Embracing Beauty in a World of Affliction

Md1268649138Natalie Carnes at Republics of Letters:

They are locked in opposition, the two fictional sisters. Sisters in blood, Elizabeth Costello calls them, but not in spirit. Elizabeth is an aging Australian novelist imagined by J. M. Coetzee. In his story “The Humanities in Africa,” she has traveled to Zululand to celebrate her sister Blanche, now Sister Bridget, who is receiving an honorary degree from a university there. Once a classicist, Sister Bridget long ago abandoned the academic path to pursue a religious vocation with the Sisters of the Marian Order. Now she administers their hospital, Blessed Mary on the Hill.

The opposition between the sisters pivots on humanism and beauty. Sister Bridget’s support for making and venerating crucifixes repulses Elizabeth, who describes the tradition as “mean,” “backwards,” “squalid,” and “stagnant.” Elizabeth asks: What does Blanche have against beauty that she would import into Zululand this “Gothic obsession” with ugliness and death?[1] Sister Bridget’s fetishization (as it seems to Elizabeth) of the crucifix elevates suffering and mortality over and above the best humanity is capable of being. Why not instead turn to the Greeks, whose art presents humanity in its prime of life: healthful, vigorous, and strong (130)? For her part, Sister Bridget accuses Elizabeth of cherishing a conception of beauty rejected by the ordinary people of Zululand and around the world. Ordinary people have freely chosen the crucifix over Greek statues, Sister Bridget claims, because it speaks to their condition in a way the ideals of Greek beauty do not (140–41).

more here.

marx’s ideas keep coming back with a vengeance

NationMarxKunkel_imgBenjamin Kunkel at The Nation:

By any reasonable criteria—the fascination of his person, the achievement of his work, the scope of his influence—Marx counts as a great man. But there exists no great full-scale biography of him, capturing his spirit and ideas in their complexity.

In his studious reconstruction of Marx’s social milieu and intellectual formation, Stedman Jones comes close at times, but he imparts little of the enthusiasm, anxiety, hope, and dread that Marx can only have felt as a person who, like anyone else, had to live his life as a project and try to understand it as history. Stedman Jones seems to take for granted Marx’s posthumous eminence in a way that Marx, even at his most grandiose, naturally could not do himself. The result is a story deprived of the drama of uncertain expectation that informs any life, especially one devoted to the hypothesis of a new kind of society. And yet the shape of the story—as singular, jagged, and intent as the key to some door—still comes through, a bit as if you were reading a great novel in what you suspect is a so-so translation.

What would a properly Marxist life of Marx look like? Jean-Paul Sartre, in his Marxist phase, worried about the problem of biography. In Search for a Method(1957), he presents individual human life as the zone of two overlapping but incommensurable truths: On the one hand, an individual is a creature of psychology and the product of his family, and, on the other, a creature of history and a product of society.

more here.

The Problem of Public Sculpture

City-sculptures-kingkongJon Day at the New York Review of Books:

One of the few original works to survive the intervening years (most have been lost or destroyed—the exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute consists mainly of plans, photographs, and maquettes) is Michael Monro’s equally blatant King Kong, a huge fiberglass gorilla originally installed outside the Bull Ring, a Brutalist shopping center in Birmingham. It now stands—face grimacing, arms stretched in welcome—outside the Henry Moore Institute. Like Kimme, Monro thought obviousness was what the people wanted. “In this case they will like him won’t they?” he said at the time. “Because they can understand it and appreciate it. He’s a giant gorilla.”

Monro was only half right. Though children enjoyed playing on King Kong, and a pair of disgruntled builders climbed it as part of a protest for better compensation and working conditions a few months after it was installed (placing a trowel in its hand and a hardhat on its head), the public didn’t seem to warm to it particularly. At the end of the six months there was a half-hearted campaign and public collection to keep King Kong in Birmingham, but only one person, a crossing guard named Nellie Shannon, gave any money to the cause. Her £1 donation was later returned.

more here.

