Friday, March 6, 2009
REPETITION, BOREDOM & THE MODERN WORLD
Reading just now about David Foster Wallace's unfinished novel, which centers around workers at an IRS office in Illinois. "Properly handled, boredom can be an antidote to our national dependence on entertainment..."
Which gets me thinking on tediousness. And repetition. And all of those empty, identical bays, bounded by bare, identical reinforced concrete columns. At my old job I would think alot about the meditative aspect of repetitive work, though mostly worrying that it was dulling my psyche, muting some joy center in me.
But I can't escape its draw. Watch any capable AutoCad user (I am not one), and you know what I mean.
So am I getting at what Milan Kundera calls the 'third infinity' - that of variations within a pattern. (the first infinity expands outward to the universe, the second looks inward to the atom)
Is modernity most marked by industrial process, optimizing the use of industrial materials? Is then the area of operation only within the realm of variation?