Journey to the Past

September 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

“If I could just go back in time and change that…”

Oftentimes, people lament the bad decisions they made. Hindsight is 20/20, after all. But if given the chance to turn back the hands of time and right the wrongs, typical cringe-worthy clichés aside, humans would most likely mess things up even more. How many of us have tried to save a hopeless case, and have ended up only making things worse? In the context of time travel, the shortcomings of humans could prove fatal–and more frighteningly, irreversible.

Take, for example, Bob Wilson in “By His Bootstraps, “ written by Robert Heinlein. In the story, Bob Wilson is tricked by Diktor into thinking that he can take advantage of time travel and profit by living in the future. This would be a big mistake: taking advantage of people of different time periods would ultimately lead to history being rewritten in a negative way. Peaceful, backwards people would be subjugated to rule under a selfish dictator, as evidenced by the relationship between the colonists and the Native Americans.

Humans are also known for just being plain dumb. Let us examine the case of Eckels in “A Sound of Thunder.” Here is a man who decides that killing large game is not satisfying enough; like General Zaroff, he thirsts for a bigger challenge. Eckels decides to travel to the past to hunt down a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Upon arrival, he realizes that perhaps the T-Rex is a bit too intimidating for him, and in fear, blunders his way back to the ship, stumbling off the Path and into the past. His clumsiness causes the entire course of history to be changed. Small things like a slaughtered butterfly could have severe repercussions, and all that resulted from the stupidity of a single human. History is too fragile of an entity to be so heavily influenced by the actions of humans.

So, if given the choice, I would rather not change anything negative about my past. No regrets, right?




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