Henry Louis Gates Jr.: Head Negro In Charge

Cheryl Bentsen in Boston Magazine:

Henry-louis-gates-jr-jan-2011-giAt Clare College, Gates began collecting the best minds of his time, albeit for a purpose he had yet to conceive. He was homesick at first, and desperate for any sign of familiarity. Everyone he spoke with kept asking if he’d met a young man named Anthony Appiah. “You figure when white people do that they’re talking about a black person but are too polite to say it,” Gates says. “I’m thinking, motherfucker must be black, right?” After hooking up with Kwame Anthony Appiah (his full name), Gates was introduced to Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian who was then teaching at Cambridge. The three men formed an unusual trio. Very much the elegant aristocrat, Appiah, then just 18, was the son of Joe Appiah, a prominent Ghanaian lawyer and politician, and the nephew of the King of the Asante, Otumfuo Nana Opoku Ware II; on his mother’s side, he was the grandson of Sir Stafford Cripps, former chancellor of the British Labour Party. Soyinka, 16 years Gates’s senior, was a playwright, novelist, poet, and essayist from the Yoruba region of Nigeria who would later become known in the West as the Shakespeare of Africa. Rounding out the trio was Skip Gates, a poor young student from Appalachia. Meeting Appiah, Gates says, “It was love at first sight. He is the smartest human being I have ever met.” He was also someone Gates constantly tried to emulate, by wearing little silk neck scarves, as Appiah did, by growing his hair like his. “He was everything I wanted to be. He was pure reason, but very sensual. He loved life. He loved to eat. He loved wine. He loved drama and art. And he seemed to respond to me and to Sharon.” Adds Sharon: “Skip was taken with Anthony’s aristocratic lineage. He seemed like a prince to us.”

Appiah was a frequent dinner guest at Adams and Gates’s off-campus digs, where after a night of good food, wine, and talk, Appiah invariably ended up sleeping on the sofa by the coal stove. “Skip was sort of an evangelist for African American causes about which I knew nothing,” says Appiah. “He seemed worldly to me. He had a big Afro, and a big white felt hat, the kind you saw in blaxploitation movies. And as a stringer for Time, he was going to Paris to see James Baldwin and Josephine Baker, and Kathleen and Eldridge Cleaver. After I met Skip, I began to learn to think about race in western culture.”

But there was just one issue in their friendship that created a bit of awkwardness. “I’m sure I was as homophobic as anybody, I’m embarrassed to say,” Gates says. “Being American—blunt and unsubtle—I had to figure out how to deal with it.”

More here. (Note: At least one post throughout February will be in honor of Black History Month)


by Holly A. Case

Budapest 8ker suzi

Suzi Dada. Budapest, 2014 “plus or minus 8 years”

A few years ago someone took a photograph in Budapest of a slight young woman blowing on a street sign that appears to bend under the superhuman force. From a passing car an astonished driver looks on. The woman is Suzi Dada. She's funny, but her superhuman strength is real, and it's serious.

Dada is forever getting into the right kind of trouble. She's been confronted by police, the Hungarian secret service, and members of the extreme right party Jobbik. Unable to rely on her parents for support since starting college around the turn of the millennium, she has long been independent and self-reliant, not to mention a free radical. It took her nearly ten years to finish her university degree in history and education, but during that time she started an underground art group called Szub-Art Club for the Support of Contemporary Artistic and Subcultures, and co-founded a prankster street art group known as the Two-Tailed Dog that has since become a locus of opposition to the nationalist, anti-pluralist government of Viktor Orbán. Her attitude about almost always being the only woman who's doing what she's doing is, “I don't do it as a woman. I just do it.”

Suzi went to university in Szeged, a quiet college town near the Serbian border with a good cinema, very good ice cream, and a lot of students. Back in the 1990s, many of them were looking outward while reflecting inward: devouring literature, learning languages, hosting concerts and dance parties, and traveling the world every chance they got. In the 2000s, Dada's generation got into electronic music, extreme sports, and street art. These subcultures were little known and barely tolerated in Szeged, so Suzi organized a demonstration of skateboarders' skills for local retirees who had hitherto viewed the youngsters as “street kids with baggy pants,” rather than the winners of international skating competitions that many of them were.

Read more »

Monday Poem

On particle “action at a distance”: “…if particles have definite states even when
no one is looking (a concept known as realism) and if indeed no signal
travels faster than light (locality)… (and, as has) recently been
discovered … you can keep locality and realism by giving up just a little
bit of freedom.” This is known as the “freedom-of-choice” loophole.

