‘The Tyranny of the Moment’ deals with some of the most perplexing Thomas Eriksen argues that slow time – private periods where we are able to think and. Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age Thomas Eriksen argues that slow time – private periods where we are able to think and. Eriksen (Tyr) 01 chaps 20/6/01 pm Page 1 From Thomas Hylland Eriksen: “ Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age. London.

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The University of Adelaide and the Library of Congress were two of them. Later, I shall discuss the youth cult of the contemporary age in the context of accelerated change.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In other words, there is little or nothing new under tyrann sun.

Tyranny of the moment

The word processor takes the logic of the typewriter further. Nowadays, writers work associatively, helter-skelter, following whims and spontaneous ideas, and the structure of a tyrajny is changed under way; the ship is being re-built at sea. It is viable to scan titles, summaries and tables of contents into the brain, but continuous texts?

Socrates famously stated that writing was going to produce forgetfulness in our souls, crippling our capacity for learning and wisdom. What are the criteria for distinguishing between good and bad, knowledge and noise, when the supply of everything is limitless? Eriksen claims that our new electronic modes of communication are partly to blame for causing a host of contemporary social ills, including decreased job security, blurred boundaries between work and leisure, and the declining quality of family life.

It was rudimen- tary, pictographic one symbol represented one wordlimited in its flexibility and could be difficult to learn. I suspect this is happening to many of us, and if such eroksen the case, an unintended consequence of the information revolution may be a fundamental transformation of the notion of knowledge. In other words, we have a situation where time dominates space.


Global telecommunications and other communication based on satellites are placeless and immediate. They place individual, mundane transactions under an invisible umbrella of abstraction.

A non-literate society, further, has a judicial system based on custom and tradition, while a literate society has a legislative system. Wells may have been the last intellec- tual to do so; Sartre defended it on purely strategic groundsit embodied an alternative way of organising human life, another view of human nature and another view of social planning than that which was prevalent in the USA. Since we got e-mail, we hardly see our secretary any more, mometn so we immediately understood off the situation had to be very serious.

As late as the s, humanists and moralists in the West could easily take a stance regarding wars in far-flung places.

Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age by Thomas Hylland Eriksen

They may even be used as means of payment — I have killed my neighbour, and have to pay the widow and children three gold coins in compensa- tion. The acceleration that was observed, commented upon and occasionally criticised by people of the nineteenth century has continued to this day, and it became more acutely felt than ever as computer networks and satellite-based com- munication linked the world more closely together than any telegraph or steamship company could even contemplate doing.

We have momejt from the relatively slow and linear to the fast and momentary — novels and old style dramas evolved based on passed events and assume you read progressively. I shall mention four other technological innovations which, together with writing, indicate those peculiar characteristics of modern society that are pre- conditions for information society. In the society of craftmanship, on the contrary, each object was individually made and unique. Born in Oslo, he has done field work in Trinidad and Mauritius.

When there were still two superpowers more or less dividing the world between them, there was also a clear, visible distinction between left and right in politics. In the same period, the notation system was standardised, and symbolic markers depicting tone duration were also introduced.


For those tyrqnny the supply side of the economy, they are competing for attention — and they want our attention NOW because information can quickly become obsolete.

Tyrannyy lies a main tension in contemporary society. This is a short book then but a significant one. It is true that the cocaine was taken out of the secret recipe inbut millions of contemporary devotees would still agree that what Coca- Cola does for them is precisely to counteract slowness, if not necessarily of thought.

The next moment kills the present. The Culture of Design.

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Be the first to ask a question about Tyranny of the Moment. Supermarket cashiers are totally dependent on computer technology; if the optical bar code reader collapses, they are helpless, especially since they no longer know the prices by heart.

There are several good reasons to be pleased about living right now and certainly a lot of bad reasons. The paradoxes of our age and how the faster we go, the slower we are Explore the Home Gift Guide. A considerable portion of Eriksen’s work has focused on popularizing social anthropology and conveying basic cultural relativism as well as criticism of Norwegian nationalism in the Norwegian public debate. Further, it heralds the coming of a new politics, where the relationships between local and global forces, roots and impulses, traditional culture and a multi-ethnic reality set an agenda where there are no ready-made solutions available.

Marxism and Media Studies. Just as there is an indefinite residue in speech that is not transmitted through texts, the same could be said of music feeling and, for a long time, pitch and speed, are three such aspects. Green- houses, milking machines and feeding machines for pigs are run by microprocessors.

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