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Frictionless Sorrow

I've been wondering lately if one of the side effects of our technological age is a ready access to greif. I don't just mean the always on newsfeeds full of tradgedy and the massive presence of trolls online--although that surely doesn't help--but about having more free time to get lost in misery.

We evolved as a species having to fight hard to survive pretty much every day. The more technological progress there has been the less we have to struggle just to put food in our mouths. There are still plenty of people in the world for whom this isn't true, but I wonder if anyone has done a psychological study on whether or not those who are locked in a stuggle for subsitence exhibit the same kinds of depressive behavior that those of us in the first world do.

Ethically such a study would be dodgy: we'd be better off helping those people survive than asking them how they feel. Still it might be good to know if the end result of all our progress is just pathology.