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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Progress
Posted: May 14, 2020 at 5:48 pm
Notion of "societal advancement" bettering humanity
Progress is the movement towards a refined, improved, or otherwise desired state. In the context of progressivism, it refers to the proposition that advancements in technology, science, and social organization have resulted, and by extension will continue to result, in an improved human condition; the latter may happen as a result of direct human action, as in social enterprise or through activism, or as a natural part of sociocultural evolution.
The concept of progress was introduced in the early 19th-century social theories, especially social evolution as described by Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer. It was present in the Enlightenment's philosophies of history. As a goal, social progress has been advocated by varying realms of political ideologies with different theories on how it is to be achieved.
Specific indicators for measuring progress can range from economic data, technical innovations, change in the political or legal system, and questions bearing on individual life chances, such as life expectancy and risk of disease and disability.
GDP growth has become a key orientation for politics and is often taken as a key figure to evaluate a politician's performance. However, GDP has a number of flaws that make it a bad measure of progress, especially for developed countries. For example, environmental damage is not taken into account nor is the sustainability of economic activity. Wikiprogress has been set up to share information on evaluating societal progress. It aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas, initiatives and knowledge. HumanProgress.org is another online resource that seeks to compile data on different measures of societal progress.
Our World in Data is a scientific online publication, based at the University of Oxford, that studies how to make progress against large global problems such as poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality.The mission of Our World in Data is to present "research and data to make progress against the worlds largest problems".
The Social Progress Index is a tool developed by the International Organization Imperative Social Progress, which measures the extent to which countries cover social and environmental needs of its citizenry. There are fifty-two indicators in three areas or dimensions: Basic Human Needs, and Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunities which show the relative performance of nations.
Indices that can be used to measure progress include:
Scientific progress is the idea that the scientific community learns more over time, which causes a body of scientific knowledge to accumulate. The chemists in the 19th century knew less about chemistry than the chemists in the 20th century, and they in turn knew less than the chemists in the 21st century. Looking forward, today's chemists reasonably expect that chemists in future centuries will know more than they do.
This process differs from non-science fields, such as human languages or history: the people who spoke a now-extinct language, or who lived through a historical time period, can be said to have known different things from the scholars who studied it later, but they cannot be said to know less about their lives than the modern scholars. Some valid knowledge is lost through the passage of time, and other knowledge is gained, with the result that the non-science fields do not make scientific progress towards understanding their subject areas.
From the 18th century through late 20th century, the history of science, especially of the physical and biological sciences, was often presented as a progressive accumulation of knowledge, in which true theories replaced false beliefs. Some more recent historical interpretations, such as those of Thomas Kuhn, tend to portray the history of science in terms of competing paradigms or conceptual systems in a wider matrix of intellectual, cultural, economic and political trends. These interpretations, however, have met with opposition for they also portray the history of science as an incoherent system of incommensurable paradigms, not leading to any scientific progress, but only to the illusion of progress.
Aspects of social progress, as described by Condorcet, have included the disappearance of slavery, the rise of literacy, the lessening of inequalities between the sexes, reforms of harsh prisons and the decline of poverty. The social progress of a society can be measured based on factors such as its ability to address fundamental human needs, help citizens improve their quality of life, and provide opportunities for citizens to succeed.
Social progress is often improved by increases in GDP, although other factors are also relevant. An imbalance between economic and social progress hinders further economic progress, and can lead to political instability.
How progress improved the status of women in traditional society was a major theme of historians starting in the Enlightenment and continuing to today. British theorists William Robertson (17211793) and Edmund Burke (17291797), along with many of their contemporaries, remained committed to Christian- and republican-based conceptions of virtue, while working within a new Enlightenment paradigm. The political agenda related beauty, taste, and morality to the imperatives and needs of modern societies of a high level of sophistication and differentiation. Two themes in the work of Robertson and Burkethe nature of women in 'savage' and 'civilized' societies and 'beauty in distress'reveals how long-held convictions about the character of women, especially with regard to their capacity and right to appear in the public domain, were modified and adjusted to the idea of progress and became central to modern European civilization.
Classics experts have examined the status of women in the ancient world, concluding that in the Roman Empire, with its superior social organization, internal peace, and rule of law, allowed women to enjoy a somewhat better standing than in ancient Greece, where women were distinctly inferior. The inferior status of women in traditional China has raised the issue of whether the idea of progress requires a thoroughgoing reject of traditionalisma belief held by many Chinese reformers in the early 20th century.
Historians Leo Marx and Bruce Mazlish asking, "Should we in fact abandon the idea of progress as a view of the past," answer that there is no doubt "that the status of women has improved markedly" in cultures that have adopted the Enlightenment idea of progress.
Modernization was promoted by classical liberals in the 19th and 20th centuries, who called for the rapid modernization of the economy and society to remove the traditional hindrances to free markets and free movements of people. During the Enlightenment in Europe social commentators and philosophers began to realize that people themselves could change society and change their way of life. Instead of being made completely by gods, there was increasing room for the idea that people themselves made their own societyand not only that, as Giambattista Vico argued, because people made their own society, they could also fully comprehend it. This gave rise to new sciences, or proto-sciences, which claimed to provide new scientific knowledge about what society was like, and how one may change it for the better.
In turn, this gave rise to progressive opinion, in contrast with conservational opinion. The social conservationists were skeptical about panaceas for social ills. According to conservatives, attempts to radically remake society normally make things worse. Edmund Burke was the leading exponent of this, although later-day liberals like Hayek have espoused similar views. They argue that society changes organically and naturally, and that grand plans for the remaking of society, like the French Revolution, National Socialism and Communism hurt society by removing the traditional constraints on the exercise of power.
