Our own age is not likely to be distinguished in history for the large numbers of people who insisted on finding the time to think. Plainly, this is not the Age of the Meditative Man. It is a sprinting, squinting, shoving age. Substitutes for repose are a billion dollar business. Almost daily, new antidotes for contemplation spring into being and leap out from store counters. Silence, already the world’s most critical shortage, is in danger of becoming a nasty word. Modern man may or may not be obsolete, but he is certainly wired for sound and he twitches as naturally as he breathes.
— Norman Cousins, quoted in Making Sense of It All: Pascal and The Meaning of Life by Thomas Morris, p. 36