Wednesday, April 14, 2010

7 Myths of Time Travel #4

MYTH: Time travel is like teleportation: you pop from now to then.

Look, the second word in "time travel" is "travel." You got to get there. It takes awhile, and it takes work, which is why I haven't been banging around all of history, snitching priceless Egyptian artifacts and selling them on the black market. Well, that, and of course, because you have to travel to get anywhere, you can't time-travel your way through prison bars.

But here's the weird thing: it looks like you disappear and reappear. It took me awhile to figure out why this is true, and honestly, I'm still not sure I'm right. When I go to the future, I'm standing in my room while like six weeks go by. You're definitely there: if you're going any speed through time, you don't want to let anyone walk into you. It hurts. A lot.

Other people do catch glimpses of me from time to time. They always look confused, and they never remember seeing me. When I'm going forward in time, I think it works like this: although I'm there every second, I never was there the second before. I was there in me-time, but I wasn't there in zax-time. So I'm constantly suddenly appearing in front of them. That's why they always look confused.The moment they look away, I was never there.

When I'm going backwards, people will remember seeing me, but in every moment, they're seeing me for the first time. Seeing as I go by is the past for me, but it's the future for them. Once I get where I'm going, I turn around and we're going back over the same time I just traveled through, but I'm not there. I mean, yeah, I passed through 2:31pm, but by the time I get back to 2:31pm coming the other way, I'm long gone. I'm at a different place in me-time. Being there at 2:31 is in my past. Everyone around me is at the same place in me-time, so they don't see me either.

I suppose I should explain that me-time isn't really about me. I probably should call it "meta-time," but I didn't know words like "metacognition" when I was eight, and now, well, I've been calling it me-time for eight years, it's kind of stuck.

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