- Jul 2018
However, as Mark Poster points out, 'the new level of interconnectivity heightens the fragility of the social networks. '·50 The source of control now undermines its execution. For clock time to exist and thus to be measurable and controllable there has to be duration, an interval between two points in time. Without duration there is no before and after, no cause and effect, no stretch of time to be measured. The principles of instantaneity and simultaneity of action across space, as I have shown in chapter 3, are encountered in quantum physics; they have no place in the Newtonian world of causality and bodies in motion, the world chat we as embodied beings inhabit. The control of time that has reached the limit of compression has been shifted into a time world where notions of control are meaningless. More like the realm of myths and mysticism, the electronic world of interchangeable no-where and now-here requires knowledge and modes of being that are alien to the industrial way of life. Other modes of temporal existence, therefore, may hold some viral keys, their 'primitive' understanding of time pointing not ro control but to more appropriate ways of being in the realm of insrantaneity.
Adam argues that control of time is futile in an interconnected network where hyper-compression has effectively rendered duration/intervals of time as unmeasurable.
If temporality cannot be "measured, fixed, regulated or controlled" (see timescapes image), then time cannot be controlled.
Subsequently, we need other approaches to be "in the realm of instantaneity."
'Interconnectivity', Hassan suggests, 'is what gives the network time its power within culture and society.'32 It is worth quoting him at length here. Network time does not 'kill' or render 'timeless' other temporalities, clock-time or otherwise. The embedded nature of the 'multiplicity' of temporalities rbat pervade culture and society, and tbe deeply intractable relationship we have with rhe clock make this unlikely. Rather, the process is one of 'displacement'. Network time constitutes a new and powerful temporality that is beginning to displace, neutralise, sublimate and otherwise upset other temporal relationships in our work, home and leisure environments
Hassan advances Castells' work on network time and focuses on how the cultural impact/power comes from interconnectivity of the network, not Virilio's emphasis on communication speed.
In this view, culture and society have multiple temporalities that layer/modify/supercede as globalization, political/work trends, and new technologies take hold.
Network time is displacing other types of temporal representations, like clock-time.
This network time transforms social time into two allied but distinct forms: simultaneity and timelessness. 29 Simultaneity refers to the globally networked immediacy of communication provided by satellite television and the internee, which makes real-time exchanges possible irrespective of the distances involved. Timelessness, the more problematic concept, refers to the layering of time, the mixing of tenses, the editing of sequences, the splicing together of unrelated events. It points co the general loss of chronological order and context-dependent rhythmicity. It combines eternity with ephemeralicy, real time with contextual change. Castells designates timeless time as 'the dominant temporality of our society'
Per Castells, network time transforms social time into two forms: simultaneity and timelessness.
Simultaneity is characterized by global, networked real-time experience augmented by technology. Timelessness is characterized by a non-linear experiences and lack of contextual rhythms. Time is undifferentiated and seems eternal and ephemeral.
Castells views timelessness as the new dominant temporal culture.
In Castells's analysis, time is not merely compressed but processed, and it is the network rather than acceleration that constitutes the discontinuity in a context of continuing compress10n.
compressed time vs processed time
acceleration (speed) vs network time
In a systematic analysis Castells contrasts the clock time of modernity with the network time of the network society.
clock time vs network time
Definition of network time, per Hassan (2003): "Through the convergence of neoliberal globalization and ICT revolution a new powerful temporality has emerged through which knowledge production is refracted: network time."