I find people boring
Why We Find Some People Boring
Drew Akerman makes millions of people go to sleep just with the sound of his own voice. His podcast, “Sleep With Me," intentionally rambles on with nonsensical conversations as a way to help those with insomnia fall asleep. (For example, in one episode, he interviews the Sydney Harbour Bridge.) He intentionally keeps his tone calm and even and ensures that whatever he’s talking about doesn’t make that much sense. To work—or, to cure people’s insomnia—he needs to fashion himself to be the most boring man in the world!
But what really makes us see someone else as boring?
While the past 30 years have seen a relative explosion in research exploring the feeling state of boredom and the individual tendency to feel that state often and intensely—the so-called boredom-prone—far less has been done to examine the ways in which we judge others to be boring. The adage that “only boring people get bored” hints at one possibility—perhaps what makes a situation boring also makes a person boring. Monotony, a lack of anything particularly interesting or challenging—these things capture boring circumstances. Maybe they apply to boring people too.
But is that all there is to it?
One early study in the 1980s explored the issue by examining the contents of conversations. They first had people rate activities that they thought a boring person would typically engage in and came up with no fewer than nine dimensions. These ranged from being banal to being overly ingratiating, to being too serious or being too self-occupied. The researchers then had people rate recordings of boring conversations that drew from these nine boring dimensions. Results showed that boring people were thought to be unconcerned by others, talked less, and shared very little of themselves.
This study was based largely on analyzing the kinds of things we converse about and how others perceive those conversations, a point Zuckerman first touched on when developing his scale to measure sensation-seeking. The scale has a subcomponent measuring boredom susceptibility with questions such as “When you can predict almost everything a person will do and say, he or she must be a bore.” It seems boring people just aren’t fun to talk to.
There is some work showing that those who are prone to boredom also tend towards a particular kind of narcissism—what is referred to as covert narcissism. The overt narcissist brags about how wonderful they are, whereas the covert narcissist stews over the fact that, according to them, the world has failed to recognize their immense talents.
Regardless of which narcissism is at play, what is common is the self-focus and lack of concern for others. We may see narcissists as boring precisely because they make little to no effort to engage with our story.
A more recent study has delved more deeply into just what makes a boring person. Wijnand Van Tilburg, from the University of Essex, asked people to directly rate what constitutes a boring person. In the first two studies, people listed occupations, hobbies, and personal characteristics that they thought made up a pretty boring person. As the authors point out, many of the characteristics people came up with seem synonymous with the experience of boredom itself. Being a dull person resonates with boring circumstances feeling dull. A person who shows a lack of interest in others accords with our evaluations of boring situations lacking interest for us. So, the boring person may simply embody the boring experience. Other key aspects they found to be characteristic of the boring person touched on how we interact. Those with little or no sense of humour, no opinions of their own, or those who were bad conversationalists, were considered to be the most boring.
Boring occupations and hobbies
For occupations (and here we are all susceptible to the quick search to make sure our own job didn’t wind up on the list), it seemed that working with numbers was seen as most boring. Data analysts, people working in taxation or insurance, and the job many of us may have chosen for the number one spot, accountancy (which actually came in at number two) were the top picks for boring jobs.
(Luckily for us, science was low down on the list, closer to journalism and the performing arts.)
When it came to hobbies, people rated sleeping (hard to see how this could be considered a hobby!), watching TV, and religion as the most boring. Interestingly, collecting—something like David Morgan’s preoccupation with traffic cones—was far from the most boring-rated hobby, only just making it into the top 10 at number 8 on the list.
Personality traits of boring people
The truly interesting thing Van Tilburg and colleagues did next was to determine what consequences there might be for the boring person—how does the stereotype affect our interactions with them? It turned out that we rate boring people to be lacking both warmth and competence. Unsurprisingly, participants indicated that they would prefer to avoid such boring people and even indicated they would pay money to do so (committing to larger sums as the prospective time in the bore’s company increased).
Studies looking at the big-five personality traits have shown that the boredom-prone are less open to new experiences and are lower in extraversion. So, are we just skewing our evaluations of people towards the extravert? People with strong opinions, good conversation skills, a sense of humour, and interesting hobbies? Certainly, this tip list for how not to be boring could be reworked as “How to Be an Extravert." Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Speaking might agree and suggest that we look beyond the extravert’s traits for what constitutes "interesting."
