Privilege of Boredom – Our culture views boredom as something undesirable and to be eliminated promptly. When a child complains of boredom, the typical response is to suggest various ways to overcome it. But the question remains, why should it be eradicated?
Is it not a messenger, passing on crucial knowledge? Perhaps the way of living lacks stimulation? For you have overcome yourself, and yearn for newer, more intense stimuli? Is it not your duty to seek it out? An ode of owe and gratitude to boredom.
To be bored is the greatest of privileges, for it is the cradle of self-overcoming.
The Black and White Hypothesis – When a somewhat polarizing topic comes up, I’ve observed people express a variation of the sentiment:
The World is not all black and white. It exists in shades of grey
To me, this appears to be nothing more than timid escapism. Essentially, they lack a solution to a complicated problem and worst of all, are unwilling to try. They take the path of least resistance, passively listening to a multitude of opinions, eventually adopting a faux-nuanced perception of neutrality.
The phenomenon resembles the centrist paradigm. People often take pride in being centrists because they believe they are unbiased. To paraphrase myself – Believing oneself to be unbiased is, in fact, a form of bias1. In contemporary political discourse, we picture an impartial line from which all political ideologies and biases diverge. Especially true for liberals, for whom the ideal is to return to the line. Instead, I claim the line is non-existent. For bias is an inherent characteristic of the subjective human condition.
As an analogue, consider Nietzsche’s argument against the concept of L’art pour l’art (Art for Art’s sake)2.
A psychologist, on the other hand, asks: what does all art do? does it not praise? glorify? choose? prefer? With all this it strengthens or weakens certain valuations. Is this merely a “moreover”? an accident? something in which the artist’s instinct had no share? Or is it not the very presupposition of the artist’s ability? Does his basic instinct aim at art, or rather at the sense of art, at life? at a desirability of life? Art is the great stimulus to life: how could one understand it as purposeless, as aimless, as l’art pour l’art?Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols3
It’s not a question of being biased, but rather if you’re holding the right bias. The time has come to stop cowering in shades of grey and decide what’s right: Black or White.
For truth is partial, accessible only when one takes sides, and is no less universal for this reasonSlavoj Zizek, First as Tragedy, then as Farce4
On the Sanctimony of Greatness – One trend that has piqued my interest is the pursuit of “greatness” by individuals on social media. Commonly seen amongst the Manosphere5. For these individuals, achieving a measly profit through a fleeting dropshipping business or regularly working out at the gym is synonymous with greatness. While I have no desire to scrutinize this ridiculous situation, I am interested in exploring the psychological inclination toward greatness.
Any man who boasts of his pursuit of greatness, and sets himself apart from the masses through that pursuit, is playing a hypocritical game. They hold disdain for those who conform, seek approval, and settle for mediocrity. While this contempt is understandable, is not this apparent pursuit of greatness the same? Could it be that the greatness you seek, and all greatness that has existed hitherto, is predicated on the recognition of being great?
Thus, the myth of meritocracy takes another blow, as its arrows of contempt ultimately turn on itself.
- On Radical Honesty. Niranjan Krishna. (2023, April 6). Retrieved from https://niranjankrishna.in/2023/04/07/on-radical-honesty/
- Art for art’s sake. Wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_for_art%27s_sake
- Nietzsche, F. (2008). Twilight of the idols (D. Large, Ed.). Oxford University Press.
- Žižek, S. (2009). First as tragedy, then as farce.
- Manosphere. Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manosphere