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Debate offshoot - The importance of delayed gratification

CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
As part of a separate topic discussing why marketers often mislead (whether purposefully or not) clients to focus on "shocking the system" and on the wrong solutions.

As a core philosophy behind weight management - one eats within budget to ensure their weight is maintained over time. A sacrifice of one's present wants for a future goal.

In speaking with other members on and off MFP I've noted a common trend, that at one point they believed a goal was impossible. It wasn't until they managed to achieve a small goal that their perception changed and the "impossible" became reality. This in turn carried over into other aspects of their lives.

Does this core philosophy carry into other aspects of your life? Financially, professionally, academically, etc.
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  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    You've experienced this personally and this inhibited your success?

    Generational wealth is below 1% of the population, so I'm not sure what impact this has, especially considering that it is rarely maintained passed 2 generations. As wealth is an output of behavior the core principle of managing a budget still applies.

    Every discipline has challenges, both internal and external, but to only focus on challenges without offering a solution is a moot point.

    I've always found the entire concept of race fascinating, particular the obsession some have with it. I admittedly do not understand it as to obsess upon race defies all logic and rationale, unless your goal is to purposely divide and cause chaos.

    Not really the point of bringing up the relation of health and wealth, but a core theme to wealth and the common misunderstandings around it - nearly all the points you bring up and a myriad more. Just as in weight management it highlights the lack (some would say deliberate) of education around both subjects.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    You've experienced this personally and this inhibited your success?
    ...
    I've always found the entire concept of race fascinating, particular the obsession some have with it. I admittedly do not understand it as to obsess upon race defies all logic and rationale, unless your goal is to purposely divide and cause chaos.

    My academic success, especially as a child, has been negatively affected because of academic disparities due to race yes. I could probably point to ways that my physical health has as well (and I'm not talking about my weight). If you think that the ways in which people respond to others in relation to race isn't important and doesn't play a role in various things in really all societies (though in varying ways globally - which is actually rather fascinating), then that says quite a lot. That would would seemingly require ignoring history and require one to have blinders on to what's going on in the present.

    Now, can you answer my question (the third time of me asking it to someone who is apparently rather open to asking questions...)? How would you explain the fact that academia is overwhelmingly white? Is that about impulse control? If so, how so?

    My senior thesis was on geographical location as one of the driving forces behind innovation and behavior - the concept of sacrifice is a life saving skill to those in colder or temperate climates. I've yet to see any substative evidence suggesting race as an impact other than a factor used to control by the controlling class.

    I have as well and let this mire me down for several years until finally changing my behavior. One of my trigger moments was hearing Dr. Thomas Sowell debate.

    As for history I still don't see how it applies to the individual. I do see how this perception keeps people down thinking they can never alter course. The notion is similar to thinking one has obese genes.

    I see academia is a failing institution and why I left, so I'm not sure your obsession with this or how it relates to the topic. I'm not aware it is. Which discipline? Looking back at my career sociology, anthropology, microbiology - my professors were very diverse.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    @CSARdiver I'd like context - would you please link to the parent thread, and, if it is long, say at about what page this tangent started?

    About page 2 - fascinating debate!

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10763918/muscle-building-and-fat-loss/p2
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 19,768Member Member Posts: 19,768Member Member
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    You've experienced this personally and this inhibited your success?

    Generational wealth is below 1% of the population, so I'm not sure what impact this has, especially considering that it is rarely maintained passed 2 generations. As wealth is an output of behavior the core principle of managing a budget still applies.

    Every discipline has challenges, both internal and external, but to only focus on challenges without offering a solution is a moot point.

    I've always found the entire concept of race fascinating, particular the obsession some have with it. I admittedly do not understand it as to obsess upon race defies all logic and rationale, unless your goal is to purposely divide and cause chaos.

    Not really the point of bringing up the relation of health and wealth, but a core theme to wealth and the common misunderstandings around it - nearly all the points you bring up and a myriad more. Just as in weight management it highlights the lack (some would say deliberate) of education around both subjects.

