from the world's big
Threats to Our Prosperity
Professor Bower has also been active in the development of various institutions and programs. Between 1968 and 1973 he helped establish the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria. In 1978, he founded the Program for Senior Managers in Government at Harvard’s JFK School of Government; and in 1995 he founded the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School. Currently he is helping to build the new joint MBA-MPP degree program offered by the Business School and the Kennedy School of Government.
Joe Bower: Our research project involved \r\ntalking with a number of business leaders and showing them some of the \r\nscenarios developed by the World Bank for the long-term future and \r\nasking them what they thought it meant for business leaders. And I’m in\r\n the middle of finishing with some colleagues a book that we hope will \r\nbe a fantastic answer to your question. But basically, what we can see \r\nis that the way things are playing out is very uncomfortable. The \r\nfuture could involve substantial breakdowns so that the people who were \r\ninvolved in our research were very concerned about capital markets long \r\nbefore the crisis. They saw the volatility, they saw the extent to \r\nwhich the capital markets were drifting away from their function of \r\nserving industrial markets and were simply trading systems, and they \r\nwere very concerned about it’s implication. When you look at any set of \r\nforecasts, what you see is growing in equality of income within \r\ncountries and then across countries really bad. So that even though \r\nChina and India, by say 2050 or 2040 are expected to have together as \r\nmuch as say 40 percent of the world's GDP, the people in those countries\r\n will still have incomes that are, like, a third of those in developed \r\nnations, on average.
And the averages are a problem because even\r\n if you look at those nations, what you see are... the poor are coming \r\nup, but we’re getting staggering – somebody said China now has 62 \r\nbillionaires, something like that. Well, that kind of inequality is \r\nvery rough in an age where television makes everything visible to \r\neveryone... on their cell phones. So, inequality then leads to \r\nmigration. That can be highly destabilizing. And so we see, for \r\nexample, in Europe, a population that’s shrinking because of age, \r\nWestern Europe, and what do the voters want? The voters want more \r\nbenefits, they want lower taxes, they want shorter working weeks, and \r\nthey want no immigration. So, what we’re looking at is... we’re moving \r\ntowards a something that’s going to break down.
And so what is \r\nthe role of business leaders? The role of business leaders is, as a \r\ncommunity globally, to recognize these problems and to start making a \r\ndifference and interestingly, there are companies that are doing just \r\nthat. A few are based in the United States, more outside.
Question:\r\n What are some examples of companies making a difference?
Joe\r\n Bower: If you look at... China Mobile is getting most of it’s \r\ngrowth these days by bringing cell phones to essentially a million \r\nvillages, they’re getting down to the village level. They’ve built a \r\ndistribution system that’s amazing. With those cell phones, they can \r\nnow provide market information to what are essentially farmers. They’re\r\n going to probably, if the government will let them, provide banking for\r\n that. So, it’s a business that’s a solution. If these people are \r\npoor, bring them into the market system. And we’re seeing if people \r\ndon’t have homes, find a way to help them build homes, that’s what Cemex\r\n is doing. And figure out how to distribute to that level and finance \r\nit.
Then if you look at something like IBM, IBM has put the \r\nheadquarters of it’s market facing activities for emerging markets in \r\nShanghai—not in Armonk—and they’re working to provide the information \r\nsystems so that those companies who are trying to do that can do it. \r\nThat’s where the future of the market is. Essentially the business \r\nversion of that nightmare that I was describing is: Do you want to spend\r\n your life fighting for the one-third of the market that’s well \r\ndeveloped and in which every company in the world is present and \r\nfighting, or do you want to be a leader developing the two-thirds of the\r\n world’s market that has no competition? So, that’s taking that big \r\nproblem that I described and saying, “Well, wait a minute, that’s a huge\r\n opportunity.” And that I think is what’s before us. We either develop\r\n that opportunity or face some very, very uncomfortable problem.
Recorded April 1, 2010
Even though China and India are expected to have as much as 40 percent of the world's GDP by midcentury, incomes in those countries will still be one-third of those in developed nations.
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.
