Friday, July 23, 2010


Speeding along, things blur.

Do you speed -- do you hurry along when you read, walk, exercise, eat? Do you do your chores quickly -- household chores, and all the other things you do when you're doing your job?

I was taught speed reading -- glance at a paragraph, take it in with my camera-like eyes, blink -- SEE the words, the shape of sentences, a few words near the dot, (the period) and blink-blink and go on -- blink, blink, blink and I can almost grasp a half page, or the page. The gist.

I am going faster and faster with almost everything I do, including getting started -- doing whatever (dishes or writing), and getting it done.

This habit is a way of life. Yes, I Googled. I grabbed some facts. There is, actually, a Day of Slowness -- it's on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Also, I saw quite a few references to the fact that slow readers actually learn more, and know more, because they've put more of themselves into the process of taking in new information.

I remember at the University of Chicago (I went there for about 8 weeks, hated it, took a train to New York) -- a lecturer talked about Nietzsche -- a philosopher, philologist (1844-1900), who dug into, studied, and absorbed the origins of religion, civilization, morality, and told/taught his students, his devotees, other philosophers, and ultimately the world -- why we think the way we think, about right and wrong, good and bad.

Nietzche not only read carefully, slowly, and sold that idea -- he exemplified it back in mid 19th century, before the turn of the century into the age of Whiz/Zoom, Go-go-ery, (my term for the 20th century), which we, speeding along in the 21st century, have definitely gone way, way, way beyond.

(Okay, I am not a scholar, and therefore, what I am sort of talking about is stuff I've more or less absorbed by osmosis (love that word) -- not specifically studying, or speed-reading, but breathing in, hearing, blinking -- gathered into my mind, um ... well, it's knowledge dust.

We've got computers, and all sorts of speedy, amazing hand-toys, Websites, knowledge engines that get you information, get you anywhere/everywhere and beyond, if you crave infinity, which is what, these days -- a black hole beyond the black holes?

Ouch! I can't help but bump into my own mind-wall. And wonder fast, mile-a-minute, before I discard this confusing thought -- why not try slow. Read slowly? Walk, talk slower, do all my chores slowly? There would be fewer chores, because I'd have less time, maybe no time to do more and more!

I'll sing that silly nice song Frank Loesser wrote --

Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two

Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigolds
You and your arithmetic
You'll probably go far ...

Hey, it's OK to go
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . s - l
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .o - w
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .l -
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .y

Hm-m-m ...

1 comment:

Bryianr said...

In my opinion, the false illusion of speed is time saved, which, in and of itself, is unfeasible! I spent years of my life speeding through any and everything that I could in attempt to gain five to ten minutes of extra time that passed me by just as quickly as I sped past whatever it took to help me achieve those extra minutes in the first place. Out of all my speedy endeavors, I have never been able to gain an hour that actually felt or behaved like an hour, because it seems that running-late-time speeds by just as rapidly as time-saved-time speed. I truly believe that all of us have a specific amount of minutes, and it never changes regardless of anything we do to try and manipulate it. I don’t think speed was developed to increase absorption capacity. I think it was developed to decrease the workload and the time it takes to complete that workload. If you want to take in as much as possible for a long-term impression, a slower analysis would be needed.

This is the fast food era! This is the push-a-button era! Don’t be surprised if somewhere in the future a new technology develops a way to subconsciously implant information into your subliminal receptors without you having to read a single word, if that technology is not already here now. What we are witnessing is the death of effort and the devaluing of work, which will have definitive, and possibly deleterious, effects on human behavior and human emotional facets such as: determination, intellectualism, thought processing, investigative, research practices; the attention span, along with the ability to focus; and our genetically, hardwired ability to utilize resistance to produce a stronger capacity for overall strength.

Another by-product of this fast food, assembly line era is the assault on differentiation. The entire ideology of the push-the-button premise will create extreme uniformity! In many ways, this could become a crude version of the old Hitler dreamed “Master Race,” where everyone has access to everything simultaneously, in essence, destroying all aspects of the advantageous, early-bird-gets-the-worm scenario! The early bird may still get the worm first, but the other late birds will be guaranteed their opportunity to close the competitive gap at the push of a button, at intellectual light speed, and still collect the same worm. The early bird gets the worm, but it never really takes the worm away, because all others can still access that worm. There’s no real loss here, which means there is no ability to create a competitive separation based on performance. The distance between first place and last place will forever be a click away. It’s the struggle of resistance that creates endurance; builds character; and creates champions and the defeated! Without it, our lives will become one, huge, overlapping blur. It would be the correspondent of “Survival of the Fittest,” where everyone had their fingers on the get fit button. I don’t know how this would work. The only two possibilities that I can see is a drastic reduction in the species or extinction

An individual advantage that everyone now has is no longer an advantage to that individual! An individual, behavioral characteristic that everyone can morph into eliminates that individual within the assimilation of a homogeneous hurd. Some of our greatest inventory moments came directly from the audacity of the individual who dared to dream differently than the rest, but the concept of a dumbed down, do-it-all button may potentially deter the human drive to get ahead of the pack. I guess the question is: The more advanced we become cerebrally; will it then cause us to become digressive in our physicalities? Will life on earth become the equivalent of living in outer space with no gravitational resistance? I think Facebook could be looked at as a possible precursor to this new cerebrally suggestive lifestyle. At this very moment, I spend more time within my thought process than I do engaging in physical activity. I’m thinking far more than I’m doing, and this is only the beginning.

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