Blog Archives

THE MINDSET LIST® OF SHRINKING ATTENTION SPANS

by Tom McBride

The Mindset List of Shrinking Attention Spans Tom McBride In the 1600s the philosopher Blaise Pascal said that the world was troubled because so few of its inhabitants could sit in a quiet room alone for an hour without interruption. By this standard, the world is in trouble indeed. The distinguished journal New Philosopher recently called “Distraction” a leading issue of our time and devoted a whole issue to it.  Here is a quick & dirty overview of the issue: a conversation starter for the Age of All-Too-Shortened Focus. 1 2015: Citing a dubious footnote in a Microsoft study, leading media publications proclaimed that the average human attention span is now one-second fewer than that of the average goldfish—whose focus   Read on »

Revel in the Retro: THE MINDSET LIST® OF THROWBACK TECHNOLOGY

by Tom McBride

The Mindset List of Throwback Technology Is it possible to go forward and backwards at the same time? The wisdom about advanced technology seems settled: it comes fast; new is always better; it makes us more productive but tyrannizes our time. And so: there is a reaction—a wish to go backwards with THROWBACK TECHNOLOGY. Some of this is a genuine preference for the older technology; some of it is sheer nostalgia; some of it is the design of an old-tech façade with new-tech convenience. Whatever it is, retro is in!  THE MINDSET LIST OF THROWBACK TECHNOLOGY is a fast and lively look at this peculiar paradox. 1 It took seventeen years for the telegram to replace the Pony Express; it   Read on »

THE MINDSET LIST OF MOLAR MECHANICS, OR Why You Should Hug Your Dentist

by Tom McBride

THE MINDSET LIST OF MOLAR MECHANICS Or; Why You Should Hug Your Dentist! There are two common beliefs about dentists: that they grow rich and that they have high suicide rates. The truth is far more tangled. Although studies draw opposite conclusions about dentists’ suicide rates, there is ample evidence that they are more depressed and anxious, and feel more isolated than do members of the general population. Dental school is costly, and the debt incurred to go there, and then to set up one’s own business, can be huge. Dentists often strain their backs and shoulders to get into treatment positions, and the results can pile up to the point of serious orthopedic agony. Dental patients are nervous, and   Read on »

THE MINDSET LIST OF MILLENNIAL MATURITY: Respect Is Overdue!

by Tom McBride

THE MINDSET LIST OF MILLENNIAL MATURITY” Respect Is Overdue!  Perhaps you’ve been watching TV lately and heard a recent college graduate say that he will not take any job with any organization that does not “value” him, and maybe you thought to yourself, “those selfish Millennials are at it again.” But you’d be wrong. Even the youngest Millennial has been out of college for several years now, and the oldest are turning 40. The Millennials were the first generation of digital natives. They grew up with the World Wide Web and social media and selfies. They were almost instantly branded as a discontinuous generation, the first gang of disrupters, with self-centered entitlement and an inordinate love of avocado toast. But   Read on »

THE MINDSET LIST OF AMERICA’S GREECE & ROME

by Tom McBride

The Mindset List of America’s Greece and Rome Recently the Mindset List presented its list of “American Biblical Illiteracy.” But the Bible isn’t the only great American frame of reference: language we still use but origins we’ve forgotten. The other great pervasive influence—on our vocabulary, our phrases, our buildings, and our customs—is the ancient world of Greek and Rome. This is the realm of Socrates and Julius Caesar, of Plato and Nero and multiple others. It’s myth and history and architecture and literature. Without the background of classical Greek and Rome, America as it is now would never have existed, Our Founding Fathers knew the classics very well, and we ordinary Americans know a lot more about ancientGreece and Rome   Read on »

Where Has All the Privacy Gone? THE MINDSET LIST OF NAKED AMERICA 2.0

by Tom McBride

The Mindset List of Naked America 2.0 In 1964 Vance Packard wrote a book about the loss of American privacy—which he called THE NAKED SOCIETY. He was worried about Americans’ vanishing right to be let alone in the face of photography and newspaper stories. Sixty years later few things are more important than the issue of privacy. Is Facebook a social media company or a surveillance company that sells our personal data to the highest bidder? How pervasive is government snooping on its own citizens? Is privacy a Constitutional right guaranteeing the choice to get an abortion, or is it something dreamed up by hippie liberal judges? What are we to make of a society where you can get as   Read on »

THE MINDSET LIST OF SEXUAL REVOLUTION 2.0: Unhealthy Abstinence or Creative Improvement?

by Tom McBride

THE MINDSET LIST OF SEXUAL REVOLUTION 2.0 In retrospect Sexual Revolution 1.0 seems to have been a pretty simple affair. A revolt against Victorian standards, in alliance with the birth control pill, made increased sex, in or out of wedlock, more and more acceptable and less and less risky. People, especially he young, took their clothes off, and pretty soon “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” were the reigning triad in Europe and North America. In time, however, the bill came due. Sexually transmitted diseases weren’t all curable by any means, and sexual aggression was out of sync with gender equality. Thus, SR 1.0 came to a somewhat whimpering end. Now we are in SR 2.0 but unlike SR 1.0   Read on »

THE MINDSET LIST OF QUEEN ELIZABETH MONROE: DIAMONDS ARE A BIRL’S BEST FRIEND

by Tom McBride

The Mindset List of Queen Elizabeth Monroe: Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend They’ve never been together before—until now. They are arguably the two most iconic women on the planet after World War II. Nearly eighty years on, few on the globe would not recognize their images. They are both royals, albeit in different modes. They both proved, and continue to prove, the enduring truth that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, whether on the head or around the neck. 1 Both were born 40 days apart in 1926, the future British queen as Elizabeth Windsor and the future Hollywood queen as Norma Jean Mortenson. 2 Marilyn took as her surname the American president who declared an American empire in   Read on »