View parent Full Discussion (Why do programmers wear headphones? For the same reason that you can’t juggle.)

That depends how far you want to go back :)

Wikipedia references Buddhist and Taoist texts that are literally NNNN BC. I would say though that what we call "flow" in a refined scientific sense was a product of "positive psychology" studies in the 1980s. Positive psychology is the opposite of diagnosing people with disorders, rather helping them find ways to avoid bad states and generally improve patient well-being.

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