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The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success

Our society has become decadent: innovation has stalled, we're not striving for greatness, our art is stagnating, and things are becoming more and more mediocre. This is the pessimistic thesis — if The Beginning of Infinity makes you excited about what's possible, Douthat makes you... gloomy? To the end of highlighting how we're stagating, the book is successful. However, it largely has no thesis of change. It's a think piece that highlights a need for change, without offering any possibilities.

The writing is good, the message resonated, but overall it made me feeling depressed.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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