Millennials are like their Grandparents.

Yesterday, I interviewed Dr. Margaret Neale, a business professor at Stanford, for my upcoming book about women and business. At some point she mentioned that her colleague Dr. Jeffrey Pfeffer had found that there is little evidence that Millennials are likely to change the world — ie they are basically conforming to existing social mores.

This excited me because some time ago, I stumbled across Strauss & Howe’s theory of generational turnings which states that each generation is a response to the one before. I totally buy into this idea. I told Dr. Neale that Strauss & Howe actually coined the terms “Baby Boomer” and “Millennial” though their ultra-prescient work seems to be basically outside the zeitgeist these days.

The gist of their Generational Turning theory is that there are four types of generations — Hero, Artist, Prophet and Nomad. Under this theory, like their grandparents, Millennials are another Hero Generation which historically has meant that they are community-oriented and are likely to advance new technologies and industry. There have been three American Hero generations, including that of the the founding fathers and the GI Generation.

This past summer I actually wanted to fly to the East Coast and interview Howe who is still alive because they don’t get enough coverage [and I feel like I have the platform necessary to get them to the recognition they deserve?]. Then, I discovered “Millennials Rising” which they published in 2000 and realized they are known but kind of side-lined by Millennial antagonists? You can read David Brook’s review here.

Honestly, I highly recommend checking out the Art of Manliness’ writing on Strauss & Howe’s generational theories. It is [almost] everything you might want to know about their work in a very digestible essay, including charts and photos. Just excellent!

Goldman Sachs has an interesting interactive infographic about Millennial trends that is worth checking out. It basically says they are the largest American generation in numbers, have tons of debt and are delaying major life decisions. It’s very interesting and I had to share.


Analog Living

My Fumbling Return

I’m returning from a significant hiatus. In the short life of this blog, I’ve sworn off smartphones, facebook and instagram. I’ve lived with the smug luxury  of surgically removing these seductive annoyances from my life. Mere months later, in an early July entry, I acknowledged my excitement holding my new IPhone mid phone number transfer. Still, I vowed no return to facebook or instagram. This also did not last.

So, now I’m a full-on working class anti-hero once more. I’m working on restoring the heroic to my life right now. Until then, here are my pros and cons (what a great book title “Pros and Cons: Consultants in the Age of Experts” ha)

Anyway, as promised…


pros: connectedness to worthy humans I care about, awareness of news and ideas

cons: a difficult-to-resist pull towards believing that people are what they seem and an equally disorientating forced neck-turn towards thinking that I (Maurna Desmond) am only what I seem to be. Pretty toxic! Plus, nothing cool happens. I also find myself checking it alot when I’m bored instead of DOING SOMETHING or THINKING DEEPLY.


Pros: connectedness, a bubbling feeling of self-worth with each friend request and like. A heightened sense of the fleeting nature of time. For instance, as I find myself struggling with the perfect selfie. How modern! (and pathetic 🙂 )

Cons: A distorted sense of one’s community. Warped really. Encourages vanity and superficiality. Celebrates  extroverts and posers. In a relatively short period of time, I find it depressing like candy in the morning. Tastes good in the moment but the anti-wholesomeness of it kills you within a few hours. I also find myself checking it alot when I’m bored instead of DOING SOMETHING or THINKING DEEPLY.

I’m in a bit of a personal renaissance. I may have discovered what really makes me happy intrinsically. I may have discovered it (again) but this time I will shape my life around it (again.)

Sometimes, my life feels like it’s just remembering and forgetting.

Xx Minky


~Start Listening AFTER 13 MINUTES ~

Listening to Richard Rohr on my IPhone yesterday while I was driving down to Orange County felt super analog and amazing. It was a great use of 3G technology.

If you have the time and you are interested in wrestling with the mysteries of life, you should watch this.

You kind of have to spend the time to hear what he is saying in context but at about 29 minutes he talks about how time expands in silence and there is a ‘fullness’ and it’s profound.


Morning brings back the heroic ages.

“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself. I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora  as the Greeks. I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things which I did. They say that characters were engraven on the bathing tub of King Tching Thang to this effect: “Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again.” I can understand that. Morning brings back the heroic ages.”

Read more http://thoreau.eserver.org/walden02.html