Newton Lee

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The meaning of life for human beings is to serve one another for the survival of humanity and the advancement of civilization.

Newton Lee is a computer scientist who is an author and administrator in the field of education and technology commercialization.


  • Learning is an innate human behavior. A healthy baby is happy and excited to learn to speak, play and express itself. Why should learning stop being fun? The human race cannot survive without continuous learning. Let us impart the enthusiasm and creativity of learning in the classrooms.
    • Virginia Tech Collegiate Times (November 1990)
  • I sometimes wish to be a kid again and go through life a little differently.
    • The Nightmares of a Journalist (1991)
  • Human beings will never evolve to higher creatures if we are constantly restricted by rules and regulations.
    • The Nightmares of a Journalist (1991)
  • Being a Disney VoluntEAR reinforces my belief in Walt's vision for The Walt Disney Company to bring happiness to every family in the world.
    • Disney Consumer Products News (Summer 1998)
  • I am never content with what I have [accomplished]. Jimmy reminded me of those less fortunate than I, people out there who are struggling just to survive.
    • Disney Consumer Products News (Summer 1998)
  • The meaning of life for human beings is to serve one another for the survival of humanity and the advancement of civilization.
    • ACM Computers in Entertainment (Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2005)
  • Through knowledge, you can develop the economy. Without knowledge, you cannot improve a society.
    • American Film Institute (November 4, 2006)
  • May we all come to realize that education and the humanities should be valued for nurturing our minds and society as a whole, and not only as a means to build future careers.
    • ACM Computers in Entertainment (Volume 5, Issue 2, May 2007)
  • The way we live can be summarized in three sentences:
    1. Cogito ergo sum / Je pense, donc je suis (René Descartes)
    2. Esse est percipi (George Berkeley)
    3. Ho de anexetastos bios ou biôtos anthrôpôi (Socrates and Plato)
    The trick is to balance them well to create a happy life.

Disney Stories: Getting to Digital, 2012[edit]

Disney Stories: Getting to Digital (Springer, April 26, 2012)
  • Change was a constant in Walt Disney’s commitment to tell a story well, to bring it to an audience through the technology of the day, and to push that technology so that rather than controlling the story, it enhanced the story and gave it an opportunity to touch people, to speak to each of them individually, to make it believable.
  • Apart from a 20-minute stunt as Eeyore at Disneyland for “Disney Way One” and countless joyful hours of volunteering with my fellow colleagues, my job at Disney Online was mainly to make children happy by creating entertaining and educational games.

Digital Da Vinci: Computers in Music, 2014[edit]

Digital Da Vinci: Computers in Music (Springer, April 30, 2014)
  • Computers and music are converging in a new era of digital Renaissance as more and more musicians such as are learning how to code while an increasing number of software programmers are learning how to play music.
  • MP3 and peer-to-peer file sharing technology single-handedly disrupted the age-old music business. iTunes and YouTube have displaced record stores and MTV. If we take the cue from Netflix which has successfully produced original content, it will not be long before Apple and Google will sign new artists and rival the record labels.

Digital Da Vinci: Computers in the Arts and Sciences, 2014[edit]

Digital Da Vinci: Computers in the Arts and Sciences (Springer, August 2, 2014)
  • To quote computer graphics pioneer Ivan Sutherland who said in 1965: "The ultimate display would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter. A chair displayed in such a room would be good enough to sit in. Handcuffs displayed in such a room would be confining, and a bullet displayed in such a room would be fatal." Sutherland's futuristic vision sounds just like Star Trek’s holodeck!

Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness (2nd Edition), 2014[edit]

Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness (2nd Edition) (Springer, October 20, 2014)
  • Information is power. Disinformation is abuse of power.
  • Every major technological innovation propels humanity forward to the point of no return.
  • With the massive amount of personal data on the Internet, Facebook nation has opened Pandora's box of total information awareness in the age of big data. Fortunately, Pandora's box released not only evil but also hope. ... The hope is that good will trump evil.
  • Dictatorship of the majority over the minority would be an encroachment on the rights of the individual and their prerogative to personal freedom.
  • The useful information for the millions outweighs the privacy of the few.
  • Better information awareness does not mean less personal freedoms. Feeling safe in school is a prerequisite for a conducive learning environment. Everyone should be free to express their opinions, voice their concerns, and become better informed.
  • Not only that “every dog has its day”, but also that “every dog has its data” in the digital information age.
  • Facebook nation exists in the intersection of humanities and sciences, somewhere in between the fictional worlds of The Godfather Part II and Minority Report.
  • Personal analytics combined with social networks provide a high-tech mechanism for self-help and self-improvement.
  • As wearable devices, health tracking, and quantified self are gaining popularity, human beings are also becoming part of the Internet of things.
  • As citizen journalists and bloggers are becoming more important in news gathering and timely dissemination, mainstream media has found an important ally in the Fifth Estate.
  • Thanks to the Internet, words can travel at the speed of light, and no amount of censorship can stop the flow of information. ... Thanks to Malala’s courage, no militant can silence her. Thanks to the Internet, the pen is mightier than the sword.
  • Social media amplifies both the good side and the dark side of human nature. ... Notwithstanding human ignorance, freedom of expression is essential.
  • Like the seemingly impossible moon landing, Hollywood has repeatedly predicted the future, including self-destructing messages.
  • Although there is a delicate balance between children’s privacy and parental awareness, a good parent should always be attentive to their children’s activities and feelings – both online and offline.
  • Social media has given a new meaning to life after death.
  • One of the root causes of miscommunication is that people do not always mean what they say or do.
  • Online dating versus traditional dating is like using an electronic calculator versus an abacus. They both can give you accurate results if used properly, but one of them is obviously faster and easier in the modern age.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: data brokers are like the Wild West -- untamed and without governance.
  • Every major technological innovation propels humanity forward to the point of no return. ... Instead of turning back, we must continue to innovate and push humanity towards the next point of no return. It is a good thing.
  • By satisfying the insatiable desire for communication with others who seem to be willing to listen, people have voluntarily sacrificed some degree of personal privacy. “Have one’s cake and eat it too” does not apply to personal privacy in the world of ubiquitous social networks.
  • To some, Facebook is both a self-published tabloid and a public relations gem. To others, Facebook is a communication tool for families and friends around the world to stay in touch. From a macroscopic point of view, Facebook offers insights into public sentiments and national trends. In a microscopic view, Facebook allows people to reach out and connect on a very personal level.
  • Why is it that technology is often the one to blame? On the contrary, social media encourages people to “think aloud” and come up with bold, new, controversial, or opposing ideas.
  • The future is arriving sooner than we imagine.
  • While Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) helps prevent World War III, Total Information Awareness (TIA) offers insights into some of the biggest challenges facing humanity.
  • Only time will tell if serendipity becomes zemblanity as consumers are constantly bombarded by advertisements.
  • The question is not whether Total Information Awareness (TIA) is here to stay; the real question is whether TIA is a one-way street or a two-way street.
  • In spite of the potential risk of misinformation and disinformation, anonymous social apps can be powerful tools for citizen journalists, whistleblowers, political activists, crime tippers, and other cybercitizens whose online privacy is a matter of the utmost importance.
  • In humanity, there is no one size fits all. The best we can all do is to be vigilant and empathic at the same time.
  • The levers of power have been tipping toward the public, thanks to social media.
  • Morning newspapers are yesterday's news; social media news are the now moments.
  • In the digital world, delete does not always delete.
  • Online births and deaths in Facebook Nation made me question why people could not live without borders. Birthright citizenship is like being baptized into a religion as an infant. Taking a page from Veronica Roth’s novel Divergent, people should be free to choose where they belong when they grow up.

