Why Are People Waiting to Die?

This Tower is Meh

How could you not be excited and interested in the ongoing construction project that is human civilisation? How can you not be bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and passionately determined to place down your own brick in this massive, ever-growing edifice, and make sure that it is the largest, thickest, sturdiest brick you could possibly make it? How could you just lie down and sunbake on top of the backs of the millions of people that form the human pyramid of herculean efforts that produced our current standard of living?

I had the unfortunate experience of having to stay with some people that I only slightly knew, and I could not understand their behaviour. They didn’t do anything. They didn’t make anything, they didn’t work on anything, they just went to work, and came home, and then killed time. They watched TV and invented pointless hobbies (pointless by their own admission) for themselves in order to kill this time. It was like they were waiting to die.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand and encourage having fun for its own sake. But what I cannot understand is such fun being the only thing between you and the void. A life whose only sprinkling of seasoning is regular momentary entertainment? A short-sighted existence, living in anticipation only of the next pleasant distraction? Such a thing would surely drive me mad. But perhaps that is because I have a tendency to think in terms of the hundreds or thousands of years.

The ever-stacking achievements of human knowledge are simply astounding when considered, and the prospect of being able to participate in this exploratory, collaborative endeavour, is tantalisingly exciting. I am in constant anticipation of what new advancement, discovery or invention may be announced next, and eager to help in some way to break whatever new precious centimetres of ground I can. Being happy, or especially being unhappy, with the fruits of thousands of years of breakthroughs and ideas, and yet completely uninterested in that ongoing project, is something that I cannot fathom.

Please somebody explain to me, why are most people just killing time until they die?

How is it that people sit atop this obelisk of ingenuity with such tenacious apathy and depression?

See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT1XFgIWgZg

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One thought on “Why Are People Waiting to Die?

  1. Some have responded to me in person saying that there is a vast range of activities that don’t directly build on the tower, but which we need, such as the work of doctors, firefighters, educators, and others. I concur. Such roles, while not directly building up the tower, are very valuable indeed. Indirectly supporting the tower by acting as a facilitator or maintainer is most definitely a worthy pursuit.
    Others have said that we wouldn’t want everyone building the tower anyway, because what use would be an army full of generals? You have to have the foot soldiers as well. I’m not sure that their analogy applies, but in partial response, I wrote the post, “When is My Absence More Valuable Than My Input?” https://conceptsandbox.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/when-is-my-absence-more-valuable-than-my-input/comment-page-1/#comment-29

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