Summary of Faster

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Faster book summary


6 Overall

3 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Our lives have speeded up, a phenomenon that affects both individuals and society according to author James Gleick. He describes examples of speed's impact in chapters that read like separate essays on different aspects of life. He covers the element of acceleration in machines, books, advertising and attention span. Ironically, his book is written in a very leisurely, reflective, pop-sociology or pop-history style that takes its time exploring different historical developments leading to how quickly life moves today. This is an observation, not a criticism, since finds that this book provides an engaging, compelling look at some important and indicative changes in society. Yet, Gleick doesn't get around to the cell phone, a major factor in today's fast pace. Many of these changes - such as the explosion of new technologies - have been covered extensively elsewhere, but Gleick's broad view of these developments offers executives, managers and general readers a new context for understanding them - if you can slow down long enough to read it.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How and why society's pace is speeding up;
  • How technology has accelerated or caused this increased speed; and
  • What impact this faster society has on your health, recreation, family life and work.

About the Author

James Gleick is the author of the bestseller Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman and of Chaos: Making a New Science, both of which were nominated for the National Book Award. He lives in New York.



Societal Acceleration
Once upon a time, time itself was related to astronomical reference points. The only increment that mattered to most people was that one revolution of the earth equaled a day. Today, 24 hours has become too big a chunk to be helpful for counting the pieces flying ...

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