Robert Colville - The Great Acceleration

Never got enough time? Always feel like you’re spinning a dozen plates without a moment for yourself? Worried you’re unable to remember anything without needing to Google it? You’re right. The world is getting faster, faster. But is that necessarily a bad thing?

Robert Colvile, author of The Great Acceleration, joins us as we try to get to grips with what this apparently endless speeding-up of life means for our mental health, relationships, careers, and even our ability to just sit down and read a good book all the way through. Robert’s worked on the front lines of The Great Acceleration: in just a handful of years, journalism has shifted from ‘winning the day’ to ‘winning the hour’ as editors frantically compete to get their version of events out first, often at the cost of accuracy or the space for deeper reflection. As politics turns into a battle of soundbites, dating into a game of swiping and discarding, and adolescence into a full-time job of social media curation, is there still space for genuine human connection and honesty? Or even to feel that we have more than a finger-tip control over our lives?

Despite the undeniable stresses and personal costs of The Great Acceleration, this isn’t a straightforwardly negative story culminating in an inevitable crash and burn. Robert is refreshingly optimistic, and not without cause. He’s spent years talking with experts at tech giants (even sitting in on board meetings at Google), leading politicians, psychologists and more to get to the facts and figures which paint a surprisingly – at times dramatically – different picture.


What We Get Into:

  • How we can (and if we should) step off the treadmill
  • The mental health costs of The Great Acceleration
  • The truth about dating apps and our ability to connect with other people
  • Does speed breed creativity or conformity?
  • Whether Universal Basic Income can ever really work
  • What Brexit means for Britain and the EU’s ability to develop and adapt in future

Find Robert

Mentioned in the Interview:

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