The scientific advances of the 16th and 17th centuries provided a basis for Francis Bacon's book the New Atlantis. In the 17th century, Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle described progress with respect to arts and the sciences, saying that each age has the advantage of not having to rediscover what was accomplished in preceding ages. The epistemology of John Locke provided further support and was popularized by the Encyclopedists Diderot, Holbach, and Condorcet. Locke had a powerful influence on the American Founding Fathers. The first complete statement of progress is that of Turgot, in his "A Philosophical Review of the Successive Advances of the Human Mind" (1750). For Turgot, progress covers not only the arts and sciences but, on their base, the whole of culturemanner, mores, institutions, legal codes, economy, and society. Condorcet predicted the disappearance of slavery, the rise of literacy, the lessening of inequalities between the sexes, reforms of harsh prisons and the decline of poverty.
John Stuart Mill's (18061873) ethical and political thought demonstrated faith in the power of ideas and of intellectual education for improving human nature or behavior. For those who do not share this faith the idea of progress becomes questionable.
Alfred Marshall (18421924), a British economist of the early 20th century, was a proponent of classical liberalism. In his highly influential Principles of Economics (1890), he was deeply interested in human progress and in what is now called sustainable development. For Marshall, the importance of wealth lay in its ability to promote the physical, mental, and moral health of the general population. After World War II, the modernization and development programs undertaken in the Third World were typically based on the idea of progress.
In Russia the notion of progress was first imported from the West by Peter the Great (16721725). An absolute ruler, he used the concept to modernize Russia and to legitimize his monarchy (unlike its usage in Western Europe, where it was primarily associated with political opposition). By the early 19th century, the notion of progress was being taken up by Russian intellectuals and was no longer accepted as legitimate by the tsars. Four schools of thought on progress emerged in 19th-century Russia: conservative (reactionary), religious, liberal, and socialistthe latter winning out in the form of Bolshevist materialism.
The intellectual leaders of the American Revolution, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, were immersed in Enlightenment thought and believed the idea of progress meant that they could reorganize the political system to the benefit of the human condition; both for Americans and also, as Jefferson put it, for an "Empire of Liberty" that would benefit all mankind. In particular, Adams wrote I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.
Juan Bautista Alberdi (18101884) was one of the most influential political theorists in Argentina. Economic liberalism was the key to his idea of progress. He promoted faith in progress, while chiding fellow Latin Americans for blind copying of American and European models. He hoped for progress through promotion of immigration, education, and a moderate type of federalism and republicanism that might serve as a transition in Argentina to true democracy.
In Mexico, Jos Mara Luis Mora (17941850) was a leader of classical liberalism in the first generation after independence, leading the battle against the conservative trinity of the army, the church, and the hacendados. He envisioned progress as both a process of human development by the search for philosophical truth and as the introduction of an era of material prosperity by technological advancement. His plan for Mexican reform demanded a republican government bolstered by widespread popular education free of clerical control, confiscation and sale of ecclesiastical lands as a means of redistributing income and clearing government debts, and effective control of a reduced military force by the government. Mora also demanded the establishment of legal equality between native Mexicans and foreign residents. His program, untried in his lifetime, became the key element in the Mexican Constitution of 1857.
In Italy, the idea that progress in science and technology would lead to solutions for human ills was connected to the nationalism that united the country in 1860. The Piedmontese Prime Minister Camillo Cavour envisaged the railways as a major factor in the modernization and unification of the Italian peninsula. The new Kingdom of Italy, formed in 1861, worked to speed up the processes of modernization and industrialization that had begun in the north, but were slow to arrive in the Papal States and central Italy, and were nowhere in sight in the "Mezzogiorno" (that is, Southern Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia). The government sought to combat the backwardness of the poorer regions in the south and work towards augmenting the size and quality of the newly created Italian army so that it could compete on an equal footing with the powerful nations of Europe. In the same period, the government was legislating in favour of public education to fight the great problem of illiteracy, upgrade the teaching classes, improve existing schools, and procure the funds needed for social hygiene and care of the body as factors in the physical and moral regeneration of the race.
In China, in the 20th century the Kuomintang or Nationalist party, which ruled from the 1920s to the 1940s, advocated progress. The Communists under Mao Zedong adopted western models and their ruinous projects caused mass famines. After Mao's death, however, the new regime led by Deng Xiaoping (19041997) and his successors aggressively promoted modernization of the economy using capitalist models and imported western technology. This was termed the "Opening of China" in the west, and more broadly encompasses Chinese economic reform.
Among environmentalists, there is a continuum between two opposing poles. The one pole is optimistic, progressive, and business-oriented, and endorses the classic idea of progress. For example, bright green environmentalism endorses the idea that new designs, social innovations and green technologies can solve critical environmental challenges. The other is pessimistic in respect of technological solutions, warning of impending global crisis (through climate change or peak oil, for example) and tends to reject the very idea of modernity and the myth of progress that is so central to modernization thinking. Similarly, Kirkpatrick Sale, wrote about progress as a myth benefiting the few, and a pending environmental doomsday for everyone. An example is the philosophy of Deep Ecology.
Sociologist Robert Nisbet said that "No single idea has been more important than ... the Idea of Progress in Western civilization for three thousand years", and defines five "crucial premises" of the idea of progress:
Sociologist P. A. Sorokin said, "The ancient Chinese, Babylonian, Hindu, Greek, Roman, and most of the medieval thinkers supporting theories of rhythmical, cyclical or trendless movements of social processes were much nearer to reality than the present proponents of the linear view". Unlike Confucianism and to a certain extent Taoism, that both search for an ideal past, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition believes in the fulfillment of history, which was translated into the idea of progress in the modern age. Therefore, Chinese proponents of modernization have looked to western models. According to Thompson, the late Qing dynasty reformer, Kang Youwei, believed he had found a model for reform and "modernisation" in the Ancient Chinese Classics.
Philosopher Karl Popper said that progress was not fully adequate as a scientific explanation of social phenomena.More recently, Kirkpatrick Sale, a self-proclaimed neo-luddite author, wrote exclusively about progress as a myth, in an essay entitled "Five Facets of a Myth".
