“So what of my lot, the millennial generation? Where are our youth tribes? I suppose, in many ways, my generation is a bit like all the others. Kids sitting bored brainless in a council flat, or some useless suburb, or some provincial town miles from anywhere. The angry energy tearing us up has always found its release in creativity.
But now we have a different cure for that angry boredom. And it’s in our pocket. Did Steve Jobs create the cure? With a touch of a button, or a swipe of the screen, we are free. Totally, crazily free, and in a universe of our own making.”
“Something interesting has emerged in voting patterns on both sides of the Atlantic: Young people are voting in ways that are markedly different from their elders. A great divide appears to have opened up, based not so much on income, education, or gender as on the voters’ generation.
There are good reasons for this divide. The lives of both old and young, as they are now lived, are different. Their pasts are different, and so are their prospects.
The Cold War, for example, was over even before some were born and while others were still children. Words like socialism do not convey the meaning they once did. If socialism means creating a society where shared concerns are not given short shrift – where people care about other people and the environment in which they live – so be it. Yes, there may have been failed experiments under that rubric a quarter- or half-century ago; but today’s experiments bear no resemblance to those of the past. So the failure of those past experiments says nothing about the new ones.”
“Tumblr culture has developed over the past five years as the smart weird kid in school connected with all the other smart weird kids from all the other schools all over the world,” said Strle. This brand of Tumblr humor often focuses on what I think of as micro-humiliations, tiny moments of social awkwardness that can feel absolutely crushing for a teenager figuring out how to be a person in the world. Anonymous kids with witty user names like Larsvontired or Baracknobama post incisive one-liners confessing their most vulnerable moments of social mortification. Sometimes those one-liners spread across continents, tweaked by thousands of other teens who add their own jokes as they reblog the original. The very best tweaks spread further, reblogged again and again, reappearing periodically in the feed, disconnected from time. Some posts get more than a million notes—imagine a joke whispered in biology class getting a laugh from a city the size of San Francisco.
“Increasingly, the lingua franca is absurdist dada,” explained Strle, usually rendered in the uncapitalized and unpunctuated casualness of instant messages.
A decade of trend pieces has deemed millennials to be narcissists, but Tumblr humor for this generation is self-deprecating and anti-aspirational: “how do fourteen year olds get pregnant, I can’t even get a high five from a guy,” “how many eye contact until date,” “i just said hi to someone and they didn’t hear me i’m never trying that again.” There is more self-loathing than self-love (“*looks in a mirror* you again”) as well as pleas for clemency from social prison (“you like attention? how dare you. how dare anyone like being loved”). Being a social outcast can make you a better social observer of the gap between our real selves and our public image.”
“Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez has been championing the protection of the environment since he was 6 years old. He’s also spoken in front of the United Nations, and is one of 21 youths suing the US government for failing to protect future generations from the devastating effects of climate change. Now he’s leading a collective of millennial activists determined to save the planet before it’s too late.”
“For teen sexters, then, sharing nudes may not be primarily about expressing sexual desire; it may be about expressing independence. Sexualized images garner a currency that has nothing to do with their sexiness. They viscerally signify not only rebellion against authority but a trust and solidarity with peers who are also sexting. They also signify one’s willingness to submit to peer pressure, to participate in a game where nude selfies are assigned points based on popularity.”
“Young people are increasingly challenging conventional gender stereotypes – half the US millennials surveyed by Fusion agree gender isn’t limited to male and female. OkCupid and Facebook now offer custom gender identities to include a variety of options such as “androgynous”. In the US some universities accept gender-neutral pronouns – allowing students to be called “they” rather than “he” or “she”.”
The World Economic Forum recently announced its 2016 class of Young Global Leaders — people under the age of 40 who are changing the world — and 23 of the 121 are American.
This year’s Young Global Leaders class includes leaders from an array of backgrounds. Some are famous entertainers, like actor and investor Ashton Kutcher and writer John Green, and others are inventors, CEOs, philanthropists, and scientists working on revolutionary ideas — such as Nina Tandon, who grows human bones with her biotech company, EpiBone.
Once chosen by the WEF, these leaders are a part of the program for five years — they attend meetings, participate in initiatives and research, and work with the rest of the WEF’s community.
