“I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” -- Blaise PascalThe wisdom of past thinkers and writers continually amazes me. Shakespeare's work is matched perhaps only by the Bible as the greatest single catalog of human nature.
Human nature does not change. Practically every social good and ill we now live with existed in the time of The Bard, and even further back when Moses was leading the Hebrews out of Egypt. Still, I read this, and I wonder if technology is changing us. Human beings have continually adapted with time and circumstances, but are we going through some kind of hyper-change, perhaps due to the unprecedented torrent of technology?
Consider this headline from Yahoo:
Time Alone? Many Would Rather Hurt Themselves
Washington (AFP) - Many people would rather inflict pain on themselves than spend 15 minutes in a room with nothing to do but think, according to a US study out Thursday.Dive into the article, and it delivers on the headline. In limited experiments, over half of the people who agreed to sit quietly with no distractions for 15 minutes couldn't do it without checking their phones, listening to music, etc.
Another group had their toys taken away, but were given the capability to shock themselves with a charge equivalent to an uncomfortable static electricity zap. 66% of male subjects and 25% of female subjects shocked themselves one or more times during the 15 minute period of solitude.
“Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." -- Blaise PascalIf you distract yourself from yourself, are you still yourself?