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.

Counterterrorism and Cybersecurity: Total Information Awareness, 2013[edit]

Counterterrorism and Cybersecurity: Total Information Awareness (Springer, April 15, 2013)
  • 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 unpopular voices to be heard.
  • 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." The statement applies to both good and evil. Drones kill terrorists, but not the idea of terrorism.
  • 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.
  • If we take a small step in extolling peacemakers as much as honoring war heroes, we will be making a giant leap towards peace.
  • There is a fine line between free speech and hate speech. Free speech encourages debate whereas hate speech incites violence.

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.

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