Often I run across stories of interest to elders that are too long for an item in Saturday's Interesting Stuff and too short for a full blog post. Here today are a three of those.
CAFFEINE CAUSES BRAIN ENTROPY...
and although counter-intuitive, that's a good thing, according to a new study, especially for elders.
”There's not much debate on the subject,” reports Curiosity, “a more chaotic brain is a more effective brain. They call the quality 'brain entropy,' and it measures the complexity and irregularity of brain activity from one moment to the next...
“We generally associate entropy with chaos or decay, but in this case, it's a sign of a brain working correctly...An effective brain is one that doesn't always rely on the same patterns of thinking, and one that can solve problems in unexpected ways.
“By contrast, a brain with lower entropy is characterized by order and repetition. The most orderly brains of all? They belong to comatose people and people in the deepest sleep.”
More than 90 percent of American adults regularly consume caffeine, reports Big Think:
“Despite decreasing blood flow to the brain, caffeine leaves individual regions more stimulated. The stimulating effects are uneven, however, creating a chaotic balance of energy when the stimulant is in full force. The greater unevenness in stimulation throughout the brain, the higher the entropy.”
In addition to drinking coffee, Curiosity notes that there is one sure way to increase entropy in your brain:
”All you need to do is age. Yes, entropy naturally increases with age — we suppose that's just the wisdom of the years accumulating. After all, the longer you've been alive, the more types of thinking you'll have encountered or come up with on your own.
“And with that kind of broad experience, your brain will have a million different possible ways to think.
MAGAZINE'S AGEIST HEADLINE
Earlier this week we discussed one type of ageism, age discrimination in the workplace. But ageism manifests itself in many other obvious and/or devious ways which hardly anyone recognizes as demeaning to elders.
The latest I came across was published at New York magazine this week.
Before I show it to you, let me say I am far from being a Rudy Giuliani fan, never have been going back to his mayoral stint in New York City. That, however, does not make this headline acceptable:
”Trump Worried Aging, Loudmouth New Yorker Can’t Stay on Message”
“Aging loudmouth.” “Can't stay on message.” The slur is repeated in the story's lede: “Donald Trump is starting to wonder if it was a mistake to trust an elderly, New York celebrity...”
These are among the most common insults – nay, beliefs – regularly used against elders: that we are forgetful and untrustworthy. Further, that "loudmouth" crack is just another version of "get off my lawn" gibes. Even the word "elderly" is used disparagingly in this instance.
The byline on the story is Eric Levitz, a young reporter at the magazine but youth does not absolve him. I'm pretty sure that were he writing about a black person or a woman, Levitz would not have used the N word or "chick' as a description.
It's not that I mean to pick only on Mr. Levitz – hundreds of writers and reporters of all ages use these slurs (and worse) against old people every day with nary a consequence. And that is wrong.
”'Net neutrality forced ISPs [internet service providers] to treat all content equally; without these rules in place, providers can charge more for certain types of content and can throttle access to specific websites as they see fit.'
"So, for example, big rich companies could afford hefty fees to providers so their web pages arrive faster in your browser than – oh, let's say political groups that depend on donations or blogs like yours and mine that are throttled because they can't bear the increased cost."
After a vote by the Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission (FCC), regulations to trash net neutrality, the 2015 rules will cease on 11 June.
Now, the Los Angeles Times reports that the fight for net neutrality is back.
"The effort formally begins [last] Wednesday as backers file a petition in the Senate that will force a vote next week to undo the FCC's action. Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Google and other online giants support the move...
"Although they're poised for a narrow win in the Senate, net neutrality supporters acknowledge the attempt to restore the Obama-era regulations is a long shot. The hurdles include strong opposition from House Republicans and telecommunications companies, such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp., as well as a likely veto from President Trump.
"Regardless of the outcome, the debate over net neutrality — and by extension, the future of the internet — appears headed for a key role in November's congressional midterm elections.
"'There's a political day of reckoning coming against those who vote against net neutrality,' warned Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is leading the Senate effort to restore the rules."
It is said that despite the FCC and its chair, Agit Pai, 86 percent of Americans support net neutrality. You could do your part to move the initiative to restore the 2015 rules by contacting your representatives in both houses of Congress. You can do that here.