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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Granted the good ole days were not always as good as nostalgically portrayed.


    Ignoring all the consequences, good and bad, of our individual and societal self validating behaviors are more dangerous.

    "Its a great thing because that means people have higher standards of living."

    Absolutely, not necessarily!

    This has to be more closely examined from a global perspective. Who gets to define a higher standard of living(HSOL) and the markers used to make those assessments are subjective. Often, SOL and prosperity is narrowly perceived in economically wealthier nations by comparing per capita income(money) and Gross National Product. The most commonly accepted theory, and a very compelling one if narrowly only positively perceived, is the higher per capita income the higher the SOL. HOWEVER, that is NOT the only way to define a HSOL and prosperity.

    It's the same when backpackers talk about their kits. We tend to perceive our gear, our ways as upright, positive, and laud them sometimes ignoring the negatives.

    HSOL is most often perceived as a positive. Indeed, there are many positives but the negatives are widely ignored. In the West and Western based societies, which we have been habituated, we base SOL and prosperity on the economy in terms of material wealth and production of goods and services only in regard to the financial economy. This leads to coveting material wealth, rampant consumerism, psychological issues on a societal level such as depression and anxiety, physical issues such as higher obesity and cardiovascular disease rates, ecological disasters, depletion of finite natural resources, higher crime rates in important societal impacting categories such as theft and financial crimes, devaluing of spiritual values, higher problematic face to face personal relationships, higher and greater numbers of ego centric satisfying attitudes,...

    These are some of the negatives ignored when we only see the world through our own beliefs, behavior, and values. These negatives are ignored virtually entirely in accounts of U.S. History as told from a pro U.S. perspective. Talk about societal and cultural propaganda!


    All the while we become less forbearing - less patient, self controlled, restrained, mindful and tolerant as a Nation - softer - more thin skinned.
    I was thinking more along the lines of access to a variety of food year round, vaccinations, healthcare, education, infrastructure, etc. Even the negative things you listed are often results of people living longer lives which is almost always a good thing to the individual. Heart disease and cancer rates were more rare because they were kicked in the face by a horse, were murdered for some flour or had a hangnail that got infected and they died from an infection after suffering for 6 weeks.

    I think if you ask the average Chinese, Indian, German, or Nigerian if they are living better today than their parents were 50 or 100 years ago 99 of them would say they are.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I personally am a firm believer that on average, as time goes on, society becomes softer. As it has always been mentioned forever before Grandma Gatewood used a shower curtain. And Earl Schaffer carried a 1930's rucksack. This is a sample of 2 people compared to the tens of thousands that do it the "normal" way. Other examples could be the barefoot sisters, the Blind Hiker Trevor Thomas as well as Bill Erwin...All obviously pretty tough folks.
    Thoughts?
    GG I know for sure, and I suspect ES and BE, were less materialistic...because they lived in a less materialistic era. As said, the more financially prosperous a Nation, a culture, the more it's citizens are materialistic tending toward consumerism. The more evidence of a society's reliance on Materialism as the underlying philosophy the more evidence of depression, anxiety, social isolation, unhappiness, less peace NOT more, national and cultural intolerances, greater seeking of worldly ambitions, contentions, etc.

    We live in a darn contentious nation from top to bottom and across the socio-economic spectrum.

    Measuring success only or largely in terms of material possessions and a physical reality and the social value they project makes us softer, a very different narrative than what we're almost always told.

    Current humanity should not ignore the underlying reasons why some of the world's greatest civilizations fell.

    A lot of it arises out of coveting. When a society unduly bases their progress and value and social and political structure on a love of money you'll find it eventually implodes.


    A journalist at The Guardian wrote an article a few yrs back I found interesting. https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...rom-inside-out

    ON Netflix there's a documentary called Happy we might want to consider watching and really listening.

  3. #23
    A proper quick, brave, steady, ready gentleman! ocourse's Avatar
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    My main point is that the majority of people are lazy and entitled. This is my overwhelming experience. I work with this type of slacker
    too.
    I've learned....
    That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogLevel View Post
    Probably. Its a great thing because that means people have higher standards of living.

    Nobody would choose to go back to the days of Horace Kephart exploring the smokies and those who lived here. Why? Because it was a miserable existence of poverty constantly on the verge of starvation, wanton violence and early death due to completely curable conditions.

    Nostalgia about the past is dangerous.
    Or, as George Carlin noted, "The good old days, back when botulism was a sauce."

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogLevel View Post
    I was thinking more along the lines of access to a variety of food year round, vaccinations, healthcare, education, infrastructure, etc. Even the negative things you listed are often results of people living longer lives which is almost always a good thing to the individual. Heart disease and cancer rates were more rare because they were kicked in the face by a horse, were murdered for some flour or had a hangnail that got infected and they died from an infection after suffering for 6 weeks.

    I think if you ask the average Chinese, Indian, German, or Nigerian if they are living better today than their parents were 50 or 100 years ago 99 of them would say they are.
    You're right those are perceived as the positives. There would be few disagreements about those aspects as positives but respectfully you're being naive as you're ignoring the listed negative consequences by excusing them by attribution to longer life spans. Those are negatives attributed to or correlated with what a materialistic consumer based financially economical structured society. It ignores other possible ways to define SOL and prosperity. What I posted was based on non pro western societal and psychological meta analysis with less regional prejudice. To repeat we often judge what we are most social habituated tending to narrowly judging along the positives ignoring the negatives.

