Friday, April 11, 2014

A sociopath and an oligarch go into a bar....

I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half
(Jay Gould, 19th century financier and speculator)

Exceptional American exceptionalism

Thomas Piketty, the French economist, with the publication of Capital in the Twenty-first Century has seemingly stirred up the sleepy and bloodless world of modern economic theory and its bland, oftentimes, pseudo-scientific gibberish. Yes, inequality cannot be understood independently of politics. Some of those 19th century economists, like Karl Marx and David Ricardo, did have some extremely important insights about how the world actually works—then and now.

In regard to income created by work, inequality (the level of inequality) in the U.S., according to Piketty, is “probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world.”

The Jones Plantation

Mind of the sociopath

Martijn van den Heuvel of the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands recently announced that they have completed the first detailed map of any mammal's neural network. It's called the Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas.

While a similar mapping of the human brain is still many years away, this is a first step in understanding medical conditions such as bi-polar disorders, schizophrenia and autism. It is about connections and the complexity of brain connectivity. Now, if we are able in the not too distant future, to understand human predation and how to make the necessary adjustments to those neural networks, we could possibly look forward to a future where humankind might make a positive contribution to our planet's well being.

Of course, economic theory and neuroscience aside, how do you actually go about—in this day and age—of bringing the existing structure to an end and rebuilding anew? Possibly remembering some old ideas.

No comments: