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Why Time Flies Audiobook

Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation

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Publisher's Summary

Time is the most commonly used noun in the English language; it's always on our minds, and it advances through every living moment. But what is time exactly? Do children experience it the same way adults do? Why does it seem to slow down when we're bored and speed by as we get older? How and why does time fly?

In this witty and meditative exploration, award-winning author and New Yorker staff writer Alan Burdick takes listeners on a personal quest to understand how time gets in us and why we perceive it the way we do. In the company of scientists, he visits the most accurate clock in the world (which exists only on paper); discovers that "now" actually happened a split-second ago; finds a 25th hour in the day; lives in the Arctic to lose all sense of time; and, for one fleeting moment in a neuroscientist's lab, even makes time go backward. Why Time Flies is an instant classic, a vivid and intimate examination of the clocks that tick inside us all.

©2017 Alan Burdick (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (72 )
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4.3 (65 )
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  •  
    S. Yates 04-26-17
    S. Yates 04-26-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nuanced and thoughtful"
    Any additional comments?

    Entertaining, educational, introspective, and timely (pun intended). This all too brief book deals with time, how we measure it, how our bodies perceive it, how our brains process it, and what we have yet to figure out. It is a well-balanced mixture of science and anecdote, explanation and emotion. Worth your time!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    heather 04-14-17
    heather 04-14-17 Member Since 2006
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    "Time slowed a bit near the middle but..."

    Time slowed a bit near the middle but...sped up again near the end. Some very interesting mostly scientific details. The rat studies were less interesting to me and therefore apparently seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to get through. I will recommend this as interesting and informative but with one slower section. Good useful read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-08-17
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-08-17 Member Since 2015
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    Story
    "TIME IS A MYSTERY"

    Time is a mystery. Alan Burdick speculates on a definition of time in “Why Time Flies”. In some respects, Burdick’s story is enlightening; in others, time escapes his audience’s understanding.

    Time appears to be a construct of mind and consciousness, both of which are equally mysterious.  No one really knows what mind and consciousness are but recent experiments suggest they are a state of being that offers versions of reality; i.e. not objective truth but subjective understanding.  Experiments show that the mind deconstructs what we see and reassembles it to have meaning in an individual’s consciousness. 

    Burdick shows, through recounted experiments, that time does not slow down when we experience traumatic events like a car crash or a bungee jump.  What our mind does is reconstruct an accident or bungee jump through a consciousness that makes it seem time slows down.  Our consciousness remembers or manufactures events as though they occurred in slow motion; i.e. we remember seeing our car flipping over, the top being crushed, and our effort to use a seat belt to steady our movements.  All of this happens within a minute but we remember it in detail as though a slow-motion camera records the accident.

    How does one define a moment?  It seems to be something between history and future but what is time’s physical marker?  Maybe it is consciousness but no one knows what consciousness is and every person’s consciousness is personal and subjective; not universal.

    At best, Burdick’s story only deepens the mystery of time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    DanSebastian 05-01-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Boring"

    Excessive, unnecessary detail that makes the book much longer than it needs to be to make it's point. Over and over the author writes: "when does now begin and when does it end?".
    We got that point after the second or third time. After the umpteenth time you start to wish that the book would end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Katibird 05-08-17
    Katibird 05-08-17
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    "Time did not fly"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    You will have to ask the author to do a second edition, better edited. It was very dry and beat experiment stories to death with repetitious examples. Maybe more human interest aspects? Somehow more action? Less repetitive discussion on the same point?


    Would you ever listen to anything by Alan Burdick again?

    Everyone deserves a second chance.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Not a lot of what musicians call shaping in the expression of his delivery. The rise and fall of voice pitch and volume with sentence development.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Technically there were some interesting facts, but they were beat to death.


    Any additional comments?

    Some good editing might have improved the pace and the amount of time spent on making a point. Too many examples, and too much information for each example. Anyone who selected this technical book is not likely to be slow-witted.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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