People Debate What This Era Will Be Known For
When scholars look back on our current time of excitement, upheaval, and chaos, I wonder how they will define the era that preceded theirs.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what our era will be defined by–whether it was entirely good or a disaster–but perhaps a quote from a famous literary icon can still be of relevance.
In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens once wrote, in part:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity..."
Curious to hear the interpretations of the time we're living in, Redditor HeyArio asked:
"What will this era be known for?"
People discuss how the internet is both a blessing and a curse...but mostly, a curse.
It Took A Village
"If we're being eloquent, a period of social change and upheaval due to technology and social media."
"If we're being honest, a f'ked up period where social media enabled all the village idiots to communicate with all the other villages idiots to have one big idiot village."
"The Age of Misinformation."
"Using the Internet to make ourselves miserable. Let's face it, social media and divisive political content is seriously messing up our collective mental health."
Redditors noted how we have become numb to society.
"The Era of Missed Opportunities- when we could've done everything but chose nothing."
The "Ennui Engine"
"This will be known as the era when all of humanity joined together to make each other dumber and depressed."
"Low-effort content – media that's easy to both create and consume – doesn't actually entertain us; it just distracts us, ultimately leaving us listless and uninterested in anything that might actually add something to our lives. Think of how many times you've looked at your Netflix queue, glanced at your Steam library, or contemplated picking up a book, then gone right back to mindlessly scrolling."
"After all, higher-effort content would require time, attention, and energy to appreciate... and why would we bother with that when we have an endless array of memes?"
"Standards are considerably lower online, too, and they're only dropping further. People don't need to write well, provide accurate information, offer original content, or even behave like mature adults. Worse still, whenever someone suggests that maybe we should improve ourselves, we're more likely to ignore them (or downvote them) than we are to take the advice. We're all sending the tacit message that knowledge and effort are inferior to ignorance and apathy, and we're actively discouraging anyone who might think about doing better."
"Taken together, these two details highlight a chilling trend: Whenever we amplify or applaud low-effort content or poorly written misinformation, we end up muting and condemning anything higher-quality. We're actively depressing ourselves while we celebrate ignorance and apathy. This off-topic sentence about mutant lobsters is only here to amuse the rare few of you who aren't just skimming this comment. In short, we're harming ourselves (and each other) while making it harder and harder to recover."
"This is the Ennui Engine."
"The only way to escape it is to reserve our likes, upvotes, shares, and retweets for only those offerings which are exceptional... regardless of whether we personally enjoy them or not. If we're ever unable or unwilling to determine what 'exceptional' actually means, then we should hold back from interacting at all. We can't do away with social media – that ship has sailed – but we can insist that standards (for everything) be raised."
People lost hope in humanity.
Remaining At Odds
"Extreme division, right vs left, vax vs anti vax, Rich vs poor."
"It will be remembered as a time when people just refused to work together."
When Came A Virus
"Covid really showed how broken the US is."
Failing Our Environment
"This era will be known for us passing the climate change tipping point."
"toilet paper hoarding."
The past couple of years was heavily defined by the pandemic, which then brought out the absolute worst in people due to fear, isolation, and lots of misinformation as countless loved ones lost their lives all around us.
People were always divided, but with the help of various communities on social media pushing their respective causes, we are more divided than ever.
Dickens was on to something. To finish out his quote mentioned earlier, he said of the era before and during the French Revolution–which began in 1789–in his classic historical novel:
"In short, the period was so far like the present period that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
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People Debate Mandatory Retirement At 75 For Congress And The Supreme Court
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away in the fall of 2020, the United States panicked.
Namely, democrats and liberals were terrified by the prospect of another conservative judge on the United States Supreme Court, which already had a two-seat majority.
Then of course, there was the ongoing debate as to whether or not then-sitting president Donald Trump was entitled to pick another Supreme Court judge, as the 2020 presidential election was only weeks away.
Barack Obama was famously banned from appointing Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court owing to the fact that it was an election year, even though President Obama still had eight months left in his presidency.
