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One of the feelings of the age is a kind of anxiety or unease about things.
One reason is that we’re on our phones all the time, we’re consuming more information than ever. Technology has enabled us to do everything on demand. We never get downtime between moments.
We're exhausted because of social media and keeping up with the Joneses. In short, we have sort of merged with our phones.
A transformation has taken place that is not well documented.
We can’t figure out why we can’t read a book. We can’t consume long-form complex ideas. During the Lincoln Douglas debates, Lincoln talked for three hours, Douglas for three hours, then after a break, everyone returned for another three hours. Now democratic debates are one hour and 20 minutes in total, and there are eight candidates.
Yet, when we consume long-form stuff such as hours of television, we consume entertainment that doesn’t require us to engage deeply and robustly with it.
Previously, media houses were the only trusted sources. Now, almost anyone can create podcasts, books or YouTube videos.
Traditional media institutions are becoming empty shells. Their only value is in their brand's reputation, but their content is decreasing. They seem to only talk to each other and themselves. Focusing on themselves could lead to being irrelevant and wrong or misleading. Yet they still have a measure of coherence that the wild west lacks.
On the one side, we have the interesting stuff that is incoherent; on the other, we have stuff that is coherent but meaningless.
We may watch stuff that doesn’t make sense and leave us fixed in a sort of hypnagogic state. We pay attention to the traditional media houses, but we completely miss important things because they are filtered out by whatever the dominant media narrative is.
We pay attention to the media narrative because our mind is looking for symbols to inform us what is the important narrative. Or that has been vetted.
We’re unreachable by real art. The art created now that matters, that is appropriate to this time, and would genuinely pierce the cultural consciousness is mostly unseen.
People these days try to find meaning in things like polyamorous relationships, travelling, or being an influencer. We emptied our life of real meaning, then tried to replace it with nothing. We tear down marriage and replace it with nothing. We tear down the office, community, the small town square, and replace them with nothing.
If you want to have a meaningful life, get married, have kids, live within your means, find work that you find purposeful and fulfilling, participate in your community.
The baby boomers caught a wave that made it easy to prosper. But in their selfishness, they are more concerned about themselves than their children.
They hoard stuff they are not willing to give up. They think everybody will find their bliss and make their own way, just like they did, but they don’t know how expensive college had become relative to themselves or home prices than when they were young.
Millennials experienced 9/11, the Iraq war, the 2008 financial crisis, huge student debt, and more. “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.”
Total food specialist. Friendly webaholic. Coffee fan. Proud analyst. Tv expert. Explorer. Travel nerd. Incurable beer advocate.
Informed in an interesting fashion by his relationship to stoicism, Ryan shares that he cares deeply about the future, but always in a thoughtful and measured way. In this podcast, he shares what is really driving our current moment across many areas.
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