The paradox of slowness

We talk about slowness, and then about distance in the imaginary terrain of time, in continuous motion like the landscape rushing past through the train window. Slow and fast first get their meaning relative to the units of length on the axis of time: second, minute and hour define the pace of existence. Seen as a curve in time, our journey through life is a span – measured precisely and, one might think, ungenerously. A finite number of weeks and days separates point A, birth, and point B, death.

From the very beginning, science has fixed its eye on the question of the length of this span and its potential extension – we do not want life to go quickly by. What should be speeded up, instead, is the movement that does not count as life but simply leads up to it: the transport distances of existence are to be shortened. As soon as parts of our life are seen to have no meaning, they become undesirable gaps in time that have to be rushed over: slowness originates in ...

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Helena Granström

Författare, fil mag i teoretisk fysik och fil lic i matematik.

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