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Please begin with an informative title:


I play this computer game sometimes, when I'm bored -- or just want to learn more about a "Topic":

I go to Wikipedia and look up a Topic (Point A); read about it; then checked out the related See Also Wikipedia Topics and/or page links.

Then repeat the process in a new "see also" Point B Topic:  Read, learn, click a related link (to Point C).


The goal of "the game" is to get back, as close as possible, to the Original Point A -- while covering as much comprehensive, informational territory, in the meantime.

(Pssst!  It's called "Learning" new stuff.)


So if you're 'game' -- here's my Wikipedia Round-Robin journey from yesterday:


White flight -- wikipedia.org

White flight is a term that originated in the United States, starting in the mid-20th century, and applied to the large-scale migration of whites of various European ancestries from racially mixed urban regions to more racially homogeneous suburban or exurban regions. The term has more recently been applied to other migrations by whites, from older, inner suburbs to rural areas, as well as from the US Northeast and Midwest to the milder climate in Southeast and Southwest, but this is a change from its original cause and meaning.[1][2][3]

The term has also been used for large scale post-colonial emigration of whites from Africa,[4][5][6][7][8] driven by levels of violent crime and anti-colonial state policies.[9]
[...]

Urban decay

Urban decay is the sociological process whereby a city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude. Its characteristics are depopulation, economic restructuring, abandoned buildings, high local unemployment, fragmented families, political disenfranchisement, crime, and a desolate, inhospitable city landscape. White flight contributed to the draining of cities' tax bases when middle-class people left.


Urban decay -- wikipedia.org
Urban decay (also known as urban rot and urban blight) is the process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude. It may feature deindustrialization, depopulation or changing population, economic restructuring, abandoned buildings, high local unemployment, fragmented families, political disenfranchisement, crime, and a desolate, inhospitable city landscape.

Since the 1970s and 1980s, urban decay has been associated with Western cities, especially in North America and parts of Europe. Since then, major structural changes in global economies, transportation, and government policy created the economic and then the social conditions resulting in urban decay.[1]


Economic restructuring -- wikipedia.org
Economic restructuring refers to the phenomenon of Western urban areas shifting from a manufacturing to a service sector economic base. This transformation has affected demographics including income distribution, employment, and social hierarchy; institutional arrangements including the growth of the corporate complex, specialized producer services, capital mobility, informal economy, nonstandard work, and public outlays; as well as geographic spacing including the rise of world cities, spatial mismatch, and metropolitan growth differentials.[1]
[...]

Institutional arrangements

When the 1973 oil crisis affected the world capitalist economy, economic restructuring was used to remedy the situation by geographically redistributing production, consumption, and residences. City economies across the globe moved from goods-producing to service-producing outlets. Breakthroughs in transportation and communications made industrial capital much more mobile. Soon, a quaternary or producer services emerged as a fourth basic economic sector where routine low-wage service employment moved to low-cost sites and advanced corporate services centralized in cities.[4] These technological upheavals brought about changes in institutional arrangements with the prominence of large corporations, allied business and financial services, nonprofit and public sector enterprises.

[...]
Another shift in institutional arrangement involves public resources. As economic restructuring encourages high-technology service and knowledge-based economies, massive public de-investment results. Across many parts of the U.S. and the industrialized Western nations, steep declines in public outlays occur in housing, schools, social welfare, education, job training, job creation, child care, recreation, and open space. To remedy these cutbacks, privatization is installed as a suitable measure. Though it leads to some improvements in service production, privatization leads to less public accountability and greater unevenness in the distribution of resources.[12] With this reform in privatizing public services, neoliberalism has become the ideological platform of economic restructuring. Free market economic theory has dismantled Keynesian and collectivists’ strategies and promoted the Reagan and Thatcher politics of the 1980s. Soon free trade, flexible labor, and capital flight are used from Washington D.C. to London to Moscow.[13] Moreover, economic restructuring requires decentralization as states hand down power to local governments.


