NAUKA I KVAZINAUKA (izvorište inspiracije za mnoga SF dela) > KOMPJUTERI, HARDVER, SOFTVER, INTERNET, TELEKOMUNIKACIJE...

Upotreba Interneta povećava inteligenciju

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mac:
Jao, što nisam neka vlast, pa sve bih vas obrisao!

Lilit, šta je to bitno u vezi sa poslednjim danima?

Josephine:
Ne budi smešan. Niti si ti srednja klasa ( xyxy ), niti sam ja parazit. Još plaćam i porez za nezaposlene.

A i kolo sreće se okreće. Gore-dole, gore-dole. Pogotovo kada pojma nemaš o čemu pričaš, a još i mrziš pride. I imaš potrebu da ističeš "srednju klasu".  xrofl Sva je verovatnoća da si najobičniji golja. :lol:

Albedo 0:


--- Quote from: Ghoul on 15-01-2010, 21:58:17 ---Posle pet dana, područja frontalnog korteksa, koji kontroliše sposobnost odlučivanja i integraciju kompleksnih informacija se značajno aktivirao.

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moguće, ali to je samo jedan aspekat inteligencije, pogotovo što


--- Quote ---smanjuje sposobnost povezivanja sa ljudima i dolazi do pada zadržavanja pažnje
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ovo i nije baš naročito inteligentno, plus mi nije jasno kako neko integriše kompleksne informacije a nije sposoban da zadrži pažnju, zvuči kao balerina kojoj odsijeku prste pred premijeru.



Meho Krljic:
Upotreba Interneta možda povećava inteligenciju ali se to ne da primetiti od silne gluposti na istome. Kejs in point: Bitcoin je izmišljen da se zaobiđu države i banke u finansijskim transakcijama, ali to ne znači da je imun na piramidalne šeme:
 
 Suspected multi-million dollar Bitcoin pyramid scheme shuts down, investors revolt 

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Remember pirateat40, the e-currency banker we speculated could be the Bernie Madoff of Bitcoin? Well, it looks like he owes a lot of people money. On August 17, pirateat40 announced the closure of Bitcoin Savings & Trust, a virtual hedge fund that promised to pay high rewards to investors who parked their Bitcoins there. Ten days later, investors are still waiting to get paid and pirateat40 is on the defensive. "When I know, you will," says his away message in the fund's official chat room, an effort to quiet the loudening chorus of, "WHERE ARE MY BITCOINS?"
Pirateat40 consistently maintained that he made his money legitimately through secret investment strategies. The announcement that BS&T was shutting down was similarly vague and obtuse:
 
The decision was based on the general size and overall time required to manage the transactions. As the fund grew there were larger and larger coin movements which put strain on my reserve accounts and ultimately caused delays on withdraws and the inability to fund orders within my system. On the 14th I made a final attempt to relieve pressure off the system by reducing the rates I offered for deposits. In a perfect world this would allow me to hold more coins in reserve outside the system, but instead it only exponentially increased the amount of withdrawals overnight causing mass panic from many of my lenders.
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He claimed that BS&T was sitting on 500,000 BTC on the day of the shutdown, worth more than $5.6 million USD at today's price of $11.38. "Once my process is released you'll understand more of how coins move around," he told members of the Bitcoin community last week.
Pirateat40 initially promised to refund his investors' Bitcoin deposits plus interest within a week, effectively admitting that he did not have the Bitcoins on hand. The fund normally paid out on Mondays, but last Monday and today have passed so far without refunds. BS&T investors are complaining loudly and so-called "pass-through" funds that invested with BS&T are shutting down. As of this writing, BS&T says there is "no ETA on payments."
BS&T claimed to be sitting on 500,000 Bitcoins when it shut down, worth more than $5.6 million USD today

