Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Wintermute, May 19, 2013.

  1. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Culture is more and more dictated by greed. That's the basic problem.

    I can't find the Youtube video, but Craig Ferguson delivered a great cold open monologue to his show about Why Everything Sucks, it was spot on. Our culture adopted, basically based on marketing strategies, the deification of youth. In previous times, we praised beauty, which is a big difference. Youth comes with inexperience and a lot of other disadvantages.
     
  2. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Utter nonsense.
     
  3. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Rabbi Daniel Lapin calls it "materialism," I.e. the belief in the material over the spiritual.

    www.rabbidaniellapin.com/
     
  4. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm far, far, far away from being spiritual, and yet I still see that materialism is the wrong way.
     
  5. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Rabbi Lapin has a different definition of materialism. He's an interesting guy. It's worth a look.
     
  6. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    You are confusing two totally different meanings of the word materialism. There's materialism that has to do with greed and the possession of things, and then there is philosophical materialism: that everything that exists exists in the natural world and there is no need for all the supernatural and spiritual stuff. As someone who has very few possessions and is still overwhelmed by the fact that everything I own can't fit in one backpack, I am very much not a materialistic individual. However, as someone who understands how science works and who doesn't believe in gods and magic, I am very much a materialist.
     
  7. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Ah, thanks-- I've been looking for that for months, but I couldn't remember the guys name. It's an excellent (partial) explanation of why contemporary culture is stuck in a state of arrested adolescence.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKUZ42T9diU[/yt]

    Ah, so the Dark Ages and Renaissance never happened. Thanks for clearing that up. :D
     
  8. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    I think the modern historical consensus is that the "Dark Ages" weren't as "dark" as we thought for a long time but of course your point that history is cyclical and not linear is absolutely correct.
     
  9. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    I would like to know the objective criteria for this supposed current cultural dark age.
     
  10. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    He doesn't like stuff.
     
  11. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    They happened once. How is that cyclical?
     
  12. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Also, "Dark Ages" is a... subjective term that was applied afterwards, only applied to one part of the world, and ignores what actually did happen in... what, a near-millenium, right?

    Not entirely unlike "OMG culture is sooo dead now"
     
  13. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    Yup. It also got applied to another time period (the so-called Greek Dark Ages, the time period between the Mycenian and the Archaic/Classical age), for much the same reason (namely that little was known about that period at first). Later on, as research uncovered more and more, it got replaced by other, more descriptive terms. It's still used for a period of about 50 years but only because we tend to have a hard time letting go of terms once we've coined them.
    The "Dark Ages" as a term for the Middle Ages has been phased out by historians quite a while ago.
     
  14. The Naughty List

    The Naughty List Working the Pole Moderator

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    No problem. It's easy enough to calculate:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    About the Middle Ages, does any of the folks who pretend that it was as culturally prosperous as what came before, Rome, or afterwards, Renaissance and modernity, know any writer or philosopher from this time? Literature and philosophy might be an arbitrary choice and perhaps I am just too ignorant but I don't know any writer between Cicero and Shakespeare and Thomas of Aquin plus Meister Eckhardt are the only Middle Age philosophers (or rather theologians which hints at one cultural problem) which come to mind.
    Of course the pop cultural notion that the "Dark Ages" were all about burning witches and people believing that the world is flat is nonsensical ... but so is the notion that it was a time like any other.

    About why this might not be culturally great times, the point which has already been made, 'increasing commercialization of culture as a result of increasing corporate power', seems fairly objective to me.
    I wouldn't go so far and use this as an argument for cultural decline though as there is still plenty of good stuff. It is just harder to find amidst the increasing amount of commercial crap.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  16. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Assuming you're sticking to Western Europe, a few writers off the top of my head would be Chaucer, Dante and Sir Thomas Mallory (plus whoever wrote the Song of Roland and Beowulf for two more).

    Dante also counts for philosophy/theology I'd say, plus William of Ockham, Anselm, and Abelard.
     
  17. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Dark Ages were never a term for the Middle Ages. They were applied in western Europe to roughly 500 to 900 CE. The notion that these were times of technological advancement and social progress depends on redefining cities as a blight and the high culture in cities as some sort of mental oppression.

    The continuation of civilization in the Byzantine and Arab empires continues to be ignored but has nothing to do with arbitrarily defining away the collapse of civilization in western Europe. Christianity harshly oppressed cultural life in the Byzantine empire. And eventually the same happened in the successors to the Abbasid caliphate, particularly after al-Ghazali's Destruction of Reason. Fortunately the Arab culture had already helped revive culture in the High Middle Ages via the engagement of such minds as Thomas Aquinas.

    The notorious example of the Egyptian cultural stagnation however should alone refute any notions that culture is progressive or cyclical.

    Popular culture is more like Philistine art, made to be profitable by virtue of being cheap and imitative.

    Much of this discussion seems to be tacitly assuming that popular culture is somehow actually of, from, for and by "the people" and that high culture is an insult to the masses. This kind of faux populism expresses a demagogy common to political conservatives.

    PS Double checking I see that "Incoherence of the Philosophers" is the preferred transliteration now. I also see that Averroes was later rather than a contemporary. I'm not sure that it matters since al-Ghazali "won" the debate.
     
  18. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Exactly. It's not about absolutism. Saying that there is no worthwhile artistry during a dark age would be like saying that there are no survivors in a pandemic.

    Those are examples, not a comprehensive list.

    Well, that was certainly creepy. Excuse me while I back slowly toward the door. :rommie:
     
  19. The Naughty List

    The Naughty List Working the Pole Moderator

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    Don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out, and be sure to take your cultural dark ages nonsense with you.

    Don't worry, nothing creepy was required to compile the list, since you've graced us with the arrogant assertion that your subjective likes and dislikes are the standard we should all live by so many times that it's become like some tedious elevator music that plays in the background of TrekBBS; regrettably familiar and relentless.
     
  20. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    No but it is a term for early medieval, which although Latin for Middle Ages, is more of a catch-all. At least the medieval historians I know include Dark Ages in their area of study.