To be alive spiritually is to feel the ultimate anxiety of existence within the trivial anxieties of everyday life, believes Christian Wiman. Unsettled by a dinner conversation, he examines how to live with this angst amid the “collective ADHD” of contemporary life. “Our anxiety is less the mind shielding itself from death than the spirit’s need to be. It is as if each of us were always hearing some strange, complicated music in the background…which, so long as it remains in the background, is not simply distracting but manifestly unpleasant, because it demands the attention we are giving to other things.”
When ancient humans stared into the darkness, they imagined monsters. Today, staring into the future, AI is the monster.
The sooner you can admit what’s swimming beneath the surface, the sooner you can improve your life.
The highest-energy particles could be a sign of new, unexpected physics. But the simplest, most mundane explanation is particularly iron-ic.
The modern attention economy hijacks our ability to focus, but an ancient technique offers a means to get it back.