Slow Beings Acting Fast

I have recently learned that humans are among the most slowly developing of animals, both in terms of the evolution of its species and the individual development of any particular human animal. I find this absolutely fascinating.

I can not help but bring myself to wonder about how Paul Virilio might respond to this research. Recall that Virilio claims that it is the event of speed (which is a consequence of the existence of time) that introduces the accident. Thus, increased speeds bring forth increased accidents or events.

However, what we see above is a challenge to this thesis. If we are to uphold Virilio’s most basic theses then we would also have to claim that it is among the slowest of developing animals that the fastest speeds are made possible. Hence, there are more accidents. Perhaps this is how it must be: the slowest dominates precisely by moving fast, and it is not that the fastest simply dominates the slow.

This raises for me the following question: how does a slow being move the fastest? It must do so within a different register. The register I am talking about is the symbolic and imaginary, and this, finally, is the register of technology and power. Thus, a slow being is a being which has nothing to move (at the level of its real being) in the first place. The fastest being is therefore the one who is best capable of moving what he doesn’t have (the real) to a place which doesn’t want it (the register of technology and power).

Does this not explain why Virilio’s work always rubs up against the problem of imperialism – the imperialism of speed.


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