Iggers (1965) says that proponents of progress underestimated the extent of man's destructiveness and irrationality, while critics misunderstand the role of rationality and morality in human behavior.
In 1946, psychoanalyst Charles Baudouin claimed modernity has retained the "corollary" of the progress myth, the idea that the present is superior to the past, while at the same time insisting that it is free of the myth:
The last two centuries were familiar with the myth of progress. Our own century has adopted the myth of modernity. The one myth has replaced the other. ...
Men ceased to believe in progress; but only to pin their faith to more tangible realities, whose sole original significance had been that they were the instruments of progress. ..
This exaltation of the present ... is a corollary of that very faith in progress which people claim to have discarded. The present is superior to the past, by definition, only in a mythology of progress. Thus one retains the corollary while rejecting the principle. There is only one way of retaining a position of whose instability one is conscious. One must simply refrain from thinking.
A cyclical theory of history was adopted by Oswald Spengler (18801936), a German historian who wrote The Decline of the West in 1920. World War I, World War II, and the rise of totalitarianism demonstrated that progress was not automatic and that technological improvement did not necessarily guarantee democracy and moral advancement. British historian Arnold J. Toynbee (18891975) felt that Christianity would help modern civilization overcome its challenges.
The Jeffersonians said that history is not exhausted but that man may begin again in a new world. Besides rejecting the lessons of the past, they Americanized the idea of progress by democratizing and vulgarizing it to include the welfare of the common man as a form of republicanism. As Romantics deeply concerned with the past, collecting source materials and founding historical societies, the Founding Fathers were animated by clear principles. They saw man in control of his destiny, saw virtue as a distinguishing characteristic of a republic, and were concerned with happiness, progress, and prosperity. Thomas Paine, combining the spirit of rationalism and romanticism, pictured a time when America's innocence would sound like a romance, and concluded that the fall of America could mark the end of 'the noblest work of human wisdom.'
Historian J. B. Bury wrote in 1920:
To the minds of most people the desirable outcome of human development would be a condition of society in which all the inhabitants of the planet would enjoy a perfectly happy existence....It cannot be proved that the unknown destination towards which man is advancing is desirable. The movement may be Progress, or it may be in an undesirable direction and therefore not Progress..... The Progress of humanity belongs to the same order of ideas as Providence or personal immortality. It is true or it is false, and like them it cannot be proved either true or false. Belief in it is an act of faith.
In the postmodernist thought steadily gaining ground from the 1980s, the grandiose claims of the modernizers are steadily eroded, and the very concept of social progress is again questioned and scrutinized. In the new vision, radical modernizers like Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong appear as totalitarian despots, whose vision of social progress is held to be totally deformed. Postmodernists question the validity of 19th-century and 20th-century notions of progressboth on the capitalist and the Marxist side of the spectrum. They argue that both capitalism and Marxism over-emphasize technological achievements and material prosperity while ignoring the value of inner happiness and peace of mind. Postmodernism posits that both dystopia and utopia are one and the same, overarching grand narratives with impossible conclusions.
Some 20th-century authors refer to the "Myth of Progress" to refer to the idea that the human condition will inevitably improve. In 1932, English physician Montague David Eder wrote: "The myth of progress states that civilization has moved, is moving, and will move in a desirable direction. Progress is inevitable... Philosophers, men of science and politicians have accepted the idea of the inevitability of progress." Eder argues that the advancement of civilization is leading to greater unhappiness and loss of control in the environment. The strongest critics of the idea of progress complain that it remains a dominant idea in the 21st century, and shows no sign of diminished influence. As one fierce critic, British historian John Gray (b. 1948), concludes:
Faith in the liberating power of knowledge is encrypted into modern life. Drawing on some of Europe's most ancient traditions, and daily reinforced by the quickening advance of science, it cannot be given up by an act of will. The interaction of quickening scientific advance with unchanging human needs is a fate that we may perhaps temper, but cannot overcome... Those who hold to the possibility of progress need not fear. The illusion that through science humans can remake the world is an integral part of the modern condition. Renewing the eschatological hopes of the past, progress is an illusion with a future.
Recently the idea of progress has been generalized to psychology, being related with the concept of a goal, that is, progress is understood as "what counts as a means of advancing towards the end result of a given defined goal."
Historian J. B. Bury said that thought in ancient Greece was dominated by the theory of world-cycles or the doctrine of eternal return, and was steeped in a belief parallel to the Judaic "fall of man," but rather from a preceding "Golden Age" of innocence and simplicity. Time was generally regarded as the enemy of humanity which depreciates the value of the world. He credits the Epicureans with having had a potential for leading to the foundation of a theory of progress through their materialistic acceptance of the atomism of Democritus as the explanation for a world without an intervening deity.
For them, the earliest condition of men resembled that of the beasts, and from this primitive and miserable condition they laboriously reached the existing state of civilisation, not by external guidance or as a consequence of some initial design, but simply by the exercise of human intelligence throughout a long period.
Robert Nisbet and Gertrude Himmelfarb have attributed a notion of progress to other Greeks. Xenophanes said "The gods did not reveal to men all things in the beginning, but men through their own search find in the course of time that which is better." Plato's Book III of The Laws depicts humanity's progress from a state of nature to the higher levels of culture, economy, and polity. Plato's The Statesman also outlines a historical account of the progress of mankind.
During the Medieval period, science was to a large extent based on Scholastic (a method of thinking and learning from the Middle Ages) interpretations of Aristotle's work. The Renaissance of the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries changed the mindset in Europe towards an empirical view, based on a pantheistic interpretation of Plato. This induced a revolution in curiosity about nature in general and scientific advance, which opened the gates for technical and economic advance. Furthermore, the individual potential was seen as a never-ending quest for being God-like, paving the way for a view of Man based on unlimited perfection and progress.
