When the world moves too fast, a delay can be valuable. […] Already, even in this age of just-in-time deliveries, some people not only avoid paying penalties for delays, but charge for them. Consultants, mercenaries paid by the hour or the day, have always known the positive worth of time -their time - to clients. In a superfast knowledge economy that compromises intelligence for time, these presumed pockets of expertise will definitely not be a dying breed.Content is not necessarily the only valuable. Often enough, it is not in itself valuable at all. There is value in diversity, which fosters trade , but there is often more value in consistency, which fosters relationships and emphasises the originator, rather than the content itself . This is what makes people subscribe to $100/month investment newsletters that contain far less content than a newspaper or television, but are consistent and reliable.
10 Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, 1995. "When the world moves too fast", Electric Dreams, #77 (30 October), at http://dxm.org/dreams/dreams77.html
Quick exchanges do not preclude lots of investment in information. That I can pull a specific article I need from an encyclopedia, just when I need it, does not make the encyclopedia any less comprehensive. Nor does it preclude the opportunity to read the whole thing when I want to.
On the contrary, it takes a great deal of preparation to make quick exchanges meaningful. There is a shared knowledge that enables people to communicate in the first place. There is also the experience that enables people to work at that speed.
Kind of like the old joke about <insert name of famous painter here>. A wealthy business man approaches <famous painter> for a pastel portrait of his daughter. The daughter arrives, sits and, woosh, in 15 minutes a beautiful sketch appears.
"That will be $15,000, please", says the painter.
"$15,000!", says the businessman, "That's outrageous! It only took you 15 minutes"."
"Yes," replies the painter, "but it took me 20 years to learn how to
do that in 15 minutes."