“Good Old Day” Syndrome

Ted Kaczynski may have been smart in some ways, but he wasn’t a genius likes Einstein. Even though Ted was teaching a university in the Bay Area by the time he was in his early 20’s that is sorta overshadowed by what happened next. See, he got it in his mind that technology, like cars and running water and electricity were really bad for humanity and that people led lives that were worse for them than in the past. I call this “Good Old Day,” syndrome because there are lots of people who think things were better way back when, even though they just have a romanticized idea of what it was really like. When I was in college–a very liberal and alternative college (still in state and state college) there were a lot of people I knew who believed that there had been many matriarchies throughout time, and I’ve known college professors  who thought so as well, but when I asked them what their sources were for these claims they said they’d get back to me and never did. You might call me sexist for not believing that some societies were ruled by women way back when, but it seems unlikely and without specific evidence I can’t believe it. But, to tell you the truth, I think matriarchy  would be a really nice one, one where violence is less prevalent maybe, and I think people would be more encouraged to find diplomatic solutions to their problems. But, like I said, I’ve never found any evidence to support that this has ever been.

The problem I have with “Good Old Day,” syndrome is that it doesn’t give enough credit to the world we live in now. I know some people think we’d all be happier if we went back to plowing fields and growing our own food and keeping cows in our back yards, but the truth is, once humans are spending all their time on survival all the beautiful things people create, like literature, paintings, movies, sculptures–they all stop being made. If I have to spend all my hours working a field, I’m not going to have much time to work on my novel, now, am I?

What I’m trying to say is this: The Good Old Days don’t exist. There have always been problems. The ones we have now are not worse than those humanity had 1000 years ago. If you want to see what it looks like when people are forced to work the land and abandon technology research the Khmer Rouge.

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