During a recent jog in the park, my mind drifted to the subject of time travel. (It can be argued that my mind drifts even when not jogging.) It struck me that there is absolutely no sense in inventing time travel at all.
First of all, we’d each want to change different things. I might like to find out how the world would be had Al Gore become president, and remember what life was like without cell phones. Someone else would probably want to go back and become the creator of cell phones, and keep the presidents as they were. So, we’d all cross out what the other one did, and probably end up with the exact same present that we have now, without ever having tampered with the time-space continuum, which would have continued despite our best efforts to change it. (Hey, this is my blog post, and it makes sense to me, if it doesn’t for you, then go watch “Back to the Future” where the essential information of the time-flux capacitor and and time-space continuum are explained.)
More importantly, though, is that some of the reasons I imagine we want to time travel are because we regret choices and decisions, and we want to go back and make different choices, with the knowledge we now possess. The thing is, all those “bad decisions” and “mistakes” have led each of us to where we are now. We could not be where we are without those past actions and events. So, erasing them is actually erasing valuable knowledge and experience that leads us to make better decisions. Making one right decision does not guarantee that the ones that come after it will be equally “right” or have the outcome you were expecting. And, unless you plan to stay in the past, with your past self, from the moment you choose, until the day you went back in time, I’m not sure you’d end up any happier, wealthier, etc. because you can’t control the reactions to the changed decisions, only the decisions themselves. Also, if you watched “Timecop” with Jean-Claude Van Damme, then you would know that your current and past self cannot occupy the same space at the same time, or you turn into a nebulous blob and disappear. So, then, if you have to travel back in time pre cell phones, you might have a really hard time reaching your past self in time to change important decisions.
If the underlying desire of time travel is to change our circumstances, then it seems to me that the better choice would be to change our circumstances now. Stop giving your power to change to the past, and focus it on the present. Because, surely, all the stuff you think “led you to end up poor, miserable, yadda, yadda” is simply about the emotional attachment to past events. How about you stop feeling sorry for yourself, (I mean, sure, take a week or two, feel sorry for yourself, but then if you really want to change, stop feeling sorry for yourself and start taking action!) and figure out what about your SELF you can change, right now, instead of hoping you can be alive when they build a time machine?