Of course, RBG's death at age 87 also brought to the forefront an ongoing debate about whether there should be age limits for Supreme Court Justices.
"Would you support a mandatory retirement age of 75 for US House, US Senate & US Supreme Court Justices and if not why?"
If There Are Minimums, There Should Be Maximums
"We have age minimums."
"We need maximum age limits these people are making decisions for a future they won't be involved in."- mattjf22
Age Doesn't Always Equal Wisdom...
"I am 82 years old."
"Personally, I feel that anyone my age who still gets off on power needs to be kept away from normal people."
"But to the point of this post, the world has been run by old people since the beginning of our species, and just look at the place!"
"Yes, if you were intelligent to begin with your wisdom and common sense will increase with age, but so will your cynicism."
"If you were a young jacka**, you will become an old jacka** — and a hide-bound prejudiced old jackass at that."
"Give them a nice pension at 70, with the condition that if they mess with politics or government again they lose the pension."- SemichiSam
Would Have Greatly Affected The Last Two Elections
"70 and as for president no one can run over 65."
"FFS get with the program folks just retire."- Upstairs-Bid6513
Age Limits Are Only The Beginning
"Age requirement of 65, 2 term limit, Congress people serve 4 year instead of 2 year terms, and no campaigning more than 60 days before the election."- Deedoodleday
Term Limits First
"I feel like if we were to attach an age to it, it should be the age of retirement, but I feel like it would be more important to have term limits."
"Limits would fix almost all the same issues and address more, without arbitrarily deciding someone is too old to serve the state."- Askmyrkr
"Term limit is the way to go."- bob2235
Not Where Our Concerns Should Be...
"No, the problem isn't age, it's our election system."
"Politicians get old in office because it's so f*cking hard to vote them out!"
"End legal bribery, end FPTP, and we'll see a much healthier turnover in our political processes."- FountainsOfFluids
What Matters Is Their Qualifications And Abilities
"I'll be the contrarian."
"If you're good, you're good, regardless of age."
"I'll take a 75-year-old who is smarter, savvier, and better representative of my values than a 35-year-old."
"If you don't like them because they're senile, don't vote for them, that's all."
"Honestly, I feel the same about lower-age limits that aren't just the age of majority."- walkerintheworld
75 Is still Too Old...
"I would go even younger at 70."
"Sure that may mean we would lose Bernie, we would also be ditching McConnell, Pelosi, and the other fossils in office who refuse to address the problems we face."- Daryno90
"Would rather see mandatory voting like Australia."- szthesquid
Wouldn't Change Anything
"Making politicians retire at some arbitrary age would not address the underlying problems our system has."- giope_1995
"What problem are you trying to solve by doing this?"
"Apparently, people want to be represented by ancient dinosaurs."- SideShow117
Defeats The Point Of Democracy
"No, absolutely not."
"Nor should there be a minimum age (apart from 18)."
"The point of a representative democracy is that the people vote for whom they want."
"Putting restrictions on who can run serves no purpose other than invalidating the votes of people you disagree with."
"It's not up to you or me to decide who is 'valid' as a candidate."
"That's the entire point of democracy."
"And to those of you that are convinced that if all the old people were just gone, then everyone would agree with you, you're ironically the exact kind of uninformed voter that you claim to be trying to prevent."- scottevil110
"No, because if there was a 76-year-old candidate I liked I would want the freedom to vote for them."
"Supporting things like this is so short-sighted."- tedesco455
In the heat of the moment, it's easy to make rash decisions about government and democracy.
Frustrating though it may be, it's important to remember progress is a slow, steady stream and doesn't come easily.
Also worth remembering, there are indeed two sides to most arguments, and far more can be resolved in a discussion than in an attack.
As humans with autonomy and knowledge, we try to protect ourselves as much as we can. However, accidents do happen, and while we can expect the unexpected, we can't always protect ourselves from it.
Because there isn't always a defense, people sometimes have a close brush with death. They experience something that could've killed them but, by some miracle... didn't.