Some investors are still keeping the faith, imagining various scenarios under which they might see their Bitcoins again. Others have started hunting for pirateat40, who is believed to be based in Texas. Others are sure that the jig is up. "It's game over, just a question of who wants to believe it yet," Bryan Micon, a poker player and early pirateat40 skeptic, said in an email. "He has been paying interest since late 2011, albeit a helluvalot more recently... it looks like he doubled the size of the scam from April until it went boom."
Pirateat40 and BS&T had been promising interest payments of up to seven percent a week, a rate that would nearly double one's total investment in just 10 weeks. The promises of such hefty profits attracted scores of investors, but the claims struck some as too good to be true. It was speculated that the fund, one of several "high yield investment programs" to pop up in recent months, was a pyramid scheme that used new deposits to pay off its previous investors. One detractor made several bets that BS&T would implode, including a 5,000 BTC wager with pirateat40 himself.
If pirateat40 fails to pay his debts, it certainly won't be the first time an elaborate scheme cost Bitcoin users real money. The community that has sprung up around the decentralized currency still lacks an effective way to deal with crime. However, there is a lawsuit pending in California that aims to take some Bitcoin bankers to task for lost deposits.
 

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Dafina dvadeset prvog veka!!!

Meho Krljic:
Međutim! Hipoteza: sad kad ljudi imaju smartfounove da nekakvom intelektualnom stimulacijom popune svaki trenutak u danu, više nemaju momente za refleksiju, introspekciju itd.
 
Have smartphones killed boredom (and is that good)?
 

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(CNN) -- Take a look around today at people in line at Starbucks, on the train platform or waiting for their bags at the airport.
 
Odds are, a huge chunk of them are staring down into a glowing mobile device -- passing time by checking on friends, catching up on texts or e-mail or playing a video game that would have required a PC or home console just a few years ago.
 
"That's me," said Jeromie Williams, a 36-year-old social media manager and blogger from Montreal. "If I'm on the bus. If I'm waiting in line somewhere ... .
 
"The other day I was at a restaurant with a friend. He got up two times -- once to smoke a cigarette and once to go to the bathroom. As soon as his ass was off the seat, 'Boom!' iPhone in hand."
 
Opinion: Going a day without my cell phone
 
Thanks to technology, there's been a recent sea change in how people today kill time. Those dog-eared magazines in your doctor's office are going unread. Your fellow customers in line at the deli counter are being ignored. And simply gazing around at one's surroundings? Forget about it.
        Staying connected without a cell phone 
Between smartphones, tablets and e-readers, we're becoming a society that's ready to kill even a few seconds of boredom with a tap on a touchscreen.
 
Smartphone ownership in the United States, and elsewhere, hit a tipping point in 2012. More people now own a smartphone in the United States -- 45% of adults -- than own a traditional cellphone, according to a survey from the Pew Internet & American Life project.
 
And 42% of all mobile phone users say they expressly use their phone for entertainment when they're bored. (Presumably, non-entertainment uses like texting and e-mail would jack that number up even higher).
 
"I do everything with my phone," said Alexandra Reed, 39, a self-employed single mom from Charlotte, North Carolina.
 
"I have five e-mail accounts for different things. I have two phones, one for business and one personal. I use apps -- Mapquest, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus, CNN, ESPN ... ."
 
Is it a boredom killer? Absolutely, she said.
 
"Even when I'm driving, I might have Facebook open," she said. "At a red light the first thing I (do is) just look at my phone. I get a little anxious if I see a notification and don't read it."
 
Researchers say this all makes sense. Fiddling with our phones, they say, addresses a basic human need to cure boredom by any means necessary.
 
Five user complaints about iPhone 5
 
Christopher Lynn, an anthropology professor at the University of Alabama, compares tapping at smartphones to smoking a cigarette. Both can be "pivots," he says -- things that quickly transfer us from the monotony of everyday life into a world of "unscheduled play."
 
"Smartphones are like cigarettes are like junk food are like chewing your nails or doodling ...," Lynn wrote in a May essay for the Evolutionary Studies Consortium. "Does the naked space of your own mind and the world around you send you screaming into oblivion when you walk across campus, across a street even? Pull out your smartphone and check your email again -- that car will swerve around you."
 
With their games, music, videos, social media and texting, smartphones "superstimulate" a desire humans have to play when things get dull, Lynn told CNN in an interview. And he believes that modern society may be making that desire even stronger.
 
"When you're habituated to constant stimulation, when you lack it, you sort of don't know what to do with yourself ...," he said. "When we aren't used to having down time, it results in anxiety. 'Oh my god, I should be doing something.' And we reach for the smartphone. It's our omnipresent relief from that."
 
