ISSN : 2266-6060

We want the world… now!

waiting

Paris, January 2015.

In a wireless connected world everything appears smooth and seamless. One navigates almost simultaneously in several spaces upon the flat surface of a screen, being the one of a laptop, a smartphone or a touchpad. One jumps from a movie to the last program of a political party, from a store of any kind (clothes, food, drugs, furnitures, books, cars, flats, and so one) to an interaction with family members or friends, from a bank account to the publications of a research lab… The whole world is there, present at hand, just through one merely click or the (un)significant touch of a finger. In such a world, time seems also reduced to zero. Just think of someone or something! Real-time information rhymes with perception, free access and, above all, immediacy. There is no more room for waiting.
Yet this conception totally overlooks the material infrastructures that enact the connected world. Made of failures and breakdowns, information infrastructures also have their own calculation time for data processing and for transporting one piece of information from one place (a computer) to another (a data storage center). In most situations, the remaining time before the next possible action is represented by a graphic (a timeline, a color wheel) and a specific sound. This research manuscripts submission manager does not display any clues of the kind. It is only when keeping on clicking that an intriguing message appears. It substantially means: “we are still working, so stop clicking everywhere and press no more buttons!” In other words, keep calm and carry on. The submitting process will take only a few minutes, a small delay compared to the time reviewers will need before returning their evaluation.