To invent the sailing ship or steamer is to invent the shipwreck.
To invent the train is to invent the rail accident of derailment.
To invent the family automobile is to produce the pile-up on the highway.
— Virilio (2007)
Transmission and Social Acceleration
The most obvious, and most measurable form of acceleration is the speeding up of intentional, goal-directed processes of transport, communication, and production (2003, 6).
— Rosa (2003, p. 6)
The center of this idea of communication is the transmission of signals or messages for the purpose of control. It is a view of communication from one of the most ancient of human dreams: the desire to increase the speed and effect of messages as they travel in space.
— Carey (2009, p. 12)
Functional Accidents and Distributed Agency
[an accident is] a failure in a subsystem, or the system as a whole, that damages more than one unit and in doing so disrupts the ongoing or future output of the system.
— Perrow (1999, p. 66)
[O]n June 16, 1887, a Philadelphia wool dealer named Frank Primrose telegraphed his agent in Kansas to say that he had bought—abbreviated in their agreed code as BAY—500,000 pounds of wool. When the message arrived, the key word had become BUY. The agent began buying wool, and before long the error cost Primrose $20,000, according to the lawsuit he filed against the Western Union Telegraph Company.
— Gleik (2012, p. 166)
Who or what is responsible?
Philosophers have always aimed at cleaning up the litter with which the world apparently is filled.
— James, (1996, p. 45)
[James takes seriously] a place for something like an element of chanciness or volatility within [the world’s] loose regularities and historical flows.
— Connolly (2005, p. 73)
In an untidy world, the actant is “a being or entity that makes a difference in the world without quite knowing what it is doing [emphasis added]” (Connolly, 2005, p. 72).