Evolution is all about adaptation. A species gets better and better at exploiting its environment over time. If the environment suddenly changes, the species may not be able to adapt quickly enough to survive. Ice ages are a good example. Or droughts. Humans are unique in that we can change our environment by design. What makes us even more unique is we are our environment. Culture works on humans in the same way nature works on all species.
It’s a big complicated subject which is why progressives have decided evolution stopped in 1968. That way they don’t have to struggle to get their head around the recursive relationship between man and nature. They can just put the white hat on nature and the black hat on man. Complicated things like science are bad for ideology.
It also leaves more time for the war on the PPP, but that’s a subject for another day. The topic for now is how we as modern humans have changed our environment. Specifically, the creation and dominance of mass media. Modern America is marinated in mass media. Everyone’s opinion on everything is controlled by the magic boxes in their life, TV, PC and mobile phone.
Because no one wants to look at old hags, TV is dominated by young hyper-attractive people. Most of whom are as dumb as a goldfish, but they can read from a teleprompter without moving their eyes. The job is to grab and keep the viewer’s attention. Similarly, the Interwebs is run by the young and those who pretend to be young. Therefore the language is geared for a high school level viewer. Again, it’s about getting and holding the attention of the people.
The problem, of course is that you end up with former mall cops pretending to be experts. They are interviewed by guys like Brian Williams, who are lost in a fantasy world and probably in need of psychiatric help. From the perspective of TV, it makes no difference if the opinions and experts are batshit crazy, just as long as they get and keep an audience. MSNBC had a nice run with this model.
This may not seem like a thing until you consider that public opinion is set by mass media. Handsome popular goldfish says something wacky on TV and it rattles through the sea of megaphones we call the media. Rather quickly, people are walking around convinced that biology is a social construct or that women should be allowed to vote.
In fact, there is a bias toward the stupid and against the correct answers. Here’s a good example I saw in Tyler Cowen’s site today.
A decade ago, when the golf course was a de facto playground for the professional set and a young Californian named Tiger Woods was the world’s best player, golf looked like an unassailable national undertaking, and corporate players were champing at the bit to get in.
But the business behind one of America’s most slow-going, expensive and old-fashioned pastimes has rapidly begun to fall apart. TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, the world’s biggest maker of golf clubs and clothes, saw sales nosedive 28 percent last year, its parent company Adidas said Thursday.
“A decline in the number of active players … caused immense problems in the entire industry, and as a market leader, this hit us particularly hard,” Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer said on a call with analysts.
The sporting-goods giant has taken “some painful measures to restructure and stabilize” its golf division, Hainer said, including listing its slow-selling golf gear at deep discounts and postponing new launches. The coming years, Hainer had previously warned, present even more “significant negative headwinds” for the game.
It’s been years since the increasingly unpopular sport of golf plunked into the rough, and the industry now is realizing that it may not be able to ever get out. All the qualities that once made it so elite and exclusive are, analysts say, now playing against it.
The game — with its drivers, clubs, shoes and tee times — is expensive both to prepare for and to play. It’s difficult, dissuading amateurs from giving it a swing, and time-consuming, limiting how much fans can play. Even what loyalists would say are strengths — its simplicity, its traditionalism — can seem overly austere in an age of fitness classes, extreme races and iPhone games.
What you see here is common in our media. They take what is a boring industry story and lard it with their favorite crackpot theories to make it more interesting to readers. The real answer for golf’s decline to its traditional place in the culture is white people are getting old. Golf has always been a sport for middle-aged white guys. When the boomers were in their peak golf years, golf peaked. Now that boomers are aging out of golf, golf is declining.
This is a boring answer, but the right one. Golf is a sport you pick up in your middle years. You spend money on gear, lessons and trips. By the time you hit 60 you’re starting to slow down. You still play, but you no longer spend money on the latest clubs. Instead of golf trips around the country, you play courses near home. Of course, many golfers past 60 give up the game because they are dead.
The American baby boom ran from roughly 1945 -1964. That means the front end is now 70 and the tail end is 50, with the bulk in the 60 range. In other words, if you were at the Summer of Love or Woodstock, you’re spending more on your prostate than your golf game.
That’s a boring answer so the chattering skulls in the media will trot out their favorite fantasies about social trends. The result here and everywhere is a public walking around with crazy ideas in their heads. Take a look around and it is hard to see anyone under the age of 50 not attached to a media consumption device, getting instruction from the chattering skulls. It has to have an impact.
I wonder if humans can adapt quickly enough to thrive in this world. I get the sense we are in the hot soak period of the technology age. When you shut your car off, the engine actually gets hotter for a few minutes before rapidly cooling down to air temperature. That’s what’s happening with modern societies. Technology is advancing, but the ending has been shut off.
Humans evolved for 200,000 years for a world of face to face communication. Therefore, we got good at it. It took a long time to get good at it. We have had no time to adapt to a world of megaphones blasting nonsense at us. Maybe homo sap is just reverting to a natural norm. For most of settlement, a small number of smart people ran societies of illiterate morons. Perhaps the future is the past.