Tags: family*

159 bookmark(s) - Sort by: Date ↓ / Title / Voting /

  1. What has amazed and excited me the most in recent scientific news is that the concept of trust can be measured validly and reliably and that it organizes a vast amount of information about what makes families and human societies function well, or fail.

    As a relationship researcher and couples-family therapist, I have known for decades that trust is the number one issue that concerns couples today. Consistent with this truth is the finding that the major trait people search for in trying to find a mate is trustworthiness. Robert Putnam’s groundbreaking book Bowling Alone began documenting this amazing field of scientific research. It is based on a very simple question. Sociologists have used a yes/no survey question: "In general, would you say that you trust people?" It turns out that regions of the USA, and countries throughout the world vary widely in the percentage of people who answer that question by saying "yes."

    Here’s the amazing scientific news. In the USA the percentage of people who trust others in a region correlates highly with a vast array of positive social indices such as greater economic growth, the greater longevity of citizens, their better physical health, lower crime rates, greater voting participation, greater community involvement, more philanthropy, and higher child school achievement scores, to mention just a few variables that index the health of a community. As we move from the North to the South in the United States, the proportion of people who trust others drops continuously. A great archival index of trust turns out to be the discrepancy in income between the richest and the poorest people in a region.

    High income discrepancy implies low trust. That discrepancy has been growing in the USA since the 1950s, as has the decline in community participation. For example, data show that in the 1950s CEOs earned about 25 times more than the average worker, but that ratio grew steadily so that in 2010 that ratio was about 350 times more. So we are in a crisis in the USA, and it’s no surprise that this difference between the rich and the poor has become a major issue in the 2016 election. One amazing fact in these results is the following: how well our country cares about its poorest citizens is actually a reliable index of the social and economic health of the entire country. Therefore, an empirical finding is that empathy for the poor is smart politics.

    These results also hold internationally, where the trust percentage is also related to less political corruption. Only 2 percent of the people in Brazil trust one another, whereas 65 percent trust others in Norway. While many other factors are important internationally, we can note that today Brazil is experiencing vast amounts of chaos, while Norway is thriving.

    These spectacular data are, unfortunately, correlational. Of course, it is hard to do real experiments on societal levels. However, these findings on trust have now spawned new growing academic fields of behavioral economics, and neuro-economics. These fields are generating exciting new experiments.

    This breakthrough trust work, combined with the mathematics of Game Theory, has led to the creation of a valid "trust metric" in interactions between two people. A new understanding of the processes of how two people build or erode trust in a love relationship has spawned a new therapy that is currently being tested.

    What this means to me is that we are coming very close to an understanding of human cooperation in family relationships that generalize to society as a whole. I am hopeful that these breakthroughs may eventually lead us to form a science of human peace and harmony.
    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/26601
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2018-03-29)
    Voting 0
  2. “If everyone was to behave like us then the world would be a better place — we would be able to get rid of guilt, inequality, competition, greed and anger.”“If we all ate less and were less materialistic the world would be a better place.” “Only by changing ourselves can we change the world, by our living example.”

    This is the one foundational belief system of every intentional community that all members can agree on. This was also the justification that the hippies used for practically everything. The theory goes like this: Instead of acting in the world, all you have to do is become a peaceful, non-violent person — a model human, and others will follow your model. This is how you change the world, by focusing entirely upon yourself.

    The results of this experiment are, generations later, clear — changing yourself became a vast industry of self-help books and courses, dietary, fitness and personal “spiritual” planning regimes — a form of obsessive self-focusing and self-policing, which, it turns out, corporations are very happy to encourage.

    The Final Test of the Blank Slate: Children

    There is one other final and hard-to-face factor that is an unintended consequences of Utopian alternative parenting experiments. There is a reason that the average life of a Utopian project is the time to takes to settle and begin to raise children.

    Children are the authoritative test of the theory that humans are born a blank slate and that all behavior is conditioned “by society” — of Rousseau’s potent idea that man is “born free but is everywhere in chains.” Children of Utopians should behave very differently than “old world” children, because they have been brought as blank slates into an egalitarian environment, and have been raised with positivist behavioral conditioning.

