Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Sam Araki Interview II
Narrator: Sam Araki
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: San Jose, California
Date: January 20, 2016
Densho ID: denshovh-asam-02

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: Today is January 20, 2016. We're at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and on camera is Dana Hoshide, and I'm the interviewer, Tom Ikeda. And so, Sam, four years ago we did an interview, I think maybe in the same space. And this is kind of a unique thing for me. I rarely do follow-up interviews, usually I do an interview, we took your life up to when you were eighty years old, and usually that's where we kind of stop. But then when we last talked, it was like you were opening another chapter of your life. And so I really wanted to kind of check back with you, and we're now four years later, and so this interview is really to follow up on the previous interview and just see what has been happening the last four years. And I think the way I want to start it, when we last talked, that part that really fascinated me was your work really from the '80s when you were really working on national security and how it related to the use of space and technology to make our country safer. And I just wanted to maybe start from there in terms of maybe an assessment from you on what's been happening, where we are from your perspective in terms of national security and the use of space.

SA: Well, after I retired, there was a number of things that came to my mind that I wanted to share part as history and part as looking at the earth as it is today. And I also concluded that I was very fortunate to have started my career in space right after I got out of college, and I was one of the few living persons now that saw national security in space start from the beginning, and now what it is today, both from a national security perspective, but more importantly, how it contributed to today's internet revolution. So I thought it might be worth, sort of, resurrecting that history a little bit. And my main emphasis is on innovation, because the innovation that has taken place in the last fifty years is when you integrate the various ages that we went through, it is very interesting because we started space when there were no transistors, no computers, basically mechanical and electrical devices. And as a result, we built at that time a satellite system mechanically, and basically was able to accomplish with film-based camera, a very, very capable reconnaissance system which basically became the backbone of the Cold War strategy which was "trust but verify." We became the verification arm of "trust but verify" for the Cold War.

But what happened was that space race was started by Eisenhower, President Eisenhower, and it was created by a breakout team, and I'll talk a little more about the breakout team. But at that time, the breakout team was formed within the government and also within industry, and Eisenhower wanted to make sure that he adopted the U-2 Skunk Works operation that Kelly Johnson developed at Lockheed. So that's what we embraced, and that's how we got started, and it worked very well, it accomplished a lot of successes. That managing technique was then applied to the follow-on programs of Corona and other space efforts like GPS, like communication satellites, weather satellites and the like, and they were all accomplished in the 1960 period, very early. And so the whole system, the innovation practices, carried on and it became basically institutionalized. And when the space capability got to the point where the military finally realized how powerful space is in augmenting military operations, because from the ground, you can't see over the horizon. With space added, you see over the horizon. So now you can basically target and create weapons that go over the horizon.

TI: And I want to make sure I understand this. And the point you're making here is about the process, the innovation.

SA: It's the process.

TI: And you call it Skunk Works, and so was this as simple as smart people on small teams figuring things out?

SA: Well, let me summarize that because that's an important aspect. First of all, when you form a breakout team, you have to build around a strong need, a set of requirements that are very, very important to fulfill. And in those days, it was threat-driven, it was based on threat. So you have to have a strong need, and the need has to have enough budget assigned, and most important, a need date. And if you think about it, the commercial practice does the same thing. In the military, the need date was dictated by the threat, in the commercial market, it's market-driven, it's time to market. So in both cases, you set up a very, very tight schedule. You form a team and you lay out the objectives, the need, and give them almost an impossible schedule. In Corona, Eisenhower was so concerned because when the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik, he says, "We cannot allow the Soviet Union to have a more powerful space system than we have. We've got to get on top of this." So he gave us almost, I considered it an impossible target and almost an impossible dream to accomplish. He says, "In nine months" -- we didn't know anything about space -- "in nine months I want you out there on the launch base and I want you to launch that satellite. A crash program and just do it."

TI: Now, could a President, I know a President can make that order, but did he have enough knowledge and information to make --

SA: He had some scientific advisors.

TI: Okay, so what he was saying was not, it was aggressive, but not totally impossible.

