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Election Addiction

(Photo: League of Women Voters of California LWVC)

From mid-July to mid-October, I became addicted—to the Presidential election. By October 20, I was looking at the FiveThirtyEight blog at least four times a day, and was constantly checking Google News and other websites.  This was a classic addiction—after three or four searches each time, I stopped because my marginal utility was diminishing.  But after another hour without my “fix,” I had to search again and got tremendous pleasure from that first search.  The addiction was interfering with my work.

The theory of rational addiction suggested a solution—go cold turkey.  So I vowed not to look at the FiveThirtyEight blog—and I’ve now been “clean” for 6 days.  To mitigate my withdrawal symptoms, watching the NLCS and the World Series has served as my methadone. Watching baseball for me has the virtue that it’s self-contained—I’ve not developed any addiction and only watch the games.  And if I can stay clean through Nov. 6, my problem will be solved!