We are continually reminded wherever we turn (and by Big Think, perhaps, most frequently of all) of the fact that in technologically advanced nations the pace of life is accelerating. Economic constraints have put pressure on businesses (and therefore their employees) to do more with less, and in less time. Simultaneously, tech companies are locked in a kind of arms race to make everyday living ever more automated and efficient, thereby enabling us to demand still greater productivity of ourselves.
Yet one of the most significant contributions cognitive psychology has made in recent decades to our understanding of the mind is the idea that the mind uses two parallel systems of thinking: System 1 - the fast, intuitive, gut decision making engine, and System 2, its slower, more deliberate sibling. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky are the pioneers in this work, and their studies reveal that in most cases, system 2 makes much better decisions.
We talk about the pace of life as something over which we have no control, but individuals and companies are constantly making decisions about how to respond to these external demands. Philosopher Daniel Dennett's new book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking is a reminder that in a speedy world the slower, more deliberative parts of our consciousness need attention, too.