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What are some of the greatest follies of our age?Please share your opinions....thank you.

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sarcasticbrun... | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:12 AM via web

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What are some of the greatest follies of our age?

Please share your opinions....thank you.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:47 AM (Answer #2)

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For me, one of the greatest follies of our age is our materialism.  I am not by any means opposed to technology or to having personal possessions.  However, I do think that we today are too wrapped up in what material things we have instead of being more concerned with our families and our friends.  I think that many of us would have a lot less stress and a lot more happiness if we were a little less concerned about having the latest gadgets or being able to afford vacations to desirable spots every year.  We try to buy happiness when we might be more likely to find it in the things that do not cost money.

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iklan100 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM (Answer #3)

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materialism, environmental destruction, greed, bigotry and intolerance etc, there are dozens of such ''follies'' in this age, which we inhabit-- I agree. however, greater than all these follies as I see it, is the folly of humankind having given up reading! we are today too 'busy' to read or it's not 'cool' anymore, or whatever; in the process people have become zombies, slaves to electronic media, even to the computer and the Internet, yes; and indeed many of the other follies and evils that we are talking about and decrying are also the 'by-products' of this 'Grand Folly'. We are bombarded by ads and such, and have lost the power to think and analyse and challenge many trite assumptions, we have become docile and pliable creatures...

People can only be truly independent and free and thoughtful when they begin to read again. A firm conviction of mine.

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:44 PM (Answer #4)

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The popular attitude regarding medication seems to me to be folly - at least to some degree. 

I'd like to propose two truths about medication:

  • There are many situations where medication is the best treatment.
  • There are many situations where medication is not the best treatment and/or is not necessary and may do more harm than good.

The folly comes when we fail, as a society, to see that there are two truths about drugs, not just one. 

See:

Brave New World

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM (Answer #5)

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I think one of the greatest follies of our "age" or generation is enablement and the subsequent dependence that has resulted.  It seems in generations past, Americans had a more natural and engrained tendency to work--for a living, for success, for something to do, to provide for themselves and others.  The competition to work harder than others was greater.  Today, there seems to be a prevalent attitude of, "How can I do the least to get the most?"  Get rich quick schemes, governmental assistance, comparison living (looking at what others have and the belief that everyone deserves to have the same amount of everything), credit card debt, etc.  All of these have contributed to a sense of entitlement and desire for equal gain without equal work.

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portd | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:48 PM (Answer #6)

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I agree with post #3 that the decline of "reading" in the 21st century is an enormous folly. I blame mobile texting, Facebook, and Twitter for this in the last few years. It seems everyone is communicating in snippets, in short form, without any involved thought, and the result is the dumbing down of communication. People no longer have the attention spans, the reading and writing skills, nor the interest in communicating on a deeper level. If they say they have an interest, why are they refraining from doing so?

In addition, it seems that everyone feels they must "update" everyone on what they're doing at a certain moment in time. They're 'always online' giving status updates on trivial matters - instead of using their time more productively...reading, writing, producing, and engaging with others face-to-face when practical and feasible. This vain self-promotion via Facebook and Twitter takes huge chunks of productive time out of individuals' schedules and is another great folly of the 21st century.

A Forecast for the 21st Century

Know the Pitfalls of Facebook

How Your Business can Avoid Pitfalls on Twitter

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iklan100 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 6, 2012 at 12:15 AM (Answer #7)

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I agree with post #3 that the decline of "reading" in the 21st century is an enormous folly. I blame mobile texting, Facebook, and Twitter for this in the last few years. It seems everyone is communicating in snippets, in short form, without any involved thought, and the result is the dumbing down of communication. People no longer have the attention spans, the reading and writing skills, nor the interest in communicating on a deeper level. If they say they have an interest, why are they refraining from doing so?

In addition, it seems that everyone feels they must "update" everyone on what they're doing at a certain moment in time. They're 'always online' giving status updates on trivial matters - instead of using their time more productively...reading, writing, producing, and engaging with others face-to-face when practical and feasible. This vain self-promotion via Facebook and Twitter takes huge chunks of productive time out of individuals' schedules and is another great folly of the 21st century.

A Forecast for the 21st Century

Know the Pitfalls of Facebook

How Your Business can Avoid Pitfalls on Twitter

Thanks, portd! : )

I agree too, entirely, with your views on this sad dependence on technology/the Net, and all these 'social' websites, which are indeed not communicative at all, but anti-communication skills, drivign each of us to live in a 'virtual' environment of our own making, a sort of 'online illusion'.

iklan100

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mwalter822 | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted September 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM (Answer #8)

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I'm afraid that the greatest folly of our time, in my opinion, is the belief/attitude that the state should take on the role of taking care of so many people. As we watch the world in the throes of financial crisis, it is evident that a lot of the problems were caused by, or aggravated by, over-reaching governments who cannot meet their commitments to financially take care of their citizens.

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carol-davis | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM (Answer #9)

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The lack of commitment in marriage has created at two generations of children growing up in single parent homes.  Beginning in the mid 1960's, marriage and divorce began to hold hands.  Society and its children became the losers.  This is the greatest folly in the latter half of the 20th century...and no sign of improvement.

IN 1980, 50 percent of marriages ended in divorce. That figure has not changed.   However, a closer look at how the laws have changed and what impact societal values play will illustrate the impact on America's children. 

Before 1970, believe it or not, divorces were rather uncommon and hard to get.  In order to obtain a divorce, one of the spouses had to committed a wrongful act: adultery, abandonment, alcoholism, incarceration, or insanity. Someone had to be at fault.  Incompatibility was not an option for the most part.

