Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned, but at least he didn't gawk
It's time we had a talk about the news.
From the first time I heard a modem chime, I've been on a mission to discover, curate, and editorialize as much news as possible. Over the years, I've written for a variety of outlets — called "web sites" at first, then "blogs" for a while, and now subsumed by the lifeless social media platforms to which we all contribute. From the mid-nineties until I graduated college, I slowly optimized this information funnel — broadening the aperture of content I could absorb each day, while tightening my own editorial voice. Being informed calmed my anxieties about the unknown world, whereas honing a distinct persona gave me a sense of control as I navigated it.
But optimizations that lack a limiting factor run the risk of becoming too successful. My voracious appetite for novel content was so far outside the norm that a developer working on Google Reader once contacted me to ask what I was accomplishing by using the service — apparently it was unusual that I'd been reading an average of 900 articles a day at an uninterrupted pace for over 7 years.