A Tenth of a Second: A History by Jimena Canales

By Jimena Canales

In the past due 15th century, clocks received minute fingers. A century later, moment arms seemed. however it wasn’t until eventually the 1850s that tools may possibly realize a 10th of a moment, and, after they did, the impression on glossy technological know-how and society used to be profound. Revealing the background at the back of this infinitesimal period, A 10th of a Second sheds new mild on modernity and illuminates the paintings of significant thinkers of the final centuries.

Tracing debates concerning the nature of time, causality, and unfastened will, in addition to the advent of recent technologies—telegraphy, images, cinematography—Jimena Canales locates the reverberations of this “perceptual second” all through tradition. as soon as scientists linked the 10th of a moment with the rate of suggestion, they built response time experiments with lasting implications for experimental psychology, body structure, and optics. Astronomers and physicists struggled to manage the profound effects of effects that have been a 10th of a moment off. And references to the period have been a part of a common inquiry into time, awareness, and sensory adventure that concerned rethinking the contributions of Descartes and Kant.

Considering its impression on for much longer time sessions and that includes appearances via Henri Bergson, Walter Benjamin, and Albert Einstein, between others, A 10th of a Second is finally a major contribution to heritage and a singular point of view on modernity.

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Extra resources for A Tenth of a Second: A History

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Michael polanyi, chemist and philosopher A widely read and influential text by the famous psychologist and historian of psychology Edwin G. ” When did this value first appear as a “sacred,”€salient, and troubling, time period? ” The date was 1796, and the place was the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.  An influential author writing decades after Boring was . Edwin G. Boring, A History of Experimental Psychology (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1929), 148. . Ibid. . ” The tenth of a second was closely associated with the discovery of the personal equation in astronomy and reaction time in experimental psychology.

Edwin G. Boring, A History of Experimental Psychology (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1929), 148. . Ibid. . ” The tenth of a second was closely associated with the discovery of the personal equation in astronomy and reaction time in experimental psychology.  The personal equation and reaction time were two controversial terms whose exact meaning would be debated for decades. The term “reaction time” was mostly used by experimental psychologists to describe a lag time, of the order of the tenth of a second, between stimulus and response; the term “personal equation” was mostly used by astronomers.

In considering bodies as sensors, reactors, authors, and texts, I am drawing on the work of the philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Deleuze turned to the tenth of a second to rethink the concept of authorship and texts in terms of association velocities. He argued that our traditional conception of reading was based on the idea that it occurred at “vitesse = 0,” rendering the meaning of a text stable. Deleuze experimented with altering this speed in order to question a text’s stability. He admired forms of writing, particularly those pioneered by Hélène Cixous, meant to be read at “greater and greater speeds .

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