Social Question

Arisztid's avatar

Have you heard of the Mindset list, which tells much about changing times? If so, what do you think about its findings?

Asked by Arisztid (7113points) August 18th, 2010

It is a list compiled yearly that shows how America is changing. I shall copy and paste a bit of how the class of 2014 differs from those of, say, my generation. Here is the Mindset list from 2014 (link has an introduction to this study):
32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.
58. Beethoven has always been a dog.
4. Al Gore has always been animated.

One from the Mindset list for 2012
38. Lenin’s name has never been on a major city in Russia.

A couple more from the Mindset list for 2011
1. What Berlin wall?
53. Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre.
45. They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee. (This means that they are learning about huge parts of history from actors, not in school)

I could list more but do not want this to be overly long.

This makes me feel old but that does not bother me. I am not bothered by how life has changed. What bothers me is history is being forgotten.

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23 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Uh, yeah….That’s pretty bad…..although what should we expect? History will be forgotten eventually by the majority. Certain events just stop having importance after awhile because we are used to the change and are dealing with recent problems that will become more changes to get used to and turn into history; they will be forgotten as time goes on as well.

Seek's avatar

I just looked up the one for my year – college class of 2007

I think it’s a crock.

“Computers have always fit in their backpacks.” – Uh, okay. I guess I was imagining the “Pizza boxes” I learned DOS on.

“The Osmonds are just talk show hosts.” Who the eff doesn’t know about Donnie and Marie?

“They have always been able to make photocopies at home.” – No. Just no. I’m not the only person born in the mid-80s that knows how to use a card catalogue.

“Strawberry Fields has always been in New York.” That’s just insulting.

“Paul Newman has always made salad dressing.” Because the oldest movie we’ve ever seen is Footloose.

And anyone who uses the list of slang at the bottom is an idiot. Though, I do know the Duck Tales theme song. I’ll give ‘em that.

Sarcasm's avatar

I’m confused by these. Are they saying “People of X age shouldn’t remember these, because they happened before they were born”? Or are they saying “We polled people of X age, and they don’t remember these”?
Because from your list, I know what the Berlin Wall was, but it was torn down a month before I was born. I know the significance of Tiananmen Square, despite it happening almost 4 months before I was born.
I have no idea who Oliver Stone or Spike Lee are, but I know who JFK and Malcolm X are.

From the ones @Seek_Kolinahr mentioned
I remember when computers weren’t made for backpacks. I remember when photocopiers weren’t standard home equipment.

Looking at others for Class of ‘11 (My age)
I had no idea that humvees are available to public
I’ve winded down car windows
When was Michael Moore funny?
My first Nicholson experience was Little Shop of Horrors, not him being The Penguin.
“High definition television has always been available.” Really? This is just dumb.

Even looking 5 years earlier, for the class of ‘06, a lot of these are wrong to me.

But hitting on your general idea of “What bothers me is history is being forgotten.”
That happens. I bet you don’t know everything about the 1800s, or the ancient Greeks. It’s not relevant information. At least these days we have great information repositories, and we know how to find those. And knowing how to find information, in my opinion, is the most important knowledge.

FutureMemory's avatar

Oh man I can’t wait to check out the link! This is right up my alley. I’m dumbfounded by how little some people know about recent history.

“You mean Google wasn’t around in the 80s?!?” (quote from a Jelly who shall remain nameless)

Uh, no, and neither was the internet in general. Oi vey.

Keysha's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr If you read the intro, it is people entering college. So the high school graduating classes. Not those graduating college. Ask kids today who Donnie and Marie are. See how many know.

Before you rip apart something so completely, maybe you should read what you are ripping into.

@Sarcasm What they are saying is that, as in the ‘what Berlin wall’ remark, that the Wall came down before they were either born or old enough to remember it at all. This is what general society seems to indicate for the high-school graduating class of the individual years.

Seek's avatar

The year goes by college graduating class.

For example, the 2003 page (the year I graduated high school) says “Most of this year’s students entering college were born in 1981”

I was born in 1985. I did the math, and posted results for the 2007 class.

I’m not an idiot, and I read it completely.

Keysha's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr To quote the site: Each August for the past 11 years, Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college.

To quote what you just said “For example, the 2003 page (the year I graduated high school) says “Most of this year’s students entering college were born in 1981”

Both say entering, you say graduating, so I think I will go with what the site says, not what you have calculated.

Seek's avatar

That doesn’t even make sense.

For a student entering college in 2003 to have been born in 1981, they would be 22 years old.

It’s fucking addition.

It’s 2010 right now. A student entering college this year should expect to graduate in 2014. Tell me, what’s the highest number on that page? Is it 2014? Thought so.

Here’s what the 2014 page says: “Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992.”

That makes them 18 in 2010.

Arisztid's avatar

I wish I had not asked this question.

Frankie's avatar

I have to say, I’m more interested in finding out why some of the people who have commented on this topic have somehow decided that simply because something has never existed in a young person’s life, then that automatically means they have no knowledge of its previous existence… Yes, Czechoslovakia has never existed for the class of 2014, but that doesn’t mean that they do not know that it did exist at one time, or what its significance was…it seems like some people on here are using this list as an opportunity for the ever-so-popular, knee-jerk complaint that “kids these days know nothing about (insert historical reference here)”. This list does not mean that history is being lost or forgotten. The American Revolution has never existed in any of our lifetimes…have we forgotten about that? Didn’t think so. In fact, I read an article yesterday (unfortunately I cannot remember where I read it and none of my searches have been successful) that the two men who compiled this list explicitly stated that these lists should not be used for “doom and gloom” claims that young people are unaware and ignorant of the things that were part of everyday life for their parents and previous generations.