    But the children of Utopians fail every test: they are selfish, they grab and steal, they fight, and love competitive sports, they bully and they lie — just like all other children. Lying, it turns out, is a necessary developmental stage in learning. These naturally dishonest, violent creatures disprove the theory of human mind as a blank slate upon which images of perfection can be drawn.

    As the behaviorist J. B. Skinner (creator of Walden Two) realized, you can’t pass what you’ve learned on through your DNA so any achievements in equality achieved have to be repeated from scratch. Utopian behavioral engineering is an ongoing struggle against something that Utopians deny even exists — human nature. Not only are Utopian parents horrified by the little dictators that they have spawned, they find that they themselves have horrible anti-Utopian cravings to put their children above all the others. The maternal bond and the need for privacy also seem to be pan-cultural. Children brought up communally suffer neglect, as other adults find ways of refusing to care for children that are not their own. The lack of childcare and of constancy in who is “mother and father” leads to kids not being taken care of at all, falling between the cracks, leading to abuse and damaged children. People care a lot more for their own kids than they do for other kids as an obligation. One frequently hears Utopians complaining that someone else’s children are ruining everything.

    As for mothers — we discovered after the 1970s that “free love” communes turn into coercive systems in which women are forced to sleep with men they don’t want to. They also lead to male dominated harems. John Humphrey Noyes, the father of “perfectionism” and “complex marriage” fathered 58 children in his commune in the 1850s. Another Utopian collective in Holland was so radical that it’s male leader removed the age of consent and slept with his own daughters and those of other parents. While, the Friedrich’s Hoff Commune, led by Viennese performance art guru, Otto Muehl, collapsed with Muehl being given a “seven year prison sentence for widespread sexual abuse of minors.” Variations on this sickening story have been repeated with convicted sex offender and cult leader William Kamm and Warren Jeffs with his “50 brides.” When a charismatic leader takes control and demands that others de-condition themselves, exploitation is tolerated and then becomes the norm. All of this is done, with the coercive Utopian alibi that all capitalist and patriarchal behaviors and boundaries must be swept away. Auroville, which attempts to be government-free, and money-free, has been plagued with growing reports of the crimes of Sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and murder.

    No matter how much Utopian communities try to get rid of the idea of sexual ownership — the female desire to chose a mate may be a constant for our species. It does however ensure the continuation of competitive behaviors, which leads us once again to hierarchies. To get rid of this, female choice would have to be stopped, a process that we associate with cultures that are oppressive.

    The Shakers who were celibate and only adopted children became extinct after their adopted children refused to adopt the rules of Shakerism. The Harmony Society died out because it refused to reproduce. And the experiment in Fourierirsm known as Brook Farm ended after with many child related problems, one of which being when the children refused to be placed at the bottom of the Fourierist redistribution hierarchy and were forced to clean the toilets.

    So many intentional communities create trouble for themselves by trying to replace the nuclear and extended family structure with other forms of mating and child rearing, only to find that mothers and children simply want to leave.

    Intentions Are Not Enough

    One of the great mistakes we make in interpersonal behavior, is to judge people by their intentions and not by the real outcome of those intentions. To let them off with saying “we meant well.” The same is true for wider society and the many and repeated failures of applying Utopian ideas to reality are nearly always excused by the same means — people say “but we meant well” or “it’s still a good idea, it just hasn’t worked in practice yet.”

    It could be that the greatest failing of intentional communities is contained within this very formulation. A community that is based upon declaring intentions is apt to be fearful of outcomes that would disprove those good intentions and invalidate them. So, the burying of facts about failure (moral, practical, political) would appear to be one of the secret tasks of those who live by intentions alone, who, rather than trying to address problems as they arise would rather bury the results, hide the outcomes and continue as if good intentions were all that was required. It is precisely this denial of outcomes that leads intentional communities to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Good intentions are clearly not enough but we shall undoubtedly continue to witness the communities of those who live by the constant re-affirmation of good intentions alone, continuing to fail and to bury the evidence of their failure in order to “keep on believing.” A result of this is that intentional communities will not learn from their mistakes, and will keep on springing up, not as a force that will gather momentum or lead to progress as we move through history, but as a ceaseless eruption of the same good intentions beset by the same systemic problems and doomed by internal contradictions to fail, all over again.
    https://areomagazine.com/2018/03/08/why-utopian-communities-fail
    Voting 0
  3. “What George has done is tie the question of political belief to cognitive science,” said Lawrence Rosenthal, chair and lead researcher of the UC Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies. “He understands that the way to get at people’s political opinions is by talking about values, rather than specific arguments about specific issues. He believes conservatives are much better at this than liberals and have been for a very long time. They have a much better track record of crafting political appeals by way of the appropriate value statements for their audience.”