    TO BE CLEAR I was not attempting to destroy that which you identify. FWIW, personally I likely similarly identify with much as you do. Again, I was attempting for us to consider things globally rather than Nationally or even regionally.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    It’s already been said as far as I’m concerned. The fact that the trip was photographed with the equipment of the day is most amazing.
    A 300 mile winter trip through the Sierras.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.fre...223956445.html
    Wayne
    Thank you for that, the photos are amazing.
    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


    John Greenleaf Whittier

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogLevel View Post
    Nostalgia about the past is dangerous.
    Nostalgia about the future is even more dangerous.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    yea Rainman Im getting old and fat, time to take up the rocking chair I guess....Have any pointers for me on how to cope with it??
    Gambit, "Old age ain't no place for sissies." (Bette Davis).
    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


    John Greenleaf Whittier

  9. #29
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imscotty View Post
    Thank you for that, the photos are amazing.
    You’re welcome! A friend and Bee subscriber shared the story with me.
    Just imagine. A 300 mile winter trek through the Sierra Nevada without benefit of the Internet.
    Boggles the mind!
    Wayne

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    You’re welcome! A friend and Bee subscriber shared the story with me.
    Just imagine. A 300 mile winter trek through the Sierra Nevada without benefit of the Internet.
    Boggles the mind!
    Wayne
    That was pretty cool Wayne thanks for sharing!

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by imscotty View Post
    Gambit, "Old age ain't no place for sissies." (Bette Davis).
    Scotty, "Older the Violin the sweeter the music" Augustus McCrae

  12. #32

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    People may be softer now because they can be softer and live a good life. I am sure Neanderthals thought Cro-Magnons where wimps too. I can imagine them sitting around a fire talking - "We didn't have bows and arrows in my day. We had stab Mastodons with spears. These new people are really soft."
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

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    This old guy thinks so, but all old folks have probably held that opinion. My dad did, my grandfather did and so on.
    Everyone has a photographic memory. Not everyone has film.

  14. #34
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    “Whither are the manly vigour and athletic appearance of our forefathers flown? Can these be their legitimate heirs? Surely, no; a race of effeminate, self-admiring, emaciated fribbles can never have descended in a direct line from the heroes of Potiers and Agincourt…”
    Letter in Town and Country magazine republished in Paris Fashion: A Cultural History
    1771

    https://historyhustle.com/2500-years...er-generation/
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hillwalker View Post
    This old guy thinks so, but all old folks have probably held that opinion. My dad did, my grandfather did and so on.
    Well, you might all be right, if we're looking at a general trend.

    That said, "softness" has many forms. As technology gets better at easing physical burdens, sure we get physically softer. I suspect we're more mentally resistant in some ways though for the same reason: imagine the overwhelming disorientation someone from, say, the late 1900's would feel being subjected to the noise, distraction, and furor of the modern world. I remember getting discombobulated myself when first seeing video billboards, for example. We're all a little blinded to the things we're most used to, and thus most inured to.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by imscotty View Post
    Gambit, "Old age ain't no place for sissies." (Bette Davis).
    LOL ... you beat me to it!!!
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Scotty, "Older the Violin the sweeter the music" Augustus McCrae
    That Augustus feller is right smart.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  18. #38
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    What's toughness? Resurrect Daniel Boone and dump him in the roughest part of Detroit or Chicago or _____.

    In the WhiteBlaze context we typically think of the challenges of the wilderness with woods and wild beasts. But if we re-define wilderness to mean an unfamiliar place full of dangerous conditions and entities, the things that a youth in some cities learns to deal with daily might be very challenging to ol' Dan'l.

    What's tougher? Enduring the taunts of a bully? The rejection of a lover? The loss of a loved one? Fleeing from war? Fighting cancer? Hard to answer!

    Are we soft? Well yeah. I mean when I grew up in Oklahoma we didn't have air conditioning. It was hot. My first few cars didn't have A/C. Those vinyl seats were hot. Nowadays EVERYONE has A/C (at least here in the South). And that's just one example.
    Good perspective.


    And thanks for reminding me . I am home now with a spouse battling cancer. One tough lady.

  19. #39
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    Our ancestors had to be tough to survive and pass on their genes.

    The first ones either got to this continent by walking or on wooden ships with sails.

    Conditions weeded out the weak and/or stupid. We are a product of their success.

    Will future generations continue to improve?

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    This relative young'n says yes. First example that comes to my head is being free to roam around my neighborhood (and woods) until dark when I was around 10 years old. No phone or anything of course. Statistically speaking the world has never been safer yet nowadays I get the sense that most parents would not let their child do this, even if they were a bit older.

    Other examples that come to my head that have changed just in my lifetime are flag football instead of tackle, people not knowing how to change a tire, acting like it's an achievement to "graduate" elementary or middle school, banning (even smokeless) tobacco on college campuses, every 6-6 college football team making a bowl game...Not commenting whether or not I disagree with these "trends", just think they all fall under society becoming "softer".
    travelin’ light

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