Thanks for reading the second installment of Have you Considered?
This week we are tackling a power many people would love and inspires the most speculation: Time Travel.
Besides fodder for bad Hollywood movies, time travel is an often ill conceived power. While some characters like Hiro Nakamura from Heroes use time travel to further crap on a tv show - to be fair, Heroes was a terrible show from about half way in the first season. Typically writers are more clever in dealing with time travel, but paradoxes often prove more resilient than upon first inspection.
There are paradoxes and fears associated with time travel, beyond just ruining your TV show. There is the Grandfather paradox that says if you went back in time to kill your own grandfather you would be creating an unresolved riddle. How can you kill your grandfather thus making sure you were never born? Yeah, think that one through a few times. The pain behind the eyes doesn't lessen much.
But headaches are hardly the biggest issue with time travel. Aside from stepping on a bug and causing Hitler to being born a woman or some such nonsense people invent about time travel, the other biggest issue would be the arrival. Much like flight last week, a big problem revolves around stopping. Let's do an experiment.
You finally got your parents, or roommates as some might call them, to renovate the garage into your new bedroom complete with a bitchin staircase and private entrance. Yeah, it is OK you still owe 50K in student loans and other debt and your only aspiration is to time travel and lay awake at night rubbing the statue of Power Girl you bought like it was the Bog Venus and you were a caveman.
Let's say you are in your "mancave" or whatever it is guys call their rooms these days. You got your hands on a time machine. Ready to travel and watch the birth of civilization, you decide to relive that time you totally felt up girls b cups from across the street. You cant wait. You steady your hands from the nerves and excitement, ignoring all good taste and dignity. You have not taken the chance to realize that you cannot pinpoint where you will stop.
While it may seem logical that not matter what time you go back to you will always land where you want. If you go back 5 minutes in time you will be sitting exactly where you were 5 minutes ago. However, going back in time means that you are inside or using an object outside of the normal time stream. Where you would stop could be anywhere in the past. If you travel back 100 years, where you land does not always equate where you will be.
This is not to say you will end up on Mars or in the ground, but you could potentially end up in China where as you started your trip in Montana. The basic issue is consideration. While super heroes like Cable, Metron (Oh, shut up about Final Crisis if you even winced when I mentioned Metron) and Kang have all displayed an ability to vanish and re-appear where they want. Yes, Cable is not always privy to such control. But, still we are talking about a fictive power and while I could be just guilty of reading too far into this power. You still have to agree, at the end of the day, we have not considered our would be powers well at all.
This is the crux of what I want to bring up. Our technology springs from our ideas and the simple fact is, science is trying to make a time machine. It has been since HG Wells and before. While it may never come to light, we still should be aware that what we want so badly is not what is always best for us. Then again, maybe Agent Orange being sprayed in Vietnam, and DDT back in the states was fully considered.
I hope not. But then again, maybe you can build a time machine and we can find out.