In our sitting room there is:
- a phone with which, immediately and without intermediation, I can speak to anyone I know anywhere in the world, along with an uncountable number of other people;
- a tv with dozens of tv channels, on which I can also watch almost anything broadcast in the last week as well as a stack of other stored programmes and films;
- a dvd player and a pile of dvds allowing me to watch what must be now hundreds of hours of films (a library put together imperceptibly and in an ongoing absence of mind);
- a cd player and a pile of cds allowing me to listen to hundreds of hours... (see above);
- a laptop with which I can make written communication with anyone who also has a computer and access to the web and with which I can read books, documents, newspapers, etc. sufficient to fill many times over the biggest libraries in the world. I can do my shopping and banking with it too. And get more music, tv and films. Also I can self-publish on it, just like this;
- lots of good, old fashioned books too, along with a pile of current newspapers and magazines.
All in an ordinary sitting room in an ordinary house occupied by people not particularly interested in technology. Take a step back and boggle.
Can you imagine what response you'd get if you told someone from fifty years ago, who you'd invited for a tour of that room, that you were bored? Yet occasionally we still are. Why? Is there anything we could possibly invent that would end boredom?
Our desire for adventure, change, flux seems insatiable. This is also surely why we find it difficult ever to be truly contented. We're inventive little creatures but incurably restless and with what seems to be an ineradicable urge to be strangers to ourselves.