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  1. #1
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    Default Study Says Books Have Gotten Less Emotional

    Fold Up Your Handkerchiefs: Books Have Gotten Less ‘Emotional,’ Study Says

    "If you find you’re crying less while reading and throwing fewer books across the room, there may be a good reason. English-language books became steadily less “emotional” over the 20th century, according to a new study crunching billions of words via Google’s Ngram database.

    In the study, published in PLOS ONE, researchers at three British universities tracked the use of “mood” words sorted into six main categories: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise. The researchers identified a “clear decrease” in overall use of mood words over the 20th century, with only words relating to fear increasing in the last several decades."

    I came across this article earlier today and it made me sad. Fear is so debilitating. I honestly think it shrivels and saps the ability to feel anything else deeply. Kinda depressing that it's the spirit of the age.

    Feelers everywhere, unite and weep for what we have lost.

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    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Kick ass.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    I've had that thought.. that things that are 'funny' are valued more by society than things that are 'dramatic' lately. I would think that art reflects the age, as it says in the article, and while we've certainly had our dramas in the couple of decades, we've been able to be further removed from it if we choose to be. Daily life isn't as hard for many now as it once was. I'm happy that daily life isn't as difficult as it once was, but hopefully it won't cause a society that is uncomfortable with raw emotion as a consequence.
    "It is not length of life, but depth of life." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Thought breeds thought." ~ Henry David Thoreau

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    Now we just need to get the re-education camps for Feelers to turn them into Thinkers started.

    In all seriousnes, I'm not sure that, assuming the methodology is sound, the study shows that the culture has gotten more Thinking-oriented, or dispassionate, or whatever.

    The one emotion that stays constant is fear. I think the fear of strangers has increased in this time period (something to do with the fallout from the social changes of the 60s, I think).

    If you're afraid of people, you're going to stay away from them. This means that that there is less space for emotions that require some sort of emotional connection or even interaction.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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    I have a weakness for dystopian YA fiction but OMG, I don't want to keep reading about how anxious/scared/terrified people are. There's a wealth of emotion out there for readers to explore vicariously, it's just sad that fiction offers us less of a gateway to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by senza tema View Post
    I have a weakness dystopian YA fiction but OMG, I don't want to keep reading about how anxious/scared/terrified people are. There's a wealth of emotion out there for readers to explore vicariously, it's just sad that fiction offers us less of a gateway to it.
    Except I think that's the dominant emotion of our culture that we've inherited, at least partially, from the baby boomers. Dystopia is kind of what we already live in, really. Emotionally speaking, anyway. Watch the news at 6. Then imagine a person that watches the news at 6 every day for years on end. I think it's pretty obvious how the people that do that must feel, no matter how many half-assed "inspirational" shit they try and throw in there.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Except I think that's the dominant emotion of our culture that we've inherited, at least partially, from the baby boomers. Dystopia is kind of what we already live in, really.
    And I think it's compelling but there is so much more. We are impoverishing ourselves by shutting out the willingness to engage with other things besides fear, fear, fear.

    Bad Moon Rising came on Pandora while I was typing this up. Life is mocking me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by senza tema View Post
    And I think it's compelling but there is so much more. We are impoverishing ourselves by shutting out the willingness to engage with other things besides fear, fear, fear.
    I would agree with this. It's clear to me that fear isn't all there is, anyway.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

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    The interesting question is why fear has been increasing

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    Aww man. This is depressing to know. I can't really get into books if I can't develop some sort of emotional connection with them. They automatically make my list of favorites if they make me cry.
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