It is time.

Mariner, for the sake of sanity, has stepped back from daily behavioral response to frightful, deliberately agitating news programs. Saner are selected on-line news sources, books and magazines. He is careful, as a citizen, to maintain his obligation to a national democracy; he is responsible to elect meaningful representatives to HIS government.

But mariner has begun to wonder. Is democracy becoming old fashioned? Is it the right philosophy of government for an era where international politics are growing more influential than national politics? Is the new global economy too expensive for a typical citizen to invest in and participate? Will each nation simply play the role of a labor union to reconcile humanistic virtues vis-à-vis international corporate politics? Will, in fact, super-sized corporations replace national governments? Who will govern the corporations?

As though to tease our brains, many of these questions already have emerging answers that seem to be pulling everyone into an age of supersizing – certainly causing stress on religion, secularism, humanism and the old fashioned descriptions of capitalism, socialism and communism. At the moment, without exception, the new frontier is fed and run by money.

Immediately important today is our concept of taxation. The rich have won the war on taxation: the richer one is, the less percentage tax they pay to the point of paying none; the same with corporations. It is the excessive wealth among a few that can launch a global plutocracy.

Ironically, the distrust between citizens has led to populism and identity politics, in effect dividing citizens one against the other while the rich unify their economic purposes.

If humans are to remain the significant influencer in human history, it may be that democracy is the last defense against authoritarian oligarchy. Democracy depends on an identity that evolves from human ethic while authoritarian oligarchy vacuums profit that denies human ethic. An excellent example is that Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have the finances to underwrite a useless trip into the solar system while billions of humans live stressed, inadequate lives.

In short, our defense is to unify, to become one human force that controls its ethical experience. It is not a time to destroy democratic election processes; it is not a time to quibble over a measly trillion (many individuals in the world could pay out a trillion by themselves). It is not time to pretend superiority by hiding behind race and other social issues. It is time to defend the very core of humanity.

Will someone tell the electorate?

Ancient Mariner

Evangelical Similarities

At the top of the news these days is the social conflagration occurring in Afghanistan. Women are being shoved out of a male dominated, religiously-based power structure that will run the nation and its culture for the foreseeable future. Ironically, a similar situation exists in the United States where religious denominations suffer the same ‘divine male power’ syndrome.

The book that delves into this issue is ‘Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation’ by Kristin Kobes du Mez. The book documents ideas about masculinity in the white Evangelical church and its politics which, while not as violent or intrusive as the Taliban, are eerily similar. Kristin Du Mez said “Trump’s four years in the White House made painfully clear just how deep these divisions ran.” About a quarter of Americans describe themselves as evangelical protestants; that’s tens of millions of people according to polling by Pew Research Center. 14% are white evangelicals, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, and that evangelical population grew among white Americans during the Trump administration.

This is another fissure opening in this age of social change rife with computerization, racial upheaval, women’s rights, and an increasingly oligarchical economy. The ‘white Christian’ tag is present in other denominations as well.

Americans must admit that national legislation, whether Federal, state or local, still limits women’s rights and underplays male accountability to be fair and nonjudgmental. The fact that years of rape cases documented in police records have gone unprocessed is just one example. The fact that sexual abuse to women is as blatant and ignored as to tolerate gross abuse to an entire team of female Olympic gymnasts is just one example. The fact that a woman does not have the right to make decisions about her own body with respect to abortion is just one example. The fact that the rate of pay for the same job across the United States even in modern industries pays women 82 cents for every dollar a man earns.

Perhaps Americans should take note of the Taliban and cast the mote from their own nation.

Ancient Mariner

Humanism

Someone suggested mariner should expound on humanism, referenced in his last post about ABBA. He proposed that computer intelligence was damaging the humanistic elements of society.

Generally, humanism refers to a focus on human wellbeing and advocates for human freedom, autonomy, and progress. It views humanity as responsible for the promotion and development of every human, advocates the equal and inherent dignity of all human beings and has concern for humans in relation to the world not only politically but in the human relation to the planet as a whole. Wikipedia uses the word ‘agency’ which means capability to perform as intended.

Humanism has no theology; the core ethic is the responsibility of humans to do what is best for humans. Humanism often is compared to secularism because both philosophies espouse a human-based morality that includes self-imposed responsibility for the wellbeing of humans, including the reality within which humans must exist.

