I don't see many articles pointing it out so I think it's good seeing one that does.
It’s an up and down sort of book — 6/10, imo — but it makes some interesting connections with the social past of homo sapiens and the tendency of contemporary society to remove the individual from their community (often due to financial independence) countering more than 1m years of human experience.
A couple of interesting quotes:
“Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary.”
“We are not a good society. We are an anti-human society. We are not good to each other. Our tribalism is to an extremely narrow group of people: children; spouse, perhaps parents. Our society is alienating, technical, cold, and mystifying. Our fundamental desire is to be close to others, and our society does not allow for that."
I'm not a social scientist, but if I were to guess I'd say it has to do with our cultural emphasis on objectivist thinking. We are very much told that the only way to approach life is to act in one's own self-interest. Connecting with other human beings is very dangerous to us, you see, because to love something is to give it power over you, and that's not in your self interest is it?
In addition, are newer houses designed for causal chats with neighbors? I recently moved. On my street are houses that are over 100 years old and houses only a couple of years old. Most of the older ones have been well kept or renovated. What's the easiest way to tell the old ones from the new ones? All the old ones have porches big enough for at least a couple of chairs. When I was first looking at my house, I saw people hanging out on their porches and people walking by stopping and chatting or people waling across the street when they saw their neighbor out on the porch. It's a lot easier to stop and talk to someone when you see them outside, than going up and knocking on their door.
This does not mean that they will be more lenient/hedonistic than their parents though! We’re seeing the counterexample in the coming generations.
It’s pretty funny to see people’s dismissive reactions in this thread. So much for not being bigoted like your parents, eh? :)
The cutoff isn't exactly distinct (some people put it after 9/11/2001), so depending on who you ask either Gen Z is just entering teenage years (2005), or most teenagers are already Gen Zers (2001).
Heck, it even predict HN's (Gen Yers) general reaction of disdain for the "overprotected" and "timid" generation. Take comfort though: it also predicts that Gen Y will be a dominant generation ("independent behavior + attitudes in defining an era"), while Gen Z will be recessive ("dependent role in defining an era").
Here are the descriptions. I added the actual and projected dates of the latest cycle in parentheses:
> Hero generations enter childhood after an Awakening (1961–1981), during an Unraveling (1982-2004), a time of individual pragmatism, self-reliance, and laissez faire. Heroes grow up as increasingly protected post-Awakening children, come of age as team-oriented young optimists during a Crisis (2005-2025), emerge as energetic, overly-confident midlifers (2025-2044), and age into politically powerful elders attacked by another Awakening (2045-2064).
> Artist generations enter childhood after an Unraveling (1982-2004), during a Crisis (2005-2025) a time when great dangers cut down social and political complexity in favor of public consensus, aggressive institutions, and an ethic of personal sacrifice. Artists grow up overprotected by adults preoccupied with the Crisis, come of age as the socialized and conformist young adults of a post-Crisis world (2025-2044), break out as process-oriented midlife leaders during an Awakening (2045-2065), and age into thoughtful post-Awakening elders (2065-2084).
"History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes."
Just give the teens a break! Let them live, learn and play the way they want.
I fail to see how this a good thing.
A young generation perpetuating pointless taboos imposed on them rather than making their own experiences frankly is a sad development.
I was merely stating that committing sexually can in fact be a good thing, and that the parent comment cannot speak for everyone.
Because more often than not that someone you've invested in is hurt by your casual sex with others.
Why would be compartmentalizing the casual sex more "rational" than not?
Notions like "waiting for Prince Charming" or the one things like purity rings are a symptom of in my opinion are indeed naive and against human nature.
But we are talking strictly about the ability to have fulfilling monogamous relationships, not the validity of "prince Charming" narratives or purity rings.
The earlie sex and teenage pregnancies were consequence of the taboo. Not other way round.
There's a whole social/psychological/emotional bunch of things that often goes along with sex and it's probably better to figure that out in high-school when stakes are low and nobody around expects those relationships to last... as long as nobody gets pregnant.
