Faster and Shallower

January 12, 2024

Did you watch recently an old movie, say of the 1950’s. Did you notice how it moves so slowly that sometimes you get restless. Compare it to recently released movies. The story moves faster, and people speak faster.


Compare news broadcast in the ninety sixties to the one broadcast now.  Messages are shorter and anchor people speak faster.


These increases in speed are reflected in many aspects of our life.  The proliferation of fast-food outlets is one. How people want their maladies to be solved? Not with long term treatment but with a drug that will provide instant relief rather than healing. That explains to me the drug and marijuana culture too that are dominating young people’s choices. What drugs and marijuana do is provide fast pleasure. One does not have to work hard to achieve some goals and provide some services to feel good. Just have a smoke or take a sniff.

Sex is also faster. Courting is short and the sexual engagement follows instantly.


The increase in speed has an impact on quality of what we deal with.  Take education. I try to deliver some theoretical message and I am told a tape no more than five minutes long.  Try to explain the concept of truth in five minutes.


People are asking for the bottom line. I asked a best seller how he gets to be one. He told me he writes a book with just one message in it and lots of stories about the message.  Then he prints thousand copies himself and at his next lecture gives participants a copy. Before he starts his workshop, he tells the audience they have twenty minutes to read the book and tell him what the book is about, what is the message. If they do not have it, he rewrites the book till people give him the right answer. Then he publishes his book. In other words, for a best seller write a book a reader can finish reading while waiting for the bus.


To me it makes the book superficial and shallow. One cannot develop a concept in depth.

I believe that none of the earth-shaking philosophers of the past would have survived in today’s environment.


This shallowness impacts quality of the message and in the case of news I would not be surprised that it borders on fake news because the information provided is incomplete.


With speed and lack of depth, not strange that many decisions made are bad and in the field of leading a country they can lead to a disaster.

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes