A Temporalized Internet

Robert Hassan


Within global capitalism it can be observed that within the Internet and the network society more broadly, are rarely considered from the perspective of temporality; that is, beyond the neo-liberal efficiency mantra that ‘faster is always better’. Temporal acceleration has become an autonomous logic within electronic networks, one generated through capitalist competition, with little or no thought to its wider effects. I argue that the acceleration associated with the Internet is in fact a profoundly problematic issue across social, cultural and, especially, political realms. Through the articulation of a political economy of temporality, I maintain that it is necessary to ‘temporalize’ the Internet and its processes, to bring under more social democratic control its developmental trajectory. To this end, I will speculate upon the need for a bi-cameral Internet; a social and commercial network communications system that makes the social relation to time, and the technological mediation of that relation, a central element of its future functioning.

Conceptions of limit, measure, equilibrium, which ought to determine the conduct of life are, in the West, restricted to a servile function in the vocabulary of technics.

Simone Weil, The Iliad, or The Poem of Force, 1939/2005: 16.

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