Blog Archives

THE HAVANA SYNDROME MINDSET LIST: A Famous Medical Enigma

by Tom McBride

THE MINDSET LIST OF HAVANA SYNDROME Other than UFO sightings, few unexplained events have gotten as much attention as has the so-called HAVANA SYNDROME, a series of incidents reported especially by American (and some Canadian) diplomats all over the world. These personnel and their families say that they have experienced a wide array of symptoms, including disorientation, imbalance, nausea, confusion, concussion, deafness, and fatigue. A few of them have been unable to return to work, and a Congressional bill, bi-partisan, and signed by the president, has supplied benefits for American government employees who experience brain and heart injuries, Havana Syndrome is a cause for alarm and mystery. But it has not happened in a vacuum but in a mindset. It maps onto   Read on »

THE MINDSET LIST OF MICROMANAGING PARENTS

by Tom McBride

THE MINDSET LIST OF MICROMANAGING PARENTS There’s nothing quite like starting a 40year trend. And, even better, doing it quickly. By the end of Regan’s first term Stranger Danger, Play Dates, Bike Helmets, and Satanic Panic were all big cultural trends, and they have yet to exhaust themselves. By the 90s “Velcro Parents” and “Helicopter Parents” had entered the lexicon.  They’re still growing strong, with children’s self-esteem and safety on the line, and a growing trend towards consumerism in daycare, summer camp, grammar and elementary schools, and even colleges and universities. So far, it seems, graduate and professional schools have escaped. Such parents and guardians have mindsets. Read on.  1 Stranger Danger has always been a thing.  2 A Play Date is rarely a bad idea.    Read on »

THE MINDSET LIST OF AMERICAN BIBLICAL ILLITERACY

by Tom McBride

THE MINDSET LIST OF AMERICAN BIBLICAL ILLITERACY  By Ron Nief and Tom McBride (niefr@beloit.edu and mcbridet@beloit.edu) There was a time when bible stories were taught in school as literature. No more. Surveys confirm a dramatic decline in church membership and attendance, particularly among young people. Biblical illiteracy is up there with financial illiteracy. “People revere the bible but nobody reads it,” concluded a Gallup poll. Our concern does not relate to a decline in faith and morals. Our issue is that, today, with little exposure to the hymns and classic stories of Joshua, David, Paul, and Lot’s wife, generations are coming away with little understanding of important scriptural references that fill great literature and pop up in rock lyrics and   Read on »

Our Newest List: A TRIP DOWN CENTURY LANE…..If You’d Been 18 a Century Ago

by Tom McBride

A TRIP DOWN CENTURY LANE: On Being a Teen-Ager in 1922 Suppose it were a hundred years ago, you were eighteen, and trying to get your life out of the blocks. Well, there was reason to be optimistic. Sure, Germany had hyperinflation and Italy had something new called “fascism,” but the major powers were disarming, the “movies” were getting longer, the presidents of the world were talking on something called “radio,” and Ireland and Egypt were free states at last. Edward, that dashing new Prince of Wales, promised to be a great king someday. That League of Nations would keep mega-destructive wars from ever happening again. And if you were an American, then your president was as handsome as a   Read on »

THE MINDSET MOMENTS LIST: How To Avoid Hardening of the References Around Your Grandchildren

by Tom McBride

Tom McBride and Ron Nief called them “Mindset Moments.” They are the settings in which you have made a witty point or perceptive observation, yet you have been met with blank stares. The message is clear that your inciteful observation has fallen flat. And your audience doesn’t know what you are talking about. These “moments” provided the impetus, 25 years ago, when Tom and I were still of sound mind at Beloit College, for the creation of the Mindset List and several books. It was a list we shared initially with faculty colleagues and, eventually, with audiences around the world with the warning:                           BEWARE OF HARDENING OF THE REFERENCES. An intriguing setting for these Mindset Moments today has come   Read on »

THE TEENS-TURN-50 LIST: The New Kids on Campus in Thirty Years

by Tom McBride

THE TEENS-TURN-50 LIST Today’s New College Kiss in Thirty Years BY Tom McBride (mcbridet@beloit.edu) And Ron Nief (niefr@beloit.edu) Today’s high school graduates will have their adjustments cut out for them as we confront a period of sometimes wrenching change. As they set a course in life, they might well consider that in the next 30 years, as they approach middle age, they will find that…. 1 India will be the most populated country in the world.  2 Populations in Europe will be old, those in Africa, young, and the populations of Canada and other northern tier countries will have doubled and tripled. 3 Covid will have been forgotten as climate change, forcing people and animals to live closer and closer   Read on »

THE 18-ER FILE: 66 Fascinating Facts About Today’s New Voters and College Students

by Tom McBride

It’s difficult to unteach old dogs old tricks, and this applies particularly to the creators of The Mindset List, Tom McBride (mcbridet@beloit.edu) and Ron Nief (niefr@beloit.edu). Each year about this time we just naturally start thinking about the world we know and how it compares to the world of this year’s high school graduates preparing to head off to college, voting booths, and other great adventures. Their’s is a different world from their mentors and even from those just a few years older. Therefore, we offer a few of our thoughts drawn from… THE 18-ER FILE If you were born in 2004 and turned 18 in 2022, THEN: You may be the last generation to prefer reality to the metaverse. You are   Read on »

The Mindset Blog Presents: HAMLET JOINS FACEBOOK; WE JOIN HAMLET! By Tom McBride

by Tom McBride

When it comes to the twisted gyre of human identity, what would Hamlet be like on social media? He would be a lot like Hamlet, and a lot like you and me. Facebook has turned us into an electronic village. TV had already done that, of course, but on Facebook we can not only be held together but chat about what we’ve seen and heard. I grew up in a village and can recall just running into people on the sidewalks and exchanging news and views. Now I bump into people on Facebook. I used to walk around in order to encounter people. Now I place my bottom on a chair and scroll down. In my village I might tell   Read on »