Speed Limits: Where Time Went and Why We Have So Little Left

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9780300206470: Speed Limits: Where Time Went and Why We Have So Little Left

A leading thinker asks why “faster” is synonymous with “better” in our hurried world and suggests how to take control of our runaway lives

We live in an ever-accelerating world: faster computers, markets, food, fashion, product cycles, minds, bodies, kids, lives.  When did everything start moving so fast? Why does speed seem so inevitable?  Is faster always better?

Drawing together developments in religion, philosophy, art, technology, fashion, and finance, Mark C. Taylor presents an original and rich account of a great paradox of our times: how the very forces and technologies that were supposed to free us by saving time and labor now trap us in a race we can never win. The faster we go, the less time we have, and the more we try to catch up, the farther behind we fall.  Connecting our speed-obsession with today’s global capitalism, he composes a grand narrative showing how commitments to economic growth and extreme competition, combined with accelerating technological innovation, have brought us close to disaster.  Psychologically, environmentally, economically, and culturally, speed is taking a profound toll on our lives.

By showing how the phenomenon of speed has emerged, Taylor offers us a chance to see our pace of life as the product of specific ideas, practices, and policies.  It’s not inevitable or irreversible.  He courageously and movingly invites us to imagine how we might patiently work towards a more deliberative life and sustainable world.

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From the Author:

Q: What inspired you to write this book?
 
A: A deep concern for the future of my children, grandchildren, and students. Technologies that were supposed to liberate us have created a wired world in which fast is never fast enough. When people can’t keep up, stress increases, and the anxiety it produces trickles down from parents to children.
 
Q: Many people seem to be aware that the pace of life has become unsustainable but still can’t slow down. Why?
 
A: The rate of technological change has created an economic system that thrives on speed. From fast fashion to high-speed/high-volume financial markets operating in nanoseconds, acceleration is the engine of growth. The faster everyone goes, the less time they have, and the more they struggle to keep up, the further behind they fall.
 
Q: What are the effects of this addiction to speed?
 
A: Psychologically, parents who pop pills to keep up during the day and to sleep at night give their kids speed to get ahead in school. Economically, the big winners no longer make money by selling their labor or material goods but by trading virtual assets and immaterial financial instruments that compound vastly faster than labor or stuff. This speed gap creates a wealth gap that will never be corrected by adding more jobs. Environmentally, disastrous climate change is spurred by economic growth.
 
Q: What can be done to avoid such dire consequences?
 
A: Human survival now depends on cultivating virtues that have become unfashionable patience, attention, cooperation, deliberation, and reflection. Ironically, the urgent question is whether people can change fast enough to avoid the looming catastrophe that the continuing addiction to speed inevitably will bring.

About the Author:

Mark C. Taylor is professor and chair, Department of Religion, Columbia University. He lives in Williamstown, MA and New York, NY.

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Taylor, Mark C.
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ISBN 10: 030020647X ISBN 13: 9780300206470
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A leading thinker asks why faster is synonymous with better in our hurried world and suggests how to take control of our runaway lives We live in an ever-accelerating world: faster computers, markets, food, fashion, product cycles, minds, bodies, kids, lives. When did everything start moving so fast? Why does speed seem so inevitable? Is faster always better? Drawing together developments in religion, philosophy, art, technology, fashion, and finance, Mark C. Taylor presents an original and rich account of a great paradox of our times: how the very forces and technologies that were supposed to free us by saving time and labor now trap us in a race we can never win. The faster we go, the less time we have, and the more we try to catch up, the farther behind we fall. Connecting our speed-obsession with today s global capitalism, he composes a grand narrative showing how commitments to economic growth and extreme competition, combined with accelerating technological innovation, have brought us close to disaster. Psychologically, environmentally, economically, and culturally, speed is taking a profound toll on our lives. By showing how the phenomenon of speed has emerged, Taylor offers us a chance to see our pace of life as the product of specific ideas, practices, and policies. It s not inevitable or irreversible. He courageously and movingly invites us to imagine how we might patiently work towards a more deliberative life and sustainable world. Codice libro della libreria POW9780300206470

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Mark C. Taylor
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A leading thinker asks why faster is synonymous with better in our hurried world and suggests how to take control of our runaway lives We live in an ever-accelerating world: faster computers, markets, food, fashion, product cycles, minds, bodies, kids, lives. When did everything start moving so fast? Why does speed seem so inevitable? Is faster always better? Drawing together developments in religion, philosophy, art, technology, fashion, and finance, Mark C. Taylor presents an original and rich account of a great paradox of our times: how the very forces and technologies that were supposed to free us by saving time and labor now trap us in a race we can never win. The faster we go, the less time we have, and the more we try to catch up, the farther behind we fall. Connecting our speed-obsession with today s global capitalism, he composes a grand narrative showing how commitments to economic growth and extreme competition, combined with accelerating technological innovation, have brought us close to disaster. Psychologically, environmentally, economically, and culturally, speed is taking a profound toll on our lives. By showing how the phenomenon of speed has emerged, Taylor offers us a chance to see our pace of life as the product of specific ideas, practices, and policies. It s not inevitable or irreversible. He courageously and movingly invites us to imagine how we might patiently work towards a more deliberative life and sustainable world. Codice libro della libreria POW9780300206470

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