Trippyness of Time
June 26, 2001
There are times I know Iíd hate to have a sixth sense. Like, right about now, for one. Iím not sure if itís the equivalent of just being bored and therefore looking for something to happen, anticipation, almost, just to make things a little less ordinary. Or maybe it really is some warped sense of intuition. Because, if youíll pardon the overuse of the expression, ďIíve got a bad feeling.Ē Still donít know about what, or why. Just a creepy crawly feeling at the back of my neck, bugses scratching at my mind, or whatever it is Delirium says. Iím sure Tyr will be swift to correct me.
Iím willing to put at least some of the blame on just finishing the comic (eh, graphic novel, if ya wanna be PC) Watchmen. One of the characters views time as....oh, bugger all, what was that Slaughterhouse Five term? Ah well. Time isnít linear. He can experience moments in 1985, then zip to experiencing 1955, one instant right after the next, even though theyíre years apart. Hmm. The concept doesnít translate well to my journal format. Cest la vie. Anyway, this method of viewing time translates well to precognitive abilities. People can see the future because, in a way, theyíve lived it already. Or will, perhaps. They know what is destined to happen, because theyíve already lived it.
Of course, that relies on the belief that time is immutable. I donít like that concept, really. Is it really set in stone that, in three seconds, Iím gonna get so pissed at the hair tickling the side of my neck Iíll scratch at the area and shove the hair behind my ear? How can that be immutable? I might decide, simply because I wrote that last comment, not to, and leave it be. But since things are immutable, itís destined that I do that too. I HATE that line of thinking. Not only does it lead around in circles upon circles, but it makes it so easy to justify doing literally anything. Whyíd you go and steal that watch? Well, because I would. I looked forward in time, saw myself stealing, so I went and did it. Self-fulfilling prophecy. I saw it was to be so, therefore I went and made it so. Thus, it was always meant to be so.
To that, I happily say BAH!
Iíve always believed that thereís a certain amount of randomness to the universe. Iím sure I could BS something about there being a certain factor (Oooh, I always did like the number 3.... 3.3% sounds nifty) of randomness to any action, so take multiple actions (you know, breathe, blink, sit at the computer staring at the text and blinky lights), and the randomness adds up until a totally unrelated event must happen. Of course, just what this event IS happens to be, well, random. Or maybe it contributes to the possibilities of other events happening, that are otherwise totally unrelated.
Since this is drifting too much towards math, and therefore evilness, Iíll switch to what I do use for time travel. I go by the time travel used in Gargs. For the most part, I like it. It makes sense. The past is set. You go back in time, and think you change things, but you canít. What you do in the past is already in the past, so nothing changes. Much more sense than Star Trek, where you get so many grandfather paradoxes it makes my head hurt (thatís the whole go back in time, kill your own grandfather, but since heís dead, you can never be born, so you CANíT go back in time, and therefore you canít kill him, and he lives, so you ARE born, and you go back in time to kill himÖ.. oy, it makes me WAY too confused).
Past tense is all well and good. But when we get to the future, then things fall apart. I believe in free will. There are millions of possibilities on what will or could happen from Now to Then. But if time travel makes it to the past is set, what happens if Iím suddenly visited by someone from 5 years into the future? That means Iím living in his/her/its past, so what I do is set. Therefore, do I have free will? Or will I do what he thinks Iíve done because I choose to do so? If I act in a way I consider to be totally random, is it already determined that Iíll do so?
Like I said, it makes my head hurt. Time travel is confusing.
As always, comments can be e-mailed to Norcumi@backtick.net, or Instant Messaged to the same address.
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