Slow and steady wins the race, right?


Back when I was a kid, one of the stories that I always heard over and over was The Tortoise and the Hare. As many of you remember (or not, youngins!), we follow the adventures of a pretentious Hare and a humble tortoise as they engage in a foot race for some kind of metaphoric supremacy. While the Hare sets out with his quickness to take an early lead, he also decides to stop at the side of the road from time to time, distracted by what he sees along the way, all the while confident that there is no way the Tortoise will beat him. Meanwhile, the Tortoise follows the path set before him, in slow and steady fashion, eventually beating out the distracted Hare. It seems that we were always taught to play it safe and stay on the straight and narrow like the Tortoise, but as the pace of the world increases we must also channel the way of the Hare.

A recent article by blogger Alex Iskold called “Faster-Why Constant Stress is Part of Our Future” addresses the idea that we are moving into the realm where “real-time is inevitable” in all walks of life. Responding to a NYT article that web bloggers are some of the most stressed out people out there based on the break-neck speed of their output, he postulates that this is only one aspect of a wider trend in capitalist culture.

Lets face it, we are obsessed with real-time. We want more, and faster. It is not enough for me to have you tell me what you did yesterday. I want to know what you did 5 minutes ago. It is not enough for us to know that yesterday Microsoft made a bid for Yahoo! This is the kind of news we need to know as soon as it happens. We have entered an age in media where as soon as the news is created it needs to be channeled and broadcast to everyone. Real-time is not an accident. It is a direct consequence of our hunger to improve. Of course, we may be biting off more than we can chew.

I have to admit, starting this blog and trying to find ideas for it gives me a glimpse into this concept, but even the notion that as soon as a rumor is heard, I’m hitting Google for the real scoop cannot be missed. Working in a post-production house by day, I can attest to the deadline-oriented nature of today’s world. Nothing is ever slow and steady, its always late or barely getting there.

Although its good to stay on the path like the Tortoise did, climbing ever so slightly and straightforward to the end goal, in order to keep up with the rotation of the planet today it might be necessary to spin faster, drink more coffee, and beat even more deadlines. Maybe the Hare was onto something after all?



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