• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Examining how the `here and now' of space, territory, the body, are being redefined by new technologies and how this undoes simplistic versions of the globalization thesis, Paul Virilio demonstrates how technology has made inertia the defining condition of modernity. An instantaneous present has replaced space and the sovereignty of territory; everything happens without the need to go anywhere. This book will be a key reference for students and scholars of the latest thinking in social theory.

Indirect Light
Indirect light

Light is the name of the shadow of the living light.

Bernard de Clairvaux

I still remember my astonishment, ten years ago, when I saw video screens replacing mirrors on Paris Metro platforms.

Soon after 1968, it is true, surveillance cameras had appeared at the entrances to the grandes écoles and universities, and this new equipment was also used to keep watch on the boulevards and major junctions of the capital.1 Today, I am astonished once again when I see the lens of a micro-camera rising above the keypad that gives coded access to a block of flats. Evidently entry phones are no longer enough to do the job of the old concierges.

As an electro-optical substitute, videoscopy seems to come into its own with this ...

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