Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I don’t think I would be tempted to use either one unless it came with some sort of safety switch.
How could you be sure that you would not materialize in solid rock and be instantly crushed to death or, far worse, slowly suffocated because you can’t get out? I mean, seriously… Even Time Lords don’t have perfect control over their TARDISes (or would that be TARDII?) as evidenced by the show, Dr. Who. Granted, if I knew I would regenerate into another life form upon my death, that might make the choice easier, but I don’t think I’m ready to risk ending it all just for the sake of a little adventure. Also, I want an automatic reset button in the option package, so if I don’t like where it takes me I can come back here. I also want a device to help me understand and speak the local language, whatever it happens to be, so I’ll need some sort of translating device.
Now, assuming that it has a safety control to prevent materialization in a hostile (to human life) environment and the automatic reset button and universal translator I’ve requested, the decision remains, forward or backward?
If I go back in time, I could meet all sorts of interesting people, and I could take with me things that would make life easier, like medicine to ward off plague and such. However, in the past, witch-hunts were real and sanctioned, being a woman I would undoubtedly be suspected of consorting with the Devil. Meh, some people think that of me now (no, I don’t… although I *do* like to play Devil’s advocate when I get the chance). Although I’d like to take stock info back with me to the 50’s or 60s in case I got the urge to use the automatic reset button, probably my first stop would be late Elizabethan times as I’ve always been fascinated with Henry the Eighth and his most famous daughter. I might stay there long enough to see a play by that new upstart, Wm Shakespeare (or the popular Chris Marlowe). It would be wonderful to learn the tunes for the songs in his plays. Then, moving backward in time, I’d meet King Arthur and Merlin, assuming they were real and not just a very compelling story. I’d meet with Joshua ben Joseph, currently known as Jesus, and listen to his sermons. I’d travel to the Library at Alexandria and scan all the documents so they wouldn’t be lost, or better yet, have copies made of everything and then bury them someplace far away in a time capsule to be found in my current lifetime (by me of course, thus securing myself a place in the pages of history).
Of course, traveling to the past has some serious concerns for me… one wrong move and I could change the course of history for all time (think about the movie, “Back to the Future” if you’re not getting it). That could be problematic, not knowing which random act might cause a chain reaction that would end up causing a catastrophe.
If I go forward in time I think it would be safer, especially if I can reset to current time and place. I could find out which stocks would do well, when to buy and sell, make a ton of money so I could live my life in relative comfort. I could find the people who invent things of great importance and give them financial and moral support and the encouragement they need to create their inventions. It would be very exciting to see the future, especially if I could reset. It would be reassuring to know that the world still exists in 10,000 years, or not. Not knowing is harder than knowing even if the subject matter is bad.
“Helllllllllp! Mr. Wizard!!!”
“Dreezen, draazen, driizen, drome. Time for zis von to come home.”