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  1. #1

    Default Has Society Become Softer

    I personally am a firm believer that on average, as time goes on, society becomes softer. As it has always been mentioned forever before Grandma Gatewood used a shower curtain. And Earl Schaffer carried a 1930's rucksack. This is a sample of 2 people compared to the tens of thousands that do it the "normal" way. Other examples could be the barefoot sisters, the Blind Hiker Trevor Thomas as well as Bill Erwin...All obviously pretty tough folks.

    Thoughts?
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    Default

    Wait a minute, let me get the popcorn started.
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    Default

    Definitely softer. As an example, I notice a trend for Cookeville, Tennessee "hikers" to spend a lot of time indoors at keyboards, instead of out skinning squirrels and slopping hogs for food and clothing nor sleeping in the woods under a buffalo skin in the dead of winter.

    Just pullin' yer lag, GM! ~wink~

    P.S. & BTW: I agree those you named seem pretty tough in my book, certainly tougher than I am.
    Last edited by Rain Man; 01-21-2019 at 13:01.
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    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Society got softer because the advances in technology made us softer. We don't ride horses for transportation anymore, nor do we burn wood in fireplaces to heat homes. (Yes, I know some people still ride horses for sport, leisure, etc and fireplaces are more a fashion statement in the modern home; although there are cabins that use it as a primary source, but those are small exceptions). And those examples are just the beginning. A book can be written about the advances in technology and what it has done to and for our society for the good and bad.

    I read an interesting series of books starting with the first book "Going Home" by A. American. It shows what could happen if technology would suddenly be rendered dead in our society. It is an interesting read, and I wonder if a lot of what is written would actually happen.

    Nevertheless, I don't think I ever want to go backward to what things were like 100 years ago and even further.
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    Default

    What's toughness? Resurrect Daniel Boone and dump him in the roughest part of Detroit or Chicago or _____.

    In the WhiteBlaze context we typically think of the challenges of the wilderness with woods and wild beasts. But if we re-define wilderness to mean an unfamiliar place full of dangerous conditions and entities, the things that a youth in some cities learns to deal with daily might be very challenging to ol' Dan'l.

    What's tougher? Enduring the taunts of a bully? The rejection of a lover? The loss of a loved one? Fleeing from war? Fighting cancer? Hard to answer!

    Are we soft? Well yeah. I mean when I grew up in Oklahoma we didn't have air conditioning. It was hot. My first few cars didn't have A/C. Those vinyl seats were hot. Nowadays EVERYONE has A/C (at least here in the South). And that's just one example.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Definitely softer. As an example, I notice a trend for Cookeville, Tennessee "hikers" to spend a lot of time indoors at keyboards, instead of out skinning squirrels and slopping hogs for food and clothing nor sleeping in the woods under a buffalo skin in the dead of winter.

    Just pullin' yer lag, GM! ~wink~
    yea Rainman Im getting old and fat, time to take up the rocking chair I guess....Have any pointers for me on how to cope with it??
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  7. #7

    Default

    Sure, it has gotten softer. My grandparents survived the depression. My parents dealt with the hardships of WW2 and its aftermath. Today, if a certain video game isn't available, the kids lose it.

  8. #8

    Default

    I have some pointers. You can either roll over and give up and die or take charge of your own destiny. Someone once said "Life is what you make of it" and Iv'e never heard that phrase challenged successfully in any way LOL.

  9. #9

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    The aftermath of WW2 in America was the Industrial Revolution. Jobs and construction of homes and buildings and farming and other hard labor intensive fields exploded into life. Many people then did not work cushy white collar jobs. We have gotten softer because as time went on a lot of those jobs dried up and disappeared.

    Also many young men and women don't want to have to work like that today. Also add in the poisoned junk offered for sale as food in this country easily found readily available everywhere, and the end results are less than satisfactory for our health.

  10. #10

    Default

    We're softer than our grandparents. They were softer than those who came 100 years before them...and so it continues backwards to the Stone Age...each generation has generally had it easier than the ones that came before it. As our knowledge evolves so does our ease of living because we create for ourselves a better life.

  11. #11

    Default

    It seems so.

    Is there greater evidence of these actions(fruits, character traits) - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    gentleness and self-control - or the antithesis?

    Individual perspectives are subjectively relevant but it seems IMHO there is decreasing evidence.

    Forbearance is a trait IMO were noticing a decrease. Most wouldn't even know what forbearance means to describe humanity. Forbearance - patient self control; restraint and tolerance. That might indicate something. Evolution of language, which includes what words are used, is a reflection of its society - what and how people are thinking.

    How about using the words lies, deceit, and integrity? Using those words results in defensiveness rather than honest soul searching introspection. All are decreasingly used as we water down language to make behavior more palatable. It's to make language less offensive, less effective, less forceful, weaker, so we can become less offended, less "discriminated" against, and less forced to recognize uncomfortable truths. It parallels a society becoming increasingly more easily offended, less truthful, and with a greater desire for comfort. It parallels a rise in the need for feelings(changing emotions) to be validated and be made to seem more important than truth or reality.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSp8IyaKCs0 George Carlin. Comedians careers are centered around the use of language and observing social norms.


