Tonight I was eating with my daughter and telling her about an article I had read, about what an airline did to stop people from complaining about a long wait for luggage (if you like to read this kind of "why your brain is totally screwed up" article, you already know the answer didn't have anything to do with shortening the wait).
I do like reading this kind of thing, and Faith enjoyed hearing about it. But I read stuff every day, and I like to be entertained every day. Does someone, somewhere, discover something both useful and entertaining about human behavior every day? Somehow, I don't think so.
But we still demand it. So is it any wonder that people like Jonah Lehrer, having to shovel intellectual tidbits into the maw of the great beast on a regular basis, might use neutral filler or past-expiration scraps to fill out a shovel load now and then? Can he really say "sorry, got nothing today, go read Proust"? It's pretty much the same reason the talking heads on TV keep talking even if they have to repeat what they just said. If they tell us to go get some coffee and come back in half an hour when something might actually be happening, we might not come back.
There are certainly some superhumans out there, who seem to generate endless interesting content. But that is not most of us. And even those people could probably stand to shut up once in a while. But as long as no one is allowed to shut up, ever, we'll see more and more intelligent, productive people self-destructing as they try to keep up the unrelenting pace.
You can tell I'm not one of them.