The Great Accelerator

The Great Accelerator

by Paul Virilio


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On 10 September 2008, amid much fanfare, the Great Collider run by CERN in Geneva was turned on. The Collider was supposed to fire protons around a seventeen-mile loop of tunnels, causing them to crash into one another at close to the speed of light and break into even tinier particles. Nine days later the Collider broke down and had to be switched off, the accelerator temporarily silenced, the reckless search for 'God's particle' put on hold.

At the same time the speeded-up markets of global finance, with screens of multi-coloured numbers designating the rapid flows of capital, are suddenly thrown into confusion when news spreads that the great Titan of Wall Street, Lehman Brothers, has filed for bankruptcy. Investors panic, share prices plunge and the accelerated markets of global finance seize up.

In his latest book, Paul Virilio - the leading theorist of our obsession with technology, speed and power - rewrites 'The Book of Exodus', but the exodus he talks about is no longer conducted in a single file of people headed for some possible Promised Land. It is a closed-circuit exodus within a cramped world, where reduction in human stocks will suddenly look like the only solution to the lockdown of history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'Virilio has long cultivated a kind of Delphic compression, addictive once you tune in to its cadences.'
Steven Poole, The Guardian

'An exciting yet terrifying account of how contemporary society is shaped by an ever-increasing demand for speed … Locating time at the centre of all forms of knowledge, Virilio shows how speed and its measurement is a question belonging to the realm of politics, economics and religion as much as to physics and quantum physics.'
Times Higher Education

'Paul Virilio's indispensable new work, The Great Accelerator, considers history, privacy and, especially, speedup. If our accelerated postmodern culture is a closed circuit, Virilio asks, are not speed and light reconfigured as "dromology" and traditional philosophy as too "slow"? Thought-provoking and contentious, The Great Accelerator will be a widely discussed book.'
John Armitage, Northumbria University

'Paul Virilio's The Great Accelerator continues his interrogations of speed and time forecasting the end of history, time and knowledge as we once knew them. Futuristic to the zero point, Virilio dazzles, illuminates and provokes as we speed through his latest vision of what is to come and what's happening now.'
Douglas Kellner, UCLA, author of Cinema Wars and Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780745653891
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 06/19/2012
Pages: 100
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.50(d)

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