Ashley Zoch

Thursday, June 16, 2005


A regular, effective sleep schedule continues to elude me.

The tale of 'time traveler' John Titor and my recent viewing of Carl Sagan's Cosmos television series got my brain ticking on the topic of time travel.

Take your average lazy and self-centred 21st century individual and arm them with the means to travel back in time (say an Uncle Rico style time machine).

I suspect their first action would be to grant themselves financial independence and free up their time for more leisurely pursuits (maybe by putting a little money on the Cubbies). Easy enough to do with foreknowledge of the stock market or sporting events. With the problem of money taken care of, one's thoughts may turn to correcting regretted decisions or catching 'the one that got away'. Pretty easy going so far.

Now that we have our own lives in order, it's time to save the world. Let's pick the most well known atrocity of the 20th century and take Adolf Hitler out of the picture. It would only take a moment to come up with a handful of (hopefully peaceful) ways of stopping his rise to power. This is where it gets interesting - in order to do this you would require a set of skills that the average person doesn't possess. For example : you would need a detailed understanding of the period in history (events, locations, transport) and even the German language.

The further back you go, the less detailed our historical records become and the harder it would be to prepare yourself for the mission. There's no common field of expertise either, so you'd be learning new languages, etc for each trip. I wonder if it would just be too hard...

On a different tangent - would the wide spread availability of time travel devices turn them into accidental suicide machines as people inadvertently remove themselves from existence while trying to improve their lot?

Or even more disturbing - become their own grandfather like poor Phillip J. Fry.

Anyone interested in the topic of time travel should take the trouble to locate Shane Carruth's excellent independent film Primer.


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