In the Enlightenment, French historian and philosopher Voltaire (16941778) was a major proponent of progress. At first Voltaire's thought was informed by the idea of progress coupled with rationalism. His subsequent notion of the historical idea of progress saw science and reason as the driving forces behind societal advancement.
Immanuel Kant (17241804) argued that progress is neither automatic nor continuous and does not measure knowledge or wealth, but is a painful and largely inadvertent passage from barbarism through civilization toward enlightened culture and the abolition of war. Kant called for education, with the education of humankind seen as a slow process whereby world history propels mankind toward peace through war, international commerce, and enlightened self-interest.
Scottish theorist Adam Ferguson (17231816) defined human progress as the working out of a divine plan, though he rejected predestination. The difficulties and dangers of life provided the necessary stimuli for human development, while the uniquely human ability to evaluate led to ambition and the conscious striving for excellence. But he never adequately analyzed the competitive and aggressive consequences stemming from his emphasis on ambition even though he envisioned man's lot as a perpetual striving with no earthly culmination. Man found his happiness only in effort.
Some scholars consider the idea of progress that was affirmed with the Enlightenment, as a secularization of ideas from early Christianity, and a reworking of ideas from ancient Greece.
In the 19th century, Romantic critics charged that progress did not automatically better the human condition, and in some ways could make it worse. Thomas Malthus (17661834) reacted against the concept of progress as set forth by William Godwin and Condorcet because he believed that inequality of conditions is "the best (state) calculated to develop the energies and faculties of man". He said, "Had population and food increased in the same ratio, it is probable that man might never have emerged from the savage state". He argued that man's capacity for improvement has been demonstrated by the growth of his intellect, a form of progress which offsets the distresses engendered by the law of population.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900) criticized the idea of progress as the 'weakling's doctrines of optimism,' and advocated undermining concepts such as faith in progress, to allow the strong individual to stand above the plebeian masses. An important part of his thinking consists of the attempt to use the classical model of 'eternal recurrence of the same' to dislodge the idea of progress.
Iggers (1965) argues there was general agreement in the late 19th century that the steady accumulation of knowledge and the progressive replacement of conjectural, that is, theological or metaphysical, notions by scientific ones was what created progress. Most scholars concluded this growth of scientific knowledge and methods led to the growth of industry and the transformation of warlike societies into industrial and pacific ones. They agreed as well that there had been a systematic decline of coercion in government, and an increasing role of liberty and of rule by consent. There was more emphasis on impersonal social and historical forces; progress was increasingly seen as the result of an inner logic of society.
Marx developed a theory of historical materialism. He describes the mid-19th-century condition in The Communist Manifesto as follows:
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty, and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all which is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.
Furthermore, Marx described the process of social progress, which in his opinion is based on the interaction between the productive forces and the relations of production:
No social order is ever destroyed before all the productive forces for which it is sufficient have been developed, and new superior relations of production never replace older ones before the material conditions for their existence have matured within the framework of the old society.
Capitalism is thought by Marx as a process of continual change, in which the growth of markets dissolve all fixities in human life, and Marx admits that capitalism is progressive and non-reactionary. Marxism further states that capitalism, in its quest for higher profits and new markets, will inevitably sow the seeds of its own destruction. Marxists believe that, in the future, capitalism will be replaced by socialism and eventually communism.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Many advocates of capitalism such as Schumpeter agreed with Marx's analysis of capitalism as a process of continual change through creative destruction, but, unlike Marx, believed and hoped that capitalism could essentially go on forever.
Thus, by the beginning of the 20th century, two opposing schools of thoughtMarxism and liberalismbelieved in the possibility and the desirability of continual change and improvement. Marxists strongly opposed capitalism and the liberals strongly supported it, but the one concept they could both agree on was progress, which affirms the power of human beings to make, improve and reshape their society, with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology and practical experimentation. Modernity denotes cultures that embrace that concept of progress. (This is not the same as modernism, which was the artistic and philosophical response to modernity, some of which embraced technology while rejecting individualism, but more of which rejected modernity entirely.)
The history of the idea of Progress has been treated briefly and partially by various French writers; e.g. Comte, Cours de philosophie positive, vi. 321 sqq.; Buchez, Introduction a la science de l'histoire, i. 99 sqq. (ed. 2, 1842); Javary, De l'idee de progres (1850); Rigault, Histoire de la querelle des Anciens et des Modernes (1856); Bouillier, Histoire de la philosophie cartesienne (1854); Caro, Problemes de la morale sociale (1876); Brunetiere, "La Formation de l'idee de progres", in Etudes critiques, 5e serie. More recently M. Jules Delvaille has attempted to trace its history fully, down to the end of the eighteenth century. His Histoire de l'idee de progres (1910) is planned on a large scale; he is erudite and has read extensively. But his treatment is lacking in the power of discrimination. He strikes one as anxious to bring within his net, as theoriciens du progres, as many distinguished thinkers as possible; and so, along with a great deal that is useful and relevant, we also find in his book much that is irrelevant. He has not clearly seen that the distinctive idea of Progress was not conceived in antiquity or in the Middle Ages, or even in the Renaissance period; and when he comes to modern times he fails to bring out clearly the decisive steps of its growth. And he does not seem to realize that a man might be "progressive" without believing in, or even thinking about, the doctrine of Progress. Leonardo da Vinci and Berkeley are examples. In my Ancient Greek Historians (1909) I dwelt on the modern origin of the idea (p. 253 sqq.). Recently Mr. R. H. Murray, in a learned appendix to his Erasmus and Luther, has developed the thesis that Progress was not grasped in antiquity (though he makes an exception of Seneca),a welcome confirmation.
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Posted: at 5:48 pm
Steady progress is being made in the treatment of patients hospitalized for COVID-19. The advances come together with the understanding that the disease is far more complex than a simple pneumonia. The most recent progress comes from a May 6th report in theJournal of the American College of Cardiologyexaminingmedical records of2773 COVID-19 patients in fiveNew York City hospitals.
