Institutional and Cultural Inertia

Politeness requires that we do not talk about issues that might be contrary to another person’s beliefs. Thus polite conversation is dominated by trivia, entertainment, sports, the weather, gossip, food, and so on. Worries about the distant future , the danger of nuclear war, the danger of uncontrollable climate change, or the danger of widespread famine seldom appear in conversations at the dinner table, over coffee or at the pub. In conversations between polite people, the situation is exactly the same as in the mass media.