The Gang of Youths and Everyone Else

To understand the tools and the needs of present day learners its necessary to be aware of what all is happening in the world right now along with the forward-looking eye of a futurist. This requires a significant amount of research for the world is constantly changing creating more and more information to sift through and find what’s meaningful. The real difficulty is that the changes are coming from every angle, social, technological, industrial.  The question this begs is what it will take for those members of society with special needs to maintain independence. While the changes may, in some cases, be designed to ease the burden, so many others will only augment the confusion. Without assistance, how many will be lost in the data field.

Irish Comedian, Dylan Moran, in his standup routine refers to the social gap between young people and older people. Having aged beyond the years of his youth, young people are now seen by him as youths, a term, that he reminds us is how the police refer to them in crime reports.  As he has aged, he has become estranged from these young people and as youths, he fears them and when passing by a group of “youths” holds his keys in his fist, the ends between the fingers in case they attack him.

While this is exaggerated for the sake of humor, it also contains a kernel of truth as all successful humor does. There is, in general, a divide between the young and the old, a separation between youth and adults, youth and the elderly, adults and the elderly. This divide is, of course, generalized and determined by social and cultural roles. This is the infamous generation gap.

The idea of a generation gap both highlights a problem and presents an opportunity.  The problem it brings to the fore is segregation by age.  With the rise of the nuclear family and the decline of the extended family in the post-war west, this age-based segregation, more psychological than physiological, is significant enough to be underscored in an international comedian’s stand-up routine.

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