War of the worlds

War of the worlds

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Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena is about how to bridge the gap between generations


Photo: lime/Alex Maishev

Lately we often hear the opinion that Russian classical literature is hopelessly outdated, and modern man is completely useless. I completely disagree with this, but I will not argue. My only comment is that in this literature there is work that helps to understand our current contradictions.

This novel by Ivan Turgenev “Fathers and children”. His action, as we recall, is set in the pivotal era of “great reforms” of Emperor Alexander II. It is at such times most clearly and vividly the conflict of generations between fathers and children is irreconcilable contradictions found in everything — from faith in God and the justification of the existing social order to to do with love, art, and manners of dress.

Something similar, only on a larger scale, we are witnessing today. Of course, in Soviet times, young people belonged to their “ancestors” without any reverence, but often with irony and outright mockery. But still, if we use the known definition of Andrei Sinyavsky, the differences between the fathers and the children mostly wore stylistic character, despite the fact that the basic values were similar.

Remember your childhood: neither I, nor my parents, simple people from the rural hinterland, there was no doubt that our homeland — the USSR — the most progressive and fair state in the world that young people must “learn, learn and learn”, that military service is an honourable duty that the books and sports is a good thing, and vodka in excessive quantities is bad and much more.

Today parents and their children separated by an abyss. For the younger generation of their “relatives” — people, frozen in the distant, incomprehensible, absurd and very boring past.

The cause is unfolding before our eyes the fourth technological revolution, mainly information. It opened for the younger generation endless new possibilities and at the same time “resets” the knowledge and skills that are nowadays considered important. Recall again the classical Russian literature. What exceptional talent possessed Prince Myshkin? That’s right — excellent writing! Whom such a talent would be necessary in our time? What if we young was rubbed in the school pants with writing lessons?

The same fate befell the subject, called the school of plotting, and in institutes — engineering graphics. Computer programs allow you to design three-dimensional design is much better and faster than a traditional drawing Board, mascara and mutmansky paper. There is no longer any need to memorize historical dates. At any time and in any place we can access Wikipedia and find out when was Julius Caesar assassinated or executed Charles I. And what a slide rule, neither the students nor the students just can not imagine: the computer allows to perform any computation by several orders of magnitude faster and more accurate.

As a result, adults lose their credibility in the eyes of children. What they know and can do, in the eyes of the young generation is totally unnecessary and useless. And children far exceed adults the ability to enjoy the benefits of the information revolution.

Among other things, this revolution creates a new perception of information. The same classic literature seem to be young people in the same way as we film extremely slow motion. Studies show that young people focuses on a single object not more than 8 seconds. And they prefer visual information – photos, pictures, emoticons, etc are a Good “demotivator” can tell them about a person or phenomenon is more than hours of boring reasoning adults.

Social networks form in young people a new reality much more exciting and exciting than what we call “everyday life.” She is constantly bubbling: every day there are new trends, new idols, new friends and interlocutors. What is the point to waste time on a book when it is time, the networks will be so many interesting? Commercials not long be excluded from the information flow and become useless alone. By the way, loneliness is the most afraid of the younger generation.

Emerging youth culture in principle anticonservative, and therefore appeal to “traditional values” is perceived by young people in the best case, with deep bewilderment. After all, “tradition”, where they are treated as adults, refers to the time when real life wasn’t there. For them, this time is about the same as for us, the time when humanlike creatures lived in caves. And what is there good?

At all times young people reject what the older generation called “success in life”. Participants of the great student rebellion in Paris in may 1968 was, as a rule, children of successful and wealthy parents. However, neither the wealth or career was not for them most important landmarks. But time passed, continued passion, and those young people were entered on the beaten path: a rebellious of that generation subsequently became prominent politicians and bureaucrats. Among today’s youth rejecting traditional ideas about the “success” even more noticeable. The person conducting the time in boring meetings, and then going to his luxury high-rise mansion to the unloved wife does not seem to be for young people an example to follow. Success is determined by the momentary feeling of happiness and finding “your way” in life. In the virtual world, success is also virtual, that is not tied to real-world objects.

What can we do to adults? I honestly don’t know. But one consideration still occurs. In the days of the offensive of Denikin’s army on Moscow, the Chairman of the revolutionary military Council, Leon Trotsky advanced the slogan: “Proletarians, to horse!” Likewise, we should be guided by the slogan: “Parents get on the computer!” Of course, we don’t beat our children in the wisdom of Informatics, but at least we should understand their language and be able to explain it. Otherwise the gap between generations will become insurmountable. And it can turn into a kind of “war of the worlds” — between the old traditional world of adults and the new virtual world of the younger generation. The consequences of this “war” it is impossible to predict.

Member of the Public chamber, Professor, doctor of legal Sciences