Time Travel Capitalist

September 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

Having a time machine would open up many possibilities. I could go back to 2005 and patent the hashtag, invest in Apple while it was still operating out of Steve Jobs’ garage, and schedule more than one accidental run-in with Mark Zuckerberg when he was still in his naïve college adolescence.  I could go see an original Shakespearean play, break bread with Jesus, and party like its 199. While these are all exciting in their own right, let’s be honest: if I had a time machine, I would probably sell it on Ebay.

Mostly, all of the things people would be selfishly interested in doing with a time machine involve making money anyways, so selling it on Ebay just cuts out the travel-back-in-time-and-try-not-to-destroy-anything step. I can politely hand off that responsibility to the highest bidder, while I rake in the cash. But hey, we all have to pay for Vanderbilt somehow. I just choose capitalism.

The way I see it, there are only four options with time travel: it is not possible, it is possible but the past cannot be changed, it is possible but affects only the future or a parallel universe, or it is possible and we are currently living in the best potential version of our universe.  If it was possible, and no one has had a run-in with time travel accidents or criminals, then perhaps the future time travelers managed to change what was necessary to create the best future outcome. At minimum, it is a comforting thought to think that perhaps the existence of Hitler, the Black Death, the 1931 China floods, or the Chernobyl disaster existed because they allow for the ideal future world. The human brain, including mine, loves its comfortable thoughts.

I suppose with a time machine I could help facilitate that process, but now is the time to get real. I am a twenty-year old political science and history major. Trusting me not to prevent accidental universal mass chaos is probably a poor decision. Generally, a good rule of thumb is WWTDD: What Would The Doctor Do?  Usually, however, that requires some stroke of genius towards the end of an episode that only a Time Lord (or one of the show’s science fiction writers with too much time on their hands) is capable of.  So yes, I suppose with a time machine, I could attempt to be a part of (re)writing history. For now though, I think I’ll leave that to the Doctor.



§ One Response to Time Travel Capitalist

  • Rivus says:

    Hah! Yes, WWTDD is an excellent question. Of course, assuming the theories about time in Doctor Who are true, I think I might be a little more comfortable using a time machine, especially if it’s a TARDIS. Having so much to explore would be fantastic, and if you’re not the Doctor than maybe you won’t find mass chaos everywhere. To be fair, the Doctor has plenty of peaceful adventures, but only the ones in which there’s trouble are aired for obvious reasons.

    I’d like to see you try and sell a time machine on Ebay, though. Trying to convince people that it actually worked without proving it by traveling through time might be more difficult. But gathering proof would likely mean you’d have to time travel, which is what you’re trying to avoid. An interesting conundrum.


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