From The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour loc 3166:
No one consciously sets out to devote themselves to the machine, to become its addict. Its veto power over all other possible attentions takes place, cumulatively, through every apparently free choice made as a user. We drop into the dead zone, the ‘ticker trance’ of feed addiction, by increment. The way the chronophagic machine fights for our attention recalls what Eastern Christianity used to call the demon of acedia. This was a predecessor of the modern concept of melancholia, and it was used in monasteries (those ancient writing machines) to describe an affliction of the devoted. In the original Greek, ‘akedia’ meant ‘lack of care’. In the Latinized Christian use propagated by Evagrius of Pontus, it described a lack of care about one’s life; a listless, restless spiritual lethargy. The condition left one yearning for distraction and continual novelty, exploiting one’s petty hates and hungers. It dissolved one’s capacity for attending, for living as if living mattered, into a series of itches demanding to be scratched. Ultimately, it was dehumanizing, corrosive of meaning: it was spiritual death.
Categories: Pre 2020 reading notes