More people have stories like that than we expect.
Redditors are no exception and, in fact, were eager to share their close calls.
It all started when Redditor XboxCorgi asked:
"What has been your closest moment to death?"
Minding My Own Business
"Was sitting at my computer on the ground floor playing TF2 when a car came through the wall, smashed my desk and computer and almost killed me."
"I can’t imagine just chilling playing a video game and then the next second a car comes through my wall."
Swim Parallel To The Shore
"I almost drowned in the ocean in Hawaii. I had swum out from shore, started getting tired, started swimming back but the current was pulling me out to sea! Scary as hell. I started to panic, but I remembered that the side stroke is the one that takes the least energy, so I started doing that and for 10 or 15 minutes just went back towards the shore. I wound up a few beaches south of where I had started! I had to walk north to return to my group."
"I almost died like this in Panama when I was in the Army. Some of my buddies and I tried to swim out to what we thought was as an island from the beach, got halfway there only to realize it was a volcanic rock and that the waves crashing against it would surely crush/drown us. As we’re treading in murky pacific water something very large bumped against my leg (I suspect it might have been a shark but cannot say for certain as I never saw a fin). As we tried to swim back to shore we were all caught in a rip current, swimming towards the beach but going nowhere. As my friends and I ran out of steam to the point that we were panting faces barely above the water I put my foot down onto a coral reef or volcanic rock where I was able to catch my breath and then help my friends over to where I was."
"Eventually made it back to shore after swimming sideways out of the rip current, but that is legit probably the closest I’ve come to death."
"Unfortunately years later I had a friend in the army stationed in Hawaii who kayaked to an island, his boat got pulled out by the tide, and when he swam to get it he went under and never came back up. I knew we’d had a close call, but when that happened it really sunk in how incredibly stupid what we did was."
"Joplin tornado in 2011. I was in the bathtub as my house was destroyed around me."
"Edit: I was taking cover in the bathtub, not taking a bath."
"There was a tornado 15 years back or so in Oconto County in WI and a bar owner told us he had no shelter so he got into his bath tub and his house (trailer?) was destroyed around him. He says when it calmed down and he sat up there was a deer standing nearby looking at him and he said, "well buddy, I guess we made it.""
"The light was red so I put my car to park because it was taking a while longer than usual. It went green and I forgot to take it off park, but as soon as I put it in drive a semitruck ran a red light."
"Mate, that is f*cking terrifying. I can actually picture the scene and imagine the sound of it rumbling past, possibly horn blaring. Thank goodness for that little brain fart you had."
"A Fart That Saved My Life"
Not All Heroes Wear Capes
"Was working on an oyster boat. It was a beautiful day and we were sorting oysters on the boat of the deck. All of a sudden I felt the gentlest of taps on the back of my skull. When I turned around I saw my supervisor, red-faced with the effort of restraining the metal boom, which had come loose and almost slammed right into my head. He was able to slow it down just in time so I only got that little tap (guy's basically all muscle). If he hadn't done that I would have been dead for sure."
A Terrifying Vacation
"I went to Mexico in 2017 and nearly died my first day there. Was all good, having fun, having a few drinks, nothing too crazy though. Went to my room in the evening, and suddenly got a bad stomach ache that just got worse and worse with each min that passed. I also got feverish and delirious pretty quickly."
"I remember for some reason I decided a shower would be a good idea, and that's where my gf at the time found me heaped on the floor screaming in pain. I vaguely remember a paramedic stabbing me in the a** with some morphine which allowed to calm down. (Was not all the fun its cracked up to be, just made me sleep)"
"Get to the hospital, and they quickly find out that im going septic from a stomach infection. A few more hours and Id have been dead. Spent 3 days there, lost 30 pounds and could only eat soft fruit for about a week after."
"I also got the worst strep throat on the plane ride home too... my immune system was already weak, so it was horrible. Made me cough so much that blood came up. That was another hospital trip when I got home."
"The doctor who oversaw my care in Mexico was the most amazing doctor though. He spent the first 36 hours with me to make sure I was Ok, didn't eat or sleep or anything."
