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Why Walking Helps Us Think (2014) (newyorker.com)
407 points by bootload on May 1, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 117 comments



"our brain must survey the surrounding environment, construct a mental map of the world, settle on a way forward"

A colleague in my phd program went on the job market this year with research that is related to this, especially to the connection between writing and walking discussed in the final paragraph.

In a nutshell, his theory and experimental evidence suggest that we use the same cognitive mechanisms to process real maps as we do abstract maps. In particular, he shows that we often have mental "landmarks." He focuses on number lines as maps, and suggests that the round numbers behave like landmarks. He shows that all of the known cognitive signatures of the way we process landmarks on, say, a road-trip are present for these abstract landmarks.

He shows the same thing with textures in the context of anchoring and adjusting (we anchor on an initial texture and use it as a cognitive landmark.)

To me, his theory is extremely compelling and explains a lot. It makes sense that our brains, as our environments have become more complex, have adapted to use spatial cognition to process the abstract.

EDIT: Here is a link to his CV: http://marketingphdjobs.org/sites/default/files/Gaurav%20Jai.... The paper I'm talking about is called "Presence of Numerical Landmarks and Their Effects on Judgments." He hasn't posted it on the web, I'll see if I can get a copy from him and post it (if he's ok with me doing so.)


There's the loci method for memorization:

The method of loci (loci being Latin for "places") is a method of memory enhancement which uses visualizations with the use of spatial memory, familiar information about one's environment, to quickly and efficiently recall information. The method of loci is also known as the memory journey, memory palace, or mind palace technique. Many memory contest champions claim to use this technique to recall faces, digits, and lists of words. These champions' successes have little to do with brain structure or intelligence, but more to do with using spatial memory and the use of the method of loci.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci

Correlations have been found between memory and the playing of 3D video games, which also utilize our spatial memory. (Though wandering around in a video game is probably a subpar surrogate for doing the same thing in meatspace.)

https://news.uci.edu/faculty/playing-3-d-video-games-can-boo...

I also recommend this BBC video of a persistence hunter tracking and running down a Kudu, just as an illustration of how walking/running, language/tracking, spatial memory, and planning/creativity are all tied together as a system that was once necessary for our survival:

https://youtu.be/826HMLoiE_o


An interesting example is: playing World of Warcraft and watching/listening to a youtube video at the same time on another monitor.

After months I've been able to recall exact details about the random video I watched by returning to the same place inside the gameworld.


Funny you mention this, I swear when I replay a video game with my girlfriend that I played solo before, while listening to a podcast or something, I can recall with amazing clarity stuff I had heard on the podcast at a particular point in the game. It's not a minor effect at all, it's pretty huge.


Huh, I guess that explains why I recall specific passages in audiobooks when I revisit the places I walked while listening to them.

Kinda problematic if I listen to an unnerving passage in a place I enjoy visiting!


Absolutely! I have paths in my old neighborhood where if I walk them I can recall specific passages from Ready Player One or Steven King's On Writing. If you need to clear a specific associative memory from a place you enjoy visiting, just keep visiting while listening to other audiobooks and you may lose that specific association.


am i the only one that can remember where in the code something is located ? By remembering the shape of the code.


I can definitely relate to that.


Yeah, the document preview pane in Sublime Text is like a live satellite map of my code that gives me the ability to warp wherever I want.


Same here with the minimap in Atom


Probably why whitespace approach (tab =? Spaces) is so important to coders.


this is super interesting to me, in my "research" into dyslexia, I find that folks with very high dyslexic traits also happened to be incredibly spatially aware. Coincidently, they also happened to be excellent artists, often in sculpting.


This made me think of the belief, in some psychology circles, that people with synesthesia are more creative. "Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway."[0] Ex: certain numbers trigger certain colors in some people's brains.

Here is an article with a description of the idea and an attempt to explain the mechanism: http://mobile.www.daysyn.com/Wardetal2008.pdf

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia


I had not heard of this, but it is a good description of my brother who is dyslexic and a talented sculptor.


I'd really love to have him study Aphantasia (non-functioning mind's eye) and understand what people with the condition do to compensate.


