Boredom

Knowledge was power. And in seizing knowledge, humanity had gripped a power as bright and angry as a live wire. At stake were issues vaster than any before: the prospects were more dazzling, the potentials sharper, and the implications more staggering than anything ever faced by humanity or its successors. Yet the human mind still had its own resources. The gifts for survival were not found only in the sharp perceptions of the Shapers, with their arsenals of brain-stretching biochemicals, or the cybernetic advances of the Mechanists and the relentless logic of their artificial intelligences. The world was kept intact by the fantastic predilection of the human mind for boredom. Mankind had always been surrounded by the miraculous. Nothing much had ever come of it. Under the shadow of cosmic revelations, life still swathed itself in comforting routine.
– Bruce Sterling
Schismatrix Plus