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Thread: Is it just me or has Generation X ceased to exist?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Also, the current younger generations have more ability to publicly indulge their narcissism, so it's drawn to the attention of older people more frequently. The phenomenon of taking a posed selfie with your back to the beautiful view / exotic animal simply cries out public narcissism, whereas my generation was restricted to combing our hair a lot.

    I'm often moved, almost to tears, by the photographs of missing or murdered teenagers that appear on the news nowadays. It was bad enough when they were blurry scans cropped out of a snapshot of a family event. But now they all seem to have the same carefully cultivated head-tilt, dropped-jaw, raised-eyebrow, sideways-glance thing going on, which feels utterly wrong for a news item - like an intrusion into their private hopes and curated self-image.

    Grant Hutchison
    Momma don't take my Kodachrome awayyyyy!
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    The selfie is about as old as photography, though. Some of the first photographs of humans we have are self-portraits.
    The difference, of course, is that modern selfies don't require nearly so much money, time and expertise to produce and distribute. The opportunity for teenagers, en masse, to take multiple self-portraits in a single day, and then quickly share the best of them with a wide circle of acquaintances, is a thoroughly modern phenomenon.

    Today, coincidentally, I happened on a young man who was standing at the roadside with his back to a large red deer stag, a mere six feet behind him, in order to take a selfie. The stag is admittedly habituated to humans (known locally as Calum, in fact), but it's certainly a strange madness that compels people to turn their backs on large nearby wild animals with huge spikes on their heads.

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Momma don't take my Kodachrome awayyyyy!
    Well, that seems to be directed at me, but I'm at a loss how to respond.

    Grant Hutchison

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Well, that seems to be directed at me, but I'm at a loss how to respond.

    Grant Hutchison
    Are you familiar with the song ?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Are you familiar with the song ?
    Probably not, and I'm not familiar with it either, though I just found out it's by Paul Simon. I'm not sure how it relates to Grant's post though.

    Going back to the thread, though, I also remember, but in a slightly different context, a passage in a book called The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher (I think), where he quotes a bunch of people as saying language was much better xx many years earlier, and that now it was degenerating, and he goes back as far as Virgil (I think) saying that people in his time did not speak Latin well like people used to. And he makes the funny observation that, with all this decay, "It's surprising we can speak in more than grunts today."
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I'm not sure how it relates to Grant's post though.
    Because it was about a time when popular culture was given a mass means of documenting themselves and their lives.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Because it was about a time when popular culture was given a mass means of documenting themselves and their lives.
    I don't think Kodachrome did that. People had been taking photos in black and white for years. Many ignored the advent of colour film in general because of the processing complexity, and disdained Kodachrome in particular because of its horrible oversaturated palette.
    The restrictions of physical film still applied, in even greater force - you still had a limited number of shots you could take, you still couldn't examine the result immediately, you still had a fixed ISO in your camera at any given moment, you still had to pay to make physical copies of images you liked, camera equipment was still expensive and delicate. In addition, the fact that someone else did the processing meant that photographers had less control over the final results of their efforts.

    Grant Hutchison

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I don't think Kodachrome did that. People had been taking photos in black and white for years. Many ignored the advent of colour film in general because of the processing complexity, and disdained Kodachrome in particular because of its horrible oversaturated palette.
    The restrictions of physical film still applied, in even greater force - you still had a limited number of shots you could take, you still couldn't examine the result immediately, you still had a fixed ISO in your camera at any given moment, you still had to pay to make physical copies of images you liked, camera equipment was still expensive and delicate. In addition, the fact that someone else did the processing meant that photographers had less control over the final results of their efforts.

    Grant Hutchison
    In the US the advent of cheap cameras resulted in a flood of pics. I'd wager most families have boxes of old photos, the bulk dating from that time period and the following decade.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    In the US the advent of cheap cameras resulted in a flood of pics. I'd wager most families have boxes of old photos, the bulk dating from that time period and the following decade.
    Kodachrome wasn't a cheap camera, though. It was an expensive film.

    Grant Hutchison

  10. #40
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    The point, which seems quite clear to me, is that every advance in media options has included an advance in how it gets used. Yes, plenty of people (Millennials aren't teenagers anymore, and the person on my feed who posts the most selfies is older than I am) spend a lot of time and effort on selfies. But of course they do! They can.
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    The point, which seems quite clear to me, is that every advance in media options has included an advance in how it gets used. Yes, plenty of people (Millennials aren't teenagers anymore, and the person on my feed who posts the most selfies is older than I am) spend a lot of time and effort on selfies. But of course they do! They can.
    Yes, that's exactly the point I believed I was making, and I thought pretty clearly. I still don't really understand why making that point seemed to immediately embroil me in a discussion of the history of photography and the lyrics of Paul Simon. (Who, by the way, I'm pretty sure was very much not writing about photography when he wrote "Kodachrome".)

