Digital Natives

All of the complaints about the supposed complexity of the payment system in our association always come from members under 30 years of age. Our system is PayPal, by the way. So it isn’t anything very outlandish.

Members in their sixties and seventies only find the system difficult if they ask graduate students to make the payment.

I don’t want to be a curmudgeon but I’m tired of endless complaints about something I find to be trivial.

27 thoughts on “Digital Natives”

    1. Now I’m supposed to redo the whole website because the 25-year-olds can’t figure it out. And there’s literally one button that says PayPal. What’s to figure out?


      1. ” What’s to figure out?”

        Well they have to have a paypal account and probably have no earthly idea how to set up or access one that is.

        Smartphones are easily the most destructive invention of the last 50 (maybe more) years and have undone most of the benefits that widely available pc’s and the internet brought forth.

        I’m sure it was on purpose.


  1. If people under 30 can’t tap two buttons on their phone, they are unable to do it. Noticed this, as I think I’ve mentioned before, when we had interns come in who were unable to turn on a laptop and could not type on a regular keyboard. These were people nearly ready to graduate from college going to what are considered top-tier schools (Duke, Wake Forest, etc.).


    1. Somebody told me a story about a 2-year-old grandkid who was taken on a subway for the first time, and when the train went into the tunnel, she tried to swipe the window to get a better picture. I didn’t find it as cute as the proud grandma thought. My kid will learn a real computer long before she’ll see any app-based crap, that’s for sure.


      1. // My kid will learn a real computer long before she’ll see any app-based crap, that’s for sure.

        Well, as a user of ‘a real computer,’ I do not do much more advanced things on it than on a cell phone.

        How hard is it to send an email, open and write in a Word document, listen to YouTube songs or read an online book? I almost don’t do anything else.

        ( And using apps is not that easy, if one needs to download them. )


        1. I thought it wasn’t supposed to be hard to send an email but it seems like people who are used to text messaging have no idea that an email recipient doesn’t automatically know who you are. I keep getting emails saying “hey, what’s the homework?” It’s disconcerting.


    2. Mike, I enjoy reading your blog and wanted to comment on this post:

      “The component of male lived experience that is wholly unaccessible to women, more than any other, is the colossal and abyssal apathy of the universe towards you. Women cannot relate to this, except perhaps women of exceptional ugliness, childless crones, and FtM transexuals”

      I think it is the same for women. May be, I am already an old, childless and exceptionally ugly crone at 35, but I’ve always known that except my relatives (luckily for me) nobody cares. Have always felt the need to succeed professionally and the fear of being a failure at life in case of a professional failure too.

      That writer you quoted adds “A woman can never know of the consummate coldness of the universe, for man and woman alike feel the overpowering, all-consuming need to care for women.”

      Well, I have never had any man, except my late grandfather who also raised me, to care for me.
      Never noticed alien men falling over themselves from their great desire to take care for me either.

      I think that thread reflects personal experiences and psychological problems of the writer more than anything else and hardly reveals any deep truths about the genders.

      Those things are also culture-related. In FSU, I’ve seen cases of men being taken care of by women, when women worked and supported their families, while doing the lion’s share of housework too. I’ve seen men leaving their kids. Men drinking a lot and so on.

      The writer also leaves out the matter of the life of a soul, so to speak. Suppose, I could find a man to ‘take care of me’, if I agreed to take any man, but how can one suffer living with another person without love? It is so horrible that I prefer being alone to suffering an unwanted person near me for one day. When people search for deep connection, both genders reject each other a lot.


      1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I was only dealing with that specific tweet. I disagree with a lot of the other tweets in the thread. I still think, though, that there are some crucial differences. Even if a woman doesn’t want any man or a specific man, there is still the knowledge that society is concerned with her (whether in the negative or positive sense), while men are seen as far more disposable and must prove themselves to be valued. Women don’t need to prove themselves to have value; they just need to be, especially if they are attractive or young, but often after that, too, especially if they have families.