SA: That's right. And he had some very key advisors at that time, one was Edwin Lamb of Polaroid, and the other person was Professor Killian, who was the president of MIT, and at Stanford at that time there was Sid Drell, Dr. Sid Drell. And at the same time at Stanford there was Professor Terman, who was at that time a radio engineering professor. So those people had a vision that says, "Space is really important, and you've got to get there fast." So that's the whole... and so basically Eisenhower started a space race and a technology race. And if you think about what happened in Silicon Valley at the very beginning, people like the people that started Intel, the reason they were here in Silicon Valley was because when Terman created a Stanford Industrial Park, ninety-nine year lease, and he attracted companies like Fairchild, companies like Lockheed, Westinghouse in those days, all came to Stanford Industrial Park to set up an R&D lab. So that's how all of the startup companies emerged in Silicon Valley. Same thing happened at MIT with Route 128, the exact same thing happened. So basically technology, and I call it system innovation because when you build a satellite, that's a system. You build a GPS, that's a system. So both technology innovation and system innovation went in parallel, and Eisenhower was the catalyst to make that happen.

TI: And with this history, the part that we covered in the interview is you lived through this. You were part of this revolution.

SA: Well, what happened here was I joined Lockheed in 1958, the Corona program. I just happened to be there at the right time, I got to the ground floor of Corona. Of course, in those days it was called Discoverer, and the fact that it was a photo reconnaissance was totally classified. It wasn't declassified until 1995, so that's how long it was kept a secret. But those programs basically, the reason I feel that I can tell this story is because when you don't know anything about a space and you're told to develop and fly something very fast, we just built what we knew that we would build on the ground or maybe an airplane, because that's all you know. So that's the way we built it, and of course, it didn't work. And every time we flew, we learned something about space. We learned about the environment, we learned about the space physics, we learned about how to operate in a vacuum, how to operate with radiation, space radiation, and so on.

TI: But this is where maybe this unreasonable deadline comes into place, where, with a deadline, you have to go ahead and launch.

SA: Yeah, and it was trial and error. But what was very important was failing and learning, failing and learning, don't be afraid to fail, because when you fail, you've got to be prepared to learn and correct, learn and correct. And we did that twelve times. And so instead of being successful in nine months, we were successful in twenty-four months, which is very, very short, considering we started with zero knowledge of space.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

TI: So here's a question for you, because right now we have the luxury of hindsight.

SA: Yes.

TI: When you were a young man, and all the things you talked about in terms of what fosters innovation is a strong need and having the resources, maybe an unreasonable deadline, strong team...

SA: Take a risk.

TI: Taking risks, failing, learning, was it clear to you back then that's what you were doing, all these things? Or was it something that you have, in hindsight...

SA: Well, as a young engineer fresh out of school, to me it was totally exciting. I mean, we worked day and night just like a startup does today. We worked weekends, and that's the way it was. And we knew it was totally important for the government because Eisenhower was... in fact, the program manager that I worked for had to go to Washington every week reporting on every failure and what corrective action we were taking. And he, after many trips, he was looked at as a bum coming into town every week with bad news, and it was on the verge of cancellation. And then when we finally succeeded, he went to Washington and he got this hero's welcome. So the reward was very, very recognized when the success came. So out of this I really learned that, number one, you have to set dates tightly, you got to have high priority, you've got to take risks, and you've got to really learn from every failure and take corrective action, and you have to be very persistent. And the other thing that we learned out of that was the need for systems engineering. Because it's one thing to have a bunch of black box engineers, we had great black box engineers, but we bundled together and flew it and it didn't work. Well, a lot of it was because it was lack of systems engineering. So we developed the whole systems engineering process by succeeding in Corona, we also succeeded in systems engineering.

TI: This is helpful. You're providing a little more depth to the first interview that we did.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

TI: But if we now kind of fast-forward to four years ago, and I'm thinking, do these same principles, you said it applies to today's startups, but I think of a lot of the startups today as almost black box engineering. I mean, they have the benefit of a system already in place that they're plugging their black box into and hopefully making a lot of money again. Or is it the same?

SA: Well, there's both. Because if you look at Microsoft, that was a black box, a software box of innovation. If you look at Oracle at the beginning, it was creating a database system. So in a sense, you can call it a black box. If you look at Google and how Google started, Google was a system oriented innovation. If you look at Facebook, it's a system oriented innovation. It's developing an entire operations concept in the commercial world. So when you think about a search system, a search system is an operational concept that allows people to get smart instantaneously. Facebook is a system operation that allows people to network instantaneously with photographs and conversation.

TI: And Amazon is a system.

