"Trying to escape the constant stream of too much information."
"About a year ago, I [This essay's author, Pico Iyer] flew to Singapore to join the writer Malcolm Gladwell, the fashion designer Marc Ecko and the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister in addressing a group of advertising people on 'Marketing to the Child of Tomorrow.' Soon after I arrived, the chief executive of the agency that had invited us took me aside. What he was most interested in, he began — I braced myself for mention of some next-generation stealth campaign — was stillness.
A few months later, I read an interview with the perennially cutting-edge designer Philippe Starck. What allowed him to remain so consistently ahead of the curve? 'I never read any magazines or watch TV,' he said, perhaps a little hyperbolically. 'Nor do I go to cocktail parties, dinners or anything like that.” He lived outside conventional ideas, he implied, because “I live alone mostly, in the middle of nowhere.'
Around the same time, I noticed that those who part with $2,285 a night to stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur pay partly for the privilege of not having a TV in their rooms; the future of travel, I’m reliably told, lies in 'black-hole resorts,' which charge high prices precisely because you can’t get online in their rooms.
Has it really come to this?"