    Fungible wealth. When one comes from a class that have historically been disadvantaged, there is a huge impact that continues on generationally in terms of wealth of connections.

    Just consider hiring. Most jobs are never actually publicly listed and hiring happens based on people knowing people. This blocks opportunities in a major way when people tend hire people they know and people tend to know people that look like them. Tying back into people that previously never could own property, it means the people who are very likely to actually own the kinds of property that lets them be someone that hires people (those hallowed "job creators") are very likely not going to be members of the class that has faced prejudice, and aren't very likely to know and therefore hire people. And that is just working under the assumptions of things done without any intentionality - just moment of prior history, even when dealing with well intentioned and equitable people.

    I'd also have to know how exactly generational wealth is even being defined and calculated when coming up with that 1% to make a real analysis. It is the glib kind of statistic that could mean a million different things. Like if it simply means that all wealth in the US right now, take 1% and that is the amount that is inherited, that is a bit deceptive. Wealth grows with every generation, so it doesn't speak much about what the actually disparity in what each generation or group inherited in comparison to each other is.

    Wealth remains an output of behavior, in this case learned behavior.

    I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be considering. We live in a family economy, so yes - children exhibiting positive learned behavior are going to have a more positive output. The more I think about this I wonder why two critical elements - financial and calorie management - are not part of the core public school curriculum? Is this not the entire purpose behind public education? To ensure a level playing field?

    Wealth does not necessarily grow with every generation. Statistically speaking this is exceptionally rare. Wealth is typically generated by the first generation, benefited by the second, and by the third this has been exhausted. The habits born of necessity are rarely imparted for the desire to give children a better life. Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad is possibly the greatest resource on the difference in mindset on wealth.

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,166Member Member Posts: 12,166Member Member
    I'm a little confused. This is a branch off another thread, but the OP here is a narrowed focus vs. all the many places the other thread went. It seems unwieldy to me to bring over other sub-threads that aren't clear in this new context. Because I'm a small woman of small mind, I'm going to stick with the OP in this thread, and see where the discussion goes from there. So:
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    As part of a separate topic discussing why marketers often mislead (whether purposefully or not) clients to focus on "shocking the system" and on the wrong solutions.

    As a core philosophy behind weight management - one eats within budget to ensure their weight is maintained over time. A sacrifice of one's present wants for a future goal.

    In speaking with other members on and off MFP I've noted a common trend, that at one point they believed a goal was impossible. It wasn't until they managed to achieve a small goal that their perception changed and the "impossible" became reality. This in turn carried over into other aspects of their lives.

    Does this core philosophy carry into other aspects of your life? Financially, professionally, academically, etc.

    For me, weight management is very much about balancing current wants with future wants or even needs. (Notice how I didn't use the word "sacrifice" in there? Probably intentional. ;) ). So, that general idea resonates with me.

    I can also relate to the idea of "budgeting" in a calorie/activity balancing situation.

    To me, neither of those is the same concept as "they believed that a goal was impossible. It wasn't until they managed to achieve a small goal that their perception changed and the "impossible" became reality. This in turn carried over into other aspects of their life."

    That part doesn't seem to (1) be the same idea as either of the other metaphors, (2) follow from them, or (3) frankly, even make sense to me.

    Is there anyone who's never achieved a goal? Um, maybe, but not many. And that was a big leap from a small goal to "the impossible" - kinda lost me.

    I do think that there are things to be learned on (for lack of better terms) both technical and psychological fronts, from goal accomplishment, especially accomplishment of complex or very long term goals.

    By "technical", I mean things like figuring out how to break a big goal (that might seem overwhelming) into smaller incremental goals, or how to identify small steps that move incrementally toward the big goal, or something along those lines. By "psychological", I mean things like figuring out out to feel rewarded and reinforced in the short run for doing things whose main or full benefits are far in the future.

