My hobby:

* reading 2019 era Discourse about Boomers being terrible, boring, racist, materialist, all-devouring greedmongers who built a psychic prison of oil and real estate that ate the planet

* also reading 1979 era Discourse about Boomers being the freaky weird dropouts now about to hit the Adult Workplace with all their psychedelic heads tuned into mystical vibrations that were going to blow the doors of perception right off their hinges, using yoga, rock and 8-bit micocomputers to do it

And yeah there's a good argument that the hard core of the psychohippies weren't the ones who oiled and realestated and panopticoned up the planet

but then you have people like Steve Jobs who really were both

[screams in 2019 Apple Computer]

As an example of what I mean, Marilyn Ferguson's Aquarian Conspiracy (1981)

which from 2019, kinda mostly reads as an advertisement for the Californian Ideology which had just got Ronald Reagan elected.

Not too Left, not too Right, very much into Personal Responsibility and privatizing all the things (like healthcare) and smashing the State, out of which storm of creative destruction a planetwide tsunami of freaky psychic liberation would no doubt emerge

narrator: um

Thing is, I don't think Marilyn was *completely* wrong.

But wow, she completely failed to see the sheer potential for centralisation and authoritarianism at vast scale that capitalism plus networks would release when they got together.

In her defense, few of the other proto-Internet psychohippies saw this danger either, until well
into the late 2000s.

When Jacques Vallee, Stewart Brand and friends thought of the Internet, I don't think replacing IBM/Bell with Amazon was what they hoped for.

@natecull one of Adam Curtis's documentaries gets into this. There were definitely people who saw this coming from early days.

I think it was all watched over by machines of loving grace

@celesteh Yeah, I suppose at some point I need to watch Adam Curtis. He's not quite on my wavelength - I don't think he really grasps the reality of the mystical - so it feels a bit of a chore. But I suppose I have to.

And Vallee did point out the dangers of central control of computer messaging in 'The Network Revolution' (1982).

I think what even Vallee missed though is that emergent, systemic effects might lead even very open networks toward re-centralisation.

@celesteh But.... the consistent theme from invisible sources throughout the 1970s to today appears to be that despite recent appearances, a democratic and decentralising movement *is* underway and can't actually be stopped even by a cabal of trillionaires.

I find that comforting, even as I find the existence of companies like Amazon and the whole current Silicon Valley venture capitalism model deeply frustrating and anger-making because it's so massively betrayed the Internet dream.

@natecull Yes. As I like to point out, yuppies were just disgruntled hippies. Who in turn were spoiled kids that could afford to lead a bohemian lifestyle on their parents' money, chasing "spiritual" fads.

That's who we call boomers nowadays; their ignorance and entitlement still show all too well.

@claude Right. That's certainly the conventional wisdom.

Where I depart from the conventional wisdom is that I don't believe all of Boomer counterculture was fake-quotes 'spiritual', because I don't think all of spirituality is fake. I think there was something genuinely transformative occurring in the 1960s and 1970s beneath all the hype.

But it wasn't nearly as wide or as deep as appeared at the time.

50 years later, we've probably got enough data to see whose lives changed and who didn't.

@claude One of the things that scares me a little is that the son of a friend of mine.. more GenX than Boomer... is a philosophy professor who has been doing meditating for decades (an hour daily sort of thing), and yet, seems to subscribe to some fairly hard-right, racist bordering on neofascist, views that make me uncomfortable to be around him.

I guess spirituality really isn't a technology. Or doesn't correlate to what I would consider being... a good person.

@natecull Oh, I'm sure they were sincere. Hence the disgruntlement born of disappointment when all that stuff proved to be claptrap and didn't even help *them* be better people.

@claude Case in point: what happened to Douglas Engelbart's Augmentation Research Center (that had invented the mouse in 1967) when he got into EST in 1972

@natecull don't forget the 1960s-70s discourse from youthful boomers about how the older generations are materialist bigots who are ruining the planet and poisoning society... "don't trust anyone over 30"

@wizard @natecull 🎼 Then those who weren't lucky enough to join the #27Club had their 30th birthday parties… 🦄

@matias93 @wizard

we opened the Bigot Spigot at the Despot Depot and now we can't shut it off

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