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New Stationary States: Real Time and History’s Disquiet

New Stationary States: Real Time and History’s Disquiet The problem of time, its tools, and its functions, inevitably looms behind all the enterprises in which it is engaged. One may not be interested in it; it will soon establish itself in the foreground. One may pretend to ignore its presence; it nevertheless remains present behind all the words which one employs. --Ferdinand Gonseth (1972) The Age of Expansion In that altogether too famous essay often described as his "essay on the memex," Vannevar Bush, director of the wartime United States Office of Scientific Research and Development, observed that "[i]f the aggregate time spent in writing scholarly works and in reading them could be evaluated, the ratio between these amounts of time might well be startling."1 Noting a "mountain of research" now growing faster and out of all proportion to scholars' ability to collectively absorb what they collectively produce, Bush described the knowledge worker "staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers--conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear." "Yet specialization," Bush continued, in a characteristically terse expression of what we might call the antinomy of the technocratic imperative, "becomes increasingly necessary for progress, and the effort http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke University of Nebraska Press

New Stationary States: Real Time and History’s Disquiet

symploke , Volume 21 (1) – Dec 22, 2013

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 symploke.
ISSN
1534-0627
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The problem of time, its tools, and its functions, inevitably looms behind all the enterprises in which it is engaged. One may not be interested in it; it will soon establish itself in the foreground. One may pretend to ignore its presence; it nevertheless remains present behind all the words which one employs. --Ferdinand Gonseth (1972) The Age of Expansion In that altogether too famous essay often described as his "essay on the memex," Vannevar Bush, director of the wartime United States Office of Scientific Research and Development, observed that "[i]f the aggregate time spent in writing scholarly works and in reading them could be evaluated, the ratio between these amounts of time might well be startling."1 Noting a "mountain of research" now growing faster and out of all proportion to scholars' ability to collectively absorb what they collectively produce, Bush described the knowledge worker "staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers--conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear." "Yet specialization," Bush continued, in a characteristically terse expression of what we might call the antinomy of the technocratic imperative, "becomes increasingly necessary for progress, and the effort

Journal

symplokeUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Dec 22, 2013

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