    Under "psychological", at least for some people, I'd include developing (through success) a sense of mastery or agency that makes one feel like one has strengths one can bring to bear on other big goals in the future, so feel like big goals are in fact possible. (This vaguely has something to do with how I'd understand that paragraph that I said didn't make sense to me, but it's not the same thing . . . I think.)

    I do think that many of these foregoing things (the balancing of current/future wants, the attacking of complex/long-term goals, the sense of personal agency or mastery) are too often parsed in common conversation in terms of abstract trait-like things such as "discipline", "willpower", "motivation", etc., that make it easy to believe that some people have those traits (or talents), and other people don't. That's not helpful.

    Personally, I think that what's really involved are in fact more like skills. Some people may have more preinstalled "natural talent" for some of them, but they're still skills that can be learned, practiced, improved, and potentially used in various scenarios . . . if one can figure out how to practice them. (Abstractions are hard. ;) ) Practicing things improves them, makes them sharper tools. I think that applies even to rather abstract skills like "patience" and "persistence" (yes, I think those are more skills than traits, too).

    So, I think there are things that can be learned or refined in the weight management scenario, that can potentially be transferrable to financial, professional, social, familial, etc., aspects of life. Also, vice versa, that skills learned in those domains potentially transfer to weight management and fitness, and make that more achievable.

    I don't think of any of it as a "core philosophy" at all, though. I think of it as a skill set, or techniques, or practices.

    (There were things hinted at in the other thread about perceived personal power, sense of agency, etc., that I think are kind of important in all of this, too, but I don't so far see a great jumping-off point in this thread. I also don't think that has anything with "core philosophy", either.)
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    You've experienced this personally and this inhibited your success?
    ...
    I've always found the entire concept of race fascinating, particular the obsession some have with it. I admittedly do not understand it as to obsess upon race defies all logic and rationale, unless your goal is to purposely divide and cause chaos.

    My academic success, especially as a child, has been negatively affected because of academic disparities due to race yes. I could probably point to ways that my physical health has as well (and I'm not talking about my weight). If you think that the ways in which people respond to others in relation to race isn't important and doesn't play a role in various things in really all societies (though in varying ways globally - which is actually rather fascinating), then that says quite a lot. That would would seemingly require ignoring history and require one to have blinders on to what's going on in the present.

    Now, can you answer my question (the third time of me asking it to someone who is apparently rather open to asking questions...)? How would you explain the fact that academia is overwhelmingly white? Is that about impulse control? If so, how so?

    My senior thesis was on geographical location as one of the driving forces behind innovation and behavior - the concept of sacrifice is a life saving skill to those in colder or temperate climates. I've yet to see any substative evidence suggesting race as an impact other than a factor used to control by the controlling class.

    I have as well and let this mire me down for several years until finally changing my behavior. One of my trigger moments was hearing Dr. Thomas Sowell debate.

    As for history I still don't see how it applies to the individual. I do see how this perception keeps people down thinking they can never alter course. The notion is similar to thinking one has obese genes.

    I see academia is a failing institution and why I left, so I'm not sure your obsession with this or how it relates to the topic. I'm not aware it is. Which discipline? Looking back at my career sociology, anthropology, microbiology - my professors were very diverse.

    My field is linguistics, though I can count on one hand how many black teachers and professors I've had from kindergarten through college. If we expand that to people of color more broadly, that doesn't expand past counting on two hands. While my field is very diverse with regards to gender, it really isn't in regards to race. The past three years that I've gone to one of the largest linguistic conferences in the US, I've counted no more than 10 black people each year. This is a major conference with over 1,200 attendees who are based at universities around the world. For what it's worth, I didn't start counting until one of my now friends who was then a first year doctoral student introduced himself to me and mentioned it.

    That said, this is a broader issue. The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a number of articles about it (see this google link). I personally wouldn't call my focus on this an obsession which is the word that you've been using. If you compare how much I think about how few professors of color there are vs. how many what food I'm going to eat and how much, the food wins out by far (and I don't obsess over that either). That said, it is a topic that affects me in a major way because I'm a black budding academic who is navigating academia. It's a safe assumption that I think about it more than my white peers, but that's a function of being directly affected by it.