How to avoid being boring
How can we avoid the dreaded label of being a bore?
First, actively listen to others. Nothing turns people off more than feeling like you don’t care about their story. Interaction is inherently about give-and-take. When we forget that and become engrossed in our own story, we risk becoming a little dull.
Second, seek the positive wherever possible. This isn’t to suggest that we all adopt a Pollyanna outlook on life. It’s important to share our troubles and woes, and lean on friends and family in tough times. But if that is all that we talk about, we risk being seen as overly negative and repetitive, harping on about the same old things.
Finally, keep an open mind. Being curious about the world around us leads to generally positive experiences. And beyond sparking our own novel interests, being open to new things signals to others that we might just be interested in some of the same things they are.
No one wants to be thought of as boring. We cast a kind of moral judgment on those we deem uninteresting. But with a little effort to focus on how we engage with the world and those around us, we can open our minds and ears (to listen to others more effectively), and hopefully become a little more engaged and engaging.
Facebook image: Diego Cervo/Shutterstock
If you find everyone else boring you only have yourself to blame | Society
A new study has supposedly pinpointed the most boring people alive: birdwatchers, accountants, data analysts and everyone who works in insurance. (What, no trainspotters? A major oversight.) The University of Essex research lists the most boring hobbies as going to church, watching TV and “animal observation”. All these things were judged to be worse even than stamp-collecting.
Of course, when you undertake this kind of research, you also have to find the opposite types. So the study lists actors, scientists, journalists (and in particular “science journalists”) as the “least boring” professions. The research, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, was conducted by Wijnand van Tilburg, Eric Igou and Mehr Panjwani, all possessing refreshingly unboring names and presumably blessed with many science journalist friends.
They conducted five experiments involving more than 500 people. The more you dig into their findings, the more you realise how intensely annoying we humans all find each other.
Not content with dissing the entire insurance and data industries, the respondents had it in for smokers, “people who live in medium-sized towns” and “people who talk a lot and complain often”. They dreamed of being compensated financially for socialising with “boring” people (“£35 a day” is the imaginary going rate). And there also seems to be a thread of self-loathing running through the conclusions. “Watching TV”? Really? If that is boring then millions upon millions of us with a Netflix password are cursed with the blight of tedium.Birdwatching was said to be even more boring than stamp-collecting. Photograph: Jack Hobhouse/Alamy
Unpicking these Sartrean responses – “L’enfer, c’est les autres” [Hell is other people] – there is not only a widespread lack of self-awareness but also a heap of contradictions. Take journalists and actors. No one talks as much or complains more. And arguably these two professions also harbour a great many of the few smokers left in society. So how can they be both boring and “the least boring” at the same time? Is it that the activities themselves – perfecting a spreadsheet, creating a Facebook folder for your safari wildlife photography, listening to a sermon – are supposed to be boring? Or that the people who do them are dull? To be fair, I would rather be spared all amateur wildlife photography, especially if we are talking about the close-up of a fox in our garden which someone in my home was so excited about that he had it framed. (It’s really just a lot of blurry orange fuzz.)
Surely the key to all this is the second part of the study’s title, “Boring people: stereotype characteristics, interpersonal attributions and social reactions”. This is about our stereotypes of who and what is boring. These preconceptions bear as much relation to reality as the idea that you would ever get paid to put up with someone who makes you yawn. (Actually, this is very possibly the substance of many professional lives and/or marriages. But that’s a whole other study.)
I know a number of people, for example, who find spreadsheets deeply exciting and engrossing. They are well-suited to accountancy and they are welcome to it. As long as they don’t try to co-opt me into their information bacchanal, all is well with the world. Because it is not an activity or a profession in and of itself that is boring or that makes you boring. It is your insistence on forcing its significance on others who do not share your passion.Accountants have been pinpointed among the most boring people alive, according to a new study. Photograph: cyano66/Getty Images/iStockphoto
When we label others as boring, it’s either because we lack the imagination to understand what they get out of tracking the silvery-cheeked hornbill, or it’s because they chewed our ear off about something we’re just not interested in. This whole exercise is reminiscent of the old joke: “How can you tell if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll let you know.” We are not necessarily intolerant of the habits and life choices of others, but they don’t half drive us out of our minds when they bang on about them. My big surprise is that wild swimmers did not crop up in this study. Surely they are the most mind-numbingly boring of all. And I speak as one of their number – although I promise to speak as little as possible.
