Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

How will his presidency and the Republican Party change the economic inequality landscape?

This is a general discussion of any aspect of Donald Trump's presidency and the Republican Party's impact upon economic inequality. Keep the discussion civil and dignified while always being mindful of our principles of conduct (aka SITE RULES).

Posted on: » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:14 pm #41

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REFERENCING: Jessica, Post #40, Posted Nov 10, 2019
Many of the concepts presented on this website are based upon the structure of the brain. These include the creation of conscious computers, brain scans as a criteria for political office, artificial intelligence, and the biological basis o...
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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:14 pm

I too have been viewing the connectome and other scientific brain research developments by the USA's BRAIN initiative and other organizations around the world. It is quite an exciting field and holds great promise in a multitude of subjects as Jessica just pointed out.

BRAIN initiative Wikipedia
The White House BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), is a collaborative, public-private research initiative announced by the Obama administration on April 2, 2013, with the goal of supporting the development and application of innovative technologies that can create a dynamic understanding of brain function.[2][3][4][5][6]

This activity is a Grand Challenge focused on revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain, and was developed by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as part of a broader White House Neuroscience Initiative.[7] Inspired by the Human Genome Project, BRAIN aims to help researchers uncover the mysteries of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Participants in BRAIN and affiliates of the project include DARPA and IARPA as well as numerous private companies, universities, and other organizations in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Denmark.[8]
There also seems to be a significant amount of collaboration between countries and organizations regarding our need to understand the brain.

BrainFacts.org
Global Brain Initiatives Are Transforming the Way Science Is Conducted and Shared
Published26 Nov 2018 by Hannah Neslon
https://www.brainfacts.org/neuroscience ... red-112118

the U.S. Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, a multidisciplinary collaboration which began in 2013. Supported by various agencies of the U.S. government as well as private foundations, institutions, and corporations, the goal is to employ creative scientific and resource collaborations to reveal the inner workings of the human mind and to improve treatment and prevention of disorders of the brain.

“It’s providing the tools that will accelerate discovery,” says Richard Huganir, director of the department of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.

However, the U.S. BRAIN Initiative is not alone; governments around the world have taken on large scale brain research projects of their own. It’s a massive undertaking that underpins all our hopes to one day cure diseases like Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. And, it’s one that transcends borders.

The European Union, Japan, China, Canada, Australia, and Korea all direct large-scale brain initiatives with research goals ranging from developing animal models of disease to neuroprosthetics. Such a large investment in brain research is necessary to crack the brain’s code one day. Successfully doing so requires the global initiatives work together to coordinate their efforts.

In December 2017, the United States, the European Union, Japan, Korea, and Australia formed the International Brain Initiative to speed the progress of brain research by leveraging and aligning their efforts for maximum efficiency. Initiative members are inviting brain research initiatives from other countries to join.

“It is very pleasing to see a global commitment to stronger collaboration on brain research. Challenges of this magnitude need a global effort,” President of the Australian Academy of Science Andrew Holmes said in a statement.

Because every brain research initiative is generating millions of bytes of data, members of the International Brain Initiative have committed to data sharing and standardization to facilitate making sense of this data. Christof Koch, chief bioscientist and president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, asserts that making data and metadata openly available can lead to more accurate results.
~SV~
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Posted on: » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:06 am #42

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REFERENCING: Sterling Volunteer, Post #23, Posted Jan 12, 2019
On one hand it seems the brain structure of conservatives vs liberals is fixed in some fashion from birth with a large amygdala vs a large anterior cingulate cortex respectively. Yet I have always wondered why certain geographical regions o...
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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Jessica » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:06 am

Brain structure at birth, along with nature vs nurture issues related to the plasticity found in the brain, determine to a large extent the political party we choose. That is to say, do we vote Republican vs Democrat and how much economic inequality will this choice produce? Republicans are creating massive income and economic inequality while destroying our democracy. The first among these wrong doers are the American Oligarchs who overwhelmingly support the Republicans. It is they who have become the new enemy of the masses. So what do these Oligarchs believe?

Medium
Who Are The Domestic Oligarchs Who Are Out To Destroy Our American Democracy?
James M. Ridgway, Jr.
May 28, 2016 https://medium.com/@cactusjim/who-are-t ... f06cae258c
There are super rich cliques that see America’s democratic institutions as impediments to their greed — America’s oligarchs. They have spent a great deal of money buying up members of the government that are overwhelmingly Republicans. They do so in order that the government fails to function as a real democracy.
currently it’s mostly Republicans that are out to undercut our democracy on behalf of a handful of the super rich, while Democrats struggle to keep our democracy and its ideals afloat.

Indeed, Democrats and Republican are in a do or die fight for America’s soul. Republicans and Trump have resorted to the lowest form of populism in their fight to destroy our Constitutional form of checks and balances government. With unlimited economic resources and a hateful propaganda arm in Fox News and its right wing media satellites, Democrats have a steep climb trying to keep democracy alive in the face of the oligarchic machine.
The battle we Democrats are really waging is against these Oligarchs.

