real time

Real time excludes any perceptible delay. It seems like now.

The ironic nature of this concept is that real time is human subjective time. When we do not notice lags in communication, calculation, etc., we currently use the expression "in real time". But the reality of this time is simply a function of our motor habits, of the brief but real lags in our sensory systems, in our perceptions and neural activity. 

Needing information in real time means getting it sufficiently quickly that you can do something about it before it becomes stale. Real time is the "practical present," under the conditions of a "fever of immediacy." It is the "absolute zero" of temporal distance.

In this respect, the "thickened" present with its retentions and protentions which William James, Josiah Royce, and Edmund Husserl described could be used as a model, with the addition of contemporary experimental findings of lags in perception and neural activity. 

Paul Virilio argues that real time is becoming urbanized. (through telemarketing, for example) He does not oppose real time to deferred time, but to present time, by isolating it from its presence here and now. ( "The Third Interval", in Rethinking Technologies, p.4) For Virilio generalized interactivity sits beside pollution and impoverishment as a reduction of the planet. 

The lack of a future-oriented longer time-frame connects "real time", pollution, and economic inequalities. All of them result from a lack of shared responsibility for the future. Instead, an "emergency" oriented response brings too little to late. 

The now immaterial environment is connected to the "terminal" body of men and women with interactive prostheses who become the virtual equivalent of the well-equipped invalid. Consigned to inertia, these interactive beings transfer their natural capacity of movement and travel into probes, into detectors that inform their users about distant realities, but to the detriment of their own sensory faculties of reality (underline mine) For Virilio, this catastrophic individual has lost not only his or her natural mobility, but also any immediate means of intervening in the environment. (p.11) see intelligent building. The terminal citizen of a teletopical city is on the way to an accelerated formation. "to be a subjector to be subjected, that is the question."

For Virilio, a critical transition is taking place in which the "third interval" of the speed of light is replacing time ( duration) and space (extension) as an absolute. Thus the "dromological" or "chronoscopical" notion of exposure (underexposed, exposed, overexposed) replaces that of succession in terms of present duration and that of extension in immediate space. For Virilio, this is a crisis in the temporal dimensions of the present moment.