Facebook, 24 June 2020
We are living in dangerous but also generative transformational times at the confluence of (at least) 3 emergencies:
1) covid 19 pandemic (not to mention other diseases of both humans and nonhumans rampaging through the living world), but also in the midst of powerful emergent practices of collective care and refusal of death-denial and transcendentalism
2) racial capitalism/neofascism run rampant, but also anti-racist & indigenous justice&care movements surging in the context of world wide economic & environmental crises
3) multispecies extermination/extinction/genocide in the web of climate injustice, extractionism, and catastrophe capitalism, but also widespread revulsion at human exceptionalism and growing affirmation of the earth & earthlings of powerful kinds
Science and technology matter in all of these. “Science for the People” has never been more relevant (especially if the “people” are both human and more than human).
No more business as usual. These times are more dangerous than ever, but maybe, just maybe, there is a chance for something better. So, the old question for the left, what is to be done?
That’s what I want to talk about. What is it like to live in times of possibilities, when just a year ago many of us thought nothing was possible?
ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2012) — Some young people’s expectations that they will not live long, healthy lives may actually foreshadow such outcomes.
New research published August 1 in the open access journal PLOS ONEreports that, for American teens, the expectation of death before the age of 35 predicted increased risk behaviors including substance abuse and suicide attempts later in life and a doubling to tripling of mortality rates in young adulthood.
The researchers, led by Quynh Nguyen of Northeastern University in Boston, found that one in seven participants in grades 7 to 12 reported perceiving a 50-50 chance or less of surviving to age 35. Upon follow-up interviews over a decade later, the researchers found that low expectations of longevity at young ages predicted increased suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts as well as heavy drinking, smoking, and use of illicit substances later in life relative to their peers who were almost certain they would live to age 35.
“The association between early survival expectations and detrimental outcomes suggests that monitoring survival expectations may be useful for identifying at-risk youth,” the authors state.
The study compared data collected from 19,000 adolescents in 1994-1995 to follow-up data collected from the same respondents 13-14 years later. The cohort was part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), conducted by the Carolina Population Center and funded by the National Institutes of Health and 23 other federal agencies and foundations.
Quynh C. Nguyen, Andres Villaveces, Stephen W. Marshall, Jon M. Hussey, Carolyn T. Halpern, Charles Poole. Adolescent Expectations of Early Death Predict Adult Risk Behaviors. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e41905 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041905