Salon
America’s real divide isn’t left vs. right. It’s democracy vs. oligarchy.
What should America's agenda be, and what does right vs. left have to do with it?
Robert Reich, July 11, 2019 https://www.salon.com/2019/07/11/americ ... y_partner/
In reality, the biggest divide in America today runs between oligarchy and democracy. When oligarchs fill the coffers of political candidates, they neuter democracy.

The oligarchs know politicians won’t bite the hands that feed them. So as long as they control the money, they can be confident there will be no meaningful response to stagnant pay, climate change, military bloat or the soaring costs of health insurance, pharmaceuticals, college and housing.

There will be no substantial tax increases on the wealthy. There will be no antitrust enforcement to puncture the power of giant corporations. No meaningful regulation of Wall Street’s addiction to gambling with other peoples’ money. No end to corporate subsides. CEO pay will continue to skyrocket. Wall Street hedge fund and private equity managers will continue to make off like bandits.

So long as the oligarchy divides Americans — split off people of color from working-class whites, stoke racial resentments, describe human beings as illegal aliens, launch wars on crime and immigrants, stoke fears of communists and socialists — it doesn’t have to worry that a majority will stop them from looting the nation.

Divide-and-conquer allows the oligarchy free rein. It makes the rest of us puppets, fighting each other on a made-up stage.

Quillete
What Do the Oligarchs Have in Mind for Us?
Joel Kotkin, June 19, 2019
What has not been discussed nearly as much is the end game of the oligarchs. What kind of world do they have in mind for us? Their vision of what our society should look like is not one most people—on the Left or Right—would like to see. And yet, unless unchecked, it could well be the world we, and particularly our children, will inhabit.
The New Aristocracy

Like the barbarian princes who seized control of western Europe after the fall of Rome, the oligarchs have captured the digital landscape from the old industrial corporations and have proceeded to concentrate it in ever-fewer hands. Like the Medieval aristocracy, the ruling tech oligarchy—epitomized by firms such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft—have never produced a single coherent political manifesto laying out the technocratic vision of the future. Nevertheless, it is possible to get a sense of what the internet elite believe and, more tellingly, to see the outlines of the world they want to create.

This tiny sliver of humanity, with their relatively small cadre of financiers, engineers, data scientists, and marketers, now control the exploitation of our personal data, what Alibaba founder, Jack Ma calls the “electricity of the 21st century.” Their “super platforms,” as one analyst noted, “now operate as “digital gatekeepers” lording over “e-monopsonies” that control enormous parts of the economy. Their growing power, notes a recent World Bank Study, is built on “natural monopolies” that adhere to web-based business, and have served to further widen class divides not only in the United States but around the world.
The wealth generated by these near-monopolies funds the tech oligarchy’s drive to monopolize existing industries such as entertainment, education, and retail, as well as those of the future, such as autonomous cars, drones, space exploration, and most critically, artificial intelligence. Unless checked, they will have accumulated the power to bring about what could best be seen as a “post-human” future, in which society is dominated by artificial intelligence and those who control it.
This reflects their perception of how society will evolve. Ferenstein notes that most oligarchs believe “an increasingly greater share of economic wealth will be generated by a smaller slice of very talented or original people. Everyone else will increasingly subsist on some combination of part-time entrepreneurial ‘gig work’ and government aid.” Such part-time work has been growing rapidly, accounting for roughly 20 percent of the workforce in the US and Europe, and is expected to grow substantially, adds McKinsey.

Of course, the oligarchs have no more intention of surrendering their power and wealth to the proletariat than the Commissars did after the 1917 revolution in Russia.
Life in a world dominated by these oligarchs would depart from the model of democratic and competitive capitalism that emerged over the last half-century. Rather than hope to achieve upward mobility and the chance to own property, the new generation will be relegated largely to the status of rental serfs. For the next generation, this promises a future not of upward mobility and owned houses, but of rented apartments and social stagnation. Here in California, Facebook is leading the drive to vastly expand this kind of housing, where the serfs and technocoolies can lose themselves in what Google calls “immersive computing.” The poor, most of whom simply want opportunity, will be relegated to permanent dependent status.
The World They Are Creating

To get a preview of the society the oligarchs want to create, the best place to look is where oligarchal domination is most complete. Wired magazine’s Antonio Garcia Martinez has called Silicon Valley “feudalism with better marketing.” In Martinez’s view, the new aristocratic class is an “Inner Party” of venture capitalists and company founders. Well below them is an “Outer Party” of skilled professionals, well paid, but forced to live ordinary middle-class lives due to high housing prices and high taxes. Below them lies the vast population of gig workers, whom Martinez compares to sharecroppers in the South, “…with the serfs responding to a smartphone prompt rather than an overseer’s command.” Further below still lie those who constitute, in Martinez’s phrase, “the Untouchable class of the homeless, drug addicted, and/or criminal.”