"Edit: I didn't get the infection in Mexico, I brought it with me. Doc said it had been building in my system for at least a week from the strength of it."
"I was around 3-4, picked up a live electric wire on the ground to play with. Got electrocuted immediately. Good samaritan grabbed a wooden stick and hit it out of my hands. People told my me later that they told my dad not to touch me because I was probably gone. That good samaritan saved my life. Acted when no one else did."
"Wow insane that they knew what to do. I don’t think I’d be able to think that fast the correct way to save someone in such a situation."
"When I was real young, I was with my family at a hotel in Virginia (not sure which), but it had a decent sized pool.
"We were swimming in it, and my family went over to the deeper end. Not knowing how to swim, I stayed at the shallow end. After a while, I started feeling left out cause it looked like they were having fun, so I started to make my way over, hanging onto the edge."
"Dumb little me got careless, and my fingers slipped off the edge, and I started drowning pretty quick. About 5 seconds later, I get hoisted partly out of the water by a big Mexican lady, and she sets me on the edge of the pool. I hacked and coughed for a good minute before I walked along the edge to my family.
"They never noticed, and I never said a thing about it to them since."
"I had undiagnosed diabetes for about 6 months, my blood sugar was in the 500's, I got to skip the line in the emergency room the doctors were so scared I was going to go to a coma."
"Hey, fellow diabetic here. Same story but my sugars were apparently over 800? Doc said the only reason I wasn't admitted straight to the ICU was cause I walked into the hospital instead of being brought in by an ambulance."
"I was 7. My family had just arrived back home from watching The Incredibles in theaters. I decided to try and run like Dash around the whole house."
"I ended up running through the kitchen toward the back door that led to our back yard way too fast and couldn’t stop. This door had a window in it, and when I put my hands out to stop myself, I ran into the door and my hands went through the window."
"My parents heard the crash and called out for me to ask if I was ok. I came walking out of the kitchen into the living room, blood pouring from my wrist. I was in a Disney princess night gown too, so it was honestly like a scene from a horror movie."
"We lived in a remote area, so when my parents called the ambulance, it couldn’t find our house at first. My mom had to run out and flag down the ambulance while my dad was applying pressure to my wrist with a bunch of towels to try to stop the bleeding. The ambulance finally got to our house and the EMTs were able to get the bleeding to stop and take me to the hospital."
"I lived! The scar is pretty gnarly."
Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls
"Waterfall hiking. Dipped my foot in on top and was immediately swept under and over about 3 waterfalls. Was very lucky to land where I did. Still have a chunk outta my leg to this day."
"I was on the back of my dad's motorcycle and he had a heart attack and blacked out. Bike went over; I hit the ground headfirst. Luckily he felt something was wrong and slowed down, so it wasn't nearly as close to death for me as it was for him, but it was still super scary. Thank god for helmets."
"dam did you r dad survive too?"
"He did! This was about 10 years ago and he's been taking good care of himself and hasn't had more heart problems!"
Despite the happy ending, that might actually be the worst one, and that's saying something!
The human body is truly amazing. It's resilient, it can create antibodies to fight off infections, and it comes in all shapes and sizes.
There are some awesome facts about the human body, like that no two people have the same fingerprints.
However, there are also some creepy facts about the human body.
Redditors are well aware of this and are ready to share the creepiest facts they know about the human body.
It all started when Redditor MorBot07 asked:
"What creepy fact about the human body do you know?"
I Need To Go Take A Nap
"Too much lack of sleep can cause the brain to "eat itself", cutting connections and making things like alzheimer more probable in later life."
"nothing has been able to convince me to start sleeping more but i think this comment really did it for me.."
"If your spinal cord loses adequate blood supply for a short period of time, you can be temporarily paralyzed."
"The first sign that your spine is "waking up" again is that you regain a specific reflex, where if you squeeze that person's penis or clitoris, their anus contracts. If that happens, it's a good sign."
