I had a good laugh the other night at an ad for a new expensive ergonomic chair that would make anyone more productive and _ by implication _ healthy, wealthy, and wise as well. My mirth was from the recollection of long hours when I programmed oblivious to the world. And all those times reading or watching a movie when we ignore all else.

Humans can be incredibly aware. Our senses are fine-tuned to this planet and ecosystem. Whatever was relevant to past survival can be called up at a moment’s notice _ a flash in the woods, a squeak in the night, a bad taste in a mouthful of food.

But all that input must be filtered last we dissolve in sensory overload. We can be aware of much, but usually ignore as much as possible. Inner churnings, external stimuli, even flashes of thought. We pick what we need and all the rest magically vanishes.

There have been times when, deep in a logical problem, I have awoken from a working trance trembling and stiff from the cold of a computer room, legs barely able to stand, eyes unfocused, and even thoughts confused. Would that ergonomic chair have helped? Nah.

In fact, I think such comforts are precisely designed for those who cannot concentrate and who are much too aware of the discomforts they are forced to endure to earn a paycheck. A hedonistically formed chair will hardly help with their tasks.

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