It May be a Hazardous Idea to Travel
Earlier this month a discussion took place with a few friends that sparked this May mind mayhem blog. We threw around the concept of traveling backward or forward in time to meet our past and future selves. There was the usual casting out of ideas of what to say or advice to give to the other versions of ourselves. It became very chaotic until one the friends, unfortunately not me, suggested that we take each time travel concept separately.
Man ... can go up against gravitation in a balloon, and why should he not hope that ultimately he may be able to stop or accelerate his drift along the Time-Dimension, or even turn about and travel the other way. -H.G Wells
We started with going back in time. If we could, how would we advise our younger versions. The obvious money and wealth solution poured into the room, winning lottery numbers, winning sporting events, and the alike. This was followed by career choices and the making of different decisions to get on better paths. The final big push was relationships and family advice. On a lesser scale were health habits and where to live.
I should add in, that at some point just after the reorganization of how to think about all of this I made the decision to listen more than speak. There were more interesting thoughts running through my mind that we will get to shortly.
“If we could travel into the past, it's mind-boggling what would be possible. For one thing, history would become an experimental science… -Carl Sagan
We then moved to the thought of contacting our future selves. The room became a bit quieter. I began to speak.
“When it comes to the future versions of ourselves, we would not be giving advice on how to move ahead. They already know the past, and the present and what is our future until the point at which we made contact. So, we would become observers. Perhaps, the reverse would take place. Our future selves would advise us on making financial choices, career choices, retirement choices, relationships and so on.
The already quieted room became deafly silent as the notion of being schooled by our future selves sank in. I continued. “We chose to go back in time first and try to change what our younger versions will do, so our present selves will reap the benefits. That would alter our present-day selves. We might not even be friends or we could be enemies. The trajectory of each of our lives would be different from the point we told our younger versions to alter course. If we still chose to visit the future, after all the changes, we would see a totally different future version of ourselves. This in turn, might want to make us go back to the past again and try to tweak things.”
There was immediate chaos again as six friends began to talk over one another to get conquering and conflicting points of view across. After several minutes of mind bending, one friend looked in my direction. “You opened this can of worms so what would you do?”
The laying out of my ideas didn’t come with a formulated solution, so I sat for a moment, then smiled and began my answer. “Just so we all understand, the ability to time travel is not yet possible, but let’s go with the notion it is.” I admit, I was stalling to build the drama a tad. “Going to the past, I could correct some of the major mistakes in my past, but that might lead to worse mistakes. As for going to the future, there would be no changes I could make to the future version of myself. We all realized the reality that our future versions already know all we know. What we didn’t say was that by going to the future and observing it, we return to the present with knowledge that causes us to alter our present time choices. This leads to a different future than the one we visited. So, we would spend all of the time going back and forth trying to insure the best outcomes. This makes the assumption that we, as our present selves see ourselves as the most superior of the three versions. What if the past and future versions are thinking the same way and doing the same thing. Imagine a limitless number of versions of each of us hopping through time trying to make change after change. That would be chaos at an unconceivable level. I guess I’m saying that I wouldn’t time travel. It would be futile. In the end I have to play the cards I’m dealt, whether I was trying to be the dealer or not.”
The general consensus agreed that it would become a never-ending loop. On the matter of weather to time travel or not, that was split down the middle.
I hope you enjoyed this little adventure into the what if of time travel. Let me know what position you would take by clicking the button below and adding your response.
"Writing is the flow of life through words on a page. We all have this talent to share." Luca DiMatteo