Upward mobility -- wikipedia.org
Upward social mobility is a change in a person's social status resulting in that person rising to a higher position in their status system.[18] However, downward mobility implies a person's social status falls to a lower position in their status system.[18] A prime example of an opportunity for upward mobility nowadays is in athletics. There is an increasing number of minorities holding top executive positions in the NBA.[19]

Upward and downward social mobility are not directly correlated with higher education. A merit-based higher education system can offset the role of social class in determining economic outcomes. Post-secondary schooling is a filter that keeps parents' economic position from simply passing straight through to their children, thus simultaneously promoting economic efficiency, social justice, and social mobility.[20]

Country comparison

Several studies have been made comparing social mobility between developed countries. One such study (“Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults?")[4][21][22] found that of nine developed countries, the United States and United Kingdom had the lowest intergenerational vertical social mobility with about half of the advantages of having a parent with a high income passed on to the next generation.


Economic mobility -- wikipedia.org
Economic mobility is the ability of an individual, family or some other group to improve (or lower) their economic status—usually measured in income. Economic mobility is often measured by movement between income quintiles. Economic mobility may be considered a type of social mobility, which is often measured in change in income.
[...]

Intergenerational mobility

According to the 2007 "American Dream Report" study, "by some measurements"—relative mobility between generations -- "we are actually a less mobile society than many other nations, including Canada, France, Germany and most Scandinavian countries. This challenges the notion of America as the land of opportunity."[1] Other research places the U.S. among the least economically mobile countries.[4]
[...]

Intragenerational mobility

According to a 2007 study by the US Treasury Department, Americans concerned over the recent growth in inequality (after-tax income of the top 1% earners has grown by 176% percent from 1979 to 2007 while it grew only 9% for the lowest 20%[1]) can be reassured by the healthy income mobility in America: "There was considerable income mobility of individuals [within a single generation] in the U.S. economy during the 1996 through 2005 period as over half of taxpayers moved to a different income quintile over this period".[6]


Social mobility -- wikipedia.org
Social mobility is the movement of individuals or groups in social standing social position [1][2] It may refer to classes, ethnic groups, or entire nations, and may measure health status, literacy, or education — but more commonly it refers to individuals or families, and their change in income.[1] It also typically refers to vertical mobility—movement of individuals or groups up (or down) from one socio-economic level to another, often by changing jobs or marriage; but can also refer to horizontal mobility—movement from one position to another within the same social level.

[...]

Mobility is enabled to a varying extent by economic capital, cultural capital (such as higher education), human capital (such as competence and effort in labour), social capital (such as support from one's social network), physical capital (such as ownership of tools, or the 'means of production'), and symbolic capital (such as the worth of an official title, status class, celebrity, etc.).
[...]

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal published a series of front-page articles on this issue in May 2005.[7] Americans have often seen their country as a ‘land of opportunity’ where anyone can succeed despite his background. A study performed by economists at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2009 found that Britain and the United States have the lowest levels of intergenerational mobility, or the highest levels of intergenerational persistence. The Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland) and Canada tend to have high rates of social mobility. Norway proved to be the most mobile society.[8]


Equal opportunity -- wikipedia.org
Equal opportunity is a stipulation that all people should be treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular distinctions can be explicitly justified.[1] The aim according to this often complex and contested concept[2] is that important jobs should go to those “most qualified” – persons most likely to perform ably in a given task – and not go to persons for arbitrary or irrelevant reasons, such as circumstances of birth, upbringing, friendship ties to whoever is in power,[3] religion, sex,[4] ethnicity,[4] race, caste,[5] or involuntary personal attributes such as disability, age, or sexual orientation.[5][6] Chances for advancement should be open to everybody interested[7] such that they have “an equal chance to compete within the framework of goals and the structure of rules established.”[8] The idea is to remove arbitrariness from the selection process and base it on some “pre-agreed basis of fairness, with the assessment process being related to the type of position,”[3] and emphasizing procedural and legal means.[5][9] Individuals should succeed or fail based on their own efforts and not extraneous circumstances such as having well-connected parents.[10] It is opposed to nepotism[3] and plays a role in whether a social structure is seen as legitimate.[3][5][11]

