Everything's Amazing, Nobody's Happy

Last year comedian Louis CK did a brilliant monologue on the Conan O'Brien show [1] about how little we tend to appreciate the miracles of modern life:

... [E]verything is amazing right now and nobody's happy. Like in my lifetime, the changes in the world have been incredible. When I was a kid we had a rotary phone. We had a phone you had to stand next to, and you had to dial it. Do you realize how primitive ... you're making sparks, in a phone! And you actually would hate people with zeroes in their numbers because it was more work. You're like "That guy has two zeroes, screw that guy". And then if they called and you weren't home the phone would just ring, lonely, by itself.

And then if you wanted money you had to go in the bank, which was open for like three hours. You had to stand in line and write yourself a check like an idiot. And then when you ran out of money you'd just go "Well, I can't do any more things now." That was it. And even if you had a credit card, the guy would go "Ugh..." and he'd bring out this whole (mechanical sounds) and he'd write everything down, and he'd have to call the President to see if you have any money.

... [N]ow we live in an amazing, amazing world and it's wasted on the crappiest generation of just spoiled idiots that don't care, because this is what people are like now. They got their phone and are like, "Eh, it won't—".

Give it a second! It's going to space! Can you give it a second to get back from space? Is the speed of light too slow for you? ...

Louis CK goes on to talk about air travel and other marvels that we all complain about and take for granted. It's reminiscent of Paul Simon's song "The Boy in the Bubble":

These are the days of lasers in the jungle
Lasers in the jungle somewhere
Staccato signals of constant information
A loose affiliation of millionaires
And billionaires and baby
These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky ...

(cf. IngeniousDevices (1999-06-06), TechnicalMinded (2003-07-18), ThinkOurWayOut (2005-03-07), Art of Physics Appreciation (2008-09-12), ...) - ^z - 2009-05-01

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