Counterterrorism and Cybersecurity: Total Information Awareness (2nd Edition), 2015[edit]

Counterterrorism and Cybersecurity: Total Information Awareness (2nd Edition) (Springer, April 7, 2015)
  • Cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility. ... In the spirit of President John F. Kennedy, one may proclaim: "Ask not what cybersecurity can do for you, ask what you can do for cybersecurity."
  • No single countermeasure or mitigation service is 100% efficacious. It requires the entire international community to ACT — Achieve Cybersecurity Together. As the world is increasingly interconnected, everyone shares the responsibility of securing cyberspace.
  • Journalists should be watchdogs, not lapdogs.
  • An open internet is an open platform for debating opposing views. It allows both popular and unpopular voices to be heard. It is a civilized outlet for frustrated individuals to express themselves without resorting to violence or terrorism.
  • The two-way street of Total Information Awareness is the road that leads to a more transparent and complete picture of ourselves, our governments, and our world.
  • While information is the oxygen of the modern age, disinformation is the carbon monoxide that can poison generations.
  • American civil rights activist and U.S. Army Sergeant Medgar Evers once said that "you can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea." His statement applies to both good and evil. Drones are powerful assassination weapons that offer short-term fixes. Drones kill terrorists, but not the idea of terrorism in the long term.
  • War is legitimized state-sponsored terrorism in a grand scale.
  • The enormous amount of financial resources and creative energy that nations have spent on wars and weapons could have been redirected to curing deadly diseases, feeding the hungry, eliminating poverty, promoting art and culture, investing in renewable clean energy, and solving a host of other important challenges facing humanity.
  • The U.S. government needs to learn from successful private businesses that run an effective and efficient operation in serving their customers and outwitting their competitors.
  • There is a fine line between free speech and hate speech. Free speech encourages debate whereas hate speech incites violence.
  • Illegal spying happens more often than not, but to various degrees depending on the perpetrators and the persons of interest. Besides being morally wrong, unsanctioned or extracurricular spying activities risk the unnecessary exposure of technological apparatus and the potential compromise of the espionage network. When a covert action is not fully supported by a spying organization from top to bottom, an unintentional domino or butterfly effect can jeopardize ongoing and future legitimate operations (to the happy tune of counterintelligence).
  • The Sony saga has brought to light a hidden sinister: Cyber terrorism has reached a whole new level by combining cyber attacks and threats of physical terrorism.
  • Cyber attacks and terrorist threats are a lethal combination that can only be resolved by aligning conscientious counterterrorism policies with cybersecurity technologies.
  • The most effective propaganda is a mixture of truths, half truths, and lies.
  • Trying to get rid of the symptoms (terrorists) without paying attention to the root cause (terrorist motives) does not eradicate the disease but may instead exacerbate it.
  • Drugs and terrorism are both mind-altering and deadly.
  • While there are a number of ways to combat terrorism, attempting to cure the symptoms without tackling the root causes is like waging a losing war on drugs.
  • Terrorism is metastasizing like cancer in the global body of humanity.
  • A man who is at peace with himself is less likely to turn into an extremist or a terrorist.
  • 1/2 cup of hope and 1/2 cup of kindness seem like a litmus test by asking "Is the glass half empty or half full?" Nature shows us in every waking moment that where there is life, there is hope. And to quote the movie Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple, "Man is not born evil. The Devil himself was a fallen angel," there is kindness in everyone if you dig deep enough.
  • It would make a positive difference in world security and counterterrorism by setting our mind on pursuing peaceful solutions rather than escalating the war on terror. Mahatma Gandhi once said, "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."
  • Satire in media such as The Interview and Charlie Hebdo walk a fine line between freedom of speech and dangerous incitement.
  • It will make a positive difference in world security and counterterrorism by setting our mind on pursuing peaceful solutions rather than escalating the war on terror.
  • Mahatma Gandhi once said, "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Besides, two wrongs do not make a right. President Obama is right: Peace is the only path to true security.
  • It is conceivable that AI will be able to understand all the news and investigative reports in all languages from both traditional and social media, connect the dots, predict imminent dangers, and identify long-term concerns.
