Topic on Talk:Are there any advantages to having a slow personal tempo?

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Slow people anecdotes [feel free to add your stories about slow people here]

Mjkurrels (talkcontribs)

I read, talk, walk, write, and wash the dishes slowly. In school, I was usually one of the last people to finish tests.

It took me 8 years to get my undergraduate degree in philosophy, partly because I always took the minimum possible course load (and partly because I loved it there so much). I don't like to be rushed. I think maybe philosophy attracts the slow people. Something about these very difficult, intricate arguments makes for 2 page papers that take 8 hours to read. I could easily spend 30-40 hours writing one 3 page paper.

I've been asking myself for years if there's compensation I get for being slow. I'm still not sure, but I think maybe I'm more patient than most. And maybe the slowness is connected to a certain kind of mental openness or flexibility. Nothing is finished for me. None of my beliefs so firmly held. Everything is about making incremental progress.

This could or could not be related to the slowness, but I seem to be pretty good at knowing when I don't know something. That's what I attributed my successes in school to. I knew when I needed to keep digging, keep asking questions.

I once had a job translating a bit of software from one programming language to another. At the same time three other people translated the code into other programming languages. It was the perfect setup to compare myself to other people and I took about twice as long as the others. My boss gave me the feedback that I was slower than they thought I would be. But on the other hand, I seemed to be more able to find problems in the original program than my faster coworkers. I wasn't hired to find bugs, and I wasn't trying to be careful. I was trying to go as fast as I could. But I think I just approach these kinds of things differently.

Mjkurrels (talkcontribs)

My grandmother told me that she considered herself a "fast" person and her partner a "slow" person. She said that when the two of them would try to solve a problem, they had different approaches. She would consider many possible solutions. But he would pick only a few possible solutions, exploring each one very thoroughly.

Mjkurrels (talkcontribs)

My dad works in construction. He told me that everyone in construction that does "finish work" (that is, work that produces visible results) is slow. That would make sense if slow people are more detail focused and able to get precise results. Whereas work that won't be visible in the final product can tolerably have more mistakes and inaccuracies.

Mjkurrels (talkcontribs)

I've spoken with two people from South America (one Brazilian and one Argentinian). They both say that in their language, calling someone "slow" has the connotation of "stupid," as is the case in English. But interestingly calling someone "fast" also has a negative connotations. A "fast" person is understood to be dishonest.

My guess is that both of these connotations pick up on real (though probably mild) statistical correlations. There is a mild correlation between speed and iq. I wonder if there is any evidence that faster people are less honest than slower people.

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