Note — Sep 26, 2021

After the Big Now

Fabien Girardin on Greenfield’s Big Now, “the enhanced and deepened sense of simultaneity—of the world’s massive parallelism—that certain digital artifacts lend us.” He looks at how the speed of efficiency has had consequence on the rest of society, the cybernetic loops accelerating the flow of information, our waining attention, and how we forget the value of a slower pace, of thinking slowly. In kind of a nice wink to that last idea, it’s funny that I only now happened on the piece, which is from 2017. It’s also worth noting that since then the pandemic has been an opportunity for many to (re)discover ways of negotiating time other than speed.

Speed and scale have become the prime indicators of economic success and have been transferred to professionals to do what they are already doing in less time and therefore cheaper. Incubators, accelerators, catapults, sprints, scale-ups are part of contemporary settings and methods for teams to innovate in the Big Now economy. […]

In the Big Now, the pool of instantaneous information has dramatically increased, however the pool of available understanding of what that information means has not. […]

[R]egardless of current methodological trends, creativity rarely emerges rapidly. Many ideas need time to mature, they need different contexts or mindsets to get stronger. […]

The next version of the Internet cannot only mirror the ways these companies operate. It cannot only focus on making people as efficient and busy as possible.