Intoxication and Speed

In an article published in Enjeux Les Echos in January 2011, journalist Philippe Escande highlighted how our habits of intellectual and cultural consumption are shifting towards flows and away from accumulation. Information, music, video, the written word: everything is instantly available, so we dip in here and there, appropriating nothing. I tend to agree that in the (endless?) pursuit of speed over the last 30 years, the TV viewer and now the Internet user is accumulating more and more impressions. At the risk of absorbing less and less in the way of analysis or reasoning that has time to settle in our minds and prompt real, serious thought.

On the other hand, Philippe Escande seems to suggest that the tablet PC could reverse this trend thanks to the logic of downloading. I disagree. It seem to me to be one more step in the anesthesia of intellectual curiosity:  formats constantly getting shorter, increasingly “pre-digested”, with less and less personal research required. It is the triumph of “all entertainment” and “useful brain time”, at the expense of the time and effort needed to acquire culture and information.

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