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Time Travel Could Make Our Worlds A Whole Lot Brighter
by Margaret Treadwell

Time travel could be the gateway to a new understanding of reality in our universe. It is my belief that a portable time machine, much like my illustration at left, is very possible. It is simply a matter of constructing a small device which can manipulate the space-time continuum. Anyone who has read A Wrinkle in Time should be familiar with this procedure.

It is naive to assume that the individual so traveling would have no effect on the past to which he or she traveled. The traveler would create a new reality at the point when he or she arrived with the portable time machine. This new reality, which shares a common ancestor (the moment when the traveler arrived) with the reality from which the traveler hails. The two realities, or possible worlds, exist simultaneously in the same space-time continuum. Travel between the two worlds is impossible, except by traveling back through time to the worlds' common ancestor.

Let me illustrate this point with the help of a cheery protagonist, Darcy.

Darcy, at the wise age of 30, in the grand year of 2000, finds herself in possession of a portable time machine. Perhaps she herself built it, perhaps it is a found object. Nonetheless, she promptly christens it "The Plum Pudding" and fires it up, setting a course for June 12, 1990. Upon arrival (in the same locality as she and her time machine were in 2000 - Santa Monica, that is) she stows her time machine in a safe place and sets out on her mission.

From her intense studies of the biography Jim Carrey: Comic Ace, she is able to hunt down the youthful comedian. Approaching him in an "arty" video store on Third Avenue, she feels a little sorry for him. A young, unknown, kinda dorky guy who perhaps did a stint hosting Disneyland's Jungle Cruise while looking for his big break, Jim has not yet become the world's most annoying film actor, as Darcy knows him.

A bold time traveler, Darcy does not let her feelings of sympathy hold her back for long. In a carefully planned maneuver too intricate to fully explain here, she kills the young Jim and destroys all evidence!

Darcy has now created a reality in which Jim Carrey is a young murder victim instead of a major celebrity. She can remain in that reality only by living in it day by day - she cannot use her time travel machine to skip ahead in that reality. She may occasionally encounter herself, but ten years younger and living in a Jim Carrey-less world. The 30-year-old Darcy, who traveled back in time, can only enjoy the new reality she has created by living in it day by day, hopefully avoiding any spooky encounters with the younger version of herself.

She could, however, choose to travel back to whence she came, to the future in which Jim Carrey is famous. Still, she would know that she had created a better reality, and that it existed, too.

Time travel could be the tool by which we could create the reality we've always wanted, yet know that, in the same space-time continuum, the reality we were born into still exists. With infinite portable time machines available, an infinite number of realities could be created, and life would be sunshine and roses for everyone.

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