Brand’s metaphor is pace layering, “the working structure of a robust and adaptable civilization.” Organized fast to slow, the layers are: fashion, commerce, infrastructure, governance, culture, and nature. With a nod to Holling, Brand writes, “The combination of fast and slow components makes the system resilient.” –

Each layer has it's own destinct timeframes and particular 'pace' from (fast paced, fleeting) to (slow, persistent). A layer reacts more slowly to change (and changes tend to persist longer) than the layer above it.

“The power is in the slow parts, but the fast parts get the attention”

  • Fashion
  • Commerce
  • Infrastructure
  • Governance
  • Culture
  • Nature


Stewart Brand, The Clock of the Long Now, 1999
  • pace_layering.txt
  • Last modified: 2013-05-22 14:05
  • by nik