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Intellectualism is Dead

Our general desire to engage in stimulating conversation is waning further everyday. People no longer care about wit. The cell phone-addicted rats do not appreciate nuance, they just want everything condensed to a meme. I am depressed in the state of the world. I remember before people’s dopamine had been heavily reallocated by technology, that you could have an enjoyable conversation, now I feel like I’m talking to Methheads all the time. Everyone is in hurry, even in isolation, to the “next thing” and they don’t even know what that thing is... seems the world is passing me by.

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by Anonymousreply 91Last Monday at 6:35 PM

Not even Jesus Christ himself saw Twitter coming.

by Anonymousreply 110/14/2020

"Kids, what's the matter with kids today?"

but I hear ya OP. its a changing world just like my grandparents were shocked at the new world I became part of. And it isn't just youngsters anymore. Everyone is a downer. I imagine it to be like Spain during Franco's era. The culture was dull. Life was dull

by Anonymousreply 210/14/2020

Stick a tampon in it. You'll feel better.

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by Anonymousreply 310/14/2020

One thing I miss is waiting, desire and anticipation. Let’s say in 1995 you wanted a new sofa, you’d order catalogs, ask people for recommendations, go to stores and try it out in person, then order and wait six weeks for it to be delivered. There was a satisfaction when you obtained what you wanted. Now you go on Wayfair, click one with the look you want and it arrives two days later. The same could be said of buying a CD vs. hopping on Spotify or going out to a gay bar vs. getting on Grindr. It’s like the foreplay of life is gone.

by Anonymousreply 410/14/2020

R3 your father will have to pull his cock out first.

by Anonymousreply 510/14/2020

I think conversation has increased due to technology, but perhaps our patience to sit over a few beers and hash stuff out has changed. Also, I think as we age we are less open to others' ideas. I know more now, but I find everybody else does, too, so it's a competition to share our precious ideas before we croak.

I miss all the laughter and sharing in my 20s and 30s, when I wasn't judgemental or cautious.

by Anonymousreply 610/14/2020

*one-sided conversation

We’re not actually listening to others, so much as spouting into our personal echo chambers.

by Anonymousreply 710/14/2020

I agree to an extent, R7, but on DL, for example, I think people are listened to. I like the give and take, even when it gets bitchy, which is amusing.

by Anonymousreply 810/14/2020

An extrovert's lament.

by Anonymousreply 910/14/2020

OP is right. People cannot handle the truth anymore. All they want is controlling the narrative. Even bit of information that does not fit this narrative is suppressed.

by Anonymousreply 1010/14/2020

Imo, if Biden is elected, the deps will go back under their rocks after an outburst of violent pique, then people will start to come down off their fear/adrenalin/grandiosity rush and talk to one another. The country will 'normalize,' but that leaves a lot to be done.

by Anonymousreply 1110/14/2020

Intellectualism is dead because people belong to self-subscribed tribes now. People are afraid to think for themselves. Instead, they first check to see if their thinking is in line with those of their subscribed political parties/ leanings/ peer groups. There us a lot of pressure to participate in groupthink, encouraged in no small part by social media. Just look at how similar people dress or style themselves today, compared to the 80s/ mid-90s. I grew up during that time, and I compare to kids and teens around my age then to the sane cohort groups now, and I am so thankful that social media didn’t exist in my most formative years.

As a teen working a part-time job at a bookstore, I was able to have meaningful conversations with different people, in ways you can’t do now without one side labeling the other as one thing or another. In high school and university, I was friends with people from varied backgrounds and beliefs. My best friend at that bookstore was a married British man in his 60s who took a job there to pass time since he was bored from retirement. I overlooked his stodgy appearance while he did the same with my punk/ goth styling. We shared similar love for opera, Masterpiece Theater,, and love of historical biographies. Though politically we often disagreed, we had respect for each other’s arguments provided they were well-thought out.

Now I see a lot of self-segregating based upon race, ethnicity, age, political beliefs, etc... Instead of welcoming diversity of background, experience, and expertise in conversation, people no only want to hear or share things that confirm their beliefs. Now it’s cancel this or that or whoever judged to be deserving of being canceled.

by Anonymousreply 1210/14/2020

I live in London and a friend begged me to let her bring her 10-year-old son to visit because she wanted to spend time with me and to show him London. I relented and my husband agreed (gay couple here) and on their first full day I surprised them by taking the two of them on the train to the Warner Studios to see the Harry Potter film sets. They got on the train, pulled out their phones, started playing games and texting and never said one word to me, looked up or out the window until the train arrived. That’s pretty typical of behaviour now, and it’s completely shot manners out of the water, let alone intelligence. And she’s a teacher.