No-fault became an option in some states in the 1960s. Couples no longer needed to prove that one person was at fault. They could simply say that the marriage had broken down. By 1970, almost all states had laws allowing no-fault divorces.  Today, a person dissatisfied with the marriage can receive a "drive-by" divorce in Nevada.

While the laws were changing, so was society and its acceptance of divorce.  In the 1960s, women began to be a part of the workforce.  They no longer depended on their husbands financially.  When women were unhappy in the marriage and could support themselves, then the law allowed them to leave the marriage.

Society has changed its opinion about divorce.  Previously, divorce was unacceptable and unknown in most families.  However, in the last fifty years, divorce has become a part of the lifestyle.  No fault and no guilt have replaced the old fashioned perception staying together for life.   Today, there will be very few fifty years anniversaries.

Back to that new generation, children of divorced parents are more likely to divorce when they are married.  Then, there children will be more likely...you see where this is going.  

Now, here is where the real folly comes in:

Drugs, crime, drop outs, poor work ethics, poor self-esteem--the father's absence in the home has had a grave impact on young boys and girls and well.  Research states that for a boy having the dad around has been linked to important developments in a child's physical, emotional and behavioral health.

One-third of American children are growing up, without their biological father, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In the past 50 years, the percentage of children who live with two married parents has dropped 22 points.

Several leading sociologists have labeled the father's absence "the most pressing issue facing America today." Alarmed by growing evidence of the importance of fatherhood, President Barack Obama, who was raised by a single mother, has forcefully pleaded with fathers to step up throughout his presidency.

President Obama wrote in a 2009 Father's Day article in Parade Magazine. 'I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he is not there for his children  is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.'

A study by the Department of Health and Social Services found only 13 percent of juvenile delinquents come from families where the biological mother and father are married to each other.

Thirty-three percent come from families where the parents have divorced.

The study further found young men who grow up in homes without fathers are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families — even when other factors like race, income, parent education and urban residence were held constant.

If a person were to go into a third grade classroom today, he would find 70% of the children were from divorced homes.  These children would have faced one of the hardest things that a child can face: the loss of a parent in their home.  Statistics prove that the future for these children will be different in several ways--none of which are positive. 

Of course, not all divorced children suffer from overwhelming problems.  But it has not made their lives any easier in school or on a personal basis.

This is America's greatest folly!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysfunctional_family

http://www.withoutafather.com/facts.php

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 18, 2012 at 5:26 PM (Answer #10)

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The greatest follies of America are in not protecting its borders and its Constitutional foundations.  The weakness of re-interpreting things and situational ethics have brought about many of the social ills in this country.  Clearly, operating with what is politically or financially expedient has done irreparable damage to a once very powerful nation. And, above all, the greatest personal folly committed by Americans is their refusal to be truly informed and to allow propaganda and slanted news to influence them. 

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chocolatekirby007 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:26 AM (Answer #11)

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THe greatest folly of our age MUST be lying or being dishonest. Not only to family/friends but to ourselves and to the outward society. With the rise of social networking sites, lying has become easier and less and less consequential - even if it is a tiny white lie. I myself, cannot get out of the habbit - embellishing the truth, exaggerating past events and such

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theharpyeagle | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 2, 2012 at 12:07 AM (Answer #12)

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How little Americans know about our political systems.

I admit that I knew very little of politics before I had to take a class on it last year, but even that little bit of insight has allowed me to see right through some of the phony claims and attacks the current candidates up for election have spewed.

So many people are tired of the way our candidates spit out lies and use gimmicks to appeal to people, but they only do it because that's what people respond to. We all want an honest person that we can proudly vote for, but honesty gets less votes than fantastic, empty promises that make us feel good.

The root o the problem is that we, as a country, don't know how politics work, and it makes it hard to make informed decisions meaning we can only go on what candidates say they can do.

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acompanioninthetardis | TA , Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:11 PM (Answer #13)

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I think one of the greatest follies of our age is cellphones that have internet and games on them. yeah yeah i know i use them too, and they can save your butt when you've forgotten to email an assignment to a teacher, but i just feel like its caused us to remain inside. we see it everywhere, in architecture, a couple of years ago, we had front porches, now many of the houses have back porches or patios. (im not saying all houses do but its become more common and no one i know really uses their front porch). cellphones are important as far as calling or getting in touch with someone, but the addition of internet and games just makes it more addicting and prevents us from going outside. We also don't see as many people going outside anymore. 

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mchandrea | Student, College Junior | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted June 26, 2014 at 7:25 AM (Answer #14)

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One of the greatest follies of this generation would be the dependence on technology and lack  of  basic knowledge. In an era where we can buy almost anything online and just pick it up on our doorstep; where we can send a letter in an instant; carry hundreds of books within one reader or tablet... I am afraid that as phones are getting smarter, people are getting dumber. 

We now rely too much on our smartphones and tablet computers to do so much for us that sometimes we forget what we actually know. For example, reading a paperback book would never be the same as listening to an audiobook. GPS can now tell you which way you should be headed and gone are the days wherein you perfectly know your route or stop and ask a stranger for directions. Today, almost anything can be done online -- shopping, banking, learning, working, etc. You won't have to go to the gym if you have the equipment since there are even apps for a personal trainer.  There's no need to go to the local post office to send a mail. 

None of this, in my opinion, promotes social interaction with the people we see face to face every day. People tend to stay inside their houses and outdoor activities are seen as energy-consuming.

I guess this is the drawback of technology. Although the pros are more than these cons, it wouldn't hurt to take a step back once in a while. Or to go back to the basics.

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