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Posts Tagged "time"

Anthropology in Practice

Creeping Connectivity: Work and Life in a Hyper-Connected World

It’s 10:30 PM on a Sunday night. I’ve finished folding our laundry and just started the dishwasher. As on most Sundays, S and I just finished watching The Walking Dead. Although while he was fully focused on the plight of the characters, I did what I normally do: half listened while I scanned work emails [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Beware: The Ides Have Come. No, Really. This Time It’s True.

The Death of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini. | CC. Click on image for license and information.

Is there a more suspicious day than the Ides of March? The day on which Julius Caesar was assassinated? It’s a day associated with betrayal—a day to worry about the loyalties of those closest to you because everyone has a price. The Ides of March occur in the middle of the month (from the Latin [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

The End of the Time of Earth: Why Does the Leap Second Matter?

Dial of the Prague astronomical clock. Creative commons. Click on image for license and information.

Ed Note: We have a guest today! AiP is pleased to host this post by Dr. Kevin Birth, who is a professor of anthropology at Queens College, CUNY and an expert on time. His forthcoming book, Objects of Time: How Things Shape Temporality (Palgrave Macmillan) discusses the hidden logics in clocks and calendars. As a [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

What Time Does The Cock Crow?

Ed. Note: Long time readers are well aware that I have a quirk about Time. You can read my other discussions here. The Experience of Time Time is a measure of events, duration, and change. Thanks to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) we share a basis for discussing Time. It helps structure our expectations. I may [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Introducing SA‘s Anthology, “A Matter of Time” [Excerpt]

A Matter of Time

What is time? It begins, it ends, it’s real, it’s an illusion. It’s the ultimate paradox. Scientific American has been covering different aspects of this subject ever since the beginning. In our latest anthology “A Matter of Time” we’ve consolidated more than 20 articles, from “How to Build a Time Machine” to “Could Time End.” [...]

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Critical Opalescence

Time Machines Would Run Afoul of the Second Law of Thermodynamics [Guest Post]

Last year I got talking to theoretical physicist Aron Wall about the thermodynamics of quantum gravity. Now that’s a deceptively beautiful phrase: in four words, you get three of the deepest areas in modern science. Their union promises answers to such mysteries as the arrow of time and what the heck time actually is. And [...]

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Critical Opalescence

What Would It Mean for Time to Come to an End? [Video]

Could time come to an end? What would that even mean? Last month I gave a talk about this strange physics idea at a TEDx event in Trento, Italy, based on a Scientific American article I wrote in 2010. My conceit was that time’s end poses a paradox that might be resolved if time is [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Why Does Time Fly as We Get Older?

Time flies

Another year; another Christmas around the corner. The conversation around the watercooler these days has evolved into the annual “where has the time gone?” discussion—how quickly the neighborhood kids have become high school graduates; how our hot July beach vacations seem like they were just yesterday; and how we haven’t baked cookies or sent cards [...]

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Observations

Where Do Space and Time Come From? New Theory Offers Answers, If Only Physicists Can Figure It Out

SANTA BARBARA—”Maybe we’re just too dumb,” Nobel laureate physicist David Gross mused in a lecture at Caltech two weeks ago. When someone of his level wonders whether the unification of physics will always be beyond mortal minds, it gets you worried. (He went on to explain why he doesn’t think we are too dumb, though.) [...]

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Observations

The Emperor, Darth Vader and the Ultimate Ultimate Theory of Physics

PASADENA—The theory is so obscure there’s not a Wikipedia page about it yet. It might be impossible to formulate mathematically. One theoretical physicist calls it the Emperor Palpatine of theories, even more powerful and inscrutable than the Darth Vader theory that he and others have been studying intensively. And yet it has a purity and [...]

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Observations

What the World Looks Like, If You Move Backward in Time [Video]

Oops, I said my last post on the recent Foundational Questions Institute conference would be my final one, but I can’t resist just one more. At the conference, Gavin Crooks at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, who studies molecular machines and gave a great talk on how life balances time asymmetry with thermodynamic efficiency, showed this brilliant short [...]

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Observations

Time on the Brain: How You Are Always Living In the Past, and Other Quirks of Perception

I always knew we humans have a rather tenuous grip on the concept of time, but I never realized quite how tenuous it was until a couple of weeks ago, when I attended a conference on the nature of time organized by the Foundational Questions Institute. This meeting, even more than FQXi’s previous efforts, was [...]

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Observations

Leap Seconds May Hit a Speed Bump

NIST-F1 Cesium Fountain Atomic Clock

For most of human history we have defined time through the movements of planets and stars. One day is the time it takes the Earth to rotate about its axis, one year the duration of a single orbit about the sun. But in January 2012 the way we think of time may change. In order [...]

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Observations

How the earthquake in Chile could change Earth’s axis

chile earthquake shorten days change earth axis rotation

The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that jolted Chile on Saturday was felt as far away as São Paulo. But NASA scientists are proposing that its repercussions are truly global in a geophysical sense: it likely shifted Earth’s axis by about eight centimeters. Such a shift would have the effect of shaking as much as 1.26 microseconds [...]

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Symbiartic

How Well Will You Age?

14-022FEATURE

When we’re young, we quietly take stock of those around us and reject notions that we will eventually gain weight, deflate, wrinkle and sag. When we’re old, we reminisce about the smooth, taut and strong bodies of our youth. You can look to your relatives for rough facsimiles of how you might age, but ultimately, [...]

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