That being said, I think some of the stuff on the list for this year (I have not read lists from previous years) are a little hooey. My younger brother will be in the university-graduating class of 2016, so two years younger than these kids, and he wears a wristwatch as do most of his friends, and they all also know how to write in cursive. Trivial stuff, but still something that those who wrote the list were a little off-base on.

Keysha's avatar

@Frankie This says that they are losing and forgetting history: “They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee.”

For any US citizen to not know who JFK or Malcom X was, says a lot.

That being said, I agree with Aris. He was hoping for positive discussion about this site, and instead gets slammed. As does the site. I find it sad to think that someone can come on this site, and have such negativity in a thread, for no reason. There was no reason, whatsoever, to slam either the site, or this thread, the way it was done. It makes me ashamed to be human, sometimes.

Frankie's avatar

@Keysha I have to disagree with the JFK thing. I’ll grant you and the list with Malcolm X because all I learned about him in school was a tiny snippet in my 10th grade history book and I knew virtually nothing about him until I gained a sudden interest last year after taking an African American literature class and decided to read his autobiography. As someone from the 2010 class, so only a year older than the 2011 class about which this particular claim was written, I wholeheartedly disagree that we only know about JFK through Oliver Stone. In the history class I mentioned above, in fact, we did a several week unit on JFK alone, including a mock investigation and trial about the assassination and, before that, an extensive study of his short presidency, and I’ve yet to see Oliver Stone’s movie. And i’d say that the majority of my peers’ experiences have been the same. I think there are some flaws with the makers of this list, one of the biggest ones being that they don’t give young people enough credit. Then you have many people who, as I said before, use something like this to say that young people are ignorant and forgetting history when even the list-makers themselves advised people against thinking that. I can’t speak for those who you think were attacking this thread and the person who asked the question, but my understanding from the various articles I’ve read, one which included statements by the list’s authors, is that this list is not meant to say that young people have no knowledge whatsoever on these things, but more of a “wow, can you believe that?” reflection on how different the world is between generations.

Frankie's avatar

And @Seek_Kolinahr was correct, the list is about the entering college freshman class this fall, which makes them the class of 2014.

Keysha's avatar

I still find it sad that, when a post is made for discussion, the only things anyone can say about it are negative. I know for a fact that asking a question that breeds such negativity hurts , when it was meant to spark a good discussion. Instead, all there seems to be is hate.

I think I need a break.

Frankie's avatar

Maybe I’m missing something but I’m not really sure where you’re getting this whole “hate” thing…as far as I can tell, responses regarding people’s opinions about the lists were perfectly civil…are they hateful because most of the people who answered disagreed with the list, as well as your and arisztid’s opinion that these lists are evidence of the ignorance and idiocy of younger generations? If so, that is extremely narrow-minded of you. The only other thing I could imagine that you’re talking about is the exchange between you and @Seek_Kolinahr about what exactly “class of 2014” means, and I guarantee you she wouldn’t have responded to you that way if you hadn’t been so snipey in your first response to her, so not only were you wrong, you also brought it on yourself.

Just because people did not agree with you and your husband does not mean they were being hateful…if a “positive” conversation, to you, means everyone agreeing with each other, then a very public forum may not be the best place to expect that. Everyone on here was articulate, thoughful, and civil when voicing their disagreements with what the list said. If you found that hateful and saddening, then maybe you do need a break after all.

Arisztid's avatar

I am no longer following this question.

Over and out.

FutureMemory's avatar

This could have been a fun thread.

Keysha's avatar

@FutureMemory It could have, but no one wanted to look at it as anything but a site to attack and ridicule. That makes it sad. I was hoping, myself, for more of a walk down memory lane instead of a ripfest.

Seek's avatar

Forgive me for not finding an inaccurate, unsourced list of insulting ageism a nostalgic topic for discussion.

It would have been different had the list been entirely of true nostalgia, like “The class of 2007 ate Pac-Man breakfast cereal in their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pajamas”, instead of a long list of pop-culture we “don’t know about” because it occurred before we were born (The equivalent of saying you’ve never heard of Irving Berlin because his last successful show was in 1950 zomg, how did I know that, having been born in 1985?!?), and that makes each class out to be progressively more ignorant on recent world history.

Sarcasm's avatar

@Keysha I thought the concept of the website was fantastic.
But it’s suggesting things that are completely wrong. And if it’s completely wrong, I’m not really sure why it deserves to be praised.

FutureMemory's avatar

Who is Irving Berlin?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’m too old to be on their list (class of 1974). In my day, the Apollo program was current events, the idea of a portable computer was absurd, the latest geek gadget was the pocket calculator and you could buy a brand new VW beetle for $1995.

What astounds me about this thread is how supposed friends can be ripping into each other over trivialities. It really upsets me to see friends turn on each other like this. I thought I left this kind of cliquish childishness behind when I came here; this is supposed to be a site for mature folks who know how to use their minds. Maybe something has gotten into the water supply, but people have been edgy and defensive lately. Maybe time for a vacation, or a permanent relocation.

anartist's avatar

Why are people flipping out about this?
The list was HUMOR

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