There is always a lot of talk about how each generation is different than the last. “Back in my day…” “In the old Corps…” and the like. I do, however, believe that my generation (and I’m probably close to the leading edge of it) is growing up in a very different environment regarding information.
The internet, talk radio, cable news, everyone writes books, the internet (yes, I meant it twice), are all newer forms of information that are bombarding us every day. No one is exempt from these influences, but we are all influenced differently depending on our age. I grew up at a time when all this information was hitting the scene right as I was formulating the majority of my world view. People younger than myself are going to be hit with it even more.
What is the end result? I do not know. However, I do believe that it is having a polarizing affect on people. Back in the day, the more limited amount of information was usually closer to the mainstream (where ever that might be on a particular issue). Because so much information is now availble there is no moderating factor. Things can be as whacked out as they like. On top of this, there is no arbiter of information. It is often difficult to assign value to different sources of information. So some completely far out idea seems as valuable as one that is closer to the real truth.
Just as every generation faces new challenges, this one is now.