Income inequality -- Economic inequality -- wikipedia.org
Economic inequality (also described as the gap between rich and poor, income inequality, wealth disparity, or wealth and income differences) is the difference between individuals or populations in the distribution of their assets, wealth, or income. The term typically refers to inequality among individuals and groups within a society, but can also refer to inequality among countries. The issue of economic inequality involves equity, equality of outcome, equality of opportunity, and life expectancy.[1]

Opinions differ on the utility of inequality and its effects. Some studies consider it beneficial,[2] while others consider it a growing social problem.[3] While some inequality promotes investment, some scholars say too much inequality is destructive.[4] Income equality can be an important ingredient in promoting and sustaining long term growth.[5][6][7] Statistical studies comparing inequality to year-over-year economic growth were inconclusive[8] until 2011 when income equality was found to be more determinate of the duration of countries' growth spells than free trade, low government corruption, foreign investment, or low foreign debt.[4]

Economic inequality varies between societies, historical periods, economic structures and systems (for example, capitalism or socialism), and between individuals' abilities to create wealth.


Intro

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Virtuous circle and vicious circle -- wikipedia.org

A virtuous circle and a vicious circle (also referred to as virtuous cycle and vicious cycle) are economic terms. They refer to a complex chain of events that reinforces itself through a feedback loop.[1] A virtuous circle has favorable results, while a vicious circle has detrimental results.

Both circles are complexes of events with no tendency towards equilibrium (at least in the short run). Both systems of events have feedback loops in which each iteration of the cycle reinforces the previous one (positive feedback). These cycles will continue in the direction of their momentum until an external factor intervenes and breaks the cycle. The prefix "hyper-" is sometimes used to describe these cycles if they are extreme. The best-known example of a vicious circle is hyperinflation.
[...]

Virtuous circle

Economic growth can be seen as a virtuous circle. It might start with an exogenous factor such as technological innovation. As people get familiar with the new technology, there could be learning curve effects and economies of scale. This could lead to reduced costs and improved production efficiencies. In a competitive market structure, this will probably result in lower average prices or a decrease in employment as it takes fewer workers to produce the same output. As prices decrease, consumption could increase and aggregate output also. Increased levels of output lead to more learning and scale effects and a new cycle starts.

Vicious circle

Hyperinflation is a spiral of inflation which causes even higher inflation. The initial exogenous event might be a sudden large increase in international interest rates or a massive increase in government debt due to excessive spendings. Whatever the cause, the government could pay down some of its debt by printing more money (called monetizing the debt). This increase in the money supply could increase the level of inflation. In an inflationary environment, people tend to spend their money quickly because they expect its value to decrease further in the future. They convert their financial assets into physical assets while their money still has some purchasing power. Often they will purchase on credit. Eventually, the currency loses all of its value. Because of this, the level of savings in the country is very low and the government could have problems refinancing its debt. Its solution could be to print still more money starting another iteration of the vicious cycle.


Positive feedback -- wikipedia.org
Positive feedback is a process in which the effects of a small disturbance on a system include an increase in the magnitude of the perturbation.[1] That is, A produces more of B which in turn produces more of A.[2] In contrast, a system in which the results of a change act to reduce or counteract it has negative feedback.[1][3]
[...]

Overview

In feedback loops a chain of cause and effect exists where a state variable of a system has a feedback loop influencing its own rate of change. Such feedback can be direct, or can be via other state variables.[3]

Such systems can give rich qualitative behaviors, but whether the feedback is positive or negative in sign is an extremely important influence on the results.[3]
[...]

A key feature of positive feedback is thus that small disturbances get bigger. When a change occurs in a system, positive feedback causes further change, in the same direction.


Self-fulfilling prophecy -- wikipedia.org
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.
[...]

In other words, a positive or negative prophecy, strongly held belief, or delusion -- declared as truth when it is actually false—may sufficiently influence people so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy.
[...]

Merton concluded that the only way to break the cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy is by redefining the propositions on which its false assumptions are originally based.


