I dunno, that sounds a lot (sic) like what I read! I skimmed through it again and realized that the hilarious graphic toward the end failed to load the first time. I looked up the author, and he is a retired sociologist from Rutgers, but I seem to recall a set of takedowns of Lott a few years ago, and one could well have been written by an economist.
We are certainly living in a debased culture, a dying empire on a dying planet which we are hoping to resuscitate. I’ve been reading a fascinating book recommended by a friend, A People’s History of Science, a remarkable compendium from mostly secondary sources of the remarkable feats of observation and discovery by people from the Paleolithic onward. The point of the author Clifford Conner is that everyone including the ancient Greeks and even their forerunners has stood on the shoulders of giants. I can’t get away from Mark Twain’s conclusion that “History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” There is a long-term trend, but with many quasi-cycles imposed upon it.
There will be cycles and trends in the future, with or without us, but we are certainly at a “singularity,” a discontinuity in the trends of at least the past 200,000 years, the blink of an eye in geologic time but ten thousand human generations. Have you ever read A Canticle for Leibowitz? I’m not a Sci Fi buff, but I stumbled on that one fifty years ago, passed along by a colleague, and only learned a few years ago that it is considered a classic. I seem to have stumbled my way through life, and by blind luck and grace wound up in a pretty agreeable place that I could never have predicted (that word again!)
I have to ask what you teach. I grew up with pretty good schools, before the “reformers” began deforming public education. But only one teacher would have dared to tackle a subject as controversial as gun violence, even though people would have discussed it among friends, including friends who saw things differently.