    The reason Democrats have such a hard time with Lakoff’s message, Rosenthal said, “is because George is going up against something very deep-rooted, something that goes back to the Enlightenment. He would argue that the Enlightenment approach to political persuasion was never appropriate… Every time I hear a political candidate say the word ‘percent,’ I think of ‘Oh God, they haven’t read George’.”

    Lakoff gave a talk recently at the Center for Right-Wing Studies and pointed out that students who become Democratic operatives tend to study political studies and statistics and demographics in college. “Students who lean Republican study marketing. “And that’s his point,” Rosenthal said. “It’s a very different way of thinking.”

    Lakoff’s core finding revolves around the metaphor of family. He claims there are two core beliefs about the role of families in society, and the belief one holds determines whether one is conservative or liberal. Moderates are people in the middle who are able to hold some ideas from both sides, and being able to understand and persuade them is crucial to winning any election.

    Conservatives believe in a what Lakoff calls the “strict father family,” while progressives believe in a “nurturant parent family.” In the strict father family, father knows best and he has the moral authority. The children and spouse have to defer to him, and when they disobey, he has the right to punish them so they will learn to do the right thing.
    http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/05/0...-lakoff-says-dont-underestimate-trump
    Voting 0
  4. "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/07...ife-In-A-Way-That-May-Stun-The-Masses
    Voting 0
  5. Already a fourth of the adults actually employed in the US are paid wages lower than would lift them above the official poverty line – and so a fifth of American children live in poverty. Almost half of employed adults in this country are eligible for food stamps (most of those who are eligible don’t apply). The market in labour has broken down, along with most others.

    Those jobs that disappeared in the Great Recession just aren’t coming back, regardless of what the unemployment rate tells you – the net gain in jobs since 2000 still stands at zero – and if they do return from the dead, they’ll be zombies, those contingent, part-time or minimum-wage jobs where the bosses shuffle your shift from week to week: welcome to Wal-Mart, where food stamps are a benefit.

    And don’t tell me that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour solves the problem. No one can doubt the moral significance of the movement. But at this rate of pay, you pass the official poverty line only after working 29 hours a week. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25. Working a 40-hour week, you would have to make $10 an hour to reach the official poverty line. What, exactly, is the point of earning a paycheck that isn’t a living wage, except to prove that you have a work ethic?

    Get Aeon straight to your inbox
    Daily
    Weekly

    But, wait, isn’t our present dilemma just a passing phase of the business cycle? What about the job market of the future? Haven’t the doomsayers, those damn Malthusians, always been proved wrong by rising productivity, new fields of enterprise, new economic opportunities? Well, yeah – until now, these times. The measurable trends of the past half-century, and the plausible projections for the next half-century, are just too empirically grounded to dismiss as dismal science or ideological hokum. They look like the data on climate change – you can deny them if you like, but you’ll sound like a moron when you do.

    For example, the Oxford economists who study employment trends tell us that almost half of existing jobs, including those involving ‘non-routine cognitive tasks’ – you know, like thinking – are at risk of death by computerisation within 20 years.

    So this Great Recession of ours – don’t kid yourself, it ain’t over – is a moral crisis as well as an economic catastrophe. You might even say it’s a spiritual impasse, because it makes us ask what social scaffolding other than work will permit the construction of character – or whether character itself is something we must aspire to. But that is why it’s also an intellectual opportunity: it forces us to imagine a world in which the job no longer builds our character, determines our incomes or dominates our daily lives.

    What would you do if you didn’t have to work to receive an income?

    In short, it lets us say: enough already. Fuck work.