Intelligent conversation has always been a minority sport, let’s face it.

by Anonymousreply 1310/14/2020

R13 that's why i don't travel the world now. Who needs to travel 6000 miles to see the same folks in their backwards ball caps staring at their phones or taking selfies at each and every memorable site.

by Anonymousreply 1410/14/2020

I'm enjoying this quiet, introverted time which provides for more time to read, listen to music, cook, meditate. More often than not, people believe their conversations are more interesting than they actually are.

by Anonymousreply 1510/14/2020

OPs photo is Julius, West 10th and Waverly, New York's longest-running gay bar, since the 1930s.

by Anonymousreply 1610/14/2020

There is not much place for intellectuals (in the broadest sense) now. There are very few portrayals of intellectuals as young or even middle-aged and vital people; instead we see freaks and geeks with psychological disorders, capable of rattling off statistics and arcane facts but not of expressing ideas, not of synthesis or analysis or reasoned perspective; and no one clever with words either. Even advertising copy is no longer deceptively clever but just plain dumb.

There was a place for these people who would not set the world on fire by burning through billions, not by a billion selfies, but who were a smart set of a different sort, fashionable in their own right.

Today they have no currency. Nobody understands. Nobody cares. Anything no about making money, spending money, or looking good doing these things is just confusing. "Why?"

There were other classes, too, now shrunken and diluted to niche hipster subsets of little consequence.

Were left with Winners and Losers, Rich and Poor, Pretty and Ewww! Dumb and dumber.

by Anonymousreply 1710/14/2020

Intellectualism is dead. But it died long before any people here were born. The crass 1970s and 1980s saw to that.

by Anonymousreply 1810/14/2020

I think you're right, R17. Gore Vidal liked to parade himself a 'public intellectual' back in the 60s. But now we've been subsumed by anti-culture, pop kulcha and gibberish.

by Anonymousreply 1910/14/2020

My generation was taught that theatre meant Shakespeare, Shaw and Chekhov. The coming generation thinks it's—

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by Anonymousreply 2010/14/2020

Well-reasoned, thought-provoking discourse has degenerated into a combination of the mindless shrieking of children on an elementary school playground and the mental bludgeoning of a Maoist re-education camp.

by Anonymousreply 2110/14/2020

Some public libraries are gutting their print collections, claiming that the weeded titles are available as e-books (if only...). Great non-fiction and fiction is removed because it's old and/or not popular enough. What's left is a narrow range of predominantly recent material, a collection without much depth or intellectual appeal.

by Anonymousreply 2210/14/2020

Yes, my local municipal library is also gutting its print collection.

I asked about a book I consulted previously and they said it was 'de-accessioned'. He justified it by consulting a computer which told us there are seven remaining copies available across the state. Requesting an inter-library loan means a $4 fee and perhaps a month's delay. I have to pay $16 if it's in a university library.

My local library justifies getting rid of the books to create more room for people to lounge on sofas, drink coffee, chatter and 'hang out'.

by Anonymousreply 2310/14/2020

Cancel Culture has consequences.

People are scared to openly discuss issues, so they use the secret ballot to vote for #OrangeManBad

by Anonymousreply 2410/14/2020

Oh for fuck's sake! Voting for that turd Trump is the exact opposite of intellectualism. Garbage, gutter people.

by Anonymousreply 2510/14/2020

People are 'fobbed off by gadgets' as Kurt Cobain once said. And that was the 90s.

Most people truly are dumb.

by Anonymousreply 2610/14/2020

I believe FOMO killed intellectualism and quality of life in general. The rush to experience as much as possible, through means like multitasking, just gives you, at best, a watered down experience of life. People can't appreciate the moment when they are too busy taking a selfie and posting it on their instagram account for likes. Twitter with its limited text capacity, tl;dr, etc. create a demand of quick consumption of information to move on to the next thing to cross off of your list. Instant gratification and short attention span will be the end of the masses and mainstream.

by Anonymousreply 2710/14/2020

I can't get into intellectual discussion any more. There's too much jargon and cultural theory.

by Anonymousreply 2810/14/2020

Jesus, what a bunch of tiresome old cunts.

by Anonymousreply 2910/14/2020

tl;dr OP.

by Anonymousreply 3010/14/2020

[quote]cell phone-addicted rats

That is a very apt description OP. I'm going to steal that one.

by Anonymousreply 3110/14/2020

I still experience all of the things people here are lamenting the loss of.

by Anonymousreply 3210/14/2020

R32 me too. Some people seem to have shitty friends and acquaintances in their lives.

by Anonymousreply 3310/14/2020

[quote]OPs photo is Julius, West 10th and Waverly, New York's longest-running gay bar, since the 1930s.