SA: Amazon is a system innovation, it's replacing brick and mortar stores. So those are all systems, and so basically there's really two levels of innovation: one is the technology level and the other one is at the system level. And the system level allows you to basically revolutionize the way you do things at the operation level, whether it's national security or private sector, commerce, doesn't matter, it's the same thing.

TI: Well, and going back to something you said earlier, say you're at Google and you (discussed) this innovation in terms of systems, search technology, and because of that (they) become successful and (they) become really, really big. How do (they) stay innovative when (they) become big?

SA: Well, think about Google because it's happening in real time. They decided that it was not good enough to be a search company. So they formed Google X, and if you think about Google X today, they have driverless car initiative, they have airborne wind power project, they have biomedical innovation, robotic innovation. So they have a lot of breakout teams totally decoupled from Google. In fact, that's why they changed the name to Alphabet, because Alphabet allows them now to create these breakout teams as recognized organizations totally decoupled from Google.

TI: So that's interesting. So in the future, future generations may know Google, like my generation would say Google's a search engine. You're going to say Google is a innovation company because it's all, whatever they...

SA: That's right. And if you really think about space, at the very beginning, from imagery satellites, we went to, we needed to know the weather over the Soviet Union, so we decided we had to rapidly develop a weather satellite, so we developed a weather satellite. We also recognized that if we're going to use intelligence properly, we need satellite communication, so we quickly innovated satellite communications. When we begin to make maps with imagery, we concluded that we really needed navigation from space, so we created GPS. So all these things are all new startups from the original mission that was satellite imagery.

TI: And is there, in the life of a technology or a idea or project, it feels like there's a cycle also, that say, going back to Google, they had the idea, the innovation to do a search engine, but at some point, the cycle changes where maybe it's not so much innovation but it's really making the best possible search engine, which a lot of discipline goes into it, a lot of resources, and then it sort of changes in terms of...

SA: Well, what happened with Google and it happened with other companies, along came cell phone. So if you really think about how the internet evolved, first it started as a business and financial system using the internet to increase the efficiency of business and financial transactions, and then the cell phone came along. So it was a technology, and cell phone allowed personal communication. And with personal communication came the smart phone, which now gave a tremendous amount of power to the individual. So now you had a revolution in the way people were able to not only communicate, but do business as well. So now you had a personal innovation. And then came along the social side, and the smartphone was also a catalyst for the social network revolution. So even with the commercial internet, it went in stages. Just like we had with space at the very beginning, it went in steps.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

TI: So is this now a good time to segue into some of your current projects? I went back and re-read the interview I did with you, and something that popped out, I had forgotten, was your father was actually very much into farming.

SA: Yes.

TI: And, in fact, I think you mentioned he was very much into organic farming, organic fertilizers. And now you're doing a new venture, and it has to do with food. And this is after you've been looking at national security and space, and you're coming back to something that, actually, your father was kind of innovative with almost a hundred years ago. So can you talk a little about that and how you're thinking about that?

SA: Yeah, I can tell you quite a bit about that. I have to tell you an interesting story. I've been interviewed on, for release on our company, so they all asked me personally, "How you got started into farming." So I said, "Well, I have an interesting story to tell," and it started with gardening. My father was a gardener in an estate, and the nephew of the owner of the estate became the heir to the estate because the lady that had the estate was a widow and had no children. So the person that took over the estate and my father, even though there was quite a bit of age difference, he was a little bit younger, they developed a relationship because this person became very interested in my dad's farming technique because they had farm as well as a garden, so he ran both the garden and the farm operation. And they got together and talked about organic fertilizer as something that they would like to promote together. So what happened was my father -- and I'm sure the, this person's name was Robert Kirkwood, who really became the Controller of California later in life. But he basically encouraged my father go to into the fertilizer business and try to promote organic fertilizer. So he and my father arranged to import fertilizer from Manchuria, and this is the time period when Japan had conquered Manchuria and fertilizer was one of the key items that were being (...) exported from Manchuria, so my dad went into the fertilizing business. And then after that, when it was, it became very difficult to get fertilizer from Manchuria because of the conflict, he bought a farm.

So that story ties in to why my father really wanted... the son that helped him a lot, and they developed a great rapport, is also the person that helped my father make sure that our property was protected during the war, and really made sure they took care of us, and he was a Stanford grad. So one of the things my dad wanted me to do was to get educated and go to Stanford. So my dad wanted to have me take agriculture at Stanford, so I told him, "If I'm going to go to college, I'm going to get away as far as I can from the farm." [Laughs]

TI: And now, at eighty-four...

