Feel The News, May 18, 2012

When Julius Caesar’s army crossed the Rubicon river in northeastern Italy, it was considered an act of insurrection so famous that “crossing the rubicon” has come to mean “passing the point of no return.”

Three rubicons that America has passed came to my attention this week.

First, in 2009, the amount of data sent with mobile devices exceeded the sum of transmitted voice data. And the calls we do make are getting shorter. While in 2003 the average local mobile phone call lasted a leisurely three minutes, by 2010 it had been trimmed to a terse one minute and 47 seconds.

Thinking of gay/lesbian relationships as morally acceptable is the new normal, according to Gallup.

And finally, the Census Bureau says that in 2011, children born to racial and ethnic minority parents represented the majority of all recent births in the United States, outpacing those born to white parents. The white demographic is on its way to becoming a “majority minority”: it now only represents 63.4 percent of the U.S. population. By the late 2040s, it will be less than 50 percent of the population.

Said William Frey, a demographer and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution:

This is a fundamental tipping point signaling a change in our demographic structure for decades to come.


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