That's true but there's much more to that famous photo. It dates from the late 50s to mid 60s, I forget. Those guys entered Julius, went up to the bartender, announced that they were homosexuals and asked to be served. He's refusing. It was not the pleasant conversation OP seems to think.

by Anonymousreply 3410/15/2020

R34 Tell us more about the incident. Were they setting up a sting? How did it end? TIA

by Anonymousreply 3510/15/2020

R35, Google 1966 Sip-In at Julius and take your pick.

by Anonymousreply 3610/15/2020

If you want to take away my copy of À la recherche du temps perdu, you’re gonna have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

by Anonymousreply 3710/15/2020

Who is that Tom Perdue character and why is everybody lookin' for 'im?

by Anonymousreply 3810/15/2020

I never thought I'd be that 'old person complaining about young people' - but here I am - mid 40s - working with people in their mid to late 20s - who don't read books, don't have a frame of reference for anything before 2010, think everything should be free, and who think a "good investment plan" is using Rent the Runway for clothes.

by Anonymousreply 3910/15/2020

Like R38, I’m not long turned 40 but I’ve noticed a huge degeneration in people over the past maybe 15 years or so, especially younger generations but also everyone else. Personally I think social media has had a horrific effect on society. It’s all about ego, personal identity, narcissism. The most dangerous part is that people can’t agree to a consensus on reality now. People create their own narratives, so we have irrational adults who subscribe to conspiracy shit they read online and claim there isn’t even a pandemic. I had to practically slap my mum and sister when they started talking about “well maybe it is just this 5G thing” a few months back. There’s an excellent book called ‘The Death of Expertise’. Well worth a read. People have become so arrogant, ignorant and narcissistic that they now see themselves as experts on everything, so they don’t have to listen to scientists who may have spend their lives studying things. I have a neighbour who doesn’t believe in climate change, because he thinks his misinformed view is equal to that of unanimous climate scientists across the world. This thinking is just dangerous. It really scares me.

by Anonymousreply 4010/15/2020

It's pretty tedious and time-consuming to have to read some10000-word articles just to understand one little things these days! Death to the New Yorker, death to the Atlantic!!!

by Anonymousreply 4110/15/2020

[quote] I have a neighbour who doesn’t believe in climate change, because he thinks his misinformed view is equal to that of unanimous climate scientists across the world.

R40 Speaking of arrogance . . . Unanimous? According to whom? Based on what? *I'M* right and you're wrong because I'm regurgitating the OPINION of one or more "professionals" who reflect my worldview. Without contemplating that the "professionals" may very well be promoting their own agenda/worldview for personal/professional profit.

by Anonymousreply 4210/15/2020

OP, sorry the world has devolved into a tired, miserable mud ball for you. I believe you may be frequenting all the wrong places, with all the wrong people. You need to cull your friend herd. Dump the obnoxious, the self absorbed, the juvenile and boring people from your life. There are great conversationalists out there. Go find them.

by Anonymousreply 4310/15/2020

One of the biggest weapon of the Trump administration is ignorance and legitimizing right wing conspiracies as valid source of information and knowledge.

