In Praise of Slow(ness)
In following with the theme of this book, I felt I had to take my time with this one. It's very good -- definitely worth keeping in your library and referring to it from time to time.
The introduction, 'The Age of Rage' really sets the tone. The tone of course is of a crazy, accelerating world where everyone seems to be always pushing to go faster and faster.
Humans aren't built to do that. Any builder familiar with the slogan "Good,Fast,Cheap -- pick any two" (and who builds things that hasn't heard that at least a hundred times?) can sympathize.
Several times while reading this, my mind wandered to a particular Dilbert strip, where the Pointy-Haired boss tells Alice he expects her to work 180-hour weeks until a project is finished. Some Americans, apparently, are nearly at that point.
The book covers a number of areas, with each chapter citing a few bizarre examples of the accelerating tendencies of society. It covers food, through city design, medicine and child-rearing, even sex, where people can slow down and get more out of life.
I've always noticed that after I've worked six or seven hours in a day at something, each additional hour of time is far less productive than the last. As it turns out, I'm not alone.
To anyone who has felt caught up in the crazy pace of life, I don't think there's anything really revolutionary about this book. But what it does do is give you answers to the question 'But what can I do about it?". To those who haven't, I think it would serve as a good caution, and a good bail-out plan in the event that you do. Despite that, it's still an eye-opener as well as a source of some advice to give when someone close to you is driving themselves far too hard.
This book also has many interesting covers, depending upon where it was published. They are available on the author's website where you can also find a blog and other promotional materials. My favorite cover is the Japanese one.