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The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life's Scarcest Commodity Paperback – Bargain Price, February 3, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A witty, engrossing journey through the science, culture, concept and nature of time, the latest from German science journalist Klein (The Science of Happiness) is a treatise on temporality brimming with insight. Exploring the extensive research on time perception-from Michel Siffre subjecting himself to months alone in a pitch-dark cave to the burrowing behavior of single-celled euglena-Klein amasses hard evidence, amusing anecdotes and unlikely consequences of the enormous disparity between time as we perceive it (inner time) and time as we conceptualize it (i.e, clock time). For example, an investigation into the slippery idea of "the present" indicates that "The Now is an Illusion," synthesized by the mind from disparate, often non-simultaneous sensory elements: "The brain can delay the present by up to a half-second" in order to compensate for the relative speed of, say, sound over sight. Klein's suggestions for slowing down arise seamlessly throughout the book from the biological and physical data (well documented in chapter notes and a thorough bibliography), and the epilogue pares them down to six individual steps. Sure to give readers fresh perspective on their everyday lives, Klein's concepts are well illustrated in copious examples from literature and popular culture, and Frisch's fluid, flawless translation makes his text as captivating as it is enlightening.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The author of the best-selling Science of Happiness now tackles time, approaching the topic from many angles: physiology of circadian rhythms, psychology of memory and perception of time, and physics of relativistic time. His epilog then moves toward self-help by applying the points made in the book to propose some tips for time management. Despite the breadth with which Klein addresses the subject, there is still depth to his discussions, which are well supported by cited research. There is a substantial body of work on time management and commentary on the increasing speed at which we live, but this title is unique in addressing questions such as how we perceive time and why we often feel we don't have enough of it. Recommended for all general science collections." -- Library Journal
"Time [has] new meaning in this book based on aspects of all the sciences." -- Desert Morning News
"Time is a fundamental component of the mind and the brain. Our experience of the passing of time varies dramatically, and yet precise timing is crucial for communication between nerves in the brain. In this book Stefan Klein presents a most engaging account of the latest research on all these aspects of time. We all want to use our time better. Reading this book would be a good start to this endeavor." -- Chris Frith, author of Making up the Mind
"[Klein's] scientific approach is an important difference between The Secret Pulse of Time and pop psychology books that simply tell one how to think and behave. What we're getting here is good advice validated by cutting edge data and research...Klein's book won't stop time's assault, but it's a good bet that The Secret Pulse of Time will encourage readers to fight back." -- Providence Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I felt like the writing flowed awkwardly at times. Or that he moved on too quickly from certain topics which would have been worthwhile to explore at greater length. I didn't come away from it thinking it deserved 5 stars, but I'd have to revisit it to remember exactly why that was. It's definitely one that's worth reading twice. A lot of helpful information I've already forgotten after less than a year!
Do not expect however any in-depth discussion on the mathematics or the physics of time. There is indeed a chapter on relativity but it is quite superficial indeed.
I started TIME, grew tired of the style, put it aside... then found myself thinking about various issues raised in the book. After telling several friends "not to bother" reading TIME, I found myself reading it, drawn in by the subject matter.
So the book grew on me.
More, I'm not aware of other neuropsychological books that address this topic head-on. Our brains have co-opted movement modules to tackle "time." Wow. Now there's a thought to chew on. Time -- for me at least -- certainly does seem longer and richer when I hike or spend 6 hours cycling a century than when I surf the web.
Drawn in my "time" and the psychology of time? You could do a lot worse than TIME. And if you know there may be "style issues" upfront, perhaps they won't trouble you.
Dr. Kirtland Peterson
The philosophy and psychology section of the book changed my life. Must read for anyone.
Klein also explains why the rich despite their ability to delegate all kinds of life tasks to helpers of various kinds feel more pressed for time than most others. The answer is that they have many more options. They are more in Toffler's Future Shock pressured all the time by the many good things than they can give their time to and get.
In his concluding section Klein mentions six areas in which it might be possible for us to improve our lives in relation to 'time'. These involve in some way moving away from the tyranny of the clock and imposing both at the personal and global level better ways of integrating our own circadian rhythms and mechanisms of human perception of thought.
He speaks about the importance of reducing stress, of living in harmony with our own body rhythms, achieving balance and relaxation, having a more conscious perception of the present, actively shaping available time and not simply being passive victims of circumstance.
All these involve using our freedom to use our time more wisely.Efforts of concentration, of honing our powers of perception, of learning to truly take time out and relax, In arguing for a new culture of time Klein says we cannot escape the clock and calendar but need not be obsessed with them. In effect he tells us to follow the advice of Thoreau and 'walk to the sound of our own drummer' to find the personal rhythm of our life which is right for us.