The difference between the two is that secularism focuses more on the separation of church and state while humanism has no argument with the existence of theological beliefs – as long as it improves the agency (ability to perform as intended) of its believers. Humanism depends on science and existential circumstances to define both reality and moral agency.

What is important to humanism is its concern for success in life for all people and extends that concern to all of reality such that humans and reality are in concert. A large part of that position is the inclusive nature required. Many of the ethical principles are similar to those in the New Testament, that is, respect everyone without prejudice, do no harm, bond with humanity using compassion and assuring one’s agency is focused on the wellbeing of humanity.

Caring for humans is a natural instinct for the species. The ability to read the emotional state of a person by the expression on that person’s face, without even realizing one is analyzing, is a simple example of how important human emotion is. Compassion is a particularly strong emotion in humans but it is damaged by being abused or by constricting normal behavior. Humanism is a political advocate for equality and freedom and it promotes the agency of society generally.

When an individual frequently withdraws from interaction with humans in order to focus on a smartphone, does that improve the wellbeing of humanity? When the information on that smartphone is unreliable or manipulative, does that improve the wellbeing of humanity? When too many trees are cut down and it affects global warming, does that improve the wellbeing of humanity? When economic policy is unbalanced by classism, does that improve the wellbeing of humanity? Whatever the issue, humanists will ask: Does that improve the wellbeing of humanity?

Ancient Mariner

Sharia Law

Mariner was reading his daily mail this morning when he read an article about the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The new leader of the government encouraged women to join the new government – as long as they followed Sharia Law. This statement is far beyond anything Donald would say. No woman in her right mind would voluntarily support Sharia Law.

Comparatively, Sharia Law is a guidebook for Muslim judges to use when hearing cases brought before them. The cases are similar to cases brought before lower courts in the United States.

While other legal codes regulate public behavior, Sharia regulates public behavior, private behavior, and even private beliefs. Compared to other legal codes, the Sharia Law also prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation and favors corporal and capital punishments over incarceration. Of all legal systems in the world today, the Sharia law is the most intrusive and restrictive, especially against women.

Thanks primarily to Wikipedia and the billionbible website, below is a list of specific mandates included in Sharia Law:

  • Theft is punishable by amputation of the hands.
  • Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
  • Criticizing Muhammad or denying that he is a prophet is punishable by death.
  • Criticizing or denying Allah is punishable by death.
  • A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
  • A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
  • A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
  • A woman or girl who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
  • Testimonies of 4 male witnesses are required to prove rape of a female.
  • A woman or girl who alleges rape without producing 4 male witnesses is guilty of adultery.
  • A woman or girl found guilty of adultery is punishable by death.
  • A male convicted of rape can have his conviction dismissed by marrying his victim.
  • Muslim men have sexual rights to any woman/girl not wearing the Hijab.
  • A woman can have 1 husband, who can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
  • A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
  • Girls’ clitoris should be cut.
  • A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
  • A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a wife needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
  • A divorced wife loses custody of all children over 6 years of age or when they exceed it.
  • A woman’s testimony in court, allowed in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s.
  • A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
  • A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
  • Meat to eat must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah.
  • Muslims should engage in Taqiyya (saying something that isn’t true but supports the Muslim position) and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.

There is a moderate wing of Muslims who have incorporated a modern ethical code into their beliefs but still generally accept the principles underlying the Sharia.

In nations which have Islam as national law, at a minimum the Sharia reaches across all nations ending in –stan [seven and Iran which should be a –stan except for a shift in dominant language at the time] .

Yet another new situation in these changing times.

Ancient Mariner

Purgatory

Is Purgatory required by God, the Holy Roman Catholic Church or the medical profession? Mariner is of an age where he no longer is a mainstay of society, economics or politics. Like millions of other citizens, he represents past accomplishments, past memories and lost faculties.

It causes mariner to ponder – Was the Roman Church right to declare that purgatory was after death? It seems that would make a situation similar to the American immigration policy at the Mexican border. Would God be that disorganized? True, the Church made a lot of money buying and selling souls – sort of like the smugglers bringing immigrants from Central America.

Another explanation is that, similar to the penances of the Church, the medical profession has declared that purgatory is before one dies, not after. The medical industry makes lots of money by extending the human lifespan but not extending the physical or mental capabilities that existed earlier and further makes it feel more like purgatory by prolonging half-cured illnesses and disabilities. Is purgatory a medical phenomenon?

