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Theorizing space and time

  • Communication
  • Pharmacology


a34183 2089..2094 Theorizing space and time ‘‘The world is too big for us. [There is] too much going on ... .Try as you will, you get behind in the race. It's an incessant strain to keep pace and still you lose ground ... . Everything is high pressure. Human nature cannot endure much more.'' Editorial in Atlantic Journal 16 May 1833 In an article entitled `` Technology and time for the poor'', the Wall Street Journal (18 August 2001, page 1) recently noted: `` Many Americans can buy groceries at 24-hour supermarkets, gas up their cars at 24-hour gas stations and fill prescriptions at all-night pharmacies. With access to the Internet, they can sit at home and buy books, apply for a mortgage or reserve plane tickets at 3 a.m ... . But if you're poor, you're not gaining much time or advantage from new technology. All too often you still do business the old-fashioned way: by waiting in line.'' More often than not, those of us with access to major news sources and the Internet, with sufficient incomes for air travel, with some acquaintance with global finance and labor markets, and with the other trappings of what we call `globalization', feel the effects of `space ^ time compression' as our world appears to be getting ever smaller and ever faster. For example, a century ago, during the Boer War, it took seventeen days for news from the siege of Mafeking to be taken by runner to Mochudi and then to Lourenc° o Marques (today's Maputo) and on to London via telegram so that it might be reported to Britons on the front page of The Daily Telegraph of 1 January 1900. Today, in contrast, at the beginning of a new century, those of us with access to the Internet or CNN can watch in real-time events thousands of miles away as they happen. Likewise, high-speed travel and communication mean that places and peoples are said to have come much closer together, and many of us are now expected to be more productive in less time as a result of this compression. Such a shrinking of relative distances and the co

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