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American Chess-Nuts - A Collection of Problems by E. B. Cook, W. R. Henry, C. A. Gilberg

By E. B. Cook, W. R. Henry, C. A. Gilberg

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49 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 29x BOREDOM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 29x Sundberg of the University of Oregon and his then student Richard F. Farmer. It judges an individual’s capacity to become easily bored. To find out your own proneness to boredom, give yourself a score for each of the questions on a scale of 1 to 7 and add up the total. The average range for scores is 81–117, while the average itself is 99. If you scored high on this test, above 117, then you become bored very easily indeed.

And boredom, according to William Miller, ‘is the name we give to a less intense form of disgust’. The adaptive emotion of boredom has evolved therefore to facilitate social relations by encouraging the beneficial rejection of toxic social situations. Maybe this is how we should think of the common emotion of simple boredom. There’s nothing childish about it. Nor should it be made somehow more respectable by refashioning it as a philosophical sickness. Boredom has its uses. It protects us in the same way that disgust does.

This form of boredom is not only believed to be widespread but is also understood to be a rather serious event. Existential boredom, to follow on from Spacks, can be described as a kind of ‘emptiness’ resulting from the sufferer’s seeing him- or herself as isolated from others. Worse still, such individuals are living in a secularized world where religion no longer offers solace. They inhabit a fragmented and divided world where regional and even personal loyalties have been lost. This is a world from which tradition and community have disappeared.

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