Who needs books about science or great literature when you can get all you need from Q-Anon?

by Anonymousreply 4410/15/2020

R34 Thank You, thank you! I couldn’t believe how it was being misinterpreted!

by Anonymousreply 4510/15/2020

I'm a proud boomer who would love to see kids playing games on other people's lawns. That would show that they are actually active and not stuck to that idiot box that fits in their hands. What memories will today's kids (and today's young adults) have of their childhood? Sitting back to back with their friends, texting them, that's what. My memories include climbing trees, exploring local parks that had woodsy areas, going camping with family and friends and really getting to enjoy the world around me. Board games where you had to think, chores that inspired me to keep busy, interesting books and research projects, among other activities, kept me occupied and didn't freeze my brain into becoming a Pokemon Go human robot, the walking dead. I also wrote my own essays without the help of sites like Grammarly, over and over again if necessary, and even if I didn't do well in other subjects that didn't require writing skills, I gained the skill of how to learn and how to become interested in subjects that initially confused me. I'm glad I have like friends who can sit at dinner or over the cocktail hour without their phones out, and would walk away long ago had they pulled out their con"trap"tion more than once an hour to feel that phony plastic in their hands.

by Anonymousreply 4610/15/2020

Original thinking was never popular, OP. It's true people used to have more substantial arguments, where one would listen to the other and try to undercut what they had actually said rather than rabbiting on about some vague Platonic principle, and it's true that until relatively recently, educated people could read long books with difficult language and be able to discuss them at the end. But real original thought has always caused horror in almost all circles.

Even intellectuals mostly ran in grooves. They might have an original thought in an essay, but writing an entire essay that was a new way to look at the topic was very unusual and mostly not appreciated. And certainly wouldn't get you a professorship.

by Anonymousreply 4710/15/2020

I once had an intellectual thought while drinking. I knew I wouldn't remember it so I wrote it down. When I woke up the next morning, I couldn't read my writing. I decided the next time to call up my landline from my cellphone. When I went to get the message, I couldn't understand what the fuck I had just said.

Why can't I have an intellectual thought that I can remember while sober?

by Anonymousreply 4810/15/2020

R45 it’s a Datalounge Easter Egg. A shocker for a MARY! like you.

by Anonymousreply 4910/15/2020

That's in the US right?

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by Anonymousreply 5010/15/2020

No, it's in Manhattan.

by Anonymousreply 5110/15/2020

This reminds me of the 80s when straight, white guys got hyper-upset about the 'literary canon' being dumbed down by works by women and poc. Also when they coincidentally got just as upset that high school seniors knew more about contemporary events than they did about Washington crossing the Delaware (coincidentally another straight white guy).

I think there is plenty of intellectual discussion around, but some of it is over my head because I'm older, or just different because of the new generation.

by Anonymousreply 5210/15/2020

People are in many ways more discriminatory and small-minded than previous generations. I work in healthcare and have also taught at the university level (briefly), I’ve interacted with individuals from kids to the elderly across all socioeconomic and racial divides. People, especially those 20-something years or younger, are less tolerant of worldview that deviate from their own, because they hold these views as universal truths. As a result, they seek the company of those whom they deem as safe, people who further confirm their righteousness. This mentality is essentially religious views of the recent past. In lieu of religiosity, it is now self-identity that has replaced it. Self-identity has become a set of subscribed beliefs. When these beliefs are challenged or questioned as not THE set of truth, then it’s an assault on their very own identity.

I had students literally shut down discussions during class because the views expressed ran counter to their own sensibilities. They frame their objections to intellectual discourse as harmful because of potential damaged by these free discussions. Damaged how? Because they cannot disassociate their own thinking and beliefs from their subscribed identities. Oh you disagree with me? Well fuck you, you don’t deserve my attention and I refuse to listen any further, and why do you think your opinions matter more than mine? As we all know, my way of thinking is the ONLY correct one.

Intellectualism does not merely involve the seeking of knowledge, it goes deeper than that. One can be a smart person who is adept at retaining knowledge yet he is not intellectually gifted. The most gifted scientists are the one who have both traits. With intellectualism it is the curiosity of the mind that is distinguishing. People who actively seek to understand reasons behind events and theories that shape us as individuals and as greater society. People who seek the truth and who understand that truth is evolving not static. They in fact invite the opportunity to be exposed to novel or diametrical ideas and experiences that challenge those of their own.

by Anonymousreply 5310/15/2020

R53 TL ; DR

just kidding!. NIce points

by Anonymousreply 5410/15/2020

R51, I meant, it is a US phenomenon. Americans, by and large seem to have an anti-intellectual streak, which manifests itself in things like who you vote for president (i.e. Trump) among others. Whilst in continental Europe: France, Spain, Italy, discuss/talk about or take an interest in politics, literature, the economy, education, etc... to even argue about it in a bar or a nice cozy cafe is so commonplace, regardless of age or social background; you take it for granted. So intellectualism hasn't died, it's just that in the States specifically only a minute minority has access to it.

by Anonymousreply 5510/15/2020

R55 I agree with you about Europe over the US. But I reckon the whole planet became dumber these last 15 years.

