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The Art of Manliness -- Sources of Existential Angst
'...At the turn of the 20th century, French sociologist Emile Durkheim did an exhaustive survey to try to figure out what factors most influenced a country’s rate of suicide. What he discovered was that this statistic was most impacted by the presence in society of something he called anomie. -- Anomie, which literally means “without law” in German and French, was defined by Durkheim as a state of “normlessness” — the absence of shared rules, standards, values, etc. It’s a concept that well describes the landscape of modern society; for though one’s personal community may share a unified culture, the wider society shares little common code. -- While the most serious consequence of a lack of shared norms may be suicide, it also afflicts the living with a pervasive sense of restlessness and emptiness. -- There are two reasons for this. -- Norms provide a kind of gravitational force that can keep you grounded. Personal freedom without any such guideposts, standards, or expectations feels like being adrift in deep space. The weightlessness is sometimes exhilarating, but you lack any frame of reference for where you are: up and down, left and right are meaningless. -- As an existential astronaut, you are charged with the task of creating your own rules, values, and expectations — your own personal meaning for the world. Yet lending these self-created standards sufficient credence to let them guide your life — knowing their only source of authority is your own inclinations — is an insanely difficult task. -- The absence of norms not only eliminates a set pattern to build your life around, it also eliminates a barrier to push against. -- The norm-filled society not only provides existential meaning to those who conform to these shared expectations, it also provides meaning to those who reject them. There is great significance to be found in the friction of pushing back on society’s standards — in tweaking expectations, being unique, forming a secret, subversive underground culture, fighting “the man.” -- Today, however, there is little mainstream culture to rebel against. There are still a few lingering expectations, but “live and let live” generally reigns. You can get married at 20 or 40 or never, live with someone for decades and never get hitched, have 9 kids or none, within wedlock or out, wear what you want without anyone batting an eye, date someone from a different race, get a tattoo on any part of your body, marry a lady, or a dude, be a corporate warrior or a stay-at-home dad. You can pretty much do whatever you want, short of breaking the law, and endure minimal social repercussions. -- Nobody cares what you do. -- And, of course, the flip side of that is, nobody cares what you do. -- ... Even when engaging in problems that are smaller than a world war, but still constitute serious societal ills, a gap exists between how significant we want the fight to feel, and how significant it does feel. That is, we yearn to participate in some kind of epic quest, but ultimately find the underpinnings of our pursuits too flimsy to support the full weight of our longings. The stakes aren’t high enough to furnish the meaning we crave. -- As a result, we try to gin up those stakes ourselves — distorting the contemporary landscape into something more threatening, more dangerous — more compelling — than it is. Hence you get the current popularity of dystopian books and films — fiction that supposedly hews uncomfortably close to our current reality — and the belief that we’re living through an unprecedented time of tumult — even though an objective survey of the past reveals periods that were just as, and often more, chaotic and troubled. For there is a perverse pleasure in believing one is living through the worst of times — it may be troubled, sure, but it is historic. To be living through a significant time seems to make one significant by association. -- Yet this illusion still doesn’t generate sufficiently enduring meaning; like a distortion seen in a funhouse mirror, it distracts and entertains, but for a moment.' -- Why bother? Are you one of the few who are brave enough to see the truth, that existence is a cruel exercise in suffering? Do you dare speak it? Against the prevailing hope offered by all major religions, therapies, philosophies, and other groups? The world is a stage for absurd meaningless drama being played out moment to moment, day after day, often through the various forms of desire and appetite. Even if you are one of the disciplined few and are able to enter into a state of pure being by stopping the incessant voice of mind through intense physical activity, prayer or meditation you inevitably are drawn back into the unexplained circus of drama we call our universe. ~ Caterine Vauban
rkselectiontheory  decadence  meaning  boredom  existentialism  anxiety  nihilism  absurd  * 
3 days ago by adamcrowe
IAI TV -- Kierkegaard On Escaping the Cult of Busyness
'Kierkegaard’s work emphasizes indeterminate experiences—experiences that are not about some particular object or thing. Kierkegaard’s discussion of anxiety is perhaps the best known example of this sort of experience. For him, anxiety is always about the indeterminacy of future possibilities. It is not worrying about some specific thing, such as embarrassing oneself on the first day of school. -- A comic by the artist Sarah Andersen helps capture Kierkegaard’s point. The comic depicts a conversation between a person and their brain, which tells the person that they are anxious. The person repeatedly asks the brain “Why?” The brain’s only answer is “Because.” Anxiety is not about some particular thing, so it is impossible to point to some specific source of anxiety. With this feature of Kierkegaard’s philosophy in hand, we can now consider his understanding of boredom and busyness. -- For Kierkegaard, boredom is indeterminate. A person is not bored by some particular experience. Instead, they are bored by their inability to pay attention to and glean meaning from those experiences. Thus, as Kierkegaard writes under a pseudonym in Either/Or, “Boredom rests upon the nothing that interlaces existence.” The solution to boredom that Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous author proposes is a method called “rotation of crops.” This method involves changing the way one approaches experiences by approaching them as occasions for imaginative reflection rather than as those experiences are.' -- Man is a rope stretched...over an abyss. ~ Nietzsche
anxiety  possibilityspace  resistence  boredom  abyss  Kierkegaard  Nietzsche 
11 days ago by adamcrowe
Why boredom is anything but boring : Nature News & Comment
Sae Schatz, director of the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, a virtual company that develops educational tools for the US Department of Defense, points to one experiment17 with a computer system that tutored students in physics. When the system was programmed to insult those who got questions wrong and snidely praise those who got them right, says Schatz, some students, especially adult learners, saw improved outcomes and were willing to spend longer on the machines. Schatz thinks that this could be because the insults provided enough novelty to keep people engaged and less prone to boredom.
21 days ago by tonyyet
Bored People Quit
A good overview of how to detect and combat boredom in the software engineers that work for you.
management  boredom  engineering-teams 
4 weeks ago by irace
How to be alone: the difference between loneliness and solitude
'Our fear of solitude is really fear of boredom...Solitude is scary because it reminds us of how small we are. We realize that the world has, and will, continue turning on its axis without us. We are insignificant. In some ways, it’s a preview of death. That’s why it requires great inner strength to be alone. To know that you are not going to disappear into thin air without human contact.' -- Birth fear remains always more universal, cosmic as it were, loss of a connection with a greater whole, in the last analysis with the 'All' ... The fear in birth, which we have designated as fear of life, seems to me actually the fear of having to live as an isolated individual, and not the reverse, the fear of loss of individuality (death fear). That would mean, however, that primary fear corresponds to a fear of separation from the whole, therefore a fear of individuation, on account of which I would like to call it fear of life, although it may appear later as fear of the loss of this dearly bought individuality as fear of death, of being dissolved again into the whole. Between these two fear possibilities these poles of fear, the individual is thrown back and forth all his life, which accounts for the fact that we have not been able to trace fear back to a single root, or to overcome it therapeutically. ~ Otto Rank
psychology  solitude  aloneness  loneliness  boredom  existentialism  OttoRank 
4 weeks ago by adamcrowe
Treat yourself with the gift of !

