Why farmers were the first time travelers

20171117_TNA53RobertsMyasoyedovbanner1Adam Roberts at The New Atlantis:

Time Travel, the latest work by James Gleick (pronounced “Glick”) is a pleasingly varied compendium. It mixes accounts of the most famous fictional accounts of time travel — H. G. Wells’s Time Machine, spoiler-heavy summaries of Robert Heinlein’s “By His Bootstraps,” Isaac Asimov’s The End of Eternity, the BBC’s Doctor Who, and the other usual sci-fi suspects — with readings of T. S. Eliot, Marcel Proust, and William James. In between the book reports are lower-calorie accounts of the physics of time as presently understood; philosophical discussions about causality, free will, language, consciousness, and time paradoxes; and an interlude on the craze for burying time capsules.

The whole thing is written with more charm than precision. For example, it’s odd that a study dedicated to Wells’s famous book refers to “the troglodytic Eloi and bovine Morlocks” — those adjectives are the wrong way around. Presumably that’s a slip, as is Gleick’s claim that “No one knows exactly what [ancient Greek philosopher] Heraclitus said, because he lived in a time and place that lacked writing” — Greeks were writing for at least two centuries before Heraclitus, and we have fragments of Heraclitus because he did write a book (On Nature), which was in turn quoted by other writers before the original was lost to time.

more here.