#13: Walking Might Be the Fountain of Youth

#13: Walking Might Be the Fountain of Youth

Hyperlapse/Timelapse Projects, Chat with Blake Andrews, Meritocracy = destruction and Marc Rebillet Fucks the Internet

I’ve discovered that three and half to four hours is the perfect time period for a productive, creative walk. It sounds like a long time to be out walking but it’s also deceiving because I think the way we perceive time while walking changes in mysterious ways.

I’ve become more preoccupied with how we perceive time these last few months. I’m in my early 40s now which means time is running out and moving faster. Why is that? Well, science has some ideas.

Time is happening in the mind’s eye. It is related to the number of mental images the brain encounters and organizes and the state of our brains as we age. When we get older, the rate at which changes in mental images are perceived decreases because of several transforming physical features, including vision, brain complexity, and later in life, degradation of the pathways that transmit information. And this shift in image processing leads to the sense of time speeding up.

So, that’s interesting. Our perception of time is related to how we process mental images. It automatically makes me wonder about the connection between photography and our perception of time. I’m sure we’ve all had that experience of digging into an archive of old photos and having that bewildering feeling of time travel. How we perceive and feel about photos also changes with time.

I wish I knew how all of this connected. I’m working on hunches right now. I’m also reading ‘In Praise of Walking’ by Shane O’Mara which has the tagline ‘The new science of how we walk and why it’s good for us.’ 'I’m half way through and it’s already incredibly illuminating, confirming some of my early hunches about the myriad of benefits of walking.

From almost every perspective: health, psychology, creative, social and environmental, walking is enormously beneficial. I tell myself that walking is the fountain of youth and the scientific evidence seems to confirm that to be true to some degree. I guess only time will tell.

I’ve received a few kind notes since starting this newsletter. It’s always nice to hear people appreciate what you’re doing. If you’ve got any tips, thoughts, ideas about walking or photography, drop me a line: info@bryanformhals.com

Hyperlapse Walks and an Epic NYC Timelapse Project

I bought an Osmo Pocket a month ago because I wanted to experiment shooting video on my walks. It’s an amazing, powerful little camera. I’ve found it tough to shoot a continuous video on a walk (I mentioned walking tours here) however, I’ve been hooked on making hyperlapse walks which I’ve found interesting.

The Youtube video above is a hyperlapse of this strange pedestrian walkway in Astoria near Grand Central Parkway. The sidewalk makes an interesting zig zag that I walked around three times. I’ve made more of these for part of the podcast we’re working on, so more to come.

Speaking of time and timelapse photography. Photographer Joe DiGiovanna is making a 30 year timelapse of the New York City from his apartment in Weehawken New Jersey. That’s pretty cool. I love epic, long term projects (Noah Kalina’s selfie project will go until he dies at 115 I imagine)

I had a conversation with Blake Andrews on his blog a few weeks. I forgot about it last week because walking is not preventing my memory for slipping ever so slightly. It’s ok, there’s probably too much useless information in my brain from being wired to the fucking internet for 20 years anyway.

I don’t want to give anything away, so go read it. We talked about walking, baseball, photography blogs, the attention economy and the Grand Canyon. I’ve probably been reading Blake’s blog for 15 years now. He’s a great photographer and writer, an original for sure. I’ve been enjoying his clever sequences on his Instagram lately, so check those out too.

Wealthy Idiots Killing the Media Biz + (Meritocracy Makes Us All Miserable & Destroys the Planet)

It has been a depressing year for the media business which has not been winning in Trump’s tremendous, the greatest ever economy. And damn, if Editor Megan Greenwell didn’t write pure fire on her way out at Deadspin.

The tragedy of digital media isn’t that it’s run by ruthless, profiteering guys in ill-fitting suits; it’s that the people posing as the experts know less about how to make money than their employees, to whom they won’t listen.

I agree and think we need more work owned companies across the board. Then again, we also need to address the destructive nature of our endless non-stop, always online work culture because it’s harming everyone. I mean, WTF is this headline?!? —> How Life Became an Endless, Terrible Competition

Escaping the meritocracy trap will not be easy. Elites naturally resist policies that threaten to undermine their advantages. But it is simply not possible to get rich off your own human capital without exploiting yourself and impoverishing your inner life, and meritocrats who hope to have their cake and eat it too deceive themselves. Building a society in which a good education and good jobs are available to a broader swath of people—so that reaching the very highest rungs of the ladder is simply less important—is the only way to ease the strains that now drive the elite to cling to their status.

There is just no possible way we’re going to avert the worst impacts of climate change unless we slow the fuck down and not make productivity and economic growth the only indicators that matter. It’s just not possible. If you want to read a horrifying article about what’s very much likely to happen because of climate change, check out this review of two recent books in the NY Review of Books. Although, Bill McKibben does offer some hope.

“There’s a time and a place for growth, and a time and a place for maturity, for balance, for scale. And the risks we’re currently running…suggest that that time is now…. Our goals need to fundamentally shift: toward repair, toward security, toward protection.”

Marc Rebillet Fucks the Internet

Bubbling up through Twitter until I finally clicked around and started listening. The internet has transformed music in crazy ways. Rebillet has been doing livestreams where he improvises songs and takes calls from fans who then become part of them. No doubt his mix of humor, funk, hip hop and earnestness won’t be for everyone but the way he’s genuinely connecting with people through these livestreams and performances is interesting. And I found it hilarious how he was fighting the tech at the beginning of this livestream and that became the song. Fuck the Internet indeed Marc, fuck the internet.

Further Reading