There's much to be said for feeling numb. Time passes more quickly. You eat less and because numbness encourages laziness you do fewer things good or bad and the world's probably a better place for it.
If someone decides to be a musician now it means because there is no hope of money at the end of it it means they really want to be a musician. And if someone is writing now there is no hope for money at the end of it.
When future archaeologists dig up the remains of California they're going to find all of those gyms their scary-looking gym equipment and they're going to assume that we were a culture obsessed with torture.