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PBS series: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson
The world today is obsessed by time. Johnson boards a submarine to discover what a lack of natural light means for a sailor's working day and visits Heathrow, the world's busiest airport, to try to get timings right at air traffic control. The story of getting a grip on time is full of curious garage tinkerers. One of them, railway clerk William F. Allen, was so exasperated by the chaos caused by the 8,000 local times zones in the U.S. that he fought tirelessly to standardize time into four zones. Learn how advancements in navigation, the way we work, technology and travel would have been impossible without the unsung heroes of time.
The Great Acceleration by he Great Acceleration is an energizing account from a brilliant new writer of how our society is speeding up--and why we should embrace it.
In this revelatory study of modern living, Robert Colvile inspects the various ways in which the pace of life in our society is increasing and examines the evolutionary science behind our rapidly accelerating need for change, as well as why it's unlikely we'll be able to slow down . . . or even want to.
Exploring theories surrounding the effect of this speed on our minds and bodies, Colvile reveals how, contrary to gloomier predictions, living in a faster age might be beneficial for us, both physically and mentally. In addition to the universe of social media, he examines the opportunities that faster communication and operation could bring to everything from music, film, and books to transportation, politics, and government.
Comparing developments in cities and villages, advanced economies and underdeveloped countries, East and West,The Great Acceleration explains how the positives outnumber the negatives and, if this acceleration is truly inevitable, why we should rush to embrace it.
Call Number: HM846.C65 G72 2016
Publication Date: 2016-05-17
The Perfectionists by "The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement--precision--in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future."--Amazon.com.
"Precision is so essential a component of modern human life and existence that we seldom stop to think about it. [This book] examines the relatively recent development of the notion of precision--the people who developed it and the ways in which it has shaped the modern world--and the challenges posed and losses risked by our veneration and pursuit of increasingly precise tools and methods. The history of precision as a concept and in practice begins in England with its originators: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who first exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools--machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods in the development of guns, glass, mirrors, lenses, and cameras gave way to further advancements, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider. The fundamental questions at the heart of The Perfectionists are these: Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultraprecise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural coexist in society?"--Jacket.
Call Number: TA19 .W56 2018
Publication Date: 2018-05-08
Thank You for Being Late by Friedman discusses how the key to understanding the 21st century is understanding that the planet's three largest forces--Moore's law (technology), the market (globalization) and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)--are accelerating all at once. And these accelerations are transforming the five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. Friedman posits that we should purposely "be late"--we should pause to appreciate the amazing historical epoch we're passing through and to reflect on its possibilities and dangers.--
"We all sense it--something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your kids. You can't miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are being transformed in so many realms all at once--and it is dizzying. In Thank You for Being Late, a work unlike anything he has attempted before, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. You will never look at the world the same way again after you read this book; how you understand the news, the work you do, the education your kids need, the investments your employer has to make, and the moral and geopolitical choices our country has to navigate will all be refashioned by Friedman's original analysis. Friedman begins by taking us into his own way of looking at the world--how he writes a column. After a quick tutorial, he proceeds to write what could only be called a giant column about the twenty-first century. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planets three largest forces--Moore's law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)--are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. Why is this happening? As Friedman shows, the exponential increase in computing power defined by Moore's law has a lot to do with it. The year 2007 was a major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform. Friedman calls this platform "the supernova"--for it is an extraordinary release of energy that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is creating vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world--or to destroy it. Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to write and think about this era of accelerations. It's also an argument for "being late"--for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we're passing through and to reflect on its possibilities and dangers. To amplify this point, Friedman revisits his Minnesota hometown in his moving concluding chapters; there, he explores how communities can create a "topsoil of trust" to anchor their increasingly diverse and digital populations. With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations--if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community Thank You for Being Late is Friedman's most ambitious book--and an essential guide to the present and the future."--Dust jacket.
Call Number: HM846 .F739 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-22
Free Time by Has the American Dream become an unrealistic utopian fantasy, or have we simply forgotten what we are working for? In his topical book, "Free Time," Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt examines the way that progress, once defined as more of the good things in life as well as more free time to enjoy them, has come to be understood only as economic growth and more work, forevermore.
Hunnicutt provides an incisive intellectual, cultural, and political history of the original American Dream from the colonial days to the present. Taking his cue from Walt Whitman's higher progress, he follows the traces of that dream, cataloging the myriad voices that prepared for and lived in an opening realm of freedom.
"Free Time" reminds Americans of the forgotten, best part of the American Dream-that more and more of our lives might be lived freely, with an enriching family life, with more time to enjoy nature, friendship, and the adventures of the mind and of the spirit.
Call Number: HD5124 .H858 2013
Publication Date: 2013-01-11
Time Reborn by "From one of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals, a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos What is time? This deceptively simple question is the single most important problem facing science as we probe more deeply into the fundamentals of the universe. All of the mysteries physicists and cosmologists face--from the Big Bang to the future of the universe, from the puzzles of quantum physics to the unification of forces and particles--come down to the nature of time. The fact that time is real may seem obvious. You experience it passing every day when you watch clocks tick, bread toast, and children grow. But most physicists, from Newton to Einstein to today's quantum theorists, have seen things differently. The scientific case for time being an illusion is formidable. That is why the consequences of adopting the view that time is real are revolutionary. Lee Smolin, author of the controversial bestseller The Trouble with Physics, argues that a limited notion of time is holding physics back. It's time for a major revolution in scientific thought. The reality of time could be the key to the next big breakthrough in theoretical physics. What if the laws of physics themselves were not timeless? What if they could evolve? Time Reborn offers a radical new approach to cosmology that embraces the reality of time and opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. There are few ideas that, like our notion of time, shape our thinking about literally everything, with huge implications for physics and beyond--from climate change to the economic crisis. Smolin explains in lively and lucid prose how the true nature of time impacts our world"--
Call Number: QB991.Q36 S66 2013
Publication Date: 2013-04-23
Breaking the Time Barrier by With more than a million and a half copies of her books in print, Jenny Randles has become one of the most respected writers on the paranormal of all time. The subject of her latest book, however, while once considered the province of the paranormal, has very recently become something much more: a science. BREAKING THE TIME BARRIER takes readers right into the labs that are working to prove that time travel is no fantasy. The quest for a time machine is an old one, and Randles' narrative takes readers back to the surprising efforts of Edison, Tesla and Marconi to achieve what was once considered impossible. Not until much later would developments in relativity, quantum mechanics and optical computers turn skeptics like Stephen Hawking into tentative believers. The result has been an explosion in scientific work and theory that can only be called incredible: altering the speed of light, replaying the energy of past events, alternative realities, and more. As scientists across the globe dabble in these and other tantalizing notions, the possibility of a real time machine grows stronger every day. Including thought-provoking speculations on what such developments would mean for our everyday lives, BREAKING THE TIME BARRIER is as bewitching as it is authoritative and deeply researched - a book that takes readers to the outer limits of a power that will change humanity forever.
Call Number: QC173.59.S65 R355 2005
Publication Date: 2005-04-05