……………………………………………………………………….. —per physicist John Bell

Action at a Distance

He was not looking but

she really was not an apparition
standing at the center of the room
loving him

She was standing but

being there in that spot
precisely where she was,
not on the moon, say,
nor in the wind gathering speed
toward eternity (though
that wind always blew) he knew she
loved him

They were free but

things are not always what they seem.
The world’s a funny place.
Even Einstein said parts of it are spooky,
yet we love and hate
in the places we stand
practicing all in freedom, or not

Yet he knew

Jim Culleny

All models are wrong, some are useful

by Hari Balasubramanian

Thoughts on the differences in math applied to the physical and social sciences.

14823481-Mathematical-equations-and-sketches-vector-illustration-Stock-VectorThe quote in the title is attributed to the statistician George Box. The term ‘model' could refer to a single equation, a set of equations, or an algorithm that takes an input and carries out some calculations. Box's point is that you can never capture a physical or biological or social system entirely within a mathematical or algorithmic framework; you always have to leave something out. Put another way, reality yields itself to varying degrees but never completely; something always remains unknown that is not easily describable.

And in any case, for the practical matter of achieving a certain outcome that extra effort may not be necessary. If the goal is to put a satellite into orbit, the equations that define Newton's laws of motion and gravity, though not 100% correct, are more than sufficient; you don't need Einstein's theories of relativity though they would provide a more accurate description. But if the goal is to determine a GPS device's location on earth you do need relativity. This is because for an observer on earth a clock on an orbiting satellite ticks at a different speed than a clock on earth and if the necessary adjustments are not made, your phone's location estimate will be inaccurate.

So there is this art in modeling, this choosing of some aspects and ignoring others, trying to create the the right approximations. As Box notes: "there is no need to ask the question 'Is the model true?'. If 'truth' is to be the 'whole truth' the answer must be 'No'. The only question of interest is 'Is the model illuminating and useful?'"

Models vary widely in the amount of truth they capture. In the engineering disciplines that exploit physical laws – mechanical, chemical, civil, electronics and communications engineering – the test of a model is whether the mathematical answers match empirical observations to the degree of precision needed and whether the results can be reproduced again and again.

Read more »

Meanwhile, in Europe … Wilders, Le Pen, and Illiberal Liberalism

by Richard King

800px-Le_Pen_Paris_2007_05_01_n2Not much fun is it – the age of Trump? The walls, the calls, the travel bans – it's all too much to process, don't you find? Alec Baldwin does his best to cheer us up, but this shit is about as funny as an orphanage on fire. Some mornings I can't get out of bed. My hair is coming out in clumps.

I wish I could spread a little sunshine, but I fear things may be about to get worse. Next month is almost certain to see a win for Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, where anti-immigration sentiment is running at alarming levels. Then, in April, we have the first round of voting in the French Presidential elections. The National Front's Marine Le Pen looks set to progress to the second round, where she'll likely face off against Emmanuel Macron. It's possible she'll lose, of course, and that Wilders will lose or be unable to form a government, but I wouldn't put any money on it.

Trump. Wilders. Le Pen. That's three bad hombres, right there.

More worrying still, for those of us whose socialism is rooted in a qualified respect for the legacy of bourgeois liberalism (ah yes! now I'm feeling better) are the terms in which these golden-haired demagogues attempt to flog themselves to the demos, especially in the European context. Indeed, I think we need a new term with which to capture this discrete political language, a language that mashes up disparate ingredients into a sickly ideological paste, which is then forced down the public gullet like grain down the neck of a Strasbourg goose. I propose "Illiberal Liberalism".

What do I mean by "Illiberal Liberalism"? What I don't mean is the tendency of liberals and progressives to assume that their values are universal and true and to shout down anyone who doesn't share them. That is a thing, and it's irritating – as irritating as columnists who begin their articles with sentences like, "Not much fun is it – the age of Trump?", as if anyone who can read is bound to regard The Donald as a pus-filled boil on the arse of humanity, which, by the way, he absolutely is. But it's not what I'm referring to.

Read more »



Shia LaBeouf. He Will Not Divide Us. January 2017.

“The actor turned performance artist's latest collaboration with fellow performance artists Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner invites the public to say the words “HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US” as many times as they like and for as long as they like into a camera mounted on a wall outside the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.”

