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Pop Culture

What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

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From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.


Here are some of the top things that are experiencing a "golden age":

Astronomy

The amount that scientists have learned about the final frontier in recent decades is mind-blowing.

"Astronomy is currently experiencing a golden age. It has changed radically in the last 30ish years. Think on this, if you are 30 + years old, you were born into a world that wasn't sure if planetary systems were rare or common. We now know that nearly all stars are likely to have planets. We know of 5000+ exoplanets. Mars was not considered a place we could find signs of life by most. The generation of spacecraft exploring Mars since the year 2000 changed that. Now some argue that discovering signs of past life on Mars is a matter of when, not if. We found multiple worlds in our solar system with liquid water oceans. This is just scratching the surface. New technologies like JWST promise to keep the momentum for the foreseeable future." – Slimjerry

"A hundred years ago, we were debating if the Milky Way was the entire universe. It’s crazy to think about how far astronomy and cosmology have come. And it’s not just huge existential topics either. Galaxy evolution has been completely reversed in the past 20 years. Elliptical aka 'early type' galaxies are the end result of mergers of spiral and irregular aka 'late types.'" – snoogans235

"42 year old, you're not even doing the scope justice. When I was a little kid, it's not that we didn't know if planetary systems were rare or common, it's that we didn't know if there were other planetary systems! It was just an assumption we extrapolated from the fact that THIS star had them, a statistical contrivance! It could have just as easily proven true that our sun was profoundly weird, the only one this happened with. Think about that next time you're watching some classic B sci fi flick about going to another planet; that was a MUCH bigger leap in logic when that film was made than it is now." –Of_Mice_And_Meese

Knitting and Crocheting

The fiber arts have been around a lonnnng time, but it's never been a better time to be a knitter.

"Knitting. First, we're in the golden age of yarns. There are hundreds of indie dyers putting amazing colors on a truly mind-boggling range of yarn bases (both fiber content and weight). Even "cheap" yarn is better quality, and comes in a wider range of colors and bases, than ever before. There's an abundance of wool yarn soft enough to wear next to your skin (although you can get scratchy yarn if that's your jam).

Then there are the patterns. Thousands of them, many of them free online. Think of what you want to make, and there's a pattern out there.

Tools, too. How do you like your needles - wood, bamboo, steel, aluminum, plastic, casein? Circular with 15 sizes of interchangeable tips, straight, long short? They're out there.

If you're a knitting nerd, it's a great time to be alive."

cwthree

"I believe it's both crochet and knitting!! i might be a lil biased as i crochet and not knit but all the points you made apply to crochet!"

QUEERVEE

Paleontology

DINOSAURRRRRS!!! Who knew?

"Paleontology! So much tech bringing new stuff to light."

foolishfoolsgold

"And archaeology. LiDAR's power to identify probably human-made structures under layers of jungle canopy is just incredible."

ModusPwnins

"And completely overhauling existing knowledge. DNA studies have changed to much in paleontology that there are joke papers published about it.

A lot of people's life work has been proven incorrect because of a few DNA studies despite those folks using the best methodologies available to them at the time."

guynamedjames

Cooking

So many recipes. So many documentaries. "The Great British Baking Show." All at our fingertips.

"Cooking! I'm 30 now and it's so easy to find amazing recipes, good cooking supplies, and with so much information I can save money on food in so many ways. Literally youtube is teaching me to make so many great things."

BootsRubberClumsy

"Yup, and this influx of easy information has created a nexus of global cuisines in almost all major cities. the blending of ingredients and techniques from Asia, Europe, latin America, etc is creating some really incredible stuff. I worked at a three Michelin when I was younger that had a classically trained French chef who focused on Japanese ingredients, it was really quite something."

ThewFflegyy

"Dietary options. No matter what issue you have, there's a pantry full of food that will meet that restriction AND taste good."

deathbrusher

Board Games

This one might be surprising, considering the internet and digital entertainment and screen usage. Perhaps board games are having a great run because of, not in spite of, those things?

"Board games have been having a great run for the past 10 years, tons of amazing games coming out every year."

jraff_dot_net

"The combination of the internet and the inability to copyright rules have opened a floodgate of innovation in board games." – SuperPants73

"Here are some great modern games that are considered gateway games. I would definitely call them favorites also. (Edited for formatting)

Ticket to Ride
Carcassonne
Pandemic
Dominion
Splendor
Azul

King of Tokyo"

HabeLinkin

Music Production Equipment

Excellent news for creatives with little $$$.

"Playing guitar and recording music. You can buy a quality guitar online for crazy cheap now and some pro recording software out there is free." – leatherwolf89

"Seriously! 'Starter' instruments these days are so far ahead of the starters of the 90's/00's- it's insane how much quality you can get these days for much, much less." – Fortune090

"Keyboards, both synthesizers and mechanical.

It's possible to get a synth that sounds identical to a $5000 Minimoog for $200 and a decent mechanical keyboard for less than that." – the_slanted_slope

"To add to that, DAWs (sound/song editing software, like photoshop for music) are amazing these days!

Some have plug-ins that can mimic orchestras so accurately that you can tell them which way a violin bow's stroke is moving and configure valve sounds into saxes. Some digital flautists come with breath sounds! Like it'll blow a long riff, then a sound like the musician is lightly inhaling.

Off key? Add a little auto-tune. Drummer's all 'not quite my temp' on you? Align it to a digital metronome. Now your drum tracks sound like they're made by an app? Add a little random error into the mix to "humanize" it.

That shit used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now $5k gets you a moderately professional studio rig. (But the price for top-end stuff will always be 'how much ya got?')" – hendergle

Home Television Sets

For real. We've all experienced the opposite of inflation with home TVs and it's been a glorious thing.

"Home TVs. The sort of hardware you can get for even $300 is absolutely absurd compared to what the 1980s through 2000s knew." – NotAnotherEmpire

"32-inch, 2006 from Best Buy for $1,700.

I can’t come to terms with the fact that only 18 years later I’m watching a TV twice as big that cost 40% less and carries a picture quality that’s so good it gives me chills sometimes." – frawgster

"Accurate. Just got a 55" Samsung LCD for $350. Hard to beat that value." – Pac_Eddy