Why do Gen Z and Millennials not engage with the past so much?

Harbinger of Kali Yuga

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In past generations, you'd have thinkers and philosophers quote the Greek and Roman greats, or playrights, poets, thinkers, so on. You had people reading a wealth of philosophy and history to understand how we got to the ever-present "NOW" from the "THEN." But now Millennials... they don't seem to care much about what happened before their lifetime. They know about WWII, have a vague understanding of the Vietnam war, probably don't even know the Korean war was a thing, and just sort of live in an eternal childhood where their interests are the exact same as they were when they were kids. Grown "men" are playing pokemon and watching anime no less when they were 16 years old, and the content they consume is largely the same quality.

I think since the 80s we've been massively going downhill in most popular forms of music. Movies today are worse than they've ever been, and the literature world is now dominated by the same socially-conscious messages that are repeated ad nauseum despite never containing or saying anything new, or even offering any new insights, just recontextualizing things into the worst and least charitable form of oppression, endlessly.

The best you sometimes get is some nerd that tries to resurrect "natural law" because they have a hard on for Enlightenment-era thinking and think philosophy ended where their high school education left off.
 

Black Light Red Panic

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Almost none of us here are "Boomers" and the OK Boomer meme is Millennial shit blaming other people for spending all their money on Funko pops and Marvel merch. Millennials refuse to grow up. Not all of us want to wear Rick and Morty graphic T shirts as adults.

It's always amusing seeing Millennials bitch about how hard they have it when I know exactly what their spending habits are.
Ok boomer
 

Manul Otocolobus

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I am a lot more concerned about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, climate change disasters, future pandemics, and the dystopian reality we live in than those who came before me thought about.
That's a good point. I think younger people (defined in this instances as younger Millennials, and Zoomers, since I am a Millennial myself) are more future facing then being concerned about the past. Although, as we all know, those ignorant of the past are doomed to repeat it, so a healthy respect and understand of the past is important.
 

Harbinger of Kali Yuga

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That's a good point. I think younger people (defined in this instances as younger Millennials, and Zoomers, since I am a Millennial myself) are more future facing then being concerned about the past. Although, as we all know, those ignorant of the past are doomed to repeat it, so a healthy respect and understand of the past is important.
What's the point of worrying about survival when our culture and reasons for living are near non-existent? Everything is infantile shit. The weebs are pleased with how things turned out, but everyone else...
 

Anti-Intellectual

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OP: I think you need some friends who aren't facile, jabbering idiots invested in the [current year] gobbledygook.

I have a close circle of friends who can discuss politics, history, literature, philosophy, and popular media without feeling deprived of stimulation in everyday life. You could make that your goal, and don't let your projections (to be fair they're accurate) become an obstacle towards it. There are genuinely interesting people IRL, it just takes extra effort to find them.
 

Travoltron

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I'm on that weird border between Gen X and Millennials. Sometimes I feel like I got the worst of both worlds.

I was ignorant when I was young, but at least I felt shame about it.

The only incident I can remember clearly was when I was making some statement about how groundbreaking "The Simpsons" was and how it was the first prime-time animated program. An older person somewhat brusquely informed me that, NO IT WASN'T the first, that The Flintstones had already done it back in 1960. I remember feeling like such a moron for running my mouth without knowing the facts.

These younger people seem to be proud to be ignorant. They don't want to learn. They want to proclaim how "their" media is so groundbreaking, when the truth is these barriers were already broken long before they were born. If you try to educate them, they try to shut you down with "____splaining" or "OK Boomer". (Again, it's ignorance to think everyone older than them are Baby Boomers, but they don't care.)
 

What the shit

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I'm on that weird border between Gen X and Millennials. Sometimes I feel like I got the worst of both worlds.

I was ignorant when I was young, but at least I felt shame about it.

The only incident I can remember clearly was when I was making some statement about how groundbreaking "The Simpsons" was and how it was the first prime-time animated program. An older person somewhat brusquely informed me that, NO IT WASN'T the first, that The Flintstones had already done it back in 1960. I remember feeling like such a moron for running my mouth without knowing the facts.

These younger people seem to be proud to be ignorant. They don't want to learn. They want to proclaim how "their" media is so groundbreaking, when the truth is these barriers were already broken long before they were born. If you try to educate them, they try to shut you down with "____splaining" or "OK Boomer". (Again, it's ignorance to think everyone older than them are Baby Boomers, but they don't care.)
Or maybe, they just grew up with their own culture and they feel no need to learn the past, just how older generations call the current culture retarded and how it doesn't make sense.
 

Harbinger of Kali Yuga

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This thread would have gone better if I had just cleverly disguised my intentions by saying "genderqueer weebs" instead of "Gen Z and millennials"
 

Screamer

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It's why they're easily able to be manipulated in assuming everyone before their generation were racist Nazi's. They know nothing about what came before.