More here.

Post-truth, post-shame politics

by Emrys Westacott

How does one criticize and resist politicians who have zero concern for truth? 20160910_FBC512This is one of the problems posed by the Trump presidency . Trump, throughout his campaign, and now in office, lies as easily as he breathes. To take just one example, in a meeting with the National Sherriff's Association on Feb. 7th, he said that the murder rate in the US is the highest it's been in 47 years. In fact it is currently lower than in most of those years. Lists of Trump's blatant lies can be readily found on many web sites.

Obviously, Trump is not the first politician to tell whoppers. Politicians who are in the pockets of the banks, the oil companies, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, weapons manufacturers, and so on have long suppressed, denied, or bent the truth for reasons of self-interest. But the brazenness of the lying is unusual. In normal, rational, civilized discourse, there are background conventions understood by all parties. According to philosophers like Paul Grice and Jürgen Habermas, these provide a framework that makes most ordinary communication possible. One of these conventions is that what we say is supposed to be true. Another is that we are supposed to be sincere. There are contexts where these conventions may not hold in the usual way–e.g. when we are haggling at a yard sale–but most of the time they are in place. Imagine how it would be if they weren't? If you were to ask someone for directions or for the time, you couldn't assume they'd try to tell you the truth. So in such a world you would never bother asking. Without assumptions of this sort in place, the most banal conversations would become pointless since we'd have no reason to think that anything being said was tethered to reality.

The gold standard regarding rational discourse is science, which prides itself on its disinterested search for objective truth. But the same conventions operate in many other spheres. Historians, journalists, judges, and sports commentators, all feel the same obligation to respect hard evidence and eschew contradictions.

Read more »

Three Fables to Commemorate Charles Darwin

by Mike Bendzela

ScreenHunter_2588 Feb. 13 11.44The Smiling Toads of Darwin's Bluff

An obscure species of Bufo inhabits a remote point of land called Darwin's Bluff. Long ago, one of these toads learned to "smile," but this was a fluke: It was born with a congenital defect of the jaw. Like most toads, it spent its days in an inconspicuous spot in the dirt, just sitting. There it smiled.

Some crickets fresh from molting had been schooled in the appearance of various predators of the bluff — a disturbingly long course of study for these nymphs. Upon emerging from the earth these crickets fed cautiously. But a few of the more amiable insects were attracted to the new smiling thing in the dirt. The same went for some grasshoppers, slugs, flies and beetles. Even some spiders and small mice were attracted to the smile in the dirt.

And now all the toads of Darwin's Bluff are smiling.

The Flounder's Eye

The Atlantic herring (Clupea) lived wisely in schools and indeed never left them. Excitedly they darted above their flatfish neighbor, the flounder (Pleuronectoidei), and informed him of their newest lesson:

"It seems hard to believe, but we are one and the same! Your kind once swam upright like us and had eyes on the right as well as the left side of the head."

Gazing up at these herring the flounder quipped, "Right and left are myths. The world has two directions — fore and aft — as anyone with eyes can see."

Moral: Evolution bestows upon us no native insight into our makeup.

From Froglet to True Frog

Their metamorphosis now completed, the froglets (Rana) migrated out of the pond en masse and immediately set about gobbling down every Caelifera grasshopper nymph they could see. But as these baby grasshoppers emerged from the earth they molted and began to grow and hopped out of the froglets' reach. "Whatever shall we do?" shrilled the froglets, "the grasshopper nymphs have outstripped us!"

"Hop harder!" their mothers cried.

As these froglets matured they could galumph forward with more elan and gobble down the grasshopper nymphs again. But the grasshopper nymphs kept molting: they shed their exoskeletons and grew larger bodies, which allowed them to outstrip the froglets.

"The grasshopper nymphs have escaped us again!" shrilled the froglets.

Their mothers just repeated, "Hop harder!"

And on it went, the froglets growing and galumphing forward, gobbling up nymphs, which molted and outstripped the froglets . . . until one day some mature frogs caught up with adult grasshoppers — which up and flew away!

And in this way the frogs learned Darwin's great lesson: The better you become, the more incompetent you be.