So, our phones are brutally efficient at addressing an ancient desire. But is that always a good thing?
 
At Oxford, England's Social Issues Research Centre, researchers fear it is not. In their view, by filling almost every second of down time by peering at our phones we are missing out on the creative and potentially rewarding ways we've dealt with boredom in days past.
 
"Informational overload from all quarters means that there can often be very little time for personal thought, reflection, or even just 'zoning out,' " researchers there wrote. "With a mobile (phone) that is constantly switched on and a plethora of entertainments available to distract the naked eye, it is understandable that some people find it difficult to actually get bored in that particular fidgety, introspective kind of way."
 
Williams, the Montreal blogger, admits as much.
 
"One thing that unfortunately I do miss out on is that sort of quiet time where I can think about something I want to write ... where, if I'm bored, I'm flipping open Word and punching something out," he said. "Instead, out comes 'Infinity Blade II' and I'm killing titans.
 
"Before smartphones came out, you had that down time where you sit on the bus and your mind just kind of wanders and you think of these amazing things. You get out that old thing called pen and paper and you jot it down."
 
Watch: Dramatic iPhone 5 arrival
 
But Joel Marx, a 25-year-old research assistant in Baltimore, Maryland, disagrees. Marx juggles two jobs and sees his phone as a way to be productive, and keep up with the news, during gaps in his hectic workdays. He relies on it for fun, but also for research and scheduling.
 
"I feel like it gives me a break from what's at hand," he said. "I even find it helps to keep me going through the day as I can get in touch with things in the outside world. Most of the time, I would have done nothing during those times anyhow."
 
Reed, the Charlotte mom, admits her phone use sometimes distracts her from work or even watching a movie. But compared to other time-killers, she thinks the phone is a good option.
 
"I actually feel more productive reading things online and on social media like Twitter and Facebook than if I was just sitting and watching a TV show," she said. "I follow people who are mostly sports and news anchors, people like that -- interesting people I know I can learn something from."
 

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I još malo na tu temu, ovaj antropolog je citiran u članku:

Pivoting around Smartphones & Cigarettes: Evolved to Play in Extra-structural Interludes
 

