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It’s About Time

by Peter Block
From News for a Change

I was in Silicon Valley last year and someone from Bay Networks, a software company, asked me what I thought of the motto, “Speed is god and time is the devil.” Too busy to respond at the moment, I later thought that this statement was a clear, precise statement of the culture we are in the process of creating. Our religious affection for technology and its commerce keeps deepening and the internet has become the ultimate modern wonder drug. The internet is not about communication and global understanding, it is about reducing transaction time. Reduced transaction time has become a form of new age materialism.

It is hard to argue against the internet. It is really a huge, benign, low-cost encyclopedia that operates like a mall and helps replace the telephone company and the postal service. It has surfaced needs that I did not know I had. Until recently, I was happy paying bills through the mail, getting tickets from a travel agent, buying books at a book store, and calling people I wanted to talk to. No more. Now I need to do all of these electronically.

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