The Wall Street Journal – 21.07.2020
Joseph Mazur – The Clock Mirage
Info: What is time? This question has fascinated philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists for thousands of years. Why does time seem to speed up with age? What is its connection with memory, anticipation, and sleep cycles?
Award‑winning author and mathematician Joseph Mazur provides an engaging exploration of how the understanding of time has evolved throughout human history and offers a compelling new vision, submitting that time lives within us. Our cells, he notes, have a temporal awareness, guided by environmental cues in sync with patterns of social interaction. Readers learn that, as a consequence of time’s personal nature, a forty‑eight‑hour journey on the space shuttle can feel shorter than a six‑hour trip on the Soyuz capsule, that the Amondawa of the Amazon do not have ages, and that time speeds up with fever and slows down when we feel in danger.
With a narrative punctuated by personal stories of time’s effects on truck drivers, Olympic racers, prisoners, and clockmakers, Mazur’s journey is filled with fascinating insights into how our technologies, our bodies, and our attitudes can change our perceptions. Ultimately, time reveals itself as something that rides on the rhythms of our minds. The Clock Mirage presents an innovative perspective that will force us to rethink our relationship with time, and how best to use it.