Prometheus has an entry up on his blog A Photon in the Darkness that talks a little about the Age of Unreason that we appear to be living in these days in America in which he lays the blame for the rise in magical thinking at the feet of the Baby Boomers:
So, the Baby Boomers spent their twenties trying various magical means to bring about world peace and brotherly love (or just getting stoned out of their minds) and then got distracted by making a fortune in the stock market, buying loft condos and finding a way to keep from getting old.
However, the magical thinking never left them – and they’ve passed it on to succeeding generations.
I hadn’t really thought about it before, but in stopping to reflect on the above I have to admit that I agree with his assessment. Quite a few of the Baby Boomers I know tend to be afflicted with a tendency toward magical thinking. Prometheus then goes on to offer a few things he feels provides evidence of this problem from the promotion of Intelligent Design to all the Quantum Connectedness woo-woo that’s going around these days.
The whole entry is worth a read, but I particularly liked his closing statement and wanted to share it here:
Our society is growing more and more dependent on rationality, science and technology to keep it from collapsing. It’s too late to turn back, now – giving up on reason and returning to magical thinking will cause a human (and probably environmental) catastrophe that would beggar the imagination. And, at the same time, the forces of Unreason encourage us to turn our back on reality in favor of “The Secret” or other such nonsense.
The technology that most people take for granted is far beyond the knowledge of the “average” citizen – not because they can’t understand it, but because they don’t. We run a very real risk of having an increasingly smaller proportion of our population that understands how critical technologies work or – even worse – the principles behind them.
Now is the time to take a stand – to come out on the side of Reason over Unreason, of Science over Magic, of Reality over Fantasy.
Or, we can all sit and meditate on a happier future.
I hadn’t come across his blog previously, but I’ll be adding it to my blogroll soon.