"Oh, 'get a job'? 'Just' get a job? Why don't I strap on my Job Helmet and squeeze down into a Job Cannon and fire off into Job Land, where jobs grow on jobbies?!”
—Charlie Kelly, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ("The Gang Sells Out")
"Looking out at your fresh young faces, I remember when I, too, was deciding my academic future as a lowly graduate student. Of course, I was 14, and I had already achieved more than most of you could ever hope to despite my 9:00 bedtime. Now, there may be one or two of you in this room who has what it takes to succeed in theoretical physics, although it's more likely that you'll spend your scientific careers teaching fifth graders how to make papier-mâché volcanoes with baking soda lava. In short, anyone who told you that you would someday be able to make some significant contribution to physics played a cruel trick on you, a cruel trick indeed. Any questions? (deafening silence) Of course not. I weep for the future of science; now if you'll excuse me, the latest issue of Batman is out."
—Dr. Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
"Don't you miss the days when America was just morally bankrupt?'
"We're a heavily medicated society. All the drugs we take: Prozac, Effexor, Valium. I thought for the last ten years, we've been on some weird fucking drug — the whole country — called 'Fukitol.' What a weird fucking drug. And we're just coming out of it and we're kind of waking up. Fuckin' A! It's weird. It's like you're going "last thing I remember was the economy was working and there was a budget surplus.... What about the economy?' Well, we had to bail out the banks. 'Again?' Fuck, yeah! 'And now who's the president?' A black guy. 'Oh, yeah right. Yeah, there's a black president and a Latino on the Supreme Court.' There is. 'Oh, my God! Who's the president? Jesse Jackson?" No, his name is Barack Hussein Obama. 'Now you're fucking with me!'"
— Robin Williams, Weapons of Self-Destruction
“Well we've left behind the 200X's, and we move onto the 20XX's. Maybe that will finally make us feel like we're living in the future, rather than a media controlled slave state where an iPhone is worth substantially more than a human life. Happy new year.”
"As we move into 2012, the final year of human existence, I wanted to take a look back on the last great apocalypse— Y2K. We've rebuilt society since the Millennium Bug destroyed everything we knew, but for what? So our souls look better as they're being pulled from the gnarled teeth of Ah Pukuh in twelve months?"
"We talk a lot on this site about how geek culture has taken over the mainstream and I worry that another part of geek culture — the social awkwardness and inability to deal with social settings — is also going to become the norm. We've slowly killed off most of the activities where kids get together with other kids and have fun (and in the process, learn how to interact)."
"Never mind Ben Stein's bullshit about the have-nots hating the haves. I'm perfectly willing to be the haves hating the haves. Perhaps depression is a wholly appropriate consequence. Here we are, cooking the planet, and what do we have to show for it? Who wouldn't be depressed to realize that?"
"We've given a cat a media empire complete with endless merchandise, a New York Times Bestseller, an agent and a movie deal that will no doubt produce a film on par with the classic Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, the Casablanca of movies about cats with a single personality trait... 2013 was the year we took the Internet, with its near infinite content and potential, and decided to declare a frowning cat its God. When Grumpy Cat appeared at SXSW this year she drew a bigger crowd than some of the finest creative minds of our age. Does that worry you? Because it damn well should."
—Topless Robot, 2013's "Worst Moments in Nerdery"
"Matt’s a frightening character because of the nonchalant manner with which he discusses blowing his fellow students’ skulls off. Is he joking? Is he for real? Everything’s so fucking ironic these days, with people afraid of getting caught being earnest — an entire generation of walking memes — that neither his ‘accomplice’ nor the audience are sure where he stands, at least until the end."
—Stuart Millard on The Dirties
"Whether you are a factory worker or an accountant, a waitress or a doctor, this is the wave that will lift you or dump you...The rise of intelligent machines will spawn new ideologies along with the new economy it is creating. Think of it as a kind of digital social Darwinism, with clear winners and losers: Those with the talent and skills to work seamlessly with technology and compete in the global marketplace are increasingly rewarded, while those whose jobs can just as easily be done by foreigners, robots or a few thousand lines of code suffer accordingly."