What is God’s take on this? As best we can tell, God created humans as part of his Garden of Eden. Things were perfect until the snake came along. So because we consciously knew the procreation game, God had to modify some things. He changed humans and all creatures into beings that passed on. He said “Instead of living forever in the Garden of Eden, humans will exist as a three-generational creature then die.” So purgatory doesn’t seem to be in God’s plans.

It is true that Jesus offered a get-into-heaven-free deal in exchange for promoting God’s agenda but that quickly disappeared when the Church became the gardener.

All mariner knows is that he is not the human he was when he was forty. Purgatory, apparently, is a real thing; we just don’t know who to blame.

Ancient Mariner

The Way Out

Every so many generations a tumultuous time arises. Everyday life is less pleasant, less secure and society is destructive to many social norms. We live in a time like that today. Life is not fun and for too many, not even possible. There were similar times in the past – the 1960s when racism erupted, the Democratic Party was in conflict, national leaders and college students were assassinated. The 1930s suffered unbelievable economic tragedy that affected everyone; the turn of the century suffered riots and prejudice as suffrage and labor rights disrupted daily life. The greatest example of disruption included a deadly civil war that occurred in the 1860s. Further back in US history is the shame of genocide against the Native American.

The telltale signs are present today. Way too frequently innocent people suffer death by gunfire. Riots and protests are daily events. Government at the same time is imperialist and authoritative and otherwise dismissive to the need of its citizenry; justice is served by the flow of cash and favoritism.

Each tumultuous time posed a threat to the high minded principles of a democratic republic based on equality, personal freedom and the right to happiness.

It is time to reintroduce humanism as the rule of society. How the nation emerged from those tumultuous times was not by the wisdom of a great orator or a magic pill that settled society. Emergence occurred because there was just enough faith, just enough opportunity, just enough public intelligence that individual citizens took command of daily life; humanism became the influential judgment.

Humanism is the belief that a human is the most important form of existence on this planet. Humanism implies equality for each human for no other reason than that person is a human. Humanism as a philosophy promotes unity and promoting the rights of humanness. Humanism induces oneness instead of identity politics and populism.

Humanism is not competitive between humans. It is allegiance to the principle that every human has inalienable rights. If a human is disadvantaged, that is not acceptable – after all, they’re a human. Many historic sources allude to the fact that humans are made in the image of God; where is someone willing to take on God?

There is a common phrase that can be used as a first response to general wellbeing. It is required to be the first emotional reaction to any and every human despite political or class differences. It is “I have your back if you need me.” Live by that statement with conviction and a surprising phenomenon will occur: the tumultuous time fades away.

Ancient Mariner

IF

IF the reader was born before the Vietnam War (1954), their core understanding of reality and related social values is outdated – functional but outdated. Life values accumulate via growth experiences until around the age of 25; developing pragmatic skills through adulthood by participating in society benefits society. The opportunity to successfully participate in society fades after the age of 60 because two younger generations have created a different reality during their growing and productive years.

A good analogy for elders is walking lost on a Manhattan sidewalk at noon. What is important to social stability is that everyone over 60 has earned and deserves a pleasant time during their retirement.

It is true that some personalities will insist on an active, decision-making role in this century but their values and experiences are not quite in tune with the needs of a newer society.

IF

If the reader believes in the sanctity of the Universe, its tough and rugged rules for existence, its rules for sustaining a sensitive balance of life forms and further that all life forms are subject to the rules of Nature – then the reader tends toward being a naturalist. Perhaps the broadest philosophical point for a naturalist is sustaining Nature’s status quo, its balancing act among all matter living and nonliving.

Being a naturalist, the reader is aware that Homo sapiens has tinkered with longevity beyond what Nature would grant. Just in the modern era, the lifespan of humans in 1943 was 53; today it is close to 80. “Why,” the reader might ask, “has society nearly doubled the lifespan of humans but feels no responsibility for the overpopulated outcome not only concerning humans but their imbalance with the rest of the ecosystem?” Three alternatives have been tried that inadvertently limit population but have not become a sustained practice for balancing human population:

(1) Execution. Imposed death of family members and servants was practiced by Egypt for centuries; even today there is a voodoo group that still practices ceremonial sacrifice for the good of the family or society. A small remnant of ritual assassination remains through execution of unwanted criminals. And, of course, before the invention of explosives, changes in culture or climate forced relatively large armies to brutally kill each other in a war.

