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The Miasma of Boredom

The Miasma of Boredom

(p.173) 10 The Miasma of Boredom
Human Predicaments
John Kekes
University of Chicago Press

In our evaluative framework, boredom with life as whole, as opposed to episodic of boredom we all experience on some occasions, is becoming a serious problem. Freedom and affluence have opened up possibilities of life for many more people than it was available ever before. Many of us waste it by watching mindless entertainment, shopping for unwanted bargains, recreational drug-taking, pornography, over-indulgence in alcohol, and following charlatans who sell salvation. Statistical evidence indicates that apathy oscillating with restlessness, loss of meaning, disaffection, disengagement, and estrangement are now widespread in our evaluative framework. The remedy is engagement in worthwhile activities, but the educational system that leaves students ignorant of the great achievements of art, history, and literature and the failure to distinguish between popular entertainment and goodness, beauty, and truth doom countless people in our evaluative framework to a dispiriting, boring lives.

Keywords:   problems, boredom, characteristics, literary and historical illustrations cases, statistical evidence, psychological and cultural explanation, commitments, engagement

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