California, and particularly the Bay Area, already reflects this neo-feudal reality. Adjusted for costs, my adopted home state suffers the overall highest poverty rate in the country, according to the US Census Bureau. Fully one in three welfare recipients in the nation live in California, which is home to barely 12 percent of the country’s population, while a 2017 United Way study showed that close to one in three of the state’s families are barely able to pay their bills. Today, eight million Californians live in poverty, including two million children. Roughly one in five California children lives in deep poverty and nearly half subsist barely above that.

For all its protestations of progressive faith, the Golden State now suffers one of the highest GINI rates—the ratio between the wealthiest and the poorest—among the states. Inequality is growing faster than in almost any state—it now surpasses that of Mexico, and is closer to that of Central American banana republics like Guatemala and Honduras than it is to developed countries like Canada and Norway. There’s even the return of medieval diseases such as Typhus tied to the growing homeless encampments. We could soon even see the return of Bubonic plague, although the mainstream media seems to be ready to blame this, like most ills, on climate change as opposed to failed social policy.

Urban website CityLab has described the tech-rich Bay Area as “a region of segregated innovation,” where the rich wax, the middle class wanes, and the poor live in increasingly unshakeable poverty. Some 76,000 millionaires and billionaires call Santa Clara and San Mateo counties home. At the other end are the thousands of people who struggle to feed their families and pay their bills each month. Nearly 30 percent of Silicon Valley’s residents rely on public or private assistance.

As recently as the 1980s, the San Jose area boasted one of the country’s most egalitarian economies. But in the current boom, cost-adjusted wages for middle class workers, Latinos, and African Americans in Silicon Valley actually dropped. Many minorities labor in the service sector in jobs such as security guard, for around $25,000 annually, working for contractors. There’s ever-greater segregation of minority and low income families, workers forced into mobile home parks or sleeping in their cars, as well as some of the nation’s largest homeless encampments. According to the Brookings Institution, in the last decade, increasingly tech-dominated San Francisco has suffered the most rapid growth in inequality while the middle class family heads towards extinction.
Needed: An Alliance of Progressives and Conservatives against the Oligarchy

Americans, enamored of the entrepreneurial spirit, were initially slow to see in the tech oligarchy a threat to the future of the republic. But public skepticism, notably in California, towards the tech lords is growing; many on both sides of the political divide see them much like modern versions of the gilded age mogul, successfully playing the political system to avoid regulation, anti-trust action, and taxes.

Yet overcoming the oligarchs will not be easy. Far more than the old industrial giants, they enjoy unprecedented sway through their manipulation of the information pipelines, as is widely evidenced in de-platforming of largely conservative voices on outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Nearly two-thirds of readers now get their news through Facebook and Google and their dominance among younger generations is, if anything, more overwhelming. As the Guardian put it: “If ExxonMobil attempted to insert itself into every element of our lives like this, there might be a concerted grassroots movement to curb its influence.”

To this influence, they have added control over what is left of the traditional media they have helped to undermine. Often getting bargain basement prices, the oligarchs have been able to buy up prestigious outlets, including the New Republic in 2012, the Washington Post in 2013, the Atlantic in 2017, and Time last year.
Rather than the saviors many once saw, the oligarchs now represent a clear and present danger to the most basic foundations of our democracy. Resisting them represents the great imperative of our era.
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Posted on: » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:17 pm #43

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REFERENCING: Doctor A, Post #9, Posted Apr 23, 2017
WHY POLITICAL VIEWS ARE SO HARD TO CHANGE AND WHY MY LIBERAL VIEW IS "BETTER" THAN YOUR CONSERVATIVE VIEW

Reported by Mike Flynn Investigation
CBS News February 16, 2017
Brain study looks at why people's political beliefs are so hard to change
...
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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:17 pm

The history of authoritative regimes, such as Hitler's and Trump's, continue to replicate themselves throughout history because brain structure is predicated upon genetic DNA replicating itself. This problem is as old as evolution itself. This is why the theme of inequality persists throughout history. It is a repeating theme because DNA repeats itself.

As Doctor A wrote in the referrenced article,
As for any great moral imperative the conservative brain may conger up in their own defense, one can point to the immorality of willfully increasing economic inequality within a society; surely this is a moral compass gone awry. Like the German people of World War II, during the period of the Nuremberg trials, they viewed themselves overall as good moral people. They took care of their families and friends, supported the Fatherland, and went to church. And yet we know, sadly, they were not moral.