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Smartphones are like cigarettes are like junk food are like chewing your nails or doodling.  Right.  What do they have in common?  Easy.  Things we do when we’re bored.  Bored in my class?  Doodle.  There were some amazing Jurassic landscapes drawn on quizzes in my “Evolution for Everyone” class last semester.  Can’t sit idly waiting for the red light?  Chew your fingernails until the edges bleed.  Commercials got you down?  Good you keep a bag of chips handy & a bowl full of M&Ms.  Is our conversation too much of me talking & not enough about you?  Step outside & have a smoke break in the monotony of our friendship.  Does the naked space of your own mind & the world around you send you screaming into oblivion when you walk across campus, across a street even?  Pull out your smartphone & check your email again–that car will swerve around you.
I am being facetious…& of course I am not.  All these little things we compulsively do when it would be nice if we were paying attention are annoying when you’re on the other end of them, but this isn’t one of those preachy what-has-the-world-come-to those kids with their smartphone-doo-hickies I-remember-when-we-thought-a-rotary-dial-was-newfangled rants. ( I am currently desperately seeking to upgrade to an iPhone myself.)  No, no, I’m far more interested in how smartphones “superstimulate” our evolved compulsion to “play” at all the “extrastructural” interludes of our lives — i.e., when we’re “bored.”  I love the concept of cultural  structures or objects superstimulating our cognitive architecture because it simultaneously stimulates a variety of mechanisms that evolved for other purposes.  Pascal Boyer uses this concept to outline the by-product model of religion (read a 2008 summary article in Nature here).  I think many successful memes are so because they simultaneously please us in so  many ways.  Television superstimulates us, as do computers (with high-speed internet), & now smartphones.   Smartphones do so by both serving as a fantastic “prop” (Walton 1990) or “pivot” (Vygosky 1978(2007:5)It is in response to such unstructured time that unscheduled play enters the picture in “improvisational forms” (2007:6).  Play typically involves some rules, particularly in the case of certain games, & thus extrastructural situations are not wholly without structures, as play imposes structure on the interstitial space “to substitute for that which is missing” (2007:6).
I began riffing on this halfway thru this past semester when (1) either the smartphone texting came to a critical mass in the midst of my lecturing or (2) I started to take more notice & umbrage.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been growing the course, maybe it’s attracting a less interested general audience, maybe it’s me…No, no, it’s the “Anthropology of Sex.”  It’s hard to kill the interest in that class.  I have my days, but not EVERY day…I had brought up Peter Stromberg’s 2007 Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry article with Mark & Mimi Nichter, “Taking Play Seriously: Low-Level Smoking among College Students,” in an Honors seminar I teach called “Primate Religion & Human Consciousness,” made a smartphone connection, & then noticed them popping up like so many Bics being flicked at  a golden oldies reunion concert.  ”Youth live in an age of increasing time compression, greater opportunities for arousal and diminishing tolerance for boredom, and the proliferation of products that promise instant gratification (Starace 2002),” the authors point out (2007:7).  As I say, I have resisted the “these young people today” sentiments, but perhaps there is something to it.  Stromberg, who has written the book Caught in Play: How Entertainment Works on You & writes a blog for Psychology Today called ”Sex, Drugs, & Boredom,” draws on the evolution of play literature to frame young adult cigarette smoking behavior as “play,” & I find myself quite taken with this idea.
