For as much as any reason, I pedal first to escape the chaos in the headlines. Still, the top news stories of the day usually occupy the first 5-10 minutes of every ride. It takes a few miles to outride them. Breaking news pedals fast.
Eventually I’ll slip into a rhythm, leave the news cycle behind me, and welcome thoughts of more pleasant things as they coat the walls of my mind with more peaceful images, if only for a couple of hours.
I remember playing my first game of Pong in the mid-70s. Once the fascination wore off, the game got boring quickly, even at the most advanced level. I was more likely to walk away from Pong due to boredom than to end a game in a crash due to the increasing pace of the game.
But video games advanced…
Soon there was Pac-Man, Frogger, Super Mario, Centipede, and all the classic games of the 1980s. The speed and the complexity of the games increased as the levels advanced, and for most players, they would crash before they would get bored and walk away. Pong, by comparison, became obsolete. It was just too slow to be entertaining or stimulating
And that’s where we are with the current news cycle…
Though I may yearn for the slower news days and the broadcast journalism speed of the 1960s and for the monotone delivery of Harry Reasoner or Howard K Smith, I would be as bored with them and as unstimulated as I would be playing Pong after an all-night Call Of Duty bender.
The term slow news day will never be appropriate again. We will never have another slow news day. That’s what increasing social complexity brings us.
But the idea of them — the idea of a slow news day is a romance thing, like the idea of once again playing Pong. I may yearn for it, but I would be bored, unstimulated, and unentertained. And for most people most of the time, the news isn’t really about being informed anyway. It’s about being entertained and stimulated, just like a video game.
The ride completed, I carry my bike across the threshold, reach for a workout towel and soak up the sweat from my forehead while I simultaneously close out my riding app. Next…? I click my Reuters app and checkout the news — to see what I missed while I was escaping the headlines. Doh… Jhciacb.
This week in numbers…
Bikes ridden: 2
Average Speed: 16.1mph
Time in the saddle: 9 hours 09 minutes
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me this week. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. Oh, and there is this from the Marcus King Band . Enjoy…!