Here are the 23 American leaders making a worldwide impact.
“Millennials view diversity as the blending of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives within a team, which is known as cognitive diversity.
They also use the word to describe the combination of these unique traits to overcome challenges and achieve business goals. Millennials view cognitive diversity as a necessary element for innovation, and are 71% more likely to focus on teamwork.”
“Some social theorists suggest that this transition is merely the 21st century version of the same irrational exuberance we saw in the late 1920s and 1960s. They often frame these transitions as the adolescent stage of a grand cycle of divergence and convergence. This explanation implies that we should just let the cycle run its course and things will return to normal. In reality, though, boundless connectivity has changed the way we integrate our lived experiences with our interpretation of those experiences and has created a new type of normal. With all these connective technologies—from smartphones to social media to translational technologies—we’re getting get a wider view, but that view is through a smaller lens.
The peer-to-peer nature of contemporary communication appears to be horizontal, democratic and inclusive, yet all of these smaller communities also result in exclusion—an exclusion from broader forms of sense-making. In other words, we have all of these micro-segments and there is little consensus: there is no grand worldview that we all share. Rather, there are personalized worldviews.”
“These days, people — particularly those in their teens and twenties — are declaring themselves ‘pansexual’, ‘genderfluid’ and ‘genderqueer,’ which means they won’t be confined to the old folks’ dreary, black-and-white view of attraction or gender. Take Miley Cyrus, for example, the US pop singer and former child star of Disney’s Hannah Montana. Up until recently, the adult Cyrus might chiefly have been defined as a roaring exhibitionist. On one memorable occasion in 2013, her suggestive gyrations with a giant foam hand cowed even the confidently sleazy pop star Robin Thicke: next to Miley onstage at the Video Music Awards, he gradually took on the demeanour of an anxious Edinburgh dowager.”
“Desde 1997, já funciona no LNLS o primeiro síncrotron construído no Brasil, conhecido como UVX. É uma máquina classificada como de segunda geração e por isso mesmo quase obsoleta. Em 2009, começou-se a debater a necessidade de construir um novo acelerador. Um primeiro projeto foi concebido e apresentado a um comitê internacional de especialistas para avaliação. A resposta do comitê foi surpreendente: desafiou os brasileiros a sonharem com uma máquina mais arrojada. A equipe do LNLS aceitou o desafio e, em pouco mais de um ano, elaborou um novo projeto, aprovado com louvor. Nascia o Sírius, totalmente concebido e quase totalmente construído, por brasileiros.
Entre os 176 profissionais envolvidos no Sirius, 129 pertence à chamada Geração Y, isto é, aqueles nascidos entre a década de 80 e o começo dos anos 2000, como é o caso de Henrique.”
“Science fiction uses generations as guinea pigs in thought experiments: writers will change one important feature of human life, but leave the rest intact, in order to hypothesise how a single, world-rearranging shift might play out. In S M Stirling’s Emberverse series (2004-), a mysterious event alters the laws of physics, neutralising electricity and gunpowder, and the kids who are born after ‘The Change’ – archers, farmers, fighters – are different from the ones who knew the powered world. In Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky (1963), people living in the closed environment of a multigenerational starship mutiny and kill many of their leaders; years later, their descendants have lost any true knowledge of their situation and believe that their ship is the whole world.These fictions work because they are controlled experiments. They allow you to shove aside the complexities of life, to isolate one variable, one aspect of human experience. They give you a window into the plasticity of human culture, the impact of big historical events, the exercises of power between young and old, and the way that we make and re-make our worlds through education and tradition.
But in real life, I find generational arguments infuriating. Overly schematised and ridiculously reductive, generation theory is a simplistic way of thinking about the relationship between individuals, society, and history. It encourages us to focus on vague ‘generational personalities’, rather than looking at the confusing diversity of social life. Since I’m a ‘Gen-X’er born in 1977, the conventional wisdom is that I’m supposed to be adaptable, independent, productive, and to have a good work/life balance. Reading these characteristics feels like browsing a horoscope. I see myself in some of these traits, and can even feel a vague thrill of belonging when I read them. But my ‘boomer’ mother is intensely productive; my ‘Greatest Generation’ grandmother still sells old books online at age 90, in what I consider to be the ultimate show of adaptability and independence.”