Patience is scarce. It’s uncomfortable too be slow. The brain favors fast consumption and impulsive creation over a calm, tortoise-y pace.
We are the products of our attention, dabbling, doing, taking away nothing of significance. Internet culture emphasizes moving on to the next one as fast as possible.
The pause, whether it’s enforced in the disfluency of writing, the underlining of paperback books, playing a vinyl record, is a slow technology for thinking.
When we pace the way we look at and do things, we go deeper into our sources, excavating new gems of importance.
“I’m not a fast thinker, but once I am interested in something, I am doing it for many years. I don’t get bored. I’m kind of a big kettle. It takes time to get boiled, but then I’m always hot,” says the writer Haruki Murakami.
The hedgehog harvests attention by doing one thing well. The fox, meanwhile, runs into the confusion of possibilities.
When we slow the exhale, the output, the inhale takes care of itself. Slowness contains the immense power of boosting the human mind, prolonging its wakefulness.