We have a story that people are lazy. They’d rather watch TV. I don’t think this is true.
I think the truth might be the opposite.
Many science fiction stories, including The Matrix, have presented chilling visions of the human energetic body and/or the processing power of the human brain being harnessed as resources.
I think we are full of energy and intelligence. The evidence is the intense way that people seem to need to use their bodies to get rid of physical energy. The ferocious tennis players in the park across the street are a vivid case. And the wierd and wacky ways that people release their intellectual energy in arguments, catty remarks, trivia nights, and, as as Noam Chomsky points out in Manufacturing Consent, memorizing and analyzing sports statistics.
Unfortunately, the outlets we have are paltry, as are the skills we have for mobilizing these incredible resources. Supposedly the conscious brain fires 2000 times per second. Meanwhile the unconscious brain fires 4 billion times. While scientists are awestruck by evidence of the power of the human mind and by the powers of perception, creativity, and play that living beings exhibit, modern humans are stuck with a fairly limited repertoire of activities and expressions.
What I see is that people are overwhelmed with energy and intelligence and they need to dump it, just as a cow must be milked every day. People use sports, movies, alcohol and pot to release or numb this bursting energy that has inadequate outlet.