In this week's in , I discuss recent resea…
boredom  BrainMatters  from twitter_favs
8 weeks ago by zzkt
Printables Archives - Somewhat Simple
Things to print out to do for bored kids, and all kids of other stuff too.
activties  boredom  kids  printables 
9 weeks ago by devnulled
Why Human Beings Waste Time - Siddha Performance
is it possible for him to live a life in which he is engaged or inspired or in concentration at every moment during the day?


The answer that an individual gives to this question will determine the path he wishes to walk. Whether it is the path of time wastage, or the path to unending concentration/inspiration/engagement.


I ‘m interested only in matters of the heart. I find the brain to be incredibly overrated.

The truth is this: Possibility and impossibility only arise once the question is Sincerely Explored.


What if the concept of boredom suddenly vanished?

What if tomorrow was going to be a day that you had truly never seen before?

The truth, my friend, is that we live on the outskirts of life. We spend our entire lifetime deliberating whether or not we should enter the mysterious void.

To be resolute in entering or resolute in avoiding it would be far better than a life of ambivalence.

2018-07-16  why  waste  time  siddha  performance  kapil  gupta  heart  brain  boredom  000  inspiration  wow  zombie  meaning  routine  nba  0 
july 2018 by bekishore
🔠 Jack and the Magic Key | Buttondown
"It’s 2007: I’m sat in the kitchen watching a family friend and her four year old son talk to my mom. Over the course of a few minutes I notice how this kid, Jack, is starting to get bored; his eyes roll into the back of his head and all of his limbs begin to fidget independently of the host as if he’s possessed by the spirit of boredom itself.

