The adventure spans the world from Stonehenge to astronomically aligned pyramids at Giza, from Mayan observatories at Chichen Itza to the atomic clock in Washington, the world's official timekeeper since the 1960s. We visit cultures from Vedic India and Cleopatra's Egypt to Byzantium and the Elizabethan court; and meet an impressive cast of historic personages from Julius Caesar to Omar Khayyam, and giants of science from Galileo and Copernicus to Stephen Hawking. Our present calendar system predates the invention of the telescope, the mechanical clock, and the concept ol zero and its development is one of the great untold stories of science and history.
How did Pope Gregory set right a calendar which was in error by at least ten lull days? What did time mean to a farmer on the Rhine in 800 A.D.? What was daily life like in the Middle Ages, when the general population reckoned births and marriages by seasons, wars, kings'' reigns, and saints' days? In short, how did the worldThe adventure spans the world from Stonehenge to astronomically aligned pyramids at Giza, from Mayan observatories at Chichen Itza to the atomic clock in Washington, the world's official timekeeper since the 1960s. We visit cultures from Vedic India and Cleopatra's Egypt to Byzantium and the Elizabethan court; and meet an impressive cast of historic personages from Julius Caesar to Omar Khayyam, and giants of science from Galileo and Copernicus to Stephen Hawking. Our present calendar system predates the invention of the telescope, the mechanical clock, and the concept ol zero and its development is one of the great untold stories of science and history. How did Pope Gregory set right a calendar which was in error by at least ten lull days? What did time mean to a farmer on the Rhine in 800 A.D.? What was daily life like in the Middle Ages, when the general population reckoned births and marriages by seasons, wars, kings'' reigns, and saints' days?
Using the designing and building of the Clock of the Long Now as a framework, this is a book about the practical use of long time perspective: how to get it, how to use it, how to keep it in and out of sight. Here are the central questions it inspires: How do we make long-term thinking automatic and common instead of difficult and rare? Discipline in thought allows freedom. One needs the space and reliability to predict continuity to have the confidence not to be afraid of revolutions Taking the time to think of the future is more essential now than ever, as culture accelerates beyond its ability to be measured Probable things are vastly outnumbered by countless near-impossible eventualities. Reality is statistically forced to be extraordinary; fiction is not allowed this freedom This is a potent book that combines the chronicling of fantastic technology with equally visionary philosophical inquiry.
Presents a study of the human fascination with time from a psychological, biological, and cultural perspective, tracing the development of measuring time and exploring ways in which we try to stretch our allotted time
From the bestselling, National Book Award-nominated author of Genius and Chaos, a bracing new work about the accelerating pace of change in today's world.Most of us suffer some degree of hurry sickness. a malady that has launched us into the epoch of the nanosecond, a need-everything-yesterday sphere dominated by cell phones, computers, faxes, and remote controls. Yet for all the hours, minutes, and even seconds being saved, we're still filling our days to the point that we have no time for such basic human activities as eating, sex, and relating to our families. Written with fresh insight and thorough research, Faster is a wise and witty look at a harried world not likely to slow down anytime soon.
We have widely varying perceptions of time. Children have trouble waiting for anything. ("Are we there yet?") Boredom is often connected to our sense of time passing (or not passing). As people grow older, time seems to speed up, the years flitting by without a pause. How does our sense of time come about? In Felt Time, Marc Wittmann explores the riddle of subjective time, explaining our perception of time--whether moment by moment, or in terms of life as a whole. Drawing on the latest insights from psychology and neuroscience, Wittmann offers a new answer to the question of how we experience time.
Wittmann explains, among other things, how we choose between savoring the moment and deferring gratification; why impulsive people are bored easily, and why their boredom is often a matter of time; whether each person possesses a personal speed, a particular brain rhythm distinguishing quick people from slow people; and why the feeling of duration can serve as an "error signal," letting us know when it is taking too long for dinner to be ready or for the bus to come. He considers the practice of mindfulness, and whether it can reduce the speed of life and help us gain more time, and he describes how, as we grow older, subjective time accelerates as routine increases; a fulfilled and varied life is a long life. Evidence shows that bodily processes--especially the heartbeat--underlie our feeling of time and act as an internal clock for our sense of time. And Wittmann points to recent research that connects time to consciousness; ongoing studies of time consciousness, he tells us, will help us to understand the conscious self.
Ishmael Reed has created a sharp, wildly funny slave's-eye view of the Civil War.Three slaves infected with Dysaethesia Aethipica (a term coined in the nineteenth century for the disease that makes Negroes run away) escape from Virginia. Not satisfied with leaving slavery halfway, one of the trio has vowed to go the whole distance to Canada; his master, Arthur Swille, determined to recover his property, pursues, hot on Raven Quickskill's trail. With myth-bending ingenuity, Reed merges history, fantasy, political reality, and high comedy as he parodies the fugitive slave narrative: the slave-poet Quickskill flees to Canada on a nonstop jumbo jet; Abe Lincoln waltzes through slave quarters to the tune of "Hello Dolly"; the plantation mistress lies in bed watching the Beecher Hour on TV. Flight to Canada's preposterous episodes leap out from the pages of history to reveal a keen sense of America past and present.
Hurricane Katrina, the internet stock bubble, disease outbreaks -- are these predictable, preventable events, or are we merely the playthings of chaos? A compelling, irreverent, elegantly written history of our future that addresses the most important issues of our time, Apollo's Arrow examines such questions as: How well can we predict the future? Can past discoveries help us understand tomorrow's weather patterns, or tell us what our financial future will look like? Will scientists ever be able to forecast catastrophes, or will we always be at the mercy of Mother Nature, waiting for the next storm, epidemic, or economic crash to thunder through our lives? David Orrell looks back to show us how past scientists (and some charlatans) predicted the future, and where we are on the path to truly understanding what comes next. He asks how today's scientists can claim to predict future climate events when even three-day forecasts prove a serious challenge. Can we predict and control epidemics? Can we accurately foresee our financial future? Or will we only find out about tomorrow when tomorrow arrives?
- Richard Price: "An Introduction to Spacetime Physics"
- Stephen Hawking: "Chronology Protection"
- Igor Novikov: "Can We Change the Past?"
- Kip S. Thorne: "Speculations about the Future"
- Timothy Ferris: "On the Popularization of Science"
- Alan Lightman: "The Physicist as Novelist"
Clocks became common in late medieval Europe and the measurement of time began to rule everyday life. God's Clockmaker is a biography of England's greatest medieval scientist, a man who solved major practical and theoretical problems to build an extraordinary and pioneering astronomical and astrological clock. Richard of Wallingford (1292-1336), the son of a blacksmith, was a brilliant mathematician with a genius for the practical solution of technical problems. Trained at Oxford, he became a monk and then abbot of the great abbey of St Albans, where he built his clock. Although as abbot he held great power, he was also a tragic figure, becoming a leper. His achievement, nevertheless, is a striking example of the sophistication of medieval science, based on knowledge handed down from the Greeks via the Arabs.