Things that Matter

Well, in our society, we have things that you might use your intelligence on, like politics, but people really can’t get involved in them in a very serious way — so what they do is they put their minds into other things, such as sports. You’re trained to be obedient; you don’t have an interesting job; there’s no work around for you that’s creative; in the cultural environment you’re a passive observer of usually pretty tawdry stuff; political and social life are out of your range, they’re in the hands of the rich folks. So what’s left? Well, one thing that’s left is sports — so you put a lot of the intelligence and the thought and the self-confidence into that. And I suppose that’s also on of the basic functions it serves in the society in general: it occupies the population and keeps them from trying to get involved with things that really matter.

– Noam Chomsky

While I attempt to do things that matter… I find many distractions along the way. Sports I have almost avoided (I love my NASCAR), but TV, movies, computer games and others get in the way. I’m not trying to avoid these distractions altogether, but I certainly don’t want to waste necessary brainspace on useless things. This quote helps me stay motivated to only accept potential “distractions” if I truly need a break or if they are foundational to other personal developments (like those games that make you smarter at Lumosity – this isn’t a product placement, I just really love their games and I feel way less guilty playing those than Farmville). Coming soon will be a post on the usefulness of games!

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