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The technicity of time : from 1.00 oscillations/sec to 9,192,631,770 Hz.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2001
<mark>Journal</mark>Time and Society
Issue number2
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)235-258
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In modern social and critical theory, clocks have figured as the embodiment of social order or, more ominously, as an exemplar of the threat posed to living thought by technology. As an alternative to such a bipolar evaluation, this paper examines the technicity of clocktime. The concept of technicity was suggested by the French philosopher, Gilbert Simondon. It is way of understanding the mode of existence of technical objects ontogenetically, that is, in terms of how they come to be rather than what they are. This paper introduces an ontogenetic account of clocktime as a new capacity to articulate diverse geographical, economic, technical and political realities together. It explains the convoluted precision of contemporary clocktime ensembles as just such an articulation. It discusses an ineliminable residue of metastability in the increasing precision of clocktime.