January 9, 2014
TEMPUS FUGIT II: THE BLATHERING
In the previous installment, we were looking at the idea of Time Travel (hereafter shortened to TT). We noted that Magic-as-vehicle is too vague, that Forward Travel either does or does not change the Traveler and his own future, and that Backward Travel either does or does not change the Traveler’s timeline. In addition, Hypnosis can do the trick, but only if you are a wealthy Gotham orphan.
Aren’t you sorry you missed that one?
What are the potential consequences of TT?
* WORST CASE SCENARIO: YOU NO LONGER EXIST—this is the classic Marty McFly scenario. You kill your ancestor, prevent your grandparents from meeting or (in typical McFly fashion) hook up with your own mom. (I realize that in some cultures, this is the norm, but I am writing for redOrbit, not for Hillbilly-Dot-Com)
*NEXT WORST CASE: YOUR CIVILIZATION NO LONGER EXISTS—in The Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury, a TT safari to the age of dinosaurs leaves a t-rex dead by gunfire and a butterfly dead by boot stomp, which changes the English language and the election. This was also explored in the Ashton Kutcher film, The Butterfly Effect.
*CAUSAL LOOP—both Michael Moorcock and Robert Heinlein wrote TT stories about persons who played with TT to the extent that they were their own ancestors and descendants. Sometimes as spouses! zzzzzzzzzzzzzz! This makes family reunions very very awkward.
*ORPHANNED YOU— suppose you survive your own meddling in time. Your family going back ten generations, no longer exists. The cash in your wallet is now useless because Lincoln was never president. Your computer expertise is invalid because Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were never born (Japanese occupation of the West Coast in 1942). In other words, you still exist but you have no place in society.
*TIME LORDS—if TT exists/existed, there would persons who misuse it and there would be authorities who guard it. Whether it be the Doctor, the Time Enforcement Commission, or Rip Hunter, you will be tracked, arrested and incarcerated. And possibly sent to a timeline where Pauly Shore is the only form of entertainment.
*NOTHING GOES WRONG—in this scenario, Mother Nature, the universe and/or the Almighty laugh at your hubris. You actually thought you could manipulate a force by which you yourself are controlled? Boohahahaha!
The underlying question, of course, is whether or not Time Travel is even possible. While some think it possible at some future time. I ask the obvious-to-me question: if a technology exists, it WILL be used; if Time Travel exists/existed ever, then where is it? If TT will exist, then it already exists, because some righteous idiot will try to kill Adolf Hitler, or save JFK, or prevent La Macarena from being written.
And then we will attract the attention of the Borg or the Daleks. Thanks a lot!
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