Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan, The Amish Struggle With Modernity
Philadelphia: 1994
Page 32

Rationalization separates ends from means in the human mind. Abstract thought allows individuals to separate themselves from their immediate environment at least mentally—if not physically. Large corporate structures remove the throttles of power from the immediate control of local people. In contrast to traditional peoples, moderns are often “freed” from the constraints of caste, neighborhood, and family. Discontinuity, mobility, and individuation loosen social ties, making it easier to sever relationships when convenient—divorce being the most obvious example....

Putnam, Robert. Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital
Pages 5 and 7

More Americans are bowling today than ever before, but bowling in organized leagues has plummeted in the last decade or so. Between 1980 and 1993 the total number of bowlers in America increased by 10 percent, while league bowling decreased by 40 percent.... The proportion of Americans who socialize with their neighbors more than once a year has slowly but steadily declined over the last two decades, from 72 percent in 1974 to 61 percent in 1993....

Lightman, Alan. Dance For Two
New York: 1996

ISBN 0679758771
Pages 89-90

In the twentieth century the concept of progress changed, becoming increasingly tied to technology and large dehumanized technological systems. By the time of the 1939 World's Fair, in New York, one would read the following in the promotional literature of the futuristic General Motors exhibit: "Since the beginning of civilization, transportation and communication have been keys to Man's progress, his prosperity, his happiness." In one fell swoop, technology, progress, and happiness had become bound in a compelling dream of the future.

Russell, Cheryl. The Master Trend How the Baby Boom Generation Is Remaking America
New York: Perseus 1993
ISBN 0306445077

Page 57

The culture of the personalized economy is already pervasive: public faxes, automatic teller machines, cellular phone companies, video outlets, computer stores, fast-food restaurants, and twenty-four-hour supermarkets line the highways of urban and suburban America. The contrast between the culture of free agents and the communal culture of the 1950s could not be greater: microwaves versus ovens; fast-food restaurants versus family dinners; fax machines or telephones versus letters; televisions versus newspaper; computer networks versus libraries; videos versus books; credit cards versus saving accounts; twenty-four-hour shopping versus banker’s hours.

Verespej, Mike. “Be Your Own Force.”
Internet World June 21, 1999
Page 22

A former IBM Corp. manager with an M.B.A. from Columbia University, Jewell is concerned that the advances in information technology have created a breed of managers who have lost the art of human interaction and who immerse themselves in information rather than focusing on the value that that information can provide to customers.

Who among us, he asks, is not guilty of sending someone a voice mail or electronic message—rather than getting up to talk to a person two offices away—because of the desire to avoid a possible conflict?

Thomas, Susan Gregory “Online party planning misses the human touch.”
U.S. News & World Report, 03/27/2000, Vol. 128 Issue 12
Page 65

Silicon Valley's E-everything economy has rewritten many a social custom in the name of efficiency. In much of the country, it is now perfectly acceptable to interrupt a conversation to answer a page, or to hold a cell phone business meeting while at a restaurant table. As an avid user of tech gear, I have happily acculturated to such changes in the workplace. But now that they're infringing on my personal life, efficiency and rudeness are beginning to look a lot alike.

Morris, William. News From Nowhere and Other Writings. London: 1888
Pages 304, 306
Lecture Given to the Hampstead Liberal Club, 1884.

Our epoch has invented machines which would have appeared wild dreams to the men of past ages, and of those machines we have as yet made no use. They are called ‘labour-saving’ machines—a commonly used phrase which implies what we expect of them; but we do not get what we expect. What they really do is to reduce the skilled labourer to the ranks of the unskilled, to increase the number of the ‘reserve army of labour’—that is, to increase the precariousness of life among the workers and to intensify the labour of those who serve the machines (as slaves their masters).

Womack, James P.  Lean Thinking.
New York: 1996
ISBN 0684810352

Page 50

What happens when you go to your doctor? Usually, you make an appointment some days ahead, then arrive at the appointed time and sit in a waiting room. When the doctor sees you—usually behind schedule—she or he makes a judgment about what your problem is likely to be. You are then routed to the appropriate specialist, quite possibly on another day, certainly after sitting in another waiting room.

T. Kimber and K. Moore, “Victims of Comfort” From Keb’Mo’, 1994,
Linicker Music (ASCAP)/ Keb’Mo’ Music (BMI)
Epic Division of Sony Music Entertainment

And everyone likes a party, but no one wants to clean.

But I’d like to see a change, somehow,
But I’m a little busy right now...
Just a little busy right now.
I’m a victim of comfort. I got no one else to blame.
I am just a victim of comfort... crying shame.

 

Jay Walljasper, “Why It’s So Hard To Slow Down
The Speed Trap

Utne Reader March-April 1997
Page 44

Jogi Panghaal, a designer who works with community groups in India, defines the issue as not simply whether speed is good or bad, but whether the world of the future will allow a variety of speeds. He talked at the conference about his concern that a monoculture of speed will develop in which the whole world is expected to move at the same pace. India and other traditional societies of Asia, Latin America, and Africa are already undergoing culture shock as the rule of Western efficiency bears down upon them. People who once lived according to the rhythms of the sun, the seasons, and nature are now buying alarm clocks, carrying pocket calendars, and feeling the pressure to move faster and faster.

Norberg-Hodge, Helena, Ancient Futures
California: 1991

ISBN 0871565595
Page 106

In the traditional economy, time was plentiful and limited only by the course of the seasons. However much work there was to be done, life was lived at a human pace and everyone could afford to be patient. By contrast, the modern economy turns time into a commodity—something that can be bought and sold— and suddenly it is quantified and divided into the tiniest fragments. Time becomes something costly, and as people acquire new “time-saving” technologies the pace of life only gets faster.

Covey, Stephen R. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989
Pages 41, 98 and 149

The Personality Ethic tells me that there must be something out there—some new planner or seminar that will help me handle all these pressures in a more efficient way. But is there a chance that efficiency is not the answer? Is getting more things done in less time going to make a difference—or will it just increase the pace at which I react to the people and circumstances that seem to control my life? Could there be something I need to see in a deeper, more fundamental way—some paradigm within myself that affects the way I see my time, my life and my own nature?...