I’ve been thinking more and more about how technology speeds up our perception of time and it’s making me want to redesign our current systems from the ground up to slow down the passage of time.
After all, what’s the good of living to 80 if it only feels like 25?
Keep in mind this “speeding up” effect isn’t just our screens it’s all technologies. Back in the day life was dictated by the speed that we can do laundry, wash dishes and cook but now that those activities have been sped up we can “cram in” a lot more during that time.
In reality we have everything we need to truly be a leisure class but instead of doing relaxing or enjoying the virtues of intentional laziness we try to do more (usually frivolous things, meaningless things).
So simple things would be to just embrace slowness. Eliminating things that speed up but take away. Just as an aside I know that @stdin_stdout_stderr doesn’t have a microwave in his home. I’m planning on doing the same to intentionally slow down the process of cooking to make it more of a craft that I enjoy.
So now getting back to the operating system, there’s been a few advances that don’t seem significant but really speed up our ability to fly through in operating an OS. Just a few things off the top of my head:
- the first internet browser was one tab. Now we can open up a 100 tabs.
- In the beginning we operated by mouse. Now we can use keyboard shortcuts to accelerate everything.
- SSD’s speed up disk operations into millisecond territory.
- Support for multiple windows within a single screen
- Support for multiple monitors for further multitasking
- Having multiple programs running simultaneously
With the OS it would be simply about redesigning to intentionally slow things down rather than expecting the user to do it himself. A bit like how cooking on a stove forces you to cook things slowly and more intentionally than sticking something in the microwave.
If you’re interesting in the design approach there’s already a browser built around the single tabbed concept that someone mentioned a while ago: