Eight People-Oriented Ways of Explaining Today's World
by Robert Winter
brain image brain image brain image
SYNOPSIS:  A small number of factors involving the way contemporary people feel about themselves and their world explain a surprisingly wide variety of contemporary developments and trends.

Why is our world the way it is?  We’re used to hearing explanations based on contemporary technology (computers and the Internet, hundreds of channels of cable TV, etc.) or on economic forces (e.g., globalization and offshoring of jobs), but we rarely hear anything based directly on people, and how they feel and behave today.

This is a significant gap.  Our world revolves around people, and if we don’t understand what they’re doing and why, we don’t understand much at all.

It is also not all that difficult a gap to fill.  Once we decide to take a good look at our “psychosphere,” a surprisingly small set of factors can be seen to explain a wide variety of contemporary developments—from gangsta rap to reality TV, SUVs to Islamic terrorism.