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The times, they are a-changin'

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nettdata, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    To quote Bob Dylan, The times, they are a-changin'.

    I'm a bit older than most on this board (except for ToyToy88, he's just fucking ancient), and I've found it quite interesting to watch how things have changed over the past 20 years.

    Case in point: I just came back from a week-long hunting trip with my dad and a few friends. It's something that I've done with the same group annually for 21 years now, and I still remember my first trip like it was only yesterday. At that time, there were about 18 guys in the group, and it made our little hunt camp quite full. We had to fight for bunks and places at the 2 dinner tables.

    But over the past 10 years, it's changed. This year, we had 5 guys, and I was still the youngest by 20 years. We had our choice of bunks (the camp can sleep 20), and only had 1 small dinner table set up.

    Fewer and fewer of the old group were coming out, and it was because the old guys were dying, and there weren't any new replacements coming in to fill the holes.


    Most of the guys had tried to get their children interested, but they just weren't. They had no desire to hunt, and were minimally interested in fishing or other outdoor activities.


    That saddens me, as I feel there is a lot to learn by hunting, and it is a great character and self-esteem builder. Never mind the tasty meat.

    But it's not just hunting, it seems that traditions as a whole are being discarded or phased out.



    FOCUS: What traditions or "historical activities" have you seen go by the wayside? What do you think the impact will be? For the better, or for the worse? Are you starting any new traditions? If so, what are they, and how did they come about?

    ALT-FOCUS: What aspects of society are changing (or have changed), and what are the repercussions as you see them?
     
  2. Dcc001

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    I'm not sure if this is quite the reply that you had in mind, but I immediately thought of reading. Fewer and fewer people read for entertainment.

    I think I posted about this at one point on RMMB, but I've noticed that younger people read less and less. Also, they don't read variety. The more you read, the more you are capable of critically analyzing what is being said, what the author's biases may be, what the document is trying to say, etc. The only way to get good at this is to read a lot of different types of material. With the death of newspapers and magazines and the state that many publishing houses are in, it seems that people are relying on the internet (not the same as a well-written book) or television to tell them what's going on and entertain them. This is a shame, because it robs you of the ability to think critically.

    Probably the members of this board don't count in the generalizations I just made, because it seems like we have quite a few highly-educated, well-read people contributing here. I don't think this is the case for the general population. Once we've lost the ability to think critically as a society I really don't know where we'll end up. Probably at Wal-mart wearing spandex with no underwear getting our mullets trimmed.
     
  3. breakylegg

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    Public libraries used to be quiet. Now they are refuges of snoring bums, screaming toddlers, vile folks with whooping cough, full-volume cell phone conversations, etc. Last time I was in one, I looked up from my book to see I was the only one reading. Of course, if I want more silence in a public place I could just go read at the mall or the unemployment office.
     
  4. villagebicycle

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    Outdoor activity.

    I typed out 4 paragraphs worth of shit, and deleted it because it was just a big rant, but essentially parents are big pussies these days and don't want their kids fucking off in some forest building a tree house, and also let the TV and xbox babysit their little turds.

    So I say to all the kids out there, grow a pair and play some kick ball, or street hockey, or build a poorly engineered ramp for your bikes. As much as I love my ps3 and 50" hd tv, I take the time to throw a ball around, walk to the lake and chill, ride my bike, etc. To quote Mos Def, "Young bloods can't spell but they could rock you in PlayStation". And these dip shit parents let their kids watch stupid fucking shows like my super sweet 16 and all those rock of love type garbage.

    We're breeding a generation whose majority will be dim-witted, rotund little shits addicted to TV and internet, and bitchy girls who will probably smoke miles of pole. Now, both of these are ok in moderation, but god damn, I see more and more middle schoolers who weigh more than I do (and can also rock me in Modern Warfare and Madden).
     
  5. Kubla Kahn

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    I thought this was a 90's tradition that did some good for the world. Bitchy or not, girls who like sucking some dick are a treat for us all. The fuck?
     
  6. Riggins

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    For lack of a better term, the art of asking girls out. I remember "back in my day" (I'm all of 28) the internet was just becoming popular -- gotta love the free AOL start-up disks -- and few people had cell phones. So when you wanted to talk to a girl, you had to call her house phone. God forbid her dad answer, or you called too late. I remember that nervousness creeping over you as the butterflies filled your stomach while dialing her number. Sometimes you'd get lucky and the girl would have her own line and you'd be able to call past 10 at night without fear of waking her dad.