Just The Right Spot
"A single punch to the chest can stop your heart. A single punch to the gut can rupture your spleen and kill you. A single punch to the face or back of the head can kill you. (the back of the head being less sudden and more noticeable)..."
"Let it be known that, despite all the things we can endure, humans are insanely fragile in many ways you may not even have thought of."
The Other Side Of Me
"Some people’s organs are on the wrong side of their body, like a mirror image… It’s called Situs Inversus"
"This is true! I actually have this. Partial Situs Inversus. Dextrocardia. It doesn’t harm me just means my heart in on the wrong side so the opposite lung is smaller. Can cause issues when I’m sick but nothing more."
"There are pregnancy cancers. You can have little baby cell metastases growing in your brain if you decide to have a baby and some of cell multiplier genes go wrong."
"Add that to the list of why I need bodily autonomy. 😬"
Time For A Reboot
"A seizure, despite how terrifying they may be, are your brain's response to the brain equivalent of a runtime error. Something happened that shouldn't have, and your brain is restarting to get everything running smoothly again."
"Source: epileptic since 2003"
"When we die, it looks like your fingernails are still growing, but it’s actually just the skin around your fingers shrinking."
A Body Is An Ecosystem
"Your body contains just as many foreign cells, i.e. gut bacteria, as your own body cells. These cells produce hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate basic physiological processes as well as mental processes such as learning, memory and mood. Some believe this is the "gut feeling" people sometimes get in certain situations."
"I’m currently pregnant with a girl. I’m currently holding the cells that could become my grandchild."
"Samesies. Every person in existence was once half inside their biological maternal grandmother."
"I don’t know if it qualifies as creepy.. I’m a nurse, and I’ve always found it interesting how the body attempts to compensate when sick which incidentally tends to lead to you becoming sicker because of how overworked your body is."
Different Species, One Body
"An estimated 30 trillion cells in your body—less than a third—are human. The other 70-90% are bacterial and fungal. Ninety-nine percent of the unique genes in your body are bacterial."
"If you have a stroke (or other brain injury) that effects parts of the brain associated with speech, you will probably end up with some type of aphasia."
"For example, my “favorite” type of aphasia is Wernicke’s Aphasia; patients can form whole words and even sentences, but they usually make no sense. I had a patient with Wernicke’s Aphasia who would constantly say something close to “we have to rescue the dog(s) from the DMV!” It took me about 30 mins to figure out this person wanted something to drink."
A Whole New Person
"I heard or read once that essentially every 7 years your body has completely regenerated. Of course it's a slow on going process but 7 years from now no cell that's currently in your body will still be there."
"Eyes are the only part of the body that don't grow. Same size when you die as when you were born."
We Are Strong
"You could easily bite your own fingers or tongue off, but (unless you're seriously mentally ill) your brain prevents you from doing so."
They say knowledge is power, but I'm not sure I'm better off for knowing of this!
Until we're in a situation, we'll never really know how we'll react.
I have been in this scenario, though.
Sex matters. And people rarely want to admit how much.
But sex isn't a lifetime guarantee.
It fades, as does love.
It's important to speak about it.
It can be a fixable situation.
A relationship without sex may not be the end of the world, but it's definitely a sign that something is off.
Redditor Deviant55 wanted to talk about physical intimacy in relationships, so they asked:
"How important is sex to you in a relationship? Could you be with someone you love even if sex was off the table indefinitely?"
I learned how much sex matters in my last relationship.
Once I wasn't interested, it kind of killed everything.
ForeverGIF by moodmanGiphy
"When my wife of 30+ years became too ill for sex to be even remotely interesting for her, I certainly did not end the relationship. I loved her and I took care of her until she died. No other course even occurred to me."
"When I met my wife we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. This lasted a few years. I was in my mid-twenties when we married. She developed a chronic medical issue. I’ve gone twenty years being sexually frustrated. There are stages and phases to this."
"What I came to realize is that I love my wife. Yes, sex is important in our relationship. But I would rather have her in my life with no sex than have sex without her."
