On Parenting, Gen Z and Masculinity | Zev Weinstein on The Portal with Eric Weinstein

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Key Takeaways

  • “It’s hard to imagine my generation’s future, it’s a weird period transitioning from a confusing era to a more uncertain era” – Zev Weinstein
  • Morality is a proxy for the fitness of society
  • Start listening closely to your children between ages 2-4 to see if they’re operating on an advanced level
  • Masculine and feminine roles are supposed to be balanced but femininity has gotten a raw deal
  • Gender roles should be analyzed before they’re changed
  • In the last hundred years, the best values overcame the worst like colonialism and slavery

Intro

Zev Weinstein (@Zev_Weinstein) is a 9th grader who occasionally posts to his YouTube Channel GenerationZ

Host Eric Weinstein (and father of Eric) is managing director of Thiel Capital

The Pandemic and Gen Z

How would you talk about this last year as a member of Generation Z

  • “The younger generation usually looks to the older generation during a crisis. I don’t know much about what this pandemic will bring but neither does anyone else” – Zev Weinstein

In these strange times, is it disturbing to see adults uncertain of what to do?

  • “It’s jarring, you expect older people to handle stuff” – Zev Weinstein
  • Zev would like to look to Renaissance-like figures during uncertainty but says the world doesn’t support thinkers anymore like during the Renaissance

Do you see the old order crumbling because of the pandemic?

  • It’s hard to imagine my generation’s future, it’s a weird period transitioning from confusing era to a more uncertain era” – Zev Weinstein
    • It might be similar to the upheaval of the early 1970’s upheaval with the Vietnam War being over, the oil embargo and the end of the gold standard converging in time

Were the last hundred years the golden age?

  • Yes, for tech, but it was also a difficult time
  • It taught good lessons – the best values overcame the worst like colonialism and slavery
  • Morality is a proxy for the fitness of society
  • “A society without solid social ideologies will collapse – good is the thing that allows society to succeed” – Zev Weinstein

What is definitional for Gen Z?

  • “My generation will face the consequences of being raised in a transitional period” – Zev Weinstein
  • Zev’s age group (Gen Z) resists older ways of thinking especially in the area of social justice -girls more so than boys
  • The chaos of the 1960s was due to the clash of the counter-culture vs institutional viewpoints
    • Counter culture:  Woodstock and the Manson murders
    • Institutional: Moon landing and the Vietnam War

Is mining the historic record helpful to understand the pandemic?

  • No, not this time, there’s no comparison except for the 1918 Spanish flu

Parenting

Eric’s tip for parents

  • Start listening closely to your children between ages 2-4 to see if they’re operating on an advanced level – abstract thinking cannot be understood at pre-schools

Do you feel an inclination to rebel?

  • Zev says no because his father, Eric, is open to his points of view
  • Also, his father didn’t mind when he questioned his truths

Is Eric’s parenting style unusual?

  • Eric has very high expectations for him but Zev is glad for the power of hearing his father’s calm voice

What would you do as a parent?

  • Zev would try to give his children the freedoms and privileges that Eric has allowed him growing up

What are some of the edgier things Eric did as a parent?

  • He taught his son to drive a car at age 11
  • He gave his son a Tom Leary CD when he was 5 years old
  • Children’s books were too simple for me, there had to be bigger ideas. Shortcut explanations from teachers didn’t work – I could see the holes” – Zev Weinstein

Eric tried to take the mystery out of alcohol, is that a positive or negative?

  • “I’m glad that you trusted me – it kept me from making unwise decisions.  It was like an inoculation”– Zev Weinstein

Are you learning disabled?

  • In the classic sense he is considered learning disabled – he was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia
  • “My ability to be compatible with the classic systemic form of education means I’m disabled. I want to be a learned person but it’s different for me because I have to learn a different way” – Zev Weinstein

Where is masculinity – do we need to redefine it?

  • Traditional roles for men and women are evolutionary and fit like puzzle pieces
  • They will be rediscovered and reinvented over time

How do you view masculinity?

  • Masculine and feminine roles are supposed to be balanced but need to be renegotiated as femininity got a raw deal
  • Zev is against destroying masculinity on a cultural level

How should masculinity and femininity change?

  • Gender roles should be analyzed before they’re changed
  • Flaws should be gotten rid of but they need to be understood first
  • He’s opposed to ambiguity in language like neutral pronouns

How will Covid change courtship for your generation?

  • “It depends on if the pandemic is recurring” – Zev Weinstein

What’s exciting artistically for you?

  • Most pop music was more complex in the 1960’s early 70’s
    • E.g: the chords for Strawberry Fields
  • Now most pop songs have four chords
  • With rap songs, the complexity is in the words
  • One of his favorite poems is  by E.E. Cummings “The Boys I Mean
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Notes By EWerbitsky

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