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Life gets faster — as the Earth slows down

Robert Colvile’s The Great Acceleration and Charles Duhigg’s Smarter Faster Better offer helpful advice on the pace of modern living

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

The Great Acceleration: How the World is Getting Faster, Faster Robert Colvile

Bloomsbury, pp.378, £16.99, ISBN: 9781408840078

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive Charles Duhigg

Heinemann, pp.380, £20, ISBN: 9780434023455

Modern life is too fast. Everyone is always in a hurry; people skim-read and don’t take the time to eat properly; the art of conversation is dying; technology places too much stress on the human brain. This litany of familiar complaints comes, of course, from the late 19th century, as collected by the American writer and XKCD comic artist Randall Monroe in his arch cartoon ‘The Pace of Modern Life’.

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'The Great Acceleration', £16.99 and 'Smarter Faster Better', £20 are available from the Spectator Bookshop, Tel: 08430 600033. Steven Poole is the author of Trigger Happy, on video games, and Who Touched Base in My Thought Shower?, on office jargon.

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