritative Russian media holding “Expert”. The partners of the event are the main nanoorganizations in the country “RUSNANO” and “RUSATOM”. The competition is an essential part of Russian innovation and nanotechnology development program. It plays a very important role in launching and promoting new high-tech developments in Russia and worldwide. Getting publicity to nanodevelopers and producers, the event increases investing rate in nanosector. Moreover, the competition helps to expertise new tools and ideas and to select only perspective ones. So, it raises the confidence rate to nanosector in Russia.

The Scanning Probe Microscope SOLVER NEXT has managed to receive Grand Prix of the “Russian Innovations-2010″. Its producer NT-MDT Co. names it “the state-of-the-art company’s development”. This tool offers both atomic force (AFM) and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) under one hood. This enables researchers to gain the fastest time to results, excellent performance, increased accuracy, high reliability and unprecedented ease-of-use with no loss in resolution. The flexible, sleek and functional system incorporates smart software, automated head exchange, and motorized sample positioning under video monitored control. This allows for high quality images without the need for specially trained operators.
The system has closed-loop sensors to compensate for inherent piezoelectric imperfections such as scan nonlinearity, creep and hysteresis. With two additional removable heads for operating in liquid environments and nanoindentation one has the freedom to work with a variety of samples, measuring modes and conditions. TheSOLVER NEXT has an advanced controller with a vast library of scripts and both Mac® and Windows® compatibilities. The result is an image-friendly operating system well-suited to large file, 3-dimensional mathematics and manipulation.

So, the tool is designed to meet a researcher’s current and future needs. This innovative device at the forefront of scientific research opens up new paths of study in different fields of nanotechnology, providing all user levels with a full range of conventional SPM measuring techniques (such as topography, phase imaging, nanolithography and more). SOLVER NEXT provides a robust, diverse, and economic solution for universities, industrial, routine biological and pharmaceutical labs. It makes AFM and STM accessible to a broader audience, even offering a special iPhone™ applet for simple image analysis and image sharing.

Mac®, iPhone™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Apple Inc.; Windows® is a trade mark of Microsoft Corp.

Information Technology

Information technology (IT) is “the study, design, development, application, implementation, support or management of computer-basedinformation systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware”, according to the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to securely convert, store, protect, process,transmit, input, output, and retrieve information.

General information

As it pertains to technology, IT spans a wide variety of areas that include but are not limited to things such as Processes, Computer Software, Computer Hardware, Programming Languages, and Data Constructs. In short, anything that renders data, information or perceived knowledge in any visual format whatsoever, via any multimedia distribution mechanism, is considered part of the domain space known as Information Technology (IT).

As it pertains to organizations within enterprises, IT represents an operational group that helps solve such problems as those related to data, information and knowledge capture, persistence, processing, brokering, discovery and rendering. Such organizations can be as small as one or two people that can be shared between multiple small business and as large as multi-billion dollar structures that are common in all Fortune 500 enterprises.

Today, the term information has ballooned to encompass many aspects of computing and technology, and the term has become very recognizable. IT professionals perform a variety of functions (IT Disciplines/Competencies) that range from installing applications to designing complex computer networks and information databases. A few of the duties that IT professionals perform may include data management, networking, engineering computer hardware, database and software design, as well as management and administration of entire systems. Information technology is starting to spread farther than the conventional personal computer and network technology, and more into integrations of other technologies such as the use of cell phones, televisions, automobiles, and more, which is increasing the demand for such jobs.

In the recent past, ABET and the ACM have collaborated to form accreditation and curriculum standards for degrees in Information Technology as a distinct field of study separate from both Computer Science andInformation Systems. SIGITE is the ACM working group for defining these standards. The Worldwide IT services revenue totaled $763 billion in 2009.It is important to consider the overall value chain in technology development projects, as the challenge for the value creation is increasing with the growing competitiveness between organizations. The concept of value creation through technology is heavily dependent upon the alignment of technology and business strategies. While the value creation for an organization is a network of relationships between internal and external environments, technology plays a role in improving the overall value chain of an organization. However, this increase requires business and technology management to work as a creative, synergistic, and collaborative team instead of a purely mechanistic span of control. Technology can help an organization improve its competitive advantage within the industry in which it resides and generate superior performance at a greater value.

Sector structure/Market size

The Indian information technology (IT) industry has played a key role in putting India on the global map. Thanks to the success of the IT industry, India is now a power to reckon with. According to the annual report 2009-10, prepared by the Department of Information Technology (DIT), the IT-BPO industry is expected to garner a revenue aggregate of US$ 73.1 billion in 2009-10 as compared to US$ 69.4 billion in 2008-09, growing at a rate of over 5 per cent. The report predicts that the Indian IT-BPO revenues may reach US$ 225 billion in 2020.

According to DIT, the Indian software and services exports is expected to reach US$ 49.7 billion in 2009-10 as compared to US$ 47.1 billion in 2008-09, registering an increase of 5.5 per cent in dollar terms. Further, the IT services exports is estimated to grow from US$ 25.8 billion in 2008-09 to US$ 27.3 billion in 2009-10, showing a growth of 5.8 per cent.

