Doing things we don’t like makes us human.


My friend Steve sent me this NY Times article by David Brooks.

In a nutshell, Mr. Brooks says we ought to ‘outsource’ things we don’t like doing or thinking about with technology.

Says Mr. Brooks, use a GPS instead of learning your local geographic area! Let iTunes tell you what music you like!

Says me, pish posh, Mr. Brooks.

Not everything we do with our brain will we ‘like’, but is that really a bad thing? Does it really take such onerous effort to look at a map and memorize a route? Is it truly frustrating to listen to some music that (gasp) you might not like in order to find some that you do? What becomes of our lives when we weed out all the ‘work’ we do with our brains?

And, where does one draw the line? In a few years we’ll have Bluetooth compatible glasses that can display websites directly to our eyes. (In fact this already exists, albeit at a high price.) Why remember a coworker’s name when your glasses can cross reference your coworker’s face with Facebook and tell you his name, his favorite pet, and whether or not he boozed last Friday?

Using our brains, even (especially?) for things that aren’t purely pleasurable, helps make life worth living.

How does that phrase go? “Use it or lose it”? I can’t be sure. Maybe I should just Google it.


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