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Quote of the Day: George Orwell

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“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it” (George Orwell).

Hey guys,

Today I thought I would choose a quote that focused on the sociology of people.  Orwell claims that every generation sees itself as the “best” and better than the generation to come.  This could be true.  I am sure we have all heard our parents, and grandparents especially, speak about the “good old days,” and sometimes how their generation did things better.  For example, my mother when I was younger did not like when my friends texted me, she thought it was impersonal.  She said, that when she was younger people would have meaningful conversations over the phone and not simply have “base,” “simplistic” conversation in text.  At the time, I argued with my mom that texting made things simpler.  You could ask a question and get a quick response.  Sometimes, not having a personal conversation is a good thing if you need an answer fast.  I was defending my generation indirectly because I tried to argue with my mother over the benefits of texting.  Every generation does things differently and therefore we sometimes do not understand older and/or younger generations.

What do you think?  Do you agree with Orwell?

Thanks for reading, please post your comments below!

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5 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: George Orwell

  1. I sort of agree. The next generation is, in my opinion, always more intelligent than the one that comes before it, because if nothing else, it has the benefit of hindsight. We should have learned from their mistakes, and benefited from their successes. As far as wiser , I think the next generation will be wiser for basically the same reasons. Sorry George, but I think you got this only half right.

  2. Yes, this is interesting. To build on Ralph’s reply, I would have to say that we don’t learn from our mistakes very quickly – not in our own lives and not as a local or world society. To carry that thought out, I think Ralph is right, but it might take 5 or more generations to really learn and grow from our mistakes – to gain any real, sustained intellectual advantage from hindsight.

    I think that each subsequent generation is more technologically advanced, but not necessarily more intelligent. I know those are two different things, but I think people often associate, or even confuse, one thing with the other.

    I don’t know about the wiser part, either. Is each generation wiser? I think we certainly learn way more at a way earlier age as the generations progress, but how we handle that knowledge is something different. I think the basic 10 year old is going to handle himself the same way now as he did 50 years ago – emotionally and intellectually, because that’s where he is in his development. Likewise, the behavior and attitudes I see in 20 year old girls today pretty well mirrors how I viewed the world when I was 20.

    Of course, these are just my opinions, and it’s all pretty much up for debate. But that’s what’s so much fun about it!

    • Yes, I do agree that the benefit of hindsight might take longer than a generation. As far as personality goes, everyone in their teens is somewhat rebellious and this can be seen in every generation. However, I feel like every new generation “fights” for a cause and looking back, some people may not have liked the decisions they made. The newer generation might see this mistake and be “wiser” because they know about it.

  3. Pingback: Keep calm, occupy, and have a pint « Poumista

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