Essays, Analyses and Meditations

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The Age of Experience

  • We want to experiment everything but safely: rollercoasters, skydiving, sex, all sorts of sports, but all of them somehow in a "protected" mode that guarantees no physical damage (hence less smoking, liquors and drugs that were the traditional forms of "experimentation").
  • We are not necessarily fond of any of the things we "experiment": we just want to find out how it feels.
  • This is the opposite of the old morality, that was very much about limiting what is ok to experience.
  • We are transitioning from the age of limited experience to the age of unlimited experience.
  • Societies lived under the rule of religions and social codes that imposed limited experience (you have to do only what is proper), and now society is developing a new tacit religion and social code that preaches exactly the opposite, the need for maximum experience: you have to try everything at least once in your life.
  • I wonder if this new religion comes from the frustration of people who can no longer be explorers and discoverers and whose ordinary lives are constrained by so many rules and regulations (at school, at work, on the road, in pretty much every situation and circumstance).