Why does it only seem like things were better eons ago? Scott Behson breaks it down.
Everybody seems to think that things were better before, like when they were younger.
Every time I hear what passes as popular music today, I start to agree with that sentiment. However, in all other aspects of society, things are WAY better today than they were before.
A few examples:
In baseball, if you asked people to pick the best player at each position of all time, the list would include: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, et al. All of whom played about 100 years ago.
That’s just stupid. Players today are waaaaaaaaay better than they were 100 years ago.
Remember little league, when 1-2 kids who hit puberty early absolutely dominated- they threw 80mph and the other kids had no chance, or they would hit .800. That’s what happens when the talent pool isn’t very deep- the best players REALLY stand out.
When there is more talent and competition, there’s less domination and fewer outliers. Fewer Babe Ruths hitting 60 home runs when the #2 guy “Home Run” Baker hits 13.
Today, baseball players come in all colors and from many countries. They train better and harder. Jose Reyes would kick Honus Wagner’s ass. There’s no legitimate argument that baseball players aren’t waaaaaaay better than those who came before, but because sooooooooo many of today’s players are better, it doesn’t seem that way.
Same thing goes for so many walks of life:
Jackie Gleason seemed like a genius because there were 5 other tv shows at the time and the rest stunk. Today, there are thousands of unbelievably funny and talented people on youtube—most of whom are funnier than Gleason. It just doesn’t seem that way.
Ben Franklin seems like an inventing genius. But seriously, his stuff was very low-hanging fruit—bifocals, a stick to get books from a high shelf, and moving the wood-burning stove to the middle of the room!!!!!!!! Seriously (although, if you ever had surgery, you should give him your eternal gratitude for inventing the flexible catheter). The researchers working today on human genome projects and stuff are way better, but don’t get the publicity.
Ok, Homer’s Illiad is the worst book ever written, and almost turned me off reading forever during freshman year of high school (thank goodness Of Mice and Men came next). But who else wrote books back then? No one. Plus, ooooh, it’s super-old so it MUST be genius.
Bull. There are thousands of authors looking for a book deal who could write rings around freakin’ Homer. But the Illiad was a long time ago, so he’s better than Stephen King.
So, the next time someone tells you about the good old days, and how things were so much better then, resist the urge to punch them in the face.
Instead, just chuckle, shake your head and then sit in your air-conditioned room, open a beer imported from Belgium, make a free video call with people halfway around the world over the internet, and watch someone run a 9 second 100-meter dash on your 80 inch HDTV.