Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Good day reader, L.S.,

Once a week I will post a comment on this blog, with a maximum of 400 words, about topics such as education, science, philosophy, literature, food or any other topic that I think would be of general interest.

Today’s topic is about deceleration, slowing down. When Carlo Petrini started his slow food movement in 1986, it sparked a range of similar movements (see also: http://www.slowmovement.com ). Whatever might have attracted you to these ‘slow movements’ there are good biological reasons for slowing down. Only 30 to 40 years ago the average human was exposed to less data per second than today. The difference is that we are more exposed to auditory and textual input, often interlaced with loads of visual data. The complexity and data rate have increased exponentially. Yet during that time our brains have not evolved to keep up with the near constant data stream that keeps our neurons firing. Information overload can be a problem. Whether we are managers, teachers, politicians, journalists or students, we are supposed to (re)act sensibly, make wise decisions. So here is my suggestion, in addition to the existing slow movements why not start a slow decision movement? There should be a direct relation between the importance of a decision and its gestation time. The more people are affected, the more money is involved, the longer the process should be. It is a good idea to let major decisions rest for at least 24 hours. It will help you to slow down your life; it will help you to focus, to become more of a uni-tasker.

Kind regards,

Peter Hoeben

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