Paul Graham, who’s often brilliant and always worth reading, has a short, disturbing piece on the acceleration of addictiveness. Of course, the more we progress, the more potentially addictive things are being created. This reminds me of what my friend Brian Micklethwait likes to say, that a society in which everyone’s rights are protected is the most difficult to govern (paraphrase). Of course, it’s still worth it.
Paul expresses concern about the role of religion and the state in regulating addictive behavior:
I worry we may be heading for a future in which only a few people plot their own itinerary through no-land, while everyone else books a package tour. Or worse still, has one booked for them by the government.
I really don’t care about people who take the package tour, as long as they don’t try to force me on their bus. Government is usually the means to do that in the US, though bombs have been used too. I would like to see us oppose both with equal vehemence.