Wikipedia defines the pre-frontal cortex thusly: “This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, moderating social behavior, and moderating certain aspects of speech and language. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals. (italics=my question – who -what sets our internal goals?)
The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social “control” (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes). (italics=my opinion. Can we have a successful executor (president) with a non-functional prefrontal cortex)
“This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, moderating social behavior, and moderating certain aspects of speech and language. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals.
The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social “control” (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes)”. (my italics) Therein lie the genetic, epigenetic, early environmental influences that govern our ability to be “open” “loving” “accepting” of things that lie around us; our ability to “adapt” “accept” and “change”.
There is no better example of the well functioning executive function guidelines (as parents and society we can control the epigenetic and environmental aspects of this in our children and in ourselves to a large degree) than given in Matthew 22:37-39 – ‘love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your understanding – this is the first great command – and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself’
Love (G-D, supreme being, the force greater than self), Love neighbor. the latter doesn’t happen without the former.
If one considers ‘self’ the highest order of intellect, reason, and opinion then it is improbable that one will be inclusive to other ideas (we are all subject to our biological paleobrain thoughts that self, and others like us, are best, secure and safe. This happens very early in infant development). As one formulates concepts of “self” recognizing a greater power, purpose, presence enables us to exercises and expand activities in the prefrontal cortex it seems, allowing for more social and inclusive world views, and acceptance of the good qualities of other cultures (while recognizing and rejecting antisocial qualities “e.g. islam and “kill the infidels” or “tribal and ethnic” cleansing (name me one country (america is included, that has not participated in this activity). Thousands of years of thought produced this philosophy, it might be time to revisit its effectiveness.
Science illustrations fun reminders: coronavirus charms, patterns for cross stitch, fridge magnets — all made with some accuracy for the real SARS Cov 2 anatomy in mind. This has been an education for me, firstly in modeling proteins on RCSB and the pluses and lacks theirin, also for learning a little about virology, even more importantly, for releasing that pent up emotion over this crisis, having to work from home – which has its own problems and rewards and not knowing whether the crisis politically drive, fear driven, whether this approach is good for society and the economy or bad for society and the economy, which leaders are telling facts which are telling fiction, and knowing the final impact will only be known in the passage of time).
BUT – here are some fun (at least fun for me) products of these last two months (made without apology and without fear).
Europe’s Coronavirus Fate Is Already Sealed
One reason Britain and Italy are struggling: Their medical systems are too dependent on government. by Joseph Sternberg.
Scientists around the world have worked overtime to get a handle on COVID-19, yet one great unknown remains. We still don’t know for sure whether this is only a medical crisis, or also a medical system crisis.
The distinction matters for the novel coronavirus for the same reason it matters for other “natural disasters” that aren’t entirely natural. It is now widely understood that famines arise from local political failures in the trade and distribution of abundant global food supplies, not from local crop failures. Floods devastate communities not because the local rivers are unusually watery but because poor zoning and subsidized flood insurance encourage people to build homes in flood plains.
This is the context for a conspicuous feature of COVID-19: It is not untreatable, but many health systems are struggling to deliver effective treatment. Nowhere is this more so right now than in Italy, where nightmarish reports are emerging from hospitals in the hardest-hit areas.
Doctors in Italy know what to do to treat severe cases, such as using ventilators in intensive-care units. But hospitals lack the beds and equipment for the influx of patients, and Italy doesn’t have enough doctors even to make the attempt. Ill patients languish in hospital corridors for want of beds, recovering patients are rushed out the door as quickly as possible, and exhausted (and sometimes sick) doctors and nurses can’t even muster the energy to throw up their hands in despair.
Is this more a result of the severity of COVID-19, or of long-term failures to invest in the Italian health-care system? One starts to suspect the latter.
Italy lags behind other large European countries in provision of acute-care hospital beds, furnishing 2.62 of them per 1,000 residents as of 2016, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In Germany it’s 6.06 and in France and the Netherlands it’s 3.15 and 3 respectively. That year, Italy devoted around $913 per capita to inpatient acute and rehabilitative care, compared with $1,338 in France, $1,506 in Germany, and $1,732 in the U.S.
