I am very excited about this.
This is, as far as I know, the first study to attempt to measure the degree of chaos in the home.
The researchers in an earlier-mentioned study (Related: Poor children have smaller brains) speculated that “poor families tend to live more chaotic lives, and that stress could inhibit healthy brain development.” The current study seems to indicate that it is directly so.
As of this writing, my hypothesis has become as follows: the chaos of a growing child’s environment causes comparatively more resources to be devoted to the limbic system and less to the cerebral cortex, resulting in a body with reduced capacity to learn.
Related: A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY
Related: Chaos overwhelms the poor
Related: Wisdom teaching in poor black homes
(Originally posted 2015-07-08; reblogged 10/13/16.)
From my diary for Friday 2015-05-01:
Ta-Nehisi Coates has had two “provocative” HuffPost columns in two days. Wednesday she decried calls for calm in Baltimore. Yesterday she used the incident of Toya Graham’s confrontation of her son, to blame white people for every incident of violence among blacks. [P.S. 12:00. Correction: The latter was by Stacey Patton.] I may yet respond to the latter, but it’s best I not do so today. I need to direct my thoughts and choose my feelings, and I feel immeasurably better when I focus on my own affairs than when I allow myself to get engaged with her turmoil. Today’s task is to prepare materials for the prayer course; and it will be no excuse if I tell my students I came unprepared because she distracted me.
Originally posted 2015-05-02.
Noise, in general, is chaotic or random sound.
Danny personifies noise.
Continue reading Noise
This thinking goes back to 1973.
I was a senior in high school, running an errand in the family car. I must have been listening to WKSU. This 5- or 15-minute segment came on. A female spokesperson for the ACLU said that, under the compulsory school attendance law, a minor can only be in one of two places: a school, or a penal facility. In her view there was no real difference.
I was an honors student and deeply convicted that education is the answer to poverty. Thus her remarks left me incensed. More than that, whereas I’ve never been a conservative, it seemed to me that the ACLU and other, like-minded movements were bent on destroying all order in society. The family unit was under attack. Marriage was under attack. The schools were under attack. Change for its own sake, which seemed to be what these people were after, isn’t good. Nothing can be built on a foundation of chaos. A child needs to root oneself in earth that will be in the same place today as tomorrow. A tree can’t grow in quicksand.
Continue reading Where trees thrive, people thrive
(Originally posted June 22, 2013 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 2014-09-10.)
My normal day runs as follows. After breakfast at the mission, at 5:45 I head for McDonald’s, where I drink coffee ($1.06) and do my prayer routines. Around 9:15, I head for the library, stopping at a convenience store en route to buy smokes ($2.75) and a soda ($1.69). From 10:00 to 2:00 I’m online at the library. When my time’s up, I go to the Wi-Fi café, write in my diary and have another cup of coffee ($1.00). Then it’s back to the mission, where I have to pay admission ($3.00).
Sunday mornings, I am normally left with bus fare to church ($1.60) and pennies. I meet my patrons at church and obtain an allowance for the next week.
Continue reading A simple lesson
Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”
Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”
Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.
I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.
These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor
(Originally published 06/05/13 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 06/04/14.)
It’s difficult to start this post, as the story’s prone to leave one speechless.
What sort of karma would impel a child to be born into that context?
At the shelter, we’re compelled to attend chapel every night. A different preacher comes each night, in a monthly rotation. These generally disappoint me in their utter failure to speak to the sort of situation in question here. About 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with what will become of your soul when you die; whether you’ll go to heaven or hell; and your need to “believe in Jesus” as the key to salvation. It’s all about a cognitive assent, saying “yes” to a certain set of ideas. There is no presentation of Christianity as a lifestyle, nor any discussion of the role of discipline in following Jesus.
Another 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with obtaining “blessings,” principally by the means of praise: “When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” A “blessing” here is always a material, for example monetary, advantage that one has done nothing to earn. It is as if God were some cosmic King Lear jealous for flattery.
Neither group mentions the call to repent, in terms of any need to change one’s ways.
The only hell that concerns me is the living hell that folk create in this life, here and now, for themselves and their community.
Continue reading Carter Scott, Karma and Chaos
This is the first of three posts about entitlement:
Today – “Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy”
07/19 – “How I became homeless”
07/26 – “When needs are met”
“In 2012, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone represented 44 percent of spending; all entitlement programs were 63 percent. But it’s hard to control entitlement programs because their constituencies are so large.”
It makes sense to me that, as Samuelson proposes, we should discard the term “entitlements” as naming portions of the federal budget that are untouchable. No program should be sacrosanct.
Continue reading Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy