...in fact, within the fabric of our own lives, we can almost daily, hourly, by the minute, feel it speeding up, taking hold. It's a cliché that time is moving faster and faster – a cliché of the mass media – but I want to suggest that this is not a perceptual illusion, or a cultural mirage: that this is actually happening to the space–time matrix, that time is in fact speeding up. That history – in which we are embedded, because our life of 50–80 years is so ephemeral on a scale of 10–15,000 years – but nevertheless, history, is a state of incredible destabilisation. It's a chaostrophy in the process of happening. It begins with animals kept in balance by natural selection, and it ends with a global internet of electronic information transfer and a language-using species purling its instruments toward the stars.

There is no reason for us to suppose that this process of acceleration is ever going to slow down or be deflected. It has been a law of nature from the very beginning of nature, that this acceleration was built in. What poses a problem, to us as thinking individuals, is that the speed of involution towards concrescence is now so great that we can feel the tug of it within the confines of our own lives. There has been more change since 1960 than in the previous several thousand years. There has been more change since 1992 than in the previous thousand years. Change is accelerating. Invention, connection, adumbration of ideas, mathematical algorithms, connectivity of people, social systems, this is all accelerating furiously, and under the control of no one – not the Catholic church, the Communist party, the IMF, no one is in charge of this process! This is what makes history so interesting: it's a runaway freight train on a dark and stormy night!