Cyberspace Web





Enter the web.


The time machine is a hypertextual engine.

Just as the normal passage of time symbolizes the reading of a conventional, linear text, so does jumping around different points in history using a temporal relocator resemble the reading of a hypertext. Time travel captures the imagination of many for a better reason than the simple fact that it would give people a sense of power, a sense of wonder, a sense of omniscience and omnipresence, and a potentially infinite source of income from horse races. It provides all of these, of course, but more importantly, it provides reality in a seldom-experienced form. It gives one the chance to see people and events as they originally existed, not as they were interpreted by others or by one's own highly unreliable memory.

The unreliability of memory refers less to amnesia-related pathologies than it does to the effect of emotions on facts. I have met very few people who consider their first kiss ever an unpleasant incident. Time glosses over events, and mildly pleasant memories may well turn into carbon copies of the dictionary definition of heaven, while somewhat unpleasant memories will be remembered as much worse experiences. A time machine would enable one to read through the hypertext of history, following different pathways and thereby appreciating each lexia for what it truly is. Seeing lexia within different contexts, that is, as part of various unique quantum branches, would lead one to discover the essential qualities of people or events, rather than what seemed most striking to them at the time. Even if it turns out that we are bound by fate (one main quantum branch defining the best of all possible universes) being able to travel through it at will would provide a much richer temporal experience.

"If I only knew ..... " would become an outdated clichÈ. Information and its application would become equally convenient, although whether this fact would be used solely for the welfare of humanity remains an important question.

Dostoyevsky let history speak for itself. The various viewpoints gathering within the mind of the Dostoyevsky reader have always collaborated to form a realistic universe, the like of which only a few other authors have been able to recreate. Experiencing numerous moments in time the way they were experienced by its original participants would provide a conception of time and reality so vivid, so enlightening, so hypertextual and, to be honest, so different from our own, that the best we can do is blabber about the prospect of such an incredible technology.