Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pedestrian Anxiety

I read somewhere that most of the crosswalk lights in cities are on timers, and the big buttons on the lamp posts--"Press here to walk"--are just there to relieve pedestrian anxiety. I love that term. I've got a lot of pedestrian anxiety and I always have to press that big button, or lean over to peer down the subway tunnel to see if the train is coming. If I had (yet another) supervillain alter-ego, or a punk band, it would be called Pedestrian Anxiety.

I think I get pedestrian anxiety over things that I KNOW are going to happen, like the changing of a traffic light. Events that may or may not occur, like the birth of my children or my acceptance ceremony for the Pulitzer Prize, these have no power over me. It's like a quantum block, to use a term from "Doctor Who," where the observance of the event makes it exist (here's the Wikipedia entry for Shrodinger's Cat if you're confused). Those events in my life that have a quantum block on them fail to frustrate me. However, events without a quantum block bring on a flood of pedestrian anxiety, which is why I carry around so much crap with me when I leave my house; I need something to distract myself from my own impatience.

All of this is apropos of nothing in my life, but it does come with a fun visual aid, courtesy of the artist Jason Eppink. Have a great day, and remember that observation changes the outcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment