Friday, February 10

familiarity makes for tedious journeys

News @ reports: "The more times we have walked a route, the longer we judge it to be, a UK researcher has confirmed."

This is the opposite from what I would have expected. I've been moving around a lot lately, and when I ride my bike around a new town, it seems huge at first. But as I get used to it, the town seems to shrink and it's not so bad riding from A to B.

Maybe, like Alice in Wonderland, if I stayed in one place long enough the town would seem to grow again.

I wonder what the book Inner Navigation (check it at Powell's and Amazon), which describes studies like this, has to say about this kind of phenomenon. I almost bought the book last weekend but didn't because I already have too many.

Anyway, assuming the study's findings hold up, it could help explain why regular commutes suck so bad, Nature says. And suggesting a fascinating application for city planning, the article says
His results support the idea that buildings or towns incorporating irregularities or details feel more spacious than plainer cityscapes, he notes. "We can make space out of nothing."
Link to the story


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