I have Aphantasia, nice to see people suddenly becoming aware of this. I'm hoping to see a lot more research in this area in the next few years, but anecdotally I'll say spacial cognition and visual memory are different things, I have the former but not the latter. You don't need a minds eye to have a sense of where things are spatially but given that people with visual recall likely do this task visually, I'm not sure I can explain it.


I have visual recall but I often have a tangible sense of spacial memory. Like I'll feel an almost tingling or aura/presence of an important object in a given vector and magnitude.

Maybe related? But I also get the same kind of extra-sensory feeling when I copy data (doubly so if I cut data) -- like my hand is charged with something extra until I "unload it" by pasting the data. This has saved me many times when I get distracted at work mid-task, and before I go copy some new piece of data I can feel that I haven't pasted in the old data and go take care of that first. (I Wonder if anyone has done a study on this, and how many people experience something similar.)


I share the exact same sensation of being "charged with data", that persists even if I get distracted and completely forget about the content of the clipboard. It's like a very tangible pinpoint for a planned activity.


Never heard of anything like that, interesting. Sounds like some sort of synesthesia.


Very intersting, could you point me to his research?


I'd also be interested in reading this.


Please link!


". When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs—including the brain. Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking on a regular basis also promotes new connections between brain cells, staves off the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them."

New neurons. The next line about walking being easy tells me you live in a flat area with no obstacles.

"A small but growing collection of studies suggests that spending time in green spaces—gardens, parks, forests—can rejuvenate the mental resources that man-made environments deplete."

Uneven ground. I always look for uneven ground. Walking on concrete, man-made paths is the equivalent of looking at brick walls.


>The next line about walking being easy tells me you live in a flat area with no obstacles

Unless you live on a mountain-top or near minefields, walking is still very easy compared to most other options except sitting and laying on a bed.

And even if you do live in such a place, it's usually pretty trivial to find a non-mountainous/non-obstacled path to walk in the surrounding area. Didn't say it has to be just next to your door.


Maintaining balance on uneven ground also works your lower back and pelvic floor more than on a concrete path. Strengthening these can help if you have back plane (and one could argue that chronic pain is an impediment to thinking).


I'll have to try that, my back plane always takes off at the worst time.


" The next line about walking being easy tells me you live in a flat area with no obstacles."

But it is pretty easy once you get muscle built up and get used to the obstacles. I live in a mountainous area. I climb a fence daily and go over a bit of land with no concrete path - though admittedly everyday walking is on concrete most times. Going out into the countryside doesn't make it any more difficult.


I actually find it more difficult to walk on flat concrete than walking on a trail with rocks and roots and leaves. I weave all over the place because there is nothing to keep my attention to where my feet are being planted.


"is pretty easy once you get muscle built up and get used to the obstacles."

There are hills, and then hills ~ https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/3957949381/


Perhaps that'd be good for motor neurons. But walking on concrete paths lets your mind focus and think about new ideas without worrying about tripping on something unexpected


I've managed to finish a few 1 hour runs on pavement only during races, but an hour long trail run in in the woods? I'll plan a weekend around it. In Japanese there is the concept, Forest bathing, shinrin-yoku (森林浴).


I love running just about anywhere (except on a treadmill, which is just intolerably drab), but my absolute favourite places to run are on forest trails. There is something indescribably beautiful, spiritual and serene/exhilarating about running through the forest. I feel a profound sense of connection with my human and hominid ancestors going back millions of years. I feel the most human when running through the woods.


You should try orienteering. It's a land-navigation sport where you navigate a course of ordered control points, with most of the running done off trail.


> I love running just about anywhere (except on a treadmill, which is just intolerably drab)

I'm the opposite; when I do run (which isn't often, now) I would rather run on a treadmill and listen to a podcast, or just music and zone out, and not have to worry about dodging obstacles or not being able to time my run.

I do love riding my bike around new places, though. I guess that's the same thing.


Don't you worry about pace, when you run?

I also run a lot. And I do realize, my runs will be happier, if I don't constantly worry about pace. But can't help myself, not thinking about it. And all this despite being only a recreational runner.


For a long time my epiphanies always came while crossing the street. There are obstacles even in flatland.


This may be today's least original comment, but I've recently discovered the magic combination of podcast and treadmill. (I knew them both, separately, for a long time already.)

