Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Just a Watcher


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

What if time travel was possible, but the traveler couldn't interact in the time? That is, a person could see, hear, touch, and smell the world, but no one from that time could perceive the traveler. What if time travel was like a holographic projection that one could only watch?

22 comments:

  1. I think that would be cool. My mom has been sharing some bits and pieces of her life as a child, stories about my great grandma and aunts...I would love to go back in time to be like a fly on the wall and watch them as they lived these times.

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    1. That might be fun. Although, are you sure the stories are as told to you?

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    2. nope....know way to know for sure except to go back in time and be a part of it.

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  2. That would probably take the stakes out of a lot of time travel narratives! But at the same time, it would be really powerful as an educational tool. But the problem arises when one would travel to the future--to know that much about it in advance, could that change how you act in your own life? Could that alter the course of events?

    I think, also, that means that time travel would compete with memories. On the whole, I think memories can be better as an experience. We attach feelings, we attach value. Sometimes we remember something was way better than it was. But isn't that nice that we have that memory tucked away? That little bit of pleasantness?

    For information, if time travel were mined like say for a legal dispute, it could be traumatic and invasive...

    Lots of thoughts on this one! I could go on. I just recently had a time travel idea. Thanks for the mental nudge.

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    1. This is of course the trick when it comes to constructing a story. How would there be stakes? I see you came up with a couple ways ;)

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  3. That should fix all the issues I've seen in movies/books about time travel haha :)

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    1. Well, someone couldn't screw up time. But if you went back and you wanted to help someone...

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  4. Even though it would be cool to go back in time to see my younger self, I wouldn't like not being able to interact.
    I'd soooooo want to tell me in 1981, "DON'T MARRY HER! IT ISN'T GOING TO END WELL FOR YOU!!"

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  5. I think it would be safer not to interact. Then we couldn't step on that damned butterfly and mess up everything.

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  6. Sign me up! I'd love to see my parents when they were young or see some European cities before they were bombed or be on the Titanic but leave just before it sank-I'd find it thrilling and also...what Alex said about the butterfly.

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    1. Ah, but seeing your parents when they were young... What shenanigans did they get up to that they never told you about?

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  7. Yeah, that eliminates the problem of altering history. I'd think whoever came up with the technology (or more likely a ruthless entrepreneur who exploits them) would be bound to capitalise on the idea and charge exorbitant prices for these trips. And then something would have to go wrong! I like this idea, actually.

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  8. I'd love to go back in time and witness events from history. It seems like it would become a new fad in tourism. Plus it could also be used to solve crimes. There's a lot of story fodder there.

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  9. I think I would like this also. The places you could go and observe the events as history unfolded in front of you.

    betty

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  10. I time travel when I'm asleep. Its amazing how many alien entities I can recall with distinct clarity like I've actually met them, secret truth be told - I think I'm going quite mad, shush theres another one.

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  11. Geez! Talk about making history come alive! Think if students traveled back in time to view actual events...maybe we could stop the cycle of history repeating itself.
    Visit me @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead. 😉

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  12. I reckon I would be a successful punter

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  13. It would beat most of the crap Hollywood is producing!

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  14. Best history lesson, ever! But it would also make me paranoid about every day life. Who would come back and watch my best-of-moments? Kids for sure. Yikes. That's a ton of pressure.

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  15. Could definitely indulge your voyeuristic desires. lol But man that could get super frustrating, too.

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