    Certainly this crisis makes us ask: what comes after work? What would you do without your job as the external discipline that organises your waking life – as the social imperative that gets you up and on your way to the factory, the office, the store, the warehouse, the restaurant, wherever you work and, no matter how much you hate it, keeps you coming back? What would you do if you didn’t have to work to receive an income?

    And what would society and civilisation be like if we didn’t have to ‘earn’ a living – if leisure was not our choice but our lot? Would we hang out at the local Starbucks, laptops open? Or volunteer to teach children in less-developed places, such as Mississippi? Or smoke weed and watch reality TV all day?

    I’m not proposing a fancy thought experiment here. By now these are practical questions because there aren’t enough jobs. So it’s time we asked even more practical questions. How do you make a living without a job – can you receive income without working for it? Is it possible, to begin with and then, the hard part, is it ethical? If you were raised to believe that work is the index of your value to society – as most of us were – would it feel like cheating to get something for nothing?

    We already have some provisional answers because we’re all on the dole, more or less. The fastest growing component of household income since 1959 has been ‘transfer payments’ from government. By the turn of the 21st century, 20 per cent of all household income came from this source – from what is otherwise known as welfare or ‘entitlements’.

    you will say – along with every economist from Dean Baker to Greg Mankiw, Left to Right – that raising taxes on corporate income is a disincentive to investment and thus job creation. Or that it will drive corporations overseas, where taxes are lower.

    But in fact raising taxes on corporate income can’t have these effects.

    Let’s work backward. Corporations have been ‘multinational’ for quite some time. In the 1970s and ’80s, before Ronald Reagan’s signature tax cuts took effect, approximately 60 per cent of manufactured imported goods were produced offshore, overseas, by US companies. That percentage has risen since then, but not by much.

    Chinese workers aren’t the problem – the homeless, aimless idiocy of corporate accounting is. That is why the Citizens United decision of 2010 applying freedom of speech regulations to campaign spending is hilarious. Money isn’t speech, any more than noise is. The Supreme Court has conjured a living being, a new person, from the remains of the common law, creating a real world more frightening than its cinematic equivalent: say, Frankenstein, Blade Runner or, more recently, Transformers.

    But the bottom line is this. Most jobs aren’t created by private, corporate investment, so raising taxes on corporate income won’t affect employment.

    When we place our faith in hard work, we’re wishing for the creation of character; but we’re also hoping, or expecting, that the labour market will allocate incomes fairly and rationally. And there’s the rub, they do go together. Character can be created on the job only when we can see that there’s an intelligible, justifiable relation between past effort, learned skills and present reward.

    Securing ‘full employment’ has become a bipartisan goal at the very moment it has become both impossible and unnecessary. Sort of like securing slavery in the 1850s or segregation in the 1950s.

    Why?

    Because work means everything to us inhabitants of modern market societies – regardless of whether it still produces solid character and allocates incomes rationally, and quite apart from the need to make a living. It’s been the medium of most of our thinking about the good life since Plato correlated craftsmanship and the possibility of ideas as such. It’s been our way of defying death, by making and repairing the durable things, the significant things we know will last beyond our allotted time on earth because they teach us, as we make or repair them, that the world beyond us – the world before and after us – has its own reality principles.

    Think about the scope of this idea. Work has been a way of demonstrating differences between males and females, for example by merging the meanings of fatherhood and ‘breadwinner’, and then, more recently, prying them apart. Since the 17th century, masculinity and femininity have been defined – not necessarily achieved – by their places in a moral economy, as working men who got paid wages for their production of value on the job, or as working women who got paid nothing for their production and maintenance of families. Of course, these definitions are now changing, as the meaning of ‘family’ changes, along with profound and parallel changes in the labour market – the entry of women is just one of those – and in attitudes toward sexuality.

    When work disappears, the genders produced by the labour market are blurred. When socially necessary labour declines, what we once called women’s work – education, healthcare, service – becomes our basic industry, not a ‘tertiary’ dimension of the measurable economy. The labour of love, caring for one another and learning how to be our brother’s keeper – socially beneficial labour – becomes not merely possible but eminently necessary, and not just within families, where affection is routinely available. No, I mean out there, in the wide, wide world.
    https://aeon.co/essays/what-if-jobs-are-not-the-solution-but-the-problem
    Voting 0
  6. The idea that we must choose between the planet or people, he told CNA, is a “false choice.” The problem isn’t numbers of people – it’s the amount each person is consuming.

