Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?
I’d buy a time machine. It’s the most interesting of the three options. The opportunities are nearly endless depending on the parameters (i.e., does one merely observe or participate in different eras) a time machine. I could reshape history as it occurs. I could relive past glories. I could avoid past mistakes. I’d do my best to make lots of $$$ gambling on sports. Lots of good things.
Using a time machine wouldn’t be without its difficulties, of course. There’s the butterfly effect problem. Who knows how minute changes in the past would change future events? How would those changes affect other people? If those changes adversely affect others–particularly innocents–could I accept those consequences and the responsibility?
There’s also the possibility of experiencing a dystopian future like the one depicted in The Time Machine. Do I want to see a degraded society first-hand? What if I couldn’t do anything about it? No one wants to be treated like the Cassandra of myth.
Also, using a time machine would potentially eliminate uncertainty. Is that a good thing? Some of the greatest moments of exhilaration I’ve experience occurred when I did not know whether or how an event would occur. Would using a time machine eliminate that feeling?
More so than those issues, I’m wary of becoming sacrificing life in the present at the expense of the past or future. It seems like it would be easy for me to slip in and out of different eras while not living in the moment.
Notwithstanding those issues, I’d go for the time machine. What about you? Would you go for a time machine or one of the other gadgets?
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