James Ward’s presentation was the opposite of thrilling. As of June, he informed his 200-strong audience, 45.5% of the ties he owned were a single color—but that had since fallen 1.5%! The crowd gazed at his PowerPoint slides, not even pretending to be interested. They weren’t supposed to be. This was, after all, Boring 2010, a 7-hour conference celebrating under-stimulation. Ward, author of the blog “I Like Boring Things,” had the idea when he heard that Interesting 2010 had been canceled, he tells the Wall Street Journal.
One man presented data from three years of counting his sneezes. Another held a milk tasting. Still another read the names of all 415 colors in a paint catalog—in a talk entitled “Like Listening to Paint Dry.” Ward admits the concept was originally a bit of a joke. But “I guess the joke is on me,” he says; within seven minutes of announcing the event, he’d sold 50 tickets. “I’ve created this trap, and there’s no way out.”