The Last Great Generational War

economic chart

Baby boomers ensured that the economy, the planet, and their children are now all in a worse condition than when the boomers were born. This is common knowledge if you’re not a baby boomer and may come as a shock for those who of you born before 1964. All the talk these past few years of avocado toast and the generational anger towards millennials might just be projection. Regardless, the facts about the boomer’s destructive behaviour is evident and now the global population needs to address it.

How can we explain this calamitous, pathological selfishness at the root of the sustained crisis of Boomer mismanagement? Leaning heavily on the fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Gibney insists that Boomers, as a whole, are self-evident sociopaths “characterized by self-interested actions unburdened by conscience and unresponsive to consequence, mostly arising from non-genetic, contextual causes.” Boomers have repeatedly put the gratification of their own immediate, generationally specific desires above consideration for the long-term consequences doing so would have for them, the country, and their children. Their manifest sociopathy distinguishes them as a singularly antisocial group, devoid of the lowest-common-denominator feelings of collective responsibility for maintaining a livable society for all.

What’s so good about all of this? Well, it means we can finally stop playing the blame game and get on with focusing on what matters. Plus, knowing the problem means we’re on our way to a solution. And in the end, maybe what we’ll experience as a society is a return to thinking of others and not how we exploit them.

Perhaps then a generation will come to mean something less arbitrary, less focused on a descriptive category superimposed onto one group of people or another, telling them who they are based on what they own and how they earn a paycheck. Perhaps then to be part of a “generation” will mean just that—to feel a collective, affirmative duty to cultivate the as-yet-unwritten force of possibility to make the world anew that comes with being born, the generative potential to shake loose the grip of what has been on what the people could be.

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A Better Take On The Current Generational Divide

It’s not rare to read in old media that young people these days are worthless, listless, clods. That viewpoint is beyond ridiculous, in recent months there has been a backlash to this attitude from millennials. Instead of being lazy and not doing anything about it – they are now quick to point out the young one aren’t the people who have essentially caused climate change, economic devastation, and a focus on profits over people.

In fact, in a recent article in The Nation it’s argued that due to the rot left from previous generations millennials are motivated to change the world.

The conventional wisdom about your generation and mine, the story that’s retold every day in every way as jobs disappear, debt redoubles, superstorms gather and islands—literally entire countries—sink into the ocean, is not just a lie, but a very useful lie for the lying liars of the world—for those who control the means of production and persuasion; who have helped to usher in this harrowing present; and who are most likely to survive and thrive, at least in the short term, a catastrophic future, should it come to pass. Conventional wisdom absolves them of their very real sins against the earth, against the poor and against their children. It’s a distraction, and an easy way to pass the buck. Finally, it’s an efficient method of controlling us, its targets. It’s a way to keep us in line.

Because in this narrative, we are apathetic and ineffective. We don’t think for ourselves, nor do we band together. We were raised to stare like zombies at television screens, and now our heads are permanently stuck in the Cloud. The global looters and profiteers—they are not well meaning. They operate with full knowledge of what harm they do, and do it anyway, because they don’t particularly care about you, about us or about the future. It’s not their problem. They will be dead, and their children, I don’t know, will be living in a bunker somewhere, alone, with the last of all that glistering loot.

In the meantime, while there is still some oil left to extract, one last blood diamond to mine, they are counting on us to close our eyes and build our apps in blithe resignation. Because this only goes their way if we agree to pretend not to notice what is right here in front of our eyes: that they are fiddling, gleefully, as the rest of Rome goes up in flames.

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A Minimalist Generational Movement

Consumerism takes a huge toll on our planet and out pocketbooks and one generation raised in a consumerist culture has opted out. Many in the generation following Gen-X have realized that doing activities is more fun than owning plates (or whatever people buy, I have no idea) and have decided to live a lifestyle conducive to an experience-over-material mindset.

“I don’t give material possessions. I prefer to give experiences — let’s see a concert together, or let’s watch a sunset together. If I do give something that is physical it will be consumable — like a bottle of wine.”

While their minimalist tendencies may be most noticeable during the countdown to Christmas, for young minimalists this is a year-around commitment. Many have downsized everything about their lives. Those who had large homes shed them for smaller, more efficient digs. They’re pruning possessions, clawing back work schedules, even eliminating fringe friends and non-functioning lovers.

And when they compile their Christmas shopping lists, the minimalist has one wish: Don’t contribute to their clutter and they won’t contribute to yours.

Read more at the The Star.

These Boots Are Made For Energy Generation

A small company has produced a boot that creates energy by walking. The boot has a battery that stores an electric charge from the energy spent by walking.

The ‘Power Wellies’, as Orange is calling them, convert heat from your feet into an electrical current. According to the blurb, twelve hours of stomping through the Glastonbury Festival will give you enough power to charge a mobile phone for one hour – the hotter your feet get, the more energy you produce.

In case you’re wandering what the science behind them is… Inside the power generating sole there are thermoelectric modules constructed of pairs of p-type and n-type semiconductor materials forming a thermocouple. These thermocouples are connected electrically forming an array of multiple thermocouples (thermopile). They are then sandwiched between two thin ceramic wafers. When the heat from the foot is applied on the top side of the ceramic wafer and cold is applied on the opposite side, from the cold of the ground, electricity is generated. Simples.

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