Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time Travel

I was directed to another blog today about how to deal with meeting your future self when he/she comes back from the future. This is based on the idea that we will discover how to travel back in time and have enough desire to visit ourselves. Why we would want to visit ourselves is not clear to me. There were times that I might have benefited from a word to the wise from my future self, but would I have listened?

Now, there are a lot of SciFi stories about time travel going to the future, and backward to the past. It makes for interesting reading and sometimes mind stimulating thought. You know, "what if..." Well, I may be wrong, but my thought is if time travel is developed in the future we would already know. Do we have any indication of future visitors? Not so anyone could tell. You might argue that there are singular instances in history that might be as a result of time travel. What about some of our early discoverers of things scientific? Some discoverers seem to have been, "out of their time." Not necessarily. The mistake people make from today's view is that our ancestors were borderline stupid. How could some of the things we invented long ago have just been discovered. We must have had help from some more advanced society. That's egocentric thinking at its grate-est (spelling intentional). We know more about the world and things generally now, but our brain power is the same now as it was several hundreds years ago. Indeed our brains have had the ability to think in critical ways and have unexpected moments of putting ideas together to come up with new ways of seeing things for a very long time. We weren't any more stupid then than we are now, just unlearned.

So, the argument that looking to our past to see the future influence of time travel won't hold. The greatest obstacle to figuring out time travel is being able to define and put quantifiable, real definitions on what time is. We don't know where time started, if indeed it did start. And, we don't know where time is going. Oh, we can see a direction it seems to be going, but there are questions of how fast time is moving and why only in one direction. There are questions like, does time progress at the same rate everywhere. Do humans perceive time the same as other living things? Does time speed up or slow down base on event or circumstance, or location? We don't know, and what's more, we don't know how to test any of these questions to find answers.

No, time travel as we have come to know it through SciFi stories will not happen, because it hasn't already happened in the future. So, don't worry about meeting your future self and getting the low-down on future events to make yourself rich. But, if I could just go into the future a couple of days, or have myself come back from a week in the future. I'd have a couple of winning Lotto numbers and walk into the future a rich individual. Too bad it ain't real.

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