    Also for reference - my mother, who went to college in the late 60s/early 70s, had a professor who told the students in his statistics class (which she was in) that he would fail all of the black students. This was at a liberal arts college in California that many people would recognize the name of (one of the Claremont colleges).

    Fascintating - linguistics from a anthropological sense or communications? My favorite anthropologist professor specialiled in linguistics.

    On an individual level is this important though? Especially considering the climate and push towards diversity of experience I find the most value in promoting what you personally bring to the table.

    Ugh, I'm sorry for your mother's experience. I wonder if racists, or any bigots for that matter, act so as a form of narcissism. People who think this way appear to love themselves, but actually find themselves digusting. Rather than address this and grow they project their disgust onto anyone who challenges their reality. It's a sad, but fascinating self defense mechanism of the human mind and caused during the formative years - often out of some other authority figure who abused them.

    As to my contempt for academia this was the only time I encountered true racism and this was in the sociology department as an undergrad contemplating graduate studies in the late 80s. I never encountered this in the sciences though and never in business. I've encountered racist individuals, but over time people just stop doing business with them. I think there's an element involved related to results and challenging hypothesis. This resonates with the "iron sharpens iron" philosophy - without rigorous debate and resistance we grow soft.

    One of my treasured experiences was in boot camp. One black recruit from Philadelphia and one white recruit from rural New York. The tension between these two was palpable and daily one would call the other a racial slur and they would start fighting. We'd break it up or the drill instructors would (hopefully us or we'd all PT as group discipline). This went on for weeks, until cycle week - this is a week where you just get broken - hourly inspections where you quickly realize that you cannot succeed - the purpose is for you to deal with failure and still keep going. Those two started talking and constantly amazed and the wealth of shared experiences. The two became inseperable friends and are to this day like brothers.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I'm a little confused. This is a branch off another thread, but the OP here is a narrowed focus vs. all the many places the other thread went. It seems unwieldy to me to bring over other sub-threads that aren't clear in this new context. Because I'm a small woman of small mind, I'm going to stick with the OP in this thread, and see where the discussion goes from there. So:
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    As part of a separate topic discussing why marketers often mislead (whether purposefully or not) clients to focus on "shocking the system" and on the wrong solutions.

    As a core philosophy behind weight management - one eats within budget to ensure their weight is maintained over time. A sacrifice of one's present wants for a future goal.

    In speaking with other members on and off MFP I've noted a common trend, that at one point they believed a goal was impossible. It wasn't until they managed to achieve a small goal that their perception changed and the "impossible" became reality. This in turn carried over into other aspects of their lives.

    Does this core philosophy carry into other aspects of your life? Financially, professionally, academically, etc.

    For me, weight management is very much about balancing current wants with future wants or even needs. (Notice how I didn't use the word "sacrifice" in there? Probably intentional. ;) ). So, that general idea resonates with me.

    I can also relate to the idea of "budgeting" in a calorie/activity balancing situation.

    To me, neither of those is the same concept as "they believed that a goal was impossible. It wasn't until they managed to achieve a small goal that their perception changed and the "impossible" became reality. This in turn carried over into other aspects of their life."

    That part doesn't seem to (1) be the same idea as either of the other metaphors, (2) follow from them, or (3) frankly, even make sense to me.

    Is there anyone who's never achieved a goal? Um, maybe, but not many. And that was a big leap from a small goal to "the impossible" - kinda lost me.

    I do think that there are things to be learned on (for lack of better terms) both technical and psychological fronts, from goal accomplishment, especially accomplishment of complex or very long term goals.

    By "technical", I mean things like figuring out how to break a big goal (that might seem overwhelming) into smaller incremental goals, or how to identify small steps that move incrementally toward the big goal, or something along those lines. By "psychological", I mean things like figuring out out to feel rewarded and reinforced in the short run for doing things whose main or full benefits are far in the future.