I used to consider myself an intellectual but my attention-span has certainly diminished. I'm much more likely nowadays to pick up my bright, coloured, flashing, responsive iPad than a cold, black and white, silent book.

(I've met kids who compare the sight of hard-back books to that of cemetery tombstones)

by Anonymousreply 5610/15/2020

[quote] So intellectualism hasn't died, it's just that in the States specifically only a minute minority has access to it.

Most people are too poor and too busy, making a living, to afford themselves the luxury to be intellectual.

Frustrated and unsatisfied people don't seek intellectual comfort. They look forward to blowing off some steam (drink, drugs, Netflix binge, work-out, shoving food in their mouths, looking for a physical altercation, etc.) or look for a scapegoat to blame for their lives sucking so bad. Or they just go straight to bed all tired out from work.

by Anonymousreply 5710/15/2020

R57 said no Soviet citizen, EVER

by Anonymousreply 5810/15/2020

R57, very true, but the worst is that those very people live with blinkers, if given the chance to change their lives they will still vote against their own interests.

by Anonymousreply 5910/15/2020

[quote] [R57], very true, but the worst is that those very people live with blinkers, if given the chance to change their lives they will still vote against their own interests.

That's because they've been brainwashed to believe that the very ones who keep them down have the perfect solution for all of their problems.

by Anonymousreply 6010/15/2020

I'm one who will pretty much have a conversation with anyone. What I've found out is that reading is something a lot of people don't want to do. I was talking to a repairman about books and he said he isn't a reader but a friend of his reads.

This brings me to the other issue - if you don't read how the hell can you figure out when you're being told a lie by others. This is particularly true about religion I can recall in a religious discussion Lucifer was mentioned - and I informed them what it actually meant. That was fun.

In another conversation I met a young guy who read the U.S. Constitution actually keeps a copy with him at all times. Nice!

by Anonymousreply 6110/15/2020

Intellectualism and the Quest for Knowledge is Dead

The most popular quiz on TV in my country is where a bunch of proles can win $1,000,000 by answering questions via Multiple choice.

Any moron has a chance to be a millionaire by taking a 25% chance.

by Anonymousreply 6210/17/2020

R61 was chatting to his repairman about books? Guess the local trade isn’t terribly fuckable around his parts.

by Anonymousreply 6310/18/2020

When exactly was intellectualism popular or thriving? 100 bc? 1934? The so-called "life of the mind" (cue John Goodman running down the hall in Barton Fink) has always been unpopular, for the few.

Sure, you can find it in academia or certain professions or in your repairman, why not? But the majority of humans gravitate to what is immediately gratifying, low effort and even mindless.

by Anonymousreply 6410/18/2020

R64 I think that the mindlessness is spreading to formerly intellectual communities is the problem. I’m aware that plumbers and electricians have never been the types to read Shakespeare and Freud.

by Anonymousreply 6510/18/2020

It was never a majority pursuit, R64, but images of intellectualism, in popular film, in advertising, for instance, used to be more commonplace: the workaday sorts that Woody Allen praised and laughed at in the Annie Hall/Manhattan years, the low level cafe society in any college town or any town of any size where there would be a circle of people who had, between them, been to Paris, knew the inside of an art gallery (and, to a point, could talk about contemporary art.) There were intellectual circles and academics, of course, and little groups of people, especially around the arts but also politics and journalism and publishing and architecture and urban planning and medicine, even, who chased after something a little bigger than talking about designer brands, restaurant openings, celebrities, their Instagram feed. They had dinner parties where the talk was about ideas more than about the divine little shop that the has the very best artisanal herb butters. They talked about new films from other countries that were a year away from opening for a week at some arthouse cinema, or books, or a speaker on a lecture tour, and pretended to know French and all the philosophers better than they did.

I don't care about measuring real intellectuals against poseur intellectuals, but the idea of a group of friends or near strangers at a party talking about psychology or medical research or a shift in literature or art or music and avoiding the lowest common denominator references, that's the thing that's faded away. Instead of a panel of smart, quick-witted people gathered on TV each week to discuss the latest in the Arts and world news we have panels of political pundits, hacks and half-wits and horses' asses, or The Big Bang Theory for the Smart Set. There is no Smart Set, just the Kardashians and celebrities of the moment whose product-placement filled lives we are to find amusing? Emulate? Beyond that the big names are exactly the names with big money, the eggheads with focused small ideas that made vast wealth with Twitter, or Pinterest, or a chip or a battery refinement that made instantaneous updates of Tweets and Pins seem so very important. Except in answer to the question, "Who are you wearing?" it's the opposite of aspirational, the opposite of intellectual, of trying to grasp some understanding of a thing bigger than yourself.

