The rhythm of the contemporary world is frenetic. The escalator, once a symbol of progress, cannot anymore serve the needs of modern humans, who are always in a hurry. Not only work but also personal life is structured according to the new tenet: “speed is everything.” “In a world where everything is moving so rapidly, simply being fast isn’t enough; you have to be faster than anyone and everyone. Accelerate until you’re at the front and move fast to stay there”—in the words of an entrepreneur in digital marketing. But high speed is not merely a means for accomplishing the goals of productivity and personal happiness, both evaluated in terms of success and innovation; it has become the ultimate “objective” reality: you “really” exist as long as you fully experience the worldly culture of acceleration (see Hartmut Rosa, Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity).
This intense rhythm continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly affecting even existential conditions such as love and death. Crisis itself ceases to constitute a sudden rupture of a fixed way of life; rather, it emerges as the “new normal,” as people become adjusted to a variety of continuous crises that happen very quickly.Continue reading