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Is it just me or is the 21st century....rather boring?
#1
Now before you all exclaim whatttt!!!!??, allow me to explain. From my own observation of the 21st century, nothing really major seems to happen. There is always lots of speculation and arguments but whenever an event happens, it just...fizzles out and life goes on.

Take the coronavirus. As bad as it has been, there is a potential chance that life will just go on and things re open and everything is back to normal. Take 2008. Despite panicking and some problems, things just recovered. Same with Trump. Same with Brexit. Life...just went on.

It's not like the 20th century where every little event Les to something big down the line. The 21st seems to have these "events" that end up being a no game changer in the long run.

Hence why I am, from a rather historical and philosophical perspective, am content to label this the boring century. If I am honest, I don't think the adventurism of the past is going to make a return anytime soon and I think that despite some technological changes, I wouldnt be surprised if the world of 2100 looks something very similar to today. That is easily recognisable with the same players.

Also before anyone mentions global warming and what have you, I don't believe this is going to be a short term event but something very long term. Despite the doom say predictions, life in the 21st century isn't going to radically change.

I'll be honest, if I lived in say another century, there would be some bookmarks from the 21st century to be read but overall as a potential future historian, I'm going to be reading more about the 20th then the 21st.
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#2
I wouldn't disagree that the 21st century has been rather stagnant so far. That's not the same as boring, though. If 2100 looks a lot like 2000, that will indicate that something is seriously wrong.
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#3
Stagnant is a good word Warren. I like it. 
Even still by boring I mean let's take a look at what has happened in the last 20 years compared to a century ago.

1900 - 1920

The amount of events and technological change in just 20 years is astounding. It is almost revolutionary. Bloody, very bloody, but a very revolutionary period in just a short space of time.

2000 - 2020

9/11 - horrible event but led to continued occupations in the middle East that still exist to this day. No real major changes in terms of life.

2008 - Banking crisis but overall the system is stabilised and life goes on.

2020 - Disruptive and is yet to be truly tested on what happens but as is the case in the 21st it is likely to be another life goes on event.

So these are, in my eyes, the big three events. Arab Civil War? Very predictable and has not changed the world in a huge way. Crimea? Not that big of a deal in the long run.

Tech changes have mainly been internet and social based like gay marriage. But overall not exactly major. I cannot list down all the events between 1900 -1920 as it is too big to cover. But I can for 2000 - 2020 and they all seem pretty stagnant and non changing in the long run.

Honestly, I don't expect life to change much in 20 years aside from my driverless cars. Perhaps more automation. But overall more of the same.
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#4
I don't know. How long have we been waiting for the back and forth stalemate to break and the decisive victory of the new ideals to finally come? And when it plausible that it might, we are bored? I admit that with nukes comes no crisis wars. I admit battle and war is more exciting than watching laws pass. I admit that sitting at home under lockdown is not very exciting at all.

But it is hard to go with boring. Still, it is easier to go with that than fighting a crisis war as the only way to get the conservatives to progress.
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#5
The 21st century is boring. The constant drumbeat of never-ending crises is boring, because nothing ever gets done about any of it. The cultural milieu is boring. The moral climate that makes so many more things offensive creates a boring society. The politics of stalemate is boring. I'd say, we are all entitled to subtract 20 years off of our lives. Living in a society that is going nowhere is not really living. At least from one point of view.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#6
(04-27-2020, 01:42 PM)Isoko Wrote: Stagnant is a good word Warren. I like it. 
Even still by boring I mean let's take a look at what has happened in the last 20 years compared to a century ago.

1900 - 1920

The amount of events and technological change in just 20 years is astounding. It is almost revolutionary. Bloody, very bloody, but a very revolutionary period in just a short space of time.

2000 - 2020

9/11 - horrible event but led to continued occupations in the middle East that still exist to this day. No real major changes in terms of life.

2008 - Banking crisis but overall the system is stabilised and life goes on.

2020 - Disruptive and is yet to be truly tested on what happens but as is the case in the 21st it is likely to be another life goes on event.

So these are, in my eyes, the big three events. Arab Civil War? Very predictable and has not changed the world in a huge way. Crimea? Not that big of a deal in the long run.

Tech changes have mainly been internet and social based like gay marriage. But overall not exactly major. I cannot list down all the events between 1900 -1920 as it is too big to cover. But I can for 2000 - 2020 and they all seem pretty stagnant and non changing in the long run.

Honestly, I don't expect life to change much in 20 years aside from my driverless cars. Perhaps more automation. But overall more of the same.

You are fairly new to this Forum, and you get to see some of my stock themes. 

9/11 was undeniably a 3T event.  At this you are completely right. The list of sports stars going into military service at the expense of lucrative careers in WWII was amazing. Likewise film stars. The government imposed rationing quickly and practically shut down consumer production. Residential and commercial construction might be completed, but after that it all came to a screeching halt. War needs came first because... well, everyone already knew what the demonic Axis Powers were doing at the start of their conquests. People became much less mobile. 