I associate the word “boring” with my 1980s childhood thanks to the TV show Why Don’t You…?, whose full title was: “Why don’t you just switch off your TV set and go and do something less boring instead?” (Again with the TV-bashing and this from an actual TV programme. ) As a small child I was repeatedly told: “There is no such thing as bored, only boring people.” The inference is clear: if you are bored, you have only yourself to blame.
As I’ve got older I’ve learned to embrace the opposite idea: that being bored and being boring are positive things. I am not interested in being fascinating to all people. If some people think I am boring, then hurrah. It will protect me from their attentions. And if I am bored, then that’s also good. It will give me a moment to sit with my thoughts and perhaps experience some kind of peace. The Covid time has been one long embrace of boredom for many, deprived of our usual distractions, relationships and comforts. Boredom can be a luxury and a blessing. It’s often better than the alternative: the vicissitudes of life.
How can any of us be certain of being less boring? The key is to avoid people who are so boring themselves that they can’t take the time to see beyond stereotypes. Instead, why not think of being boring as a badge of honour? There’s something deeply satisfying in being so unbearable to others that they would want to be paid £35 to put up with you. Boredom is in the eye – or indeed the binoculars – of the beholder.
How to know if you are a bastard / Sudo Null IT News
Here's what you probably didn't do this morning: look in the mirror to ask yourself, "Am I not a bastard?" [ English] jerk - bastard, "cattle", "goat", bastard / approx. transl. ]
The question seems reasonable. There are probably real bastards in the world. And many of them probably have a pretty high opinion of themselves, or at least their opinion of themselves is in the middle range. They do not consider themselves as bastards, because it is difficult for them to achieve such self-awareness. nine0006
Psychologist Simin Wazir of the University of California, Davis, argues that we are good at assessing our own qualities if their assessment is neutral (that is, they are not particularly great and not particularly bad), and they can be observed directly.
For example, people are usually aware of their talkativeness. In principle, talkativeness is not strongly condemned, as is the tendency to silent behavior - and in any case, your degree of talkativeness is visible to everyone. Self-assessments of the level of talkativeness usually correlate well with other people's assessments and objective measurements. Creativity, on the other hand, is a much more valued trait - who wouldn't want to consider themselves a creative person? — and much less measurable. And, in support of Wazir's model, there is no correlation between self-esteem, professional assessment, and psychologists' attempts to objectively measure creativity. nine0002
The question "Am I really a bastard with inflated conceit?" is very judgmentally overloaded, so you will be highly motivated to achieve the desired answer: “No, of course not!” Also, being a bitch is not easy to assess, so it's easy for you to interpret the evidence in your favor: "Well, I must have been a little annoyed with that bartender, but he forgot to pour me a double shot in a tall glass. "
People who are intelligent in scientific matters are not immune to bias. On the contrary, a recent study by Yale University's Dan Cahan shows that thoughtful and well-educated people are especially good at rationalizing their preconceived notions—for example, interpreting complex gun control evidence in a way that fits their political agenda. addictions. nine0006
I suspect there is zero correlation between people's opinions about how much of a bastard they are and how much of a bastard they really are. Some recalcitrant bastards may admit they are, but others may think highly of themselves. Some truly nice people can clearly see how nice they are, while others may have a very low opinion of their moral character.
There is another obstacle to understanding oneself as a bastard: we do not yet have a sufficient understanding of the essence of bastardism. There is no official scientific term that matches the broad use of the term "bastard" to refer to the guy who cuts you off in the road, the teacher who humiliates students, and the colleague who turns every work meeting into a battle. nine0006
The closest of the scientifically recognized categories to the term "bastard" can be called belonging to the "dark triad" narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Narcissists see themselves as more important than others, as bastards do, either explicitly or implicitly. However, a narcissist is not necessarily a bastard, since this option requires constant attention, and bastards do not always have such a desire. The Machiavellian personality treats people as tools that can be used to achieve their goals, which is also what bastards do. However, they also cannot be equated, since Machiavellianism implies conscious self-criticism, and bastards may not even pay attention to their selfish tendencies. Psychopathic people are selfish and callous, like bastards, but they are also prone to impulsive risk-taking, while bastards can be calculating and risk-averse. nine0006
Another related concept is narcissistic cretins [asshole], which was explored by philosopher Aaron James of the University of California, Irvine. According to his theory, narcissistic cretins are those who enjoy special privileges over others, believing that they have a moral right to them. Although it is closely related to bastards, it is not the same. You can be a bastard and act arrogant and offensive without getting any privileges.
