See Inside Scientific American Mind Volume 24, Issue 3

Chronic Boredom May Be a Sign of Poor Health

Boredom has been linked with undesirable mental and physical conditions. But what exactly is this puzzling condition?

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In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, a desultory robot named Marvin struggles to get through his days. Possessed of “a brain the size of a planet,” he is 50,000 times more intelligent than a human, yet he cannot solve his own biggest problem: an unshakable ennui.

“The first ten million years were the worst,” Marvin recounted at one point. “And the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million years I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.”

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