Robbed of Incentive by their Own Contentment

Human civilization had a lot of branches, not so long ago. Even into the twenty-first century, a few isolated tribes had barely developed stone tools. Some settled down with agriculture. Others weren’t content until they had ended nature itself, still others until they’d built cities in space.
We all rested eventually, though. Each new technology trampled lesser ones, climbed to some complacent asymptote, and stopped—until my own mother packed herself away like a larva in honeycomb, softened by machinery, robbed of incentive by her own contentment.
— Blindsight by Peter Watts

I heard this quote from a friend recently. Though we disagreed whether it was a problem. Perhaps robbed of contentment by desire, also works? It depends on context and balance, I guess.


Image: By Alpsdake (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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