Given all these obstacles, how can a potential bastard conduct a self-assessment? nine0006
The first step is to define more precisely what it means to be a bastard. I believe that this quality should be included in a category worthy of a separate scientific study. The word "bastard" is appropriate and useful. It describes a phenomenon that does not fit into other psychological concepts. Bastards are people who criminally ignore the perspectives of the people around them, treating other people as tools to be manipulated or as idiots to be dealt with - and not as equals in morality and knowledge. To be a bastard means to be ignorant in a certain way - not to attach importance to the value of other people, the value of their ideas and plans, to ignore their desires and beliefs, not to forgive them for their shortcomings. nine0006
Bastards look at the world through glasses that muffle the humanity of other people. A waiter in a restaurant is not a potentially interesting person, different from others, with his own life story and a set of goals with which you can show solidarity. He's just a food delivery tool or a fool to take out anger on. The people in front of you in line at Starbucks are faceless and unimportant. People below you in the social hierarchy lack your talents, so they deserve tedious, dull work. nine0006
To clarify the concept of a bastard, it may be helpful to consider its opposite: a nice person. You may know such people - habitually attentive to the needs and interests of others, showing concern for the thoughts and preferences of other people, and often in the event of a conflict, suspecting that the fault lies with them, and not with the other person. Imagine if you could turn the bastard's glasses inside out and turn them into cute people's glasses—ones that highlight the value, interest, importance, and idiosyncrasies of the people around them. nine0006
No human being is likely to be pure scum or pure sweetheart. Several decades of psychological research confirm that in almost all people large, voluminous psychological qualities are mixed and complex, and also subject to various influences. But where exactly are you on the scale from scum to sweetheart, and on what occasions, in what situations, with what people? Perhaps nothing defines your moral character more precisely than your position on this scale. This is the basis of your relationship with the people around you. nine0006
This definition can help us see two obstacles to being a scumbag. First, when real feelings arise about the fact that you can be a bastard, bastard tendencies instantly disappear. If you are attacked by fear and shame about the fact that you may have behaved meanly towards someone else, then at this very moment this attack itself helps you to recognize the right of another person to have interests and values, to see him as an individual. , capable of requiring you to comply with certain moral principles, and not just as a tool or a fool. At this moment, you, albeit temporarily, take off your bastard glasses. nine0006
The irony is that often the sweethearts are the ones who worry the most about whether they're acting like bastards - they're the ones who come up to you later, blushing and apologizing for their not-so-terrible behavior. And, by contrast, nothing is so far from a bastard as an apology.
Of course, if you settle down with this idea and decide, "Well, since I'm worried about whether I'm a bastard, and even read a magazine article on the subject, then I'm definitely not a bastard!" and stop worrying about it, then at the same moment your bastard nature is ready to return. nine0006
The second obvious obstacle to knowing the bastards inside oneself is the inability of the bastards to listen to other people. It is likely that one of the most important ways to know yourself is to listen to how other people criticize your shortcomings, and do it sincerely. It won't be easy for a bastard. Since the bastard is not inclined to regard others as equals in morals and intelligence, he rarely accepts criticism in a constructive way. Why take seriously what a fool or a tool says? Why get involved in discussing their opinion of you? Most likely, the bastard will reject criticism, go on a counterattack, begin to reason himself, retire in a rage, or smile and plunge the knife deeper. nine0006
Other moral vices are not so resistant to attempts to influence them. For example, lying does not prevent a liar from earning accusations of lying. Greed does not particularly interfere with the ability to reflect on one's greed. But the essence of bastards closes their ears.
If the essence of bastards is that they are unable to understand the value of others, this indicates the existence of an unobvious side of self-knowledge: to look not only at oneself, but also at other people. Instead of staring at the mirror, turn away from it and notice the colors that you think the world is painted in. Are you surrounded by idiots and soulless machines, people with bad taste and stupid desires, boring people unworthy of your attention, those who can be very easily cut into one very common brush - scum, snobs, jerks, self-satisfied goats, and, of course, bastards ? nine0006
If your world usually looks like this, then I have bad news for you. You are most likely an asshole. To most people, the world doesn't seem like that, and it really isn't. You have distorted vision. You do not see the individuality and potential of the people around you.
