[-empyre-] Week 2: in response to Ana the Simons

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Fri May 22 02:00:18 AEST 2015

On 5/19/15, 8:07 PM, "Simon Biggs" <simon at littlepig.org.uk> wrote:

Having a teenage son it's interesting to see how he deals with boredom. He
sees being bored as a form of failure - as if he isn't making enough of
life - or life isn't coming to him. We point out that being bored is a
really important part of life - that it's when you have the opportunity to
be bored and exploit it that you begin to have the time to be creative. I
think he gets it. Last night we were talking about this and his
observation was that advertising and other forms of cultural conditioning
place enormous pressure on kids (and people) to consume and be consumed -
to always be 'on'. There is no allowance for down-time, no permission to
be bored - just the constant pressure to be performing, at school and
socially. Pervasive social media seems to have amplified this - leaving no

Interesting Simon that your son is rethinking  (with your help) the
condition of boredom.  The cultural conditioning of consumption is
certainly at work in the US National Public Radio¹s campaign Bored and

Renate wrote: Though I see this campaign as a media ploy to get more
followers, the campaign boasts a platform for
those already overwhelmed who have too much of something to make a
substitution with something else: structure replacing structure.

I agree wholeheartedly that the requirement to be Œon¹ is a misfortune but
one that is characteristic of our digitally networked culture.  I am still
curious if you think it will be possible in the future to simulate boredom
or a space or the calm energy of stillness to be simulated.  Or perhaps it
is possible now. 

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