(2) Limited reproduction. From time to time, especially in Asian societies, a family was constrained by social rules to have only one child. A different variation existed recently when Asian families decided not to have that one child be female because males were more valued for their opportunity to work and bring more resources to the family. In 2015 Xi Jinping removed the offspring limitation for economic reasons.

(3) Prevented reproduction. These methods can be considered to be common practices to prevent pregnancy; for example, abortion, sexual preventatives like condoms and vaginal obstruction, and pharmaceuticals.

If one is a naturalist, given the overpopulation issue, one is confused by a culture that insists on enforcing the birth of children who may not be wanted or who will burden the life of the family beyond normal circumstances and at the same time other factions insist on pregnancy as a personal choice unaffected by reproduction issues.

As is almost always the case, Nature controls biological balance. Does the reader know that caucasians, Asians, Europeans, Russians, in fact the whole world is losing population? Just in the United States, where white supremacists are active, the white race will be a minority in the 2124 Presidential campaign and will disappear as a political entity by the end of the century.

Mariner is reminded of the noted mouse and rat studies in the 1960’s that showed when the caged population reached a point of imbalance in terms of space, mating environments and social bickering, the population suddenly dropped to about a third and stayed there for a long period.

Ancient Mariner

Repurposed Churches

The following article was in a November 2018 copy of The Atlantic magazine. Mariner thought it may be an interesting read. In the Methodist denomination if a church closes, church buildings and property revert to the state-wide Annual Conference; local parishioners seldom and only under peculiar circumstances are allowed to take ownership for local decision-making. In mariner’s rural county many churches are in death throes and face a serious dilemma. In mariner’s town, the Presbyterian church closed decades ago and has been converted to a private residence.

Ideas

America’s Epidemic of Empty Churches

Religious communities often face a choice: Sell off the buildings they can no longer afford, or find a way to fill them with new uses.

Jonathan Merritt, Nov 25, 2018 Contributing writer for The Atlantic.

Three blocks from my Brooklyn apartment, a large brick structure stretches toward heaven. Tourists recognize it as a church—the building’s bell tower and stained-glass windows give it away—but worshippers haven’t gathered here in years.

The 19th-century building was once known as St. Vincent De Paul Church and housed a vibrant congregation for more than a century. But attendance dwindled and coffers ran dry by the early 2000s. Rain leaked through holes left by missing shingles, a tree sprouted in the bell tower, and the Brooklyn diocese decided to sell the building to developers. Today, the Spire Lofts boasts 40 luxury apartments, with one-bedroom units renting for as much as $4,812 per month. It takes serious cash to make God’s house your own, apparently.

Many of our nation’s churches can no longer afford to maintain their structures—6,000 to 10,000 churches die each year in America—and that number will likely grow. Though more than 70 percent of our citizens still claim to be Christian, congregational participation is less central to many Americans’ faith than it once was. Most denominations are declining as a share of the overall population, and donations to congregations have been falling for decades. Meanwhile, religiously unaffiliated Americans, nicknamed the “nones,” are growing as a share of the U.S. population.

Any minister can tell you that the two best predictors of a congregation’s survival are “budgets and butts,” and American churches are struggling by both metrics. As donations and attendance decrease, the cost of maintaining large physical structures that are in use only a few hours a week by a handful of worshippers becomes prohibitive. None of these trends shows signs of slowing, so the United States’ struggling congregations face a choice: Start packing or find a creative way to stay afloat.

Closure and adaptive reuse often seems like the simplest and most responsible path. Many houses of worship sit on prime real estate, often in the center of towns or cities, where inventory is low. Selling the property to the highest bidder is a quick and effective way to cut losses and settle debts. But repurposing a sacred space for secular use has a number of drawbacks. There are zoning issues, price negotiations, and sometimes fierce pushback from the surrounding community and the parish’s former members.

A church building is more than just walls and windows; it is also a sacred vessel that stores generations of religious memories. Even for those who do not regularly practice a religion, sacred images and structures operate as powerful community symbols. When a hallowed building is resurrected as something else, those who feel a connection to that symbol may experience a sense of loss or even righteous anger.

After St. Augustine’s Church in South Boston was abandoned, the developer, Bruce Daniel, encountered a number of unforeseen difficulties. Demolishing the 140-year-old building and starting from scratch was the most economical option, but sentimental neighbors’ protests forced Daniel to retrofit the existing building into condos. Many local residents remain unsatisfied with the compromise.

“Anybody who goes into a neighborhood and buys a church, without having some knowledge and sensitivity, they’re asking for trouble,” Daniel told The Boston Globe.

