Monthly Archives: March 2014

Merchant of Time

I had a daydream where I found a genie and asked for the power to control time. Somewhat to my surprise, I was granted that power.

The first thing I did was stop time to get a good night’s sleep. Then I got ready to do my grades and decided to travel back in time first. I thought about stopping 9/11–not the planes, just getting the people out of the buildings before they hit. Then I imagined going back to 2013 where I began and realized my daughter wasn’t there because it was a different world 13 years later that never had two costly wars. Even if my wife and I still would have married, we would have had a different baby. I could not create a world without my Venus. Even if I changed nothing or went back and undid my change, would the same random events have the same random outcomes?

How would the rules for this time travel work? If I change things so that I never found that genie, would I break timespace? It’s not a continuum…at least not how Doc Brown described it. I had a professor that said the new Star Trek movies could still get back to the original timeline. If that’s the case, then it necessitates that time not be linear, it would have to have at least two dimensions and that introduces a two-dimensional repercussions that make changing it frightening. The effects of my work would be imperceptible to others that I don’t drag along on my journey. If Time and Space are both part of Timespace (like electromagnetism?), then do I have power over both, making me omnipotent? Or am I like a person that had a bad stroke and can only move one leg? Magneto can create magnetic fields, yet he can’t shoot lightning bolts. Maybe I should ask a physics major some of these questions.

To be the Master of Time, I would have a power beyond my comprehension, unless I somehow innately would come to understand the true nature of time. That is unlikely considering that humans do not innately understand the intricate workings of their own bodies. It’s like having Homer Simpson run your nuclear power plant–waiting for disaster. The power would effectively make me a God, not Jehovah, more limited like Zeus, but still beyond man. Yet ironically, I don’t think it would allow me to stop aging to my own death–unless future humans cure aging and shared it with me.

To have such a power, I would lose my humanity. My workings would be greater than any human life could contain. A single person would become insignificant and, eventually, the person I was would too. When there is no humanity left in me, the reasons to exist would continue to dwindle. At what point would exploring an infinite and instantly changeable and randomly replaceable galaxy cease to matter? To have this power would make the power itself irrelevant. It is at this point it seemed to me that any actual omnipotent and omniscient god could not be sentient, or he would squander himself into irrelevancy. And a non-sentient god becomes merely the natural laws of the universe (forces, energy, matter, etc.). Of course the saving grace of Jehovah is that he is beyond my comprehension so any assumption along these lines is too presumptuous to be relevant.

If I had power over time, I would either become nearly catatonic in fear and contemplation of the infinite possibilities or I would continue as if I did not have the power at all, which might be too great of a waste to choose. I don’t see where anything other than a downward spiral of depression could occur unless I made a mistake and got myself killed.

This concept really only would work if there was a limit to how much I could use it–like how using the Butterfly Effect made Ashton’s brain bleed. I can’t see where being a god with much power would actually be that enjoyable. The ideal level of power might be what the characters in Chronicle possessed.

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