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The Cost Of Teenage Optimism (via David Zahl at Mockingbird)

A post by David Zahl dealing with the implications of a social science report that finds that tries to engage with optimistic teens turning into disillusioned 30 somethings.
From the report itself:

The researchers can only speculate about why getting older is less fun than ever, but it seems the downturn in happiness among today’s thirtysomethings is the lasting effect of an overly optimistic youth, Twenge said. “This is something I’ve thought about for a while,” she told Science of Us. It’s the natural, if unintended, backfiring of a childhood filled with messages like, You can be anything you want to be!
Soaring expectations, if left unmet, can lead to crushing disappointment; this is the kind of common-sense statement that happens to also be backed up by a raft of psychological research…

From Zahl’s reflections:

When we embrace an inflated anthropology, we set ourselves up for disappointment and confusion, rather than wonder or compassion. For example, a vaunted view of ourselves all but dictates how we will respond to the horrific events that transpired in Paris last week. Empathy is too frightening for what it might say about us, and so we demonize. We classify the perpetrators as completely other–bad as opposed to good, savage as opposed to enlightened, victimizers as opposed to victims–which only furthers the same dehumanization that makes such acts possible in the first place. Perhaps that’s too close to the bone.

Read the whole post at Mockingbird.


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The Growth Of The American Home

This post tracks the growth in size of homes in the USA over the last forty years, identifying that homes are now 56% larger than those of four decades ago. It uses a cute video to do so.
It’s probably the same here in Australia, or even more so.
All new homes here seem to have ensuite master bedrooms and most would have either a fourth bedroom or another living space. The forty-year mark was about when open plan design came to popularity as well, making for larger open spaces.
Of contrasting interest would be a study of how much time people spend in these larger homes.
My guess is probably less.
Go here and check it out.
This copy of the video may not last long, but if it does you can watch it here.