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The Modern World Is The Beautiful Product of Various Illicit Chemicals
A perspective that explains the heroic ability of modern people to endure boredom and get work done
Side notes before today’s short post: check out this related post on Elon Musk if you missed it (it’s a subscriber post). The co-founder of Substack seemed to like it and I appreciate him quoting it in the notes app. Thanks Chris! Please subscribe to check it out.
Today’s post is free. Please consider becoming a supporter to access the posts upcoming this week on dietary cults and a review of 2001: A Space Odyssey
You look at the digital clock in the corner of your screen. The numbers are relentless. They never ever stop, they keep egging you onward.
They remind you that you’re the only thing in the world that’s stationary. Everything else in the universe grinds forward without end, the sun and moon and stars never tire. There's an invisible engine beneath it all that runs on some divine energy, the secret names of God serve as a cosmic lubricant that ensures the pistons of the world sing while they oscillate. You’re the only thing that wants to stop working. You have to work. There are projects, goals, needs, responsibilities. There are women, cars, places, people you want. There’s time, you only have a small window to make life count. You can’t stop.
But you can’t go on either. Going on is difficult. Going on means pencil-pushing, emails, efforts with wider reward cycles than anything your ancestors did in the past, and the things they did were more difficult. You were made to go to war.
You were made to solve unsolvable coordination problems between young men who lived near you, who wanted what little you had. You were made to solve the problem of violence presented by the young men who didn’t live near you, on the other side of the hill, who solved the coordination problem before you did, who also wanted what little you had. You were made to solve the unsolvable problem of nature trying to hurt you everyday, trying to starve you everyday, throw bears and wolves and impetuous weather at you everyday. You were made to stop them all from taking what’s yours. You were made to best all men and put all creatures on earth to heel.
You like the idea of a homestead a few miles from the city because it reminds you of that life, of the essential battle of the before-times. You want to build a barn, you want to build a beautiful garden, you want to get a lot of sheep and German shepherds to guard them. But that life is difficult, we left all that behind for a reason. Pencil pushing is easier. You have to do it, you see other people do it everyday. You see how good life can be when you grind out those emails, when you network like a psychopath, when you endure the endless tedium required to get the right credentials. But how do they do it? Other people seem to chug along and plow through the tedium the way the sun plows through the sky without delay.
There must be something right with them and wrong with you. There are only a few days’ worth of that kind of energy stored in your body every month. You’re not the same kind of animal. But neither are they, not most of them. Some of them have just the right combination of obsessive mental illness, intelligence, and profitable interests to do great things. All the rest of them though, they’re like you, they’re made for war. They weren’t made to be a cloistered courtier in some ancient Chinese empire. They were made to battle against the sea, all of its roaring waves trying to stop them from some new and glorious land. They were made for hostile shores in far away places whose painted-faced inhabitants guard the promise of those lands like a great roving dragon, like the cherub preceding Eden.
They’re on drugs, they’re on lots of drugs, there’s no other way for them to do what they do. The entire world of men grinds on because of enormous chemical manufacturing. They don’t have the energy to plow through exalted mountains of tedium either, they buy it from the energy store, where psychiatrists work. They are something more than human. They won’t tell you this, but their life depends on prescription medication. The global economy depends on prescription medication. The premises of student loans and college education and careerism depend on medical interventions. Even the prolific artists we love from early modern history, the effulgent thinkers whose volumes have influenced us all, they were all on drugs. Proust? Opium addict. Nietzsche? Opium addict. Ayn Rand? Amphetamine addict. You’re living in a world populated by highly enhanced individuals. Transhumanism arrived a while ago, you and I? We’re late to the party.
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