• GENERATION ‘Z’ (aka THE APP GENERATION) are some 60 million kids born after 2000. Their distinguishing characteristic is ‘learning’ almost solely from technology, with “Google-fostered expectations that everything be instantaneous.” Academics, psychologists and marketers are focused on the fact that “this generation is growing up totally and utterly connected… without ability to tolerate even five seconds of boredom… and pressured by demands that come with maintaining several online identities (from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat)… Today’s youths are coming of age amid geopolitical turmoil and fears about the economy, while their schools emphasize a profound sensitivity to other kids… and as uberprotective Gen X parents, determined not to raise latchkey kids like themselves, are hovering and helping children digitally detox in screenless camps and Waldorf schools… This is the generation that will next define American Culture.”  [TIME – Dec 28,15]
  • AN INTERESTING, WELL-DOCUMENTED, AND SCARY PROPHECY FOR THE NEXT DECADE: “At the core of modern history lies a remarkable pattern. Over the past five centuries, Anglo-American society has entered a new era – a ‘Turning’ – every two decades or so, where people change how they feel about themselves, the culture, nation and future… Together the four Turnings span the length of a long human life (80 to 100 years) and comprise history’s seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy and destruction… (1) The 1st Turning is an upbeat era of institutions and weakening individualism, when a new civic order implants and the old values regime decays… In each prior period, Americans had recently achieved a stunning victory over a long-standing foreign threat which released a torrent of pessimism; (2) The 2nd Turning is an awakening, a passionate era of spiritual upheaval, when civic order comes under attack from a new values regime… as aggressive moralism darkens the debate about the country’s future and culture wars rage (over immigration, substance abuse, etc);  (3) The 3rd Turning is an unraveling, a downcast era of strengthening individualism and weakening institutions, when old civic order decays, with hostility toward the corruption of civic life – those who’d trusted the nation now growing old & dying while a new crop of young adults are without allegiance, all feeling as if they’re drifting toward a cataclysm; (4) The 4th Turning is a crisis – a decisive era of secular upheaval, when the values regime propels the replacement of old civic order with a new one.” Does stage 3 sound familiar – the very survival of the nation feeling at stake? Authors of this scenario suggest the likelihood that “sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression & WWII.”  Heavy reading!  [THE FOURTH TURNING – W.Strauss & N.Howe]
  • STATISTICS ARE ALWAYS IFFY, but multiple polls are relatively consistent in some interesting areas: (1) Over a quarter of the country believe that “God plays a role in deciding which sports team will win a game” and over half believe he “rewards athletes who have faith with good health & success”; (2) Over half “disapprove of recent Supreme Court actions… don’t like Obama’s handling of the economy or foreign policy… and think ‘ordinary Americans could do a better job than current elected officials… Over 85% have an ‘unfavorable’ opinion of Congress”; (3) Around two-thirds of the country believe “the nation is on the wrong track… the American Dream is broken… and that children will grow up to be worse off than their parents”; (4) Nearly three-quarters believe that “smart phones and other gadgets are making us lazy… ruining interpersonal communications… and have a negative effect on literacy; 44% think machines with artificial intelligence could wipe out the human race.”   [THE WEEK – Dec 25,15]

          “You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.”  

          “Here’s the problem with decision-making based on ‘averages’:  If you laid you on a bed with your head in a freezer and your feet in a furnace, on average you’d be feeling comfortable.”