Prescience or Hindsight

I was told a story, probably by Karl Pilkington on the Ricky Gervais Podcast, about a little girl who one day was riding her bike in the park and was travelling quite fast. She passed a woman on her right hand side that had the look of utmost horror in her face as she went past, and the image stuck with the little girl. Years later, she was walking in the park and as she was walking she saw a little girl cycling approaching her and realised that the woman that she had seen as a child was actually herself looking at her self as a child, cycling past.

This is, of course, impossible. Totally, totally, totally impossible. But imagine if that’s the way time worked. Imagine that a time was literally just some foreign place that you could travel too. Like my previous two posts, imagine just being able to send a letter to your past self. This is part of a theory that in the universe, that is totally possible. Time travel. Just because we perceive the ability to only go forwards in time, why can’t at some point we be able to go backwards in time. Surely we could just turn around?

Well, no. The obvious problem with time travel is that, by it’s very nature, if it had been invented at any point in time, it would have been invented at all points in time. So we can assume that we will never be able to time travel. Unless there are laws against changing the past… but that’s a whole different type of paradox, and we will just leave that either for another post or for some else to be unable to explain.

But the fact that we haven’t been able to harness it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With Star Trek this year, the main plot was supplied by time travel (and simultaneously appeasing fans but also ruining the whole Star Trek timeline entirely) and the Terminator franchise simply ignoring the problems of time travel entirely, time travel’s never been so much in vogue and has always been over used in fiction. Without any control over the destination then why would anyone go back in time, or into the future for that matter, would anyone use it, or ever want to?

So it made me think of things that I would want to go back and change, or just go back and watch again - and it came to be that I realised that in my life there are very few things, if any at all, that I would've done differently. I mean... maybe I'd have taken more care over the choice of my degree, maybe quitting when I realised that I fancied doing something else late on, but I can't call that a regret because I am much better off for it in the first place. This degree's gave me an amazing job and an amazing group of friends, so yeah, why change it?

And that's an interesting argument - are we only considering that maybe we are the correct path? I like to think of the concept that there are infinite universes sitting alongside us all, and each decision we make has an opposite decision made by the other universe. But imagine we are the right one, the one where everything we do is the right choice - that must be quite life affirming, non?

Or if you think you are having a bad time, imagine this is the life you've returned to, the one that you've chosen to come back in time to live in. That's a good outlook on life. I think.