I was just talking about the American mindset toward the future on an interview about How to Predict the Future and Win!!!
It reminded me of the brief, brilliant piece by Peter Klausler, The American Cargo Cult:
I. Ignorance is innocence
Complicated explanations are suspect
The world is simple, and there must be a simple explanation for everything.
Certainty is strength, doubt is weakness
Changing one’s mind means one has wasted the time spent holding the prior opinion.
Your opinion matters as much as anyone else’s
When a person has studied a topic, he has no more real knowledge than you do, just a hidden agenda.
The herd should be followed
The contemplative lemming gets trampled
Popular beliefs must be true.
No bad idea can survive.
People are generally smart.
Even if a popular belief doesn’t pan out, at least you’ll be in the same boat as everyone else.
II. Causality is selectable
All interconnection is apparent
Otherwise, complicated explanations would be necessary.
The end supports the explanation of the means
A successful person’s explanation of the means of his success is highly credible by the very fact of his success.
You can succeed by emulating the purported behavior of successful people
This is the key to the cargo cult. To enjoy the success of another, just mimic the rituals he claims to follow.
III. It’s not your fault
If it’s good for you, it’s good
Society is everyone else.
Good intentions suffice
You can always apologize.
There is no long term
Don’t miss an opportunity.
You are not the problem
An ugly image means a bad mirror.
IV. Death is unnatural
Bad things shouldn’t happen to you.
Pain is wrong
Life should not hurt.
Tragedy is a synonym for calamity
Bad things are never consequences of one’s own action or inaction.
There will be justice
Bad people get punished.
You, however, will be forgiven.