The bias of normalcy in a time of insanity

There have been no civil wars in America’s recent past, no cities burned to the ground, and no famines. But there’s no denying that American society has changed in radical ways

I came across the term “normalcy bias” the other day. It refers to a mental habit of assuming that things will continue to function as they normally have. The normalcy bias causes us to underestimate the possibility of a life-changing disaster or a radical societal change. It renders us more vulnerable and less prepared when hard times strike.

If a society goes a long time without experiencing a major catastrophe, then the normalcy bias is strengthened. If history has treated your nation kindly for a long stretch, it’s natural to assume that it will continue to do so.