With all the screens around us, people or content, if you will, we often don't have long periods of time with the option to tune it all out. You allude to our ancestors and I think being still of mind is an important part of our being. Many people are anxious these days in that environment. My favorite part about doing extended river trips (1-3+ weeks) is tuning completely out for large stretches of time.
I guess maybe if I got back into running they'd be good for that. Can't think of when else I could possibly use them.
I listen to podcasts while doing all sorts of things now.