I've drawn this vision to the extreme through scum glasses, but I suspect many aspects of it are familiar to all of us, except for the radically cute sweethearts (who have their own problems, as they are very easily swayed by other people's desires and opinions) . We all have moments of scum. nine0006
But how often do you wallow in scum? If we're all part scum and part cute, where are you on that scale? In retrospect, you can try to remember how often you were aware that you were wearing scum glasses. But, unfortunately, people do not know how to make such assessments well. Memory is selective - we tend to remember either the most vivid cases, or those that confirm our already formed opinion, or those that put us in the best light (or, in overly self-critical people, in the worst). If you really want to accurately assess your degree of scum, I have two more scientific approaches for you. nine0006
One is to apply the sampling experience methods devised by psychologist Russell T. Hurlburt of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of Clairmont University. Set a timer for a random time, or choose another random distraction, and when it sounds, notice how you feel about certain things. You may not be very good at evaluating yourself and tend to self-flatter yourself, but at least over time you will assemble a representative selection. nine0006
The second approach is to try something like meditation. Recently, psychologist Erica Carlson from the University of Toronto suggested mindfulness meditation training transl. ] as a path to self-knowledge in the area of the most difficult personal qualities to perceive - those that (like bastardism) are well appreciated and difficult to observe. The essence of meditation is to connect to the least critical stream of sensations. Carslon suggests that by evaluating our feelings in this way, we can gain a broader and more representative view of our personalities. nine0006
While research into experiential meditation is still in its infancy, evidence is emerging of a link between meditation and self-knowledge. For example, Amber Emanuel and colleagues at Kent State University found that test participants who attempted to remotely assess their state of mind were more accurate at predicting their future emotional responses to US presidential election results. Christina Hill and John Updegraf of the same university found that the better a person could focus on the present moment, the better they could make subtle distinctions between positive and negative emotions. nine0006
I don't know how realistic it is to expect many people to start seriously engaging in selective experiences or training in focusing on the moment for the purpose of self-discovery and character improvement, or to hope for some success in such training. So let me end with a more modest suggestion: think about this article a little later today when you're surrounded by a lot of people - maybe at lunch, or at a meeting, or at a party, or at the mall. Pay attention to the people around you. Do you see them as fools and tools to get things done, or do they sparkle with their interesting personality? In other words, evaluate whether you are wearing bastard glasses. nine0006
We all look through these glasses sometimes. But we are not attached to them. Just by thinking about it for a bit, we can, I think most of us, see what is missing in such a look. Namely, in this way we can get rid of these points.
Eric Schwitzgebel is professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, and author of Perplexities of Consciousness and Describing Inner Experience? Proponent Meets Skeptic]
“Russian people are funny and witty, I would be bored” - analytical portal POLIT.RU
For the project “After”, Ivan Davydov talked with writer and literary critic Alexander Arkhangelsky about how we should re-describe Russian culture, about the prospects for the collapse of the country and the chances of its survival and whether Pushkin needs monuments to Pushkin.
It seems to me that in general it is somehow more correct to talk about the image of the present. We have had a lot of things about the future, but we often don’t really think about the present. But let's try, without extrapolating the present into the future, to talk about what lies ahead. nine0006
Let's separate forecast, dream and prophecy. If forecast, then the threat of collapse is growing. I don't want it, so I try not to think about it.
