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Abigail Disney reveals the 5 secrets the super-rich teach their trust-fund children
via U.S. Institue of Peace / Flickr

Abigail Disney is the daughter of Patricia Ann and Roy E. Disney and granddaughter of Roy O. Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Company with her great-uncle Walt.

At the age of 21, she came into considerable wealth and at 60, has a net worth of around $120 million. According to Business Insider, she has given away approximately $70 million of her personal fortune over the past 30 years.


Abigail is a documentary filmmaker, peace advocate, and host of the podcast "All Ears." She has used her status to bring attention to the excesses of the super-rich and called for reforms to address income inequality.

She is part of The Patriotic Millionaires, a group of wealthy people who support hiking taxes on the rich.

In a new op-ed published in The Atlantic, she discusses the rules that the super-rich and their heirs live by to hold onto the "dynastic wealth." The article was a reaction to a recent ProPublica article that revealed how little America's top 25 wealthiest pay in taxes.

Here are the five secrets Disney says the super-wealthy pass down through the generations to hold on to their wealth.

1. The common ideology

"One factor is the common ideology that underlies all of these practices: The government is bad and cannot be trusted with money. Far better for the wealthy to keep as much of it as possible for themselves and use (a fraction of) it to do benevolent things through philanthropy." — Abigail DisneyAbigail Disney

I wonder whether this philosophy comes from a realistic criticism of the excesses of government or a selfish desire to hold on to every last penny?

2. Never spend the corpus

"When you come into money as I did—young, scared, and not very savvy about the world—you are taught certain precepts as though they are gospel: Never spend the 'corpus' (also known as the capital) you were left. Steward your assets to leave even more to your children, and then teach them to do the same."Abigail Disney

The corpus is the principal or property handed down through an estate or trust. Say you inherited $10 million, to live by this philosophy, you would live off the investment income produced by the original amount but never dip into the original inherited sum.

According to the philosophy, ideally one would grow the corpus and then hand down even more than they originally inherited, to their children.

via US Naval War College / Flickr


3. Keep it away from the government

"Use every tool at your disposal within the law, especially through estate planning, to keep as much of that money as possible out of the hands of government bureaucrats who will only misuse it." Abigail Disney

In the article, she also discusses the large loopholes in tax law that allow the super-rich to easily avoid paying taxes are so commonly used among the upper 1% that it's astonishing they're legal.

4. Philanthropy

"If you are raised in a deeply conservative family like my own, you are taught some extra bits of doctrine: Philanthropy is good, but too much of it is unseemly and performative."Abigail Disney

This advice falls apart pretty quickly when one realizes that people can give money away anonymously so that it doesn't appear "performative" or "unseemly."

5. Marriage

"Marry people 'of your own class' to save yourself from the complexity and conflict that come with a broad gulf in income, assets, and, therefore, power." — Abigail Disney

This advice is fine unless you happen to believe that marriage should be based on love, not the cultivation of power or wealth.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

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Mercury would be 76 today.

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Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

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Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

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