Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Tag: time

115: Time by Eva Hoffman


115: Hoffman, Eva. Time. New York: Picador, 2009. 189 pp. ISBN 978-0-312-42727-6.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 100: Philosophy and Psychology
  • 110: Metaphysics
  • 115: Time

Time is all at once the most universal, the most intangible, and the most misunderstood concept. We make time, take time, keep time, lose time, waste time, borrow time, but never really understand it. Eva Hoffman’s Time takes a look at time from four different vantage points: physiologically, psychologically, culturally, and contemporaneously. And in each perspective, we see time in a whole new light.

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530: Time Reborn by Lee Smolin


530.12: Smolin, Lee. Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. 273 pp. ISBN 978-0-547-51172-6.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 500: Science
  • 530: Physics
  • 530.1: Theories and mathematical physics
  • 530.12: Quantum mechanics

Time is both everywhere and nowhere. It is force we deal with everyday in a metaphysical sense as well as a phantom object. In the physics world, it has no real definition aside from what other theories and variables give it. After Einstein’s theories, it became relative; what was perceived as a certain time to one person could be different to another. Lee Smolin’s Time Reborn seeks to wrestle the relative and vanishing concept of time away from the quantum mechanical model and give it a physical presence in the universe. He wants to make time real.

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529: Calendar by David Ewing Duncan

529.3: Duncan, David Ewing. Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year. New York: Avon, 1998. 241 pp. ISBN 0-380-97528-9.

529 is a curious section in the DDC. 520s are astronomy, but the last section in the division–529–is classed as chronology. This is because for many millennia, cultures have counted their days and nights by the sun and the stars. Long before electric wristwatches and atomic clocks, the hours of the day were tolled out by bell towers and sun sightings.

While Gould’s book (here) was superficial and condescending, David E. Duncan’s Calendar is vast and learned. You can tell just from the first chapter that the author consulted as many sources as is possible for this book. His goal is to track the evolution of the modern 12-month, 365-day (or 366) from its earliest form to the present. Along the way, he weaves a thread through Cro-Magnon bone carvers, Egyptian pharoahs, Indian mathematicians, and Catholic philosophers.

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