SA: At age eighty, I'm back on the farm, he's up there looking down and says, "You finally wised up."

TI: All that money he spent to send you to Stanford finally paid off. That's a good story. So tell me, what are you doing with farming? Because it's not the farming that your father would have thought.

SA: No. Basically, as I told you earlier, we're running out of water, we're running out of land. A lot of the big farming today uses chemical fertilizer, herbicide, and it's not the best for health, and it's not good for the soil, it basically ruins the soil. So we said, you know, farming, the technique of farming, even though the mechanization has been modernized with technology, the whole cycle of farming is thousands of years old. So we said, you know, maybe it's time to revolutionize agriculture. So we said, you know, if we could take... and what really gave us the idea, two of us, the partner that I've been involved with is Ko Nishimura, and he and I studied Saudi Arabia, because the Saudi Arabian government, the environmental agency, wanted to clean up the oil field as they begin to run out of oil, so they were thinking ahead. And so we proposed to use satellite imagery to decide how to remediate the oil field with the right kind of remediation agent, and pick the right places to start the remediation process. ARAMCO said, "Absolutely not, you're not coming into our territory. We don't want any environmental activity." And we went to the Chinese to do the same thing with their rivers, same thing. Says, "GDP is where we're at. We don't care whether we contaminate or not, we have to grow our GDP." So with that, we also talked about creating an eco-city, ecologically balanced city, and with an ecologically balanced city, we said we have to create agriculture as the foundation. That's how all cities have to be fed, with food. And in Saudi Arabia you can't grow any food, it's all imported. So we said, "If we can create a farm in Saudi Arabia and make it profitable, we can do that anywhere in the world." So that's what we've got to do, so that's how we conceptualized the farm to grow in soil with very little water using LED lights, using an environmentally controlled building, and that's what we have developed. And it's totally sustainable, totally organic, and because we grow in soil, and we created "living soil," the produce that we grow tastes better. We can grow heirloom seeds and we have a set of produce that, variety-wise, is very unique, that doesn't exist in the market. So the reason our investors are so excited about us is because they see us having a very unique set of produce that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world.

TI: Are there barriers to entry, though? It seems like just hearing you talk, couldn't someone else replicate it? Get a big warehouse and plant beds...

SA: Well, a couple of things enabled us to get where we are: number one is LEDs. If it wasn't for LEDs, we couldn't even start. Because the amount of power and the amount of heat light generates is a non-starter. But LED has made it possible for us to grow with sunlight, hundred percent artificial light. The second thing here is using techniques. This is where Ko's experience was very important because the electronic industry had to develop a very efficient manufacturing process. We learned in building satellites that at the end you had to develop a manufacturing assembly and test process. So getting efficiency in operations becomes a key to economic effectiveness. So we decided, we said, farming has been done in a certain way for generations. If we can now totally change the way we grow food, we can now revolutionize the growing process, and that's how we can get the economic benefit.

TI: Well, I'm guessing, too, when you say efficiencies, Ko's experience, so probably even the harvesting process must be very, made more efficient.

SA: It's a good point, although agriculture today has developed their own pretty efficient harvesting process. We can do the same thing. But what is more important here is on an acre, we can grow, like a five thousand square feet building, probably like a fifteen acre farm.

TI: So you can produce as much as a fifteen acre farm with a five thousand square foot building.

SA: In a regular farm, maybe you'd grow three to five cycles, we can grow twenty cycles. So you grow more cycles vertical.

TI: Well, the other thing about your --

SA: And because you can control the climate, you can get the growth rate up, so it takes less time.

TI: And the other thing is location, too. You can locate anywhere.

SA: Right with the consumer.

TI: Right, you can locate it in Saudi Arabia or in a northern climate where there's even a shorter growing cycle.

SA: You can go to any city in the world, basically, and service that urban center. So it's a totally different concept.

TI: So right now you're only a few years into it, so is it still... so where are you, still proof of concept?

SA: Well, we're operating in San Leandro right now, and we're getting ready to design a farm to go back east.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

TI: So I guess the question I have now is why? I mean, you're now eighty-four years old and you're still creating new things. Do you ever think about just retiring?

SA: Well, I've concluded that the worst thing to do is retire, because if you let your brain atrophy, that's the dying process. So if you keep your mind and your brain active and in a competitive mode, you feel better, you're healthier, and you can enjoy life better.