Good boring Russians
The dream is that after all the inevitable upheavals, redistributions and retributions, the time will come when it will be possible, without shame, to say again: "I am a man of Russian culture." Is she to blame or not for what happened? To be honest, I don't care much. It seems to me that she is doing what she could, she is doing at least the 300-year dream of Europe, she carried and did what politicians failed to do - register themselves on an equal footing in the European and world space, get rid of the inferiority complex inherent in cultures seedy. Russian culture is global because it is national; it is national because it is global. And the words “bridge” were never used in relation to it (although sometimes they were used, but it doesn’t matter), “corridor”, “special path”. She does not have a special way, because she herself is special. So, I dream of those times when I will again be able to talk about Russian culture without lowering my eyes, without taking them aside. And this can only be assumed in one case: if politics in Russia - not culture, but politics - changes, and changes to such an extent that it ceases to produce horror as the only way of dialogue. I will give an example that is not obvious to the intelligentsia, but quite revealing. The last time Russian popular culture tried to present us as “good guys” (and “great girls”) was in 2014 at the Olympics. Then it was possible to do without images of war practically. There, in the alphabet that opened the show, behind the broad back of Empress Catherine the Great, Suvorov and Potemkin hid, but, in principle, still without the history of wars and the history of the revolution, without sloppy Wanderers, without pride, but with self-respect, they managed to tell the world about that we are good guys and we want peace, not war. This is the kind of Russia I am ready to accept and talk about its future. nine0006
The only question is how much you have to pay for it. You will have to pay with a long period of exile, aging, because in the urban scenario, the departure of a huge number of people will be too noticeable. First, the old people died during the covid, and then the younger ones left, and this will be very noticeable. But life will not stop, in the end, a holy place is never empty, the place of those who left will be taken by a new generation. And they will not work the way we worked, not the way those who follow us worked. It seems to me that neither the hipsters nor the intelligentsia will still have my dream in Russia. There will be no self-satisfied guys riding bicycles, not paying attention to how the neighbors live, but there will also be no suffering intellectuals like me, because there is no benefit from this senseless self-satisfied suffering. nine0006
And there will be something new. It seems to me that the era of both is over, and there will be a normal sane intellectual, if we talk about people of my profession, with a Cartesian bias, that is, who can sort out causes, effects and consequences. You can see that I can’t do it, I’m not a person of Cartesian culture, but my, for example, my neighbor in France, whom I loved very much, Marie Jean, worked in the city hall as a clerk, and her husband was a glazier. And when Hollande won, she told me that it was very bad. I asked why. Who cares? She says he is taxing incomes over a million euros a year, up to 75%. I giggled and asked: what do you care about this? You have never seen a million euros in your entire life. And she says: well, what's the difference? These people create jobs, and the jobs go to us. And the people who create jobs will leave after such a policy, and we will lose our jobs. This kind of boring logic seems very correct to me. Cheerful and witty Russian people, I would be bored. Here I see the Russia of the future, great in that unusual and unexpected sense that it has stepped over its greatness. Spat, forgot and went on. Greatness, I repeat, is to step over your greatness and forget not to worry about it anymore, but to think about how people creating jobs will feel, and how you will feel as a result of their departure. And you will like or dislike Hollande, not because he is good or bad, but because he helps or hinders the rich from creating jobs. Yes, it's boring. But a person is equal to himself - at least in thinking about politics. Whether this is feasible or not, how do I know? But I was asked about what image of the future I see, and I see this one, very pleasant. nine0006
Well, all right, wit will not decrease, I must have got excited, and there is no need, because boredom without wit is a skiff. And the French are dry, but they joke all the time. I return to what we call Russian culture. Pushkin is Russian culture? He has ugly poems to “Slanderers of Russia”, although this is not about the Poles, we immediately say, but about the French of the same and about French politicians, but all the same, ugly verses, brilliant ugly verses, he played tricks so fooled. But he also has Belkin's Tales, he has the unfinished History of the Goryukhin Village, he has Journey to Arzrum, he has Eugene Onegin, finally. There is a boring life with cheerful overtones, but this boring lordly life is told in such a way that you want to visit it, in this life. To stay - I'm not sure, but I want