Mindfulness in the Slow Renaissance

Mulling how a slower pace of life might help us think less and experience more. In slowing down we may create and learn mindfully on the web.


  1. Have we lost the genius of sustained attention?

  2. Background: It is said that 100 years back an average person used to have around 5000 thoughts per day...
  3. "Genius is nothing but a power of sustained attention, and the popular impression probably prevails that men of genius are remarkable for their voluntary powers in this direction." - William James
  4. Preparing for a Slow Education Movement

  5. Excerpt from Shelley Wright of Powerful Learning Practice: we live in an instant world, where most often if you ask someone how they are, the reply is busy, as if that response alone justifies one’s existence on the planet. Few people stop to ask if what we’re so busy doing is actually worth the energy we’re expending.
  6. According to Honoré, fast and slow “are shorthand for ways of being, or philosophies of life.”
  7. Fast is busy, controlling, aggressive, hurried, analytical, stressed, superficial, impatient, active, quantity-over-quality.
    Slow is the opposite: calm, careful, receptive, still, intuitive, unhurried, patient, reflective, quality-over-quantity. It is about making real and meaningful connections with people — culture, work, food, everything.
  8. The social virtue of Slow

  9. Creativity on the Internet is vital

  10. Excerpt from article by futurist/historian Byron Reese: On the Internet, there are far fewer passive observers. Almost everyone creates. In these early days of the Internet Renaissance, the number of great masters is in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds. And great masters aside, the number of people who create things online – our equivalent to painters, sculptors, composers, authors, and philosophers – is in the hundreds of millions. Almost everyone participates.
  11. Nurturing polymaths

  12. Excerpt from Saul Kaplan: In 384 – 322 BC Aristotle studied under Plato in ancient Greece. His writings spanned many subjects including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theatre, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology. In the late 15th and early 16th century Leonardo da Vinci was a prototype of the universal genius or Renaissance man. He was a painter, sculptor, engineer, astronomer, anatomist, biologist, geologist, physicist, architect, philosopher and humanist. Where have all the polymaths gone?
  13. The industrial era constrained knowledge access, limiting it to the privileged few. Barriers to entry proliferated along silo and socio-economic lines with exclusive professional credentials established in the name of protecting the public interest from charlatans without prerequisite experience and knowledge. In the industrial era, knowledge in the wrong hands was thought to be dangerous. Our current education and workforce development systems were designed for an era defined by specialization. It worked fine until it didn’t.
  14. There is a "Slow Web" Movement