Speed is the Essence of (Simulated) War

In Speed and Politics, Paul Virilio notes:

The maneuver that once consisted in giving up ground to gain Time loses its meaning: at present, gaining Time is exclusively a matter of vectors. Territory has lost its significance in favor of the projectile. In fact, the strategic value of the non-place of speed has definitively supplanted that of place, and the question of possession of Time has revived that of territorial appropriation (p.133, italics in original).

In this passage I am reminded of the evolution of various strands from the pre-modern rituals of folk football, and in particular, how the American version of football has obsolesced (in a McLuhanist sense) the more globally-preferred version of the game, soccer. The genius of Mike Leach at Texas Tech is in how he rethinks space and time on the football field, most notably in how he uses his air force to dilate, and thus gain possession of, game time.

So, to paraphrase the Sun Tzu quote that Virilio cites at the beginning of that chapter, "Speed is the essence of (simulated) war".


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