And thinking deeply is way too much to expect these daze. The short attention spans of kids have gotten shorter and they have no ability to sit still or be patient. If they have an e-device in their hands, they can amuse themselves to obsession, sedentary lotus-eaters’ lifestyle, and early death.
Yes, no question plugged-ins can’t stop checking and engage otherwise in the here-and-now as life passes them by. The disconnect from Nature is way beyond Wordsworth’s “The World Is Too Much with Us”. In other words, material/istic obsession doesn’t help either–we become shallow like Brave New World types and terminally, infantilely ego-centered. “It’s all about Me.”
Happiness and pleasure means having an naval-gazing iWatch, an iPhone, etc.
And Westerners will continue to dis-empathize and rank so alienation will become the prevalent mode of engaging with others and the world.
I think Hawking is right. The ‘toy’-technology has spiralled out of control and people have become easy, brainwashed slaves to it. And they no longer want to think, especially about their doublethinking ‘personal-individual freedom/mass slavery to e-devices. We are witnessing a great mass consensual implosion of human autonomy and consciousness.
Hawking foresees the end of human civilization and human mastery over machines. The triumph of e-gizmos over diminishing human will and freedom. And lest we forget, it was Sven Birkerts who first said “Refuse it” lest the brainwashed lose their capacity to say “No”.