Time Travel in Science Fiction: A Brief History | James Gleick

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  1. Time travel is there in the story of balarama marrying his wife from tretayuga , while he is in dwaparayuga .

  2. Interestingly, in Well's "The Time Machine", there is NO concept whatsoever about changing something, either in the past (the possibility of travelling into the past is only briefly mentioned in the novel but it IS mentioned) or in the future.

  3. Before you can define time travel you have to define time.

    Time as we generally think of it is is just a human invention. The reason the Industrial revolution is significant is because before man didn't live by the clock. Afterwards he did. Humans lived life by the passing of the seasons, the movement of the sun and the moon. A ticking clock brought about an acute awareness of the passing of our lives.

  4. This reminds me of another similar idea, the emergence of the concept of space travel and astronomy. That people, for the longest time, did not grasp the context for the Earth co-existing with other planets in the same physical space.

  5. It is most interesting that time travel is a very new concept. I had not consciously thought about that before seeing this video but indeed, I believe he is correct about the beginning of the idea in human thought. Dang, I'm a history buff and must cogitate upon this.

    While it has been pointed out that Wells was not the very first person to have thought about such things, it was he, Wells, that helped made the idea common in modern thinking. He had the good fortune of having written The Time Machine at a time when people could understand and deal with the idea partly because of the massive quick changes happening in Europe.

    I have never met a historian or archaeologist that does not have time travel fantasies regarding the past.

    Jung mentioned people who were living in the wrong era, people who felt they should have been born some time in the past. He pointed out that these people always saw themselves as truly belonging in the past, never in the future.

    Even knowing how horrible life was in many places at many times, the unknown future is more intimidating than the relatively known past

  6. I bet the idea of time travel goes all the way back to when human beings started to recognize their mistakes. Then wishing to go back and do it differently was an automatic human desire.

  7. It wasn't only time machines, but machines in general that weren't thought of in the same way until the Victorian era, or rather, until the industrial revolution.

  8. Edward Bellamy: Looking Backward (1888), Mark Twain: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889). Two examples that predate The Time Machine by 7 and 6 years respectively. Not that I believe James Gleick is entirely wrong; the period did lend itself to introspection of society and how it stood from where it came from (traveling backwards) and where it might be going (traveling forwards). H.G. Well's just was not the only one at the time using time Travel in narrative fiction.

  9. Looking at the comments… What Wells brings to the table is not the idea of time travel per se but rather the idea of voluntary time travel. In the comments I read of prophecies and gods taking ppl into the future… yeah but Wells takes the industrial revolution, and the wonders of man-made machines and thinks of what ppl could eventually achieve with that. Thats the difference.

  10. Everyone just repeats the same arguments against the main thesis of James Gleick not understanding that he speaks 1) of a specific kind of technological time travelling that indicates a new physical understanding of time 2) speaks about a book intending this new understanding, reflecting it and making it to the main topic! That is different from other books. That time and the metaphysical wish to change time is important in books before "the time machine" is not the most intelligent observation. I would recommend to read books by dickens or twain instead using them for arguments like theologians did using bible verses against bible verses (dicta probantia).

  11. 'Ask yourself, as a farmer, in the 16th century where do you see your grandchildren?'' Witchcraft, demonology etc all perceived future/ past events (which is basic time travel) the idea of living or transporting to the future or past (without a machine) even goes back to superstition; cats who have nine lives etc. it is inevitable that someone got an idea to write about a machine that can bounce around. Also, don't forget superman

  12. The BBC investigated the literary roots of time travel:
    HG Wells or Enrique Gaspar: Whose time machine was first? http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-12900390

    It mentions:

    Edward Page Mitchell's story The Clock That Went Backward (1881)
    Enrique Gaspar's El Anacronopete (1887)
    HG Wells' The Time Machine (1894)

    Altough Mitchell's story doesn't have much time travel, while Gaspar's very clearly does.

  13. surely, time travel must have been a kniwn paradox in relation to the omnipotence and omniscience of God. God forsees the future and the past. God can undue the present and start all over again. id like to see if timetravel was thought about in relation to an all powerful paradox proof diety.

  14. This guy need to do research before speaking. Neither time travel or time machine is a new concept. Both concepts are well used in Indian Sanskrit epic, Mahabharata also known as Jaya long before H.G. wells or any modern author as per say.

  15. first concept of time travel was the first person who was resentful or regretful of something that transpired and wished they could relive and alter a key moment.

  16. In Hindu mythology: one king traveled(instant traveling) to realm of gods to fight a war but he was tricked by the king of gods(Indra) as he was not told time runs slow in that realm thus when he came back after a few days of war all was gone, his kingdom, everything he knew has changed, everything except his family who were with him the whole time he dint understand what is going on, and went to realm of Brahma. Brahma took a couple of minutes(in his realm) to explain him what had happened and told in his realm time runs even slower and he reappears on earth hundreds of years have passed, and and his daughter marries the Krishna’s brother. There are various version of this story each essentially similar to time dilation.