    Now? There's facebook, myspace, personal cell phones, texting ... Everything you can think of in order to talk to someone without having to actually talk to them. I see my students now texting away on their phones trying to "spit game" to some girls, and when I ask them why they don't just call them, the answer is invariably some form of "I wouldn't know what to say."

    Maybe I'm just jealous I was never able to do this myself, but to me that was a rite of passage growing up, something that seems to have (maybe in some cases just slightly, but still) gone by the wayside.
     
  7. Nettdata

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    Food.

    Specifically, the process of growing, harvesting, and distributing food.

    Too many people think that food just shows up in the supermarket in shrink-wrap, and have no idea how it got there. (Don't get me started on people that are clueless on how to actually cook that food).

    Society has overly-sanitized the process, and more and more people are becoming removed from the harsh realities of the food chain and how it works. Never mind the horrors that are the economically efficient commercial meat processing plants.

    This really hit home for me when I watched the Jamie Oliver series "Jamie's Great Italian Escape", during which he loaded up his camper-van and towed his trailer-kitchen around Italy looking for food. He came upon a small village that did a group-hunt (for boar, I think), and he participated. At the end of the hunt, he was shocked by watching a few young children (4-6?) being shown the boar being dressed out. (That's having all the innards removed, etc, for those of you not familiar). It was a family learning session, and Jamie was absolutely shocked by it. At least initially.

    After thinking about it, he realized that this was nature as nature intended, the food chain in action, the very source of the food he cooked, and was just as important to know as how to cook it.

    I believe he went on some crusade trying to get that point home, and ended up killing cute little bunnies on a BBC cooking show at some point, which backfired more than a little bit.

    But still, the point remains that I agree with his point of view.
     
  8. sunny jim

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    Well, Christmas is completely fucked now.
     
  9. cargasm66

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    I still remember (fondly?) the time I called to ask a girl out, and her dad answered. I asked to speak to her, and her (Chinese) dad started berating me. "Cargasm, I tell you every time, you IDENTIFY yourself when you call. Try again!!" and hung up the phone. I was terrified. But ever since then, I identify myself first on every phone call I make. (That's also something that's gone by the wayside).
     
  10. kuhjäger

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    In Re Jamie Oliver:

    People also don't understand how to eat well these days. Parents feed their kids crap, and we eat a lot of crap in our daily life. (I of course am guilty of this too)

    But I eat shit loads of vegetables. I make fresh salads with all sorts of fresh shit in it multiple times a week, and I understand what I am putting into my body as I cook just about everything.

    Most people these days won't eat a salad unless it is from Applebee's and has fried chicken and is slathered in ranch dressing. (Full disclosure, they are fucking delicious and I make one every 2 weeks)

    Going out to dinner used to be a special event, especially for those of us who weren't well off. Birthdays and out of town guests was about it. Now you see people out multiple times a week. And don't get me started on the amount of fast food consumption ,(Again, I used to eat it, and still would if it wasn't for the fact that it now shoots out of me within a couple of hours. My record for Panda Express was 45 minutes. Living up to their name.) especially in my poorer area. The amount of Mexican kids running around looking more stuffed than a pinata is astounding.

    It is as if people don't understand what you eat has an effect on you. They just shovel it in.
     
  11. mikeondolences

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    I can't recall the last time I saw a group of kids playing a pick-up game of football/baseball/whatever. That is really sad. When I was a kid, there were 2 parks in town that were sure to have some action. You'd wake up in the summer, hop on your bike, and head to the park- knowing there would be a game starting soon. You spent the day playing and knew it was time to go home when the street lights came on.

    Focus:
    Kind of along the "outside play" lines - playing non-organized sports. It makes me wonder how kids will learn social skills like conflict resolution and the like when all their play is organized and officiated by an adult. Kids learn a hell of a lot from settling their own issues during a game. Things like how pick their battles, that when you break the rules, the 5 yard penalty is nothing compared to everybody thinking you're a cheater, etc. Come to think of it, I learned most of my social skills that way.
     