TI: Have you thought -- now, I'm not sure how your company is structured or anything, but you and Ko and others, through your life experiences, have gained so much. And even in the way you've thought through this new venture... so it's not so much just the idea that you have, it's the way you think about things. How are you transferring that to the next generation? How is this, thinking about innovation, all the things that you've talked about, how is that being transferred?

SA: Well, I've talked a lot to a lot of startups in the Silicon Valley, and they have basically embraced the same approach to this whole breakout organizational concept. What I'm doing now is when a organization matures is when innovation disappears. The two are not co-compatible. So I'm really concerned now about the national security programs that we developed over fifty years now, and with the world the way it is today, we have some real serious threats in the making. And it's gonna take another set of innovation to really treat and build a defense for the threats, today's threats. I call them asymmetric threats because -- and the asymmetric threat in a way was created with the internet. And so now we created what we thought was a peaceful internet, but in return we also got some major threats, and it's a global threat, it's not one nation. It could be one individual, it could be a group, it could be multiple nations, it could be small nations or big nations, doesn't matter. So we have to now innovate, re-innovate in national security to come up with a preventative defense system that can counter asymmetric threats. So that's the kind of thing that I'm helping with the government.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

TI: Now I'm curious, when the government thinks about this, thanks to you and others in terms of creating the internet, so much of the smartest, brightest talent are going into the for-profit sector in these startups, technology. How will -- and I'm guessing as the government looks at sort of national security and maybe creating maybe similar skunk works or something to really innovate and focus, how are they gonna attract the talent?

SA: Well, the government has to do the same thing we did when the Soviets launched Sputnik and Eisenhower started the space race. He basically (created) an environment (with the) universities, priorities on the universities, gave it R&D funding, and said to universities, "I want you to help us develop the right kind of technology." And I've also sense that commercial companies will also help, and what needs to be done is a government industry team to be built up, just like it did during the Cold War.

TI: Are you talking about like more basic research, at that level?

SA: You've got to start with basic research. See, when the Cold War ended, the U.S. stopped all basic research. And the commercial companies do a lot of research, but it's applied research, because you've got to have payoff in a year or two. So there is no basic research in this country, not enough. There is some, National Science Foundation puts together some funded programs, but nothing that is application-oriented basic research for national security and business, because business operates on a year-to-year development.

TI: And so when you look at the world, are you optimistic or pessimistic about how things are going?

SA: Well, I'm optimistic because I think that the U.S. is still in a very powerful position, both economically and national security-wise. We're having problems today, the stock market is depressed, but you know what? Shale oil was a tremendous innovation. It changed the whole economics around the globe, and that's what we're fleshing out right now. We've lowered the oil price, it made other services much more efficient with lower price, it created U.S. as a major supplier of energy rather than a major importer of energy just ten years ago. So I think the U.S. is in a very good position if it takes advantage of that.

TI: But then going back to something you said earlier, and I can't remember if this was before the cameras were running, but how during the, I guess, under the Clinton administration, you called it a "peace dividend" where he made all that technology that you and your teams were working on, he opened it up, and that infused this...

SA: It's technology and systems, too.

TI: And that infused this huge burst of essentially Silicon Valley and all that.

SA: In fact, it's global.

TI: Especially global. And so in many ways, what only the United States had prior to that, the world has. And you just said, and since that time, the United States hasn't really invested in new basic research. And I would think that there are some other countries that perhaps are investing more in basic research in certain areas, or they're starting to catch up.

SA: They're in the same boat, too, because they're all privatized, and the government is not doing that much.

TI: But I guess I'm trying to make is this real, almost fundamental advantage that we had in the past isn't there anymore, or is it?

SA: Yes, that's a good point, because we basically transferred technology (and systems) to the world, and we transferred manufacturing processes to the world. So the recession that we had and the slow buildup is a result of the fact that we did all the software development in this country, we did all of the electronic manufacturing in this country, it all went overseas. So when you talk about a gap in the middle, in the middle, that's where the gap got created. And we're having a hard time filling that. But, see, because we didn't do that much innovation, we could have helped manufacturing companies in the U.S. become more modernized, developing new techniques like 3D printing is a perfect example, robotic operation is another example, nanotechnology is another. It totally changes the whole manufacturing process. The U.S. didn't take leadership and the whole world did it. The U.S. was not a leader because R&D was done around the world. So as a result, our manufacturing capability had no advantage over China or Japan or South Korea.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

TI: When you think about the world as we're talking about this, are there some other countries that you look out and see and says, "They're going to be a leader in twenty years because of what they're doing today in terms of looking ahead, especially in the area of innovation. They're going to become a really strong player or leader in the future." Do you see any countries like that?

