One kind likes to have the trash can / recycle bin on their computers empty. They take every opportunity to right click and select clear / empty trash. Emptying that trash can provides them with a cathartic release.
The other kind treats the trash can as another storage folder. It frequently has thousands of files, residing in there for months. Clearing the trash can brings to them a dreadful feat of loss—of the unknown unknown. Clearing the recycle bin is only done when system space runs low, and even then, painstakingly, on a file by file basis.
If the council elections are a barometer, the Remain voters seem to be widely voting for Lib Dems. Combined with a relatively better established party organisation, this gives them the best chance, of the Remainer parties, of winning seats in the European parliament.
The Change UK party has one thing going for it – hope of a moderate, centrist contender.
Voting for them is a sending a message to the moderates in both parties that there’s a third way. A strong message on this may be more important as the Tories get ready to tilt further to the right once they rid themselves of their stubborn leader, and Labour shows no sign of recovering from its hard-left capture.
If Change UK win a decent percentage of the vote—and this election may be more about vote shares as a signal than the number of short-lived MEPs—then it may encourage more of the moderates in both main parties to speak up, or defect to the CUK.
I’m split. Should I…
Vote for a party that has the better chance of winning a probably inconsequential MEP seat, or
Vote for a party that has little chance of winning now, but has a chance at becoming a stronger, better force if enough people are seen voting for them?
Has an easy undo feature trained us to work at high-speed but low focus?
When it’s always easy to undo and correct, there’s no reason to focus on getting things right, or even thinking things through before doing them.
Handwriting (or typing on a typewriter) a document meant being focused on the task because any mistakes meant ugly cross marks or rewriting the page.
Similarly, working with physical objects – in a carpentry class in college, or cooking a simple dish – required strong focus. A wrong cut in a wood slab meant a wasted slab or a hacked joint. A dish could end up overcooked or unsalted.
But when working on a computer, any errors due to a lack of attention can easily be rectified with a simple undo, removing the need for full focus in the moment.
As we (I) spend more of our time—work and leisure—on computers, we may have trained ourselves to expect the undo feature everywhere.
This mental training (‘all errors are undoable’) creeps into our non-computer activities and interactions. We may be forgetting to stay fully focused in the moment, to think ahead (before we speak/do), and thus may be becoming more inefficient/incapable than before.
I had a mild headache and bad tinnitus when I slept last night.
I woke up with a headache, and the tinnitus returned soon after. So I skipped the morning work session, and went back to sleep. Woke up late, then spent another few hours reading in bed. The headache had only become a bit worse.
Now, finally, I’ve managed to get rid of the headache.
Treated myself to a mini roll stolen from R’s stash
Went for a run in the woods in lovely weather – 15°C with a light drizzle.
Simple remedy, and one with no negative side effects (other than her cursing me for stealing her dessert stash).
Many hours into yesterday’s cleaning slugfest, R asked me if it was harder than the marathon the previous weekend.
I was squatting on the floor, scrubbing the shelves clean while a knee and the back hurt. My instant answer was ‘yeah’.
It was a case of recency bias – I was still suffering the pain from the cleaning (I was 4 hours in by then). The marathon1 had been a week ago. System 1 distinctly felt the current pain while forgetting the one in the past.
It was also a clear case of duration neglect. At times the cleaning was harder, nastier, and maybe even more painful than the marathon. However those painful periods were few. Most of the time it was just mildly irritating and dirty.
The marathon had been, in the latter half, nearly 90 mins of fighting biting physical pain and mental fatigue. Those final 90 mins were harder than anything I’ve done in a long time. I had to use all my willpower and focus training (thanks meditation & Calm) to keep myself going.
Yet, there were no ‘peak’ incidents of pain or suffering during the marathon – just a long period of struggle. So the brain, using system 1, ranked the marathon below yesterday’s cleaning session in effort. Duration neglect + peak-end rule!
My (self) training on biases kicked in quickly. Almost immediately after I answered ‘yeah’, I corrected myself ‘this is not even close’.
Since the marathon post isn’t up yet: I ran the London marathon last Sunday. I’m still recovering. ↩