Friday, July 23, 2010

Question of the Week: Of the Past

Given the ability to project yourself into the past but not return, would you do so? Where would you go and what would you try to accomplish if you knew you might change the course of history?

The idea of time travel seems really neat to think about. But if it were an option, I don't think it's one I'd pick, unless I could travel back and forth at will. Going back in time and being stuck there doesn't seem like my idea of a swell time. Imagine anyone who was used to the modern conveniences of the 21st Century traveling back to Ye Olden Times. No internet, no GPS, no cellular phones, no microwaves... it would be beyond a culture shock. I guess you'd get used to it eventually. More often than not, people have the uncanny ability to adapt to their surroundings. But then you'd have to be careful what you say around the natives of the era in which you were stuck. You don't want them thinking you're insane simply because you mentioned something harmless like a horseless carriage. And as for changing the course of history, have we learned nothing from watching Lost? Most people would probably say yes, we've learned nothing from watching Lost. But I say we learned, better than Back to the Future could have ever taught us, that whatever happened happened. The past cannot be changed. Even before Lost came along, I was of the belief that if one were to go back in time to try to change something, they would actually (probably) do more to bring about the event that really occurred rather than affect its change. I'm sure that there are many theories about that somewhere on the internet. But if you go back in time, you won't be able to look. So enjoy that modern convenience while you still can, those of you thinking about visiting the Days of Yore.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

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