Sunday, December 21, 2014

'Rogue Boomers' : optimistic, naive

If we ever do encounter a 'spot of bother' (their words) over global warming, Rogue Boomers fervently expect the engineering equivalent of the tooth fairy or superman to waft over and quickly sort it out .

Their forebears used to worship scientists and science , so this is a bit of a change - because these Boomers don't like scientists, at least as they imagine them to be.

University profs mostly, sitting in ivory tower labs, forever dissing this or that sincere effort to 'grow' the economy.

What they do still like are engineers - at least they imagine them to be - actually often their imagined engineers are scientists - field or production scientists employed by private industry.

Pose any big crisis at these Rogue Boomers and just wait for it : yep, within a minute or two, they are sure to pull out the 'it just needs another Manhattan Project - this time for cancer - to solve it'.

Big Science - Big Money - Big Faith : throw enough at it and any problem will go away.

By contrast, my segment of that same Boomer generation, those of us I call the 'Noir's Children', just as confidently expect that 'anything that can go wrong, will go wrong'.

It is not as if we always grimly shut off the TV after viewing a downbeat Film Noir and go put our heads in the oven.

It is more that if a mysterious light ever glows overhead and a thousand soldiers arrive to seal off the site , we don't take it on faith when some guy in a suit arrives and says "I'm from the FBI in Washington - and I am here to help."

Ronald Reagan conservatives bought that line - the Rogue Boomers still buy that line - but we don't ...

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