  12. Beefy Phil

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    I disagree. People today absolutely understand how to eat healthy. The ability to eat well has evolved rapidly since the mid-20th century, when the standard American diet consisted of meat-heavy meals cooked in animal fat paired with canned goods loaded with salt and preservatives. Fresh produce is far more accessible today than it was in the 50's, and we have a much more developed understanding of proper nutrition at present than we did back when doctors prescribed raw eggs and cigarettes as remedies.

    It has nothing to do with what people "understand". They understand plenty. They just don't care. Not until they have heart disease, diabetes, or any of the other dozens of ailments that come from what is and has always been, in most cases, an elective lifestyle.

    This is the problem with nostalgia. We idealize what used to be, and fail to acknowledge that the time and place we hold dear was criticized just as fiercely by the people who lived then.

    "What is it with kids and the telephone these days? When I wanted to ask a girl out, I went to her house, had a Scotch with her dad, and began the four mandatory months of courting before we were permitted to go out without a chaperone."

    "Novels? Novels are filth. Unholy garbage meant to waste time that would be better spent studying Latin and Scripture. Education in this country is in shambles, and we will all suffer for it."

    It can go on and on like this. Just because it's old, doesn't make it better. Just different.
     
  13. Dcc001

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    I have to disagree with this. Certainly there are exceptions, but when it comes to education, physical activity and social relations I think we used to be A LOT better than we are now. Modern technology really isn't doing anything with regards to children's level of fitness, overall health or basic knowledge.

    I hate to recycle a spam email that always seems to make the circuit, but from what I've been able to dig up the claims that this test:

    http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/ar ... -1895.html

    ...is an accurate exam from the 8th Grade in Kansas seem to be true. Apparently the test is in the archives of the Salinas county historical society. Anybody on this board think they can pass? Those kids didn't have calculators or wikipedia or any other technological advancement at their disposal. They probably also didn't have BMI's of 35. While I agree that it is a mistake to romanticize the past, I don't know if any logical person could look at this generation of youth and say that their health and knowledge isn't worse than previous generations, only 'different.'
     
  14. Beefy Phil

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    I should have included a caveat. I do agree with the assertion that physical fitness is a major issue we face today that we did not face fifty years ago. Even though there is a disparity between the amount of exercise a child of the 50's got playing baseball in the sandlot and a child of the 1890's got working the family farm every day, it does not compare to the level of inactivity of today's average youth. You are correct about that. I have a response for the rest, but it will have to wait until I'm done with work.
     
  15. MoreCowbell

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    You have to remember why we are in 'worse' physical shape than ever before.

    It's actually not because of lack of exercise. Go ask your grandparents and other older relatives if they're still kicking around how often they out jogging when they were younger. We get significantly more conscious exercise on average than other generations.

    The reason is complicated and multifaceted, but a few of the major factors are that a) we no longer have the same levels of malnutrition amongst the American population, b) food has become easy enough to produce that it is now significantly more affordable, and c) our society's technological progress has been significant enough that the average American no longer works in manual labor.

    One would be hard-pressed to say these three are "bad" things. Essentially, we've progressed our way into obesity. Yeah, previous generations weren't fat. Know why? Because they were hungry, and busy busting their ass just to reach subsistence level.





    As for "general knowledge,"......whose general knowledge? How are we defining it?

    How many kids in 1900 knew that, say, e=mc^2? Or how to use an Internet browser?

    Also, you have to remember the societal resources we have on hand. I don't know when the battle of Antietam was (or at least, I couldn't be very sure that was answer was within 3 months on either direction). But you know who does know?

    Google. My friend Google and I will kick the ever-living shit out of your Kansas children in a trivia contest any day of the week.

    To gauge how smart we are in 'isolation' is stupid. Because we don't live in isolation.
     
  16. Beefy Phil

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    Snopes counters this argument better than I ever could.

    Look at the questions on that test. They are tailor-made for children who will, in all likelihood, grow up to be farmers or small businessmen with specializations in agriculture. What does this say about public education in the past? The same thing it says about public education now: it is not designed to enlighten. It is designed to foster specific understanding of specific areas of knowledge that will help an individual become a productive member of society. Back then, that meant knowing the ins and outs of agriculture and the skills needed to succeed at same. Now, it means preparing kids for work in a service-related field. The pros and cons of that are the subject of another debate entirely.

