Time as duration is the identity of things, the consistency of their color and dimension. To this we must add . . . that the duration of things tempts us to assume that they do not change but remain the same. The world then becomes dry and nameless; ultimately even nothing but a formula. The tempo of things can induce us to believe in a "lawless," arbitrary, even enchanted world. Both these extremes must be rejected. Things not only have duration but also tempo.
In the period 1740-1900 duration was overestimated. That wouldn't have been possible if things hadn't presented themselves as having much duration and little tempo. Things with more duration than tempo impress us as dead or dying. It is no coincidence that in the period 1740-1900 the idea arose that through the irreversible process of cooling, the world as a whole faces death by cooling, or, in official terms, heat death. Between 1740 and 1900 things were already more or less dead. At any rate, they lost their luster, which is seen in the fact that the era was characterized by its inclination to strip things of anything that would inspire wonder. One who denies the wondrous aspect of things—that is, their changeability—loses respect for them. Once this respect has suffered, one can handle things casually. One handles them in this way when one passes over them quickly. He who moves with speed through a landscape proves that he has little respect for the things in it. Thus, the increasing velocity of locomotion in the period 1740-1900 can be seen as the expression of the overestimation for the duration of things that prevailed at that time.
--J.H. van den Berg, Things: Four Metabletic Reflections