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The media of high-resolution time: temporal frequencies as infrastructural resources

Mulvin, Dylan ORCID: 0000-0002-8925-2460 (2017) The media of high-resolution time: temporal frequencies as infrastructural resources. Information Society, 33 (5). pp. 282-290. ISSN 0197-2243

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01972243.2017.1354109


This article offers a short history of the transformation of time signals into a fundamental stability around which new communication infrastructures are built. These infrastructures include the Network Time Protocol, the Global Positioning System, and high-frequency trading. This article argues that “high-resolution time” can serve as a useful analytic framework for understanding the making and appropriation of contemporary temporal standards. Contemporary temporal infrastructures—the systems of time measurement and dissemination that subtend communication infrastructures—are based on the vibrations of caesium atoms, which act as fixed points. A focus on resolution aligns an analysis with the ways that time standards are, in practice, treated as both infrastructures and texts. High-resolution time, therefore, offers an understanding of time as a scalable resource built through contingent media practices.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Dylan Mulvin
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2018 14:35
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2024 03:03

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