Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Our pal Jon alerted me to how Alternet had posted a lengthy excerpt from my recent book Speed-Speed-Speedfreak. It was news to me, but I link it here because I figure it’s a good read. (Although you could actually buy the book, which would contribute to my survival.)

“In the fullness of history, all the different varieties of speed may have been products of the twentieth century, even though they are still around nearly a decade into the twenty-first, and show no sign of waning. Speed is too much of a reflection of its time. The twentieth century was an era of acceleration. Humanity went from its first powered flight to a moon landing in less than 70 years. Two atomic weapons were deliberately detonated over inhabited cities, while other cities were turned into unstoppable firestorms by tons of conventional explosives dropped from high-flying aircraft. Millions died in two devastating world wars, and millions more in smaller wars, insurrections, and ethnic cleansings. We have seen the computer grow from a mechanical adding machine to an entity so powerful and omnipresent that speculation is now possible about the likelihood of machines merging identities with humanity.
The event of rock & roll added a frenetic thrashing drive to the world's entertainment, and television warped the world's perception. The twentieth century was an era of massive overreaching that culminated in us pushing our planet to the very edge of environmental catastrophe, as melting icecaps change the course of the ocean tides. The twentieth century was also a time of scarcely believable greed and all too grandiose dreams. The developed nations of the West demanded more and more, and we grew furious if TV commercials reneged on their promises and we couldn't instantly have it all. The West grew fat even as famines decimated developing nations. We burned energy as if there was no tomorrow, and in so doing, made tomorrow considerably more problematic.” Click here for more

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