Posted by Paul Malo on September 21, 2002 at 05:30:31:
In Reply to: the extinction of the nuclear family of the 50's -the disappearance of the front porch - technology what is happening? posted by BRUTUS on September 21, 2002 at 04:25:45:
Well, yes and no.
While I find huge houses with unused rooms wasteful and silly, I'm not persuaded that changing patterns of domesticity are altogether unfortunate. As usual, I agree with Emerson that every benefit has a cost, and all changes for the better will entail changes for the worse. As issue is whether change should happen at all. I think the answer to that is fundamental: any organism that does not continue to grow and evolve will die. Cultures are organisms, and those that stagnate eventually are superceded by more vital cultures that grow.
My own inclinations have always been conservative. I'm a historian and appreciate historic architecture as well as historic communities and their live style. But I've seen much cultural change--and social betterment--in the past half century. Whereas we have here many fundamentalists who decry changing attitudes about race, gender, morality, and values, surely the benefits of those changes, in my honest estimation, outweigh the losses. We can argue about certain trends, like big houses and consumerism, but I would not return to the world of my childhood. I've seen too much improvement in the human condition, despite the tragedies of the twentieth century.
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