Generation X – scientifically unsuccessful

According to Wikipedia, Generation X (Gen Xers) are the children of the Silent Generation and older Baby Boomers – which includes myself. Demographers and researchers typically use the birth years of Gen Xers ranging from the early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980s, including all my children. The younger Gen Xers were the first children to have access to computers in their homes and schools. In the 2008 book, "X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking", author Jeff Gordinier "contrasts Gen Xers to Baby Boomers, saying Boomers tend to trumpet their accomplishments more than Gen Xers do, creating what he describes as 'elaborate mythologies' around their achievements. Gordiner cites Steve Jobs as an example, while Gen Xers, he argues, are more likely to 'just quietly do their thing'."

My personal example confirming Gordiner's opinion is Steven Weinberg (born 1933, Nobel Prize 1979 for his achievements in the Elementary Particle Physics), whose book "The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe" (1977) was a typical example of such 'elaborated mythology' surrounding his own achievements. The result was opposite to Weinberg's expectation. After reading his book I became a doubter about Elementary Particle Physics' ability to successfully explain the Origin of the Universe.

Gen Xers scientists like Sabine Hossenfelder were still too young in 1970s and 1980s to note the danger of these 'elaborated mythologies' related to their idols achievements (such as Murray Gell-Mann, Steven Weinberg, Abdus Salam, Sheldon Glashow, and others). Particle Physics positioned itself at the very pinnacle of not only Physics but the entirety of Science itself during the '70s and '80s. The young students of this relatively narrow scientific branch were educated in the arrogant conviction that there is only – and will never be any other – serious science outside of Elementary Particle Physics. Thirty years later, Sabine Hossenfelder is the first Gen Xer courageous enough to brake the mythology tradition and to write a book about her unsuccessful generation ("Lost in Math").

Yet even she can't fully brake from this vicious educational circle – having failed to explore the underpinnings behind her generation's misery at their inability to find solutions beyond the range of their own scientific discipline. Rather, she tries to assign blame for their lack of successful research to the excessive “beauty expectation” within the theories of Particle Physics (and practically the entirety of Physics). Her doubting the beauty of Nature is like doubting the beauty of our all existence – which is to me a kind of crime with which I simply can't comply.

Therefore the natural conclusion is that Gen Xer scientists are themselves to blame for their inability to escape their arrogant education. The solutions to their problems have been available for decades but lie beyond the traditional limits of Elementary Particle Physics. Yet hope awaits ... with at least one such example that can help to pivot their sense of misery into a sense of beautiful mystery.

2 Kommentare

  1. Sometimes i find it simply extraordinary … the desperate struggle between the closed and the open mind. How far we stray from our origins like the rebellious teen distancing itself from the Parent to establish individuality – or at least attempt to. And usually throughout a lifetime – only to wind up in the bosom of the mega-birth mother (Nature & the Cosmos) that birthed our physical parents to begin with. Maybe the Scientific community had teetered between its “adolessons” and is now entering young adulthood, finding less need to rebel with the closed mind and excel with the open.

    1. I have finished the “New-Paradigm definition of life” ( with the remark:

      “The problem with us human beings is that our imagination cannot reach even the next century. This is a strong argument for myself to try to make our scientific long-term prognosis more trustworthy.” For to realize this task, it is especially necessary to understand our currently running “cosmic quantum jump” between the two consecutive evolutionary civilisations – the Medieval one (between 872 and 1989) and the present First Global Civilisation (theoretically running between 1989 and 3108) (compare Fig. 15 in “New-Paradigm view upon our own evolution”;

      You write: “Maybe the Scientific community had teetered between its “adolessons” and is now entering young adulthood, …” It is correct but not strong enough. The scientific community IS “now entering young adulthood”, the adulthood of the new evolutionary step (with its theoretical length of 1118.22 years), the step of the First Global Civilisation.

      And let me allow the second remark. Your “mega-birth mother (Nature & the Cosmos)” is NATURE alone, because Cosmos is an inseparable part of Nature. There could not exist Nature without Cosmos, and Cosmos without Nature would be dead.

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