The American suicide rate has spiked upwards, according to the CDC. That increase is especially noticeable among baby boomers. Is the reason the availability of prescription drugs, or challenging family circumstances? The article's comments generally cite the economy. (SLNYT)
"Generation Z will arrive brutalized and atomized by three generations of diminished expectations and dog-eat-dog economic liberalism. Most of them will be so deracinated that they identify with their peers and the global Internet culture more than their great-grandparents' post-Westphalian nation-state. The machineries of the security state may well find them unemployable, their values too alien to assimilate into a model still rooted in the early 20th century. But if you turn the Internet into a panopticon prison and put everyone inside it, where else are you going to be able to recruit the jailers? And how do you ensure their loyalty?" Charlie Stross on the future demographic peril faced by spy agencies.
"Just as the watchword of my generation was freedom, that of my daughter’s generation seems to be control." Erica Jong finds a lack of passion in the longings of 20- and 30-somethings. Her claim is that internet porn and motherhood have replaced the quest for free love initiated by Boomer feminists. Sex educator Violet Blue (both links potentially NSFW) disagrees. Rosie Grey concurs in the Village Voice.
A major new survey of sexual practices in the US reveals that the kids are staying safe, but boomers overwhelmingly refusing to wear condoms. [more inside]
Joshua Glenn and anti-middlebrow blog Hilobrow present their generational periodization scheme: from the Prometheans born in 1844-53 and the technologically transformative Plutonians born in 1854-63, to the hiply earnest Revivalists (those who were teenagers in the 90s) and the Throwbacks (my generation, and an article that horrifyingly includes pictures of tweens and the Mickey Mouse Club). [more inside]
Former Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers guitarist is now an influential defense consultant. Jeff "Skunk" Baxter is considered one of the country's top experts on counter-terrorism. Baxter currently sits on NASA's Exploration Systems Advisory Committee, where his occupation is quoted as "Missile Defense Analyst". Arms Control Wonk and Outside the Beltway have some interesting analysis.
Grandma's Little Helper Tired of bluehairs clogging up the left lane doing 20? Apparently, there are companies who feel the same way. Aware Car has developed a computer system that tracks other cars and compensates for the losses in reflex that accompany aging. This is only one example of the new industry of providing technology to the elderly, who will reach record numbers in the next 20 years as the Baby Boomers continue to age. Pictures show GPS tracking for wheelchairs, "caller ID on steroids", and the new driving system in action.
Tracing Baby Boomer Attitudes Then and Now: A Comparative Look at the Attitudes of Baby Boomers in the 1970s and 2002 From an AARP study..."we gathered attitudinal surveys conducted in the early to mid 1970s, when these leading edge baby boomers were in their 20s. We then asked the same questions of this same group today, now that they are in their 50s."