Sunday, October 12, 2008

If you've got a moment. . .

You may want to watch this presentation on "slowness."

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/carl_honore_praises_slowness.html

I don't think the presentation is particularly convincing, but I think it is interesting on a couple of levels. First, it is interesting that we are seeing a presentation of a "popular" idea of the jetset class, presented by a jetsetter himself. That's interesting, because it's indicative that there's a growing notion among the "alpha climbers" in society that their climbing isn't worth it. This was a notion held before our current economic problems became apparent to the average person. Of course the real "alphas" have always been idle, and they're not part of the discussion--my point is that among the priviledged "upwardly mobile" they're not satisfied that their progress is worth the cost. Of course this is pertinent to the conversation we've been having here.

Secondly, it's interesting that "slowness" doesn't necessarily equate "simplicity," but more so at this point "luxurious indulgence" in time. Which means to my mind that "slowness" is still a product of a consumer culture. This, I will believe will rapidly change into "simplicity" and "minimalism" by need, but, I find it constructive to see that the pumps of simple living have been culturally primed already.

2 comments:

Colin said...

Is it just me or did that guy sound like he was on speed?

3brainer said...

I agree with you that slowness is, at least in the context of this video, presented as a luxury, a commodity. And what irony that he is rushing through the talk!

To my thinking, slowness itself is not something to aspire to, but rather the ability to adapt to conditions that may require slowing down or even stopping. Being able to control one's actions and thoughts. Sometimes it is best to do nothing, to simply stop and BE and see what options one has. From that place right action can proceed.

I hope you are right, and I think you are, that the fascination with slowing down may evolve into a real turn toward minimalism and simplicity.