Now we hear yet again a fresh echo of the German peoples view as Donald Trump embraced Steven Bannon as the CEO of his election campaign and subsequently promotion to a senior adviser position once in office. Bannon's intimate association with Breitbart News and their propagation of Alt Right views is quite a bucketful of conservative brain structure; it is an immoral bucketful of hissing snakes once again poised to strike with its black venom circa world war II.
A friend of mine just sent me the following excerpts from a recent article,

Published Friday, August 09, 2019
Common Dreams by article author Styeven Rosenfeld on Burt Neuborne's recent book.
Leading Civil Rights Lawyer Shows 20 Ways Trump Is Copying Hitler’s Early Rhetoric and Policies

The book's author, Burt Neuborne, is one of America’s top civil liberties lawyers, and questions whether federal government can contain Trump and GOP power grabs.
https://www.commondreams.org/views/201 ... etoric-and


My friend wrote,
Hi, Sterling,

It has increasingly struck me how Trump's rhetoric and stances are much like Hitler's. This morning, it culminated in me Googling this to see if anyone / who else is aware of this paralell (all the more evident as the impeachment proceeding continue and the election speeches ramp up).

Among other sites, found this most compelling one: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019 ... etoric-and

EXCERPT:

"A younger Trump, according to his first wife’s divorce filings, kept and studied a book translating and annotating Adolf Hitler’s pre-World War II speeches in a locked bedside cabinet, Neuborne noted. The English edition of My New Order, published in 1941, also had analyses of the speeches’ impact on his era’s press and politics. “Ugly and appalling as they are, those speeches are masterpieces of demagogic manipulation,” Neuborne says.

“Watching Trump work his crowds, though, I see a dangerously manipulative narcissist unleashing the demagogic spells that he learned from studying Hitler’s speeches—spells that he cannot control and that are capable of eroding the fabric of American democracy,” Neuborne says. “You see, we’ve seen what these rhetorical techniques can do. Much of Trump’s rhetoric—as a candidate and in office—mirrors the strategies, even the language, used by Adolf Hitler in the early 1930s to erode German democracy.”

Many Americans may seize or condemn Neuborne’s analysis, which has more than 20 major points of comparison. The author repeatedly says his goal is not “equating” the men—as “it trivializes Hitler’s obscene crimes to compare them to Trump’s often pathetic foibles.”

Indeed, the book has a larger frame: whether federal checks and balances—Congress, the Supreme Court, the Electoral College—can contain the havoc that Trump thrives on and the Republican Party at large has embraced. But the Trump-Hitler compilation is a stunning warning, because, as many Holocaust survivors have said, few Germans or Europeans expected what unfolded in the years after Hitler amassed power."
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Posted on: » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:20 am #44

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REFERENCING: Doctor A, Post #1, Posted Jan 30, 2017
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED THIS LAST ELECTION

To those of you who support and elected Donald Trump I say, "Come with me if you want to live."

...
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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:20 am

To those of you who support and elected Donald Trump I say, "Come with me if you want to live."
This was more prophetic than originally thought. Life expectancy has now been linked to how people voted in the 2016 election with those living in counties and states voting for Trump dying at an earlier age. Why fear death from the fictional "Terminator" movie character when we have Donald Trump.

Science Daily
Life expectancy trends tied to 2016 voting choices
September 7, 2017
Boston University School of Medicine https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 103616.htm
Now, a new study shows how voting patterns correlated with the nation's growing geographic health divides, with Donald Trump winning more votes in counties that have seen lower gains in life expectancy.
"In the last 30 years, there's been a sharp divergence in life expectancy across US counties," Bor says. "Some counties have gained a full decade of life expectancy. Others have really been left behind, with zero gains or even falling life expectancy in this period."

Bor found counties in which life expectancy rose less than three years saw a nearly 10 percentage point increase in the Republican vote share between 2008 and 2016. In counties where life expectancy rose more than seven years, Democrats saw a 3.5 percentage point increase.
Bor stresses the relationship may not be causal, and does not rule out other explanations for Trump's margins in these counties, namely the roles of race and economic marginalization. "Regardless of the causes of this relationship, the data show that people in counties that voted for Trump are hurting, and not just metaphorically," Bor says. "The findings signal an important opportunity for policymakers to try to address the health needs of these populations."
Paul Krugman picks up on this political longevity divide.

Chattanooga Times Free Press (From an opinion piece in the New York Times)
Krugman: America's red state death trip
December 3rd, 2019 | by Paul Krugman https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/opi ... ip/509726/
Democratic-leaning areas used to look similar to Republican-leaning areas in terms of productivity, income and education. But they have been rapidly diverging, with blue areas getting more productive, richer and better educated.

The thing is, the red-blue divide isn't just about money. It's also, increasingly, a matter of life and death.
The death gap has widened considerably in recent years as a result of increased mortality among working-age Americans. This rise in mortality has, in turn, been largely a result of rising "deaths of despair": drug overdoses, suicides and alcohol. And the rise in these deaths has led to declining overall life expectancy.

What I haven't seen emphasized is the divergence in life expectancy and political orientation.

A 2018 article in The Journal of the American Medical Association looked at changes in health and life expectancy in U.S. states between 1990 and 2016. The divergence among states is striking.