Spiral of silence -- wikipedia.org
The spiral of silence is a political science and mass communication theory propounded by the German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. Spiral of silence theory describes the process by which one opinion becomes dominant as those who perceive their opinion to be in the minority do not speak up because society threatens individuals with fear of isolation. The assessment of one's social environment may not always be correct with reality. [1]

Background

"Introduced in 1974, the Spiral of Silence Theory is one that explores hypotheses to determine why some groups remain silent while others are more vocal in forums of public disclosure."[2]

This theory explains the formation of social norms. It occurs at both the micro and macro level. "As a micro-theory, the spiral of silence examines opinion expression, controlling for people's predispositions - such as fear of isolation, and also demographic variables that have been shown to influence people's willingness to publicly express opinions on issues, such as agricultural biotechnology."[3] The spiral of silence occurs on a macro level if more and more members of the perceived minority fall silent. This is when public perceptions of the opinion climate begin to shift. [4] "In other words, a person's individual reluctance to express his or her opinion, simply based on perceptions of what everyone else thinks, has important implications at the social level." [5] As one opinion gains the interest of the majority, the minority faces threat and fear of isolation from society. As the opinion gains momentum by the majority, the minority continues to be threatened and falls deeper into their silence. It continues until the minority no longer speaks out against it, and the opinion of the perceived majority ultimately becomes a social norm.[6]


Peer pressure -- wikipedia.org
Peer pressure is influence that a peer group, observers or individual exerts that encourages others to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors to conform to group norms. Social groups affected include membership groups, in which individuals are "formally" members (such as political parties and trade unions), or social cliques in which membership is not clearly defined. A person affected by peer pressure may or may not want to belong to these groups. They may also recognize dissociative groups with which they would not wish to associate, and thus they behave adversely concerning that group's behaviors.
[...]

Explanation

An explanation of how the peer pressure process works, called "the identity shift effect", is introduced by social psychologist, Wendy Treynor, who weaves together Leon Festinger's two seminal social-psychological theories (on cognitive dissonance, which addresses internal conflict, and social comparison, which addresses external conflict) into a unified whole. According to Treynor's original "identity shift effect" hypothesis, the peer pressure process works in the following way: One's state of harmony is disrupted when faced with the threat of external conflict (social rejection) for failing to conform to a group standard. Thus, one conforms to the group standard, but as soon as one does, eliminating this external conflict, internal conflict is introduced (because one has violated one's own standards). To rid oneself of this internal conflict (self-rejection), an "identity shift" is undertaken, where one adopts the group's standards as one's own, thereby eliminating internal conflict (in addition to the formerly eliminated external conflict), returning one once again to a state of harmony. Even though the peer pressure process begins and ends with one in a (conflict-less) state of harmony, as a result of conflict and the conflict resolution process.


Groupthink -- wikipedia.org
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the "ingroup" produces an "illusion of invulnerability" (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the "ingroup" significantly overrates their own abilities in decision-making, and significantly underrates the abilities of their opponents (the "outgroup").
[...]

Symptoms

To make groupthink testable, Irving Janis devised eight symptoms indicative of groupthink.

Type I:  Overestimations of the group -- its power and morality

    1. Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
    2. Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.

Type II:  Closed-mindedness

    1. Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
    2. Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.

Type III:  Pressures toward uniformity

    1. Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
    2. Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
    3. Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty"
    4. Mind guards— self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.


Herd behavior -- wikipedia.org
Herd behavior describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction. The term pertains to the behavior of animals in herds, flocks and schools, demonstrations, riots and general strikes,[1] sporting events, religious gatherings, episodes of mob violence and everyday decision-making, judgment and opinion-forming.

[...] Modern psychological and economic research has identified herd behavior in humans to explain the phenomena of large numbers of people acting in the same way at the same time. The British surgeon Wilfred Trotter popularized the "herd behavior" phrase in his book, Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War (1914). In The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen explained economic behavior in terms of social influences such as "emulation," where some members of a group mimic other members of higher status.




From White Flight to Urban Decay, from Social Mobility to Feedback Loops, to Zones of Silence, back to Group Think, and finally Herd Behavior again.

Who knew?


Well, my brain feels 'stretched' ... hope it widens my world-views, going forward.

How about you.  Are you part of a herd, or part of a virtuous cycle?

The choice, as always, is ours to make ... assuming the prerequisite mobility, of course.






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