You’re Bored? That’s So AWESOME.
So…I saw your tweet.
I am…absolutely floored. Hopelessly lost in admiration!
You are everything I aspire to be.
Oh. Hold on.
Back. I had to go and check what “bored” meant, just in case the definition had changed recently, but no! It’s the same! In essence, you’re saying you’re sat there, with all the resources of the internet at your disposal, and you’ve run out of interesting things to do.
Which is just incredible.
You are amazing.
HOW YOU MUST HAVE LIVED.
I mean, by being “bored”, you must have…
- Eagerly delved into everything Stanford, Harvard and Yale are offering up on iTunes, entirely for free – or lost your mind wandering around Coursera, which aggregates courses from some of the most famous universities in the world…
- …before testing yourself on the basics – all the basics – with Memrise.
- Started a blog (try going here – these guys are great) and then learned how to tell stories with it.
- Spent 7 years walking round the world like Paul Salopek…
Walking for weeks, months and years in the outdoors, calipering the vast physical and human stage called landscape with my legs, is the opposite of boring.
- Mastered travel, all travel, so you don’t need these guys.
- Prepared every single foodstuff suggested by Cafe Ferdando, especially the Momofuku Milk Bar Cereal Milk Ice Cream…
- Backed up every single photo and critical document you own…
- …and then did it again, elsewhere, because you never know when the badsectorpocalypse will strike…
- …and even went as far as protecting all your precious bookmarks & settings on your favourite apps by going portable and sending a backup a copy to your USB or cloud drive? (Find all this travel-tech stuff baffling? Here’s a reliable guide.)
- Packed a bag, walked out your front door, caught a bus, caught another bus, caught yet another bus, and kept going until you ended up somewhere incredible? Because yes, it’s possible.
- Seen the everyday world differently via every episode of the amazing 99% Invisible, now so beloved by the listening public that its yearly Kickstarter fundraisers are a force of nature.
- Read about the science of boredom itself, which suggests painful novelty is better for us than comfortable monotony.
- Played through all 70 of these classic videogame RPGs.
- Explored the fringes of your vocabulary with Visuwords.
- Read all The Morning News, then all of World Hum, then every scrap of archived material from Brain Pickings, rounding things off with the Paris Review. (Well done. You’ve read some of – and read about some of – the best writing on the Internet. Admirable way to spend a couple of decades. I applaud your dedication).
- Read Lord Of The Rings yet again, except this time following the route in Barbara Strachey’s Journeys of Frodo (above), the Ordnance Survey of the fantasy world.
- …and followed it up with a substantial dollop of TED-watching.
- Grasped the fundamentals of the 6,000+ living languages of the world.
- Successfully learned to do all 50 of these things…
- …and then somehow, against staggering odds, managing to fight your way through all 50 of these.
- Circled the globe at least once, printed off and signed your Maptia manifesto, then selfied yourself somewhere awesome, and e-mailed the picture back to them – and then come home and summed up your travels with a custom hand-drawn & illustrated map.
- Got told, in no uncertain terms, what the fuck to have for dinner.
- Seen how vast / how tiny you are compared to the rest of the universe.
- Read this trilogy, while following the real history of Newton, Liebnitz, Hooke, Louis XIV, William II and all of Stephenson’s “characters” in a real history-of-science book (say, this one), and pinpointed exactly where Neal Stephenson has stuck to the facts and where he has taken wild, anachronistic flights of fancy.
- …and then written at least as many fiction and non-fiction books as Isaac Asimov.
- Guess where in the world you’re looking at to within 100 miles, 10 times in a row, with GeoGuesser – or just randomly gone exploring with MapCrunch.
- Leafed through the Internet Archive’s Magazine Rack, where you can download (legally, for free) a near-complete run of classic science & scifi magazine Omni, which published original classics by William Gibson, William Burroughs and George R.R. Martin.
- Taken every “inspiring quote” in the spirit it was intended.
- Sat outside and listened to the world – the birds, the weather, the bustle of humanity, the creak of your chair, the sound of your own breathing – until everything held absolutely zero novelty or interest for you. Go on. We’ll wait.
- Learned to recite and draw the RCA Animates from memory.
- Built your own Epic Quest Of Awesome – and then ticked off every single item on it.
- Explored xkcd’s “Click & Drag” (here’s a primer if you get lost) – before launching yourself into the Hugo-Award-nominated “Time.”
- Get to the 2048th tile!
- Read, and more importantly thunk deeply about, all the Change This manifestos.
- Addressed every lingering guilty regret, until you were satisfied you’d done absolutely everything you could to make amends, no matter how belatedly.
- Worked out how this man fooled Penn & Teller.
- Explored boredom in more detail, and questioned whether being bored is actually a bad thing.
- And finally (because it’s important to have a sense of proportion here) – you’ve followed every single link in every single issue of Aaron Bady‘s Sunday Reading series.
Not enough for you? Follow me on Twitter for more of the same.
Shannon of A Little Adrift has rounded up a couple of cubic miles of free stuff here, some of which I’ve mentioned above, most of which I haven’t. Click this and you’ll never be bored again, but your head may explode. Your choice.
I mean, there’s other stuff – but let’s face it, doing these things really ate up your free time. You’re allowed a little slack!
And I don’t want to sound unreasonable, of course. Or bitchy.
Anyway, I’ll let you get back to being bored.
Because you, my friend, deserve it.
Images: Shermeee, Hubble Heritage, Mike Sowden.
I probably found less than half of these links on my own – so, my undying thanks to my big-brained friends for getting there first. I could never be bored with you around.