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This is the heyday of speed.
If one quality defines our modern, technocratic age, it is acceleration. We are making haste. Our computers, our movies, our sex lives, our prayers -- they all run faster now than ever before. And the more we fill our lives with time-saving devices and time-saving strategies, the more rushed we feel.
In Faster, James Gleick explores nothing less than the human condition at the turn of the millennium. He shines a light of enterprising and analytical reporting -- as well as sly wit -- on the newest paradoxes of time. His journey takes us through the bunkers and trenches of a war we barely knew we were fighting: to the atomic clocks of the Directorate of Time, to the waiting rooms that focus our impatience, to the film production studios that test the high-speed limits of our perception, to the air-traffic command centers that give time pressure new meaning.
We have become a quick-reflexed, multitasking, channel-flipping, fast-forwarding species. We don't completely understand it, and we're not altogether happy about it. Faster is a mirror held up to our times -- and a mordant reminder of why some things take time.Praise for James Gleick:Chaos"Chaos is not only enthralling and precise, but full of beautifully strange and strangely beautiful ideas."
-- Douglas Hofstadter"There is a teleological grandeur about this new math that gives the imagination wings."
-- Vogue"Gleick has a novelist's touch for describing his scientists and their settings, an eye for the apt analogy, and a sense of the dramatic and the poetic."
-- The San Francisco ChronicleGenius"The clearest statement I have seen of the true spirit of science. Although I am a long-time friend and admirer of Feynman, I feel that I know him better after reading this book than I did before."
-- Freeman Dyson"A rare jewel-like biography. I can't remember a book in which, confronted with a personality so complex and a subject so difficult, I felt, as a reader, so secure."
-- Robert Kanigel, The Washington Post.