    Under "psychological", at least for some people, I'd include developing (through success) a sense of mastery or agency that makes one feel like one has strengths one can bring to bear on other big goals in the future, so feel like big goals are in fact possible. (This vaguely has something to do with how I'd understand that paragraph that I said didn't make sense to me, but it's not the same thing . . . I think.)

    I do think that many of these foregoing things (the balancing of current/future wants, the attacking of complex/long-term goals, the sense of personal agency or mastery) are too often parsed in common conversation in terms of abstract trait-like things such as "discipline", "willpower", "motivation", etc., that make it easy to believe that some people have those traits (or talents), and other people don't. That's not helpful.

    Personally, I think that what's really involved are in fact more like skills. Some people may have more preinstalled "natural talent" for some of them, but they're still skills that can be learned, practiced, improved, and potentially used in various scenarios . . . if one can figure out how to practice them. (Abstractions are hard. ;) ) Practicing things improves them, makes them sharper tools. I think that applies even to rather abstract skills like "patience" and "persistence" (yes, I think those are more skills than traits, too).

    So, I think there are things that can be learned or refined in the weight management scenario, that can potentially be transferrable to financial, professional, social, familial, etc., aspects of life. Also, vice versa, that skills learned in those domains potentially transfer to weight management and fitness, and make that more achievable.

    I don't think of any of it as a "core philosophy" at all, though. I think of it as a skill set, or techniques, or practices.

    (There were things hinted at in the other thread about perceived personal power, sense of agency, etc., that I think are kind of important in all of this, too, but I don't so far see a great jumping-off point in this thread. I also don't think that has anything with "core philosophy", either.)

    I didn't mean literally never achieving a goal, but talking to people who are on "the elevator going down" they often see themselves in this state. Despite many achievements in the past the lack of current goal accomplishments feels like an insurmountable hill which causes a terminal cascade of failure, depression, more failue.

    My original thought in going down this rabbit hole is to deconsctruct the misinformation/disinformation (as I believe much of this to be intentional) and dispel much of the myth around other disciplines. That despite "common knowledge" success is achievable, but you have to know and understand the roadblocks set before you.

    Apologies as I'm writing this long before the idea is fully formed - just a connection I made within the original thread with some other books I'm reading.

    Dispelling the myth of natural talent is definitely a core concept/correction to a root cause.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 806Member Member Posts: 806Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    You've experienced this personally and this inhibited your success?
    ...
    I've always found the entire concept of race fascinating, particular the obsession some have with it. I admittedly do not understand it as to obsess upon race defies all logic and rationale, unless your goal is to purposely divide and cause chaos.

    My academic success, especially as a child, has been negatively affected because of academic disparities due to race yes. I could probably point to ways that my physical health has as well (and I'm not talking about my weight). If you think that the ways in which people respond to others in relation to race isn't important and doesn't play a role in various things in really all societies (though in varying ways globally - which is actually rather fascinating), then that says quite a lot. That would would seemingly require ignoring history and require one to have blinders on to what's going on in the present.

    Now, can you answer my question (the third time of me asking it to someone who is apparently rather open to asking questions...)? How would you explain the fact that academia is overwhelmingly white? Is that about impulse control? If so, how so?

    My senior thesis was on geographical location as one of the driving forces behind innovation and behavior - the concept of sacrifice is a life saving skill to those in colder or temperate climates. I've yet to see any substative evidence suggesting race as an impact other than a factor used to control by the controlling class.

    I have as well and let this mire me down for several years until finally changing my behavior. One of my trigger moments was hearing Dr. Thomas Sowell debate.

    As for history I still don't see how it applies to the individual. I do see how this perception keeps people down thinking they can never alter course. The notion is similar to thinking one has obese genes.

    I see academia is a failing institution and why I left, so I'm not sure your obsession with this or how it relates to the topic. I'm not aware it is. Which discipline? Looking back at my career sociology, anthropology, microbiology - my professors were very diverse.

