I began this book with a power- chronographic scan of Shibuya Crossing in
Tokyo. Immersed in the rhythm of this iconic setting, I set the stage for my
argument that the popular notion that the world is speeding up was less
an accurate depiction of the moment than it is a productive ideological
discourse symptomatic of global capital’s spatial imaginary. I argued that
theoretical critiques of the culture of speed had not paid sufficient atten-
tion to the institutional, cultural, and economic arrangements that produce
specific tempos for different populations. A myopic theoretical focus on
speedup had obscured the necessity of tracing how differential relationships
to time organize and perpetuate inequalities. The concern over speedup
is less about time than it is about space. The speedup narrative is based
in a critique of a newly unruly tempo that threatens the spatial virtues of
democracy.1 Such a perspective seems determined to envision time and
space as competing cultural values rather than intertwined facts of life.
The political salience of speed is not just a theoretical matter. When time is
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