In addition to helping make 30 minutes of sweating go by much faster, I find it almost always generates a bunch of ideas. Like a little brainstorming walk, if you will, but all-weather and easier to schedule.

My current favorite podcast for this is the Andreessen Horowitz "a16z podcast."

http://a16z.com/podcasts/


The combination of (roundtable discussions|debates|audiobooks) with (walking|cleaning house|washing dishes|other chores) is the most productive procrastination technique I have. It changes mental context, stimulates the brain, and makes the chore enjoyable. I even sometimes do it while writing code. Of course, I can't take it all in, but I still find that it enriches my experience.


I do chores as yoga exercise, never thought of adding podcast to the blend..


I work in manufacturing, and sometimes i listen to podcasts, but sometimes i meditate(like tai-chi, attention to body movements) while working.

Meditating is harder(and coffee is helpful), but when successful, is much more satisfying.


I'm still not sure I approached a meditative state by "meditating". When I play drums I do get into a slight trance / bliss where I kinda become music and my mind shifts off.


The key to flow/meditativr-state is sussposed to be fitting the processing capability someone's brain has , to the task. That way all of your attention is given to a network called "task mode network" and no attention is left to the "default mode network " (which is resonsible for mental chatter and self in past/present) so the brain becomes quiet.

So maybe there's a way to make chores more demanding of attention[1] ? Like deciding to do them in a different way or focus on more/different details ? Maybe that's why the Japanese tea ceremony is so complicated ?

[1]As drumming is , altough maybe there's something meditative about music?


I do that all the time. I think I did this from birth. Anything boring I twist it to make it "interesting". I achieved supposedly a 10x throughput increase in my last mission (stupid job though) by applying checking constraints so tight it was a choreography.

This doesn't work all the time though. I believe there are limits to ones ability to influence it's mental state. Last year, very sick, I could sense the calming effect of meditation. But tonight for instance, after a violent incident, my mind is racing.



That's quite interesting. Any reading material about that?


Some of it from internet research about flow, so hard to pinpoint specific material. Some of it from this very good youtube lecture: "the end of suffering and the default mode network" .


Thank you. I'll make sure to watch it :)


Very interesting lecture! Thanks!


It also works with audiobooks. It's especially great if you can't find the time to read books the traditional way.


Audible 2x during any walk or mindless activity means you can easily get through a book a week without any lifestyle changes. Literally has changed me life.


I do all of my podcast from 2-2.4x depending on the speaker. Silence skipping gets it to an effective 3x speed. Most people hear me listening for brief periods and wonder how I understand any of it. It's a progression to get there, but it is totally doable. I'm sure some people can go faster, but I just tell them to go up .1x at a time until it sounds right.


Interesting. How do you change the speed, via software? I use VLC Player and it only seems to have a few speed settings.


I use Smart AudioBook Player for Android. It has adjustable playback speed from 0.5x to 2.5x in 0.1x increments.


Will check it out, thanks.


VLC player actually has speed adjustments at .1x granularity. I only use VLC for video, but I watch most stuff on it with the speed up.


Thanks, maybe I missed it, or have an older version. Will check.


Which podcast app do you recommend?


pocketcasts on android is what i use, and i know it has silence trimming and playback speed from .5 to 3.0 in .1 increments.

I have the paid version so im unaware if some/all of these feature require the paid version


I use podcast addict on Android and have for years. It's a little on the techie side with all of its options, but I have it mostly set and forget I really just adjust the speed per podcast which it remembers for you once you set it. I have the paid version which I recommend.


*Literarily has changed your life. Sorry, I'll show myself out :-)


Audible 2x: Literarily change your life, without any lifestyle changes.


I actually got into audiobooks because of walking. I am preparing for 100km walk, so I walk a lot (and by a lot I mean 2-5 hours walks). And while walking in silence can be quite enjoyable and meditative by itself I felt that too much time was wasted. Audiobooks make a great companion.


The a16z podcast would generate a bunch of ideas irrespective of what your feet are doing.


Walking helps us think only if we don't bring any modern distraction such as a mobile device. The main advantage of walking with regard to thinking is that we are away from such things and also away from people. Anyone who wants to get a hold of us to distract our thinking first has to figure out where we are and then track us down on foot. Experience shows that this doesn't happen, unless it's a very, very urgent matter.