    Grant Hutchison

  12. #42
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    At the 9/11 Memorial Museum, they have a video taken by a visitor of a ride all the way up in an elevator at the original World Trade Center. My younger brother J. said “They made a video of riding in an elevator?” and I said “You take videos of yourself doing things way more ridiculous than that!”

    If you had a camcorder on vacation and you were at what was (very likely, if the video was taken before 1998) the second-tallest building in the world, why wouldn’t you take a video of the elevator ride up to the top? That impulse didn’t start with cameraphones!
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    At the 9/11 Memorial Museum, they have a video taken by a visitor of a ride all the way up in an elevator at the original World Trade Center. My younger brother J. said “They made a video of riding in an elevator?” and I said “You take videos of yourself doing things way more ridiculous than that!”

    If you had a camcorder on vacation and you were at what was (very likely, if the video was taken before 1998) the second-tallest building in the world, why wouldn’t you take a video of the elevator ride up to the top? That impulse didn’t start with cameraphones!
    Heck, the impulse didn't even start with digital media. My inlaws had tons of 8 mm film they shot on vacation or at various family events in the 50s and 60s, only a little of which we have transferred to digital media.
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Heck, the impulse didn't even start with digital media. My inlaws had tons of 8 mm film they shot on vacation or at various family events in the 50s and 60s, only a little of which we have transferred to digital media.
    My grandparents, it turned out long after they were dead, filmed their return from India via Aden, the Suez Canal and Malta, back in around 1930. Oddly, they expressed no further interest in movie-making, and we never knew about this piece of film until the cannister was discovered in the attic of a deceased aunt, in the early 2000s.
    But I do think it requires a certain ... ahem ... subspecialist interest to make someone record the inside of an elevator, even a moving elevator in a tall building.

    Grant Hutchison

  15. #45
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    "Generation X", it seems to me, was kind of an artificial construct created to give a label to those after the Boomers, of which I am one. Thing is, the post WWII baby boom was a real demographic phenomenon. There were, and are, lots of us. We (and our parents) created an unusual demand for housing, schools, and eventually jobs. Once the boom subsided, people felt the need to label those who came after. And before, as in Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation".
    Now, GenX'ers have settled down into adult life. They aren't gone, just normal.
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  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Yes, that's exactly the point I believed I was making, and I thought pretty clearly. I still don't really understand why making that point seemed to immediately embroil me in a discussion of the history of photography and the lyrics of Paul Simon. (Who, by the way, I'm pretty sure was very much not writing about photography when he wrote "Kodachrome".)

    Grant Hutchison
    It was just an idle, throwaway remark until I was asked to explain it and it got turned into a thing. It was the first thing I thought of when I read the post.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  17. #47
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    I think Gen-X is also an acknowledgement that we're not like our parents. (Well, my parents are/were Silents, but never mind.) We don't have the same cultural markers, the same shared memories, the same social and political pressures. I'd say our two biggest cultural memories, or were for our formative years, are the Challenger explosion and the death of Kurt Cobain. We're the generation that remembers learning about AIDS, mostly as children. We're the generation who were first really drilled in Stranger Danger and consequently became the paranoid parents of the next generation. We have a lot of differences from the Boomers, even if we're not the same demographic "oh, wow, everyone's having kids" phenomenon and even if a lot of what made us different trickled down to the generations after us.
    _____________________________________________
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    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    It was just an idle, throwaway remark until I was asked to explain it and it got turned into a thing.
    My apologies. If people say stuff I don't understand, I generally just ignore it. But if people quote me and then say stuff I don't understand, I try to get an explanation. And if I don't understand the explanation, I try for another explanation, because I assume there's something there I was intended to understand. If you're happy with me not understanding, then that's fine. Life is short.

