Chip the Light Fantastic
Scientists build an ultra-fast optical chip, and another that slows light by a factor of 300. Together, they’ve been hailed as breakthroughs that may lead to super-speedy computers and breakneck data communications.
(Via Wired News)
Why do we rush from appointment to appointment at higher and higher speeds? Why do we pack our days with more and more stuff? Why do we meet at exactly 10:45PM instead sometime in the morning? Why do people eat fastfood?
Because we can! Our mind loves the challenge of of holding more and more appointments and getting lost in the sheer excitement of the rush. That allows our ego to assert itself. The less time I have to reflect, the more real my ego is allowed feel. I am important, certainly more important than that creep on the right threatening to overtake me and beat me to the next traffic light.
Our cars have increased in power and speed. Everything just keeps gettig faster: cars, trains, computers. It seems the only events slowing us down are diseases and accidents.
I was thinking that it would actually be nice to allow one area in our lives to slow down. I think while national and global transportation should get faster and faster in order to connect different cultures and societies, local transportation could offer a small respite against the speed of our lives.
I am trying this out in my life by stacking less appointments on top of one another and leaving earlier for appointments rather than doing the mad rush through town to be there “on time”. I feel that cars are much too powerful and we should build vehicles that move slower and conserve far more energy.
We can’t keep doing everything faster and faster and if everyone agrees, local transportation can be a little oasis of rest and a major area of conservation for all of us.
Just a little Thursday morning thought, as the first light hits the the top of the aspen trees and lights up the orange fall foliage.
PS: We all have some hectic days. Sometimes it cannot be avoided. But check out these numbers I compiled from a quick web search:
Global deaths from Airplane crashes in 2004: 457 – does not include corporate jet and military transport accidents.
Global deaths or injuries from terrorism in 2004: 3,646
Global deaths from traffic accidents in 2004: 1,200,000
Clearly, slowing down local traffic would save a lot of people’s lives as well as saving a huge amount of resources.