What We Are Today
Carlyle wrote, “No pressure, no diamonds.” That is very true.
We might also add the unstated implication of Carlyle’s epigram: “No pressure, dull carbon — which is to say graphite.”
As modernity reduces the heat and pressure of existence, humanity produces fewer and fewer diamonds, instead becoming increasingly uniform and stable in softness, adherence, and conductivity. A useful writing implement or fuel cell; also a lubricant to keep machines running smoothly.
Modern man: a life of utility, without hardness or brilliance.