Christopher Hitchens famously recounted quite often the most powerful advice his mother ever gave him: “The one unforgivable sin is to be boring,” an injunction Hitchens observed faithfully throughout his entire life. But what lies behind our urge to fill our days with activity, noise and excitement? We seem to flee from boredom: from parents who constantly seek to keep their children occupied to TV executives who over-stimulate their audiences so they don’t switch channels. So why do we stay busy rather than spend more time alone with our thoughts? Giles Fraser wonders why we’re so scared of being bored, and he gathered a roundtable of guests, including Philosophy Now Festival guest Raymond Tallis, for a surprisingly fascinating discussion on the topic of boredom. You can listen to it in full by visiting BBC Radio 4.
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