    My field is linguistics, though I can count on one hand how many black teachers and professors I've had from kindergarten through college. If we expand that to people of color more broadly, that doesn't expand past counting on two hands. While my field is very diverse with regards to gender, it really isn't in regards to race. The past three years that I've gone to one of the largest linguistic conferences in the US, I've counted no more than 10 black people each year. This is a major conference with over 1,200 attendees who are based at universities around the world. For what it's worth, I didn't start counting until one of my now friends who was then a first year doctoral student introduced himself to me and mentioned it.

    That said, this is a broader issue. The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a number of articles about it (see this google link). I personally wouldn't call my focus on this an obsession which is the word that you've been using. If you compare how much I think about how few professors of color there are vs. how many what food I'm going to eat and how much, the food wins out by far (and I don't obsess over that either). That said, it is a topic that affects me in a major way because I'm a black budding academic who is navigating academia. It's a safe assumption that I think about it more than my white peers, but that's a function of being directly affected by it.

    Also for reference - my mother, who went to college in the late 60s/early 70s, had a professor who told the students in his statistics class (which she was in) that he would fail all of the black students. This was at a liberal arts college in California that many people would recognize the name of (one of the Claremont colleges).

    Reminds me of Philosophy Tube - in one his videos he mentions a British philosopher who said that there are about 5 black philosopher professors in Britain - and he meant that literally, not as in he can think of, or knew of, or met, but there were in fact only 5.
    I myself remember being at a very socially progressive school and one day accidentally realizing how segregated it was just by habits. I had started a conversation with someone in a lunch line, sat down next to them to continue the talk. When I got up to move my tray, I suddenly realized, I was the only white person sitting at a table of black students. It was a weird feeling, suddenly aware of the color of my skin in an uncomfortable way that I imagine doesn't even begin to compare to what those black students felt every day. From that day, I noticed that the particular table in the dorm was always segregated like that - at most, there was a white woman from Detroit who would sit there with any regularity.
    Funnily enough, I did have a linguistics professor at one time who was a black woman.
  • neugebauer52neugebauer52 Posts: 917Member Member Posts: 917Member Member
    I greatly value and find delayed gratification very important - tailored to my personal needs. I call it "health for little wealth" and is very simple: One good walk to our nearest shopping centre (and back) equals about 4 km (2.5 miles) equals one most satisfying, large cup of strong cappucino at the shopping centre. If I don't get there, tough luck! I am losing out! So far this hot cup of beverage has worked wonders and I even managed to consume it during some rain storms. Voila!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,166Member Member Posts: 12,166Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    You've experienced this personally and this inhibited your success?
    ...
    I've always found the entire concept of race fascinating, particular the obsession some have with it. I admittedly do not understand it as to obsess upon race defies all logic and rationale, unless your goal is to purposely divide and cause chaos.

    My academic success, especially as a child, has been negatively affected because of academic disparities due to race yes. I could probably point to ways that my physical health has as well (and I'm not talking about my weight). If you think that the ways in which people respond to others in relation to race isn't important and doesn't play a role in various things in really all societies (though in varying ways globally - which is actually rather fascinating), then that says quite a lot. That would would seemingly require ignoring history and require one to have blinders on to what's going on in the present.

    Now, can you answer my question (the third time of me asking it to someone who is apparently rather open to asking questions...)? How would you explain the fact that academia is overwhelmingly white? Is that about impulse control? If so, how so?

    My senior thesis was on geographical location as one of the driving forces behind innovation and behavior - the concept of sacrifice is a life saving skill to those in colder or temperate climates. I've yet to see any substative evidence suggesting race as an impact other than a factor used to control by the controlling class.

    I have as well and let this mire me down for several years until finally changing my behavior. One of my trigger moments was hearing Dr. Thomas Sowell debate.

    As for history I still don't see how it applies to the individual. I do see how this perception keeps people down thinking they can never alter course. The notion is similar to thinking one has obese genes.

    I see academia is a failing institution and why I left, so I'm not sure your obsession with this or how it relates to the topic. I'm not aware it is. Which discipline? Looking back at my career sociology, anthropology, microbiology - my professors were very diverse.

