Our Lost Generation
Every generation thinks it’s the last. That’s a common saying amongst those who analyze their existence within a tight juxtaposition with the times in which they live.
We hear about when times used to be better, mirrored by musings on how times used to be so bad. Bad and good are subjective, and without knowing the bad, we can’t appreciate the good; human beings are just wired that way, we respond to external stimuli, experience, and conditioning very acutely.
That is one of our species’ largest simultaneous advantages and faults.
One of the best ways to understand if our conditions are better or worse than past generations is to see just how different we’ve become. What parts of our daily lives have become so mechanical, so routine, that we would never even know it didn’t used to be that way, merely a generation ago?
“Orwellian” futures (based on the book “1984”) are described as totalitarian police states, with citizens living in perpetual fear of the overbearing and controlling governmental institution. We don’t live in a police state (to some degrees at least), and there certainly aren’t (completely) banned books and curfews; freedoms remain intact enough not to cause us any direct trouble.
But what behaviors of modern civilized society are causes for concern? Perpetual distraction and a philosophy of apathy, deeply entrenched into the psyche of the masses, where there isn’t an Orwellian big brother to fear, but our own self-inflicted pacification.
No, this isn’t the Matrix; it is Aldous Huxley’s “A Brave New World”, quite possibly the scariest book you will read.