  • To err is human. AI software modeled after humans will inevitably make mistakes. It is fine as long as the software learns from its errors and improves itself, which is something that humans ought to learn from AI. Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, wrote in "Case of Voluntary Ignorance" in Collected Essays (1959): "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach."
  • Finger-pointing can derail progress and incite revenge.
  • Media manipulation is commonplace. For people who do not look outside their comfort zone, they will never learn the whole truth. If scientists had not challenged the status quo, we would not have enjoyed modern medicine and technological innovations today.
  • It is pointless to debate which religions promote peace or violence. Even Buddhist monks who are widely regarded as pacifists have taken up arms in strife-torn regions ... Religious experiences are, by nature, emotional and subject to interpretations by clergy and believers throughout history.
  • Regardless of how secure a communication line is and how unbreakable a cryptographic algorithm seems to be, the weak links are often the endpoints - the sender (before encryption) and the recipient (after decryption) - unless they are code talkers using a language more obscure than Navajo.
  • Too many people prefer to stay inside their own comfort zones with a one-sided liberal or conservative sentiment.
  • American musician and activist Henry Rollins once said, "A coward hides behind freedom. A brave person stands in front of freedom and defends it for others." Murdering innocent people who are defenseless is a cowardly act. Standing up to difficult life circumstances and oppressive regimes is bravery.
  • Deadly weapons as big as a missile-equipped drone and as small as a .50-caliber bullet are now under software control, which could be disastrous if they were hacked.
  • One should not underestimate the power of persuasion by well-crafted propaganda films. D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation in 1915 helped to resurrect Ku Klux Klan in Georgia; and Leni Riefenstahl's award-winning Triumph of the Will in 1935 helped fuel the rise of Nazism in Germany.
  • Give a human face to drug users and understand why they need narcotics is the only chance that we have to win the war on drugs. ... Give a human face to terrorists and understand why they resort to violence is the only chance that we have to win the war on terror.
  • Although our every move may be monitored and recorded, we feel complete freedom to do whatsoever we want other than causing harm to others or damages to properties.
  • Temporary safety is not the same as long-term security. A false sense of security is like the calm before the storm.
  • Peace is the only path to true security; and peace requires both free speech and willingness to listen.
  • The "need to know" syndrome had reached epidemic proportions within the U.S. government, all the way to top including the Presidents of the United States (giving them the benefit of the doubt).
  • Each and everyone on Earth can make one small step, which will cumulatively result in a giant leap for mankind towards world peace.
  • World peace is as simple and elegant as E=mc2. Peace is not a mystery. We know what peace is. The questions are: How do we get there? How long does it take to get there? Do we need another Einstein to help figure this out?
  • Humankind too often cooks up an excuse to start war instead of making peace. Rather than developing better strategies to win wars, we should focus on better recipes to attain peace.
  • There is nothing like having a United Nations at home.
  • In ancient times, countries and tribes form alliances through arranged marriages. Nowadays, it is up to eligible bachelors and bachelorettes to forge friendship, peace, and understanding among nations and races through civil unions.
  • With over a billion active users, Facebook is in a unique position to influence the world by enabling Facebook users to create grassroots movements for peace.
  • Vital information for the millions outweighs the privacy of the few.
  • Stolen digital certificates and DNS poisoning make a lethal cocktail.
  • Universities are good at producing engineers, doctors, lawyers, and such, but they often gloss over difficult moral and philosophical subjects such as the meaning of life, love, prejudice, war, and peace.
  • A just and lasting peace demands apologies and forgiveness. ... A just and lasting peace embraces gender equality. ... A just and lasting peace calls for economic reforms.
  • Experiencing a melting pot of cultures within an immediate or extended family on a daily basis is nothing less than marvelous, stimulating, and conducive to personal growth.
  • The more information that countries and peoples have about each other, the better and safer the world will become.
  • The pen is mightier than the sword. Through uncensored journalistic investigations and opinion pieces presenting both sides of the coin, the press can eliminate the need for terrorists to commit violent crimes in order to get their messages across.

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