*LBN-INVESTIGATES: On Tuesday, when the Census Bureau released one of the country’s most important reports on income and poverty, dozens and dozens of facts were revealed. We found out that real middle-class incomes in America grew a phenomenal 5.2 percent, and that the poverty rate fell by the largest percentage in nearly 50 years. That got the headlines. But after the initial buzz, a few reporters across the country, me included, were intrigued by two lines in the first table: While incomes in metropolitan areas grew 6 percent, those in rural areas fell 2 percent. That detail prompted articles on how the recovery was unevenly shared. One problem, though: The number is wrong. Median household incomes in rural America actually grew 3.4 percent in 2015, according to policy experts who study the census numbers very closely. It’s worth mentioning what the Census Bureau views as urban and rural. It has a specific, quite narrow definition for rural: a given area that encompasses fewer than 2,500 people. Everything else is “urban,” thus excluding places that many people would consider rural.
*LBN-R.I.P.: ***Edward Albee, a three-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright who wrote the classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” passed away on Friday at the age of 88 in NewYork City. No cause of death was given at the time of his passing. After August Wilson and Arthur Miller passed away, Albee was considered one of the greatest living American playwrights. ***Canadian novelist W.P. Kinsella, author of “Shoeless Joe,” died on Friday by doctor-assisted suicide in Hope, British Columbia, his literary agent said in a statement. No further details about his health were disclosed, but assisted deaths became legal in Canada only in June. Kinsella’s work was renowned for combining magical realism with baseball. His novel 1982 “Shoeless Joe” served as the foundation for a 1989 Oscar-nominated film called “Field of Dreams.”
*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson —— www.TheExcelCommunity.com
*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that nine (9) members of the staff of Zabar’s in NYC read LBN daily?
*LBN-INVESTIGATES: The NSF estimates that a human brain produces as many as 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day, depending on how deep a thinker a person is. Most of the so-called random daily thoughts are about our social environment and ourselves.
*LBN-COMMENTARY By DAVID Z. HAMBRICK and ALEXANDER P. BURGOYNE: Are you intelligent — or rational? The question may sound redundant, but in recent years researchers have demonstrated just how distinct those two cognitive attributes actually are. It all started in the early 1970s, when the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky conducted an influential series of experiments showing that all of us, even highly intelligent people, are prone to irrationality. Across a wide range of scenarios, the experiments revealed, people tend to make decisions based on intuition rather than reason. In one study, Professors Kahneman and Tversky had people read the following personality sketch for a woman named Linda: “Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in antinuclear demonstrations.” Then they asked the subjects which was more probable: (A) Linda is a bank teller or (B) Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement. Eighty-five percent of the subjects chose B, even though logically speaking, A is more probable. (All feminist bank tellers are bank tellers, though some bank tellers may not be feminists.) In the Linda problem, we fall prey to the conjunction fallacy — the belief that the co-occurrence of two events is more likely than the occurrence of one of the events. In other cases, we ignore information about the prevalence of events when judging their likelihood. We fail to consider alternative explanations. We evaluate evidence in a manner consistent with our prior beliefs. And so on. Humans, it seems, are fundamentally irrational.
*LBN-CURRENTLY READING: Jazz singer Sarah Partridge (http://sarahpartridge.net/wordpress/) is currently reading: “I am currently reading Kate Atkinson’s “A God In Ruins” (https://www.amazon.com/God-Ruins-Novel-Todd-Family/dp/0316176532). After delighting in her last piece of work, “Life After Life” 9, I was intrigued by the subject matter of her most current novel.While not a sequel, “A God In Ruins” focuses on the life of a character introduced in her previous story. I love Atkinson’s style. Clearly she is not just a superb writer, but an artist who observes the nuances of life and writes about them with great poignancy. I am a true fan of her talent.”
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