The study was initiated after the realization that COVID-19 disease includes the formation life-threatening blood clots. These clots can cause heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and additional lung damage. Such clots are often the cause of death in younger patients too.Therecords were examined to determinewhat impact blood thinners had on a patients survival and the length of time to discharge or death. Of the patient records studied, 786 having received a full treatment dose of anticoagulants. Those patients were further divided into those who were intubated and those who were not.
The most striking results were observed for those with the most serious disease who were intubated. The survival rate rate of intubated patients treated with anticoagulants was 70.9% as compared to 37.3% for who did not. The time to discharge from the hospital for those who did survive was also shorter for those who received anticoagulant therapy as compared to those that did not. This is very good news. Not long ago another New York hospital system reported that88% of intubated COVID-19patients died.
Still, there is much more work to do. Several anticoagulants are approved for use. Which one and in what dose is best for what type of patient?Hospitals are beginning to be much more selective about which patients are intubated and which are not, recognizing the complex course of the disease.
Infusing a patient with serum from a COVID-19 survivor has yielded promising results in preliminary trials. Efforts to improve serum based treatments by purifying and concentrating the responsible antibodies are in progress. These will be followed by administration of monoclonal antibodies, the best form of serum based therapies.
I recently described an independent study from Hong Kong demonstrating the benefit of a four drug cocktail of antiviral drugs that both reduce the time to discharge and the viral load of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.All of the drugs in the "Hong Kong Cocktail are approved for the treatment of viral diseases and, importantly, are generic and abundantly available. I have also reviewed the published evidence for some if the most highly touted drugs including hydroxchloroquine and remdesivir and do not find the data convincing.Fortunately, drugs and treatments that have statistically significant effects on the course of the disease are coming into view.
Doctors around the world recognize that much of the damage to the lung and the organs is inflicted not by the virus directly but rather as a consequence of an overactive immune response called a cytokine storm. Many already approved drugs that modulate the immune response, including many used for the treatment of arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, are currently being tested in COVID-19 patients. Some have failed to make a difference but there are existing and new drugs still left to try.
Once a drug is shown to improve outcomes the next course is clear. Learn to make the best use of that drugdetermining who to give it to, when to give it, and in what dose. The next steps is also clear combine two different treatments, for example the Hong Kong Cocktail with anti-cogalualnt therapy. Add anti-cytokine storm drugs if and when they are shown to work.
All this progress can and has made a real difference to a COVID-19 patient survival. The goal is to save as many lives as possible with existing drugs until such time as new drugs that specifically target SARS-CoV-2 come on line. This new generation of drugs should stop the virus altogether before it has a chance to cause much damage.Many such drugs are now entering humantrials and there are many more to come.Then we can be confident that there is a cure for COVID.
Originally posted here:
Posted: at 5:48 pm
Yesterday, REjournals hosted a national webinar acknowledging five of the nations top female leaders in CRE. The extended discussion dove into numerous topicsfrom what they are telling their mentees during the pandemic to the challenges they have faced and overcome in the quest for equal recognition.
Hundreds of real estate professionals from all over the country tuned in. The high number of viewers wouldnt have been possible without support from SIOR and from CREW Network and its various chapters in Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Worth, Iowa, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Lehigh Valley, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Portland, Raleigh, St. Louis, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin.
Working through the pandemic
Sue Matejcak, Partner, Quarles & Brady LLP and President of the CREW Chicago Chapter, moderated the webinar. She opened the discussion by asking her peers how they are keeping their best foot forward and staying productive during such a stressful, turbulent time.
Carolyn Pianin, Senior Vice President in the New York office of Arcturus Group, said that she is grateful to still be employed, that shes able to work from home and that she and her family are healthy. This perspective was crystalized for her as she worked with many of her clients.
While we are helping landlords negotiate with their lenders, helping tenants negotiate with their landlords, helping hospitality firms look at their bottom line and try to figure out how to better manage the operational side, we are also very conscious that our clients are struggling, Pianin said. If youre busy during this time, you have to be mindful of other people that are struggling.
Echoing this sentiment, Deborah Quok, Managing Director at San Francisco-based SVN | QAV & Associates, believes that now more than ever, its important to communicate with clients, to understand their needs and to show steady leadership. Now is also the time to gather as much information as possible.
Im sharpening my tool set with the webinars and all of the information that is available, Quok said. My CREW friends in law, accounting, asset management and facilities management are doing their level best to keep me sharp with the information that is coming into my inbox. Im taking advantage of all of that because my colleagues and my clients want to have confidence that well be ready to bounce back together.
Theres no more important trait in business than good leadership. The quality of a leadergood or badis only magnified during tumultuous times, such as those we find ourselves in now. As companies try to chart their course through the uncertainty brough on by the pandemic, the firms that end up succeeding will be those with strong leaders who are capable of not only earning their employees trust, but conveying a strong vision.
Its important to know where you are right now, but I think a good leader is also looking to where they want to be, said Matejcak, You cant steer the ship unless you know where youre going.
The panelists all agreed that leadership begins with surrounding oneself with people that are helpful, honest and transparent. Communication and empathy are keys as well. Those companies that withstood past economic downturns and come out stronger on the other side were those that focused on taking care of their employees.
Commercial real estate is a people business, built on relationships. The best way to build up those relationships is to cultivate the image that others in the industry have of you. This was particularly true for women in CRE for years and continues to be to this day.
If I go into a room, I want the people to remember me when I walk out of the room, said Goldie B. Wolfe Miller, the Founder/Chair of The Goldie Initiative as well as President, Millbrook Corporate Real Estate Services, based in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. As Miller is approaching 50 years in CRE, she started out in an era when women had an even harder time getting traction in the industry.