to visit. The geese that glide on the ice of the lake, the boys who happily run to meet the winter - is this not Russian culture, or what? Russian. Boring? Yes how to look. Rational? Well, in "Tales of Belkin" the author rationally laughs at the irrationality of Russian life, this mockery suits and inspires me quite well. Therefore, there will be no Dostoevskyism, Dostoevsky himself will not go anywhere, he will remain, no matter how the seminars on him in Italy are canceled. That is, again: as an excess - as much as you like, we love excesses, but as a norm - no. And Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy with his "Hadji Murad" fits into this story quite well. Ilyin does not fit in - and God bless him, we do not need such a strict fascist (I am talking about his article "Russian Fascism" now, and not about his Hegelianism and his philosophical jurisprudence). In short, minus Ilyin, plus Belkin. nine0006
Looking for a new word
We need to describe ourselves differently. First, Russian culture is universal. It includes everything from Andrey Rublev to Black Square, and Black Square is actually the same icon, only about the rhythm of the cosmos. It includes Schnittke and Rachmaninov, it includes Tolstoy, Khlebnikov and Venedikt Erofeev. Therefore, there is plenty to choose from, this time. How we describe ourselves is two. We complain all the time that we don't have goodies, and there really aren't many of them. So this is good, it means that she does not teach anything, and this protruding index finger was invented by someone who described Russian culture, and not by Russian culture itself. She promises you one thing: you yourself will look for the answer. This is excellent, this, sorry for such a rough transition, is connected with critical thinking, if we are talking about Western values, then this is all present in them. And from how you change the description of the universal image, the image itself changes. nine0006
For example, is Russian culture patriarchal or progressive? Everyone says that it is patriarchal, but we look carefully: right from the very beginning, we have an active Olga and passive Boris and Gleb. With us, if we continue this line, who decides on marriage, Peter or Fevronia? If we look at a modern sculpture depicting Peter and Fevronia, then Peter is higher there, Fevronia is lower, and she is such a submissive woman who does the will of her husband, but in fact she manages, she makes decisions. And this line continues throughout the 19th century. Who is Olga Ilyinskaya or Ilya Oblomov? Oblomov is very handsome, she loves him very much, this deepens the meaning of her life, but she is strong, and he is weak. Wow patriarchal culture! Tatyana makes the decision, of course, not Onegin, and so on, no matter who you look at. It's a question of how to describe. nine0006
I always make a presentation for students and give in one slide two images of Repin's painting, which before the revolution was called "Before Confession", and after 1936 it was called "Refusal of Confession". And we're looking at the same image from two different angles. The first is a confession, and there sits a confused young man, most likely a revolutionary, who glances at a very simple, but sweet and kind priest. The compositional center of the picture is a golden cross, and all this speaks of hope. And if we call it “Refusal of Confession”, then it is not the cross that is the compositional center, but the black field between the cross and the head of the prisoner, the priest turns from humble and simple into stupid, and the prisoner from confused turns into indignant and contemptuous. And all we did was change the name. nine0006
Or Vermeer's famous painting Girl with a Letter. If you look at her as they have looked at her for centuries, then this is a story about how a husband or friend went somewhere far away - maybe to war, maybe on a long trip, and she ascetically waits for him, standing at the window. Fruit, everything is extremely simple, apparently, fasting, because there is no fast food there. But as soon as it was cleared in 2020 or 2021, there was a chubby Cupid on the wall in the background, which reaches for the veil with its handle to draw it. And the picture turned out to be about something else - it turned out to be about a fleeting upcoming date. What are we doing? We leave both options. We cannot and should not give up the option that was, but we see another option and a different story. And this is modern culture. It's not postmodern, it's something else, I don't know what word to choose here. This is a multi-factorial, this is a multi-meaning, this is a multi-vector nature of one statement. This does not mean that we change the meaning to the opposite, it means that we enrich ourselves with various images, including images of the future. nine0006
And the same with Russian culture. It is well made and poorly thought out. And we do not propose to exclude the same "Slanderers of Russia" from the composition of Pushkin's work, but to comprehend its role and place in Russian culture and Russian history - yes, this is our function, our task. Where is Pushkin? Where “... leave the heart to the hero! What will / He be without him? Tyrant…"? Or where suppression and absorption? It seems to me that the center is different, that's all.