It's the idea that people would even care for a second about such a thing that's been lost. I'm not talking about high order intellectualism, just a basic level of curiosity

by Anonymousreply 6610/18/2020

R66, it's pernicious/extractive capitalism that has done away with all of that. Just what R57 said, people have little time for such pleasures.

It's funny that some time ago at the end of the 19th century with the rise of the bourgeoisie/middle classes and the mechanical and industrial revolutions (that had started a lot earlier) were in full swing and the world of work had changed. Those small privileged groups in society benefited from that and thanks to those changes they enjoyed more free time to explore things, go out and cultivate their minds. Since then, the population able to enjoy intellectual interests grew. There have always been talks about how machines will increasingly phase out the need for a lot of the work that we, humans, do and consequently we will be granted more leisure time and enough resources to live as we please.

However, no-one saw how capitalism was really going to evolve. The assumption that it is always a good thing, even when unrestrained, and that it would eventually create enough wealth for everyone to benefit has led us here. We are regressing to a state of semi-slavery with a dominant global oligarchy that discourages intellectualism for the great majority.

by Anonymousreply 6710/18/2020

Agree with that r67. We have this stupid cult of busy-ness along with our cult of business. Always be doing, never be thinking. The work week must never get shorter, only longer. And if you're not working, you should be at the gym. And if not at the gym, then shopping. And if not shopping then performing some other obligation. Always be doing.

The idea of productivity should go like this: hey look how much more productive we are, we can make so much more in so much less time. Let's do that and all work less.

But that is simply inconceivable in this culture. Never relax, always make more shit, and even more shit, and even more. You can never have enough shit so keep going, just do it faster.

by Anonymousreply 6810/18/2020

Define 'intellectualism'.

by Anonymousreply 6910/18/2020

[quote]When exactly was intellectualism popular or thriving?

In the 60s, 70s and even beyond to an extent Mailer, Vidal, Capote and others were chat show staples. Watch the easygoing civilised chat on You Tube from the Dick Cavett show - and if you're so inclined, lament the loss. Roth and Updike were best sellers, admittedly when the books in question were especially explicit.

So articulate personalities were around, and there were forums to encourage them. High-ish discourse was there if you wanted it. Now maybe not so much. Oprah grasped that books can be good, hence her club. (Not that Frantzen was a fan.) Hitchens was perhaps the most recent public intellectual to grace both small-screen and page with equal vigour.

Maybe it comes down to a shortage of public talent to create and focus more interest. Stars in any sphere are quite rare. Douglas Murray creates interest here on DL and elsewhere. Book festivals in less fraught times are ever more popular. There'll always be an intelligentsia of sorts, it just adapts and evolves.

by Anonymousreply 7010/18/2020

Intellectualism is dead? Nawh........

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by Anonymousreply 7110/18/2020

R70 - to be fair, the world was going through an extraordinary amount of change in the 60's and 70's - everything was being up-ended in terms of race, women, gays, divorce, sex, drugs, hippies, new immigration policies, etc. Plus there was the never-ending Vietnam War.

You also had a huge explosion of college degrees during this time which increased the discourse level of these topics.

There was a lot to discuss in this transition and it was a lot to take in all at once. I remember they had to give cultural lessons to some Vietnam War POWs because the US that they left in the early, mid-60's, was unrecognizable to them by the late 60's.

Most of the cultural changes from then are now accepted facts - on paper at least.

What new ideas / changes are we grappling with today? The vast majority of it is misinformation and economic inequalities.

But the overlying issue that prevents honest, civil discourse is misinformation and lying, which the blame falls squarely on the conservatives and the Republican party's shoulders. They create fake facts and try to subvert truths that, if most people were presented the information in a non-biased way, most people would come to agreement.

