Monday, February 22, 2010

Slow Thinking

"But I hope not too many [intellectuals] will become starry-eyed about these media and forget about the habit of slow reading, which is such a large part of good thinking."

"We need to remind them that thinking is slow and rigorous, and that it does not always go well with the fast past of popular culture."

Martha Nussbaum, Symposium: Part 1, Intellectuals and Their America, Dissent, Winter 2010.

That is the problem, isn't it, feeling comfortable reading slow and thinking slow. Where's the time for that, except maybe in the university. We're supposed to get the facts fast and and be a "quick study" of analysis and recommendation. But reading slow not only works against the grain of expectations and everyday life but also against our own inner belief, sometimes unshakable, that we know something. Of couse we do. But slow reading brackets that knowledge.

"As I contemplate friends of mine who are serving in the Obama Administration, I feel so lucky to have the ability to say whatever I like and to work things out the way I like to work them out."

That's being twice removed because there are a host of fellow travelers, participants in the grand talkathon, who have a bit of a problem saying whatever they like or doing things there way. How much distance is required to be a critical, if supportive, observer?

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