This little news item caught my bloodshot eye today :
The human race seems to be getting stupider by the day. At least, humans who live in 'civilised society' are. I'm probably over-simplifying but my opinion is that this is a result of our endless quest to make life easy for ourselves. We surround ourselves with an abundance of machines designed to speed life up and cut out the annoying need to think too much.
We are divorcing ourselves from the natural world bit by bit. To digress slightly - I'm not that old but I spent my childhood in a house with no double glazing, loft insulation or central heating. Thus I am perfectly comfortable in lower temperatures - temperatures which younger friends seem to find incredibly disagreeable. If I switch the air conditioning on at work when it gets warm (or what I percieve to be warm anyway) it is generally met with a chorus of complaints until someone switches it off again. I feel that I am more 'hardened' to adverse conditions than the generation beneath me.
Likewise, as a youth I did a great deal of hiking and cycling - I know what to wear and what to expect out in the countryside (generally the unexpected). If I were to see a danger sign concerning tidal waters I'd bloody well take notice of it, having been nearly stranded by the tide on a beach once while searching for wildlife amongst rocks aged about 12. (Me, not the rocks, I suspect they were a tad older) But many people now have little idea of just how vicious the 'real world' can be. We don't run the bloody planet, it is a vast, dangerous, unpredictable beast. Just because you're in a shiny new car and have spent your life in comfort and ease doesn't mean nature is going to give you a break.
I suppose it is a sign of natural selection at work. I pity all the emergency services now, someone gets a paper cut and they're dialling 999 'cos mummy always made it better for them and they still need to be mothered and smothered and blanketed. If I'd gone to my mum squealing about a cut or graze I'd have been told in no uncertain terms it was my own bloody fault and I should learn to be more careful - so I did. Let your kids hurt themselves, let them get cold and wet and muddy. LET THEM LEARN.
Ironically, with the advent of the internet we have greater access now to information than any generation before us ever. So what do we do? Spend hours playing games, farting about on Facebook and writing vacuous blogs. Heh.
Sadly, for all my experience, I still sometimes think that I too am invincible. Last weekend at a music festival I decided against wearing a hat on a sunny June day and burnt my entire scalp to buggery. Twat.