I did a thesis in experimental nuclear physics under the direction of Samuel K. Allison.
I have 800 books of just Samuel Beckett's work, tons of his correspondence, personal letters that he wrote. I have copies of plays he used when he directed, so all of his handwritten notes are in the corners of the page.
During the Samuel Johnson days they had big men enjoying small talk; today we have small men enjoying big talk.
Samuel Johnson called it the vanity of human wishes, and Buddhists talk about the endless cycle of desire. Social psychologists say we get trapped on a hedonic treadmill. What they all mean is that we wish, plan and work for things that we think will make us happy, but when we finally get them, we aren't nearly as happy as we thought we'd be.