SA: I think innovation goes in waves in every country. Japan went through a tremendous innovation period and they peaked out and they went into a recession. And the recession was bad because it lasted so long that it almost changed the lifestyle of the people. South Korea has gone through a real steep rise in innovation. Look at Samsung and Hyundai, they're premier, world class companies now. But they're gonna... you've got to remember there's an age demographic change, both of those countries the (younger) age group is coming down. One advantage the U.S. has is immigration. We're bringing in new people into this country, younger people, that helps.

TI: Is that through, because of our university system or is it just through natural immigration you're talking about?

SA: Both. It's sort of interesting, I've spent some time with some people from India, engineers from India. And we talked about immigration, the type of people that immigrate into this country, all very smart, university-trained engineers came to this country. And he said, you know, it's interesting because when the Europeans -- and India is specifically British -- went back to their country, they brought the servants with them. So the migration from India, the servants went to Europe, the university grads came to this country.

TI: Oh, interesting.

SA: You look at what's happening today with terrorism, they are the outgrowth, the youth from that.

TI: From that migration.

SA: Yes, yes.

TI: Interesting. Because they essentially went there as servants or indentured servants.

SA: And the next generation couldn't get anywhere.

TI: And resented that.

SA: And they resent what happened.

TI: Versus here, you're saying they came as college-educated, many of them started companies, and so it's very different.

SA: That's right. And so they were able to succeed in their endeavor in this country. So that was an interesting correlation that he made for me, because it was very revealing. I mean, it's not saying one was right or wrong...

TI: It's just what happened.

SA: That's what happened. Now, are you gonna have another wave again with this new movement that's occurring?

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

TI: Yeah. So this is just... I'll throw this out there, I'm not sure where I'm going with this one, but in the same way you talk about, so something happened, when I think of the Japanese American community, so World War II, the community was placed in camps on the West Coast, that happened. It's now almost seventy-five years. Now, when you take a look at the impact of the community especially around the areas of the health or vibrancy or innovation of the community or its future, and the impact of the World War II incarceration, do you see anything? I'm kind of fishing here, I'm not sure what I'm asking, I'm just asking this in terms of is there something that I'm not seeing.

SA: Well, I think the Japanese American society in this country, the group, has evolved with a lot of intermarriage. As I look around, like in my family, I have no pure Japanese grandkids at all, they're all mixed. And I've talked to a lot of other friends, same thing. So what we're seeing is a totally integrated society in the making. And so I think when our grandkids grew up, the whole individual nationalities are gone. Except for new immigrants that come in at that time again, so there will be new immigrants that come in.

TI: And how do you feel about that in terms of...

SA: I think it's great, I think it's great. I think if you... I've always felt, I guess, that's one thing my parents really taught me, says, "If you come to America, you have to embrace America, and you have to live in the American system, because otherwise you should go back to Japan or wherever you came from."

TI: That's good, I like that. So we've been talking for about an hour, so I said I was going to have an hour of your time. Anything else you want to say before we finish this? Anything else that comes to mind?

SA: Oh, let me think here now. I think we covered everything, I think it was pretty complete.

TI: Well, maybe in another four or five years I'll come back and check in again to see what happens. Because it is interesting that, yeah, you keep evolving and doing new things, and I find that very fascinating. Well, so thank you, Sam, for taking the time.

SA: Well, it's a pleasure. I always get stimulated by talking to you this way because it makes me think about what's really happening in this world. And I really am very interested in how the U.S. evolves. Because when you integrate what's happened in the last fifty years, we have really gone through a mechanical age, a digital age, and an internet age, so fifty years, three major cycles, three major revolutions recently.

TI: Well, yeah, and the digital age is evolving in terms of the computing power.

SA: That's right, it's still going on, Moore's law is still continuing. And so the digital age is continuing, the internet is continuing, so the question is: what's after the internet? What's the next wave?

TI: Well, I have always been of the belief that we'll have nuclear fusion at some point, maybe not in my lifetime, but having essentially unlimited energy will be another breakthrough. Because, yeah, that's another big game changer. Okay, well good, thank you again.

SA: Okay, thank you.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.