Friday links: Creativity and boredom

Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson, man!) on creativity as a design for life, a mini-documentary about MYST, how “The Lighthouse” was filmed and how the ways we deal with boredom has changed over the last couple of centuries.

Nick Offerman interview

Actor, entertainer, and writer Nick Offerman on creativity as a design for life

How Myst Almost Couldn't Run on CD-ROM

Just found out about Ars Technica’s YouTube series about making games, called War Stories. Loved the episode about Myst, with creator Rand Miller talking about the process and a few multimedia-age technical hurdles.

How Robert Eggers made this year’s strangest film

Great interview with director Robert Eggers about his film “The Lighthouse” (2019).

The atmosphere comes first. The period came when I started to do a little bit of research. I wanted to make a lighthouse movie and I assumed that I was going to set it in the 19th century. I was thinking the 1820s or 1840s might be interesting because I like that period aesthetic – it’s a little bit less industrial.

But I wanted to have the foghorn and I wanted to have the Fresnel lens [an invention allowing light from a lighthouse to be visible over greater distances] in the story, so that was going to place me in the 1890s. Those things were too iconic and important. That foghorn just says ‘lighthouse’, while the Fresnel lens is a gorgeous thing… it almost looks like a spaceship. There’s got to be a mystery in there.

Social media and boredom: How technology is changing our emotions

The headline makes it sound like another “turn off your facebooks” article, but it’s a fascinating interview with Susan J. Matt about how we’ve talked about and related to boredom over the last couple of centuries.

Unfilled moments, moments where you don’t have entertainment, or moments where you don’t have companionship, may actually spawn creativity. Certainly a lot of 19th-century romantics thought that.

Being still with yourself can give access to all sorts of ideas and musings that wouldn’t otherwise occur. So perhaps in our quest to end boredom our creativity is being stunted, and we’re actually becoming more boring.