We humans are a rather simple lot. We don’t require much to be happy- in most cases being warm, dry, having regular access to sex ,a full belly --- the basic ‘creature comforts’ will keep us sated (in most cases). In this, we’re not that far removed from cousin Ugg, the subterranean dweller. (“Caveman” is no longer politically correct)
Naturally, since we are curious, clever and can’t leave a good thing alone- we mess with the formula. We moved out of the caves, into houses, learned to cook and control the internal climate of our nice suburban tract homes… and discovered that beds are better for a lot of things than cave floors..
It’s in our nature to say “Yes, that’s good… but it could be better”.
Let’s take food, for example. Nowadays, the definition of ‘good food’ tends to be skewed in favor of nutrition content (as opposed to flavor). In a nearly perfect example of the pendulum swinging a bit too far, we have Soylent.
Soylent is purportedly a ‘Food Substitute’ (hm. You eat/drink it… it’s food. Pretentious food, but food) that gives you all the nutrients that you need to live in one convenient package. I’ve read all the literature, and I’m slightly intrigued. I, like most Americans, have a moderate weight problem (though not nearly as bad as some. I consider trips to Wal-Mart to be therapeutic for my self image…), and if I were freed from things like flavor, texture and substance, I could be the ‘ideal me’.
(Yes, there’s some sarcasm there…)
There are definite benefits to Soylent- it’s inexpensive, nutritionally complete, portable… it would be ideal for space travel or long undersea voyages… but oddly enough for something named ‘Soylent’… it’s missing something.
We are not that far removed from ‘Nature, red in tooth and claw’. What are our homes but fabricated caves? What is our food but the death of animals and plants?
Again, the irony of Soylent is there’s not any humanity in it.