        While certainly any soul can feel lonely, and I’ve never been a woman so I can’t say for sure anything about that experience, as a man many people (often also women, but plenty of men) let you know how very expendable and without value you are early and often. Women don’t seem to get this to the same extent, at least in any cultures that I have direct experience with. The difference is that women are assumed and treated as having innate value, while men are treated by default as without value until they do something to prove themselves. We are disposable and every man is aware of that from boyhood. Here, I am only speaking of the prevailing culture in North America.


        1. “many people (often also women, but plenty of men) let you know how very expendable and without value you are early and often”

          Male initiation rites in pre-industrial societies are always about how worthless boys are and how as men they must be ready to die for the group without thinking.

          Female initiation rites are more about how important being able to have children is.


        2. Wow, what a great tweet. And a great discussion. I’m totally feeling it.

          Take me and my husband, for example. We are identical age, from similar cultures, emigrated in the same year, similar education. We are both total curmudgeons and complete introverts.

          But I can easily think of at least 15 people I know in person who are really interested in everything that happens to me. And N has zero people except me. I know where to go and who to turn to in order to help me manage unbearable affects.

          I’m not that young and I’m currently looking like an ancient hag but the world is a more hospitable place to me than to N, for sure. If I stop in the middle of the street and look helpless, the very first person passing by is stopping to ask how they can help.

          Hey, even in murder mysteries, the victims are almost never male. Because readers don’t care.


          1. “in murder mysteries, the victims are almost never male. Because readers don’t care”

            Sometimes the victims are male so that the reader won’t waste time feeling sorry for them and can devote more of their attention to the mechanics (Murder in the Vicarage and A Murder is Announced come to mind).


          2. My husband and I sound like N and you. My husband is super introverted but with age he’s become positievely misanthropic. He’s decided that, as foreigners, we’ll never fit in and never belong or have friends, so he doesn’t even try. I wouldn’t call myself an extrovert, but I make an effort to get to know people, to remember what they’ve shared about themselves, so I have friends (not ride-or-die, but decently close friends) to hang out with, and I keep meeting new people (joined a sci-fi book club, gym, etc.). I think more than zero nonfamily people would notice if I dropped dead, whereas for my husband it would be just me and our kids. But I don’t think this is some deep, fundamental gender divide,; it’s more a function of our personalities and upbringing.

            By the way, most women become virtually invisible once they hit their forties (i.e., they’re no longer broadly considered fuckable). I want to take advantage of my newfound stealth and become a ninja or a spy.


            1. Does it annoy you sometimes that he’s this way? I’ve started getting annoyed because I have to constantly lie to people to explain why he never shows up for events we are invited to.


              1. It doesn’t really annoy me mostly because I know he’d annoy me more if he went and moped around, feeling miserable. I usually tell people that my husband just isn’t very social and leave it at that. I don’t mind going to places by myself. (I might have minded before, but 20 years into marriage I definitely no longer do. I’m in my mid-forties now, and give far fewer fucks about most things than when I was young.)

                I take my kids to all their sporting events and practices. I think most other parents there (we get to hang out for hours on end, then usually eat together with the team after the games are over) think I’m a single mom because they’ve never seen my husband. On the rare occasion when he does show up, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone and doesn’t really pay much attention to the events (also stresses the participating kid out because it’s such an unusual thing). Only those parents who’ve actually been to our house (parents of our kids’ longtime friends) have met my husband and know he’s nice and friendly, but yeah, in order to meet him you have to come to our house.

