The Howling of Dinosaurs

Are there ideas that your grandkids will find hard to believe were once widely accepted? And which ideas that seem disruptive today will be accepted as normal in the next generation or two?

Currently, there’s howling about things I bet will be accepted relatively soon. For example, gay marriage will come to be legal and eventually accepted. Sure they’re people digging in their heels, but they’re generally older and when they pass away that belief will generally go by the wayside; and their grandchildren will wonder how that  idea lasted so long.

There’re also small, subtle changes that happen more quickly. Beloit College in Wisconsin puts out a list of  accepted ideas that can create disconnects between the incoming 18-year-old freshmen and their 50 something professors. The list is intended to help both groups better understand one another’s mindset.

Here are some things from this years list: few students will know how to write in cursive; Korean cars haven’t always been a staple on American highways; most students will never have aimlessly twisted the coiled handset wire while chatting on the phone, they’ve never recognized that pointing to your wrist is a request for the time (freshmen use their phones); and Russians and Americans haven’t always been living in space together.

But what big ideas will become extinct? Widespread gun ownership? Having as many children as you’d like? Not living past a few hundred years? Eating meat or not eating it? No one knows.

Change for the better seems to eventually happen. The trend for human culture over time seems to be one of a sharing fountain rather than a hoarding cistern. The tent gets bigger. That people aren’t supposed to own other people is now widely accepted along with women voting. Could it be any other way? Yes, and it was. But the tent became bigger and those old accepted ideas died off (mostly).

The howling of dinosaurs trying to keep the tent (that they’re in) small will probably always be heard but hopefully heeded less and less.