Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:

Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of violence as a backdrop in their lives, based on MRI scans, have weaker real-time neural connections and interaction in parts of the brain involved in awareness, judgment, and ethical and emotional processing.

…Though it’s still largely based on correlations between brain patterns and particular environments, the research points to a disturbing conclusion: Poverty and the conditions that often accompany it—violence, excessive noise, chaos at home, pollution, malnutrition, abuse and parents without jobs—can affect the interactions, formation and pruning of connections in the young brain.

Two recent influential reports cracked open a public conversation on the matter. In one, researchers found that impoverished children had less gray matter—brain tissue that supports information processing and executive behavior—in their hippocampus (involved in memory), frontal lobe (involved in decision making, problem solving, impulse control, judgment, and social and emotional behavior) and temporal lobe (involved in language, visual and auditory processing and self-awareness). Working together, these brain areas are crucial for following instructions, paying attention and overall learning—some of the keys to academic success.

The second key study, published in Nature Neuroscience , also in 2015 , looked at 1,099 people between ages 3 and 20, and found that children with parents who had lower incomes had reduced brain surface areas in comparison to children from families bringing home $150,000 or more a year.

“We have [long] known about the social class differences in health and learning outcomes,” says Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. But neuroscience has now linked the environment, behavior and brain activity—and that could lead to a stunning overhaul of both educational and social policies, like rethinking Head Start–style programs that have traditionally emphasized early literacy. New approaches, he says, could focus on social and emotional development as well, since science now tells us that relationships and interactions with the environment sculpt the areas of the brain that control behavior (like the ability to concentrate), which also can affect academic achievement (like learning to read). 

– Adria Vasil discusses the worldwide trend of water being made available first (and for inexplicably low prices) to for-profit bottlers over citizens who need it. And Martin Regg Cohn examines how the story is playing out in Ontario in particular.

– Mike De Souza reports on how the National Energy Board, rather than acting as a neutral regulator, misled Denis Coderre to try to take free PR for both the NEB itself and fossil fuel development in general. And Carrie Tait points out how the Husky oil spill is raising questions about Saskatchewan’s fully captured regulatory system. 

– Ian MacLeod reports on a sudden and unexplained increase in CSE interception of private communications.

– Finally, Andray Domise discusses what Colten Boushie’s shooting and its aftermath say about the blight of racism in Canada. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Melisa Foster points out why millennials should be strongly interested in a national pharmacare program:Today, young Canadians are searching for jobs in an economy with high levels of precarious employment, unemploym… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Trevor Hancock writes that if we’re going to designate anything as a public health emergency, poverty should top the list:I was pleased to see the B.C. Ministry of Health use the powers of the provincial health offic… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- John Milloy discusses the difference between trade and corporate control – while noting that recent “trade agreements” have tended to favour the latter without being the subject of meaningful public de… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Tom Parkin writes about the growing divide between the lucky few who are siphoning wealth out of Canada, and the mass of people facing a precarious economic future. – PressProgress highlights much the same disti… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Conference Board of Canada’s environmental report card – and the conclusions we should draw from both Saskatchewan’s last-place finish, and the typically appalling response from the Wall government.For further reading…- Brendan Haley dis… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- George Monbiot discusses how neoliberal ideology has managed to take over as the default assumption in global governance – despite its disastrous and readily visible effects:(T)he past four decades have been characte… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- John Ross makes the case for a focus on the social determinants of health in all kinds of public policy-making:Many studies show that if you work long hours in low-paying jobs and live paycheque to paycheque, co… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- James Ayre points out Radoslaw Stefanski’s study as to how cutting off fossil fuel subsidies subsidies (among other public policy preferences) would go a long way toward helping a transition toward clean, r… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Richard Eskow summarizes the basic facts about inequality in the U.S. Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that it’s impossible to fully explain or address that problem without factoring in ongoing racial disparities. And… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Robert Kuttner writes about the increasing recognition that extreme inequality arises out of power imbalances rather than any natural state of affairs:(I)nfluential orthodox economists are having serio… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Dana Flavelle examines how many Canadians are facing serious economic insecurity. And Kevin Campbell discusses how the Cons are vulnerable on the economy due to their obvious failure to deliver on their promises, as well as their misplaced focus on trickle-down ideology: During this election it is . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how we’ll soon be seeing both federal and provincial governments alike try to block out their real history with glossy ad campaigns – and why we shouldn’t let them get away with the plan.

For further reading…– Torstar reported here on the Cons’ use of public money to generate fake news and . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– David Foot and Daniel Stoffman discuss Thomas Piketty’s role in highlighting the need to work toward greater equality, while pointing out a few options to increase public revenues from people who can afford to pay them. And Ezra Klein interviews Paul Krugman about inequality (along with a wider . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– George Monbiot opines that curbing corporate power is the most fundamental political issue we need to address in order to make progress possible on any other front: Does this sometimes feel like a country under enemy occupation? Do you wonder why the demands of so much of the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– The OECD reports on the relationship between equality and growth, and concludes that rising inequality is as toxic for economic development as it is for our social fabric. And David Rider discusses how increasing inequality is manifesting itself in several Toronto neighbourhoods.

– Meanwhile, Daniel Tancer . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– The Star criticizes the Harper Cons’ selective interest in international cooperation – with war and oil interests apparently ranking as the only areas where the Cons can be bothered to work with other countries. And Catherine Porter reports that the Cons have demonstrated their actual attitude toward global . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Sean McElwee is the latest to highlight how only a privileged few benefit in either the short term or the long term from unequal economic growth: Milanovic and van der Weide decided to investigate how inequality affects growth across the income spectrum. They used a state-level survey conducted . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Linda McQuaig discusses who stands to lose out from a CETA designed to limit its benefits to the corporate elite. And PressProgress points out that Canada’s pay gap between CEOs and workers is higher than that of any other OECD country other than the U.S.

– Meanwhile, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading.

– Frances Russell notes that the corporate sector is laughing all the way to the bank (and often an offshore one at that) after fifteen years of constant tax slashing, while Canadian citizens haven’t benefited at all from the trickle-down theory. And Jordan Weissmann points out that a recent . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that to end your weekend.

– Paul Krugman notes that a concerted effort to combat climate change could be as beneficial economically as it is important for the future of our planet: Where is the new optimism about climate change and growth coming from? It has long been clear that a well-thought-out strategy . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– In the context of Scotland’s referendum on independence, Polly Toynbee reminds us why fragmentation can only serve to exacerbate inequality – a lesson worth keeping in mind as the Cons look to devolve responsibility for taxation and public services in Canada: What’s to be done? The answer . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Dan Lett discusses Stephen Harper’s callous disregard for missing and murdered aboriginal women – and how it should serve as a call to Canadians generally to take a broader look at the causes of social inequality: Why so much resistance to a broader, sociological analysis? A national inquiry . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

– Andrew Jackson writes that public investment is needed as part of a healthy economy, particularly when it’s clear that the private sector isn’t going to put massive accumulated savings to use. Bob McDonald notes that we’d be far better off using public money to fund basic research . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links