This is a clip from a long but excellently written article in The Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Politicians are suddenly eager to disown failed policies on American prisons, but they have failed to reckon with the history. Reconsidering Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on “The Negro Family,” 50 years later.
Epigenetic changes often serve to biologically prepare offspring for an environment similar to that of the parents, Yehuda explains. In this case, however, the needs of the fetus seem to have trumped that goal. With low levels of cortisol and high levels of the enzyme that breaks it down, many descendants of Holocaust survivors would be ill adapted to survive starvation themselves. In fact, that stress hormone profile might make them more susceptible to PTSD (below, yellow); previous studies have indeed suggested that the offspring of Holocaust survivors are more vulnerable to the effects of stress and are more likely to experience symptoms of PTSD. These descendants may also be at risk for age-related metabolic syndromes, including obesity, hypertension and insulin resistance, particularly in an environment of plenty.
They’re less likely to trip because they shorten their step length, reduce step frequency, lengthen the time during which both feet are in contact with the ground, and increase obstacle clearance height. Taken together this creates an exaggerated image of walking, but it apparently slows the walker enough so that he registers some of what is happening around him and can compensate for it.
The impact of texting and walking is that it slows the walker down. So we’re all connected but it may take us longer to get to each other–which may be okay since we’ve likely texted the person that we’re on our way and then given a play-by-play of our progress as we update social media along the way.