    My field is linguistics, though I can count on one hand how many black teachers and professors I've had from kindergarten through college. If we expand that to people of color more broadly, that doesn't expand past counting on two hands. While my field is very diverse with regards to gender, it really isn't in regards to race. The past three years that I've gone to one of the largest linguistic conferences in the US, I've counted no more than 10 black people each year. This is a major conference with over 1,200 attendees who are based at universities around the world. For what it's worth, I didn't start counting until one of my now friends who was then a first year doctoral student introduced himself to me and mentioned it.

    That said, this is a broader issue. The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a number of articles about it (see this google link). I personally wouldn't call my focus on this an obsession which is the word you've been using. If you compare how much I think about how few professors of color there are vs. how many what food I'm going to eat and how much, the food wins out by far (and I don't obsess over that either). That said, it is a topic that affects me in a major way because I'm a black budding academic who is navigating academia. It's a safe assumption that I think about it more than my white peers, but that's a function of being directly affected by it.

    Also for reference - my mother, who went to college in the late 60s/early 70s, had a professor who told the students in his statistics class (which she was in) that he would fail all of the black students. This was at a liberal arts college in California that many people would recognize the name of (one of the Claremont colleges).

    This is a complete digression from the thread. Aokoye, please read this next sentence very carefully: I think the weight of racial discrimination is very different from sex/gender discrimination, but your post struck me by how similar the shape of it feels, within a limited domain, from my perspective.

    I grew up in a time when there weren't many women anything among professions or respected/well-compensated jobs, except for K-12 teachers and nurses: Virtually no women doctors, attorneys, professors, broadcasters, engineers, . . . etc. For example, in my entire childhood/youth, I encountered one female physician (a pediatrician, BTW).

    My higher ed related to my career field (Computer Science/IT) had one woman professre, otherwise all male (more men of color than women by a good bit, but I think that's an artifact of the particular field - quite a few profs were not US-born so more diverse race/ethnicity). My fellow students, especially in advanced classes, were men. I was very frequently the only woman in those classes.

    Things were improving a bit as I got into the working world (especially in higher ed adminstrative IT), but women were still distinctly in the minority, and I would often be far in the minority at certain conferences or the only woman at large meetings. I was mostly lucky, but same-age peers had shocking stories of discrimination (one described a previous workplace where female systems analysts assigned to a project would not be invited to full project team meetings, for example).

    I don't have any particular larger point I'm making here, but just found it interesting how similar the overall shape of the situation felt (again, different weight, very different social constructs that create obstacles, on different levels of life beyond the profession: I'm not trying to minimize your lived experience, or claim broad equivalence beyond the very general shape of the professional role models - professional peers - workplace constraints. I can't even imagine how it would be, but sympathize . . . maybe even empathize, in the limited way possible.)

    I can certainly understand the point I believe you're making about the difference between obsession and a mere steady recognition that there's an ongoing structural issue, and the idea that there's inequity to be addressed as such (somehow!), in addition to (not instead of) working one's hardest to navigate around and through all the obstacles, the ones related to this situation as well as ones that anyone and everyone might encounter.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    You've experienced this personally and this inhibited your success?

    Generational wealth is below 1% of the population, so I'm not sure what impact this has, especially considering that it is rarely maintained passed 2 generations. As wealth is an output of behavior the core principle of managing a budget still applies.

    Every discipline has challenges, both internal and external, but to only focus on challenges without offering a solution is a moot point.

    I've always found the entire concept of race fascinating, particular the obsession some have with it. I admittedly do not understand it as to obsess upon race defies all logic and rationale, unless your goal is to purposely divide and cause chaos.

    Not really the point of bringing up the relation of health and wealth, but a core theme to wealth and the common misunderstandings around it - nearly all the points you bring up and a myriad more. Just as in weight management it highlights the lack (some would say deliberate) of education around both subjects.

