Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age

Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age

Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 074531774X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

''... brilliantly original ... brings cultural and post-colonial theory to bear on a wide range of authors with great skill and sensitivity.' Terry Eagleton











There were several causes for this; among other things, the fact that a book could be as costly as a small farm. Books were always written by hand, largely by monks, but also by professional copyists. Then Gutenberg invented his printing press – frequently seen as the single most important invention of the last 2,000 years – and suddenly, books became inexpensive, from 1455 and onwards, to be exact (this was the year Gutenberg printed the famous 42-line Bible). Books did not become really cheap

reached, and as a result the entire system flips into something different, changing character completely. A classic example from anthropology are the ‘pig cycles’ among the Tsembaga of Highland New Guinea. The Tsembaga grow tubers and vegetables, and raise pigs. The porcine population increases evenly. As it grows, women and children (who are responsible for the pigs) must go further and further from the village to herd them, risking assaults from enemy peoples, and at the same time, the pigs do

of time people spend waiting at airports, and it would surprise me if there were not a connection between rush traffic and the spread of the mobile phone. In the Scandinavian countries, the combination driving/talking on the phone is so common that legislation has been passed which makes it mandatory to use handsfree accessories when talking on the phone in the car. A number of local trains are now equipped with TV monitors, and several, including the new airport express train from Arlanda

to the exhibition ‘Hastighet: Det nittende århundre’ (‘Speed: the nineteenth century’) at the Norwegian National Library, spring 2000. Global growth related to various information technologies is well documented in the UNESCO Statistical Yearbook; updated information on some issues can be had at www.unesco.org. The Marx quote is from The Misery of Philosophy (La Misère de la philosophie, 1847 – the only book he wrote in French), a polemic against the French anarchist Proudhon and his book, The

a price-tag that was roughly equivalent to the total value of a medium-sized Scandinavian city like Trondheim. Although the nominal value has fallen since then, it is still astronomical, considering the company has yet to earn money and has little of value to sell in case of bankruptcy. Like most Internet-based companies, its chief asset is expectation. IN INFORMATION SOCIETY, EVEN THE PIGS ARE IT COMPATIBLE Information society is not the same as ‘post-industrial society’, which some talk about

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