DAVID CROZIER'S WONDERFUL SHORTS: Time, sex and lightbulbs
WHY are there never enough hours in a day? Why is it that even though I ve got just as many hours in my day as Mozart had, he wrote all that fabulous music and I have trouble finding 10 minutes to play my ukulele? (Not only that but by the time he d got t
WHY are there never enough hours in a day? Why is it that even though I've got just as many hours in my day as Mozart had, he wrote all that fabulous music and I have trouble finding 10 minutes to play my ukulele? (Not only that but by the time he'd got to my age Mozart had already been dead more than 10 years. As it were...)
Well if all this has ever concerned you, Prof Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd's book The Time Paradox (Rider Books, �8.99) is for you.
Zimbardo, award-winning former president of the American Psychological Association, shows how your individual time perspective shapes your life and is shaped by the world around you.
He and Boyd (his research partner) make many claims including that how we perceive time is as individual as our fingerprints and, interestingly, that many mental illnesses have at their root a distorted way of perceiving time.
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It all sounds fascinating. Wish I had time to read it...
Moving on, I'm intrigued and appalled in equal measure by Connected by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler (Harper Press, �12.99). The cover, in garish pink and green, shouts questions at you including "Who do you have sex with and why?" and "Can your friends make you fat?". Neither of those questions are ones I'm really bothered about and the idea that, as this book claims, when "your friend's friend starts smoking you find yourself reaching for a cigarette" seems nonsense to me. "Your colleague's husband's sister can make you fat," it screams. No. She can't. There used to be a joke about a scientist who had invented a cure for which there was no known disease. I can't help feeling there's an element of that here - maybe my refusal to be drawn into this whole stupid Social Networking craze (Facebook? Pah!) is the problem. Or maybe it really is a book with as much worth as the proverbial chocolate teapot. You decide...
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As a child of the baby boom, I am, according to The Pinch by David Willetts (Atlantic, �18.99) part of the "biggest, richest generation that Britain has ever known". Well done me.
But, Willetts argues, I've become this way at the expense of my children's future.
Well without wishing to disagree with him, I should point out that Mr Willetts has, since 1992, been the Tory MP for Havant and he not only earns more than twice what I do but in the parliamentary expenses scandal claimed �115 for workmen to replace 25 lightbulbs. At least my son won't grow up without a brain and a stepladder.