Parents and Children, Complaints About Younger Generation

tbs detroit Sept. 7, 2018
Interesting how so many people in an older generation think there is something wrong with a younger generation.
- Comment on Richard A. Friedman, The Big Myth About Teenage Anxiety, NYT, Sept. 7, 2018

A 1995 study, by Peter H. Kahn and Batya Friedman, of the way some children in Houston experienced pollution summed up our blindness this way: “With each generation, the amount of environmental degradation increases, but each generation takes that amount as the norm.” In decades of photos of fishermen holding up their catch in the Florida Keys, the marine biologist Loren McClenachan found a perfect illustration of this phenomenon, which is often called “shifting baseline syndrome.” The fish got smaller and smaller, to the point where the prize catches were dwarfed by fish that in years past were piled up and ignored. But the smiles on the fishermen’s faces stayed the same size. The world never feels fallen, because we grow accustomed to the fall.
- Brooke Jarvis, The Insect Apocalypse Is Here, NYT, Nov. 27, 2018

Since at least 624 BCE, people have lamented the decline of the present generation of youth relative to earlier generations. The pervasiveness of complaints about “kids these days” across millennia suggests that these criticisms are neither accurate nor due to the idiosyncrasies of a particular culture or time—but rather represent a pervasive illusion of humanity.
- John Protzko and Jonathan W. Schooler, Kids these days: Why the youth of today seem lacking, Science Advances, Vol. 5, no. 10, 16 Oct 2019

See also Grit, Perennial Complaints About Decline.

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