Developmentally, play is how we build & test social contingencies or “scenario-build,” as Richard Alexander laid out in his seminal article “Evolution of the Human Psyche.”  Playing is how we superficially test scenarios & test the boundaries of safety, both in social relationships & reality.  So I pose the question, what do you like to play?  Would anyone say, “I like to play with smoking cigarettes”?  What is the difference between saying, “I like to play knife- & ax-throwing” (which I had just done at a Renaissance Faire-type event) & “I like to play cigarette smoking”?  Both are adult forms of boundary-pushing, safe in moderation & controlled settings but potentially dangerous.  Both can make a person look cool if done right or a ridiculous caricature if not.  And then if I’m a knife-thrower, when I’m not throwing my knives, what do I do with them?  I may try to keep them safely in my…(what? pants pocket?)…er, I may find myself picking my teeth with them, cleaning my nails, even while I talk to you.   Thru obtaining some mastery of them, they now become my props with which I pivot around social space.
What person lights his or her first cigarette saying, “I want to be a smoking addict & be compelled to smoke a pack or more a day despite the unpleasant breath, reduced senses of taste & smell, lingering odor, frequent sore throat, & higher risk for all forms of cancer & emphysema”?  But, in this day & age, who doesn’t know it comes with a risk when they first inhale?  The same is true of alcohol, drugs, sky-diving, driving fast cars — hell, playing football (sorta big in my neck of the woods)!  These are all obvious, intuitive.  Yes, we play football — “play” is in the very way it is expressed.  We don’t say, “I’m going footballing” (well, not in the U.S., at any rate).  You get my meaning.  So what is qualitatively different about smoking?  As Stromberg points out, not much.  We start off smoking even though we know it’s bad for us, because, well, probably there are a lot of reasons.  Smoking is, Stromberg & his colleagues point out, “socially engineered (advertised) to be an antidote for boredom (Mark Nichter 2003)” (2007:7).
I smoked because it looked cool.  I still think some people simply look cool holding & smoking a cigarette, & I thought I was one of them.  I stopped but not because I wanted to.  It just wasn’t worth it anymore.  Same with drugs.  Few people smoke a first joint & say, ”I want to die a drug addict.”  As the authors say, “both drinking and smoking served to structure the unstructured situation of the party through routines of consumption” (Stromberg, Nichter, & Nichter 2007: 8) .  I wanted to know what I was missing, how to be social like those people, how to feel light like they looked, how to feel more comfortable in my own skin, how to be bolder, better, more free, more laid, all that…And it worked.  That’s the magic of it.  And this is all the exact same thing as boredom.  When I’m not bored, I do not think about what I look like to other people or what I might be missing out on because I am busy doing.
Not only does the cigarette or other pivot structure an ambiguous situation, it “promotes social interaction, contributing to an atmosphere of egalitarian comaraderie” (Stromberg, Nichter, & Nichter 2007:9), a factor I also have found to be true.  Smoking provides an embodied feeling of belongingness, “something Csordas (1993) has described using the term ‘somatic mode of attention’” (Stromberg, Nichter, & Nichter 2007:11).  There was a Friends episode once where Rachel took up smoking so she could go out with her coworkers on smoke breaks, as obviously there was significant bonding & structuring of extrastructural time going on, such that decisions being made in favor of other members of the smoking club in her absence.  I distinctly remember this feeling of being part of something, both when I started drinking & smoking.  It takes a lot of work for some of us to socialize without a prop when much of the world is oriented around consumption.  When I played in bands, the long hours spent sitting in bars after load-in until showtime, including waiting for all the other bands to play, was incredibly fucking boring.  In my last band, I used to have to go take walks around the neighborhoods of whatever city we were in while the others sat in the club in some town we’d never been to & drank & smoked.  Extrastructural time.  What do you do with it?  My wife has recently taken up knitting.  I get it.
What is so interesting about smoking & drinking to fill these spaces is that they are not innocuous substances.  They come with great risk.  No one takes the risk without the promise of experiencing something.  Gosh, I remember doing incredibly stupid things & remember them with relish.  I would never want to take them back & not just because I’d be doomed to do something else stupid & might not be so lucky the next time.  Gloriously, ridiculously stupid acts have the potential to be so life-altering.  Life-altering things are important things, right?  Having kids was life-alteringly important.  Getting married was life-alteringly important.  And we play at both of those things before they happen.  ”Play activity is closely patterened after something that already has a meaning in its own terms” (Goffman 1986:40).  We play around them because they have tremendous potential import.
