The two paragraphs of this post seem to be pointing at importantly different things.

1: People find (some) suffering deep.

2: We have less suffering today (or bad stuff more broadly) than in the past and this trend may/[is likely to] continue, so our descendants may view our modern difficulties like we view the past difficulties of our ancestors.

These two feel somewhat disconnected.

People find *some* suffering deep. We don't romanticize cities overflowing with excrement in 1100 AD. But we do romanticize tales of brave, virtuous, etc medieval knights (and many other archetypes). Why and how people find "meaning" in some kinds of suffering/difficulties but not others remains an open (empirical) question.

A modern equivalent of "shit everywhere" is something like "my car keeps malfunctioning and I can't fix it" or "I've tried various kinds of meds for my condition and none of them seem to be helping much". In some circumstances somebody might find them meaningful but in a majority of cases, these are reflectively undesirable difficulties.

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I think this is an interesting and important question. I think it's related to the question of how effectively we can learn, improve, and evolve without pain, or the threat of pain, to motivate us. And I think our best theories about the most effective way to teach children is some evidence that the answer will be "very". We no longer think beatings are a necessary ingredient of effective learning. And it's not like we think it's a trade-off, like it would be more optimal to beat children but we give up that extra effectiveness out of compassion or kindness, we actually now think it is counter-productive. I think it's likely that we will eventually feel the same way about ourselves.

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