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Midday Matinee – Slow News

January 16, 2013

Midday Matinee

Midday Matinee – Slow News

The chirons say “Breaking News” … which is rather a reflection on our broken (read dysfunctional) congress. Where’s the slow not breaking news? (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Paul Salopek plans to bring it to us over 7 years as he walks from Ethiopia to the Southern tip of South America. He is a journalist and a National Geographic Fellow. He has won Pulitzers and other journalism prizes. You can see his route at BBC Magazine. If you are a camper or a hiker or a technology lover, you can also see what kind of gear he’s taking.

His plan is to walk and talk with local people and get a sense of what is important to them. His route traces the human diaspora out of Africa. He will be writing and tweeting his progress. Salopek intends to practice slow and reflective journalism. We will meet everyday folks and learn about the world as he walks some 30 million steps. Fortunately he already likes to walk.

This is what I found fascinating:

“This was how we were designed to absorb information, at 5km an hour (3mph).”

Hunter-gatherer men walked about 16km (10 miles) a day and women 9km (six miles).

For 95% of human history, people walked on average 5,200km (3,200 miles) per year: “Like walking from Boston to Portland on the West Coast every single year of your adult life,” says Salopek.

Modern Americans walk or cycle on average only 4.5km (3 miles) per day.

This got me to thinking about the breaking news that comes flying at us through the TV or the internet. How is it that we are so impatient that dial-up has mostly been replaced by broadband and even cell phones have 4G connections? Is there really that much important news or have I just become accustomed to thinking I need to know what’s going on? Oddly enough some of the ‘news’ may change my life (i.e. government shutdown) but there’s little I can do about it other than make a phone call or send an email.

Perhaps I need to take a slow walk and look at the world at a speed that I was designed for.

Out of Eden, A walk through time is Paul’s blog if you want to follow the slow news.

  • winterbanyan

    This definitely looks like a blog I want to follow. Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. I surely would have missed it otherwise and that would be a shame. It looks as if it will be fascinating!