"The thing is, I love her. She can’t help her situation. I can’t help it. One deals with it. Marriage is more than sex. It is building a life and memories, raising a family, and loving each other regardless of the challenges life throws our way. But sex is very important. It helps keep the closeness and the emotional bond. But it isn’t the only thing that does that."
I Love Her
"It is complicated. I am in a near-sexless marriage. The wife needs antidepressants to function. And it kills her libido. So usually it is four to six times a year. My libido rages. And yeah, it sucks. I dream of more sex."
"But I love the chick. She loves me to the moon and back. I’m not willing to sacrifice her love so I can try dating again. Divorce rates these days? And I found a woman who more than tolerates me, she loves me. I’ll stay. And not to be crude but yeah I masturbate. A lot. She doesn’t begrudge me that. Occasionally she even encourages it."
"She went off her meds for a while. And man did we do it. But she was a mess. I need her healthy more than I need a shag. We travel together. We enjoy each other’s company. We actually like each other. I could claim that it is hell, but I choose to see all of the good I am blessed with."
"Quite important. But I think it depends on where you are in the relationship. I've been married for 10 years. I have kids. If my wife suddenly couldn't have sex with me for some reason -- illness or injury or something -- I'm not divorcing her over it. That's heartless."
"Now, if she just decided we weren't ever having sex again because she didn't feel like it, that'd be different. Or if I was just starting to date someone and they told me they'd never have sex, I probably just wouldn't keep pursuing the relationship. Plenty of people out there who will."
"It depends on the circumstances. I LOVE doing it with my man but I love his heart and soul more. If we had to stop having sex for medical reasons or something I’d definitely stay with him and stay faithful. If I was single, I think it’s unlikely I’d start a new relationship knowing it would be sex free."
Heart and soul is just as necessary and hot and sweaty.
At least a lot of people recognize that.
"Sex life is 10% of a relationship when it’s good and 90% of a relationship when it’s bad."
"The other way I've heard it put is that sex is like the bathroom in your house. It's not the only reason you bought the house, but if it's not working it's a big problem."
"50-year-old here married for 27 years. It’s not important. It was important when we were younger but honestly, if sex wasn’t possible I would still love my wife and really nothing about our day would really change."
"I’ve been reading these comments and wishing that everyone’s age was flared on their post because I sense that there are a lot of under-60-year-olds. I am older than my wife but she is starting menopause and I can see the writing on the wall. Not super thrilled but I love her completely and understand. The real intimacy is in how we still (and will always) want to sleep touching each other and waking up next to each other."
"I honestly considered this before. I absolutely adored this guy. It was like a child relationship; we'd kiss and cuddle and hold hands and things, but he wouldn't have sex with me, nor would he commit properly. Any time we came close to sex, he'd go soft or back off."
"I couldn't understand it, wondered if I could keep doing that. My sex drive was wild. Why kiss and the rest but not sex?"
"Then one day he told me he was in love with me and asked me out properly. I said yes there and then, had a wonderful day with him, but when I went home, I was left questioning if I could possibly live without sex. I decided that yeah, I loved him but it would be tough."
"We had sex the next day. So yes, I think I probably could."
"It's very important. I'm a very affectionate and physical person and touch/caresses and anything physical is one of my love languages. I couldn't function with someone who is the opposite of me or who's uncomfortable with how I am. I already was in a relationship with someone who wasn't that touchy/affectionate and it created frustration for both of us."
Don't Look at Me
"I am in a sexless relationship. He has erectile dysfunction and I really don't like sex in general. I'm really uncomfortable naked or even vulnerable. I'm shy around him despite the relationship being 10 years nearly, I'm even shy around my family and friends. Everything about sex makes me feel so embarrassed, and I feel nothing but negative feelings when I used to be sexually active. Not through choice of partner, I just hate that sort of attention."
Definitive!Shake Handshake GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"10/10. Sexual incompatibility is a deal breaker!"
Sex is important but not everything.
Until it is everything if it becomes an issue.
Good luck couples. Open and honest communication is key.