    “The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that in 1960 the United States produced some 88 million tons of municipal waste. In 2010 that number climbed to just under 250 million tons—and it may have been higher had a recession not slowed consumption. This jump reflects an almost 184 percent increase in what Americans throw out even though our population increased by only 60 percent,” he wrote in a blog post about the topic.

    There is a similar trend in carbon emissions, which increase at a faster rate than the population.

    “We can infer from this that individuals (especially in places like the USA) are consuming and wasting more today than we ever have, which gets to what Pope Francis has been telling us about lifestyles, which is consistent with his predecessors,” Patenaude told CNA.

    Climate change has been one of the primary concerns of Pope Francis’ pontificate. While not the first Pope to address such issues, his persistence in addressing the environment has brought a new awareness of the urgency of the issue to other Church leaders.
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new...CNA+Daily+News%29&utm_term=daily+news
    Voting 0
  7. Trump spoke about the nuclear family, and the American family:

    Crucially, I will also fight for the American family and American family values. The family must be at the center of any anti-poverty agenda.

    The bedrock of our unity is the realization that we are all brothers and sisters created by the same God.

    We are all equal, and we all come from the same Creator. If we remember that simple fact, then our future is truly limitless. There is nothing we as Americans can’t do.

    Imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people under God, saluting one flag. It’s time to stop quibbling over the smallest words and time to start dreaming about the great adventures that lie ahead for our country.
    http://seasonsofgrace.net/trump-vs-hillary-why-i-changed-my-mind
    Voting 0
  8. One need look no further than the dismal report published by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops in 1999, “Marriage Preparation and Cohabiting Couples,” to recognize that there is a serious problem at hand in our own nation. The report begins by stating forthrightly: “Today almost half the couples who come for marriage preparation in the Catholic Church are in a cohabiting relationship.” And while cohabitation is in itself not a nullifying factor in the conferral of marital consent, the report’s stated “reasons for cohabitation” certainly could be—chief among them are an “aversion to long term commitments” that cohabitors profess.

    The report goes on to say that cohabitors “are less committed to the institution of marriage and more accepting of divorce.”They are, therefore, “more likely to seek divorce as the solution” when problems and issues arise in the marriage and are, in point of fact, twice as likely to get divorced after marriage.

    Assuming the USCCB report is accurate, it doesn’t take a genius to do the math and draw some logical conclusions here. If half of all Catholics are living together before marriage and, as the report claims, tend to have a serious aversion to long-term commitments, there is obviously a critical attitudinal crisis regarding the permanency of marriage—and therefore the conferral of valid marital consent—among Catholics. The underlying attitude of “if things don’t work out, we’ll just get a divorce” is a deal breaker in validly conferring the Sacrament of Marriage, which requires that a couple intend to stay married for life. Pope Francis referred to this same attitude as a mark of the current “provisional culture” in which we live; a culture that does not understand or embrace permanent commitments and which, all too sadly, opts out of promises as soon as things get difficult.
    http://aleteia.org/2016/07/01/could-p.../?ru=07d9f1e39af8fda86f0d72ef9e21f779
    Voting 0
  9. when wealthier people socialize, they do so with different people: "People in households with higher incomes spent significantly less time with relatives and neighbors and significantly more time with friends," Bianchi and Vohs found.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/w...dships/?tid=hybrid_collaborative_1_na
    Voting 0
  10. 251. In discussing the dignity and mission of the family, the Synod Fathers observed that, “as for proposals to place unions between homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”. It is unacceptable “that local Churches should be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies should make financial aid to poor countries dependent on the introduction of laws to establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex”
    http://skellmeyer.blogspot.it/2016/04/amoris-laetitia.html
    Voting 0

Top of the page

First / Previous / Next / Last / Page 1 of 16 Online Bookmarks of M. Fioretti: tagged with "family"

About - Propulsed by SemanticScuttle