How did people in the past not just read but also write such lengthy books with such precision?

Idk if ADHD is a modern thing, but it's killing me. How did they do it in the past? Was it medition? Some particular food they eat or drank? Or was it their lifestyle? How did they gain such discipline? I don't want to take prescription drugs, because they are not easily available, and I'm worried about addiction and withdrawal.

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  1. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    It's literally all there was to do and most people still just went outside. Reading is bougie.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      But how did they concentrate eithout getting distracted?

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        without*

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        not having banal consumer media pumped into your brain every waking moment of your life via consumer technology

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        Lmao are you zoomer born in the internet era, before social media exploded, people watched tv and even that got boring because your favourite shows only came in weekly and at night when everyone was at home, the rest of the time, there was no reason to stay inside the house because it got boring fast. Even the most antisocial people would find a reason to be outside or to dedicate their time to something more productive.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      how did they focus?

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      >Reading is bougie.
      moronic c**t. This is literally not true. Poor people were much more literate before television was invented because, as you say, there was nothing else to do. Also the fricking word ‘bougie’ is so disgusting. Zoomer leftist tripe. Die.

  2. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    There used to be a pathological need to elaborate everything because people simply had more time in their hands. Instead of entertaining themselves with 'content', they entertained ideas. Books were the only medium available and they took quite a long time to manufacture and distribute, so they had to make sure they came packed with ideas. Nowadays, the rate of content creation highly surpasses our capacity to assimilate it, so we appreciate quick succinct ideas, hence the success of memes.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      Some call it efficiency, I just call it the natural entropy inherent in human beings that's customized to its station in time.

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        >I just call it the natural entropy inherent in human beings that's customized to its station in time.
        I wholeheartedly agree with your perspective. Efficiency is a good word when the outcome of the work done is objectively measurable. In the chaotic realm of human cultural evolution it's very hard to say of we're progressing or regressing.

  3. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Same reason even slow-learners in Sweden speak perfect English like it’s no big deal while I can’t endure committing my feeble brain to even one chapter of ‘Easy French Step-by-Step’. They become used to the practice of it early, and do it often, as routine. So people in the past would sit in a quiet room, night after night, with no distraction but the candle flame’s flicker, and read. They sit in front of a page and scratch out a careful deliberate sentence because what else are they going to do. Reading and writing are not some special activity they have to suspend their normal life to attend to. They are part of that normal life. ADHD is nothing compared to what digital media has done to the basic habits of our brains.

  4. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Because they were aristocrats. Now writing has been invaded by peasants.

  5. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    My internet was out for 24 hours, got back on this morning. I effectively time-traveled. I don't think you can comprehend the slow pace of how things used to be. I am a millenial but remember when we had dial-up. Internet was sold as "always online" (compared to AOL) circa 2001 or thereabout. I also remember the general time when people weren't online, terminally so. I visited it last night.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      How was it?

  6. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Especially in the 18th century, when the novel was coming into its own, the elites had frickall to do with themselves, so letter-writing and other literary activity came to the fore. The intensification of literary activity did also coincide with the Enlightenment, replacing alcohol with coffee, and the salon.

    Habermas has an amusing anecdote about two noblewomen who were true friends, but they were so fricking bored that they had a game of writing each other back and forth, giving each other backhanded compliments, roasting each other, pointing out each other's flaws, etc. Typical woman behavior but a bit sharper, and in literary form.

  7. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    they were on average much more intelligent than now.
    Look at Michael Woodley of menie's research along with the work of others on the decline in hereditary values of iq due to multifactor problems with birth rates.

  8. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Was it Newton who said that fleeing london during the plague gave him ample time to think free from the distraction of the metropolis.

  9. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >everyone's out here making excuses
    Literally git gud, scrubs. Stop blaming society and and start writing.

  10. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Children were pushed harder without distractions.

    > At the age of three he was taught Greek. By the age of eight, he had read Aesop's Fables, Xenophon's Anabasis, and the whole of Herodotus, and was acquainted with Lucian, Diogenes Laërtius, Isocrates and six dialogues of Plato. He had also read a great deal of history in English and had been taught arithmetic, physics and astronomy.

    >At the age of eight, Mill began studying Latin, the works of Euclid, and algebra, and was appointed schoolmaster to the younger children of the family. His main reading was still history, but he went through all the commonly taught Latin and Greek authors and by the age of ten could read Plato and Demosthenes with ease.

  11. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Just habit. A few years ago I had cabin fever and towards its peak I was itching for any sort of media, it got to the point where I was acting out socratic dialogues and reading entire Tom Clancy slops in an afternoon.

  12. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >Was it medition? Some particular food they eat or drank? Or was it their lifestyle? How did they gain such discipline?
    It's literally a discipline you learn implicitly in a world with no social media, 4 tv channels or no TV at all, no instant gratification.

    Most millenials and zoomed who think they have adhd do not have it, they have been failed by their parents who used tech as baby sitters, and they need to learn to sit down, do nothing, and appreciate being bored.

  13. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >if ADHD is a modern thing,

    there have been stimulants for more than a hundred years now. most of the writers in the 20th century were using benzedrine

    also some were using cocaine (freud and steven king famously)

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      What about Proust?

  14. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Dopamine saturation. If your brain exists, and particularly if it develops, in an environment of high stimulation, it adapts to this standard and begins to expect this high level of stimulation. Thus it becomes uncomfortable to spend long periods of time in a low stimulation activity like reading or writing. If you look at modernity, there is super stimulation everywhere, neon lights, sugary food and drink, graphic pornography, abundant alcohol and other intoxicants, cheap high octane entertainment everywhere, and on and on. Unironically take walks daily, meditate, and try to live in subtle tranquility as much as possible and eschew the prompts of the 21st century world.

  15. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >live in the 1800s
    >if you want to listen to music you have to go to church
    >if you want to see a tropical beach you have to risk your life on a boat for 8 months or more
    >you're excited about getting the mail each day and you pray you get a letter from your cousin who speaks so candidly because that's your main form of entertainment
    >your entire life starts at your parents home and ends 10 miles from there in any direction
    No. People did not have ADD back then. You cannot even begin to fathom how different life was back then.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      The same reason why going to a concert or a play in the 21st century is fricking moronic

  16. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Most old books are absolute trash though. Unfocused and sloppy. Modern publishing forces authors to be more concise. The three volume novel and the serial novel, were disasters for literature in the same way the ten part Netflix series has destroyed compressed visual story telling
    Do me favor and read The Newcomes or The Virginians then come back to me.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      What? Only old bools are studied these days. Name three good books from 21st century that can compete with the old ones.

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        Good books and bad books don't exist. A book contains a wide spectrum of qualities. It is the perceiving of these qualities that matter, and my stance towards them. Ideally I'd be simultaneously critical and accepting of the whole spectrum of qualities contained in the book. In other words, I must read harder to practice.

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