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Episode 277 - How A Loneliness Epidemic Snuck Up On Us (with Jason Pargin)

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“Social atomization” is a term that sounds like science fiction. It could be the title of a 1950s B-movie where a mad scientist vaporizes a dance party. But when sociologists use that term, “social atomization” is a complementary set of shifts you might have noticed lately: more loneliness, less societal trust, and an increasing feeling that nobody’s got your back. What does it mean if that’s happening to all of us? How can that happen without anybody intending it? And can that impact everything from your personal health to your national government?

On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (who writes for the site as David Wong). They’ll explore why prior generations with rampant crime (!), Richard Nixon (!!), and the music of disco (!!!) feel better off and more cohesive than we do today. We’ll also take one step back and look at the awful reasons why some people are talking about this in the first place. And if we all stick together and trust each other, we might see a few ways out of this predicament.

Footnotes: http://www.cracked.com/podcast/how-loneliness-epidemic-snuck-up-us-with-jason-pargin/

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Okay... you're losing me here.  A lot of the loneliness, alienation, lack of trust you're talking about - is something that people of color in the USA have been feeling since forever, due to systemic racism.  Women as well have often been isolated and cut off through the same male-dominated institutions you mention - churches, men's clubs, etc. So who are you really talking about?  Similarly, you bring up Millennials as having trust issues, and having difficulty because they're online a lot, they job hop more than their parents/grandparents, etc. - without once bringing up the Great Recession or the erosion of workers' rights over the last 40+ years.  I finally lost it when you started trying to excuse the guy who yelled at the restaurant worker for speaking Spanish.  I'm sorry, but I don't care how bad your day is, you don't get to behave like a racist asshole.  And please don't bring up some fantasy scenario of him taking care of a developmentally disabled family member - that is a cheap shot and honestly insulting to both developmentally disabled people and their families. 

The point is, you're looking at a very real, very valid phenomenon without taking into account the economic and political context.  It's an incomplete picture at best.

Having said all that, I did appreciate a lot of what you both had to say. 

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