“I feel I change my mind all the time. And I sort of feel that’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being – to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.”
The motif of the young displacing the old is common in mythology. Many civilizations founded themselves on the premise of being successors of divine law. The stories worked to legitimize customs and practices, giving them backing from higher powers and emphasizing the absence of less-savory ways.
The advent of globalization and worldwide interconnectivity has actualized this design beyond the triviality of mortality into the realm of sociability. No longer does modernized humanity need to worry about their mere survival when the preoccupations of lifestyle and reputation triumph our purpose. But, just as the threat of extinction forever looms with each evolutionary iteration, so does the danger of increasingly irrelevant thought. With technology progressing at an exponential rate, our attitudes change accordingly: not directionally, but dynamically. The introduction of each new convenience and critical innovation reshapes our perspective. In this symbiotic relationship between technological development and purposeful advancement, the ever-continuing chain of questions and answers feed into one another, governed by immediate concerns hoping to collectively resolve larger issues.
Problems arise when members of society fail to keep up. Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” was the polished way of saying the weak are more death-prone. Modern social groups are already plagued by stratification along socioeconomic and ideological lines, but the dangers of generational gaps has the potential to passively alienate entire sections of the population by mere virtue of age, and consequentially cultural distancing. The bounds of these groups are thickened by aggressive moral transformations and inner-circle defensiveness. Traditions once held as communal cornerstones stray into the peripherals of progress. The threat of becoming unrelatable closes in on those who refuse to adapt to the new standards. As the fear of progress manifests itself as embracing conservativeness, ceding obstinacy is necessary. Lacking empathy and the refusal to observe opposing thought (regardless of orientation) functions as persistence in stagnancy.
The struggle for power, preservation of dignity, and satisfaction of the most baseline instinctual needs remain constant, but the means by how these ends are met change. The only route for any individual’s continuance is through a constant learning process of the superficial: of rhetoric, of aesthetic, and of character. The road to social salvation is nested in the refinement of methodology.
It doesn’t matter. I don’t really care. I don’t even want to be alive by 35.