Converting old churches into residential spaces, like St. Augustine’s and St. Vincent De Paul, is becoming more popular. Churches’ architectural flourishes—open floor plans, exposed brick, vaulted ceilings, and arched windows—often draw buyers of means who are looking for a residential alternative to ubiquitous cookie-cutter developments.

While this type of sacred-to-secular conversion may be a tough pill for former members to swallow, many are even less satisfied with the alternatives. A large number of abandoned churches have become wineries or breweries or bars. Others have been converted into hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and Airbnbs. A few have been transformed into entertainment venues, such as an indoor playground for children, a laser-tag arena, or a skate park.

When St. Francis de Sales Church in Troy, New York, closed in 2009, it was converted into a fraternity house for the Phi Sigma Kappa chapter at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. A communal symbol that once served as a beacon of hope and welcome now seems like little more than an emblem of American youthful superficiality. Imagine the emotional impact of driving past the place of your mother’s baptism only to see frat boys stumbling down the front steps.

Calling it quits isn’t the only option for dwindling congregations in possession of expansive, expensive buildings. Some are moving upstream of the crisis, opting to repurpose their buildings before they go under.

Larry Duggins left a successful career in investment banking a decade ago to attend seminary at Southern Methodist University. There he met a professor of evangelism named Elaine Heath with whom he brainstormed ways to help dying churches who maintain a will to live. The pair eventually founded the Missional Wisdom Foundation, a 501c(3) that functions as a kind of think tank for “alternative forms of Christian community that makes sense for traditional churches that may be declining.”

“Years ago, the neighborhood church was the place many in America got together and, along with local schools, was where they got to know their neighbors,” Duggins told me. “But this model is no longer relevant for many people, so churches have to think creatively about how to help people encounter others and God in their everyday lives.”

To test their idea, Duggins and Heath approached the pastor of White Rock United Methodist Church in Dallas about collaborating. Half a century ago, it was a massive congregation with robust weekly programming, a strong reputation in the community, and a 60,000-square-foot building. But the neighborhood’s demographics shifted in recent years, and church membership waned. Its combination of sprawling space and shrinking attendance made White Rock the perfect guinea pig for Duggins and Heath’s experiments.

Missional Wisdom moved into the bottom 15,000 square feet of White Rock’s building and got to work. It converted the fellowship hall into a co-working space and transformed Sunday school rooms into a workshop for local artisans, including a florist and a stained-glass-window artist. It formed an economic empowerment center, where the group teaches a local population of African refugees language and business skills. And it finished out the space with a yoga studio and a community dance studio. Today, the church building is bustling most days, and the congregation is both covering expenses and generating revenue from its profit-sharing agreement with Missional Wisdom.

Next, the Missional Wisdom team partnered with Bethesda United Methodist Church in Asheville, North Carolina—a congregation with challenges similar to White Rock’s. Together, they created a community center called Haw Creek Commons. In addition to co-working space, they retrofitted the building with a textile and woodworking shop, meeting rooms that are used by local business and AA groups, a retreat space that can sleep up to nine, and a commercial kitchen in the basement for local bakers and chefs. Outside, Missional Wisdom constructed a community garden, food forest, beehives for the Haw Creek Bee Club, a greenhouse, and a playground for the children who attend the school next door.

Duggins said that the goal of these two experiments was simply to create opportunities and space for the community to gather and connect with one another. But as with White Rock, Haw Creek Commons has had residual positive effects on its host congregation.

“We wanted to transform the church into a place that would draw people who might not otherwise come, and in Asheville, we’ve seen it break down stereotypes of what the church is,” Duggins said. “At Bethesda, there were less than 10 people in the church on a given Sunday, but now there are more than 50.” Multipurpose spaces lower the barriers to entry. When someone using a co-working space experiences a personal crisis, they have a comfortable place to turn to.

This relatively small organization can only do so much to turn the tide of congregational death in America. Missional Wisdom has shifted its focus from one-off projects to publishing books, conducting seminars, and consulting with struggling churches. They hope that these resources will be helpful to America’s flailing congregations who are forced to choose between evacuation and innovation. The latter may be the harder road to travel, but many faithful will find it preferable to watching their childhood church converted into luxury lofts.

Ancient Mariner

 

What do You Believe?