* * *

Mike Bendzela grew up in Ohio and currently teaches English at the University of Southern Maine. He is also a seasonal apple and vegetable grower and an Old Time musician. These fables are from a book-length manuscript, Fit for Darwin: Evolutionary Fables and Other Emblematic Tales.

There is no such thing as neoliberalism and it is destroying the left

by Thomas R. Wells

Abstract-word-cloud-for-Neoliberalism-with-related-tags-and-terms-Stock-PhotoThe left has been at war with neoliberalism since the 1980s. The result has been intellectual, political, and moral collapse.

The first problem is that there is no such thing as neoliberalism. It exists entirely as a critique by the left. It thus mirrors the fantasy of political correctness that the right rages against – indeed the resemblance is so great that I can repurpose Moira Weigel's elegant turn of phrase in her essay ‘Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy'

[U]pon closer examination, "political correctness neoliberalism" becomes an impossibly slippery concept. The term is what Ancient Greek rhetoricians would have called an "exonym": a term for another group, which signals that the speaker does not belong to it. Nobody ever describes themselves as "politically correct neoliberal". The phrase is only ever an accusation.

Since no one admits to being neoliberal – unless they are trolling leftists for the lulz – the entire theoretical apparatus of neoliberalism is written by leftists, either for each other or for the general public. The theory of neoliberalism thus consists of whatever you want to argue against right now – it is a classic man of straw, invented anew by every critic. Some claim that neoliberalism is something to do with how neoclassical economics look at the world (Foucault), or else US capitalist imperialism (David Harvey), or else selfishness masquerading as meritocracy (George Monbiot), and so on. Neoliberalism has been terribly convenient for the left. They can blame it for anything they hate about the modern world.

But that very convenience is a problem.

Read more »

A Plan for Progress

by Kent Willard

635929685016513022-2069519843_downloadWith the inevitable addition of a Supreme Court Justice, Republicans will control all three branches of federal government. Yet Democrats have some advantages going forward. They need to win 24 seats to gain control of the House, and Republicans won 23 seats in districts where Clinton beat Trump. If Democrats run compelling candidates in every Federal legislative race then they have a chance. And Trump is increasingly unpopular with the majority of people who don't watch Fox News. If Democrats can overcome the narrower margins of victory in state legislative contests which are created by gerrymandering, then they could in theory gain control of state legislatures and craft their own Congressional districts after the 2020 Census.

But Democrats appear to think they can run out the clock on Republicans. Protests against Trump are keeping moral high for now, but there's a decent chance that Trump won't be in office in two years due to health problems, invocation of the 25th amendment, or impeachment. The problem for Democrats is far bigger and older than Clinton's loss. Over the years they have lost control of the majority of state upper and lower legislatures and governorships, plus the US House and Senate. In last year's election, Republican Congressional candidates got more votes in aggregate than Democrats. Clinton's victory in the popular vote, along with Trump's outrageousness, conveniently enable Democrats to not study themselves in the mirror too long.

Democrats can't wait for years until minority populations reach their middle to senior ages, when voter turnout is typically high … and hope that those minorities still vote Democratic. Worse, Democrats are historically bad about not showing up to vote in mid-term elections, particularly among younger voters. If they can't get young voters to show up in 2018, then Democrats have little chance of taking control of the House and rebuffing the Republican agenda.

Read more »

Diet culture is just another way of dealing with the fear of death

Michelle Allison in The Atlantic:

Lead_960 (1)Knowing a thing means you don’t need to believe in it. Whatever can be known, or proven by logic or evidence, doesn’t need to be taken on faith. Certain details of nutrition and the physiology of eating are known and knowable: the fact that humans require certain nutrients; the fact that our bodies convert food into energy and then into new flesh (and back to energy again when needed). But there are bigger questions that don’t have definitive answers, like what is the best diet for all people? For me?

Nutrition is a young science that lies at the intersection of several complex disciplines—chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, psychology—and though we are far from having figured it all out, we still have to eat to survive. When there are no guarantees or easy answers, every act of eating is something like a leap of faith.

Eating is the first magic ritual, an act that transmits life energy from one object to another, according to cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker in his posthumously published book Escape From Evil. All animals must feed on other life to sustain themselves, whether in the form of breastmilk, plants, or the corpses of other animals. The act of incorporation, of taking a once-living thing into your own body, is necessary for all animals’ existence. It is also disturbing and unsavory to think about, since it draws a direct connection between eating and death.

