I am sitting in a deli trying to do some work, because the deli has wi-fi. There are three television sets on, tuned to two different programs. No one is watching any of the TVs. The different broadcasts create a jumble of noise in the room. One of the programs is a game show. There is a wheel that spins and, while it does so, it emits a noise quite like a car alarm.

The goal of all this racket is to thwart the terrifying possibility that anyone might find themselves alone with their own thoughts, for even a second.


  1. I think there is a more complicated, less goal-directed set of phenomena leading to this outcome, but I definitely sympathize.

  2. "Consider this. What is it to be superintendent, chancellor, first president, but to be in a condition wherein from early morning a large number of people come from all quarters to see them, so as not to leave them an hour in the day in which they can think of themselves? And when they are in disgrace and sent back to their country houses, where they lack neither wealth nor servants to help them on occasion, they do not fail to be wretched and desolate, because no one prevents them from thinking of themselves."

    -Pascal, Pensees 139


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