If I did the work, I wanted to make the presentation. Unfortunately, that didnt always happen, Miller said. So, I would ask questions during the presentation. The point is, if I was in a meeting, I wanted to be heard.
Its not just about having a strong personality and being willing to go after what you want. The key to a personal brand is knowing oneselfsomething that, according to Mandi Wedin, who serves as CEO of FEROCE Real Estate Advisors LLC in Washington, D.C., many people struggle with.
I think understanding your personal brand is important and it provides you with a lot of self-awareness, said Wedin. For people out there listening, if you dont know what your personal brand is, go ask people. Many will answer you right off the cuff and for some people itll take a second, but theyll still answer you.
These titans of real estate had tons of great advice during the hour-and-a-half discussion, including words of wisdom for young professionals, what they wish they knew when they were starting out and the best ways to advance the roles of women in the industry.
Did you miss this webinar, or do you want to rewatch it? It and all of our past webinars are online at our YouTube channel. If you did miss it, dont let that happen again; you can view upcoming events and register on our website.
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Since turning its focus on researchers, HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said it's seen progress on interoperability goals in that space.
ONC has been coordinating development of data standards and IT infrastructure with other federal agencies after it released a policy agenda for researchers in February, said Teresa Zayas-Caban, ONC's chief scientist.
The agenda was meant to address health IT infrastructure problems that have made it challenging for biomedical and health services researchers to capitalize on the growing amount of data held in electronic health record systems and consumer electronics. The new priorities included increasing data harmonization and improving access to interoperable health information.
"Our research is only as good as the data that we have," said Kevin Chaney, a senior program manager at ONC, Wednesday during a monthly meeting of the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.
ONC's work included collaborating with National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program to pilot data standards for sharing genomic information and opening a third round of funding under the agency's Leading Edge Acceleration Projects in Health IT program to develop data sharing functions that support clinical care and research.
Zayas-Caban added that while the agenda focuses on research, its priorities align with other goals included in the ONC's federal health IT strategic plan.
HITAC members during the meeting questioned how the agenda's goals would include commitment to data privacy, particularly when it comes to using data from EHRs in research.
Tension between data sharing and data privacy has been a point of contention for many recent ONC projects, including the agency's final interoperability rule.
Sheryl Turney, who leads data policy business administration teams at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, raised concerns about re-identification of data, or the potential for anonymized data to be matched with an individual.
Arien Malec, senior vice president of research and development at Change Healthcare, asked whether legal and ethical frameworks researchers use may need to be revamped as it becomes more common to pull real-world data from EHRs. "If we're going to be using data more broadly we need to consider additional mechanisms to protect the rights of human subjects," he said.
ONC is looking into those issues.
Zayas-Caban said the agenda includes recommendations on how to build patient consent into IT infrastructure that's used to share data, such as suggestions on codifying data use agreements. The ONC's also awarded funding to developing a consent resource using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, or FHIR, data standards, she said.
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WHOs latest World Health Statistics reveal that low-income countries reported the biggest gains in life expectancy, which rose by 11 years between 2000 and 2016.
Other achievements during this period include a dramatic scale-up in access to services to prevent and treat HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. Child mortality was also halved thanks to better maternal and child healthcare.
However, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the COVID-19 pandemic could further thwart progress.
The new statistics shine a light on one of the key drivers of this pandemic: inequality, he said during the agencys latest update on the crisis.
Tedros reported that more than one billion people worldwide spend at least 10 per cent of their household budgets on healthcare, while more than 55 percent of countries have fewer than 40 nursing and midwifery personnel, per 10,000 people.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a significant loss of life, disrupting livelihoods, and threatening to undo much of the progress we have made, he said.
While the coronavirus is an unprecedented shock to the world; through national unity and global solidarity, we can save both lives and livelihoods and ensure that other health services for neglected diseases, child vaccination, HIV, TB and malaria continue to both function and improve.
WHO also highlighted the challenge of preventing COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities: an unfortunate phenomenon that has occurred across the world, according to the agencys Executive Director.
Dr. Michael Ryan said residents are vulnerable to the respiratory disease because they tend to be older, and many have underlying health conditions.
He added that there already is a long list of countries where more than half of all COVID-19 cases were found in these settings.
I think this is something thats going to have be dealt with as countries now emerge from the high incidence phase, he said.
Not only is it a tragedy that this disease is occurring and killing so many people in those facilities. Ifthat disease remains in those facilities, it will come back out into communities through the workers who work there and families who visit.
Dr. Ryan also explained that long-term care facilities are not like hospitals as settings vary around the world.
Some can have many, many residents who are served by a relatively small number of staff. Furthermore, these workers may or may not have been fully trained in areas such as healthcare provision or infection prevention and control.
Dr. Ryan called for continued vigilance against COVID-19 but also action to protect older citizens in long-term care facilities, citing the example of hospitals twinning with these institutions to support infection prevention and control, diagnostics and rapid testing.
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The Saskatchewan planting pace is pegged at 18% complete as of May 11, behind the 38% seeded as of the same week in 2019 and the five-year average of 25%. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)
Saskatchewan seeding progress remains off to a slow start. The Saskatchewan government estimates that 18% of the province's crop was seeded as of May 11, up from 7% last week. This compares to the 38% seeded as of this week in 2019 and the five-year average of 25%.
The week-over-week jump of 11 percentage points is behind the 17-point average realized over the past five years. Over this period, three years saw a faster pace reported, ranging from a 20- to 25-point jump over this week (2015, 2016 and 2019), while two years were slower, with an 8-point jump in 2018 and a 10-point jump in 2017.
The 18% of the area seeded continues to remain ahead of the pace set in 2017 and 2018, when an estimated 11% and 9% of the acres were seeded as of mid-May, respectively. A quick look at Statistics Canada data shows the estimated yields for both of these years for both canola and spring wheat were higher than their respective five-year average.