                He generally doesn’t do well in social situations where he doesn’t know people well (e.g., might fail to read the room and bore people with stories when their interest was only cursory/small-talk level) but he has other great qualities (thoughtful, loyal, extremely supportive — the most supportive man I’d ever been in a relationship with), qualities that I’ve failed to find in many people who are outwardly charming. So I’d take my introverted grump over anyone! 🙂

                He does take the youngest to lessons and whatnot, where no interaction with other parents is required, and he does spend a lot of time playing with the kids (video games and stuff I don’t); he’s the primary shopper for Xmas and all (I don’t like gift shopping or holidays), and we’re overall well matched on many levels (he’s the one who cleans; I’m the one who cooks; he’s a homebody, I’m the one doing stuff outside the house, etc.).

                Our dates are movies (both love $5 Tuesdays at the local theater), concerts and comedy shows (he prefers concerts, I prefer comedy shows, but we both like both).

                Love my misanthrope hubby! 🙂


              2. I’m starting to think that we are married to the same man. 🙂

                I didn’t use to mind but I’m starting to because, for one, Klara is beginning to ask, “Is daddy punished? Is daddy in timeout? Why can’t daddy come with us?” And also I hate having to lie. I’m not good with lying. But I have these new friends, for instance. They are from Africa. Their first explanation for any social snub is that it’s because they are black. I can’t tell them that N isn’t coming over to dinner because he doesn’t feel like it. They have already asked me if he has a problem with black people. And we are not close enough yet for me to explain that he has childhood trauma. I’ve already had to explain it to a person he’s got aggressive with at Klara’s kid gym, and it’s very unpleasant. So I lie and invent excuses.

                If it we’re just me, I wouldn’t give a crap but I don’t know how to explain things to Klara at this point. Once she’s older it will be easier.

                But I’m really happy you have such an amazing marriage, for real.


              3. I think you can be truthful without going into the roots of the issues. I tell grownups my husband just isn’t very social. Honestly, it got me out of many “couples friendships” where I really just like one person (often the woman) and don’t particularly care to hang out with the other one anyway, so I continue just with the one I like and outside of our respective houses.

                As for Klara, I would recommend just telling her the truth. My kids take it in stride that Dad is not very social and needs a lot of alone time. You could tell Klara, when she asks why Daddy isn’t coming, that Daddy feels uncomfortable around people he doesn’t know well (or however you want to phrase it) and that if he came he wouldn’t really enjoy the event, and you and Klara don’t want to make him do something he wouldn’t enjoy. Maybe also emphasize that he really hopes you and Klara have a nice time and is looking forward to hearing all about it when you come back and is going to miss you! Basically, just try to treat it as something that’s just normal and part of who he is and who you are as a family.

                I know N is a wonderful to you and Klara, so I think she’ll have trouble taking it in stride. Good luck!


              4. Your new friends sound like a hoot. 😛 You sure you’re not just envious that he’s the one who gets to stay at home?

                I relate pretty hard whenever you talk about N. I’m excellent in one-on-one interactions, reasonably good at public speaking or managing a small group, but something about an unstructured group chat or party makes me feel like I’m being roughly minced in a blender. It’s mathematically impossible perhaps, but I’m pretty sure I’ve left more social events than I’ve been to.

                Aside from heartily recommending just staying home in the first place, maybe he could get them a small gift? I’m sure he won’t mind putting in a bit of effort to appear less strange so long as he can avoid the blender itself.


              5. They are wonderful people. The husband is into shooting, fishing, and hiking. He could be a great friend for N. Who doesn’t want a friend like that?


        3. // men are seen as far more disposable and must prove themselves to be valued. Women don’t need to prove themselves to have value; they just need to be, especially if they are attractive or young,

          Just for fun, two cases from Israel:

          CASE 1

          “Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli posted an item on her Instagram account on Tuesday to honor the memory of the country’s fallen soldiers – only to be met with a backlash from users who pointed out that she evaded military service.”

          “The Israeli Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden threatened to boycott the fashion chain Fox if they hired Refaeli.”

