Speed and slowness

The consuming logic that is never fulfilled means people want to experience more, perhaps 30 hours of experience in a 24-hour day. There is more on offer, but the same amount of time. In our desire not to waste time, we are left with even less of it. Speeding things up means substituting quantity for quality and along the way a certain depth to life is lost. Travel is faster, communicating electronically is faster. Eating has become faster - fast food is just one manifestation of this. Lunch breaks are shortening, with little time for eating, let alone digesting. Getting to know people and relationships are speeded up through speed-dating. With names like Speeddater or Hurrydate, it is possible to meet 20 people for three minutes each on an evening and decide who you want to follow up. The length of time we keep clothes has shortened. Disposability is key. The shelf-life of buildings is shorter. Room decorations can be bought off the peg and discarded with each new move. This is the throwaway city. Caterers with names like On the Run or Gourmet on the Go! ('Providing healthy, delicious meals for busy people') are proliferating.84

With everything speeding up, people are trying to adapt; the high visibility and immediacy of advertising messages becomes crucial and very fast instant response rates are required. People are in danger of becoming overloaded. More and more messages are trying to get through and the urban landscape is increasingly one large advertising billboard. Eye Contact, a new device, helps calculate the amount of advertising messages we receive in a day. In a large city like London we see as many images in a day as people


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