Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's About Time - nonfiction

Time... time is a mystery, time waits for no one, just in time, time changes everything, time stands still.... and so on and so on. There are so many different saying about time, and even rules of thought. My son is a huge science fan and we have been having discussions on parallel universes and how someone could be in more than one place (or dimension) at one time. With the time changing for daylights savings time on March 11th. I figured it would be a good time to write a blog about this subject matter.

Time's Arrows : scientific attitudes towards time (M) by Richard Morris. As children we all had trouble with the concept of time. It is hard to explain what later, tomorrow, or even five minutes means to a child. What is time and how is it measured? Can you measure it by the seasons, and what is a season when we have had such an unusual winter this year? What is a year and whose calendar year is the "true" one? - the "normal " one, the Jewish one, Chinese, etc... Morris brilliantly presents some of the most intriguing questions about time, all in a language that the lay person can understand and, even more importantly, enjoy!

Canadian award winning poet, Christopher Dewdney, has written a lyrical narrative on the science of the perception of time, entitled Soul of the World : unlocking the secrets of time. (M) The review posted in The Vancouver Sun states "Soul of the World demonstrates how poets can help us rediscover the wonders that lie hidden within the sciences". Dewdney presents how time has been perceived throughout the ages in mythology, philosophy, art and science.

Conversations about the End of Time (M) by Stephen Jay Gould, Umberto Eco, Jean-Claude Carriere and Jean Delumeau was written in 2000. Perhaps you will remember the hoopla regarding the start of the new millennium. Y2K was going to destroy all the world’s computers because of the time adjustment, the Apocalypse would come along with Jesus reappearing on earth, and either war or peace would rule the world. The four authors listed above had a series of discussions on subject of time, the millennium, science, God and humankind. There are many, many interesting ideas in this book but one that sticks out to me is by Carrierre. "Absolute time, whether we call it divine or cosmic time -pays no attention to us, it treats us within disdain."

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