Desires Surveyed

I’ve seen surveys on what people are doing at random times. Here’s one on what people desire at random times:

208 participants (66% female) … indicated at least one current desire on half (49.9%) of the occasions at which they were beeped and responded (N=10,558), reported at least one recent desire on 26.7% of occasions, and reported neither a current nor recent desire on 27.6% of occasions. The most frequent desires among the total of 7,827 desire reports were those rooted in basic bodily needs: desires to eat (28.1%), sleep (10.3%), and drink (8.6%); followed by desires for media use (8.1%), leisure (7.2%), social contact (7.1%), hygiene-related activities (5.9%), tobacco use (4.8%), sex (4.6%), work (3.0%), coffee (2.9%), alcohol (2.7%), engagement in sports (2.6%), and spending (2.2%; category “other”: 1.9%). …

53.2% of desires [were] rated as not conflicting at all, 14.7% as mildly conflicting, 12.4% as somewhat conflicting, 10.9% asquite conflicting, and 8.8% as highly conflicting. On average,desires were actively resisted on 42% of occasions and enacted on 48% of occasions. (more)

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  • Tor Munkov

    It is what we lack that defines us. Every six seconds we blink to keep our eyes moist. We inhale to get more free oxygen to our blood. A clockwork of many physical and mental processes play out which need constant winding and calibration. Like our galaxy, we are matter surrounding and orbitting a core of voidness and desire.

    A way for man to progress faster would be to carry an autonomous implant or backpack along at all time, such that the typical desires are right there, unconsciously. Food, drink, media, diversions, communication devices, grooming sprays, coffee, alcohol, tobacco and other smokables, genital stimulators, gaming platforms, and trading platforms.

    With technology so attached chewing the various cuds, we become happier and freer to pursue the complex abstractions that can innovate a place of freedom. Don’t be a chump and hand this to a university or government so they can continue using us as their captive desire fulfillment devices. Rather, pursue this in the private garages and workshops in clandestine collaboration of the emerging dominant yet non-maleficent overclass.

    • Don’t actual people get most of their sense of meaning from fulfilling those kinds of “miserable thermostat” desires? Are you sure there would be enough subjective meaning left over to satisfy us if we automated the SIMS-style game we play all day?

    • John

      What about the desire to not carry a massive life-support backpack everywhere, or the desire to not have leaked filth dripping down the back of your pantleg? Without mass production based on designs laid out by competent professional engineers, any half-baked plumbing project is going to leak, especially if it’s under dynamic stresses.

  • GudEnuf

    Does the study discuss the differences between male and female subjects?

    • Bob

      Would that have occurred to you if gender were not the first thing mentioned in the survey? I know that that triggered me to wonder about it, but I doubt I’d have thought of it otherwise. Now my desire to know the answer is far greater than how intrinsically interesting I find it.

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