My guess is that, as long as there have been humans to observe behavior, someone has noticed how generations behave differently. That probably wasn’t as true 500 years ago as it is today, but it is certainly obvious now.
With less education and fewer opportunities, behavior from one generation to the next 500 years ago still changed. The newest generation wanted to explore more, and more new inventions were created.
Animals for hauling gave way to carts pulled by animals, which changed to teams of animals and bigger carts, then to barges along canals pulled by animals, then the steam engine boat and so on. Now super tankers roam the seas with multiple levels of row after row of containers of goods.
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