About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang by Adam FrankThe Big Bang is all but dead, and we do not yet know what will replace it. Our universe’s “beginning” is at an end. What does this have to do with us here on Earth? Our lives are about to be dramatically shaken again—as altered as they were with the invention of the clock, the steam engine, the railroad, the radio and the Internet.
In The End of the Beginning, Adam Frank explains how the texture of our lives changes along with our understanding of the universe’s origin. Since we awoke to self-consciousness fifty thousand years ago, our lived experience of time—from hunting and gathering to the development of agriculture to the industrial revolution to the invention of Outlook calendars—has been transformed and rebuilt many times. But the latest theories in cosmology— time with no beginning, parallel universes, eternal inflation—are about to send us in a new direction.
Time is both our grandest and most intimate conception of the universe. Many books tell the story, recounting the progress of scientific cosmology. Frank tells the story of humanity’s deepest question— when and how did everything begin?—alongside the story of how human beings have experienced time. He looks at the way our engagement with the world— our inventions, our habits and more—has allowed us to discover the nature of the universe and how those discoveries, in turn, inform our daily experience.
This astounding book will change the way we think about time and how it affects our lives.
About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang
I enjoyed this book and was keen to pick it back up when I got the opportunity. I'm swithering between 3 and 4 stars as whilst it certainly got me thinking on several occasions there were also bits This is an inspiring tour through the history of how humans have envisioned and defined time through the ages. Also, how the concept of time is connected to how we view the beginnings of our universe Adam Frank.
T ime is "slippery stuff" says Frank, a theoretical astrophysicist. In this ambitious and wonderfully expansive study, he weaves together the parallel histories of personal, lived time with cosmic time — the cosmologies that we have been fashioning to explain the universe since the dawn of human civilisation. Beginning some 40, years ago, he evocatively describes how not just our evolving theories about the sky and stars have transformed our understanding of time, but how our everyday experience of time — "its felt contours" — changes through history. The "lived day" of a Babylonian merchant was very different from that of an 18th-century worker in the Crowley Ironworks, or "the mobile-phoned, Facebooked, e-calendared days we move through today". Cosmology now stands on a precipice: "there is change in the air". New ideas, such as the extra dimensions of string theory, may soon revolutionise our experience of time and bring about yet another twist in the "enigmatic entanglement" of cultural and cosmic time.
Thank you! As human consciousness grew more sophisticated, so did our manipulation of time. Clocks, telescopes, radio, GPS and e-mail are all examples of how cultural invention and cosmic time are interwoven and mutually articulated. String theory, multiverse models, brane cosmology and other fields may yield answers about the creation of the universe, and are also implicitly theories of space -time. Ultimately, Frank argues that recognizing our place in the ongoing narrative of the creation of cultural time and cosmic time—moving beyond the cosmology of the Big Bang of which "ours" may be one of many —is what will allow mankind to enter a new, global era of time and culture. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again.
Is a Climate Disaster Inevitable?
Perhaps it would be exact to say: there are three times, a present of things past, a present of things present, a present of things to come. Today there are many books on the nature of time as we experience it and even more on cosmic time as revealed by science. Yet few attempt to recount the entwined narratives of cosmic history and human time as a unified whole. Frank and the others do not doubt the scientific narrative of cosmic evolution over the last Cultures have always needed a cosmology to understand their place in the framework of creation. Frank shows how, as our ideas about cosmology and cosmic time have changed, human time has also changed.
For example, he cites evidence that Mars once had liquid water and a thick atmosphere — friendly conditions for life. Apparently, climates can drastically change over time. Rather than just continuing to procreate and exploit our capacities and resources on Earth, we should recognize that we and our planet are evolving together. Our planet might be viewed as a single living organism, coined Gaia by the scientist and futurist James Lovelock. We have entered a new geological age, what biologists call the Anthropocene, in which we, Homo sapiens , are altering the planet, and our survival depends on understanding this symbiosis. Frank asks: Have other civilizations elsewhere in the universe, evolving through their corresponding Anthropocenes, managed to survive? And by what strategy?