Blaise Pascal was a scientist and mathematician, whose contributions to those fields helped pave the way for some of the modern scientific and technological advancements we enjoy today. He was also a theologian of sorts, and readily spoke to the real, spiritual dangers that such advancements can perpetuate. In his Pensées, a collection of hundreds of his thoughts that were posthumously edited and published after his death in 1662, Pascal speaks to the matter of diversions on a number of occasions. In a day and age when diversions are nearly constant through various media portals – giant, hand-held, and all sizes in between – it is hard to imagine a time when Pascal’s words were ever truer. Here is one example:
“The only thing that consoles us for our miseries is diversion. And yet it is the greatest of our miseries. For it is that above all which prevents us thinking about ourselves and leads us imperceptibly to destruction. But for that we should be bored, and boredom would drive us to seek more solid means of escape, but diversion passes our time and brings us imperceptibly to our death.” #414.