Of the six regions of the province, all are behind their five-year average pace of planting. An estimated 39% of the acres are seeded in the Southwest Region as of May 11, just 2 percentage points behind the five-year average for the region. Weather challenges have slowed the Southeast Region, with an estimated 23% of the acres seeded, down 16 percentage points from the region's five-year average. This is the furthest behind, relative to the average pace, seen for any of the six regions. Over the past five years, the pace of spring seeding was closer to 50% complete in three of the five years for this region.
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CU Boulder Will Hold A Virtual Graduation Ceremony This SaturdayCU Boulder will hold a virtual graduation ceremony this Saturday.
Lightning Hot Spots In ColoradoMeteorologist Chris Spears gives us a lesson about lightning in his weather school.
Gov. Polis Announces Day Of Remembrance For Coloradans Lost To COVID-19Gov. Jared Polis is asking communities across Colorado to come together Friday evening to honor and remember the more than 1,000 Coloradans that we have lost during the coronavirus pandemic. Katie Johnston reports.
Denver Employees Being Forced To Take Furlough DaysThe mayor made the announcement on Thursday.
Colorado Has Received 100 Doses Of Remdesivir, An Experimental Drug For CoronavirusA new experimental drug test for coronavirus has been sent to Colorado with enough to treat 100 patients.
Golfer Jennifer Kupcho Returning Home To PlayJennifer Kupcho is from Westminster.
El Paso County Commissioners Discussing Restaurants ReopeningEl Paso county commissioners have spent the morning discussing getting a waiver from the governor to reopen restaurants.
Thunderstorms Building Thru Afternoon And EveningWatch Dave Aguilera's Forecast
Aerial Parade To Thank Front Line Workers Happening TodayAn aerial parade is taking place today to thank front line workers and to help raise money to help during the coronavirus outbreak.
Fallen Officers Honored With Wreath Laying CeremonyThe Denver Police Department held a wreath laying ceremony to honor our fallen officers on Thursday.
'We Want Her Back': $200,000 Reward Offered In Search For Suzanne MorphewThe reward for information about a missing Chaffee County woman has been doubled to $200,000.
Commencement Plan Announced For University Of DenverDU has announced it's spring commencement will be moved until 2021 but they will hold a virtual day of recognition for graduates on June 12th.
Fourth Straight Week Of Gradual Declines In Unemployment Filings In ColoradoColorado's latest unemployment numbers show more than 31,000 people filed for unemployment last week.
Arvada Boys Alert Authorities To House On FireThe boys were outside playing when they saw that their neighbor's house was on fire.
After Talking To Trump, Polis Is 'Cautiously Optimistic' About Keeping Space Command In ColoradoWhen Gov. Jared Polis met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, he took the opportunity to ask the president about Space Command.
'Hamilton' Postponed At Denver Center For The Performing ArtsThe upcoming Denver tour of 'Hamilton' has been postponed.
JBS Plant Invests $200 Million In Enhanced Safety MeasuresThe plant shut down for two weeks in April for cleaning.
Brandon McManus Hands Out Lunches To Health Care WorkersMcManus said he wants to help out as many people as possible.
Sen. Cory Gardner Pleased With Progress Of Suicide Prevention BillSen. Cory Gardner is part of a bipartisan effort to get an extra $80 million in federal funding for critical suicide prevention programs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Christopher Adams-Wenger Pleads GuiltyHe was a teacher at Union Colony Prep School in Greeley.
Lakewood Motorcyclist Caught Doing StuntPolice are running into problems with speeding.
Searching For Suzanne Morphew: Reward For Information Doubled To $200,000"I'm willing to confirm that the bike was found on Sunday evening, the night she disappeared. The sheriff has said he doesn't not believe she was attacked by an animal.
Pilots Hope Coloradans Who Enjoy Flyover Will Donate To Charity"If everybody who sees it donates $, that would be awesome," one participant said.
City Of Denver Workers Must Take 8 Unpaid Days Off In 2020The city lost millions in tax revenue due to businesses being closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Personnel at NASA and the DLR have been working for months to get InSights Mole working. Theyre at a disadvantage, since the average distance between Earth and Mars is about 225 million km (140 million miles.) Theyve tried a number of things to get the Mole into the ground, and they may finally be making some progress.
The InSight lander (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a joint mission between NASA and the DLR, or German Aerospace Center. One of the landers primary instruments is the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, or Mole, so-called because it needs to burrow into the ground to fulfill its mission. The Moles job is to measure the heat that flows from the planets interior to the surface.
Trouble started when it became clear that the sub-surface soil near the lander was dura-crust. The duracrust is sand cemented together by salt, and its in a layer about 20 cm (8 in.) thick. After the Mole made some initial progress, it stalled. The Mole relies on soil falling in around its hole as it hammers its way into the surface, giving it the necessary friction to penetrate.
But the dura-crust refused to fall into the hole.
NASA and the DLR tried using the scoop on the end of the instrument arm to push soil into the Moles hole, but that didnt work.
Personnel also tried exerting sideways pressure on the Mole, in an attempt to provide the necessary friction. But that didnt work, either.
Theres no way to reposition the Mole to a new spot, in hopes of avoiding the troublesome duracrust. Its too delicate to be re-deployed safely, so engineers are forced to try everything else.
Now, mission personnel are using the instrument arms scoop to apply downward pressure on the Mole. Thats a tricky operation, with a wiring harness protruding from the top of the Mole in a vulnerable spot. Damage the harness, and the whole experiment is probably over.
They began this procedure back in March, and saw some progress.
On May 4th, a representative from the DLR spoke at a webinar as part of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly. Tilman Spohn is the principal investigator for the Mole, and he gave an update. The mole is going down by its hammering mechanism, but it is aided by the push of the scoop that balances the force of the recoil, Spohn said.
Its progress, which is great, but its very slow progress. Thats because they need to frequently re-position the instrument arm and its scoop. That is a very tedious operation, he said. We can only go like 1.5 centimeters (0.6 in) at a time before we have to readjust.
Then theres the problem of the angle. The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package was designed to penetrate the surface at a vertical angle. But instead, its at a 30 degree angle, adding to the difficulties.
Its not something we like to see, Spohn said. But if the mole is able to get its whole instrument body to penetrate the surface, that angle might correct itself.
As if things arent complicated enough, theres another problem. The Mole penetrates with a hammering motion. As it hammered at the ground without making any progress, it compacted the soil directly underneath it. Now the Mole must contend with that compacted soil.
Theres no new word on how long itll take the Mole to penetrate far enough to do its job. It was designed to penetrate down to 5 meters (16 ft) but is able to do some work at less depth, perhaps about 2 meters (6 ft.) But with progress this slow, even getting to 2 meters could take a long time.
Spohn didnt provide an update on the timing. But back on April 17th, NASAs principal investigator for the InSight mission, Bruce Banerdt, did give an update.
We anticipate that well have the mole down flush with the ground within another month or two months, he said at a briefing. Once the Mole is flush with the surface, theres no way that the scoop on the instrument arm can push on it anymore. Itll be on its own.
At that point, its either going to be able to go on its own or not.
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WHO: People living longer and healthier lives but COVID-19 threatens to throw progress off track – World Health Organization
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All over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant loss of life, disrupting livelihoods, and threatening the recent advances in health and progress towards global development goals highlighted in the 2020 World Health Statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO) today.
The good news is that people around the world are living longer and healthier lives. The bad news is the rate of progress is too slow to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and will be further thrown off track by COVID-19, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
The pandemic highlights the urgent need for all countries to invest in strong health systems and primary health care, as the best defense against outbreaks like COVID-19, and against the many other health threats that people around the world face every day. Health systems and health security are two sides of the same coin.
WHOs World Health Statistics an annual check-up on the worlds health reports progress against a series of key health and health service indicators, revealing some important lessons in terms of progress made towards the Sustainable Development Goals and gaps to fill.
Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy have increased, but unequally.
The biggest gains were reported in low-income countries, which saw life expectancy rise 21% or 11 years between 2000 and 2016 (compared with an increase of 4% or 3 years in higher income countries).
One driver of progress in lower-income countries was improved access to services to prevent and treat HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, as well as a
number of neglected tropical diseases such as guinea worm. Another was better maternal and child healthcare, which led to a halving of child mortality between 2000 and 2018.
But in a number of areas, progress has been stalling. Immunization coverage has barely increased in recent years, and there are fears that malaria gains may be reversed. And there is an overall shortage of services within and outside the health system to prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease, and stroke. In 2016, 71 per cent of all deaths worldwide were attributable to NCDs, with the majority of the 15 million premature deaths (85%) occurring in low and middle-income countries.
This uneven progress broadly mirrors inequalities in access to quality health services. Only between one third and one half the worlds population was able to obtain essential health services in 2017. Service coverage in low- and middle-income countries remains well below coverage in wealthier ones; as do health workforce densities. In more than 40% of all countries, there are fewer than 10 medical doctors per 10 000 people. Over 55% of countries have fewer than 40 nursing and midwifery personnel per 10 000 people.
The inability to pay for healthcare is another major challenge for many. On current trends, WHO estimates that this year, 2020, approximately 1 billion people (almost 13 per cent of the global population) will be spending at least 10% of their household budgets on health care. The majority of these people live in lower middle-income countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to protect people from health emergencies, as well as to promote universal health coverage and healthier populations to keep people from needing health services through multisecotral interventions like improving basic hygiene and sanitation, said Dr Samira Asma, Assistant Director General at WHO.
In 2017, more than half (55%) of the global population was estimated to lack access to safely-managed sanitation services, and more than one quarter (29%) lacked safely-managed drinking water. In the same year, two in five households globally (40%) lacked basic handwashing facilities with soap and water in their home.
The World Health Statistics also highlight the need for stronger data and health information systems. Uneven capacities to collect and use accurate, timely, and comparable health statistics, undermining countries ability to understand population health trends, develop appropriate policies, allocate resources and prioritize interventions.
For almost a fifth of countries, over half of the key indicators have no recent primary or direct underlying data, another major challenge in enabling countries to prepare for, prevent and respond to health emergencies such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. WHO is therefore supporting countries in strengthening surveillance and data and health information systems so they can measure their status and manage improvements.
The message from this report is clear: as the world battles the most serious pandemic in 100 years, just a decade away from the SDG deadline, we must act together to strengthen primary health care and focus on the most vulnerable among us in order to eliminate the gross inequalities that dictate who lives a long, healthy life and who doesnt, added Asma. We will only succeed in doing this by helping countries to improve their data and health information systems.
The World Health Statistics have been compiled primarily from publications and databases produced and maintained by WHO or by United Nations (UN) groups of which WHO is a member, such as the UN Interagency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. In addition, some statistics have been derived from data produced and maintained by other international organizations, such as the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and its Population Division. The Global Health Observatory database contains additional details about the health-related SDG indicators, as well as interactive visualizations.
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KALKASKA Few, if any construction projects, go completely as planned. Thats also the case with the ongoing redevelopment project of the 300 Block of South Cedar Street in downtown Kalkaska.
First, theres Mother Nature, with winter conditions including snow still gripping northern Michigan as recently as last week. That caused work crews to bring in special heaters to help thaw areas, as well as covering concrete that had just recently been poured to protect it from freezing temperatures at night.
Add in the COVID-19 pandemic that, at least temporarily, put the brakes on the $3.5-million redevelopment project almost as soon as it started in early March. Even the discovery of an old fuel tank on the site of the former chamber of commerce office provided for a small road bump for work crews.
But, at the Kalkaska Village Council meeting on Monday village officials stated work on the project is progressing well and that they still hope to complete the effort this year.
Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $36 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at: http://www.antrimreview.net/subscribe/