February 19, 2013
The quest for permanent novelty
I doubt anyone reading this will claim never to have thought, regarding some experience, “I wish this would last forever.” But most of us don’t take that wish very seriously. We seem instinctively to know that it is the kind of desire that collapses under a moment’s thought.
Imagine you’re sitting in the sun, holding your partner’s hand, thinking, I wish this would last forever. Now imagine that a genie grants your wish. Wonderful! No clouds dim the sun, you sigh happily, the pleasant feeling lasts. Then you begin to feel an uncomfortable pressure in your bladder. Your neck starts to ache. You get bored. Your partner’s hand grows sweaty. Soon you’re desperately wishing you could get up, get away from this hell.