A time for sleep<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="Mt29uUqI" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="931343dee3c02121445e51e94ba22446"> <div id="botr_Mt29uUqI_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/Mt29uUqI-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Previous studies had already suggested a link between persistent nightmares in childhood and psychosis and borderline personality disorder (BPD) by adolescence, but researchers at the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology wanted to see if a similar connection existed between these mental disorders and other childhood behavioral sleep problems.</p><p>To do this, they scoured data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a longitudinal cohort study that followed approximately 14,000 children born in Avon, England, in the early 1990s. The study followed the children for more than 13 years. During that time, mothers filled out questionnaires asking about the children's lives. Factors looked at included housing, parenting, nutrition, physical health, mental wellbeing, environmental exposures, and so on. </p><p>The cohort study inquired about sleep routines, sleep duration, and awakening frequency when the children were 6, 18, and 30 months old, and then again at 3.5, 4.8, and 5.8 years. It also assessed mental health in adolescence using semi-structured interviews, such as the Psychosis-Like Symptom Interview.</p><p>"We know that adolescence is a key developmental period to study the onset of many mental disorders, including psychosis or BPD. This is because of particular brain and hormonal changes which occur at this stage," <a href="https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/psychology/marwaha-steven.aspx" target="_blank">Steven Marwaha</a>, professor of psychiatry at Birmingham and senior author on the study, <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701125431.htm" target="_blank">said in a release</a>. "Sleep may be one of the most important underlying factors—and it's one that we can influence with effective, early interventions, so it's important that we understand these links."</p><p>After compiling the data, the researchers discovered an association between children with irregular sleeping patterns and teenagers with <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/psychosis/about-psychosis/" target="_blank">psychotic experiences</a>—that is, episodes when the person perceives reality differently than those around them. Even when depression at 10 years old was considered as a mediating factor, their findings still suggested "a specific pathway between these childhood sleep problems and adolescent psychotic experiences." </p><p>Toddlers with shorter nighttime sleep duration and late bedtimes were likewise associated with a <a href="https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml" target="_blank">borderline personality disorder</a>—a disorder marked by a pattern of varying moods, self-images, and behaviors—in their teenage years. Depression at age 10 did not mediate this particular association, suggesting a separate and more specific pathway. </p>
A more restful tomorrow<p>While the sample size was large and mental health was assessed with a validated interview, there nevertheless remain limitations to this data. For starters, sleep habits were based on mothers' reports. Because they came from memory, versus a more direct observation method such as actigraphy, these data may be prone to imperfect recollection and reporting error. There are also many confounders that could be secretly nudging the results, such as family conditions, prenatal medicines, and a host of environmental factors. Finally, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024884/#:~:text=Sleep%20difficulties%20in%20youth%20with,fear%20of%20dark%20%5B13%5D." target="_blank">the relationship between sleep problems and mental disorders</a> is both complex and two-way.</p><p>As such, the study shows an association between poor childhood sleep later mental disorders but does not prove a causal link. Parents need not worry that a string of nightmares or the eternal struggle settle into bed will be the first ingredients in a witches' brew of debilitating mental disorders. The goal of the study, the researchers point out, is not to create undue worry but improve our ability to recognize the signs of at-risk children and deliver necessary interventions earlier.</p><p>"The results of this study could have important implications for helping practitioners identify children who might be at higher risk for psychotic experiences or BPD symptoms in adolescence, and potentially lead to the design of more effectively targeted sleep or psychological interventions to prevent the onset or attenuate these mental disorders," Isabel Morales-Muñoz, the study's lead researcher, <a href="https://www.healio.com/news/psychiatry/20200702/childhood-sleep-problems-linked-to-adolescent-psychosis-borderline-personality-disorder#:~:text=Sleep%20problems%20during%20early%20childhood,study%20published%20in%20JAMA%20Psychiatry." target="_blank">told Healio Psychiatry</a><u>.</u></p><p>If a parent reading this is worried that their child's sleep patterns are deleterious, the take away should not be despair over an unyielding fate. It should be to seek professional help as soon as possible to begin improving sleep duration and quality. Even if you aren't worried, it's worth remembering that childhood experiences lay the foundation for a lifetime of salubrious sleeping habits. It's so much more than beauty rest.</p>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>