Found in 6 comments on Hacker News
EGreg · 2023-02-08 · Original thread
Kids overdiagnoses, while both parents work in corporations and stick them in a school to sit down and shut up for 10 hours a day:

  ADHD - prescribe amphetamines (Ritalin, Adderall)
  Gender Dysphoria - prescribe hormone blockers
  Autism spectrum - Abilify and Risperdal

Teenager and College Student overdiagnoses:

  Depression - prescribe SSRIs
  Diabetes - prescribe Meglitinides
  Obesity - prescribe diets


  Men - Opioid epidemic since 2008
  Women - One in four on antidepressants in middle age
  Internet Addiction - companies need to boost "engagement"
  ADD - notifications and multitasking 24/7 is normal now

Elderly in nursing homes:

  Too many to list
We need to realize that these "epidemics" and "rises in incidence" have more to do with the capitalist industry and government working together, than individual incidence. They have women vs men, black vs white, so people are distracted from the real causes:

Big Tech is a big part of the problem, and much of the unhealthy habits and emergent depression come from the influencer industry. In other demographics, unhealthy influences were specifically pushed and promoted until they became normalized. It takes hold easier when you are young and impressionable:

  Gangsta rap, Drill music - music industry, corrupts Black youth
  Instagram and TikTok - influencer industry, corrupts adolescent girls
Most of the cartoons you watched, down to the "programming", was based around merchandising opportunities and ways to sell stuff:

But it's not just the young. Many adults are at each other's throats with Democrat vs Republican, Shiite vs Sunni, wars between countries, etc. because the media tells them to. Their brains have developed beyond the youth, but the masses can be manipulated by a top-down media machine:

Most of the mainstream songs you listen to sound the same because the studios use algorithms to select songs that will they will promote:

The American community collapsed around 2000 and social media has grown up to dominate it, instead. Our public forums are privately owned and controlled by Zuck and Elon, and in China - WeChat and TikTok work even closer with the Chinese government than here. Governments are very much involved in all this, of course.

Both parents work for corporations, and are told to "lean in", corporations co-opt women's lib movements to promote climbing the corporate ladder as a way to find meaning in life:

But meanwhile, the kids are left to be raised by public schools (or the street). Divorces are up. No one's really happy. Young people who move to the cities work like dogs to afford the rent and live alone and no one knows their own neighbors. They cope with cellphones in their hand.

Before medicating society, consider building better tools than Big Tech has, and exit the system dominated by profit motive and exploitation of others. Open Source, Science, Wikipedia, Creative Commons and more, can be made possible with safety nets like 30 hour work week overtime protection, Universal Basic Income and Universal Health Insurance.

If you want a healthier society, start by opting out of the current system, and invite others in your life to opt out also. In many cases of overdiagnosis, medication is a lazy bandaid for society's problems. They want you to stay medicated and think you can individually recycle your way out of the metric tons of plastic they produce, diet and exercise your way out of the High Fructose Corn Syrup they put into everything, and so on. The more you believe this, the less political will you have to demand politicians and corporations change.

But we do need to hold their feet to the fire. They've failed us. 1/3 of arable land has undergone desertification around the world. Insects are dying. Species are going extinct. Overfishing. Garbage piling up. Coral reefs dying. Kelp forests destroyed. Rainforests being cut down. THe biodiversity of the world is repidly being turned into monocultures and farms. And the only thing people seem to care about is "climate change" from fossil fuels. These things are far more pressing.

ethbr0 · 2021-10-11 · Original thread
I was going to recommend that as well. Am in the process of reading it, after a previous recommendation on HN. Or as the previous commenter quipped to a similar question 'Yes, Robert Putnam identified all these trends by the 80s and 90s, but nobody liked how gloomy he was about it.'


fernly · 2017-07-21 · Original thread
I find this perfectly credible because almost exactly the same conclusions were stated by Putnam in the classic _Bowling Alone_ [1]. A couple of pull-quotes from that,

> Dozens of painstaking studies... have established beyond reasonable doubt that ... [t]he more integrated we are with our community, the less likely we are to experience colds, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, depression and premature death of all sorts...

> ... the positive contributions to health made by social integration and social support rival in strength the detrimental contributions of ... risk factors like ... smoking, obesity, elevated blood pressure, and physical inactivity.

> a rough rule of thumb, if you belong to no groups but decide to join one, you cut your risk of dying over the next year in half.

Putnam was surveying a large number of studies, not just the Harvard one.

[1] Putnam, Robert D, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community;

opo · 2017-06-25 · Original thread
>...I strongly suspect people spent less time alone in the past.

Yea, a book that overs this is:

"Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community"

lexcorvus · 2015-10-03 · Original thread
It's impolitic to notice it, but America used to be a lot like this as well. See, e.g., Bowling Alone by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam ( One of Putnam's main conclusions: a principal factor undermining social cohesion (corresponding to a decline in "social capital") is diversity. We're constantly bombarded with messages that "diversity is our strength," etc., but you'll note that Japan isn't exactly diverse by our standards. Neither does it face much pressure to allow massive immigration to change that.

You may still believe in the benefits of diversity, but there are also costs. One of them is that little kids can't ride American subways alone.

pitt1980 · 2012-01-13 · Original thread
make the argument,

seems to me like school is the great melting pot of our society,

now that I'm out of school it seems like I live a very Bowling Alone ( existence, I interact with people at work, and family, it seems like that is the exent of my non superficial interactions

maybe I'm paticularly introverted, but I wouldn't home/unschool my daughter simply because I don't want her social universe to be that small

also schooling is one of the few shared experiences in our society

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