Flash crashes. Speed dating. Instant messaging.
From the devices we carry to the lives we lead, everything is getting faster, faster.
But where did this great acceleration come from? And where will it lead? In this vitally important new book, Robert Colvile explains how the cult of disruption in Silicon Valley, the ceaseless advance of technology and our own fundamental appetite for novelty and convenience have combined to speed up every aspect of daily life.
Drawing on the latest research, The Great Acceleration traces the path of this acceleration through our working and social lives, the food we buy and the music to which we listen. It explains how it's transforming the media, politics and the financial markets – and asks whether our bodies, and the natural environment, can cope.
As we race towards the future – into a world packed with new technologies, new ideas and new discoveries – this scintillating and engrossing book is an invaluable, must-read guide to the wonders and dangers that await us.
"A must-read. The effects of acceleration are real, and we need to start taking them seriously"
– Steve Hilton, author of More Human
"In a run, run, runaway world, Colvile's The Great Acceleration is an indispensable guide to keeping up. A book that raises eyebrows and questions in equal measure. A meticulous, thoughtful, candid, sometimes stark and yet ultimately optimistic study of humanity, and our breath-taking desire for change"
– Boris Johnson
"A punchy and wide-ranging book about how our lives and our society are speeding up, when to apply the brakes and how to enjoy the ride"
– Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist
"It's true – life is speeding up. But don't despair, overall that's a good thing for prosperity and quality of life, though it may not feel so as the emails pile up [...] This book is as fast-paced as its subject matter, and well worth making time for"
– Mark Lynas, author of The God Species
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Robert Colvile has been a columnist, leader writer and comment editor with the Daily Telegraph. Among his many duties, he was supervising the paper's Science and Digital Life pages, serving as comment editor of the Sunday Telegraph while still in his twenties, and producing a host of editorials, features, reviews and opinion pieces. He went on to be news director at BuzzFeed UK. He has a Masters degree from Cambridge in International Relations, is a regular pundit on Sky News, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies (a leading British think-tank) and author of an influential report on how the internet is transforming British politics, which was praised by Chancellor George Osborne among others.