You can't have discourse/intellectualism with intellectual dishonesty. THAT is the problem. The lying liars of today's Republican party who, in the 60's and 70s, actually had a moral compass that allowed rational discussion.

by Anonymousreply 7210/18/2020

Even though I have a genius level IQ, anymore I just want dick / butt / good food / to be left alone.

by Anonymousreply 7310/18/2020

Cancel culture killed it.

by Anonymousreply 7410/18/2020

R74 - no it didn't - cancel culture is only a couple of years old.

by Anonymousreply 7510/18/2020

The ironic thing is that people are more formally educated than ever (obtaining masters degrees or even doctorates), and yet people seem even more stupid than in the past. Just goes to show formal education doesn’t equal depth.

by Anonymousreply 7610/18/2020

Some very interesting points and views here in this thread, for which thanks.

What I notice more and more these days, is the downright refusal to read instructions/memos. The moment a couple of sentence form a paragraph, you can literally see people’s minds turning off.

I often introduce a new routine or rule to my teams, and it has become inevitable that folks will come to me with stupid questions afterwards.

“Did you read the memo I shared with everyone?” - sheepish laughter.. “uh, no” “Then go back, read it carefully, and let me know if you still have questions after.”

They then try to coax my assistant into dumbing it down for them, just so that they don’t have to read.

Mind you, I am talking about people with an education here!

by Anonymousreply 7710/18/2020

R77 attention span of gnats now. It’s unbelievable. Also, it’s so pervasive that I believe it helps sociopaths in the work industry, especially highly hierarchal corporate companies.

by Anonymousreply 7810/18/2020


Amen and hallelujah.

Tolerance is dead.

When society loses trust in institutions, things inevitably go wrong.

by Anonymousreply 7910/18/2020

Even the former gatekeepers of high culture have become bumbling idiots. When Times journalists are writing about memes and using phrases like "bad bitch" and how Cardi B is an inspiration to us all, something has gone deeply awry.

by Anonymousreply 8010/18/2020

One bright spot for me is discovering long, thoughtful, and beautifully written reviews and comments by non-professional writers online. has some great reviewers (from all over the world) discussing interesting books.

by Anonymousreply 8110/18/2020

Anyone who thought Vidal, Mailer, or Capote was an intellectual is starting from a low bar. Intellectuals today more ridiculous than Structuralism and Existentialism? I think not. Intellectuals run in schools these days, but they always did. Universities always gave shelter to the incompetent more than support to the genius. None of that is new.

The fashion against reading is less than it seems because everyone spends all day reading on the internet. Conspiracy theories multiply as disinformation? Why? Because conspiracies actually do run the world. Some of you appear to be blaming society for your own failure to manage effective communication. Why don't we try more persuading and less bitching for a change?

by Anonymousreply 8210/18/2020

"You don't really understand an issue unless you can argue both sides"

I first read that as a kid, fucked if I remember where. In today's highly divisive I'm right, you're wrong, and you're an idiot because you don't agree with me world, where the concept of a simple exchange of ideas is dead and buried, I can imagine that this theory would be viewed as bewildering and outlandish.

by Anonymousreply 8310/18/2020

R82 Vidal had more depth than the harridans writing about the importance of vaginal steaming that takes up inches of ink nowadays.

by Anonymousreply 8410/18/2020

Get off of my lawn!

by Anonymousreply 8510/18/2020

I wonder, though, if this is just do to the fact that Millennials are the majority of "social" adults right now and this is just their behavior at the age they are at so it looks like it's everyone everywhere. There's a chance they will age out of it and twenty years from now they'll be acting in a more mature manner and that will be what defines normal social behavior at that time because they're such a huge generation. The Boomers are/were mostly hanging out by themselves and with each other (even pre-Covid). Think about how ubiquitous Facebook was with that group a couple years ago and now they hate it. I think I already see a difference in older vs. younger Millennials when it comes to this behavior.

by Anonymousreply 8610/18/2020

There is still some intellectual writings on the net. Arts and Letters come to mind.

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by Anonymousreply 87Last Monday at 11:53 AM

There's not much Intellectualism in this store--

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by Anonymousreply 88Last Monday at 2:20 PM

Baby Boomers learned everything they ever needed to know on Gilligan's Island, to the music of Carmen.

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by Anonymousreply 89Last Monday at 5:19 PM

Jonathan Edwards was a ridiculous nincompoop

by Anonymousreply 90Last Monday at 5:38 PM

Under threat not dead. OP is being too bleak and pessimistic.

by Anonymousreply 91Last Monday at 6:35 PM
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