Boredom, Meaning, and the Struggle of Mental Freedom
As technology continues to progress, the possibility of an abundant future seems more likely. Artificial intelligence is expected to drive down the cost of labor, infrastructure, and transport. Alternative energy systems are reducing the cost of a wide variety of goods. Poverty rates are falling around the world as more people are able to make a living, and resources that were once inaccessible to millions are becoming widely available.
But such a life presents fuel for the most common complaint against abundance: if robots take all the jobs, basic income provides us livable welfare for doing nothing, and healthcare is a guarantee free of charge, then what is the point of our lives? What would motivate us to work and excel if there are no real risks or rewards? If everything is simply given to us, how would we feel like we’ve ever earned anything?
Time has proven that humans inherently yearn to overcome challenges—in fact, this very desire likely exists as the root of most technological innovation. And the idea that struggling makes us stronger isn’t just anecdotal, it’s scientifically validated.
Isn’t this a strange way of starting an article? But it’s true. What so many people believe you have to suffer through poverty, to become a good person, it is false.
It’s something lost in translation. If you look at the bible, if you look at the Christian tombs and documents, if you look at the history of Christianity, then you’ll see that God never wanted poverty and suffering for its subjects.
No, the Almighty wanted all of us to live a life full of abundance and of gifts.
In late January 2019, roughly half the world’s dream researchers — about 50 people — gathered on the sixth floor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) media lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the first-ever “Dream Engineering” workshop hosted by the MIT Dream Lab, which was formed a year and a half ago.
One theme of the two-day workshop was lucid dreaming — a phenomena where people realize they’re having a dream while they’re dreaming. “It’s such an exhilarating feeling to lucid dream. It’s like a drug—it’s that powerful,” says Tore Nielsen, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal and director of the Dream and Nightmare Laboratory. “You can try flying, singing, having sex — it’s better than VR.”
The time when one’s immediate natural impulse on the first sunny spring day was to get outside and enjoy it is long gone.
Only the very courageous or “careless” who defy the grim warnings from medical mandarins and cancer specialists, wholeheartedly endorsed by the sunscreen industry, dare to venture forth into the “dangerous” sun.
Fortunately, this view is beginning to crumble in the blatant absence of scientific proof that sunlight causes disease. What is being discovered instead is that lack of sun exposure is one of the greatest risk factors for disease.