Chapter 3. PERSONAL BLUR

Time for a quick review. In Chapter 1, I highlighted how human nature forces us to constantly want to take in more and more information (Parkinson's Law), and how this "brilliant haze of light" leads to a point of finite productivity (The Law of Diminishing Returns). In Chapter 2, I illustrated how this high-speed appetite has resulted in a reduction of interpersonal communication (Intellectual Isolation) and of productivity (Presenteeism). The next issue that needs investigation is how speed has conditioned us individually into living within a type of "event-to-event" thinking, which leads to hasty decisions and a further loss of opportunity due to not perceiving all the necessary details before acting.

THE ILLUSION OF SPEED

In the 100 years or more since the development of the first horseless carriages, automotive power has risen from 12 horsepower (hp) inside a 1904 Duryea Phaeton to 250 hp for a modern family car, and much, much more for those Porsches mentioned in this book's introduction. Progress is constant and astonishing. James Bond's beautiful Aston Martin DB5, for example, which was considered a super-car in 1962, can now easily be outpaced by a well-tuned Honda. But as speed has increased, so has it decreased.

Take traveling, for instance. Though the available horsepower in a typical family car has increased twentyfold, people are not able to travel twenty times faster. For although cars themselves are capable of a great deal more speed, they seldom ...

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