Apart from that both perceptions can be right: That society expects people to behave by certain standards yet at the same time by a certain age people are expected to somehow magically have made some experiences that contravene these very standards.
Such an environment and the cognitive dissonance involved probably doesn't exactly make it easier to make the right decisions for yourself.
My future kids will have very hard time trying to be rebellious in the usual, conformist way. Stupid haircut, unpleasant music, unacceptable clothing, out-of-bounds societal outlooks, skipping school and causing trouble here and there? That's not rebellious at all, that's what old people did in their days. Now if they'd try to live uptight life in abstinence of all kinds, lead by strict morals and ethics.. Fuck you, now that'd be rebellious and may even make me mad once in a while.
Historically people have experimented with various modes of existence and found that some restrictions help with some things. Even if they attributed this to some religious decree, there are usually experimental results behind advocating this or that (like the taboo of incest comes from inherited diseases, and the taboo against adultery aims to reduce the infighting and pain between groups).
However, mindlessly perpetuating instead of questioning them simply because "It's always been that way." is just cargo cult thinking.
We will never find out if these taboos are still valid in today's society if we don't question or test them.
Questioning something doesn't mean doing away with it just because it's old. It means asking yourself (and others) if it still makes sense from today's point of view.
Not "mindless questioning" though, which is the kind I explicitly wrote about, and which amounts to knee-jerk rejection.
This quote is hundreds of years old, often misattributed to Socrates, but applies perennially. It describes not values degrading, but changing. To people who value one thing, a younger generation valuing other things feels like degradation since other values seem worse, but there aren't that many human values. Eventually generations cycle through them all and repeat.
a) always be true (we generally go to lower standards from the viewpoint of the previous generation, or even from an absolute viewpoint).
b) always be false
c) Sometimes be true and sometimes be false.
I'm not sure why people immediately jump to (b). Perhaps it's comforting to dismiss any worry of decline, and to always attribute it to change. Or it's not fashionable these days to even think about decline (it marks one as old and not "going with the times").
I find (c) much more plausible. After all, whether Socrates said this or not, some such decline happened after Socrates (the dissolution of the Athenian state and its eventual collapse) -- and several other times (in later Rome, etc).
And conversely, for huge periods of time people have not had much to complain regarding their children having some different lifetimes, because unlike ancient Athens or Rome or the US 50s and 60s or so, nothing much changed between generations -- a rural family in most of the world would have the exact same day in day out things to do, the same customs, etc, for centuries, with the very subtle and slow occasional imported innovation.
It's also funny those that while many would say that steady cultural decline couldn't possibly be happening, as many as all convinced for steady cultural progress -- like history is like some kind of march towards more and more enlightenment. Of course those people have never read history, or experienced how a steady and advanced country (or world, in 1939) can turn backwards in a moment's notice.
E.g. gradually increased acceptance of homosexual behavior is considered an obvious sign of moral values degrading among many (perhaps most) of the elderly (and percentage-wise this is even more obviously the case if you go back to the 90's).
>But they are also lonelier and more isolated
Heh. Let's see what effects they have after 10-20 years.
Health is not be-all end-all, especially when you're younger and can afford to be more loose with your lifestyle.
(I’m not talking about fascist-kind repression and dissent wipeout, that’s out of our collective memory anyway and eventually only a problem for politicized individuals. No, it’s the much more concrete and pervasive peer control made possible by Facebook, Instagram and the like. It applies to anyone, even the most bland conformist and disengaged people )
Eventually we’ll develop a concept of public persona that takes no shame for the past. Next generation probably, after recognizing their parents were panicked fawns blinded by headlights.
Either the culture of the next generation of youth will have an unspoken understanding that certain shit doesn't go onto social media, and their culture will enforce that rule (people that violate that will be socially punished, exiled).
Or it'll get worse yet and young people will come up with behavior / approaches to evade social media. Perhaps including an assist from technology in doing so.
It's about a privacy invading technology and several sections deal with how different groups evolve that deal with the lack of privacy in different ways, both embracing and circumventing the technology.
e.g: prior generations were exposed to tetraethyllead, which is known to make people aggressive.
> Teenagers are also having less sex, especially of the procreative kind. In 1991, 54% of American teenagers in grades nine to 12 (ages 14-18) reported that they were sexually experienced, and 19% claimed to have had sex with at least four partners. In 2015 those proportions were 41% and 12%. America’s teenage birth rate crashed by two-thirds during the same period.
> As with alcohol, the abstention from sex seems to be carrying through into early adulthood. Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University in California, has shown that the proportion of Americans aged 20-24 who report having no sexual partner since the age of 18 rose from 6.3% for the cohort born in the late 1960s to 15.2% for those born in the early 1990s. Japan is a more extreme case. In 2015, 47% of unmarried 20- to 24-year-old Japanese men said they had never had sex with a woman, up from 34% in 2002.
I'm not convinced that is a good thing.
I would really like to know the precise words they were asked. There might be some Bill Clinton effect going on where a blowjob was considered "active" in 1991 whereas camsex, porn and blowjobs isn't in 2015.
They might even be more active todays, just in a different way.
Raising multiple children in western society is really hard. In many (most?) cases you need to move away from family (parents) so there’s limited support from the community or family. There’s limited childcare available, and on top of that kids are expensive. Often both partners are working (or want to get back to work as soon as possible). So if you can satisfy your procreative desires with one child, you just do that.
Compare this to (totally unjust) prior social norms where people didn’t move as far as they do now. Meaning parents could help out. Where it was common to have one non-working partner (so more available time to look after kids).
We’ve created a modern society where raising one child is super-stressful. Why would any sane person have two? I predict that as more societies transform toward the western model we’ll see a massive population decline.
It’s not just hyperbole: the youth of today really are soft https://uk.news.yahoo.com/generation-wimps-millennial-men-ar...
And anyway, I reject this prudish Judeo-Christian inspired sexual ethics. Sex is good and good for you. There should be more of.
Short- / medium- / long-term non-monogamous jollies goes as far back as time immemorial. As far back as the beginnings of life itself. I'm willing to bet monogamy is the new normal as far as historical longevity is concerned. I'm no anthropologist, so I'm willing to be corrected on that matter.
Also, I'd argue consumerism isn't exactly new either. People have been blowing their pay packets at their local pub since the invention of the local pub.
There are religions outside the Judeo-Islamic world with similar views. Besides, such mores also have a lot to do with culture and class.
Is a lifestyle pushed by people who are immediately family inherently a good thing?
A relationship without doubt is a good thing but it isn’t the only thing. Modern society for shallow moral reasons conflates committed relationships with sex.
This causes a lot of problems and probably is one of the main reasons why relationships break up or people feel miserable in relationships.
Is hookup necessarily (or even mostly) non-consensual? I'm probably missing some cultural context, what's the distinction you're making?
Having consensual, casual sex with someone on the other hand shouldn't ever be considered questionable, given that you're being honest with everyone involved, which might include someone you're in a committed relationship with at the time.
So, doing something consensually never is a bad thing. Lying is, to others as well as to yourself.
Why on Earth would you conflate hookups and rape? Please stop.
Well, same thing for trying to get solace from sex. It's like two drowning people trying to use each other as life preservers. Or two junkies who stay together just as long as they think the other person is helping them get the feeling they want. Love makes relationships safer because you will not purposefully harm the other person if you love them. You cannot love someone and use them to get a feeling to their detriment because if you love them their well-being is more important to you than your own.
Less hedonistic meaning they are having less sex and so fewer unintended and teenage pregnancies, less drinking and drugs and so less violence and anti-social behavior, better relations with the parents and in particular their fathers, and more pursuing further education.
Basically every metric of bad behavior that used to be a cause of concern for 80s and 90s teenagers is across the board at record lows for the current generation of teenagers.
Downside is they are more likely to be depressed, stressed, sexless and lonely with weak connections to their age peers.