—Tyler Cowen, "The Robots Are Here"
"Nerds tend to talk a big game about standing up for the underdog but, I’m sorry to say, don’t seem to really want a leveling of society, a removal of hierarchies. They bristle against hierarchies of physical strength, of inherited capital, and of 'popularity'—but only because those get in the way of a hierarchy of book smarts and technical skill, which is the right and proper hierarchy. The creepy nerd fantasy that remains alive and well in today’s Age of the Nerd Triumphant is not of making peace with the popular kids but taking their throne... I distrust the message we keep getting about the democratizing power of the Internet and New Media, about how progressive the Millennial Generation is.
I distrust my fellow young nerds. I distrust techies when they bear gifts."
—Arthur Chu, "Occupying the Throne"
"The music industry suffered just like everything else in the Great Recession, and following that there was a not-altogether-unpredictable uptick in pop music that sounded suspiciously generic and interchangeable. The watershed year here is probably 2010, which, while I don’t know the reputation it has in music critic circles now, at the time I remember was most definitely seen as a year defined by heartless, identical, clinically calculated 'party' anthems increasingly desperately clawing at an increasingly vanishingly small and indifferent audience...Social Entropy, for those unaware, is a term used to describe the predilection of all social systems and structures towards inevitable natural decay. One of the telltale signs of Social Entropy is a noticeable trend towards everything becoming predictable and homogeneous to the point all of society and its artifacts are reduced to their lowest common denominators...This is the end point of civilization, where everything is worn down, run down, boiled down and burned out. Sound familiar yet? If not, maybe go re-listen to Flo Rida or The Black Eyed Peas. Pop music is possibly the most entropic of our cultural signifiers, and Miley Cyrus’ concerns about this are simply all over Bangerz, and in particular 'We Can’t Stop'."
—John Marsfeder, "Dancing in the Ruins of the Western World"
"Despite its blatant eschatology, 'Pompeii' does fit its zeitgeist very well. Given that this was the year of Edward Snowden and an economy so broken even positive growth and employment numbers wasn't enough to assuage the fears (and reality) of rampant and systemic inequality, a charting hit about how worlds are coming to a close seems more than appropriate.""''
"We all grew up in a very different era, when we were focused on the threat from the Soviet Union. What's happening now is we are seeing problems from a variety of places, some of it due to globalization, frankly, which has an opposite side that has created a lot of nationalism in those countries or places where people feel lost within the facelessness of globalization. There have been two huge game changers. One is Putin's behavior vis-à-vis first Crimea and now toward Ukraine…and the other is what is happening in the Middle East, a lot of it due to the Arab awakening and the artificiality of the borders established after World War I... But to put it mildly, the world is a mess."
—Former U.S Secretary of State Madeline Albright
“It has a disastrous effect on social cohesion and a tremendous effect on inequality. Well-being has fallen all across Europe. One symptom is the rise of extremist political parties.”
—Jean-Paul Fitoussi on the Eurozone crisis
"Millennials, according to some depressing data gathered by Business Insider, have taken it on the chin during the economy's torpor...But all is not well with the baby boomers, either, as the generation of seemingly well-heeled, permissive parents has seen their retirement funds be slowly nibbled away by the banking sector and those profligate southern Europeans with their loose morals and Vespas. Boomer parents are, as a result of being less liquid, finding it tougher to finance their children's seemingly endless bildungsromans. Though some have suggested that parents who cut kids off entirely actually do more harm than good to that child's financial maturation, who wants to keep paying for a twenty-five year-old son's shitty Los Angeles apartment while he works on his HBO series at the local Coffee Bean? Nobody, that's who."
"This current 20-something generation is an American version of Japan’s Lost Generation. So many of us have so many more skill sets and competencies than most previous generations had at our ages. So many of us carry high levels of education at great personal expense in the form of predatory loans. And yet, we’ve been so shut out of even getting the chance to participate in the general economy. There are any number of PhDs and Law School Graduates working retail for not even close to enough wages and despite all of us fucked taking it pretty well and trying our best to make do, we’re assumed to be lazy and incapable entirely because we haven’t magically made good jobs appear out of nowhere (oh hey, wasn’t there something about our holiest of job creators back when democrats pretended to try and attempt to slightly increase taxes on the wealthiest 1%?). And that’s before you factor in the debt and the huge cost of living these days relative to the minimum wage.
So yeah, it’s kind of slightly insultingly disgusting when unqualified hacks who were able to walk into full-time massive salary positions with promotion opportunities back when jobs still existed and worked their ass off since making sure that the door was tightly closed behind them start pontificating on how the younger generation just doesn’t have the 'moxie'."
—Sadly, No! rebuts Washington Post columnist George Will