Thursday, August 24, 2023


It's been quite a week. I haven't had a good night's sleep since last Saturday. It feels like a long time. 

Whenever this happens, I always approach it as some mysterious, chance event, even though there are known drivers, and it almost always turns out to be an old reason, not a new one. 

For one, I need to go to bed between 10-10:30. I don't know why, exactly, and some nights I read for quite a while after I'm in bed, but I need to be there at that time. If it's later, I never seem to sleep well, and staying up late tends to wreck my sleep for several days.

I stayed up until midnight a few nights ago, although I think I already wasn't sleeping well. 

More importantly, I have a problem with the Internet, and with my phone. It's great to be able to look up anything you wonder about. I can look up scrimshaw and Fisherian Walkaways and the electoral vote count in 1920 whenever it strikes me.

I thought that was great, at first, but now I realize it's actually a huge problem, because it enables me to extend every thought in my head with additional information. That puts so much information in play that it becomes noise, and that knocks me off balance.

It's the same problem when I consume news. I can consume quite a lot, at a high level of detail, and it all seems important, but it's impossible to store and use that much information. Ninety percent of the political news I consume is irrelevant within days, but in the meantime, it's churned up my mind.

I remembered all this last night when it was midnight and I'd been in bed for an hour and a half. Less media consumption. Don't look up every single thing that pops into your head. Have a layer of calm around you.

We'll see how many days it takes to work.

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