We think of ourselves as so much more advanced than previous generations of Americans because of the few things we do better. Why, we’re not racist like those people! We have fancier gadgets to play with! True. But, the average American 50 years ago was more industrious, independent, religious, mannered, and had a far better understanding of how his world worked. In many of the ways that matter, we’ve gone backwards as human beings from previous generations.