    Grant Hutchison

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I think Gen-X is also an acknowledgement that we're not like our parents. (Well, my parents are/were Silents, but never mind.) We don't have the same cultural markers, the same shared memories, the same social and political pressures. I'd say our two biggest cultural memories, or were for our formative years, are the Challenger explosion and the death of Kurt Cobain. We're the generation that remembers learning about AIDS, mostly as children. We're the generation who were first really drilled in Stranger Danger and consequently became the paranoid parents of the next generation. We have a lot of differences from the Boomers, even if we're not the same demographic "oh, wow, everyone's having kids" phenomenon and even if a lot of what made us different trickled down to the generations after us.
    My two biggest "I remember where I was when...." were the Challenger explosion and when (NBA great) Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV+, so very much in line with what you wrote. Cobain died just before I went to college, so I was in transition between two different peer groups, and I was never a Nirvana fan.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    It seems fitting that a generation named for nothing would eventually fade into nothing after accomplishing very little apart from post-ironic art.
    Accomplished nothing?

    You obviously didnít listen to the music industry for 30 years, the movies, the X Games, the Internet boom, the IT boom as a whole and now artificial intelligence.

    90% of Boomers and Millennials either donít understand technology or donít contribute to the open source community...

    Also the Boomers want to die in their pride and the Millennials are completely brainwashed with things that have no value.


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  21. #51
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    I’ll let the boomers on here answer the first part of that and ask why you think I’m brainwashed by things that have no value.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroesí wings we fly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Iíll let the boomers on here answer the first part of that and ask why you think Iím brainwashed by things that have no value.
    I did live in Pacific Beach, CA and I did interact with Millennials a lot but they all follow the mainstream and do not think outside the box or seek traditions at all. That applies to martial arts, arts, science, history, politics, etc.

    My best advice is: be careful and build your own system of values because we are in a non-valuable psychological war (head games) these days!


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  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by philippeb8 View Post
    Accomplished nothing?

    You obviously didn’t listen to the music industry for 30 years, the movies, the X Games, the Internet boom, the IT boom as a whole and now artificial intelligence.

    90% of Boomers and Millennials either don’t understand technology or don’t contribute to the open source community...

    Also the Boomers want to die in their pride and the Millennials are completely brainwashed with things that have no value.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I am an early boomer, but I am embracing today's information technology. Sometimes I wish I had a child around to help me learn how to use it better

    Some of my "I remember where I was when...

    Assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and the attempt on President Reagan.
    News of Apollo 1 fire.
    Challenger explosion.
    News of Columbia reentry disaster.
    9/11 attacks.

    Please don't lump us into a monolithic stereotype.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Please don't lump us into a monolithic stereotype.
    I do not want to generalize and thatís why I added the ď90%Ē adjective... There are always exceptions of course.


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  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by philippeb8 View Post
    I do not want to generalize and that’s why I added the “90%” adjective... There are always exceptions of course.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Do you have a source for that 90%? I see plenty of fellow older boomers using smart phones and laptops effectively.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Do you have a source for that 90%? I see plenty of fellow older boomers using smart phones and laptops effectively.
    I was referring to those who program these devices. Using them should be easy and thatís the goal if you want to make profit.


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    Quote Originally Posted by philippeb8 View Post
    My best advice is: be careful and build your own system of values because we are in a non-valuable psychological war (head games) these days!
    Anyway I do not wish to start a debate but just stick to my advice.


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  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by philippeb8 View Post
    Accomplished nothing?

    You obviously didn’t listen to the music industry for 30 years, the movies, the X Games, the Internet boom, the IT boom as a whole and now artificial intelligence.

    90% of Boomers and Millennials either don’t understand technology or don’t contribute to the open source community...

    Also the Boomers want to die in their pride and the Millennials are completely brainwashed with things that have no value.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah, there's something wrong with every generation except my own, and we're just great - we pretty much set the standard for normality and rectitude.

    I hear that a lot. Curiously enough, from people of all ages.

    Grant Hutchison

    ETA: If you want me to show you how to turn off that "Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk" advertisement you've been tricked into distributing (by some stalwart Gen X programmer, no doubt) I can show you how.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philippeb8 View Post
    90% of Boomers and Millennials either don’t understand technology or don’t contribute to the open source community...
    Depending how you define "understand" it could be much less than 10% who understand technology. But I imagine the proportion is similar in all generations.

    You do realise it was the boomer generation that invented the concept of open source?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Depending how you define "understand" it could be much less than 10% who understand technology. But I imagine the proportion is similar in all generations.

    You do realise it was the boomer generation that invented the concept of open source?
    Good point. Stallman invented the Free Software Foundation and consequently the POSIX standards and my appreciations for that.

    But please look at how the code these days is a lot more complicated:
    https://github.com/boostorg
    https://github.com/llvm-mirror/clang

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