Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If I Could Turn Back Time

Time travel isn't that hard. I've done it about half-a-dozen times now. The problem is that it takes me such a long time to put the machine together, then I only get back as far as when I've almost completed the damn machine before it comes apart and I'm left to pick up the pieces again.

My friend just shared an article with me about Time Travel Without The Grandfather Paradox. It made my brain feel like it was about to explode. I've never done well with scientific solutions that require that we get to set our own conditions. When in real-life do we get to set our own variables so that things work out exactly as we had hoped they would?

I happen to have my own theory on time travel, that is probably not going to be well-received or popular to any sci-fi/fantasy subscribers out there. I think that if one were able to travel back in time (they would have to be unaided by hardware to prevent the repetition I describe in my opening paragraph) I believe that one's body would also regress. Just as moving through space causes a location change, I believe that moving through time would cause a change in age. I don't think it's possible for our current selves to go exploring previous generations. Instead, I think it would be very much like pressing 'rewind'. One copy of us travels backward, getting younger and ending up in the same position that we originally were. The question then becomes, would our brain retain any of the knowledge of the life we rewound from? If so, we still have the potential to go back in time and change events, we just have to live them over. Like 'back' in a web browser, any changes we made in our surfing would change the course of 'forward.' It *would* therefore be impossible to go back and kill your grandfather, because you couldn't possibly go back any further than when you were in-eutero...and if you did, you'd still have to wait for your egg to get dropped and fertilized.

An interesting thing happens when I consider that one doesn't get to keep the thoughts that we build as we originally age. Suddenly, time travel seems feasible. In fact, time could constantly be moving back and forth, but we have no knowledge of it...except maybe that faint whisper of deja vu that we get when we reverse through a moment and then immediately begin forward again.

No, I don't think time-travel needs to be invented. I highly suspect we're all already going in every direction at once.

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

I had a response to this, but then I decided it was worth a full blog post. http://blog.jimmyh.name/post/840005355/dancing-through-time