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Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything

Gleick, James

1,404 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679408371 / ISBN 13: 9780679408376
Published by Pantheon Books, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1999
Used Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From City Center Gallery & Books (Fayetteville, NC, U.S.A.)

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Hardcover is a nice clean solid copy, First Edition.324 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 002037

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Faster: The Acceleration of Just About ...

Publisher: Pantheon Books, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Synchronize your watches.
We have reached the epoch of the nanosecond. This is the heyday of speed.
If one quality defines our modern, technocratic age, it is acceleration. We are making haste. Our computers, our movies, our sex lives, our prayers -- they all run faster now than ever before. And the more we fill our lives with time-saving devices and time-saving strategies, the more rushed we feel.
In Faster, James Gleick explores nothing less than the human condition at the turn of the millennium. He shines a light of enterprising and analytical reporting -- as well as sly wit -- on the newest paradoxes of time. His journey takes us through the bunkers and trenches of a war we barely knew we were fighting: to the atomic clocks of the Directorate of Time, to the waiting rooms that focus our impatience, to the film production studios that test the high-speed limits of our perception, to the air-traffic command centers that give time pressure new meaning.
We have become a quick-reflexed, multitasking, channel-flipping, fast-forwarding species. We don't completely understand it, and we're not altogether happy about it. Faster is a mirror held up to our times -- and a mordant reminder of why some things take time.

Review:

Never in the history of the human race have so many had so much to do in so little time. That, anyway, is the impression most of us have of civilized life at the end of the millennium, and Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything only sharpens it. Elegantly composed and insightfully researched, Faster delivers a brisk volley of observations on how microchips, media, and economics, among other things, have accelerated the pace of everyday experience over the course of the manic 20th century.

Author of the pop-science triumph, Chaos, James Gleick brings his formidable writing skills to bear here, creating an almost poetic flow of ideas from what in other hands might have been just a mass of interesting facts and anecdotes. Whether tracing the modern history of chronometry (from Louis-François Cartier's invention of the wristwatch to the staggeringly precise atomic clocks of today's standards bureaus) or revealing the ways the camera has sped up our subjective sense of pace (from the freeze frames of Eadweard Muybridge's early photographic experiments to the jump cuts of MTV's latest videos), Gleick manages to weave in slyly perceptive or occasionally profound points about our increasingly hopped-up relationship to time. The result is the kind of thing only an accelerated culture like ours could have come up with: an instant classic. --Julian Dibbell

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