Headlines making you anxious? Delay reading them – Oliver Burkeman

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In the Guardian, Oliver Burkeman discusses how he digests the news and the similarities with the way he manages his personal worries.

[O]ne excellent way to stay calm but well-informed, I’ve found, is to consume the news a day or three later than everyone else…

After I’d done this for a while, it struck me that it’s essentially what I’d been doing for years with especially persistent personal worries: I’d make an entry in my calendar two or three weeks from today, and resolve not to fret about the matter till then. In almost every case, by the time the date rolled around, the issue seemed absurd.

Everyone tells you to live in the moment – but there’s much to be said for putting the moment off for a few days.

I’ve been doing something similar with the news for over a year now, mostly using friends and family as a filter for urgency. It’s an idea I first picked up from Tim Ferriss in 2009: he calls it the low information diet, a technique predicated on selective ignorance.

And Jason Kottke comments:

A new car loses about 10% of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot; most news depreciates a lot faster than that. Humans are curious, hard-wired to seek out new information on a continuous basis. But not everything we haven’t seen before is worth our attention.

And what a great technique to manage worry as well!

[Roads] Road dieting – Kottke

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A street in Oakland recently underwent a road diet: two of five lanes were converted into protected bike lanes. The result is an increase in biking and pedestrian use, a decrease in collisions, a decrease in speeding, and an increase in business along the street.

Road dieting seems to be happening a reasonable amount in London at the moment, particularly around the improved Cycle Superhighways.

Braess’ paradox or Braess’s paradox is a proposed explanation for a seeming improvement to a road network being able to impede traffic through it. It was discovered in 1968 by mathematician Dietrich Braess, who noticed that adding a road to a congested road traffic network could increase overall journey time, and it has been used to explain instances of improved traffic flow when existing major roads are closed.