Thin king about how homeless kids in Miami view the rich South Beach clubhoppers- as oblivious, clueless, self-absorbed, superficial, easily distracted and tricked oafs and buffoons - got me thinking about Americans in general. It's true that the stereotype the children developed was anecdotal and limited, but still, experiential and repeatably empirical.
And honestly, it's not Americans, people in general around the world, as they become increasingly prosperous, affluent, and idle, fall into the same behaviors. Even animals are like that. It turns out, not only are Americans #1 in the obesity trend, so are our animals. So are our vermin!
Let's just say it. People (or maybe I should say all life on Earth) may be good at many things, but they are absolutely terrible at handling abundance. Human beings do not do well with abundance. We get all self-destructive. Too much available money, we spend too much. Too much available booze, we drink too much. Too much available drugs, we get high too much. Too much food...
We are not genetically, or epigenetically geared for an abundance of anything. We get stupid, fat, and lazy. And we don't learn nothing from it.
You want to see ingenuity? You want to see innovation? Put a limit on things. Put a barrier up. Put a boundary out there. You start to see precision decision making. You start to see end-run planning, flanking maneuvers, improvisation, repurposing, cleverness.
Oh, sure, there's a limit on the other side. Make things too scarce, and you can't think straight. Take away all options, and you get despicable behavior. Make the challenge insurmountable, and you get frozen thought, panic attacks, inaction, apathy, criminality.
So what to do with ourselves?