More here.

The Indus Jigsaw: Can It Be Pieced Together, At Least Partially?

Vikram Zutshi in Swarajya:

ScreenHunter_2586 Feb. 12 17.47Asko Parpola is a Finnish Indologist and Sindhologist, current professor emeritus of Indology and South Asian studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Generally recognised as the world's expert on the Indus script, he has been studying this undeciphered writing for over 40 years at the University of Helsinki. He is co-editor of collections of all seals and inscriptions in India and Pakistan.

As professor of Indology he has led a Finnish team of experts through numerous approaches to the puzzle of one of the world's very earliest writing systems. A grand summary of Dr Parpola's work, Deciphering the Indus Script was published by Cambridge University Press in 1994. His next opus, The Roots of Hinduism: The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilization, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

Vikram Zutshi: Describe the premise of your book The Roots of Hinduism. What can a reader expect to take away from this work? How do you define Hinduism and where can its roots be found?

Dr Parpola: The earliest literature of South Asia, generally dated between about 1300 and 1000 BCE, consists of the hymns of the Rigveda. In these skilfully constructed poems, people calling themselves Arya praise their deities and pray for victory in battle, for sons, and for other good things. What is the prehistoric background of these Aryas? Their Sanskrit language belongs to the Indo-European language family mostly spoken outside India. This raises the question: where are the roots of the Vedic religion?

More here. [Thanks to Omar Ali.]

The Great mathematician Abraham A. Fraenkel remembers the challenges he and his Jewish colleagues faced under the slow rise of the Nazis

Abraham A. Fraenkel in Tablet:

ScreenHunter_2585 Feb. 12 17.34My report about this last phase of my life in Germany should not close without my describing some people who in every respect deserve to be highlighted. Those who first come to mind are eight scientists. Of course, I cannot and do not wish to offer biographies or acknowledgments of their scientific accomplishments that can be easily found elsewhere. Instead, I will mention primarily those aspects that were significant for my own development. Of these eight men, there are four mathematicians: Hilbert, Brouwer, Landau, and von Neumann; two physicists: Einstein and Niels Bohr; and two Protestant theologians and philosophers: Rudolf Otto and Heinrich Scholz.

In his time David Hilbert (1862–1943) was the most significant mathematician in the world. For a long time, he shared this honor with Henri Poincaré, who died in 1912. In contrast to most of his colleagues, Hilbert’s discoveries in successive periods encompassed the broadest range of pure mathematics. He hardly dealt with applied mathematics, except for one not very successful period devoted to physics. He was born in Königsberg and never relinquished his East Prussian accent. The number of true anecdotes about him is legion, as he was, without doubt, a highly original character. He became a professor in Göttingen in 1895 and declined appointments to Leipzig, Berlin, Heidelberg, and in 1919 to Bern. He was correctly considered the scientific head of German mathematics, and was acknowledged throughout the world. Students flocked to him from all over Europe and the United States. At the second International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900 he gave a programmatic lecture on “Mathematical Problems.” The 23 key unsolved problems he enumerated largely determined the developments in mathematics in the subsequent decades. Most of these problems have since been solved, problem No. 1 by Paul J. Cohen in 1963.

More here.

How Americans Die May Depend On Where They Live

Anna Maria Barry-Jester in FiveThirtyEight:

Barry-jester-mortality-1-newMortality due to substance abuse has increased in Appalachia by more than 1,000 percent since 1980. Deaths from diabetes, blood and endocrine diseases also increased in most counties in the United States during that time.

That’s according to a new study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examining the mortality rates for 21 leading causes of death. The study also found that the death rate from cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of mortality in the U.S., is down in most parts of the country. And the research highlights numerous disparities between counties. For example, a newborn is nearly 10 times more likely to die from a neonatal disorder if she is born in Humphreys County, Mississippi, which has the highest neonatal mortality rate in the country, than if she is born in Marin County, a wealthy area north of San Francisco, which has the lowest rate.

The study also looked at how mortality from the 21 causes of death has changed over time, from 1980 through 2014. For example, neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s were the third leading cause of death in 2014 and were prevalent across the country. But they have become more common in much of the South, while decreasing in the West.

More here.