From the Web
Have We Lost Our Tolerance for Boredom – In an interesting article, Cal refutes the basic premise I argued in Boredom is the Enemy. While I argued that we tolerate too much boredom, Cal claims the opposite, we tolerate too little.
I think much of the disagreement comes down to how far you zoom the microscope on the word boredom. As I argued in a follow-up article, avoiding short-term boredom with activities that are neither boring nor stimulating is a seductive trap. On a short-term basis, I believe outright avoidance of boredom will probably lead to these mindless activities. But on a long-term level, acceptance of boredom leads to an uninteresting life.
Cal also blends the distinction I made between frustration and boredom. Many people label doing difficult math problems as “boring”, however, it’s probably more accurate that these problems are frustrating (an overload of stimulus) not boring (too little stimulus). So in this sense, I’d also agree that people generally have a low tolerance for frustration.
From the Archives
Stop Trying to Impress People – “The people I have the most respect for aren’t trying to get my respect. They are just living their lives. Any respect I have is a side-effect, not the purpose of what they do.”