Another media culture is possible

Slow Media, like Slow Food, encourages people to reassess consumer culture, to conserve natural resources, to resist commodification, to fight standardization, and to preserve traditional tastes.

Slow Media is useful for thinking about long-term sustainability because it foregrounds problems such as mass manufacturing, disposability, planned obsolescence, and superficial measures of efficiency.

Print, analog and other nondigital forms of Slow Media provide a glimpse of another culture that was, is, and will be possible—a culture guided by the quality of human lives.

Idler endorses SM:WSISSAS as “book of the week”

The Idler has long been a slow inspiration for me. Also, Stewart Lee! Am I a counter-cultural relic, too?

The charming magazine-academy-festival Idler (UK) has named Slow Media: Why “Slow” is Satisfying, Sustainable and Smart its “book of the week.” Editors noted that they liked the book’s “more mindful approach to our relationship with media, something the Idler can certainly get behind.” An excerpt of Slow Media ran alongside stories about Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “fits of idleness” and Aldous Huxley’s mystical leanings.

 

 

 

 

Let’s break the clocks and refuse the quickening of our lives

Few could have predicted two decades ago that Slow Food visions of the good life would inspire such innovative thinking about how our media choices affect fellow human beings and the planet that we share.

It’s remarkable that food theory captured the public imagination at a time when many other critical approaches fell short, as Ben Agger observed. Like me, he visualized a new stage of civilization where media could be used to slow down our lives, redefine human progress, and pursue greater harmony with nature. In advocating for what he called “slowmodernity,” he refused to make the false choice between a Luddite retreat (slow) and a digitized utopia (fast).

Instead, we should be free to move at variable paces, “going back and moving forward, mastering time so that it serves us, not the other way around,” he said. “We must break the clocks, resisting and refusing the quickening of our lives. We must not allow ourselves to be overscheduled, hurried, hassled; we must take our sweet time, dawdling in order to slow down the flow.”

Slow Media and Team Human Join Forces

Humanity now has an official team, and it has recruited Slow Media. I’m excited to be joining Team Human to talk with media theorist, documentarian and Renaissance man Douglas Rushkoff about how to amplify human connection in a digital age.

At a Team Human Live event in Portland, Ore., on Feb. 22, I’ll share ideas about  Slow Media: Why Slow is Satisfying, Sustainable and Smart with Rushkoff and co-panelist Blaed Spence. Spence is an alum of the Apple Multimedia Lab and founding partner of Wired magazine who is working to dismantle the patriarchy and predatory capitalism from within the belly of the beast.

Rushkoff, who was named one of the world’s 10 most influential thinkers by MIT, wants our society to stop using technology to optimize people for the market and start using it to build a future centered on our pre-digital values of connection, creativity and respect.

He’s a great example of a Post-Luddite: someone who understands media technology but knows it’s not living up to its promise. And he’s doing something about it. In this Ted talk, Rushkoff talks about why he started Team Human.

 

To attend Team Human Live in Portland, use this link register in advance. If you can’t make it, the event will be broadcast later on XRAY-FM and distributed as a podcast. I’ll post and circulate links when they’re available.

You can also listen to 100+ shows featuring conversations with public intellectuals and activists like Eli Pariser, Micah White, George Monbiot, Howard Rheingold, Richard Maxwell, Fred Turner, and danah boyd in the Team Human archives.

 

A Slow News Podcast from Denmark

A group of young journalism students in Aarhus, Denmark, have launched the new podcast “Slow News.” They aim to give listeners an alternative to mainstream media, and more importantly, to give themselves time as reporters to seek out untold stories, investigate events in depth, and present new angles on current events.

In this first episode (above), I talk with Juliette Freysson about the concept of Slow News. She’s from Lyon, France, while the other students are from all over Europe: Denmark, Luxembourg, Germany, Bulgaria. In later episodes, they take a Slow approach to reporting on issues like how people deal with crises at home when they’re living abroad.