For your own health, stay away from TV “news”

Systems were never designed to run for long periods at 100% of capacity.

When your computer memory start to get full, it slows down. Networks can theoretically, but never practically run at 100%.

Whether inherently, or by actual design, systems typically run at optimal performance around 60–70% of capacity. When we designed communications networks, our business model was to be break even at 40% and running at peak efficiency(technical and financial) around 65% of network utilization. we had the remaining 35% for bursting, rerouting due to outages, and best effort service.

Take a look at your car. The tachometer is a measure of engine speed, how fast it turns in revolutions per minute. There’s the famous “red line” somewhere around 2 PM on the tach.

Its just fine to “burst” across the redline when you really need acceleration and maximum torque, but the engine wasn’t designed to run that fast all the time. That’s why a “normal” engine idle is around 600- 1000 RPM, and “normal” driving is around 3000 to 4000. If your red line is 6,500 RPM this leaves you lots of acceleration without hitting the redline, and yet leaves the redline power if you really need to get out of there in a hurry.

If, however, you are idling at 4000 RPM’s, every time you touch the accelerator, you are redlining, and putting constant stress on your engine.

Yeah… WTF does this have to do with the news?

Today, given the politically and emotionally charged environment “out there”, I believe lots and lots of people are emotionally idling at 4000 RPM instead of a normal low of 600–1000.

When something gets their attention and upsets them, they immediately go into redline — serious fight or flight mode. Having a conversation with someone who is redlining is pretty much impossible, but its easy to fight (or run away).

Why are our idles so high? the constant barrage of “news”, opinion pieces, divided politics, you name it — it all keep the idles high (that’s what sells), and leaves no room for increased attention without going into the red zone.

My advice — slow down your idle — pay attention to the things that are causing you to idle “hot”.

For me, I devote cycles to things that 1.) Impact me directly, 2.) I can do something about, and 3.) that I will do something about. If it doesn’t pass those hurdles, then I may care about the issue, but there’s really no reason to devote emotional, mental or physical cycles to it.

I scan headlines and read articles from a number of sources — NYT, WP, WSJ, and many others to get information on an event that matters to me. Books (yes books, they give a great perspective and slow you down a little) about history & biographies help you understand a lot of this has happened before and we survived.

I guarantee, TV news is not in the mix.

If this were a reality show, I wouldn't watch it…so I’m not.

So, get your idle back down to a reasonable range, and you will regain power that you can use for things that really matter to you.