    Fungible wealth. When one comes from a class that have historically been disadvantaged, there is a huge impact that continues on generationally in terms of wealth of connections.

    Just consider hiring. Most jobs are never actually publicly listed and hiring happens based on people knowing people. This blocks opportunities in a major way when people tend hire people they know and people tend to know people that look like them. Tying back into people that previously never could own property, it means the people who are very likely to actually own the kinds of property that lets them be someone that hires people (those hallowed "job creators") are very likely not going to be members of the class that has faced prejudice, and aren't very likely to know and therefore hire people. And that is just working under the assumptions of things done without any intentionality - just moment of prior history, even when dealing with well intentioned and equitable people.

    I'd also have to know how exactly generational wealth is even being defined and calculated when coming up with that 1% to make a real analysis. It is the glib kind of statistic that could mean a million different things. Like if it simply means that all wealth in the US right now, take 1% and that is the amount that is inherited, that is a bit deceptive. Wealth grows with every generation, so it doesn't speak much about what the actually disparity in what each generation or group inherited in comparison to each other is.

    Wealth remains an output of behavior, in this case learned behavior.

    I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be considering. We live in a family economy, so yes - children exhibiting positive learned behavior are going to have a more positive output. The more I think about this I wonder why two critical elements - financial and calorie management - are not part of the core public school curriculum? Is this not the entire purpose behind public education? To ensure a level playing field?

    Wealth does not necessarily grow with every generation. Statistically speaking this is exceptionally rare. Wealth is typically generated by the first generation, benefited by the second, and by the third this has been exhausted. The habits born of necessity are rarely imparted for the desire to give children a better life. Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad is possibly the greatest resource on the difference in mindset on wealth.

    Seems weird to me that you can embrace epigenetics with one hand and call something a learned behavior (seeming to imply purely learned) on the other. It is also begging the question really hard, and at a certain level, absolutely wrong. It is absolutely possible to receive inherited wealth or win a lottery and that not be a learned behavior. And yes, some trust fund people and a lot of lottery winners squander their fortune, but then you're just saying not squandering wealth is a learned behavior, rather than building or earning wealth.

    To be as blunt as possible, I don't think there can be a dialog between us. I think you're entrenched in a Horatio Algers mindset about people can just overcome things with a mindset and that's it.
    I guess I'll give you the best example I've ever had to deal with about racism as systemic and undermining wealth: redlining. It is, in an economic sense, a perfectly economically rational behavior that pushes people to behave in racist ways when they don't agree with racism, but it will be to their economic advantage to do so for as long as there exists some people who are intentionally racist.
    So, take there exists at least one racist person in the majority group - so in America, this would be a white person. This person's preferences automatically reduce - as just one, very small, immeasurable on the scale of economics - the value of homes in any neighborhood that is of mixed races, right? This has a knock on effect - any rational white person has to either value diversity more than the difference in their home's value, or they have an incentive to keep out or move out of neighborhoods that become mixed. It also means pure minority neighborhoods have a lower value because the majority of buyers have a disincentive from moving into a minority neighborhood. This also feeds back in on itself, so that also, banks, being rational actors, have a disincentive to give loans to any minority looking to buy a house in a traditionally white neighborhood. It is one of the impetus's behind the equal housing acts, and there's some cases to suggest it still goes on to some extent.

    So does this mean home ownership is impossible for African Americans? Obviously not. Does it mean we can say the difference in home ownership between African Americans and white is at least partially explainable, even in the present day, by racism? I'd say absolutely.

    Challenging I agree - as I'm asking the next question - Why?

    While I appreciate the reference, no. More about separating myth from reality. Identifying real roadblocks and developing strategies to remove them as opposed to being mired in the status quo.

    I note the comparison to one believing that as their parents were obese, that they carry a gene that predisposes them to obesity. Is it helpful to remind this person daily of their demographic state and that they have an increased chance of obesity? I'm questioning the stress of recognizing an issue without any possibility of a solution and that focusing on what cannot be controlled greatly diminishes that which can be controlled.
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