Of my late teens & early 20s, I am most proud of what some might have considered the most stupid things I ever did but that in testing the limits of my own capacities were, personally, incredibly important.  I used to take multiple hits of acid to see how out of my mind I could get.  I remember once being in a predicament wherein I had to drive the half hour home at 4AM thru downtown Indianapolis even though I had lost a reflexive motor sense of how to put the key in, turn on the car, put it in gear, turn the wheel, etc.  I felt like I was in a hovercraft going 20MPH & the actions of the car had nothing to do with the actions of my hands & body.  Another time I remember walking across a rotted out train trestle in the dark my friends knew about.  The next day I saw it was about 100 feet up over a ravine.  I wouldn’t do it again, mind you, but I am pleased for that playful night.  When I moved to NYC, I used to get smashed drunk & pass out on subways, riding back & forth all night long.  One night I kept dozing off & missing my stop, crossing the platform at the next stop to the return train, missing it again.  Finally, the car was getting fuller & fuller with people & I ran into some co-workers on their way to work, & there I was still trying to get home.  Fortunately, I worked in the music industry where play like that was par for the course.  I always say, everything in moderation, even the extremes, which I believe expresses the same principle.
Smoking & drug use are obvious risk behaviors adults play with, but there are many others, more & less obvious.  Anything associated with “at-risk” behavior starts as a form of play — sex, body modification, joining gangs, skipping school (which I also did once or twice to play & have fun but was so nerdy at that point I ended up at the library working on a report so I wouldn’t get behind) — but so does joining a cult.  I experienced the same awkward nervousness upon entering a Pentecostal revival meeting in my first anthropological research endeavor but ultimately enjoyed playing at praying & the charisms, which make for fantastic pivots (if you can’t think of what to do or say, just shout “Jesus!”).  Not that I am calling Pentecostalism cultish, but they both provide compelling props to fill all manner of interstitial spaces & can really string you out & take over your life, for better or worse.  As Stromberg et al. point out, play is what we do in those periods of our day that are not scheduled, wherein we have no plans for our minds or bodies.  These are the chunks that the religions like to get hold of, to give us some more structure/ritual, these are the “idle hands” moments.
Probably most of the time such pivotal exploration is adaptive, or it would not be so ubiquitous.  Sometimes it is maladaptive.  We poke at the fire, we see if it burns.  We smoke a cigarette, we take a drink, we eat a potato chip, we push the envelope to see what will happen.  Sometimes kids doing stupid things while on acid or drunk get killed, sometimes smokers get cancer & die, sometimes people who use potato chips as props grow obese & contract type II diabetes & cardiovascular disease…right?  Sometimes.  So I would say, for instance, that someone who sky-dives or bunjie-jumps or drives race cars is no more crazy than someone who smokes cigarettes or plays with a smartphone.  It’s all on a continuum of playing with risk.Pull out your smartphone in my class againNow, back to smartphones.  What is risky about them?  I don’t know.  This is not a neat & tidy unitary theory where play = risk or anything like that.  A smartphone in the hands of a student while you’re teaching class is certainly a prop that they’re playing with because they’re bored or stressed or something.  I learned a trick from a colleague to bribe the students to keep the phones put away.  The whole class gets an increasing amount of extra credit on the final if no one pulls one out all semester, but if one person violates that, everyone loses.  It’s like Full Metal Jacket, where Pyle eats the donut while the whole platoon does push-ups as punishment for his error.  You remember what they did to Pyle?  Then he went postal.  So if you pull your goddamn smartphone out my class again…
 

