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HackerNews is an example of a larger problem: addiction to intellectual stimulation. Reality is, human brains move very slowly and most often in predictable paths. Therefore, the odds of you hearing of a breakthrough in your chosen discipline on any given day are approximately the same as winning a national lottery. But the probability of hearing on any given day about inventive false starts that will eventually lead nowhere or something some intelligent person said somewhere that might have a glimmer of promise approaches one. These constant bursts of stimulation are sufficiently pleasurable, if you can't clamp down on them, to occupy your entire day. Here's a litmus test: If you read HackerNews from start to dregs and are let down because you didn't find anything really new, you're reading too frequently. Don't read it or anything like it for a month. If you have the same experience after a month, extend the wait to two months, and so on. Genuine novelty comes along once in a blue moon. False novelty is an addiction.

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