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Speed and Politics (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents) Paperback – October 13, 2006

7 customer reviews

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Speed and Politics (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents) + The Aesthetics of Disappearance (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents) + The Administration of Fear (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Virilio was born in 1932 and has published a wide range of books, essays, and interviews grappling with the question of speed and technology, including Speed and Politics, The Aesthetics of Disappearance, and The Accident of Art, all published by Semiotext(e).

Benjamin H. Bratton is a theorist whose work spans philosophy, computer science, and design. He is Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego. He is also Visiting Professor of Critical Studies at SCI-Arc (the Southern California Institute of Architecture) and Professor of Digital Design at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
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Product Details

  • Series: Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents
  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Semiotext(e); 2nd edition (October 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584350407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584350408
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Vinnie on August 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Speed and Politics" is an insightful post-modern examination into what I call 'exponential progress'. In one part, Virilio suggests that since society is increasingly less patient (mostly as a result of technology), people in general are less willing to spend the time to read or investigate their oppressive situations (probably because they were overly busy shopping and thinking about the next best and greatest thing to own) and, as such, require a quick dose of knowledge. To do this, the philosopher/politician/revolutionary must boil down the essence of an idea and serve it before the attention of the people diminishes into thoughtless, emotion-driven consumption once again.

The book is short. However, each sentence has the brilliance of two pages. Read slow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 22, 2015
Format: Paperback
Paul Virilio (born 1932) is a French cultural theorist and urbanist.

He states in the first chapter of this 1977 book, “Mob riots reform the mob (the original mob of hunter-raiders). To lead the bands of ‘lost soldiers’ of the worker’s army---its DROMOMANIACS [‘Name given to deserters under the ancien regime, and in psychiatry to compulsive walkers’; pg. 153]---that is, for the leaders, to incite them.” (Pg. 4)

He says, “The city is but a stopover, a point on the synoptic path of a trajectory, the ancient military glasis, ridge road, frontier or riverbank, where the spectator’s glance and the vehicle’s speed of displacement were instrumentally linked. As I have said in the past, there is only ‘habitable circulation.’” (Pg. 5-6)

He asserts, “Revolution is no more than a rerouting of the old social assault.” (Pg. 21) And “Stasis is death, the general law of the world. The State-fortress, its power, its laws exist in places of intense circulation.” (Pg. 68)

He notes, “In a recent article, I stressed the necessity of reviewing our ‘physical concept of history,’ of finally recognizing it for what it has become: ‘…Which in short would make of war’s conductibility (the coherent plan devised in space and time that can, through repetition, be imposed upon the enemy) not the instrument but the origin of a totalitarian language of History. This language is the mutual effort of the European States, then of the world, toward the absolute essence of foreign or civil war (speed), thus giving it the stature of an absolute takeover of world history by Western military intelligence. Pure history, then, is only the translation of a pure strategic advance over terrain. Its power is to precede and be final, and the historian is but a captain in the war of time.’” (Pg.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful By adarrigo@bellatlantic.net on December 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
I agree entirely with the reviewer from SUNY. There is so much secondary literature on Foucault precisely because so many are looking to appropriate the fashion of his name to any bastardized cause celebre. This clear, concise, and challenging little book presents a better introduction to Foucault's thinking than all of the secondary and tertiary literature combined.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I don't know if there is some bug in Amazon's system, but the three reviewers do not appear to be review Virilio's "Speed and Politics."
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