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Social Hedonists

I took the Environics Research survey and turn out to be somewhere between a social hedonist and an autonomous post-materialist. I've actually gone fairly thick into the weeds of this particular survey, and one noteworthy thing about it is that all the Gen X groups sound really unappealing to me. Along with those two there are the "security-seeking aescetics," the "aimless dependents," the "thrill seeking materialists," and the "new aquarians." That all sounds like crap. Pre-boomers get much better possibilities like "rational traditionalist" or "cosmopolitan modernist."

What's more, I think it's a real stretch to call me part of Generation X anyway, but they don't seem to have considered the possibility that anyone from mighty Gen Y would be taking their test. So screw the whole thing.

June 25, 2006 | Permalink


Also, their survey software doesn't do arithmetic correctly. I'm a boomer by their definition, but the profile I got was for a pre-boomer.

Posted by: MattF | Jun 25, 2006 2:40:49 PM

And it's all so Canadian! I remember that question about whether the government should pay for everybody's health care, or just the health care of the poor. Oh, to be in a country where those were the choices...

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Jun 25, 2006 4:31:53 PM

Generation Y is so weak that it was kicked out of Gen X. The sequel is never as good as the original. You don't see Boomer/Boomer-lite distinctions, so why start with the X generation? It's because we wanted no part of you people. I think 1975 must have been the high-water mark. Once the US lost in Vietnam, everything started to go to shit. I knew plenty of teachers who quit after Gen X kids left because they were so disappointed with what they were seeing in Gen Y. Everything is dumbed down and emasculated. They've lowered the standards of the SATs, banned all forms of social hazing, slapped you into carseats and crash helmets, and given everyone a trophy at the end of the year. Surprise, surprise, it's produced a generation of spineless sheep. Constrained in thought and deed since birth and willing to follow the shepherd. Be he Jesus Christ or Captain Planet.

Posted by: Just Karl | Jun 25, 2006 11:37:28 PM

I think the closest thing to a technical definition of the gen-X/gen-Y boundary is 1980. Which makes people born between 1978 and 1982 something like "gen XY", which strikes me as appropriate; I clearly share some characteristics of both generations. Does it work for you to?

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Jun 25, 2006 11:39:56 PM

Oops, I forgot to mention I rated autonomous post-materialist

Posted by: Just Karl | Jun 25, 2006 11:41:35 PM

Which makes people born between 1978 and 1982 something like "gen XY", which strikes me as appropriate

This is wrong and it's why these sorts of boundries must remain absolute. Unless there is a very pronounced demographic shift, like was seen with the "baby boom", keep the lines fixed. If you start with the X/Y stuff, things get out of control. The generation that follows X, was born in 1986. Would your new definitions require some of hypridization of Y/next? Which year between 82 and 86 does that line get drawn?

Posted by: Just Karl | Jun 25, 2006 11:56:57 PM

JK, it sounds like you should be reading some philosophy of vagueness. I don't think it's necessary to go beyond first-order vagueness here.

I'm in favor of calling the boundary generation XY, because then someone could fill out a questionnaire:

Name: Xy
Sex: XY
Generation: XY
Favorite Magazine: XY
Favorite Album: X&Y

Posted by: XY | Jun 26, 2006 2:29:05 AM

I feel that I may have given a misleading answer to the question of whether I enjoy showing foreigners that my country is better. Because after testing out as a New Aquarian, and being told that my heroes included Sarah MacLachlan and Rage Against the Machine, my first thought was "You Canadians have some crap taste in music."

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Jun 26, 2006 8:54:53 AM

New Aquarian? Sounds like homohippieshit to me. I'll take naomi klein i guess, but maclachlan? do I like it in the pooper? And I'll take rage, though they were sooo junior high. But Sarah Michelle Gellar? WTF!?!?!!?

Posted by: Greg | Jun 26, 2006 10:53:24 AM

I tested as New Aquarian too, which is really absurdly inaccurate. I blame Canada.

Posted by: teofilo | Jun 26, 2006 9:26:20 PM

i'm a thrill-seeking materialists, which sounds much more exciting than my life actually is. maybe if I were Canadian...

Posted by: right | Jun 26, 2006 11:22:55 PM

Just Karl:

Re: "slapped you into carseats and crash helmets"

This one in particular still irks me to this day, glad to see a fellow traveler. I think the car seat laws are criminal. I get sickened by the sight of a toddler wearing a helmet on a sidewalk tricycle. Straightjackets for adults are considered inhumane.

I truly always wondered "where's the outrage?" on this. Parents everywhere just bought into the guilt and the risk analysis. No one dared challenge the laws, all just cowed. No more bouncing the kid on the knee on the long trip. No more hair raising scary rides in the back of Uncle Joe's pickup truck. God forbid one should fall off the bike after peddling too fast for the skills & suffer some stitches & learn a lesson.

Free the children....

Posted by: artappraiser | Jun 27, 2006 1:13:25 PM

If they had told me my heroes included the Mekons, we could talk.

(artappraiser, Just Karl: Yeah yeah, you kids get offa my lawn. If they had made me wear a helmet when practicing on the bike, I might have actually learned to ride a bike instead of learning my lesson by busting my head open. Roethlisberger, B. is a Gen Y who may also have thoughts on the subject.)

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Jun 28, 2006 1:07:29 AM

Who does their math?

Apparently Boomer parents (mine) can also have Boomer children (me), making for a multi-generational, er, generation. Talkin' 'bout my-my-my-MY-my bad adding skills.

Sheesh, people, Douglas Coupland is a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, and I'm not even Gen X???

Posted by: Doug (not Coupland) | Jun 28, 2006 11:35:47 AM

What a crap survey. The descriptions of the various groups sound like they were written by my grandparents. I came out as an autonomous whatever, but I loathe all of the people that are supposed to be my "heroes." The slogans that were supposed to capture my attitued sound like they are from Mountain Dew and Nike commercials. What crap.

Posted by: blah | Jun 29, 2006 1:56:25 AM

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