The 14-year-old theory

“Have I told you my theory on why life is so tough?”

We’re told constantly that we need to be more mature, and yet biologically, we tend to hit our peak within our teen years, just as puberty is coming to an end: no major stressors, but technically an adult… So the theory is this: all adults are secretly 14-year-olds pretending to be adults.

Most people will experience difficulties in adulthood arising from deficiencies in their childhood being compounded over time. If you were never taught about money management, you get in trouble which leads to more trouble and so on. Most people are never really taught the skills of how to communicate or respect each other, which has led to a world where women and POC are second class citizens…

We’re told to respect our elders, but we’re never taught what that encompasses. As a result, we now have a generational gap between the baby boomers and millennial generations; we are seen as entitled by them, while they refuse to give us the same opportunities that they had at our age. Milennials earn roughly 19% less than baby boomers did for equivalent jobs.

And it then cycles. Baby boomers were seen as entitled by the ‘greatest’ generation, whose formative years included world wars 1 and 2.

So we keep getting trapped in a ‘generation has lack of skills, and as a result fails to pass it to the next generation, who fails to pass it to the next etc.’ It’s why I love the alt communities so much; we question things, and teach each other the skills while trying to provide a safety net for each other.

Which further leads to this: alt communities (especially kink) increased in visibility following 50 shades of grey. As more people flow in, skills increase across the culture, so does that mean that 50 shades of grey improve humanity?

...just be more consensual than Christian Grey...
Do it for humanity…

Humans have ‘othered’ one another since the dawn of agriculture. Prior to that, there was no real worry about property rights and so on, but with the cultural need to pass things on to your offspring came possessiveness, xenophobia, women being seen as property, and this was compounded over time by centuries of Abrahamic religions, which we are only starting to step out of.

I was thinking about how groups of primates can be very fearful of each other (though others live symbiotically) in competition of resources or fear of attack of each other. Prior to agriculture, being hunter-gatherers, the best bet for survival was other people. The tribal culture. Everyone prospered or everyone suffered so you would bring as many skills as possible together in the same place.

In times of scarcity, most creatures will revert to that, partially because their survival relies on them getting the food, but in times of prosperity, I am under the impression that competing tribes of animals will coexist peacefully and occasionally merge. For great and terrifying examples, looking up the mega colonies of Argentinian ants is fantastic

We now live in a post-scarcity world. Anything we want we can have delivered to us within 24 hours, which is why advertising is becoming less and less effective; it typically exists to make you believe that you want this Thing ™, that everyone wants this Thing ™ and if you don’t have it, you will be lacking, shunned by your social circle…

We've all had the urge!
When Life is Tough, Pick up and throw the person next to you

Do you know Dunbar’s number?

Primates all have a gland in their brain which dictates the optimal size of the social circle, and for humans, it tends to equate to around 150 ‘people’ who we can know and care about in some way, which is the core concept of Dunbar’s. I air quote ‘people’ because it’s more like a person shaped slot.

What has been shown is that a concept of a group will take up a single slot, so alongside your son, daughter, mother, father, etc, you will have a slot for ‘the Chinese’, for ‘clowns’, for ‘Social justice warriors’ and for generalised concepts of what people from any given group look like. You will have a slot for ‘Muslims’, which the news and modern world will fill with vague menacing figure who wants to tear down western society and if they aren’t a terrorist, they know one, which of course isn’t the case.

Cool, right? Terrifying, sure, but still cool.

Which you can now never unsee
Like this pumpkin…

 

Society has found a way to hack your brain.

I don’t hate society at all. We need society. You may well hate consumerism because that’s what all these hacks are used for. To try to make you buy stuff. The news needs to rely on them to sell advertising space, so that the news corporations can pay saff and shareholders.

But the brilliant thing? Our generation is smart enough to overcome it.

We are beating away the flashing lights and happy sounds, the hacks are working less and less. Advertising works roughly 0.07% of the time (Don’t quote me here, I can’t remember my source for this), and that includes advertisers advertising their advertising services.

The Flynn effect states that IQ raises across a populous by roughly 5 points every three years. The next generation will be the smartest and the best equipped to finally break the cycle.

Everything comes down to consumerism, and it sucks. And why? So that the people at the top of the chain can buy shit that they don’t need either, to fill the void that they feel because they weren’t taught otherwise in their childhood.

Boom, full circle.

 

 

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