  17. "Time machine" was mentioned in 1881.
    Starting point of your book is wrong.
    This channel is lying by the video.
    1733 Memoirs of the Twentieth Century by Samuel Madden A guardian angel travels to the year 1728, with letters from 1997 and 1998.
    1781 Anno 7603 by Johan Herman Wessel A good fairy sends people to the year 7603 AD.[1] The people find themselves in a society where gender roles are reversed. Only women are soldiers.
    1819 Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving A man falls asleep on a mountain side and wakes twenty years in the future. He finds he has been forgotten, his wife has died and his daughter is no longer a child.
    1843 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens The heartless Scrooge is shown his past and future (in a dream) by three ghosts in order to teach him the consequences of his selfish ways.
    1881 The Clock that Went Backward by Edward Page Mitchell A clock takes people back in time. The first story to use a machine for time travel
    1887 Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy In the late 19th century, Julian West falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep and wakes 113 years later.
    1888 A Dream of John Ball by William Morris John Ball travels between mediaeval and contemporary worlds.

  18. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, 1843. A very popular story about time travel predating the time machine by 52 years. Granted Scrooge was unable to interact with the visions but the way in which this was explained to him in the novel clearly indicates that Dickens considered the idea but likely chose a vision based plot to avoid paradoxes and to keep the plot as plausibly realistic.

  19. "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", by Mark Twain, was released in 1889 – six years earlier than Wells' work. This is neither an obscure nor "geeky" selection. There are certainly other, equally common examples of time travel literature previous to 1895. Your attempt to revise literary history to support your own narrative has failed, serving only to highlight your own wanton ignorance.

  20. If far fetched fiction has a quantitative effect on the direction that science takes, should we consider it slightly less of a financial endeavor and more of a public service?

  21. In the last book of the Confessions, Augustine discusses the nature of time. His view was that time was established by God–in a sense like a movie reel that's unrolled back into the past.

  22. Charles Dickens Christmas Carol(1849) shows events of a possible future and of the past.
    The Clock that Went Backwards(1881) by Edward Page Mitchell .
    The secret to time travel is also the secret to all knowledge. Just dream the bigger you dream and the more effort you use to make those dreams come true more you will accomplish.

  23. This guy needs to do better research. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Clock That Went Backward, and Memoirs of the Twentieth Century were all years before H.G. Wells wrote The Time Machine.

    His point stands that time travel in fiction is a relatively new idea, but The Time Machine is not the first.

  24. Great piece. What about a "A Christmas Carol"? I suppose Scrooge can't interact with the past and future there though, so it doesn't really count as travel.

  25. you should read the sequel Time Ships by Stephen Baxter! brings quantum physics into His world. including many world's theorem. more than 1 future! time war.

  26. Haven't people always said something along the lines of "It takes a fortnight by horse to get from place X to place Y."?

  27. The problem with a time machine is that the universe doesnt record information in a way that exists as it did in a previous state. Take a tape recorder for example. Yes you can rewind and fast forward and revisit all the material on the tape but that is only possible because the material exists in that exact data form giving the tape machine something to read. The universe might not get rid of information and matter but it and the events surrounding it no longer exist in the same form that it once had. Now you could be able to reconstruct and interpret that information one day to form it as it was but it would be its own identity and no longer consist of the environment it once came from and existed in. It would consist of the present and exist in the present. Time travel is like religion in such that it exists for our own desires. The multiple dimension theory is also not a case of time travel in the true sense of the notion. Multiple dimensions would be seperate and of little to no consquence of our own. The idea that there exists past versions of our universe comes from the idea that these multiple dimensions are infinite meaning no beginning or ending of numbers thus any possibility will occure.

  28. i was just a couple of days ago wondering when this concept was "invented".
    so this is a most welcome video.

  29. Time travel doesn't exist, we are always in the now. We haven't ever been in the past or the future, only thinking about in the now. When you time travel to "the future" you are still in the same moment so from that perspective we cannot ever escape from being in the "now".

  30. Incorrect and just plain ignorant. The concept of time travel is easily found in most ancient eastern fiction and religious texts. The most famous of the stories can be found in the Panchtantra/Jataka tales. Religious stories can be found here: https://www.quora.com/What-is-said-about-time-travel-in-ancient-Hindu-texts
    In fact, there are stories about the Buddha physically traveling across time. Let's just time travel back to the point where this video wasn't created! There are even stories about relative time – there's a story in the Bhagvatam(9. 3.29-32) about a man who traveled to another planet, he stayed there for only 20 minutes, but when he came back all his relatives had died, and so he became an ascetic.

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