    No, children today do not know the first thing about Latin grammar. But your average 7th grader can write HTML code. Christ, I'm a comparative moron when it comes to IT, and I know basic HTML. No, children today do not know how to calculate the wheat-bushel capacity of a given wagon, but your average 6th grader can tell you what a molecule is, how to do basic algebra, what a tectonic plate is, etc. The sheer vastness of human knowledge dictates that children who go to school past age 12 cannot and should not spend time with rote memorization of grammatical rules that aren't necessary for the correct use of their own language. You know when I learned what a diphthong was? When I was being taught how to teach English to people who didn't already know it. You're going to tell me I don't right English gud?

    My point is that modern children have access to infinitely better education than they did 50 years ago, and that a smart 16 year old today is a fucking genius compared to your average college graduate in 1950. Whether or not these kids choose to take advantage of this education is another matter. For God's sake, the sum of human knowledge exists on this series of tubes you and I play around on every single day. We've never been in a better position to inform ourselves, to become truly educated beings, and yet our children are seemingly squandering it. Yes, some kids are fucking lazy, and yes, some of them are entitled and stupid and immersed in meaningless recreational activities that do nothing to brighten our hopes for a better tomorrow.

    Newsflash: these kids don't buy themselves the X-Boxes and Wiis and PS3s. They don't pay the electric bill, and they should not be the deciding factor in whether they play outside or sit on their asses. This behavior is supported by people who were allegedly better educated than their offspring, who apparently have a more clear understanding of how the world really works, and who do not waste one single second laying blame on their progeny for the sad state of America's youth. It's like beating a dog and then complaining when it whines from the pain.
     
  17. c_norris

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    Silly! That's what PBS is for!
     
  18. Dcc001

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    I don't want to derail this thread too badly, so I'll respond to this by bringing it back to my first post about kids not reading.

    There's a great book by Mark Bauerlein entitled, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future . In it, he not only cites a ton of statistics about how much different age brackets do and don't read (both for pleasure and for information), but he also examines the culture behind knowledge. Presently, he argues, we live in a culture where ignorance is glorified. Not only do a vast majority of kids not know basic things, like the year of America's founding, but they tend to have no sense of history. Name a book in the Western Canon? The answer: blank stares. And there's no shame associated with the ignorance.

    My point is that the desire to learn and acquire knowledge seems to be inversly proportional to our access to technology. Why know the capital of Germany when you can just look it up? Consequently, children are likely to be taught something and then forget it as soon as they pass the test. This is nothing new, you might argue, but I would point out that our level of "basic knowledge about stuff" is getting lower and lower. Since we (as a culture) have less data to draw from, when presented with a situation that requires us to "think on our feet," we typically don't do it as well.

    Bauerlein argues that what is in fact increasing is children's ability to use technology. He sites a case where a girl was billed by her wirelss provider for sending something like 50,000 text messages in one month. The technology, though, is being used to isolate age groups - tweens talking almost exclusively to tweens, twenty-somethings with other twenty-somethings, etc. This means that the desire to emulate the adults in the community is less and less; they'd rather be ignorant like their peers, so they don't stick out. Their level of common sense or abiltity to critically process information is NOT increasing.

    I agree here 100%. I'm not blaming children...merely talking about the situation as it exists right now.
     
  19. jordan_paul

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    I honestly believe childrens laziness comes down to the way they were raised. I am only 19 so I cant exactly tell you when children started getting lazy, but going on what I remember, there was lazy kids at the school I went too, but also active kids as well.

    I was raised in a rural area, learning stuff farms kids learn such as hunting, fishing, working hard, playing outdoors ALL day long, dirtbiking, camping, paintballing, hockey, soccer, working on machines and what not, all because my parents "strongly insisted" that I did. And by strongly insisted, I mean they made me, and if I said no, they beat my ass. Hell I even read alot when I was younger, because my grandmother (a grade 6 teacher in Quebec) sent my brother and I boxes and boxes of books for christmas, birthdays, easter, and pretty much any other holiday you can imagine.

    Other kids though wernt so lucky to have parents like mine. You know what they are doing now? Eaither working part time at some shit hole resturant, or not doing shit, living off their parents. What kind of a life is that? If their parents said "eaither go to school, get a full time job, or get the fuck out they would be going somewhere with their lives."

    Its a sad state of affairs not so much to be (in my opinion), the childs fault, but the parents.
     
  20. Stealth

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    Gone are the days when a man could work , his wife stay at home and "raise the kids" (or work part-time) and they could still manage to save enough money to buy a house.

    Well , in Australia anyway.