I looked at states that voted for Donald Trump versus states that voted for Clinton in 2016, and calculated average life expectancy weighted by their 2016 population. In 1990, today's red and blue states had almost the same life expectancy. Since then, however, life expectancy in Clinton states has risen more or less in line with other advanced countries, compared with almost no gain in Trump country. At this point, blue-state residents can expect to live more than four years longer than their red-state counterparts.

Is this all about deaths of despair in the eastern heartland? No.

What explains the divergence? Public policy certainly plays some role, especially in recent years, as blue states expanded Medicaid and drastically reduced the number of uninsured, while most red states didn't. The growing gap in educational levels has also surely played a role: Better-educated people tend to be healthier than the less educated.
One thing that's clear, however, is that the facts are utterly inconsistent with the conservative diagnosis of what ails America.

Conservative figures like William Barr, the attorney general, look at rising mortality in America and attribute it to the collapse of traditional values — a collapse they attribute, in turn, to the evil machinations of "militant secularists." The secularist assault on traditional values, Barr claims, lies behind "soaring suicide rates," rising violence and "a deadly drug epidemic."

But European nations, which are far more secularist than we are, haven't seen a comparable rise in deaths of despair and an American-style decline in life expectancy. And even within America these evils are concentrated in states that voted for Trump, and have largely bypassed the more secular blue states.

So something bad is definitely happening to American society. But the conservative diagnosis of that problem is wrong — dead wrong.
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Posted on: » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:05 pm #45

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REFERENCING: MaureenCarter, Post #29, Posted Mar 5, 2019
Thank you Doctor A for clarifying why past activist rules of engagement regarding economic inequality with the 1% are impotent at best. Your articulation and clarity as to the mechanisms holding the 99% in bondage is refreshing to see. I t...
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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:05 pm

We can add homelessness to our lengthy list of major problems caused by economic inequality (of which income inequality is a sub group). We also know that poverty is caused by economic inequality and homelessness has a direct link to poverty. (Note: See also section 5, Economic Inequality Rating App (EIRA), post #38, for updated list of maladies associated with economic inequality)

From Wikipedia
Housing inequality is a disparity in the quality of housing in a society which is a form of economic inequality. ... Housing inequality is directly related to racial, social, income and wealth inequality. It is often the result of market forces, discrimination and segregation. It is also a cause and an effect of poverty.

Real Change
Homelessness is a product of economic inequality....and white supremacy.
by Alan Preston | February 3rd, 2016 https://www.realchangenews.org/2016/02/ ... -supremacy
The relationship between rising rents and homelessness should surprise no one, and yet misguided assumptions and judgments are rampant: Homeless people are criminals and drug addicts; they deserve their lot; most of them don’t even want to sleep inside. On and on. What is it going to take for people to stop the blaming and shaming of homeless people and recognize that homelessness is a systemic product of economic inequality?
Homeless Hub
Poverty https://www.homelesshub.ca/about-homele ... /poverty-0
It has been established that poverty and homelessness are strongly correlated; in fact, loss of income acts as a major factor associated with homelessness.
Economic Policy Institute
Inequality Is the Main Cause of Persistent Poverty
Posted January 8, 2014, by Elise Gould https://www.epi.org/blog/inequality-mai ... t-poverty/
I couldn’t agree more with Paul Krugman’s blog post this morning when he says, “the main cause of persistent poverty now is high inequality of market income.”
In the roughly three decades leading up to the most recent recession, looking at the officially measured poverty rate, educational upgrading and overall income growth were the two biggest poverty-reducing factors, while income inequality was the largest poverty-increasing factor.
Center For American Progress
No Place Like HomeAddressing Poverty and Homelessness in the United States By Tracey Ross, December 2013 https://www.americanprogress.org/issues ... like-home/
Homelessness occurs for a variety of reasons, but it is clear that poverty, coupled with an ongoing affordable housing crisis, is a significant factor. This is not surprising, as income inequality has continued to widen since the Great Recession.
(Note: For a more complete listing of maladies below created by economic inequality, see section 5, Economic Inequality Rating App (EIRA), post #38)


Here is the new updated list:

Wars (increased)
Terrorism (increased)
Life expectancy (decreased)
Math and literacy (decreased)
Climate change (increased)
Infant mortality (increased)
Homicides (increased)
Imprisonment (increased)
Teenage births (increased)
Trust (decreased)
Obesity (increased)
Mental illness (increased)
Drug addiction (increased)
Alcoholism (increased)
Social and work mobility (decreased)
Impact of money in politics (increased)
Pollution (increased)
Women's rights (decreased)
Racism (increased)
Food Insecurity (increased)
Loneliness (increased)
Homelessness (increased)
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Posted on: » Tue May 05, 2020 11:42 am #46

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REFERENCING: Sterling Volunteer, Post #41, Posted Nov 10, 2019
I too have been viewing the connectome and other scientific brain research developments by the USA's BRAIN initiative and other organizations around the world. It is quite an exciting field and holds great promise in a multitude of subjects as Jessica just pointed out.
...
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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Jessica » Tue May 05, 2020 11:42 am

All of the maladies presented in the previous post represent much of the the human condition and its limitations. Now, with the advent of new forms of science and technology, people are looking towards Trans-humanism to not only solve these condition but to also augment themselves to become much more than what we biologically inherited in our genes.

