What would I do if I could go back in time?

This is a loaded question.

For starters, how long does it even take to go backwards in time? The prevailing theory seems to be that you can travel back through time by moving at a velocity faster than the speed of light; do you then travel backwards in time at the same rate that you currently go forward? Is every second of time you travel only equivalent to the exact same amount in the opposite direction? That wouldn’t be exciting at all. It would be confusing.

As you go, do you age at the same rate? When you travel at the speed of light, the world only gets younger. However, you’re the one travelling; you must age at the same rate.

Forget about going back to see the dinosaurs; by that point you’d be 65,000,000 years old.

So let’s go back three years to “the biggest mistake of your life.” I don’t know what it is, and I don’t care. Maybe it’s the day you started your dead-end job. The first time you stuck a needle into your arm. The last time you saw “the one that got away.”

Let’s say you spend three years travelling at super-light-speed. You start when you’re 24 years old. When you’re done travelling, you’re a 27 year old living in the same world you lived in at 21 years of age.

Three years is a lot of time to spend travelling beyond light speed. At that speed, there’s not an awful lot you can do. Can’t read a book. The pages would flap everywhere. Can’t watch TV; first of all, electricity moves slower than the speed of light, so we can assume that even if you’ve found a way to power a television and take it with you at the same speed, all of the signal would be going forward in time while you go back. This would seem garbled and backward to you, except for the movie Memento which would finally make sense.

No, time travel is a world of boredom. The novelty of watching everything move backwards would wear thin within the first few days, and then you’d just be sitting in your vessel (which, of course, somehow manages to avoid hitting any object, man-made or natural while surviving the effects of friction with the air, all while travelling at speeds beyond human control), bored out of your skull for three years, until you go back and correct whatever stupid mistake you made in the first place. In the end, you’ll realize that you’ve wasted years of time attempting to change the past–raising funds, creating a means of time travel, collecting your Nobel Prize, and spending three years speeding along–and that you really didn’t spend any of that time bettering your life in any meaningful way.

No, I wouldn’t go back in time to change the past. My time travel dreams have always been slightly more mundane, and certainly less like a bad movie.

I’d probably go back to some indeterminate time, bring a lot of dumb stuff from the present. I’d go around and show the world my wonders. Look! This here copy of Hellboy II! Pretty great, huh? Take that, Year 1961! And I bet they’d be very pleased by my collection of Star Wars action figures, too.

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Good for your dedication. Haven’t missed since July. CAke looks just fine to me.

  2. Mine was finished really late at night too (although not quite as late as yours!), and we were all disappointed when it was finally done. I hope you went back and tried it the next day — we liked it much better then.

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