Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Women in Trousers? Whatever Will the Young Set Do Next!!?

John Kwag askes, in an ESL-ly kind of way, "Why does every generation seek to denigrate with wildly negative characterizations or predict social horror for every generation after them?" Sounds like Babelfish.altavista.com got its grubby paws on that one. As Borat would say, "Naaaisssss." Here is what I think.

Evolution teaches living things to be scared of anything new by killing the ones that don't run away on a regular basis. Over billions of generations, this has resulted in animals that have an instinctive false positive response to "Is something new dangerous?". Also, neural networks (of which brains are an example) often have problems unlearning once they have modeled an input stream.

So the older we get, the more uncomfortable we are with change for reasons of the network architecture of our brain. Add to this an instinctive fear of new things and *poof*, you observe the not-so-youong panicking at new ways.

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