My generation grew up watching TV shows and films from previous decades. It was old, but it gave you a connection to the past.

You'd read books or be read books from the past. People like yourself are in a different time going on adventures and having stories.

It built a connection to previous generations.

Now everything has to be for the moment. Current era. So there's no connection being built to the culture and past. They're attention spans are too short to even bother giving a lock. They don't want to. They're also bombarded with the notion that everything not current era is wrong.

It's why they don't understand anything about history, race or civil rights. It's why they think up until their generation, everyone was a white supremecist. Looking at history, seeing it's complicated challenges the ideologies they've been indoctrinated in. So they get emotional reactions when they engage with anything that isn't current era agenda and politics.

They're instructed nothing is of value unless it is. It shouldn't be consumed.
 

Harbinger of Kali Yuga

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It's why they're easily able to be manipulated in assuming everyone before their generation were racist Nazi's. They know nothing about what came before.

My generation grew up watching TV shows and films from previous decades. It was old, but it gave you a connection to the past.

You'd read books or be read books from the past. People like yourself are in a different time going on adventures and having stories.

It built a connection to previous generations.

Now everything has to be for the moment. Current era. So there's no connection being built to the culture and past. They're attention spans are too short to even bother giving a lock. They don't want to. They're also bombarded with the notion that everything not current era is wrong.

It's why they don't understand anything about history, race or civil rights. It's why they think up until their generation, everyone was a white supremecist. Looking at history, seeing it's complicated challenges the ideologies they've been indoctrinated in. So they get emotional reactions when they engage with anything that isn't current era agenda and politics.

They're instructed nothing is of value unless it is. It shouldn't be consumed.
I concentrate on music a lot, since I like a lot of alternative music and all the good stuff is from the 80s and prior (mostly). Gen Xers and Boomers, without the internet, still listened to things from prior generations. Not so true with Millennials and Gen Z. To these generations, classic rock is Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin, and Fleetwood Mac.

But you raise a good point, and it's a huge part of my worries--the newer generations are incredibly easy to propagandize too because of their ignorance. They legit believe Trump is a nazi and fascist. If you try to argue with them... just, whoa, the stupidity they spew out, you realize you can't even begin to dialogue with them because they're essentially a cultist.

Absolutely agreed on the ever-present NOW. This is a horrible hell, nothing designed for staying power. An era that will be blown away in the wind and forgotten. What a terrible time to be youth and actually curious.

You can see this with just how consumeristic the social justice milieu is. Their spotifly playlists are last three years Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X. Despite being anticapitalist they are the most attentive to present trends, both in cheap fashions and toys. Marvel, Marvel, Marvel.
 

Harbinger of Kali Yuga

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Another thing that worries me that nobody thinks about is the deemphasis on the empiricism vs. rationalism debate that raged on for, well, pretty much since Plato and Aristotle. We don't discuss this anymore, and this worries me, as Science now seems to be becoming an institution and not just a method, and we see the "party of science" people using magic gemstones, astrology, tarot cards, alternative medicines, etc, and blaming the right solely for rejecting science based solely on climate change and the vaccine.
 

AbyssStarer

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"EvErYhInG GoT WoRsE SiNcE tHe 80'Z"
Holy shit, people need to stop nostalgiafagging for the 80's so hard. Every generation has had corruption and clownery to the point it seemed like the world is ending. Now that everybody's dumb ass is plugged into the Internetz all the time the bad things get hyperfocused because that's how (((they))) get you. Stop wallowing in what you see as all the insurmountable problems of the world and live your gay ass life while blasting whatever garbage fucking generic dadrock it is you like.
 

Screamer

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Another thing that worries me that nobody thinks about is the deemphasis on the empiricism vs. rationalism debate that raged on for, well, pretty much since Plato and Aristotle. We don't discuss this anymore, and this worries me, as Science now seems to be becoming an institution and not just a method, and we see the "party of science" people using magic gemstones, astrology, tarot cards, alternative medicines, etc, and blaming the right solely for rejecting science based solely on climate change and the vaccine.

It's probably an end result of being able to look up facts on the internet. You don't figure anything out yourself. You just regurgitate when you read. Made worse with algorithmic echo-chambers and bubbles.

It is complex though. The whole, "party of science" shit did come about in large part because of science denial over issues like climate change. The problem is, where we are now is not where we were 15 years ago. Now we have so many people that look online and glance at any opinion of fact as to what to know. Not what to think, there is no thinking. The same way one may look up the date of a historical event on Wikipedia. Then assume that is 100% correct. People look up opinions and world views. Uncritically assume that is what they must know.

I find it insane, I am a generation half in / half out of this change. I know so many people who are passionate about issues, yet know fuck all about them. They know literally nothing besides what opinion to have and be passionate about.