That is not an easy question to answer today. There are no clear hints about what is absolute or true or real. It used to be easier way back in the very old days. For example, if you lived 75,000 years ago, the only source of belief was one’s experiences with the natural environment. What was true was simply an anthropomorphic existentialism (Yes, writing about philosophy invokes the use of philosophical words – which is why novels dominate the retail book market). What ‘anthropomorphic existentialism’ means is that nature had its motives and you had yours. The interaction with nature was not always predictable; after all, nature thought for itself just like you did.

Interestingly, anthropomorphic existentialism easily lends itself to a way to measure whether you are a successful thing or not by the way nature, an uncontrollable power, treats you. This method of measuring success still exists in today’s world. Just one example among many, it is how monetized religion works today – if you give enough money to the television evangelist, you will be rewarded in kind by God (AKA nature). Speaking cynically, this con was developed by religious middle men from the beginning. Remember having to pay the church so your family could get out of purgatory? How about sacrificing your child in exchange for a good rainy season (AKA nature)? Given this perspective, it is understandable why military leaders pray to a supreme influence before going into battle.

Given some thought about it, one realizes the tit-for-tat relationship that even today requires some sacrifice or commitment on our part before a deal can be made. If Nature (God) is to be served today, what is our modern tit-for-tat? Is it global deforestation or contaminating air and water? Just food for thought; that’s what philosophy is good for.

Jumping forward a lot of years, humans learned enough about nature to define how nature thinks differently than we do. Nature says all living things are created and survive according to the rules of evolution – nature’s measure whether you behave well or not and deserve a tit-for-tat. Our species will thrive and be successful simply by following nature’s evolutionary playbook. Unfortunately, this is hard for us to do.

After 90 million years of evolving the hominin branch of living things, one hominin, Homo sapiens (us), began to do well using an extra amount of intelligence. We figured out a way to consume nature without participating in a tit-for-tat. In other words, instead of surviving like other life, which is living in balance with nature’s rulebook, we figured out a way to make a profit from nature without the balance part.

Nature is not petty or judgmental. The evolution rulebook was written in the very beginning; astrophysicists named the event ‘the big bang’ – the beginning of nature itself. So nature lets our existentialism play out. That means sooner or later, nature will claim its tit-for-tat.

So maybe anthropomorphic existentialism is the right belief. Functionally, what’s the difference between one child sacrificed and civilization sacrificed, functionally speaking. Quite like a reverse mortgage, don’t you think?

Ancient Mariner

 

It’s all about Sixty Year Cycles

Mariner and his wife were having a discussion about the socio-economic cycles of a town. When mariner was in college, he read a book about the relationship between generational lifespan, economic growth and consumption, and group dynamics. He has long forgotten the author and title but has been fascinated since how perceptive the author was when he stated that the life cycle of any town or defined group was approximately 60 years.

Throughout life mariner has found case after case that adheres to this author’s premise. The sixty-year cycle, as one might imagine, has a lot to do with each generation as it passes through similar learning, socializing and aging. In mariner’s town, there are clear 60-year cycles. The town began in the 1880’s. One can imagine that virtually all the settlers were in their productive years and relatively close in age. This generation lived through the boom decades when the internal combustion engine launched a new technological age. This small town hosted four major implement dealers, a motel, four churches, two hardware stores, three grocery stores and a railroad.

Like the corona virus today, in the 1940’s (60 years after the town was founded) World War II forced an unusually rapid change from the previous 60 years to the second 60-year cycle. Overnight, the Baby Boomer generation took the lead away from the Silent Generation. The Boomers dominated a socially active era when there were clubs for every interest, and an active restaurant, tavern and movie society. The Civil Rights Act was one of several social modifications during the Boomer years.

As the Boomers passed into retirement age, generation X slowly took the reins and shifted the culture to a more conservative, economically aggressive society. By the turn of the century (60 years later), a new technology based on computers had evolved which began to push the X generation out of the way. Clearly, as the new century began, a new generation began to influence society – the Millennials.

It was hard to displace the X generation because science had found ways for humans to live beyond the lifespan of an evolved hominid: three generations or sixty years, more or less. Now hominids were living close to 80 years and were still meddling in the affairs of the next generation.

This extra-long lifespan has led to an intransigence of old people still involved in the society of the next age. This conflict between life in the twentieth century and life in the twenty-first century would still be dragging on except that the corona virus has put its foot down. With lightning speed our society, its technology and its economics will leap into the deep waters of the next sixty years. Welcome aboard, Centennials.

Ancient Mariner