Walking helps with difficult problems in coding and design. It helps because often when you get a bad idea that doesn't work, and you think it's actually a great idea, you still have twenty minutes left to walk. If you were sitting at the machine, you would be saying, "Eureka!" and coding the bad idea. If you're walking, you'd like to code the idea, but you can't; not yet. So you keep juggling the idea in your mind for the remainder of the walk, by which time you figure out that it was wrong.

If you get into a mode where you're just trying ideas to see what works, and in the given situation that approach isn't working well (however well it might work at other times) walking will physically remove you from that and break the pattern.


I bet walking helped humans solve problems long before distracting gadgets existed.


My physician strongly recommended me to walk at least 10 000 steps every day. I prefer to walk fast and for a long distance, it gives me a really huge productivity boost. However I try not to think about work during my walks, it is more effective for me. When I get back to solving problems after a walk I get an enlightment almost all the time.


Random question here. How long does it take you to walk 10k steps?

I've fallen out of the habit lately, but I was hitting the 10k target for a while. I have a sedentary desk job. So chores and playing with my kid got me up to about 3k. Then I'd walk for an hour during lunch to get another ~7k steps. Walking for an hour every day is fairly substantial commitment. I mean, it felt worth it. As you said, it's a huge productivity boost. I'm probably more productive walking 1 hour and working 7, rather than working a sedentary 8. It's not always easy to make that time in your day though.

I added the backstory, because I'm not questioning the value of the habit. I'm just always curious how much time people are devoting to walking when they talk about 10k steps.


Assuming you use 1 meter steps to walk 10km at an average rate of 5km/h, it will take 2 hours. 5km/h is a reasonable pace for someone walking to / from work / school.

Assuming you take one step every second (3600 steps per hour), it will take slightly less than 3 hours. One step per second is very leisurely pace.


Every mile is roughly 2000 steps depending on how long your stride is. 10K steps is roughly 5 miles. Depending on how fast you walk you're probably looking at around 90 minutes to 120 minutes per day of walking. Of course you could dramatically reduce that time if you ran or jogged rather than walked.


Cool, yeah, when I hit 7k in an hour, I'm not exactly speed-walking, but I'm not just ambling along either. I'd describe as walking with a purpose. Jogging or running for very long hurts my knees, likely because I'm overweight. Maybe one day.


In my case it takes about 2 hours. I am 85kg / 180cm (5.9 / 187).


Whenever I'm learning things when walking, the location an idea popped into my head is pretty much never forgotten. I'm not sure whether its actually valuable, but it feels like it makes the ideas unforgettable. I'm going to assume the value is real because: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci

I think consuming some portion of your subconscious with repetitive activity frees up some blocking on your conscious thought, so that you can stay engaged on an idea for longer. It's like your normal boredom/frustration loop gets muted by the repetitive behavior (music, movies in background, walking, fidgeting, etc.)

Sometimes having other things going on makes deep work easier, sometimes it makes it harder. I've noticed it's good to test both, and oscillate.


I think you're right. I run basically the same route every time (varying distances a bit), through a county park that's literally down the same sidewalk where I live. I also listen to the same six or seven songs, changing a few of them every month or two. Most people who know this is my routine think this must be unimaginably boring.

But within a couple minutes, I don't even notice, and I'm just letting my mind drift, sometimes to the extent that I've overshot my turnaround spot by more than a mile just from a lack paying attention

Having experienced this, I can't imagine now going back to the "old way" where I have random songs that differ every time, or different routes that require me to pay attention.

I've often thought the repetitive nature of the same route and the same music actually encourages the metal drift.


Hmm, interesting point about listening to the same songs every time. I used to have youtube on shuffle as my go-to work music, but eventually a bad song would come on and snap me out of concentration. I found that a few songs and albums worked well for me, and I could just leave them on repeat. "See you again" by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth is the one I feel weirdest about. It's so cheesy and poppy, and I'll listen to it for hours at a time.


Great read. Thanks for the link.

I often get the same energized writing vibe after a run. Though unlike the article emphasizes near the end, my 5 mile daily run is preplanned (obviously) and so leaves my brain able to effectively "dissociate" and enter that realm of creative thinking that often precedes our falling asleep. After the first couple miles, my body gets into the groove and I'm able to either serenely absorb my surroundings -- the geese and their Spring young, say -- or float around in that gooey reality between daydreaming and acting.

