Boredom

Page 12 of today’s New York Times Book review concerns a book with that title, by a classicist at the University of Calgary.  Is the readership ever bored?  Most scientists I’ve known are never bored with what they do.  There’s always something interesting and new to read or think about.  Yet many nonscientific types are horribly bored with the required science courses they had to take in college (presumably such requirements no longer exist). Also from the sound of the review, nonscientific types are bored much of the time.

I was never bored as an M.D with a patient in front of me.  Reading the medical literature could be hideously irritating and trying to find the nugget of information amid pages of verbiage was no fun at all. Even so, figuring out if the conclusions of the paper followed from the data given was kind of interesting, if tedious and disheartening.  Attending hospital medical executive committee meetings could be excruciatingly boring, as could sopping up hours of continuing medical education (CME) in fields irrelevant to what actually I did medically (this was to keep my license — I could get just as many CME hours for an asthma seminar as I could for anything in my field — idiotic and just another irritation of medical practice).

In retirement, I don’t have the time to read all the matters scientific and mathematical or interest to me (or learn all the music I want to play).

So how about it?  How much boredom is there out there among the readership?

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