Moreover, according to a study by Springboard Research published in February 2010, the Indian information technology (IT) market is expected to grow at around 15.5 per cent in 2010, on the back of growing investor confidence and favourable initiatives taken by the government.

The data centre services market in the country is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.7 per cent between 2009 and 2011, to touch close to US$ 2.2 billion by the end of 2011, according to research firm IDC India’s report published in March 2010. The IDC India report stated that the overall India data centre services market in 2009 was estimated at US$ 1.39 billion.

As per a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and market research firm IMRB, the total number of Internet users in India reached 71 million in 2009. The number of active users increased to 52 million in September 2009 from 42 million in September 2008, registering a growth of 19 per cent year-on-year, stated the report.

According to IDC India, during January-March 2010, total PC sales in India reached 2,240,000 units registering a year-on-year increase of 33 per cent over the same period in 2009. Desktop PC sales witnessed a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent during January-March 2010, over the corresponding period last year to reach 1,436,000 units. The sales of Notebook computers also increased by 72 per cent year-on-year, clocking 803,000 shipments.

Outsourcing

India is a preferred destination for companies looking to offshore their IT and back-office functions. It also retains its low-cost advantage and is a financially attractive location when viewed in combination with the business environment it offers and the availability of skilled people.

Some big deals in the outsourcing space include:

  • Wipro Ltd, an IT services company, has entered into a strategic collaboration with Hitachi Data Systems, to offer co-branded products and services on Hitachi Technology in India.
  • Software company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has won a multi-year outsourcing contract from Norway-based telecom company, Telenor Norway to provide application maintenance and development services.
  • HCL Technologies has entered into a five-year IT infrastructure outsourcing deal with Singapore Exchange (SGX) for US$ 110 million. The company has also won a US$ 500 million strategic IT outsourcing contract from US-based drug manufacturer, Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD).
  • Computer services firm, Mahindra Satyam has signed a four-year offshore contract with Denmark-based IT company, KMD for US$ 48 million.
  • Software exporter Patni Computer Systems won a five-year IT and back-office contract potentially worth around US$ 200 million from US-based health insurance provider Universal American.
  • Domestic Markets

    The market for enterprise networking equipment in India is estimated to grow from US$ 1 billion in 2008 to US$ 1.7 billion by 2012, recording a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent during this period, according to a study by Springboard Research titled ‘Epicenter of Growth–Indian Enterprise Networking Equipment Market Report’ released in December 2009.

    Investments

    • Between April 2000 and March 2010, the computer software and hardware sector received cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) of US$ 9,872.49 million, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
    • The total investments of EMC Corporation, a leading global player of information infrastructure solutions in India, will touch US$ 2 billion (over US$ 2.01 billion) by 2014.
    • Syntel, an IT company, plans to invest around US$ 50 million in its global development centre in Chennai.
    • Russian IT security software provider, Kaspersky Lab, will be investing US$ 2 million in its India operations at Hyderabad during the next financial year.

    Government Initiatives

    • The government has constituted the Technical Advisory Group for Unique Projects (TAGUP) under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani. The Group would develop IT infrastructure in five key areas, which includes the New Pension System (NPS) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
    • The government set up the National Taskforce on Information Technology and Software Development with the objective of framing a long term National IT Policy for the country
    • Enactment of the Information Technology Act, which provides a legal framework to facilitate electronic commerce and electronic transactions
    • Setting up of Software Technology Parks of India (STPIs) in 1991 for the promotion of software exports from the country, there are currently 51 STPI centres where apart from exemption from customs duty available for capital goods there are also exemptions from service tax, excise duty, and rebate for payment of Central Sales Tax. But the most important incentive available is 100 per cent exemption from Income Tax of export profits, which has been extended till 31st March 2011
    • Government is also setting up Information Technology Investment Regions (ITIRs). These regions would be endowed with excellent infrastructure and would reap the benefits of co-siting, networking and greater efficiency through use of common infrastructure and support services

    Moreover, according to NASSCOM government, IT spend was US$ 3.2 billion in 2009 and is expected to reach US$ 5.4 billion by 2011. Further, according to NASSCOM, there is US$ 9 billion business opportunity in e-governance in India.

    Road Ahead

    The Indian information technology sector continues to be one of the sunshine sectors of the Indian economy showing rapid growth and promise.

    According to a report prepared by McKinsey for NASSCOM called ‘Perspective 2020: Transform Business, Transform India’ released in May 2009, the exports component of the Indian industry is expected to reach US$ 175 billion in revenue by 2020. The domestic component will contribute US$ 50 billion in revenue by 2020. Together, the export and domestic markets are likely to bring in US$ 225 billion in revenue, as new opportunities emerge in areas such as public sector and healthcare and as geographies including Brazil, Russia, China and Japan opt for greater outsourcing.

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