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Fast, Faster, Fastest: Why the Rush?


Fast, Faster, Fastest: Why the Rush?

Ralph Nader

Socrates and Plato were not in a hurry. Neither was Aristotle nor Heraclitus. They took time to think deeply. As far back as twenty-four centuries ago, they offered insights and observations about the human condition, character, and personality that are as true today as they were then.


I watch episodes of "What's My Line" when I want to remember a saner era. The irony is that YouTube does "rush" them to me.


Yes indeed. Extremely interesting to note an entire global environment is speeding up: the spread of war and civil war, depletion of soils, pollution of soil, air and water, global warming, ocean rise, dying out of forests in California due to drought, desertification of forests and arable land... everything speeding up. Social issues, polarization of peoples into parties...

All of this seems to be paralleling in the human psyche. Everything moving toward rapid disintegration.


Jonathan Swift where are you? In Gulliver's travel to Lapunta he encounters a society in which science has gone wild. The Lapuntans are so intensely enrapt in speculations and mathematical conundrums they require a "flapper" to accompany them, the flapper carries a bladder attached to a stick, the role of the flapper is to gently tap the ear or mouth of his master so as to interrupt his great concentration, thus enabling everyday conversation and interaction with others. Gulliver also visits the Grand Academy of Lagado where there are 500 Projectors carrying out different scientific experiments, there is the attempt to take sunbeams out of cucumbers, the attempt to turn human poo back into food, and to change the course of the sun and moon so as to be able to combine weathervanes and sundials, among other works in progress. At the math academy the professor is trying to get his students to absorb math's complexities by writing equations on crackers for the students to eat and thereby comprehend.

Surely there is a Swift out there somewhere, he/she is needed, science and technology has lost its legitmate place as just one of the ways humans understand the world, it's overwhelming infulence is causing the other disciplines to wither away, their dusty shelves ignored. In the process this technological world without boundary, without control, indeed without real understanding, continues with new attempts to take sunbeams out of cucumbers. Burst this bubble soon.

Note: In spanish la puta is the whore.


So if the future doesn't need us, then what do we do? Sounds like a recipe for trouble on a very large scale. Now if we slowed down there might be a lot of ways to fix what ails us at the moment.

A non-productive line of thought that has interested me for a few years is thinking about sailing vessels to replace a good chunk of the marine-petro fueled fleet. Much new technology makes large modern sailing vessels almost comparable in speed, considering that current vessels are running at reduced throttle to meet fleet emissions targets. Modern sailing vessels are considerably smaller than large modern cargo vessels but significantly larger than in the past days of sail. Shipping ports would have to be modified to accommodate the different configuration.

But the benefits could be many. Much less petro pollution on/in the seas (and the air) and the expansion of a sailing labor force to replace jobs lost in other sectors. But it runs counter to what Ralph is talking about and confounds the consumerist mantra of more product faster, always. Here is where a carbon tax could prod an industry to change. Besides, more local in all things everywhere (and less trade/shipping) will have to be a requirement for any sane remediation of our atmosphere. A migration to sail could still allow robust trade, but with much less environmental degradation, however with the adjustment to a little slower pace. There was the first (best?) harnessing of the wind - why not return to it?


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On a small scale, have you looked at Salish Sea Trading Cooperative?


What comes to mind with Ralphs Fast, Faster, Fastest: Why the Rush? is Mr. Obama and company's feverish determination to cram these secretive FASCIST "Free Trade" Agreements down all of our throats with such aggressive ferocity- This will be the beginning of the end for America-
And that is exactly in line with the 1% plan of Global domination- They have to bring down America to achieve this World Totalitarian Control plan.."Fast Track" was the first hurdle-
This needs serious attention by all of us and needs to be crushed down and drown in A bath tub as one Grover Norquist once stated about our Government- I'm surprised that Ralph didn't mention this Corporate Coupe-de-etat as it is of major importance and slyly and suspiciously there has been little mention of this lately....(other than the fine article here on CD on TPP and Chile)

"My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." - Grover Norquist


Also a good read: Rifkin's 'Time wars." One issue is that other cultures do not function on the nano-second timeline we are adopting, and even view the passage of time in completely different ways--cyclical, for example. This can create inter-cultural chasms.


I'll check it out. I know that there are several individuals doing a very small cargo-by-sail trade.


Ralph, we are also getting slower with age. That makes it twice as bad.

I would like to ask you to address the media brainwashing we are increasingly being subjected to. If you switch through all the tv channels one by one, you will find that the vast majority are in commercials. Is there something we can do about it short of throwing a shoe at our tv screens?


Ralph, your piece is too long. Could you write a synopsis for us? :wink:


Exactly. I don't have any of these problems, thank god. I haven't watched TV at all for decades and now live on a remote Pacific Island. About 2005 or so, all the informative documentaries were no longer aired, replaced by nonsense. Channels I used to enjoy, all turned into reality-show nonsense. The Discovery Channel no longer discovered anything but marketing horsechit. The Science Channel no longer had any science in it. The history channel was devoid of any real history, in favor of corporate infocommercials.

I don't understand this new generation's references many times, since I don't don't stare at the screen unless it's internet or a kid's movie for my kids. Even college courses are so heavily contaminated by Wall Street $200 course books, that it's a wonder new adults can think at all. I took a course in webpage design, and it was a constant commercial for microsoft buggy software. Then there's the tragedy of Intelligent-Design nonsense that warps students minds in many Southern states.

No wonder we can't even acknowledge we are in the middle of the Sixth Great Extinction! This See-Eye-Aye media won't talk about it in any meaningful way.

Modern American Society is a complete failure, imho. Everyone is inserted into the One Percent Matrix; a world of illusion to insulate the masses from the true world of destruction all around them.


Yes Ralph, this piece is way too long for the boob-tube generation to stay conscious reading! And for god sake's please convert it to music video and throw in some snappy Faux News graphics and shake the camera around!


And remember when the "Arts and Entertainment Channel" (A&E) was symphonies, Opera, Drama, and Art shows?


And many older men would wish their spouses/partners get the big "O" - as in oh, oh, oh! - faster. It's getting tougher by the year.



A&E and others also had great Biography specials on fascinating persons from history and politics, etc. Then suddenly, complete mad-hatter nonsense replaced it.

Britney's new hair-dew search, the ozbornes, or the science of professional wrestling.... Of course that was years ago, so I'm probably remembering it wrong... But I remember turning it off in disgust. Free-Speech TV with Democracy Now was about the only one worth watching, in addition to the college channels.


Yes, it would seem that mankind can't kill itself fast enough!


Slowness comes from God and haste from the Devil.


"Pretty soon, people won’t have to go to stores; they’ll just order everything online and never see any other shoppers or have chance meetings with friends and neighbors."
Yes, I think that's the plan. I used to think that "divide and conquer" was about alienating groups and solidarity on a larger scale but with modern technology and the direction it is so plainly headed, I think the divide and conquer is now on the individual level. Quite the coup!