Poverty and shortsightedness of causalities and correlations
These days I’ve been reading back a few posts on Roger Senserrich Politikon. Roger spoke to Concremante studies about the mental impact of poverty, as poverty affects processing and decision making. I’ve been hovering around the poverty and shortsightedness and possible causalities and correlations between them. Roger’s thesis and what the authors cited can be summarized in the following paragraph:
When a person has few resources, all the bandwidth available in their cognitive abilities is basically obsessed with the short term. All the energy and all efforts are dedicated solely to try to solve the urgent problem before it, ruling out any secondary decision not resolved immediately. Not that the poor are dumb but simply that your brain is obsessed with the short term results.
Even I understand that being permanently in that situation can cause permanent damage to explain the propensity to consume luxury mobile phones by those who just have to snack. When I was a kid, a missionary came to our school. We talked about his experience in Zaire and I was stuck with his claim that the Zairian everyday, did not think or plan in the future living, what mattered was living in the moment everyday. At first I understood that this was due to poverty and the amount of natural and human disasters that ravaged lands as those where the human condition itself hangs in the balance. It was then that I wondered to what extent that relationship between poverty and short-termism was a causal link. Is that mentality of ignoring tomorrow, not planning, not to give today to have tomorrow, that ideological and spiritual poverty does not generate short-termism?