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Thread: Are We Bored?

  1. #1
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    Default Are We Bored?

    I know I am.

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    I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that’s my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again. . . the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul.

    -- Ballard (1984)

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    There's almost an ache to boredom. It's not just a mental thing. It's physical too. A lethargy, a heaviness. Like moving through mud.

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    “To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it's because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that's where phrases like 'deadly dull' or 'excruciatingly dull' come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that's dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing's pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly...but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places anymore but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets' checkouts, airports' gates, SUVs' backseats. Walkmen, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. The terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can't think anyone really believes that today's so-called 'information society' is just about information. Everyone knows it's about something else, way down.”

    -- The Pale King, David Foster Wallace.

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    keep searching out something new. delve into it, start a whole new discovery process. within every genre of art/music/literature, etc., there's the legacy to explore: the canon, the underground, the insurgents, the radicals. it's all out there, waiting to be discovered.
    Last edited by Leo; 13-10-2019 at 02:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    keep searching out something new. delve into it, start a whole new discovery process. within every genre of art/music/literature, etc., there's the legacy to explore: the canon, the underground, the insurgents, the radicals. it's all out there, waiting to be discovered.
    Yes, but that is inaccessible when you are bored. Boredom doesn't respond. The words don't stand out from the page. Music remains abstract, it doesn't engage with body and emotions, there's no connection. In a state of arousal the wall itself can be fascinating and yield up its every secret. The wall in front of your eyes is full of information and affect.

    These are states of the soul and no Boy Scout maxim can draw a sufferer from his boredom. How we emerge from these periods of affliction is debatable. It may be a change in the weather, something beyond our control, a change in gear of the vast machine we are trapped inside, it could be grace, gratuitous and unexpected, or it may be the result of our own efforts, an attempt to control our own condition, by watching what goes in (as food, as drugs, as information, the people we interact with, the way we spend our time, the places that we go) and what goes out (the words we say, our acts) by being aware of where the mind goes, being aware of the things it does to avoid doing what it knows is good for it and so on and so forth.

    The world is boring and the world is fascinating, just as the world is beneficent and the world is threatening. When I'm ill, fever ridden, every noise becomes intolerable, the sound of the neighbour's movements and voices, the clicking of their light switch, the closing of their door and creak of floorboard is horribly intimate, right on top of me, the wall just an illusion, every sound of other people provokes paranoia and distress.

    These are states of the soul. We enter them and we exit them. Boredom is very terrible and very real. Sometimes what is needed is a new framework, a new lens, a new angle of approach, so that these disparate fragments of abstract information cohere into a world-picture, all moving parts of the same machine. It's all very, very hard, very painful, very upsetting. I don't like it. It seems to impose rules on us. We have to have a modicum of discipline. Or the dust builds up till we are buried beneath it.
    Last edited by luka; 13-10-2019 at 10:53 AM.

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    I have yardsticks I use to measure my state. Feedback I can use to determine what needs changing. Dissensus is one. Not just in terms of my own contributions although obviously that is important to me, how much I can do with an idea, how many directions open up, whether I can 'level-change' on an idea, take it up and out of one level onto another, how well I am able to articulate and communicate my ideas, how well I am able to Understand and appreciate the ideas of others and build on them productively, how quickly my mind is moving, how engaged and absorbed I am, how irritable I am, how inclined to pick fights, to be obstructive and obstreperous, contemptuous and impatient, but also how well the forum is functioning as a unit, is everyone happy and productive and intergrated and sharing what they have to share etc etc

    If not, can I diagnose the problem? What is getting in the way? How able am I to address it? Have I got trapped in avoidant behaviour, or, at the other end of the spectrum, am I too confrontational and clumsy?

    I measure it by whether or not I am able to read at or somewhere near the limit of my ability. I always try to read a book which is hard for me first thing in the morning over coffee. Is that possible today? How quickly does my attention wander? How long can I go before switching on the wifi and distracting myself? What is my attention span like today or how long can I go without needing some reward from outside and some engagement? How self contained am I today? How self sufficient?

    I measure it at work. How well am I writing, how fluently, how imaginatively? Am I able to surprise myself or am I working mechanically, repeating old patterns and tropes? How emotionally congruent am I? Can I make contact with the customer? Or am I detached and disinterested? What response am I getting? Are people crying? Wanting to hug and kiss me? Are naive hippy girls sitting at my feet? Or is it all quite perfunctory? Are we not really meeting one another at all but merely conducting a dispassionate transaction?

    What is my relationship like with my friends? How are we interacting? Is it niggly and antagonistic? Does it feel false or perfunctory? Which friends am I seeing or speaking too and which ones have fallen off the map? What might that mean?

    I measure it by my relationship to booze and drugs. What, if anything, am I taking and crucially, what results am I getting?

    I measure it by the amount of control I feel I have over my immediate environment, if the bed is made and the floor swept. I measure it by my conscience. If there are things nagging away at me. Things I know I must do but haven't. What unfinished business is hanging over. What needs apologising for and patching up.

    I measure it by how good I look. How much fat I'm carrying. How bright my eyes are. How alive I look. I measure it by how much energy I have available. What speed am I walking at? How inclined to physical and mental activity?

    I measure it by the degree to which I notice the world around me. It's possible to go weeks without realising it is there. In a fug which erases the outside entirely. And correspondingly, how aware am I of my own body, it's tensions and its aches. What is my posture like? Am I facing the world square on or am I angling away in eye and feet and shoulders?

    Do I feel like I'm getting a clean contact with reality or are my senses dulled? Does it feel like there is a grotty film imposed between me and outside? How vivid and how intense is reality?
    Last edited by luka; 13-10-2019 at 12:29 PM.

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    I also measure it in terms of magic. To what extent am I living in a magical universe and thinking magical thoughts and having magical interactions? How malleable does reality seem? Crucially does reality respond to me or has it fallen back into being an inanimate obdurate block?

    How paranoid am I? How compelled by conspiratorial thinking? How many psychotics and schizophrenics are being drawn to me?

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post

    What is my relationship like with my friends? How are we interacting? Is it niggly and antagonistic? Does it feel false or perfunctory? Which friends am I seeing or speaking too and which ones have fallen off the map? What might that mean?

    .
    what does it mean when barty's fallen off the map?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    what does it mean when barty's fallen off the map?
    Lol such a narcissist! Barty is my good Angel. It means I'm sunk in depravity and sin!

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    my beautiful cherub face. eyes blue like the heavens.

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    Exciting and interesting things are happening all over the world all the time. It's just that unfortunately most of them are also terrifying and horrible.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    When I'm ill, fever ridden, every noise becomes intolerable, the sound of the neighbour's movements and voices, the clicking of their light switch, the closing of their door and creak of floorboard is horribly intimate, right on top of me, the wall just an illusion, every sound of other people provokes paranoia and distress.
    I get this one a lot. People talking in the street, slamming car doors etc feels like an intrusion.

  19. #15
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    Yes it does although how sensitive I am fluctuates. Do me a favour and start reading Nova Express let's get that discussion going

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