Time rules our lives. The frenetic purpose - more than we want to admit, is to save time. Think of one of those conveniences that best convey the most elemental feeling of power over the passing seconds: the microwave oven. In your hurry sickness, you may find yourself punching 88 seconds instead of 90 because it is faster to tap the same digit twice. Do you stand at the microwave for that minute and a half? Or is that long enough to make a quick call or run in the next room to finish paying a bill? If haste is the gas pedal for the pace of our lives, then multi-tasking is overdrive. FASTER dissects with acute insight and mordant wit our unceasing daily struggle to squeeze as much as we can - but never enough - into the 1440 minutes of each day.
Speed is the key strategy for saving time, and James Gleick shows us how in just about every area - from business cycle time to beeper medicine, from Federal Express to quick playback buttons on answering machines, from the pace of television to our growing need to do two things at once, how speed has become the experience we all have in common - it, more than the message, is what connects us.