If time travel is eventually made possible, then where are all of the tourists from the future?
During the summer months, the weather is warm (okay... hot).
The excessive heat during the day can be uncomfortable at best and unequivocally unbearable when the thermometer and humidity conspire above 90.
However staying indoors, hovered near the air-conditioning vents, is hardly a way to spend our summers.
Due to the great demand, many municipalities and counties across America have devised a method to get people out of their homes and into the city-run parks once the sun goes down and the night air takes over.
I mean of course... the sit-in movie (as opposed to the drive-in movie) where friends and neighbors bring their lawn-chairs, chaise lounges, and picnic blankets to a park and enjoy a movie under the stars.
Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend one said example at a park known for its mountain biking trails more than its expansive lawns.
The movie was an old favorite, Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
I’ve seen the original movies probably 20 times but I still enjoy the basic premise... people leaving the present (or future) and traveling through time.
This same basic cinematic plotline has been repeated at least a hundred times in movies like The Terminator, Time Bandits, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Midnight in Paris and Dr. Who.
There have also been a number of related time transformation movies such as Big, Groundhog Day and Pleasantville.
The idea of time-travel seems to appeal to a great many people.
Movies help us to romanticize a time of yore where life was much simpler and seemingly easier (although the truth is... life before modern conveniences was extremely hard and often short).
It opens our imagination as to how we might live in the days of ancient Rome, the renaissance or the wild-west... given our present day knowledge.
The great problem with this line of thinking is that a great many of us have no idea how most modern things actually work and even though we know that they exist... we don’t have the knowledge or tools to actually invent most of the most common items found today.
Sure we might know something about general concepts and ideas, such as the world being round, the design of the solar system, the ideas evolution and genealogy, the existence of cells, bacteria and viruses, gravity and higher level math...
...but how many of us know how to remove the silica from sand and refine it to actually make glass?... or to refine oil to make plastic or gasoline?... make gunpowder?... design a basic pump?... create a motor, engine, or generator?... what iron ore looks like?... can design a clock?...
I would hazard a guess that many of us faced with the prospects of reestablishing the earth would find most of our skills and knowledge basically useless.
I do however have a recurring daydream with regards to time-travel.
This daydream generally occurs when performing some mundane task, such as riding my bike or taking a long drive.
The premise is basically this: I wake up one morning, as my 55-year old self, but I find that the date is Tuesday September 8th, 1975... the first day of classes of my freshman year of high school...
I’ve shared this day-dream with several people who have confessed privately to me that they too have had this same dream (although they place themselves at various times in their own lives),,,
From there, I’ll generally play a little thinking game with them...
Here is the game’s set-up:
You have all of your 2016 knowledge including knowing the events of the past... you start with the body and age of a 14-year old and age, just one day at a time, like normal...
You have two restrictions:
- You can’t amass more than $100,000 in any one year (no sports gambling or stock market plays)...
- You must stay anonymous (you can’t become famous for saving the world)
Your goal... to make the world a significantly better place in 2016 than it currently is...
Amazingly enough... very few people can actually develop a good answer to the problem stated above.
Yes... they already know about the AIDS epidemic, the advent of the internet, the 9/11 attacks, the dot-com bubble, the 2008 financial meltdown and all the presidential election results through President Obama...
...but they can’t buy power and influence because you don’t have enough money... and they aren’t allowed to become famous.
A few people have said that they would have done whatever they could to have affected a few thousand votes in Florida during the 2000 presidential election...
This wouldn’t have made them famous... but it surely would have changed the course of history (not that I’m sure that things would have turned out any better one way or the other)...
On those long bike rides, I’ve often posed this same question to myself... and I still haven’t formulated a good enough answer...
I suspect though that the answer for me lies somewhere in education.
Knowing what I know today, I think that I would have tried to help educate more people in terms of learning entrepreneurial skills to start a business.
Today, starting a business is easier than ever... but back in the mid-1970’s, before the introduction of the plug-and-play personal computers and the internet, it wasn’t so easy.
Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of small businesses throughout America, they just weren’t as efficiently managed as they are today.
I also tend to wonder if I’d just be really bored knowing what each day would bring.
In the movie Groundhog Day, the lead character, Phil Connors, is so bored reliving his life each day that he attempts (unsuccessfully) to commit suicide in a variety of ways because in the end, people want to be surprised and excited about what might happen next.
Knowing all of the significant outcomes in advance might be so depressing that we find ourselves in the same position as Phil Connors.
Although we may fantasize about going back to a place in time... nothing compares to living in the present...
What makes life so livable is the fact that we really don’t know what will happen from each moment to another.
We ultimately crave excitement and anticipation in our lives... because that’s what makes life worth living in the first place...
PS: If you have a good answer to the problem above... I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for your support of OptiFuse where we believe that we are living our future today.