Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Puerto Rico is Detroit

Like Detroit

Lorenzo says: "If there is some good news, it’s this: Puerto Ricans are wise to shock doctrine tactics. They know all too well that their island’s debt crisis, fueled by Wall Street’s hunger for tax-exempt bonds, was systematically exploited to extract brutal “reforms” from workers and students who played no part in driving up the debt. They know that the debt crisis was used to strip Puerto Ricans of their most basic democratic rights, putting the island’s finances in the hands of an unelected Financial Oversight and Management Board — referred to locally as “La Junta.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Don't blame Black People; blame the system

In virtually every socio-economic statistical measure of the quantity and quality of life in USAmerica , white people are better off than Black people: life expectancy, income, wealth, crime in your neighborhood, raggedy housing in your neighborhood, quality of schools in your neighborhood, educational attainment, unemployment , morbidity , alcoholism, etc. Is this because somehow Black people are inherently inferior ? Due to genes ? Souls ? Culture ? Or is the cause external to Black people in a white supremacist , capitalist system ?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cultural Darwinian adaptations not _random_ , but caused by, the adaptive problem they solve

Dear Maria,

Preparing for class to  discuss the conflict between the theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics and the theory of random genetic mutation I thought :

1) Darwin had a) no theory of the cause of variety in a species b) no theory of _how_ characteristics are inherited, 

2) Darwin had no conflict with LaMarck on inheritance because Darwin didn't have one . Actually, I don't know that LaMarck had much of one either. 
3) Darwin had no variety theory either so no conflict with LaMarck's explanation of variety.

4) Furthermore, LaMarck's was a natural selection theory !  In his famous giraffe example, the giraffes that stretch their necks are selected for by their environment ; stretching the neck is an adaptation . 

Inheritance of acquired characteristics conflicts with random genetic mutation , discovered post Darwin. 

Culture as inheritance ( in brain cells, language and memory, instead of gamete cells) of acquired characteristics (not body cells , but extra-somatically , in objective reality) is more efficient adaptive process than genetic mutations that occur randomly relative to the adaptive problem they solve. Because, cultural inventions (acquired by one generation and passed on to the next) are caused by the adaptive problem they solve and do not arise randomly relative to the adaptive problem they solve. 

Thus, there is the population expansion of homo erectus and then Homo sapiens out of Africa with the origin of culture in the Stone Age. 

Maybe ? 


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Premeditated Mass Murder: Fascist Economic Planning

"Tyler Cowen, the economist who co-presides with Charles Koch over the cause's academic base camp (yes, that Tyler Cowen, host of the most visited academic economics blog), has spelled that out. You might want to sit down to hear what he envisions for the rest of us. He has written that with the "rewriting of the social contract" underway, people will be "expected to fend for themselves much more than they do now." While some will flourish, he admits, "others will fall by the wayside." Since "worthy individuals" will manage to climb their way out of poverty, "that will make it easier to ignore those who are left behind." And Cowen didn't stop there. "We will cut Medicaid for the poor," he predicted. Further, "the fiscal shortfall will come out of real wages as various cost burdens are shifted to workers" from employers and a government that does less. To "compensate," this chaired professor in the nation's second-wealthiest county advises, "people who have had their government benefits cut or pared back" should pack up and move to lower-cost, poor public service states like Texas.

Indeed, Cowen forecasts, "the United States as a whole will end up looking more like Texas." His tone is matter-of-fact, as though he is reporting the inevitable. Yet when one reads his remarks with the knowledge that he has been the academic leader of a team working in earnest with Koch for two decades now to bring about the society he is describing, the words sound more like premeditation. For example, Cowen prophesies lower-income parts of America "recreating a Mexico-like or Brazil-like environment" complete with "favelas" like those in Rio de Janeiro. The "quality of water" might not be what US citizens are used to, he admits, but "partial shantytowns" would satisfy the need for cheaper housing as "wage polarization" grows and government shrinks. Cowen says that "some version of Texas -- and then some -- is the future for a lot of us" and advises, "Get ready.""