Contrast WWII to 9/11. Only one major sports star enlisted (Pat Tillman). Film stars? Pop musicians? Nope. The President told us to go shopping and travel. That is very much a 3Y response. After that the President rode a speculative boom in housing... America was going into the sort of bubble that leads directly into a 1929-style crash. 

2008 -- maybe it stabilized too quickly to allow an era of major reforms to proceed. The politicians agreed to stanch the meltdown after about a year and a half instead of waiting three years as in 1929-1932. They rescued the financial system about at the same stage at which the destructive bank runs began in 1931 and the super-rich got to recover . The same super-rich bought the political system piecemeal until 2016 when those elites were capable of establishing one of the purest plutocracies on Earth. Perhaps in consummate bad wisdom they saw Donald Trump, one of their own, as just the thing to put a populist spin on a reactionary agenda 

Unfortunately for them Trump has proved an absurdity even if he supported everything that they want. The 2018 election showed that mass politics were incompatible with the Trump agenda -- and that of Corporate America -- an economy with monopolized pricing, exorbitant rents, brutal management, and abysmal pay. 

2020 -- The last three Crises culminated in bloody wars, including the three that cost the largest shares of the American population as military casualties of all time (WWII, the American Revolution, and the Civil War. 25,000 military deaths doesn't sound so severe for the American Revolution may not seem so bad until one sees how small the population was at the time.  Losing 2.83% of the population (Civil War), 1.00% (American Revolution), and 0.307%  (WWII) -- even when the latter had the best generalship and had the system doing everything to rescue the injured -- marks those wars as Crisis Wars. Next-closest is the War of 1812, at .207%  -- more a botched war than anything else. 

On the other hand we have been enduring no war, but certainly the casualties of a very nasty war. For a month America has been losing about 2000 people a day, which is an obscene death rate. The system that we have would fire or retire a general who got a similar death rate at least in respect to his share of the responsibility. We try to keep our losses down. As George S. Patton put it, the secret of winning a war is not to die for your country -- but instead to make the poor bastard on the other side die for his! Patton had a very high casualty rate -- if the casualties were Germans, including injuries, deaths, and captures. 

 The deaths from COVID-19 resemble those of a badly-administered war.  I would never confuse Trump with any of our leading political figures of the American Revolution, and certainly not Abraham Lincoln or FDR. 

Americans are typically treating this plague as if it were a Crisis War, drastically curtailing much behavior  that they consider normal and even necessary for being human. We are taking great economic losses. We could do that only on knowing the alternatives. Bad as it is to find life economically deprived and especially lonely, boring, and frustrating, such is better than... dead. In this Crisis death almost never comes with some feeling of purpose. Nobody is going to get any medals.  

I certainly do not want to be a prisoner of a ventilator that gives me only a 20% chance of survival.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#7
I have to concur with the posters who are saying they are fed up with the dead lock. I too feel this way as this 4T seems to have no end in progress. I am looking forward to seeing a revival of some kind but it seems the powers that be and the average Joe seem content on keeping the system going. 

I blame a lot of this predicament on Atheism if there ever was a culprit. It seems to be when people are more religious or at the very least spiritual, they want to aim for other things and like changes. When they are focused on just this one life mindset, they become more fearful and extremely reluctant to change anything. I think that explains a lot of the lack of changes we are seeing in this century. The fear of nothing keeps people trapped.
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#8
How much did change from 1800-1820? Or 1700-1720? The 20th century was unusual with so much action.

Will 2100 be like 2000? If transhumanism, space colonisation and strong AI become real, it will be unlike anything this planet has seen before.
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#9
I agree; the 21st century so far has been fairly noneventful. We are still riding the wave of the post-World War massive surge in prosperity and living out the late-20th century era. There hasn't been any major geopolitical realignment since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Technology hasn't changed much beyond the rise of the Internet. Socially and politically it is an Age of Complacency where memes have replaced activism.

But...let's wait a bit and give Covid-19 a chance to really demolish the global economy before making a judgment.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#10
Blazkovitz,

I honestly don't think the trends you indicate are going to become mainstream this century. I think the elite will indulge it in but I cannot see the powers that be allowing the average Joe access to designer babies or robotic  implants. It would lose their control unless they can somehow control it...

As for events, I know between 1800 - 1820 you had Napoleon which was a pretty big deal. However afterwards, the century became very similar to the 21st with some technological advances but overall it was pretty minimal in terms of revolution. All of the trends that were set in that century came to fruition in the 20th.

Sbarrera,

I agree with this. To be honest, I still debate if the 4T started in 2008 as it seemed like a big 3T to me. If 2020 does lead to a second great depression, then that would be a classic 4T starter and we could expect to see massive change on a large scale.

