I recently read Sean Carroll’s ‘From Eternity To Here’ and I thought it was a superb explanation of the physics that might lead us to understanding time. But don’t be fooled into thinking it has the answer to “what is time?”, we still don’t have a full understanding, fortunately we do however have General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory, Entropy, and a bunch of other cool theories that Professor Carroll ties together very clearly. It’s very light on math also, in case you happen to have that phobia.
‘From Eternity To Here’ also includes bits of interesting history of how we have perceived and explained time and cool stories of the physicists and their discoveries.
I just read “Time’s Arrow” by Martin Amis and I am very pleased. Sean Carroll (very clever cosmologist/physicist/science communicator) recommended it as an interesting portrayal of how we expect time to work by turning it backward in the experience of the protagonist’s life. Every moment is lived end to beginning, and cause-and-effect and entropy become more obvious in their reversal.
I won’t say too much about the life of the protagonist because even though I think his story is very compelling on its own and would be a great read in the usual chronology, I don’t want to give too much away, and also I think my favourite part of the book is how deftly the writer puts us in a story in reverse and would have been excellent with many different plots. I’ve never read anything like it.
It’s a short novel, only 165 pages or so, nice and quick, and the novelty of watching a life in reverse was very fun despite some of the darker experiences.
The first band I was ever in was a Blues band, I played guitar, I didn’t sing. ‘Lazy Dog Blues Band’ was our name; the singer and I both worked at the same record shop. We both came from different musical roots, but we both LOVED blues music, so we decided to form a band. We would agonise over which songs to include in our set, but of course B.B. King had hold over the both of us, so we had to include one of his standards. I still occasionally throw ‘Rock Me Baby’ into my set because of B.B. King’s influence on me.
Anyway, I’m sure you’ve already heard that B.B. King died; and I’m displeased with entropy, as usual. I’m glad I saw him live a couple of times, it was like higher education.
At least we have him recorded and his soul can still be heard forever, here’s a tremendous version of ‘Stormy Monday’, B.B. King showing us how it’s done: