He asserts - without providing actual longitudinal statistics which would of course be useful to evaluate for a claim like this - that more and more males are still living at home with their parents into their 20’s and 30’s while sitting around and playing video games, watching porn, and formulating "intricate but never-realized plans to get laid." Yes sir, males are now slackers and Namby Pambies and Mamsy Pamsies. You have no motivation, your fingers are stained by Cheetohs, but you can pull off headshots on Call of Duty like a champ.
I call foul.
While it makes for an interesting read, rising the emotions of a populace wont to buy into societal destruction at the hands of laziness, it’s not happening. Males have been just as lazy for the last four thousand years. This thing is not escalating. We are at baseline and we will continue to be at baseline for the foreseeable future. Our fortunes are not waning because of the evils of smartphones in our pockets.
Dr. Zimbardo cites as evidence of this decline that "Hollywood has caught on" making movies out of guys that "appear to be tragically hopeless." Couple points of contention.
One. Despite their shortcomings, the Hollywood goon balls do manage to scramble in movies like the recent Avengers movie where men have superpowers, are super-geniuses, and routinely can be found saving the world from certain doom. What about those? Do they not count? Avengers actually made money. Knocked Up and Failure to Launch made nothing and were systematically scorned by critics and moviegoers alike.
Two. OD-a-week Hollywood is hardly the authority on the state of societal norms. If we want to know the latest and greatest drugs, we’ll ask Hollywood. If we want real, meaningful, peer-reviewed research, citing Hollywood as your resource
lends as much credibility as asking a pack of wolves to howl to a psychic who will then interpret the results in a pool of chicken blood.
Who receives Dr. Zimbardo’s blame? The rise of technology.
Technology creates the comforts and longevity of life that we enjoy today. It enables us to better stay in touch with friends and family members that previously would have been relegated to memory. Technology serves us and satiates our imagination in ways that sometimes we don’t always understand, but must continue to progress because it enables the progression of our race and brings us closer to the pursuit of happiness.
Increasingly widening variety of stimuli - sponsored by our good friend technology - is contributing to the Flynn Effect, or the
methodical increase in IQ by 10 points per new generation. While indeed tech serves as a vice to some, it is those same who would have found a vice in spite of whatever era they happened to be born into. Would the same slacker of today be a whiskey guzzling outlaw 100 years ago?
Another wise guy made a similar error to Dr. Zimbardo’s nearly 2,500 years ago. Of the demise of children of the day it was said:
"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."
And the world didn’t end.
Pursuit of Happiness
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