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Hurry Up and Wait

We asked some of the world's most prominent futurists to explain why slowness might be as important to the future as speed. Julian...

We asked some of the world's most prominent futurists to explain why slowness might be as important to the future as speed.

Julian BleeckerJulian Bleecker, a designer, technologist, and co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory, devises "design-to-think experiments" that focus on interactions away from conventional computer settings. "When sitting at a screen and keyboard, everything is tuned to be as fast as possible," he says. "It's about diminishing time to nothing."So he asks, "Can we make design where time is inescapable and not be brought to zero? Would it be interesting if time were stretched, or had weight?" To test this idea, Bleeker built a Slow Messaging Device, which automatically delayed electronic (as in, e-mail) messages. Especially meaningful messages took an especially long time to arrive.

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