Transhumanism-Wikipedia
Transhumanism is a philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.[1][2]

Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations as well as the ethical[3] limitations of using such technologies.[4] The most common transhumanist thesis is that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into different beings with abilities so greatly expanded from the current condition as to merit the label of posthuman beings.[2]
Influenced by seminal works of science fiction, the transhumanist vision of a transformed future humanity has attracted many supporters and detractors from a wide range of perspectives, including philosophy and religion.[5]
I think a good way to start understanding this material is by reading a simple article on the subject in its entirety:

Futurism
Transhumanism Is the Next Step in Human Evolution
Your descendants might all be cyborgs.
Benjamin Stecher,March 16th, 2017
https://futurism.com/transhumanism-is-t ... -evolution
The Body Hacking Convention in Austin, Texas took place a few months ago. It brought together a collection of people who share in the idea of using technology to augment our biological capabilities and enhance the human experience. Austin was a fitting place to hold such an event as the city’s motto suggests…Keep Austin Weird .

One of the strongest voices for this movement is Amal Graafstra, CEO and founder of Dangerous Things as well as a firm believer that biohacking is the next step in human evolution. As he pointed out many times, this is a process that has already begun. Whether it be through pacemakers or breast implants, we already fix any part of us that we need to or enhance anything we deem to be sub-par. We also walk around with computers basically attached to us everywhere we go that are connected to the internet and all of humanity at all times. It is natural that we will continue to push this trend forward by further augmenting our bodies and merging ourselves with the tools we create. And he doesn’t just talk the talk, he has transponders implanted into his hands that allow him to open doors, start vehicles and log into his computer with the wave of his hand. His company sells such implantable devices and he has pioneered many of the techniques used in the biohacking industry.

A number of other devices (and the people they are lodged in) were also showcased at this event. Many were focused on allowing humans to intuit new senses, believing we are limited in the ways we can experience and interact with the world to just the five or so senses we are born with. There was North Sense, a device that allows people to feel where north is like a homing pigeon, there were implantable magnets that allow people to pick up objects like Magneto, some even strong enough to let people sense magnetic fields around them, echolocation goggles that help blind people detect objects in front of them, vests that enable the person wearing it to feel the world around them, a company called Cyberise selling everything implantable from chips to thermometers and an eyeborg who had a camera embedded into one of his eye sockets.

However, they were not the irrational sci-fi fanatics that many who first hear about them assume. They are a collection of very forward-looking scientifically minded people who believe in augmenting their biology for the betterment of themselves and the species. It seems this is where we are trending, gradually technology is spreading to every part of our lives and it is only a matter of time before we start making it permanent parts of our identity. The people attending this conference see themselves as simply catching the wave before most people have even seen the tide rising.

They are also keenly aware of how contentious the movement they are starting is, an assortment of ethical issues surrounding it were at the heart of nearly every talk and discussion at the conference. Among the questions addressed were a person’s right to augment their body however they see fit, whether programming code should be considered free speech, if it is incumbent upon us to push technology and augmentation forward to make the species more fit for survival, as well as the fear that many have that the growing gap in equality will continue to grow and that biohacks may lead to the species itself splitting into ‘the enhanced’ and ‘the naturals’ based solely on who can afford to pay for all these upgrades.

It is a fascinatingly complex issue further obfuscated by the reality that there is a blurry line between fixing something and enhancing. If a child is born with a genetic defect that we can treat it seems obvious that we should, but what if gene editing techniques can endow that child with an improved immune system so that they virtually never get sick? At what point do we say it is okay to replace a severed arm with a prosthetic that can restore some function but not okay to give people an arm that works much better than their biological one so others don’t start hacking off their arms to become Robocops? A myriad of such questions pop up when we think about all that we may soon be able to do.

There are no easy answers but the main take away from this conference is that society needs to start talking about these things because whether we like it or not it is becoming a part of our reality and we need to be ready for some very weird things on the horizon.

Transhumanism

Much of what was discussed at the conference falls under the label of a growing movement known as transhumanism. It is a movement that aims to facilitate the next step in our evolution as we go from human to something beyond human. Recently a number of transhumanist parties have formed around the world primarily centered around three core tenants: that science and reason should be the basis for decision making not ideology, that government’s main responsibility is to eliminate existential threats to life on earth, and the promotion of science and technology for the betterment of all. Transhumanism also embodies the same ethos that pervaded the body hacking conference, the belief that technology will inevitably swallow the world and that it is actually changing us for the better, proponents of both believe we should accept that change and embrace the possibilities that come with it.

