01/20/2015 08:27 am ET Updated Jan 20, 2015

Kierkegaard On Boredom, Why Cat Listicles Fail To Answer The Soul's Cry, And The Only True Cure For Existential Emptiness

Meredith Parmelee via Getty Images

Boredom has a long cultural history and an adaptive function in human life — it serves a vital creative purpose and protects us by helping us tolerate open-endedness; in childhood, it becomes the wellspring of imaginative play. And yet we live in a culture that seems obsessed with eradicating boredom, as if it were Ebola or global poverty, and replacing it with a peculiar modern form of active idleness oozing from our glowing screens.

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