Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Scientists would have it that the concept of perpetual motion is not possible, yet today we live in a 24/7/365 world where everything has to be of increasingly high speed and impact to be seen to work. A lot’s been written about the need to teach children the benefits of boredom but when you think about this is a bit like trying to teach sharks to stop swimming and have a bit of a bask. And I’m more worried about the rest of us anyway.

Five day test cricket is being usurped by 20:20 that non-stop, knock-about, snog-about slog.

Me, I’d be experimenting with 20:20 football too, given half a chance. A whole game all over in just 40 minutes.


We have 5x15 the concept that’s gone one up, or rather 3 minutes faster than TED, 5 lectures of 15 minutes each. Gladstone and his very long speeches would be ever so slowly turning in his grave.

Fast food is not fast enough, we are now talking about instant nibbles. A new generation of “snackers” is emerging to whom the thought of a long lunch is an anathema like having to sit through a concert of boring chamber music.

Imagine the trauma that the 20mph speed limit about to be imposed in Brighton will cause this hyperfast world….the equivalent of hearing “that’ll be 20 minutes for your burger – is that all right?”

Speed is the key competitive advantage we tell our eager young business people; you must learn to work 24/7/365 in a global economy; productivity is the new God – put your foot down (except, of course, for you lot in Brighton).  We hear about 30 story hotels being built in 15 days in China. We hear of 500 page books being written in 20 days in Indonesia (no I made that up but doesn’t it freeze your brain just you to think of it?)

The Slow Movement in Italy which was started to celebrate proper cooking and in response the potential arrival of McDonalds in Rome, has lost out to the instant gratification world of marketers seeking to own what they call the “now-moment.”

We already have speed dating, speed interviewing and speed reading. Next in line will be speed gardening, speed painting, speed drinking (the 10 minute binge causes a shorter hangover), speed fishing and speed sleeping.

When Wordsworth (definitely not a speed poet) talked about “recollections in tranquillity” he may have been on to something.

And that ladies and gentlemen was my speed blog.


1 comment:

Nick Fitzherbert said...

I believe speed fishing is already with us.

People who are really busy - and rich- will no longer go to Scotland where, with luck, they may catch two or three reasonably-sized salmon in a week - as long as the water is not to high/too low etc etc. Instead they head to Russia where they haul a whole boot-load of salmon straight out the river before lunch time.