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dissabte, 19 de novembre de 2016

La sigilosa transformación del Partido Popular


...hasta hace muy poco tiempo, Merkel y Rajoy encarnaban para muchos la peor derecha europea. Eran los patrocinadores del austericidio y de los recortes salvajes, vasallos de los mercados financieros y verdugos del pueblo. Pues bien, tras los mazazos del Brexit y de Trump y ante lo que se ve venir, hoy son los únicos gobernantes conservadores en Europa no contagiados por el virus subversivo de la eurofobia y la xenofobia. Dos supervivientes del conservadurismo europeísta y juicioso frente a la horda de populismos reaccionarios y nacionalistas que nos invade. Hasta Obama ha dicho que votaría a Merkel.
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¿Rejuvenece el sentirse joven?


NAUTILUS.- In 1979, psychologist Ellen Langer and her students carefully refurbished an old monastery in Peterborough, New Hampshire, to resemble a place that would have existed two decades earlier. They invited a group of elderly men in their late 70s and early 80s to spend a week with them and live as they did in 1959, “a time when an IBM computer filled a whole room and panty hose had just been introduced to U.S. women,” Langer wrote. Her idea was to return the men, at least in their minds, to a time when they were younger and healthier—and to see if it had physiological consequences.

Every day Langer and her students met with the men to discuss “current” events. They talked about the first United States satellite launch, Fidel Castro entering Havana after his march across Cuba, and the Baltimore Colts winning the NFL championship game. They discussed “current” books: Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger and Leon Uris’ Exodus. They watched Ed Sullivan and Jack Benny and Jackie Gleason on a black-and-white TV, listened to Nat King Cole on the radio, and saw Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. Everything was transporting the men back to 1959.

When Langer studied the men after a week of such sensory and mindful immersion in the past, she found that their memory, vision, hearing, and even physical strength had improved. She compared the traits to those of a control group of men, who had also spent a week in a retreat. The control group, however, had been told the experiment was about reminiscing. They were not told to live as if it were 1959. The first group, in a very objective sense, seemed younger. The team took photographs of the men before and after the experiment, and people who knew nothing about the study said the men looke

d younger in the after-pictures, says Langer, who today is a professor of psychology at Harvard University.

Langer’s experiment was a tantalizing demonstration that our chronological age based on our birthdate is a misleading indicator of aging. Langer, of course, was tackling the role of the mind in how old we feel and act. Since her study, others have taken a more objective look at the aging body. The goal is to determine an individual’s “biological age,” a term that aims to capture the body’s physiological development and decline with time, and predict, with reasonable accuracy, the risks of disease and death. As scientists have worked to pinpoint a person’s biological age, they have learned that organs and tissues often age differently, making it difficult to reduce biological age to a single number. They have also made a discovery that echoes Langer’s work. How old we feel—our subjective age—can influence how we age. Where age is concerned, the pages torn off a calendar do not tell the whole story.
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El secreto del éxito de los asio-americanos no se debió a la educación sino a la disminución del racismo hacia ellos


For those who doubt that racial resentment lingers in this nation, Asian Americans are a favorite talking point. The argument goes something like this: If “white privilege” is so oppressive — if the United States is so hostile toward its minorities — why do Census figures show that Asian-Americans out-earn everyone?

In a 2014 editorial, conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly pointed out that Asian household incomes were 20 percent higher than white household incomes on average. “So, do we have Asian privilege in America?” he asked. Of course not, he said. The real reason that Asians are “succeeding far more than African-Americans and even more than white Americans” is that “their families are intact and education is paramount,” he said.

This line of reasoning has been with us since at least the 1960s, when it served as a popular rejoinder to the challenges issued by the Civil Rights Movement. Many newspapers printed flattering portraits of Asian Americans in order to cast skepticism on the people marching for economic and social justice.

“At a time when it is being proposed that hundreds of billions be spent to uplift the Negroes and other minorities, the nation’s 300,000 Chinese-Americans are moving ahead on their own,” claimed a 1966 story in the U.S. News and World Report, which noted their “strict discipline” and “traditional virtues.”

To the extent that all myths are rooted in truth, this stereotype of a model minority recognizes a real pattern of Asian upward mobility. A century ago, Asian-Americans were known as laborers of the lowest wage. They were ditch diggers, launderers, miners. Yet over the decades, despite poverty, racial violence, and widespread discrimination, many Asians managed to clamber up the socioeconomic ladder.

Until now, the story of how that happened has been poorly understood.

“The widespread assumption is that Asian Americans came to the United States very disadvantaged, and they wound up advantaged through extraordinary investments in their children’s education,” says Brown University economist Nathaniel Hilger.

But that's not what what really happened, he says.

Hilger recently used old Census records to trace the fortunes of whites, blacks and Asians who were born in California during the early-to-mid 20th century. He finds that educational gains had little to do with how Asian-Americans managed to close the wage gap with whites by the 1970s.

Instead, his research suggests that society simply became less racist toward Asians.
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