Clinging To Nostalgic Tradition May Be A Symptom Of Golden-Age Thinking

A lot of things are trad right now—tradwives, tradlife, tradcaths (in theory, pre-Vatican II Catholics; in practice, zoomer converts with a flair for ornamental aesthetics). In each case, tradness refers to the ambiguous yearning for an idealized version of the old days, whenever those might have been.

Tradness is conservative in the same way nostalgia is conservative. It’s related to the Lindy effect: a theory popularized by statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb and technology lawyer Paul Skallas (@LindyMan on Twitter) that posits a correlation between the life expectancy of non-perishable things and their current age: What has stood the test of time is also most likely to endure in the future. Although the Lindy effect doesn’t dictate a value judgment, it implies one: the older, the better.

Golden-age thinking is as old as civilization, but it’s coming back around with a vengeance—ironically, on the same tech platforms that detach us from the past at an ever-accelerating pace. This makes perfect sense. The internet loves tradness because it runs on fear: fear that none of what makes up the digital shadow realm is lasting or real. That fear, in turn, drives many online to grasp for something they think they can hold on to. Read More»

Matilda Lin Berke | “The Trad Mystique” | November 18, 2022

 

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2 comments

  1. An absolutely fascinating article. Christian Nationalism (a la Wolfe, Wilson, et al) fits right into the mess the author describes.

  2. Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”
    For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.

    –Eccles. 7:10

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