Interesting viewpoint, is this personal experience, another source, or both?
To be clear, I don't have high confidence in the direction, much less the magnitude, of the effect here, and I do not have any personal experience of tight communities.My thinking on this was from a general sense that humans devote a lot of our cognitive resources into social games — signalling, fashion, politics, mating, etc — and it's plausible that modern society allows us to opt out of a lot of the most challenging parts of these by interacting with institutions with formal rul... (read more)
In the mental realm, the opposite may be true: the average person may be experiencing a pretty thorough mental workout just from day-to-day life.
Depending on what counts as a "mental workout", the direction of modernity's effect on one's mental challenges seems unclear to me. Many people have much more cognitively demanding jobs these days, but our social life has atomized so significantly that we no longer rely so heavily on being woven into the larger social fabric of a community, where we'd need to devote many more of our mental resources to the task of... (read more)
Oh sorry! Having recently been deep-diving on this when considering the process I forgot some people might be squeamish about it. I've put the detailed description under a spoiler block.
(Spoiler block contains description of eye surgery.)
You may be thinking of PRK? LASIK
involves cutting a flap in the outer layer, which is peeled back and they reshape the corneal stroma, then the flap is put back in place and the cut around it
heals. With PRK the outer layer is removed entirely.Not that I'm saying you should get LASIK — I got it done recently and it's been marginally better than glasses or contacts, but it hasn't been life-changing in any way so far.
Plus it doesn't really solve your problem, since one of the nicest things about photoc... (read more)