“Can the Past Be Changed?” / Memorable Fancies #1631

Can the past be changed? If time is an illusion, then we can change the past. Make all those bad things not-happen. Make really good things happen, instead. But those would be illusions too. Go fish. [Click ‘Random Post’ above – be astonished] … [Read more...]

Can the Past Be Changed? / Memorable Fancies #1233

We tend, irreflectively, to view the past as just as real as the present, and we go about finding out “what happened” the same way we find out what’s happening now: by collecting testimony, looking at records, searching for physical evidence — everything but direct observation of the past event, which is now impossible. Our unspoken assumption is that the past is just as real as the present, but can no longer be directly observed. A contrary view: The past is just what we conclude from … [Read more...]

“Changing the Past” / Memorable Fancies #609

     Desperately, we want to change our past, not to have done those awful things. We ask science to invent a way to let us go back, to give us a re-do.      Sadly, scientists tell us, time is a one-way journey, like that final walk to the electric chair. No, they say, you can’t go back and do something different; that’s impossible.      But we don’t need to visit the past, they explain, because everyone’s past changes itself. At night, in sleep, our memories gradually give us a new … [Read more...]

“Changing the Past” / Memorable Fancies #559

If you change your past then you can never know, in your new present, that you did change your past. Perhaps you’ve changed the same past before, over and over, searching for the one past that will, at last, make today right. We can call this “the Scrooge dilemma.” <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Harry Changes the Past” / A Memorable Fancy #122

Harry decides to change the past. He invents a machine and goes into the past and changes it. Now he can’t remember that he ever did that, in the old present that now never happened. -or- Harry decides to change the past. He does, resulting in Harry’s no longer existing in the present. So he couldn’t have decided to change the past. He’s still here, in the present. Harry’s head hurts. -or- Harry decides to change the past. He travels into the past, but then assumes he’s in the … [Read more...]