Again, if there is a Russia of the future, that is, a Russia that has managed to create a policy that does not lead to the overthrow of the Pushkin monument from its neighbors, then Pushkin will be left. And if there is no such policy, then let the heap of metal lie where it wants, it does not bother anyone at all, because in heaven it is absolutely indifferent to Pushkin whether there are monuments to him or not. nine0006
Prospects for collapse
I remember being in Bremen at the end of October 1991, where I was on an internship, at a lecture by a then popular Russian sociologist who explained that the Soviet Union would not collapse. Because - he showed the map - here is production, here is processing, here is logistics, transport costs will be such that it is absolutely irrational. Therefore, there will be conflicts, pieces, perhaps in the form of the Baltic, will run away, but even Ukraine will change its mind after the referendum. Although she has already held a referendum, she will think about it, scratch her turnips and return. Well, where are these predictions? In less than two months, this grandiose formation was gone. nine0006
Once again: I'm not saying that Russia will inevitably fall apart - I myself will do everything in my power to prevent this from happening. I just assume that there is more chance for the parts to scatter to the sides than for the fact that they remain united. But if they do, it will, of course, be a confederation, and not even a federation, let alone a unitary state. Yes, I myself know the arguments for the fact that this will never happen, and Kordonsky with his artels, and many others ... Yes, Russia is stable, because it exists as an artel, that is, autonomously, not in the territorial-political sense, but in the sense of self-sufficiency each individual group within a large entity. nine0006
You know, I worked for the Izvestiya newspaper, not the current one, but another, the one that used to be, and this newspaper claimed to be federal. Therefore, she had to subscribe twice a day, because the news did not have time to go to the Far East, and then they could not be repeated. That is, it was necessary either to sign and leave at five o'clock in the evening, or to issue a second newspaper before ten in the evening, and then we did not have time, because events spread across the regions in such a way that the speed of production lagged behind the speed of consumption. And then I realized, I saw how awkwardly elongated our country is. It exists thanks to the mechanisms that exist, these mechanisms are quite real, but it does not have an internal bond. Common culture - what is the common culture? Who do you share a culture with? With a neighbor in the stairwell or with a colleague from Tanzania who deals with the same range of problems as you? It seems to me that the answer is obvious: colleagues, separated by thousands of kilometers and dozens of borders, may well be closer. nine0006
At the same time, I easily find a common language with any people, because the most important thing is to respect a person as a person, and not as a representative of a profession. And again about France, I will again act as a Francophile. I have a friend, a French professor, he started building a house in the countryside, and neighbors came to meet him. He says: "Hello!" The neighbor asks: “Who are you?” He says: "I am a professor." And his neighbor: "It's very nice, but I'm a peasant." And I think this is a very good approach. Proximity, community is one thing, but the ability to negotiate and mutual respect is another. I am interested in people, I am interested in neighbors, they immediately feel when you have an ethnographic interest, and when you have a human one, and therefore they will always talk to you. We have a common language, not a common culture. A lot is hardwired into the language, but I would not exaggerate its life-building role. nine0006
It seems to me that the logic of the development of Russian civilization - I beg your pardon, this is absolutely anti-scientific - is rather strange. Usually people went from barren lands to fertile lands, trying to win places more comfortable, richer, more pleasant. And our civilization developed differently - from a very centralized Kyiv location with fertile nature, with beautiful lands, with an excellent balance of rain and land. But for some reason I didn’t like this location, they left it a little to the north. They came, settled down, everything is fine, wonderful, they live, but again something didn’t like it, and again they went somewhere else to the north - and so they reached Kamchatka. Developed from fertile to barren lands, from rich to poor. Why? I have a hypothesis, I repeat, absolutely unscientific: because a Russian person is very free in himself, he wants freedom. He wants will to such an extent that he is ready to give up everything to hell if this will is taken away from him. And the Russian state is arranged in such a way that it takes away this will, and to the end. He comes, settles down, the state comes after him, again takes away his will, he spits on this state and moves on. He comes, settles down, and the state follows him top-top-top. My question is: why not change the state? nine0006
Modernization - we will not cling to the term now - is a very painful process, and in reality it begins only when there is nowhere to retreat, when the back rests against the wall. When we hit the wall, the confederation will seem like a way out, but if you ask now, even I will be against the confederation, here and now, this very second, this will not lead us to any joys. But when the balance is to disappear or remain in that form, that form rather than any other, and that is the only way to preserve the great without destroying it. nine0006
In short, there is the farmer's way, there is the Danish experience, on which Stolypin relied, there is the Lithuanian experience, for example, of farms, and then there is the economy of large farms. It is clear that Stolypin understood that this path was not suitable for a large country, and collectivization was terrible, a variant of a conglomerate, conglomerates of farms was found. Conglomerates of farms are quite a working Russian model, and Stolypin is quite a Russian politician, he is not some outsider. But, quietly relying on the Danish experience, he showed something more suitable for the present. I am not discussing agriculture now, as an intellectual I really like to get into an area in which I understand nothing, but in this case this is just an example. Therefore, it will press - a confederation will be the best way out and less bloody. And he will. nine0006
It will definitely press, the question is how the elites, how the so-called bosses will react to this, reasonably or unreasonably. I, as a person who focuses on the boring beautiful Russia of the future with a cheerful ability to joke, but with boring grounds in relationships at work, I do not think that she has a chance to slip through the existing forks. I just don't believe that the current elites will be able to force themselves to think rationally, because the problem is that irrationality has won.