In a flash my mom notices this before her friend does. Her eyes dart around the room, looking for something, anything, to entertain Jack with. Coming up short, my mom grabs the closest thing that was on the table: a key. I think it unlocked one of the older cabinets we had lying around back then so it was very nondescript and boring; it didn’t have any patterns on it, or engravings, and it certainly wasn’t imbued with ancient magic of any kind.

But my mom gets down to Jack’s level and hijacks his attention with the key. She twirls it between her fingers and Jack’s eyes expand to the size of saucers.

My mom whispers in his ear.

“This key opens a door somewhere in our home,” her hand outstretched, sweeps across the air as if our house was a castle in the Scottish highlands, a scary and adventurous place that little Jack might get lost in. “And this very special key opens a very special door. So Jack…” My mom pauses for emphasis “…you’re the only one that can help me find it.”

At this point all of Jack’s boredom had been converted into pure, unbridled excitement and his smile almost hopped off his round face in the rush of this new adventure. He spent the rest of the afternoon darting around the house trying the key on everything; on books and chairs, walls and fireplaces, and even his mother’s knee.


I didn’t realize this until I was an adult but when I was a young kid my family went bankrupt and my father’s successful business disappeared almost over night. Our small family, just my dad, my mom, my brother and me, lost everything. Our grandparents died and we’d been ostracized from cousins, sisters and distant brothers before I was born and so there was no-one to call for backup.

After my dad finally relented in telling us the details decades later I remembered that for years my brother and I had slept on the floor without a mattress. We didn’t have wallpaper. We had no toys or even a television until we were much older.

Whilst my dad was throwing himself into the maw of tax collectors and shady debt men, my mom was left dealing with two young children almost entirely alone. And so she learned quickly how to entertain us on a budget. Without any money to pay for toys my mom had to make the ordinary extraordinary. Our empty bedroom became a jungle, the couch a train, the stairway a place where Pokémon could be found and fought. And yes, even boring nondescript keys became potent with magic and prophesy.

That unbound excitement in boring things, that sort of curiosity in the world around us is what we so desperately need more of. We need excuses to play, to experiment, to dream during the daytime. And I think it was that key that my mother held in her hand that afternoon that made me want to be a writer and a designer. It’s what ultimately sparked my curiosity in typography, letters, and writing as well because I knew that I wanted to give others that feeling of infinite hope and that sense of wonder, too.

This is most certainly going to be a non-sequitur but for some reason all of this reminds me of Mary Reufle’s Madness, Rack and Honey where the poet describes what the perfect English Literature class in a highschool might look like. In the book, Mary writes:
My idea for a class is you just sit in the classroom and read aloud until everyone is smiling, and then you look around, and if someone is not smiling you ask them why, and then you keep reading—it may take many different books—until they start smiling, too.
robinrendle  education  curiosity  boredom  2018  parenting  play  maryreuffle  learning  howwelearn  unschooling  engagement  resourcefulness  cv  experimentation  creativity  keys  scrappiness  lcproject  openstudioproject  nexttonothing 
july 2018 by robertogreco
The Room Of Devotion - Siddha Performance
I said to him, “Because you have not yet decided to walk the True Journey. And do not for one second assume that I am telling you to walk it. That would not be genuine. Each person, if he wishes to become a Bruce Lee, must arrive at the point in his life in which he slams his fist on the table and he decides. He decides that from this point forward, I am going to devote my life to THIS.”


Devotion is a freedom from domesticity.
devotion  boredom  addiction  kapil  gupta  siddha  performance  idle  hands  devil  devils  devil's  workshop  bible  truth  engaged  engagement  freedom  golf  bruce  lee  fist  true  journey  walk  walking  path  wasted  devoted  waste  mmm  meaning  domestic  domesticity  ultimate  0 
july 2018 by bekishore
“Not knowing the source of this inspiration makes the concept of Anti-Flow at odds with a working day which perhaps makes a bike ride a better place to Anti-Flow. It’s one of the reasons when my wife asks me, ‘Do you get bored on three-hour rides?’ I respond honestly, ‘It’s when I do my most important work.’”
july 2018 by jasdev

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