Saturday, 7 July 2007

Word of the day

From Indra comes dromology, from the Greek word dromos, to race. It is described by Paul Virilio, described as a cultural theorist and urbanist, in the Wikipedia and elsewhere. This is the first foray of this blog into the field of cultural theory, and it feels like I have climbed over a barbed-wire fence into somewhere strange.

Dromology means the 'science (or logic) of speed' and is important, Virilio suggests, when considering the structuring of society in relation to warfare and modern media. The speed at which something happens may change its essential nature, and that that which moves with speed quickly comes to dominate that which is slower. 'Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of territory is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a matter of movement and circulation.'

I am not sure that the science of speed is very appealing, and perhaps it is matched by the countervailing movements like slow pedagogy and slow food - the Slow Movement, in a word.

I am sure that there is a lesson for librarians in there, but we are going to have to move quickly to seize it. Perhaps that is the lesson? And happy birthday soon, Indra. We all have to have them, and may as well seize the day.

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