Humans are strange creatures. Because of our extended childhood, where we absorb much of what we learn about the world, often by tales received from our elders, and our increasingly long lives which now often approach or exceed a hundred years, we are all time travelers. We’re people walking around 100 years later with a picture of the world acquired in very early childhood and often relayed by an elder whose view of the world was already outdated.
Now, the extent to which we are time travelers depends on how much we keep abreast of things, how much the change experienced in our life times has been processed by us, and how much those who transmitted their world view were aware of changes in their lifetimes.
In this I think we Odds have a bit of an advantage, because we often fail completely to get the idea of the world they were trying to transmit to us, and then go through the world like strangers, keeping track of everything that happens, with a sense of wonder and “oh, wow.”
But not always. In things that aren’t our specialty, or things that we actually care about. There we often internalize our early views, and never ever ever get rid of them.
I like to make fun of boomer women, because why not? when they say that their third grade teachers discouraged them from STEM, mostly because I grew up in a country where it made sense to assume a woman was the dumbest in group if everyone else was male, etc. Not that it was true, but that it was what the nature believed, and spoke about and made jokes about it, in public.
If I’m to understand it correctly, American women a little older than I believed their third grade math teachers knew everything. Or something.
But the truth is that their continuous claims of all the exploitation of women, particularly for bookish women were acquired in their pre-teens, probably by reading books, which might themselves have been ridiculously biased. (This also explains why most of them still believe in the great pre-historic matriarchies, all of which have been thoroughly discredited.)
But it is not only them, of course. My mother had issues with things I did growing up, because the world inside her head was the world she had survived to climb to relative safety and middle class life. Because those lessons had been hard learned, and she couldn’t just shrug them off.
And I’m sure I, myself have blind spots. Not as many, perhaps, since I was required to change countries and cultures, and then learn how to work with each wave of technology. And having kids also helped because it showed me how things were, for instance in school.
I’m forever shocked when people say things like “schools favor boys” because that hasn’t been true since I’ve been in the US. I’m equally surprised, when people say things like “I worked through college and kids today can too” ignoring that university costs ten times more, and the kids are required to do a lot more make work.
It’s always a bad idea, forty years later to say “I did blah blah and the kids can too” without looking into what’s actually going on, as a rule of thumb.
But beyond that, so many things we thought we knew and things we thought were established have been shaken loose by genetic information. For instance, if you haven’t read about Neanderthals or human origins in the last… 20 years, everything you think you know is wrong.
That’s partly what makes the current would-be elites so funny. They’re running — loudly — on outdated science while trying to force us all to live the way they thought would be ideal in the 70s.
Including you know trying to reduce human population, which is already being reduced by rapidly falling birth rates, and whose specter might always have been a mirage, conjured by over reliance in bureaucracy’s ability to count heads.
How do we solve this? How do we shake the picture in people’s heads?
I don’t know. Not conceding to “everybody knows” and demanding proof is one of those was. My younger son’s famous ‘question everything.’
The other is not being afraid to challenge great big “theories” that all the “smart” people believe. (I’m looking at you Global Warming.)
From Freudian interpretations of historical figures to the economic history of the United States, to our ideas of pre-history, if you learned it in school, actually at any time, it’s like an outdated or misconceived theory, since disproved.
Its time for those who can to study and become informed, because being time travelers might cost us the future.