Thursday, March 8, 2007

So I made a joke to my subaltern about people freezing up in New York. Attributed it to global warming. He looked at me odd, because I've pretty much established to him that I am not of the faith.

A heathen, of sorts, clinging as I do to hearth and home.

So I asked him had he read Crichton's article on Complexity. Oh geez.

No, he hadn't read it, and no he didn't want to read it, and Crichton is not an environmentalist and yes he's a scientist but no he's not the right kind of scientist, so.....

Blah, blah, blah.

So then I started telling him about control, and how I saw the current crop of grendels motivated mainly by control issues. Look, I don't know why people want control, but I do know there are plenty of people out there who want control. Money, power, nice table at Spago's?

I told him to read Crichton's article on complexity, and report back to me next week, with a page, page and half summation. I linked effects based operations and complexity theory as part of my "justification."

Control. I got it, I use it.

But in the course of the conversation, I got an interesting look under the hood of what passes for contemporary thought. Me, I'm GENX, kind of on the bleeding edge. There but for the grace of God, I could have been a boomer. The subaltern is firmly in the GENY cohort.

I was raised by Boomers still getting their act together. He was raised by Boomers (they breedth slow but long) with an already established "narrative."

So we had had a wide ranging conversation on the impact of DDT on the endangered species act and how polar bears, at least those in the Alaskan Arctic circle and global warming. The subaltern is an odd mix of blood and soil and internationalism. Or he could have just been flailing for arguments.

I told him it was odd that Vice President Gore talked green, but heated his house with a kajillion kilowatts a week. Whereas President Bush basically lived the green dream.

Then I asked him something I thought was basic. What mattered more, intentions or methods and outcomes. For him, it was intentions. Not even bromides about the road to hell, and whatnot, could sway the kid. He also thought of government as a force for good. Wow.

When I reflect on culture, I sometimes think we're like Scott Adam's "Moist Robots." The degree to which we're programmed by designed, shared cultural beliefs is amazing. Unless and until you cut the cable keeping you a little coppertop, it all seems so natural.

Back in the Day, it was big business, military and Ike. Today Co-ops, diplomacy and Al. Still the same little coppertop.

I keep returning to David Brook's "Bobo's in Paradise" book. In it, he described how the meritocrats shoved aside the WASP dominant culture and established themselves as the Prime Culture. Largely, I agreed it was good idea.

But today, we're witnessing the end of that idea. And the end of The Meritocracy, as currently defined. As the WASP became arrogant and sloppy in thinking, so to do the Meritocrats. Overly invested in "Education" and less interested in learning, the Meritocrats are ending as the prime mover in our culture. Used to be, the Dan Rathers could defaecate on a plate and present it as Noos.

Times change.

Just a the WASP still hang around (James Baker Must Eat!!!) so too will the meritocrats.

But something will stand up, and displace them. My monies on the final shove coming from GENY.

That's why I like talking to the little mushheads.


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