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Bored and Brilliant: The Lost Art of Spacing Out

Monday June 17 2024 • 6:38pm - 6:38pm ET

Maria Popova of Brainpickings, Nina Katchadourian and host Manoush Zomorodi in The Greene Space

Most of us live with our smart phones within quick reach, reflexively grabbing them at the first hint of boredom during tedious train rides and work meeting lulls.

But what might we be losing out on by texting, tweeting and email-checking those moments away? New studies show that allowing ourselves to space out might actually enhance our creativity, productive imagining and problem solving.

Highlights include:

  • How guests reconcile their relationship between anxiety & boredom
  • Some serious Kierkegaard, courtesy of Brainpickings
  • Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style


WNYC’s Data News Team and New Tech City are on a quest to bring back boredom. In our second annual Digital Detox event, join us as we get ready to launch our weeklong Bored and Brilliant Challenge in The Greene Space. Take part in a semi-scientific experiment to test your creativity. We’ll also help you track and reclaim the time you spend on your phone and use it instead to let your mind wander – and see what brilliance it may lead you to. Did we mention drinks will be served? Make 2015 the year your rethink your relationship with technology!

Hosted by New Tech City‘s Manoush Zomorodi and featuring guests Maria Popova of Brain Pickings,  Kevin Holesh, maker of Moment, the app that lets you track your iPhone use, Nina Katchadourian, whose whimsical, thoughtful, funny art is inspired by embracing boredom, and John Keefe, WNYC’s senior editor for Data News.

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