Not all share the movement’s optimism. Many associate much of the progress being made in the world, as well as the rise of ever more factional politics, with a dystopian vision of the future where we either end up destroying ourselves or becoming slaves to the organizations and technologies we are creating. This seems frighteningly plausible especially when you consider that one of the strongest backers of many of the technologies espoused by transhumanists is the military community, DARPA in particular, who envision the creation of universal soldiers equipped with a range of bionic sensors encased in indestructible exo-suits effectively making them superhuman. The development of such a soldier seems to already be at the forefront of the next global arms race.

But transhumanists argue that just the opposite is possible, they believe that by augmenting our biology and merging with technology we can liberate ourselves from many of the inconveniences of life, allowing us to more fully express who we are. Almost every tool that we have created, from the spear to the computer, has given us a better quality of life, and allowed us to live healthier, longer and more enlightened lives. This new age of technology will further facilitate that arc, freeing us from the drudgery of work, ridding us of disease, further connecting us to each other and allowing us to truly explore the limits of reality.
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Posted on: » Wed May 06, 2020 7:11 pm #47

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All of the maladies presented in the previous post represent much of the the human condition and its limitations. Now, with the advent of new forms of science and technology, people are looking towards Trans-humanism to not only solve these...
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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Wed May 06, 2020 7:11 pm

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More information on Transhumanism.

A common denominator seen while Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism are lovingly walking arm in arm down the aisle to a future technological marriage is an increase in inequality, specifically income and economic inequality. This theme of increased inequality is repeated over and over again in the literature. Here in the following articles I will first give an overview introduction of Transhumanism before talkin about their evil love child called inequality.

GREEN EUROPEAN JOURNAL
An Eco-Social Perspective on Transhumanism
By Carmen Madorrán Ayerra, 16 August 2019 https://www.greeneuropeanjournal.eu/an- ... shumanism/

A view of Transhumanism

The concept of transhumanism refers a multiplicity of philosophical currents that explore the possibility using science and technology to go beyond the human species. The transhumanist vision resembles that of many modern utopias in that it critiques our existing situation through the imagination of a desirable future alternative. The difference is that transhumanism is also committed to searching for the most appropriate scientific and technical means to bring that future about. Considered by some as the “defining worldview of the postmodern age”, transhumanism can be understood then as a technoscientific utopia, a worldview that stems from a dissatisfaction with certain aspects of the here and now and which seeks to transform it. As opposed to literary utopia, transhumanism is utopian practice.[1]

Transhumanism makes a series of promises: the increase of physical and intellectual capacities, the elimination of genetic disease, and the potential for personalised drugs and vaccines. A tenet of the movement is that “the first human being to live a thousand years is already living.” In the words of the philosopher Antonio Diéguez, “it’s been a long time since there was a doctrine that showed such enthusiasm for changing reality.”[2]

Increased Inequality

There are numerous problems that arise when considering transhumanism in the context of a global ecological and social crisis such as the one experienced today. First, the problem of accessibility and supremacy is one of the most common counterarguments, as it is reasonable to think that the kinds of enhancements transhumanism proposes would further separate the rich from the poor. It is not a stretch to imagine a future in which enhanced individuals are the ones in positions of power.

Meanwhile, both the irreversibility of changes and the unpredictability of consequences should encourage the exercise of caution. Living in a world in which humanity’s actions have far greater impact and reach than ever before in history should raise our sense of responsibility here. Moreover, the appeal of the precautionary principal grows when faced with the possibility of irreversible changes. As Riechmann has pointed out, it is impossible to ‘un-invent’ the hydrogen bomb or genetic manipulation.

ISLES of the LEFT
Transhumanism & AI: Utopia or a Nightmare in the Making?
September 27, 2018 · Francois Zammit https://www.islesoftheleft.org/transhum ... he-making/

A view of Transhumanism

Transhumanism presents itself as a utopia. It promises advancement and progress beyond imagination. However, the question is: Whose utopia would this be? Will the advanced digital technology bring emancipation from routine, menial tasks? Or will it create a new underclass while helping the elite accumulate unprecedented power and wealth?

Kurzweil argues that the transhumanist project will succeed though the fusion of three components: genetics, nanotechnology and robotics. According to him, through an ‘upgrade’ from a biological body to the one endowed with superior digital or biomechanical technology, humanity can achieve longevity, if not immortality. Biotechnology will provide the means to redesign not only embryos but also mature adults. Body tissues could be rejuvenated through genetic modification, and biotechnology may be utilised to attack and remove cancerous tumour formations. Nanobots would cleanse the new upgraded body from pathogens and viruses. In this transhumanist future, nanotechnology will be there to replace and augment organs with neural implants that will cater for new software downloads and will increase the individual’s neural abilities.

