Tag: acceleration

From Zizek’s Trouble in Paradise, pg 174-175: The threat today is not passivity, but pseudo-activity, the urge to ‘be active’, to ‘participate’, to mask the Nothingness of what goes on. People intervene all the time, ‘do something’, while academics participate in meaningless ‘debates’, and so on, and the truly difficult thing is to step back, […]

Notes for a talk next week My concern in this short talk is not to diagnose the underlying conditions which generate an acceleration of social life, or indeed the various experiences which differently placed actors have of such acceleration. Instead, I’m interested in the novel and deeply reflexive cultural forms arising under these conditions, as what […]

From the Commencement address Steve Jobs gave on June 12, 2005: When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have […]

Good news! This week it was learnt that CWTS will play host to the second annual conference ‘The Accelerated Academy: Evaluation, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life’. Generously sponsored by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, the event will take place from 30th November to 2nd December 2016 in the beautiful city-centre of […]

From Refusal of Work by David Frayne, pg 70: Consider the extent to which the standard eight-hour working day fractures free-time into shards. The full-time worker experiences time as a rapid series of discrete pockets: a constantly rotating cycle of work periods and free periods, in which free-time is restricted to evenings, weekends and holidays. […]

A letter Filip Vostal and I have written to University Affairs in response to this interview: We read your recent interview with the authors of the recent book Slow Professor with interest. While we welcome the continued expansion of critical debate concerning academic labour, we nonetheless found much to be concerned with in the interview. […]

At various points in the last year, I’ve made the argument that acceleration can serve to “reduce the time available for reflexivity, ‘blotting out’ difficult questions in a way analogous to drink and drugs”. My point is that this is pleasurable: it’s something that people embrace because of the satisfactions they find in it, the thrill of moving […]

In recent papers Ruth Müller has offered what I think is the very important concept of anticipatory acceleration to make sense of how subjects, in this case post-doctoral researchers, wilfully participate in social acceleration. Drawing on the work of James Scott, she outlines an attitude of ‘disregard for the present’: The present figured not as important in and […]

After a year’s work, we’re pleasingly getting to the end of the first phase of the Accelerated Academy project. Here’s what we have to show for it: Keynote lectures and videos from the event An introductory reading list Podcasts from the conference Interviews with Maggie O’Neill and Roger Burrows Our first paper is still under review […]

In the Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz recounts his experiences of his company Loudcloud coming close to failure. At a climatic moment, he makes a speech to his staff declaring the commitment they will have to show over the coming months. From pg 48: “I have some bad news. We are getting our […]

From In The Plex pg 185: Sergey Brin even put a label on his cofounder’s frustration at the tendency of developers to load more and more features into programs, making them run way too slowly. Page’s Law , according to Brin, was the observation that every eighteen months, software becomes twice as slow. Google was […]

From Ann Oakley’s satirical novel Overheads. A remarkable rant from a professor who has just been discovered to have fabricated the vast majority of his publications list: The thing is, Lydia, few people realise how few books or articles are ever read by anybody. The average number of people who read an academic article is 4.6. […]

From The New Ruthless Economy, by Simon Head, loc 630-647. Taylor’s  experience of industrial resistance to his methods led him to replace this participatory aspect with an elaborate system of inspection and control: But perhaps the most important portant contribution of Japanese manufacturers to the theory and practice tice of scientific management has been to […]

From The New Ruthless Economy, by Simon Head, loc 149-164 From the early 1990s onward, the twin phenomena of”reengineering” and “enterprise resource planning” (ERP) have been prime examples of workplace practices built around new information technologies. Relying ing on computers and their attendant software, reengineering and ERP automate, simplify, join together, and speed up business […]

From Countdown to Zero Day, by Kim Zetter, loc 1000-1018: When Chien joined Symantec, antivirus researchers were like the Maytag repairman in those iconic ads— they had a lot of downtime. Viruses were still rare and tended to spread slowly via floppy disks and the “sneaker net”— carried from one computer to another by hand. […]

From Jony Ive, by Leander Kahney, pg 72: The production schedules also got shorter and shorter. When Brunner first started at Apple, the product development cycle was eighteen months or more. ‘It was crazy generous,’ Brunner said. ‘You had an amazing amount of time to make something work.’ Within a couple of years, however, the […]

I’ve written in the past about the pleasures of acceleration, how speeding up can prove satisfying because of the opportunities it can present for evading difficult issues that an actor might otherwise find themselves forced to confront. There’s a really interesting section in Addiction By Design pg 54 which speaks to this idea: Speed is […]

ht Su Oman. Wish I could apply for this. Shared in the hope others can. ERRANS, in Time ICI Fellowships for 2016-18  The ICI Berlin announces ten post-doctoral fellowships for the Academic Years 2016-18  Conceptions of time and varied modes of temporal experience seem more at odds now than ever. Hamlet’s hunch – that ‘the […]

An interesting blog post by Nick Osbaldiston, reflecting on a study they undertook into the working lives of academics. The original focus was quantitative, with some of the findings detailed in the post: • Academics in our study (n=155) reported working on average 9 hours per day • However, Full-Time Ongoing Academics reported an average […]