          “Bar Refaeli’s appearance in a new pro-Israel campaign has prompted an official letter from the Israeli Defense Forces to the Foreign Ministry complaining about Refaeli’s lack of military service. Israeli law requires all citizens over 18 to enlist — women must serve for two years, men for three — but Refaeli managed to avoid conscription in 2007 by briefly marrying a family friend so that she could continue her modeling career. The IDF has denounced Refaeli before, but they resumed their complaints on Sunday when Refaeli’s new ads came out.”

          CASE 2

          “Haredi Jews in Israel who declared that Torah study is their profession were exempt from compulsory military service or served for a short period until the law changed in 2014.”

          “Many in the ultra-Orthodox community shun military service, which is mandatory for other Jewish Israelis, and the community has historically enjoyed blanket exemptions from the army in favor of religious seminary studies.”


  2. Wanted to share that the first book I read in 2020 was “Alone in Berlin” by Fallada that you reviewed on this blog.
    Very good writing, a pity I haven’t read it in my teens already. But the feeling even after finishing it was quite heavy for a few days. Hope his other novels won’t be so hopelessly dark.

    Have returned Alhierd Bacharevic’s “Dogs of Europe” without reading it so far. Will try again later, if you say it’s worth it. Still recommend Menasse’s “Capital” which is shorter and, I think, easier to read.

    In other news,

    В ознаменование 75-летия Победы, Россия готовит новый прорыв.
    За пять лет россияне с боями прорвались от церемонии празднования “Крымнаша” в ГУЛАГ
    В Сибири предложили возродить трудовые лагеря


    1. In good news, a review of both the Dogs and Capital is coming as soon as I get settled into the semester routine. 🙂

      In negative news, other novels by Fallada are much darker. But God, what a genius.


      1. // In good news, a review of both the Dogs and Capital is coming as soon as I get settled into the semester routine.

        Thank you!!! It is fantastic news. Wow. 🙂

        // In negative news, other novels by Fallada are much darker. But God, what a genius.

        I work a lot and feel no energy during school year for reading. Mainly read during vacations. For instance, read Fallada while being on a ‘New Year vacation’ because of lying in bed with 39 °C. (In Israel, New Year is a usual working day. 😦 ) So, reading it added to general feelings of being unwell.

        Now loaned “Wolf among Wolves” and trying to gather energy again.

        It took me almost half a year to read Menasse’s novel, but it was worth it and, despite its darkness, it was positively light-hearted in comparison with Fallada.

        Btw, there is another novel, also titled “Capital” by John Lanchester (published in 2012). I read it and enjoyed it too, but it is a completely different novel from Menasse’s. Lanchester’s Capital is London:

        “The novel is set in London prior to and during the 2008 financial crisis, jumping between December 2007, April 2008, and August 2008. The title refers both to London as the capital city of the United Kingdom, and to financial capital. ”

        Menasse’s novel is deeper imo, but Lanchester’s is also nice in its own way. If you search for a nice read, try reading Prologue and the first chapter on Amazon to see if you also will like his style of writing.

        Wait, on Jun 8, 2019, I sent you an email, so you can check there too. 🙂

        FROM AMAZON:

        Each house on Pepys Road, an ordinary street in London, has seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between. But each of the street’s residents―a rich banker and his shopaholic wife, a soccer prodigy from Senegal, Pakistani shop owners, a dying old woman and her graffiti-artist son―is receiving a menacing postcard with a simple message: “We Want What You Have.” Who is behind this? What do they really want? In Capital, John Lanchester (“an elegant and wonderfully witty writer”―New York Times) delivers a warm and compassionate novel that captures the anxieties of our time―property values going up, fortunes going down, a potential terrorist around every corner―with an unforgettable cast of characters.


  3. Also, while we’re using Clarissa’s blog to talk to Mike… Echoing the sentiment of enjoying your blog, and, if you don’t mind, have a request – can you talk more about your conception of the environmental system? It’s clearly a high-ranking concern for you and I want to know what you’ve learned about it, but reading your blog gave me a better, more specific idea of how Mozilla failed rather than the specifics of how you think environmental/political/individual interaction works.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.