The Invention of Science Fiction

published on July 20, 2020

Vsauce Kevin here the folks behind the new show timeless asked me to talk about time travel and coincidentally I've just finished building my time machine it's a little rougher on the edges but if I can get it to work I can conquer time why would I want to do that while exploring

Different periods in human history allows us to experience firsthand the aspects of humanity that have changed and the ones that haven't but until I get this thing working time machines are a great device for storytelling because

Time travel is something you already do in your mind no really Chronos tisha is the ability to remember the past and to imagine the future as a guide for making decisions in the present hypothesized by experimental psychologist dr endo

Tulving as the only memory system with a special relationship to time this mental time travel process consists of two parts the first is like watching a movie in your head and includes the setting of the event the actors involved and what

Happened the second is the subjective time it all takes place whether it's past present or future being able to travel through time mentally allows us to learn from past events and project how to react in the future this is

Especially helpful in social situations altering behavior based on how things went in the past making friends and making enemies human survival has depended on mental time travel by planting seeds for future harvests as

Well as formally educating the young to leave communities tomorrow or as tulving puts it the kind of culture that homo sapiens have created over the past forty thousand years or so can be produced only by individuals whose intelligence

Includes conscious awareness of the future in which they and their progeny will continue to live and survive the third little pig that built his house of brick was really good at this but mental time is subjective you can't

Exactly tell someone to meet you somewhere at the time you're thinking of in your head external timekeeping requires some form of measurement like a girl disguised as a lamp by a magic reindeer hiding from

The moon for most of human existence the moon was a critical time keeper folklore of the Chukchi of Northeast Siberia told that after successfully eluding its pursuit the girl captured the moon and made it promise to stay in the sky and

Mark time with its cycles the phases of the Moon helped guide seasons and months while the position of the Sun helped chart the day sundials processed the sun's movement by making a clock out of shadows

Which works well unless it's cloudy or unless it's night time which is why we started stealing water CLEP cider comes from the ancient greek CLEP time meaning steel and hydro meaning water water clocks kept time by measuring the flow

Of liquid between vessels in ancient Persia a bowl with a hole in it was slowly filled after being placed in water in ancient Egypt a stone vessel consistently dripped into a container with markings that approximated the

Hours the phrase don't muddy the waters may originate from getting dirt in water clocks and messing up their timing but for thousands of years most people didn't know what time it was the way we do today and they didn't need to basic

Circadian rhythm was enough no one needed to know when it was exactly 7:17 pm hourly clocks served specific purposes water clocks informed priests went to perform daily rituals in Egypt they were used as timers during legal

Trials in Athens and they managed a farmers water usage for irrigation in Persia the impetus to develop mechanical clocks came during the Middle Ages and was largely astronomical measuring the movements of the stars not everyone was

Cuckoo for clocks resistance to breaking down life into tiny structured bits was documented by Roman playwright plough dhis in 195 BC that gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish ours

Confound them to who in this place set up a sundial to cut and hack my days so wretchedly into small portions flautist what have hated alarm clocks Sun dials and water clock simply split day and night into twelve parts fixed length

Hours and minutes were conceived for celestial calculations by Greek astronomers but mechanical clocks featuring them weren't around until the end of the sixteenth century and public synchronized clock time

Wasn't part of daily life until the 19th century an era when the magic of myths met the machinations of science the Industrial Revolution brought with it a new world of science technology specialized labor discovery and machines

Suddenly the curiosity of common people was pointed at the possibilities provided by science and they wanted to read stories that allowed them to travel to an imagined future of scientific wonder describing the impact of science

On imagination George Kari engleson wrote in 1874 the appetite for the marvellous is a universal one and from the earliest dawn of literature until now there have always been wonder stories eagerly read

Of all men ours is a scientific age however an age of easy unbelief a question doubting faithless age and we do not readily accept even in the half-hearted constructive way in which fiction must

Be believed to be enjoyed anything not borne out by hard visits fact a culture and futuristic warp drive seeing land conquered by train water conquered by steamboat even hot-air balloons had in 1833 newspaper dreaming of time in

Perspective when our atmosphere will be traversed with as much facility as our water these advancements made time measurement more important in 1817 Welsh social reformer Robert Owen campaigned for

An eight-hour workday with the slogan eight hours labor eight hours recreation eight hours rest so if human life is suddenly carved up by a clock why not invent something that can conquer time before clocks and machines flooded

Civilization time travel tales like memoirs of the 20th century written by Samuel Madan in 1733 imagine life in a different time but lacked a scientific vehicle to navigate it today stories from the time machine to timeless

Continue to captivate and inspire but the very first time machine was lost in time seven years before HG Wells legendary book there was the clock that went backward written in 1881 it's the first story that uses a device in this

Case a grandfather clock to transport humans through time the concept of time machines required a convergence of science imagination and the Sun a newspaper called the Sun not the fireball star Edward page Mitchell was

Editor of the Sun a New York City newspaper with the largest circulation in the world at the time endlessly creative Mitchell wrote the first stories involving scientific teleportation artificial intelligence

Faster than light travel freezing and reviving a life form a peaceful alien surgically altering personalities the Invisible Man and a time machine the problem is the one thing his revolutionary stories didn't

Include was his name all but one of his short stories were printed anonymously at a time when there was no international copyright law so stories were easily stolen and reprinted the only reason anyone knows of Mitchell

Today is because science fiction historian Sam Moskowitz spent three years painstakingly poring over microfilm and piecing together his stories for 1973's the crystalman stories by Edward page Mitchell

Moskowitz went back in time to Dave Mitchell for the future but it didn't work his book is out of print hard to find and is also becoming forgotten being forgotten is easy for a person not looking for glory in 1916

Mitchell received an offer to leave the Sun for the prestigious New York Times and declined content with the publication that allowed him freedom to publish his stories when he retired from working in the city that never sleeps he

Moved to a secluded farm in Rhode Island his isolated property spanned 40 miles with Mitchell describing it as an enclosure of treetops unbroken by human habitation he not only cast aside modern life he spurned modern conveniences like

Electricity gas and central heating all that was there was time all he brought with him was his wife and his collection of 6,000 books his love and his imagination when Mitchell died following a heart attack in January of 1927 a

Two-page obituary and literary digest the leading news magazine of the day described him as hardly known even as a name to the general public Edward page Mitchell was the Invisible Man

Yet the waves of influence that emanate from his creations continued to travel through time and inspire us today proof alone we have the ability to change the future even if no one knows who we are and as always thanks for watching

I want to thank timeless on NBC for producing this video with me to check out the trailer click right here for more information check out the description below I need to go figure

Out what happened to my time machine so yeah you

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