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Our Timeless Obsession With Time Travel46:22

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Our long human fascination with time travel, with best-selling writer and science thinker James Gleick.

Welcome Krononauts -- ad in Artforum Magazine designed by RichardTE (January 1980) p. 90, inviting time travelers, or People from the Future(s), to Baltimore, Maryland two years later on March 9, 1982. (Creative Commons / RichardTE)
Welcome Krononauts -- ad in Artforum Magazine designed by RichardTE (January 1980) p. 90, inviting time travelers, or People from the Future(s), to Baltimore, Maryland two years later on March 9, 1982. (Creative Commons / RichardTE)

We want to time travel. Look around.  From H.G Wells and his time machine, to Marty and Doc in "Back to the Future," to three – count them, three – new network time travel shows on TV this fall. The notion is irresistible and everywhere. And yet, when we try to describe what time is and how we might move through it – when we confront the realities of time itself – that’s hard.  James Gleick is all over it. This hour On Point, time, and our obsession with time travel.  -- Tom Ashbrook

Guest

James Gleickauthor and writer on science and technology. Author of the new book, "Time Travel: A History." Also author of "The Information," "Issac Newton" and "Chaos." (@JamesGleick)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: James Gleick’s Exhilarating ‘Time Travel: A History’ -- "James Gleick’s exhilarating history of time travel begins by transporting us back to the future—to the fin de siècle bridging the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That period anticipated many of our present concerns, witnessing rapid technological innovation and extensive globalization. It also saw an unprecedented questioning of customary assumptions in both the sciences and the arts."

New York Times: Anthony Doerr Reviews a New Book on Time Travel — "Bad news first: Though the title might suggest otherwise, this is not a book sent through a wormhole from the future to detail the glorious evolution of time ­travel. Darn it. Gleick even goes so far as to declare that literal time travel, as imagined and reimagined by writers over the decades, 'does not exist. It cannot.'"

Washington Post: Time travel and the quest for immortality — "This salon is at once literary and scientific, mixing the two cultures as they should be more often. Gleick, as host, reminds the reader-guest that this conversation is not about silly pop notions of time travel being corrected by the sober rational discoveries of science. It is also about science itself becoming increasingly baffled by time."

Read An Excerpt Of "Time Travel" By James Gleick

This program aired on September 29, 2016.

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