    All of this indicates to me a society thinner skinned with less backbone, softer and capable of imploding on itself into social chaos.


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    Prosperity is a risk factor for getting softer.

    In fact, as we (as a society) eat more and exercise less, "prosperity has become a cause of death." (J. Eyer/R. Sapolsky)

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    Prosperity is a risk factor for getting softer.

    In fact, as we (as a society) eat more and exercise less, "prosperity has become a cause of death." (J. Eyer/R. Sapolsky)
    Wow...me a learned sumptin'.

  14. #14

    Default

    I have to agree that as a whole, we have grown softer. Yes, there are probably many exceptions to this statement, but I see too many people who freak out at the slightest inconvenience or won't pick up a tool to fix something because it is easier to go buy a new one. I know many people who wouldn't go camping for money, because of any number of reasons, mostly because its not sitting in front of the TV.

    I don't get out nearly as often as I should or would like, but I do go out and backpack enough to know how good we have it. The luxury items I wouldn't dream of leaving at home would be laughed at 30 years ago. I guess you could say I am softer, because I can't say for sure if I would enjoy backpacking nearly as much by using gear from another era.

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Default

    Itís already been said as far as Iím concerned. The fact that the trip was photographed with the equipment of the day is most amazing.
    A 300 mile winter trip through the Sierras.

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  16. #16

    Default

    Probably. Its a great thing because that means people have higher standards of living.

    Nobody would choose to go back to the days of Horace Kephart exploring the smokies and those who lived here. Why? Because it was a miserable existence of poverty constantly on the verge of starvation, wanton violence and early death due to completely curable conditions.

    Nostalgia about the past is dangerous.

  17. #17
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    Default Oh yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I personally am a firm believer that on average, as time goes on, society becomes softer. As it has always been mentioned forever before Grandma Gatewood used a shower curtain. And Earl Schaffer carried a 1930's rucksack. This is a sample of 2 people compared to the tens of thousands that do it the "normal" way. Other examples could be the barefoot sisters, the Blind Hiker Trevor Thomas as well as Bill Erwin...All obviously pretty tough folks.

    Thoughts?
    Yes, folks have absolutely gotten "softer"! I am 63, and and I don't know a single person younger than me who wants to do anything. They seem scared of their own shadow. Seem to be alarmed about ideas, even words.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocourse View Post
    Seem to be alarmed about ideas, even words.
    "Job"

    *deer in headlights look*

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    This has been a subject of consideration in my mind for some time, especially as I observe todays farmers and their methods compared to how we performed when I was growing up. I rarely see anyone actually "laboring" in the fields, even the hay harvest is mostly done by fat men operating machinery. Except for the Amish, that is.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FrogLevel View Post
    Probably. Its a great thing because that means people have higher standards of living.

    Nobody would choose to go back to the days of Horace Kephart exploring the smokies and those who lived here. Why? Because it was a miserable existence of poverty constantly on the verge of starvation, wanton violence and early death due to completely curable conditions.

    Nostalgia about the past is dangerous.
    Granted the good ole days were not always as good as nostalgically portrayed.


    Ignoring all the consequences, good and bad, of our individual and societal self validating behaviors are more dangerous.

    "Its a great thing because that means people have higher standards of living."

    Absolutely, not necessarily!

    This has to be more closely examined from a global perspective. Who gets to define a higher standard of living(HSOL) and the markers used to make those assessments are subjective. Often, SOL and prosperity is narrowly perceived in economically wealthier nations by comparing per capita income(money) and Gross National Product. The most commonly accepted theory, and a very compelling one if narrowly only positively perceived, is the higher per capita income the higher the SOL. HOWEVER, that is NOT the only way to define a HSOL and prosperity.

    It's the same when backpackers talk about their kits. We tend to perceive our gear, our ways as upright, positive, and laud them sometimes ignoring the negatives.

    HSOL is most often perceived as a positive. Indeed, there are many positives but the negatives are widely ignored. In the West and Western based societies, which we have been habituated, we base SOL and prosperity on the economy in terms of material wealth and production of goods and services only in regard to the financial economy. This leads to coveting material wealth, rampant consumerism, psychological issues on a societal level such as depression and anxiety, physical issues such as higher obesity and cardiovascular disease rates, ecological disasters, depletion of finite natural resources, higher crime rates in important societal impacting categories such as theft and financial crimes, devaluing of spiritual values, higher problematic face to face personal relationships, higher and greater numbers of ego centric satisfying attitudes,...

    These are some of the negatives ignored when we only see the world through our own beliefs, behavior, and values. These negatives are ignored virtually entirely in accounts of U.S. History as told from a pro U.S. perspective. Talk about societal and cultural propaganda!


    All the while we become less forbearing - less patient, self controlled, restrained, mindful and tolerant as a Nation - softer - more thin skinned.

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