Steve Jobs was a particularly notable "hacker type" who enjoyed walks. So besides the article's writer bent, I'd say idle physical activity is a good choice for those who just want to think.


Not at all particular to writing. I believe Einstein went on frequent walks too.

A walk through a park or a country path would be even better: greenery and nature has shown to boost creativity in some studies.


Greenery boosts mood. Elevated mood makes you more optimistic about your crazy ideas. Some of your crazy ideas aren't so crazy.


I used to go to Work every day by walking around 2 Km, without doubt it helps a lot to arrive work clear minded and in good mood. I think is even better when you walk in group and you talk to the others.


chances are you were in a good and balanced mood to begin with, because you didn't have to rush and take a quicker alternative.

I used to run part of the way to school because I was notoriously late. At the end of the year I aced the gym class mile run, but overall my unreliability caused much concern in other topics. I maintained for a time that exercise is vital for a healthy mind, but because I didn't exercise on purpose, I couldn't take advantage of it.


Sorry I didn't have time to read completely, I will read this when I have free time.

But I wanted to mention this is completely reverse for me. Over the years I have found my body and mind are complete opposite side of each other. I have to complete stay moveless, and when I stay moveless for awhile that's when my mind will work at its extreme capacity. Moving, Walking, Talking, Writing, everything is kinda distraction from my deepest mind state, and I need that state when I study Math especially the hard/analytical problems. I call that deep state, ZEN. I wish I could be in that state everywhere and every day.


"I have to complete stay moveless, and when I stay moveless for awhile that's when my mind will work at its extreme capacity."

Two different types of thinking. Focused thinking where all your memory slots are consciously controlled. Un-focused thinking (diffused mode) where random connections between different ideas are made. [0] The unfocused thinking is where you get the ^aha^ moment. So yes I'd reckon every programmer/hacker/scientist/mathematician is pretty much doing what you describe.

[0] Barbara Oakley, PhD, PE., "Focused and diffuse modes of thinking- a brief on how it functions" ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzjsk5e7srI


Have you tried a float tank (aka Sensory Deprivation tank)?


For any distance that takes less than 30 minutes, I almost always walk. For longer distances I ride a bike. Typically I'm walking to go exercise, and I find it to be the perfect warmup for that. I also find that it really helps my muscles recover the next day after a workout as well.


Another possibility: walking is a means of seeding your brain's RNG with new entropy. That would explain why some sedentary activities (like driving to work or fiddling with a toy) can help you think too.


I don't know if that's at all true, but I sure like that idea.


So why does taking a shower help us think? Or driving a car on the highway to work? It has to be more then just getting blood moving?


I was going to mention taking a shower too.

In my opinion, it's not necessarily about getting blood moving. It's rather about relaxed (a.k.a. diffused[0]) thinking. Let it be driving a car on the highway, taking a shower or spending time in green spaces - both make our thoughts roam freely, thus, more creatively.

For me, the more important question is: why & how our thoughts start to wander around when we are doing such activities mentioned above. Is this default mode of human nature? How does our brain extracts "creative things" that we are never aware of in diffuse mode & where they come from?

[0] https://abraininitiative.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/focused-vs...


It's just about leaving room for boredom in your brain. When your mind has nothing else to occupy itself, it cooks something up on the fly.


Hot showers/sauna do get the blood moving (can be a form of cardio exercise).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4049052/

Not sure about driving...maybe road-rage adrenaline?


Take a look at "learning how to learn" course at Coursera. They talk about focused and diffuse modes of thinking quite a lot. Shower or walks help you to get into the latter. Edit: see this https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14236433


>It has to be more then just getting blood moving

Yes. I think it's because when walking or showering some attention is kept in the body. This matters for thinking purposes because new ideas signal their presence at an emotional level.

Whereas sitting at a desk one's attention is mostly in "in the head" and this is also why lengthy sitting at work or in front of the TV is unhealthy.


>It has to be more then just getting blood moving?

Why?


Because driving doesn't.


Driving is still being seated and not doing much (even less so with automatic gears). Not a very active, err, activity, so why would it "get the blood moving" that much?

