Readers intrigued by the pioneering technology involved in the attempt to create AI (Artificial Intelligence) machines should find Campbell's inquiry both challenging and indispensable. Here the Washington correspondent for the London Times presents what is surely among the most detailed and provocative analyses of the profoundly subjective biological nature of the human time-sense. He explores the latest findings about ``biological clocks''the factor that made Churchill nap after lunchand goes on to cover a range of ideas about ``time'' from ancient cultures to current prophets of AI and ``human consciousness'' like Marvin Minsky, Endel Tulving and their peers, along with philosophers from Plato and Augustine to Sartre and the existentialists. Campbell's insights into music and speech are perceptive as they relate to the human sense, and it should be noted that he has added a new coinage, lifetime, to Einstein's spacetime. (February)
The odd title comes from Sir Winston Churchill's habit of a daily siesta. Campbell, author of Grammatical Man , is concerned here with the peculiarly human sense and scale of time, wherein commonplace activities are determined by strong innate temporal drives combined with learned manners and developed characteristics. People can be harmed by a seemingly innocent interruption of the normal working of their internal clocks. The relative importance of human temporal structure is essential to understanding the limits and abilities of our species. Indeed, psychologically intrinsic time systems seem to interact with and influence each individual human's sense of self, mind, and body. Complicated reading, but worth the effort. Recommended. Robert Paustian, Wilkes Coll. Lib., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.