If it doesn't lead to anything major, then we can safely say 2008 was a 4T starter and this is just but one weird event that leads to a very weird 4T.
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#11
I think Crisis eras are typically stagnant until the Crisis war. What happened in the 1760s or the 1850s? The 1930s were certainly stagnant.
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#12
(04-28-2020, 11:18 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: I think Crisis eras are typically stagnant until the Crisis war.  What happened in the 1760s or the 1850s?  The 1930s were certainly stagnant.

In America, this is very much the case. However Europe and Asia in the 1930s was exploding with action. The actual start of the war was the icing on the cake for this countries.
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#13
(04-28-2020, 11:18 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: I think Crisis eras are typically stagnant until the Crisis war.  What happened in the 1760s or the 1850s?  The 1930s were certainly stagnant.

Well, if you don't count the compromisers as vocal debaters about the lead up to the coming confrontation.  You also have preliminary catalysts like the Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre, or Bleeding Kansas popping up here and there.  Generally nothing really matters, though, save to ratchet the crisis ever closer.  That will dwarf the preliminaries, especially if you aren't looking.
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#14
(04-28-2020, 11:24 AM)Isoko Wrote:
(04-28-2020, 11:18 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: I think Crisis eras are typically stagnant until the Crisis war.  What happened in the 1760s or the 1850s?  The 1930s were certainly stagnant.

In America, this is very much the case. However Europe and Asia in the 1930s was exploding with action. The actual start of the war was the icing on the cake for this countries.

I would argue that the Crisis war just started earlier in Europe and, especially, Asia.
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#15
I would say 1914-1945 was incredibly momentous from a geopolitical standpoint.

And 1870-1940 saw more technological change than any other era in human history, including our own.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#16
On thinking of the modern equivalents of the Boston Tea Party, Bleeding Kansas and the war in Spain, I kind of remembered those little skirmishes in the Middle East. Trump did pull out finally, but back in the 2003 to 2008 time frame, we got quite involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention a civil war in Syria. I have argued a bit that we had a failed crisis back then, pitting ‘stay the course’ vs ‘cut and run’ that was an attempt by the conservatives to do a value changing transformation. We didn’t mobilize, but kept calling up the reserves until they were about spent. We went shopping. We destabilized the region.

I have begun to wonder if ‘boring’ means ‘out of range of assault gun fire.’
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#17
(04-28-2020, 03:57 PM)sbarrera Wrote: And 1870-1940 saw more technological change than any other era in human history, including our own.

To me, 1870-1940 seems to have seen more technological change than 1950-2020.

My 11 year old daughter might disagree:  to her, the difference between a horse drawn carriage and an automobile may seem smaller than the difference between a wireline phone that could only carry voice and a modern smartphone.
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#18
(04-28-2020, 05:07 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-28-2020, 03:57 PM)sbarrera Wrote: And 1870-1940 saw more technological change than any other era in human history, including our own.

To me, 1870-1940 seems to have seen more technological change than 1950-2020.

My 11 year old daughter might disagree:  to her, the difference between a horse drawn carriage and an automobile may seem smaller than the difference between a wireline phone that could only carry voice and a modern smartphone.

An interesting thought. But consider, in 1870-

no telephone at all
no electrification
no refrigeration
no airplanes
no air conditioning
no antibtiotics

Imagine the world of difference for someone born in 1860 who dies in 1940.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#19
(04-28-2020, 05:29 PM)sbarrera Wrote:
(04-28-2020, 05:07 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-28-2020, 03:57 PM)sbarrera Wrote: And 1870-1940 saw more technological change than any other era in human history, including our own.

To me, 1870-1940 seems to have seen more technological change than 1950-2020.

My 11 year old daughter might disagree:  to her, the difference between a horse drawn carriage and an automobile may seem smaller than the difference between a wireline phone that could only carry voice and a modern smartphone.

An interesting thought. But consider, in 1870-

no telephone at all
no electrification
no refrigeration
no airplanes
no air conditioning
no antibtiotics

Imagine the world of difference for someone born in 1860 who dies in 1940.

My grandmother, who died in the 1970s, was fond of saying she grew up with the horse and buggy, and lived to see man on the moon.
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#20
(04-28-2020, 05:07 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-28-2020, 03:57 PM)sbarrera Wrote: And 1870-1940 saw more technological change than any other era in human history, including our own.

To me, 1870-1940 seems to have seen more technological change than 1950-2020.

My 11 year old daughter might disagree:  to her, the difference between a horse drawn carriage and an automobile may seem smaller than the difference between a wireline phone that could only carry voice and a modern smartphone.
From television to the Internet, Facebook and more, I would say there have been rapid and extreme social and technological change especially since the 1980s. Hardly anybody today can imagine live before online and now smartphones.
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