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I još malo
 
The desire for desires
 

--- Quote ---Why reports of the death of boredom have been greatly exaggerated"Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored: therefore they created human beings."
  Soren Kierkegaard
Have things changed so very much since Kierkegaard's time? His portrayal of boredom echoes the tagline of a recent mobile phone advertisement — "The devil finds work for idle thumbs". The boredom of the supermarket checkout queue, the launderette, the long haul bus trip, is anathema to most of us, and the current plethora of portable amusement gadgets — camera phones, i-pods, portable games consoles — stands as a testament to general fear of what the hermits of 4th century Lower Egypt called 'the noonday demon'.
Our frantic attempts to avoid boredom uphold a lucrative corner of the entertainment industry, while the variety of books, websites, tv programmes and videos aimed at children and called "Boredom Busters" suggests that ennui has no age restriction. This is no new development – obsessive texting is hardly on a level with watching lions rip gladiators to shreds for entertainment, and, as the British public seem to be moving on to a stage where fox-hunting is no longer seen as a justifiable, fun diversion, we must be doing something right. However, some pundits have recently pointed out that obsessive avoidance of boredom (apart from being quite dull in itself – have you ever tried to have a decent conversation with an extreme sports enthusiast?) denies access to the certain kind of mental space which boredom brings and in doing so leaves us creatively and spiritually malnourished. In other words, boredom is becoming "a lost art form".
It would be simple to dismiss such statements as (boring?) bourgeois nostalgia, of the "times were better when we had to make our own entertainment" genre. But, as Steven Winn of the San Francisco chronicle puts it in a recent article:
"As more and more people seem to recognise, the universal experience of being bored – unengaged, detached, afloat in some private torpor – may be far more precious, fruitful and even profound than a surface apprehension might suggest. As ordinary as grey skies and equally pervasive, boredom deserves its own sun-splashed attention and celebration."
This is a very particular understanding of what boredom is, and perhaps this very problem of definition is what lies at the root of the supposed debate. On the one hand, boredom can be defined as a state of listlessness, a lack of interest in that which surrounds us and a general sense of ennui. Of this particular definition, Saul Steinberg wrote, "The life of the creative man is led, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes." So in this case, boredom is something we flee from in horror – even Kierkegaard's gods existed in perpetual fear of this kind of boredom, a fear which, if Kierkegaard's thesis is to be followed to the letter, we can apparently thank for our own existence.
Another conception of boredom is of a blank, private mental space, invaluable for relaxing and for the fermentation of creative juices. Steven Winn quotes US poet Billy Collins on this conception of boredom, saying that:
"Boredom is paradise.it is the blessed absence of what the world offers as 'interesting', i.e., the lures of fashion, media and other people, which, you may recall, Sartre considered Hell."
It is this type of boredom which is considered by some to be a lost art form. Informational overload from all quarters means that there can often be very little time for personal thought, reflection, or even just 'zoning out'. With a mobile that is constantly switched on and a plethora of entertainments available to distract the naked eye, it is understandable that some people find it difficult to actually get bored in that particular fidgety, introspective kind of way.
Yet if we look more closely at these two different ideas of boredom, it is fair to say that they are the same phenomenon witnessed from two different perspectives. To the man who lives in a constant whirl of advertising, lights, noise, pollution and general urban overstimulation, the comparative boredom of a white room or a four-hour chanting session may be the epitome of peace and clarity. On the other hand, to the frustrated teenager with limited control over his/her circumstances, living under a 'regime' of parentally enforced sensible peace and quiet, the noise, lights, stink and confusion of a rave or a commercial music festival bring joy unbounded. To say that boredom is a lost art form in this context is therefore a bit like saying "I don't have time to think anymore" or "I don't like computer games, they are distracting and noisy" — entirely subjective opinions that have nothing to do with our definition of ennui. Peach or poison is what this supposed distinction comes down to, and so one can only conclude that boredom as an art form is alive and kicking. Or rather, alive and listlessly dangling its legs.
The essential role of boredom in the creative process is part of a dialectic between activity and inactivity which characterises all human life. Perhaps best expressed in the form of the "Get out of bed today? Don't get out of bed today?" dilemma, movement between rest and thought, flurries of activity and spells of relaxation, characterises the creative process and indeed working life in general, for many people. As Graham Greene's protagonist Bendrix, from the novel "The End of the Affair" puts it:
"So much of a novelist's writing, as I have said, takes place in the unconscious: in those depths the last word is written before the first word appears on paper. We remember the details of our story, we do not invent them."
Perhaps the boredom that the creative type rails against through music-making or book-writing is the most effective impetus towards work. (Except for poverty, although I suppose it could be argued that poverty is in itself a kind of boredom).
So-called 'boring' things often act as welcome release from overload of one kind or another. A plain fast after the overindulgence of the festive season, for example, or the freshness of  minimalist art or music after an overload of baroque. Nowhere is this phenomenon more prevalent than in the pornography trade. After the first five minutes of visual shock, most pornography descends into the utter banality of a broken record, which perhaps explains the almost ludicrous variety of 'harder', specifically fetishistic pornographic material — the basic stuff simply doesn't cut it after a while.
Fashion matriarch Muiccia Prada acknowledges this paradox of sexual availability in a recent interview with "The Observer":
"Sometimes I think that the obsession with fashion is  just about the desperation of being sexy. My young assistants come to work and they wear these amazing things. Very provocative. And they are so obsessed about being beautiful and sexy, and they are always alone. And I tell them that the more they dress for sex, the less sex they will have. It's so basic, but they don't seem to understand me."
Wise words indeed from a woman who has turned dressing like David Bowie in 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' into an acceptable activity for wannabe starlets. Anyone who can sell a million brown bowling bags at £300 a pop has to know something about the subversive power of the plain and the boring in an overloaded, overstimulated market.
From a religious perspective, the capacity for handling 'boring' scenarios is seen as a powerful tool for concentrating the mind and as an aid to spiritual development. Rather than frantically attempting to escape from the fidgety numbness of one's own thoughts, the Buddhist monk and the Christian contemplative alike find strength in facing the unquiet mind, facing the lack of understanding and ultimate fear of death which drives the mind so frantic in the quieter moments of life. As Michael Raposa, author of 'Boredom and the Religious Imagination' points out:
"Trying or even excruciating as it may be, boredom offers an elevated awareness of time's conquering, expansive enormity. It's an intimation of death, a glimpse into the nothingness that lurks behind and threatens each person, each project, each moment."
So, the state of boredom has a role not just as a dialectical opposition to the state of creative activity, but also as an entity to be explored in search of a deeper understanding of thought and fear.
Reports of the death of boredom, then, have been greatly exaggerated. But before we all run off to buy Steve Reich records and grey woolly jumpers, it is perhaps best to remember that boredom's value is as part of a dialectic between activity and inactivity. A potential spur for the creative impulse, excessive boredom can also drive us barmy if not acted upon quickly enough. On that note, I shall leave you with words of the US president George Bush:
"What's wrong with being a boring kind of a guy?"
Potentially, George, one hell of a lot.
 

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