I may state the obvious, but it's about the blood moving inside the body and to the brain and such, not about mere movement of blood, body and all along with the vehicle to some destination.


But driving requires focusing on the road, hence taking neurons away from thinking.


I love this friendly jab at Flaubert from Nietzsche “On ne peut penser et écrire qu’assis - One cannot think and write except when seated (G. Flaubert). There I have caught you, nihilist! The sedentary life is the very sin against the Holy Spirit. Only thoughts reached by walking have value.”


If you like this article you should probably read, Frédéric Gros' A Philosophy of Walking [0]. His book came out in 2014 and inspired a brief flurry of articles focused on the more esoteric effects of taking a stroll.

[0] - https://www.versobooks.com/books/1865-a-philosophy-of-walkin...


The link doesn't work (missing a b), but this one does:

https://www.versobooks.com/books/1865-a-philosophy-of-walkin...


Corrected. Very odd that b went missing - thanks!


>missing

*Walking


Do these benefits translate to other outdoor activities? Jogging, cycling, etc.?

I seem to achieve this sort of mental clarity when I'm on an open-ended recovery ride. Training days, however, are probably too regimented and my focus is solely on hitting and/or exceeding the targets set by my coach.


I'd say so. A 20 mile ride (and a short nap) is my go-to way to get back into a project I'm stuck on.


"A small but growing collection of studies suggests that spending time in green spaces—gardens, parks, forests—can rejuvenate the mental resources that man-made environments deplete."

Does this explain why it seems all great cities have large walkable parks near their core downtown areas and near any areas considered to be more livable? It isn't the park, per se, but perhaps the ability to find walkable conduits that can be ambled without concern for bodily harm.

When I move to a new place one of the first things I do is locate the longest walkable circuit that does not involve busy intersections where waiting is required.


Chris Arthur is a good writer for the walking if you liked the literary aspect of the OA.

http://www.chrisarthur.org/

The Irish Nocturnes essay Meditation on Walking used to be online. Fortunately, the Way Back Machine has it.

http://web.archive.org/web/20010413013113/http://www.richmon...

[The Richmond Review was a nice early Web based literary magazine]


For those that want to perhaps burn more calories or for whatever reason want to make it more challenging I recommend rucking.

That is take a backpack and put like 35 pounds in it.

I highly recommend it.


How does that work for back health? Sounds something that will cause extra strain in an unstructured way.


As a previous commenter alluded too you need a proper backpack or at least a properly configured backpack. GoRuck is the defacto on this but any bag made of serious nylon with olympic plates and internal PALS MOLLE can work as you can just strap the weight close to your back.

The weight needs to be high up on your back and as close to your body as possible (there is some debate on this but in general that is what most people believe).

Also I don't have a citing on this but I'm fairly certain most people have back problems not from carrying heavy weight on their back but rather sitting down too much and picking up the weight incorrectly.


Rucking is more than dropping a kettlebell in a JanSport -- you will want a rucksack that is designed to properly support a balanced load on your back.

I recently picked up a GoRuck GR1 [0] -- it's an amazing bag for everyday use. They also sell weighted ruck plates that fit the rucks and keep the load close to your body.

[0] http://www.goruck.com/gr1-explained


Had never heard of this. Walk (and podcast) all the time for light exercise. Just ordered a GoRuck GR1, Field Pocket, and 20 LB plate. Thanks!


This is part of why I'm very excited for VR. Our system of navigating the web as pages on screens is incredibly limited. Once we can navigate content in space (think video games – you could still drop me anywhere in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and I'd be able to navigate to any other point on the map from memory), we'll open up all sorts of interesting new possibilities.


Our legs and arms are pumps, as we all learned in high school, with valves in the blood vessels that facilitate that function.


I always thought part of the power of walking was that it was a form of bilateral stimulation, such as found in EMDR therapy.


Highly recommend Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit. In it she explores the intersection between walking and thinking.


why are these articles always so pointlessly long. who wants to read all this meandering tangential bullshit when it can be distilled down into two paragraphs at most.


With all due respect, it's important to know your audience.

When subscribers read the New Yorker, they usually expect to have lengthy articles. There are plenty of bite sized, 30 second articles available practically everywhere on the internet.


Sounds like you could use a walk :)


I love walking




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