“In Japan, people have an impression that when someone stands out, they will be targeted or bullied,” she said. “So people learn not to stand out, and young people see this as a survival method. Teachers talk about individuality, and yet people’s uniqueness is crushed.” In corporate Japan, that in turn creates an atmosphere in which people are often scared to speak out, particularly in meetings, and especially if they are women, Oshima and Nozu said. Read more (Washington Post)
Mapping Knowns and Unknowns
Rich in tradition and material wealth, Japan’s reclusive youths are often completely uninterested in sex, relationships, or work.
The country’s youth – especially men – are seeking escape from the job and romance market. Video game addiction and shut-in adults (almost all male) make up a large part of what could have been Japan’s workforce. Suicide is rampant.
This may involve some unique Japanese cultural and economic factors, but the trend won’t be uniquely Japanese. This transition from productive nation to virtually reclusive, depressed, and aged nation is one that may be the natural course of the First World.
Artificial intelligence, more immersive virtual mediums, and continuing existential loss of purpose and direction. These factors are likely to drive many other rich First World nations into a solipsistic virtual escape. Read more (Dan Faggella)