Shelley’s novel, ‘Frankenstein’, poses a question of what might happen if humanity, enabled by scientific discovery, is capable of creating new life. By practicing his newfound technology, Dr Frankenstein equalises to a deific creator—albeit, it isn’t a new Adam he brings to life, but a monster. If applied consciously, biotechnological advances could offer a cure for diseases and longevity, as Kurzweil proposes, but what if it is abused by scientists employed by ruthless corporations or militaristic regimes?

Increased inequality

Although the transhumanist and singularity utopia envisions a leap forward for the human species in total, it ignores the profound social inequalities existing both on the local and on the global level. Taking into account disparity in opportunities between the haves and the have nots, it is a challenge to picture how they would cease to exist after the advent of singularity.

The new technological revolution will instead make most jobs redundant. Whereas machinery like steam engines replaced manual and repetitive work, AI will outcompete humans in the intellectual sphere too, meaning that human workers will no longer have special skills to offer. They can become simply redundant. Hence, the new ‘useless class’ will play no economic role in society. Although we may argue that this does not make them ‘useless’, Harari justifies the terminology by pointing out how disenfranchised individuals will have no function within the new social order; their meaning of life may therefore be compromised.

Here is a broad sketch of what a transhumanist society might look like: the ruling class—the supreme owner of the new technology—will be able to control the manufacturing of goods and the provision of services without the input from the lower classes. By enjoying the access to biotechnology, the ruling classes will continuously enhance their abilities, health and longevity, thus gaining an enormous advantage over the rest. In such a society, the power will be concentrated in the hands of a small elite on the scale unprecedented in human history.

This may well sound far-fetched, yet, given the status quo with all its injustices, the devastating consequences of the rise of AI and bioenhancement seem more than plausible.

Transhumanism presents itself as a utopia. It promises advancement and progress beyond imagination. However, the question is: Whose utopia would this be? As China Mieville once stated, we live in a utopia: it’s just not ours. Utopias for some might could mean a nightmare for others. Will the advanced digital technology deliver a utopia for the majority, facilitating emancipation from routine, menial tasks? Or will it create a new underclass while helping the elite accumulate unprecedented power and wealth? We simply do not know yet. But given the prevalent contemporary trends, the latter seems more plausible.

NEWSTATESMAN AMERICA
The first men to conquer death will create a new social order – a terrifying one
Immensely wealthy and powerful men like Peter Thiel and Elon Musk want to live forever. But at what cost?
By Sanya Varghese, August 25th, 2017 https://www.newstatesman.com/science-te ... terrifying

A view of Transhumanism

In a 2011 New Yorker profile, Peter Thiel, tech-philanthropist and billionaire, surmised that “probably the most extreme form of inequality is between people who are alive and people who are dead”. While he may not be technically wrong, Thiel and other eccentric, wealthy tech-celebrities, such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, have taken the next step to counteract that inequality – by embarking on a quest to live forever.

Thiel and many like him have been investing in research on life extension, part of transhumanism. Drawing on fields as diverse as neurotechnology, artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering and philosophy, transhumanists believe that the limitations of the human body and mortality can be transcended by machines and technology. The ultimate aim is immortality. Some believe this is achievable by 2045.

"Transhumanism doesn't have much to say about social questions. To the extent that they see the world changing, it's nearly always in a business-as-usual way – techno-capitalism continues to deliver its excellent bounties, and the people who benefit from the current social arrangement continue to benefit from it," says Mark O'Connell, the author of To be a Machine, who followed various transhumanists in Los Angeles."You basically can't separate transhumanism from capitalism. An idea that's so enthusiastically pursued by Musk and Peter Thiel, and by the founders of Google, is one that needs to be seen as a mutation of capitalism, not a cure for it."

Increased inequality

On an even more basic level, a transhumanist society would undoubtedly be shaped by the ideals of those who created it and those who came before it. Zoltan Istvan, the transhumanist candidate for governor of California, told Tech Insider that “a lot of the most important work in longevity is coming from a handful of the billionaires...around six or seven of them”.

Immortality as defined by straight, white men could draw out cycles of oppression. Without old attitudes dying off and replaced by the impatience of youth, social change might become impossible. Artificial intelligence has already been shown to absorb the biases of its creators. Uploading someone’s brain into a clone of themselves doesn’t make them less likely to discriminate.

That a transhumanist society would inevitably lead to “people lording it over others in a way that has never been seen before in history”. It doesn’t take much to guess who would be doing the "lording".

“The first enhanced humans will not be ordinary people; they’ll be the people who have already made those ordinary people economically obsolete through automation. They’ll be tech billionaires,” says O’Connell.

If those who form society in the age of transhumanism are men like Musk and Thiel, it’s probable that this society will have few social safety nets. There will be an uneven rate of technological progress globally; even a post-human society can replicate the unequal global wealth distribution which we see today. In some cities and countries, inhabitants may live forever, while in others the residents die of malnutrition. If people don’t die off, the environmental consequences – from widespread natural resource devastation to unsustainable energy demands – would be widespread.
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