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Arthur Schopenhauer: The Intermeshing of Desire and Technology

Ever wonder why it is that we are in a constant state of wanting and needing more of anything and everything, that on a mere surface level, only ever elicits the tiniest bit of appeal? Think about it, even when you’ve surmounted to achieve your highest stated goal, it only takes you a couple of days, or a week tops, to be in pursuit of another. We are never satiated by the accomplishment of one goal or the achievement of one accolade, rather, we are in a perpetual state of hunger, which is in fact predicted on the basis of none other than the will. The will is a single, brute force that is characterized by a restless, adamant striving for any and every goal (or material possession) that adjacently rids us of suffering, and paves the way for evidential happiness.

Our constant urge to hop on the train of desire is encrypted in every walking, breathing human on this Earth. We believe that if we take the route of pleasing/meeting our nagging desires, we will be happy while simultaneously muting the loquacious noise that propagated the action in the first place. Just as we think we’ve gotten rid of desire, we find it morphing itself into other potent endeavours, disguised as someone and something that is foreign to our prior recollection of it. There is always going to be another quest on the tail end of the former, yet we continue to pursue desire regardless of how much and how often it proves to us otherwise.

There was an abrupt turn taken in the realm of desire after the Industrial Revolution, where prior to it, desires’ attributes were far less etching, tethering, and down right addicting. When technology took the world by storm, our desires took a sharp left and narrowed in on products such as cars, handheld devices, and TV’s to satisfy the desire and ultimately muscle our way through to a higher tier of happiness, and a lower one of suffering. We have already established that desire is a vicious cycle; a never ending one for that matter. However when you morph this already stringent-eliciting desire, with the addictive tendencies innately present in technology, you create a monstrosity: the modern man. The modern man is in an imprisonment so total that he does not even know he is locked up. This concoction of desire and technology has put man in a realm that is truly unprecedented; living in this virtual world that draws the picture of optimum happiness, when all the while, its yielding anything but. The longer the modern man stays in this ‘euphoric’ state, the more he’ll start to believe that this is what happiness truly entails. But alas, once he is driven out of it, the ramifications are nothing but daunting and painstaking.

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