U.K. policy makers understand what such analyses portend — because underinvestment in Britain’s creaking health-care system is even worse. The U.K. spent the princely sum of $901.70 per capita on acute care in 2016, according to the OECD. British data don’t distinguish acute-care beds, but a comparison of available beds overall isn’t any more favorable to the U.K. (or to Italy). In 2017, when Germany provided 8 beds per 1,000 residents and France offered 5.98, Italy managed 3.18, and the U.K. only 2.54.
As a result, British authorities have adopted a very specific policy goal in their approach to COVID-19. The aim is not to prevent the virus’s spread through the general population, which is a foregone conclusion. Rather, the name of the game is delay. British authorities are desperate to hold off on a mass outbreak until the socialized National Health Service has recovered from its chronic winter crisis.
That’s right, the NHS, which now will have to cope with a new and fast-moving respiratory illness, already falls to pieces every year with the normal ebb and flow of cold-weather ailments. Each winter crisis becomes a bit more acute, and this year was no exception. As of December, only 80% of emergency-room patients were treated within four hours of arrival, down from 84% in the depths of the previous two winters.
What accounts for these divergences in health-care resources requires more study than a single newspaper column can provide, but a few early hints emerge. One is the observation that the U.K. and Italy are significantly more dependent on direct government financing of health-care than is France or Germany.
Government accounted for 79% of total health-care spending in the U.K. in 2017, according to Eurostat, and 74% in Italy. Germany and France both rely on compulsory insurance schemes with varying degrees of subsidy and government meddling, but outright government expenditure amounts to only 6% of total health spending in Germany and 5% in France. COVID-19 in this sense is a test of how much one trusts central health planners to make wise long-term decisions that boost resilience in the face of unusual dangers.
This story is food for thought for voters inclined to skepticism over the wisdom or efficacy of their politicians’ responses to the crisis. Those same politicians already have made decisions that may seal a country’s coronavirus fate, and it won’t have anything to do with quarantines or restrictions on travel or large gatherings. Rather, the important choices may have already come in the guise of technocratic health spending and investment decisions made largely out of public view over many years. How lucky do Europeans feel?
Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge (27 July 1857 – 23 November 1934)(wikipedia) was commenting on Oedipus Aegyptiacus, Athanasius Kircher’s supreme work of Egyptology, with this biting remark – “but as they were put forth in a learned tongue many people at the time believed they were correct” This brings to mind all the “fake news” and “fake science” and “fake reporting” that we consumers have to deal with every single day.
All this comes up as I found a really wonderful little image which I am turning into a stained glass mandala pattern.
This is a quote from an interview with Leonard Cohen….. I love it…. so why is it necessary for us to disassociate our rational seeking the eternal from our acceptance of eternity?
“What happened to me was not that I got any answers, but that the questions dissolved.”
Here is my 10 minute rocket to launch tomorrow to be part of the Apollo Moon Landing Mission.
I remember watching that event unfold on a very small black and white TV set, in an efficiency apartment at Matson Place in Cincinnati Ohio. It was an exciting view.
With 10 minutes required to create the rocket and 5 minutes to sign up as a participant on the website I am ready to use a straw to puff-power my rocket into space (July 16 2019) and be part of the guiness book of records for the #GlobalRocketlaunch
Test launches have been awesome…. 5 feet. ha ha.
Lift off 7 16 2019 9:30 am EST, video here — ha ha… too fun. #GlobalRocketlaunch
I pity the nation of sheep with shepherds that mislead
I pity the nation where leaders deceive and sages are silenced
I pity the nation with voices of bigots praising bullies as heroes
I pity the nation with one language that scorns diversity
I pity the nation where wealth is monetary and brotherhood is scarce
I pity the nation where bellies are full and hearts are empty
(modified one more time from Khalil Gibran and Lawrence Ferlinghetti