There is a general astonishment, as well as for the story of Greta Thunberg, concerning the political and social activism of young people. The recent formation of the Finnish government which is done by Young Women, which today seems to be the trend. The same is true of Sardines, which are all young, or better: they have a young leader. But no one wonders why this is a general trend in the West.
So let's try to understand it. Let's talk about information theory for a moment.
Imagine having a set of data, and wanting to know how much information is in it.
Let's say you have "00000000000000000000".
How much information does it contain? If you think that each character contains a Byte, as it happens if you have 256 characters available, you will be led to say that it is a Byte for each zero. No.
If the string is 00000000000000000000, the alphabet of this string contains a single symbol, with a frequency / probability of 1. And if we calculate 1 logarithm based on two of one, we get zero.
Good. Now we use 00000000000001000000. As you can see, I put only 1 in the sequence. Let's see the total entropy, and …
Poof. There are two symbols in our alphabet, one appears 95% of the time, the other 5% of the time. The result, – [(0.95) * log2 (0.95)) + (0.05 * log2 (0.05))], is 0.2864. Now you know that even compressing to the maximum, you can't use less than 6 bits to contain that string.
Good. And if we now invert the string, putting the zeros instead of the 1? 11111111111110111111 ago …. 0.2864.
Moral of the story: to make information is the least likely symbol, or the least frequent.
The result seems counterintuitive, but explains why "man bites dog" makes more impression than "dog bites man". The second is more frequent, so it represents a greater risk. Rationally, we should take care of how many dogs bite men, and not vice versa. But the news "man bites dog" is much less frequent, and therefore contains more entropy. (which then binds to information, but is not the purpose of this post).
Now let's apply it to the company. Imagine having a society where almost everyone is young, the average life expectancy is around 65 years. If this is the average expectation, we should expect a ninety year old to be a RARE symbol.
In a society where the old are rare, they contain almost all the information. The actions of young people are too common, if compared with the rarity of those of the old. Under these conditions, what the old people say, do, think, determines the information content of the community. In practice, in these conditions the culture of society depends almost entirely on the old.
And therefore, society celebrates them. When the old people were few because the average life expectancy was low, the old were recognized wisdom, prudence, culture, experience, and everything associated with the old. Even Christ was aged with a very long beard, which was a symbol of old age, therefore of wisdom.
But now the demographic balance is changing. And young people are very rare. Now, an old man who does politics doesn't give a damn about anyone, simply because all the politics today make them old. While the sixteen-year-olds who are politicians can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Ditto for the 34 year olds in power.
Since this is the least probable element, that is to say the least frequent, all the actions, words and thoughts of young people are destined to have more and more weight in determining the global information of society, or in determining the culture of society itself .
Here, perhaps, you will have a jolt: but what would it be like if it were the least frequent symbol? In democracy it is the most frequent to prevail. Correct.
But the reality, with its physical rules (and the information entropy is a physical law) of "democracy" fools it highly.
And it is also true that there are age limits for running for parliament, and even more for running for the Senate. (I'm not sure they still exist, though). The result of all this is precisely this: since the frequency of symbols has changed, a government of only old (or mostly old) does not express almost any entropy, so it does not socially contain much information.
As the birth rate decreases, and the number of young people grow thin, their importance in the formation of culture will increase. And if the democratic mechanisms do not adapt to this fact, they will completely lose information. It means that you will end up listening to political news without practically hearing ANYTHING.
If we look at the few interviews of the Sardine leader, for example, we find that he says practically nothing. But these "nothing" are more relevant than hundreds of interviews of an old man who, for example, leads a newspaper as Libero. For one simple reason: there are so many old people who talk about politics who say nothing. Not because their words have no meaning, but because their people are now without informational value.
Since the rules of democracy say that a sixteen-year-old cannot vote because he is immature while a ninety-six year old is lucid and intelligent by definition (they are rules that come from the era in which the old were rare), the result is that from one side we have a democracy with no content, on the other hand we have the content that comes … from Greta going to Turin.
Sooner or later the twelve year olds will have the power to bring down a government.
If the demographic curve is not reversed (and cannot be reversed) the result will be that soon all the information content of every political and cultural aspect of a country will be made by young people and very young people.
Imagining such a society is not simple. So far, young people (who were the most widespread symbol) were educated to consider as "improvement" the fact of reaching (or letting them believe they had achieved) the qualities attributed to the old: wisdom, experience, quietness, reflexivity, prudence, they were the qualities with which the elderly were celebrated.
Now that the proportion of symbols is reversed, the problem is that the whole population is required to adapt to the qualities we celebrate in young people: creativity, restlessness, a certain propensity to risk, inexperience, enthusiasm.
Transformation requires re-educating the entire society. And one wonders who the educators are. Because so far we have found it extremely rational that the old people educate the young, since all the values and constructs we wanted to propagate were contained mainly in the old. The "good" knowledge was "ancient" and "consolidated", and "tradition" was important because it came from the past, from that time that the old had lived, at least in part.
But now we are in the opposite situation, so good knowledge is no longer the ancient one, but the "innovative" one, and it must no longer be "consolidated", but the most risky, unknown, exploratory, pioneering. Tradition is destined to be replaced by innovation, and the chronicles of the past to be replaced by forecasts of the future.
You will say that this is a culture "upside down", but I would like to point out that a world where the old are many more than the young is already a world upside down. And how do you expect the culture of a world to be backwards, if not the opposite of what it was?
To tell the truth, we are already seeing the prodromes: that "innovation" today is more paying than "tradition" we see it every day in every newspaper. Let the newspapers talk more about the forecasts of the future (more or less catastrophic) compared to chronicles of ancient times also. We all see that the courage to take risks (and even to fail) today is more celebrated than prudence, just look for "culture of failure"
In the past, a culture of failure was not possible, because the symbols of culture were symbols of the culture of the old: prudence, weighting, low risk. But today, as young people begin to be the least frequent symbol in society, other values are beginning to take value: the courage to try is greater than prudence, which could have avoided failure.
So the innovation of a way never attempted is superior in value to the tradition of a certain way.
These transformations are not "future". I'm not foreseeing the future. These are all current trends. Today's most important words NEVER come from the culture of the world where the old did everything and knew everything, but from that where young people do everything and know everything.
And you want to talk to show that the young know less than the old do less than the old: being the demographically most rare symbol, they are the ones that contain the information.
And you can also verify, very easily, how the explosions of youth culture have appeared in the years of the collapse of births.
It is significant to observe the peak of youth culture, and therefore of "progressivism" of American society, comparing it with the birth rate:
This is the one in Italy:
The moments of collapse of births have, as in the USA, coincided with the moments of greater "progressivism" of the company, and lasted for the whole period of the 70s up to the 80s. When the decrease in birth began to go slower, society entered a cycle that I would call "conservative", and the period of relative growth (due to immigrants) coincided with the peak of cultural conservatism.
And if this is the current bad habit,
Young people will become increasingly rare, and since they are not represented in politics, be prepared to have them in the streets.
And you will soon discover that a single burp of a young person is worth more than the sophisticated disquisitions of an elderly intellectual.