Friday, August 10, 2007

Speed Enforced!

Everyone who lives in California has, at one point or another, seen the stupid "Speed Enforced by Aircraft" signs.
Like this:

I understand what these signs mean; that if you're speeding and a CHP plane overhead sees you, they will radio to a car to come pull you over. I get it. It's still stupid and always makes me laugh. Why not "Speed Enforced by Battleship?" I would think to myself, passing by.

So, I made these.


Some folks may have noticed an uncharacteristic spike in the frequency with which I have been bringing up the idea of time travel as of late. I would be lying if I said it wasn't on my mind.

Shkeve and I have expended a considerable amount of mental energy trying to forget what we think we know about time travel and open our minds to what it might be.

I'm convinced that Shkeve has traveled through time. My explanation is to follow.

Several weeks ago, before all of this, Shkeve asked me in complete seriousness what I would do if I could time travel. Not like if I had a magical DeLorean kind of time travel, but within the confines of how time travel might theoretically be possible.* The idea being that you can travel backwards in time to any point in which your Time Machine is running and only to those points. I don't remember if I had an answer, but if I did it was profoundly underwhelming. Shkeve talked about how he would build in a failsafe; how he would keep the minute after he first turned the Time Machine on clear (by never traveling back to it or using a point in that first minute to travel back to the moment he turned the machine on) so that whatever happened, he could go back and have at least a minute to turn the machine off and prevent any time traveling from ever having occurred. (Nevermind that this particular failsafe plan would leave Shkeve with a double of himself and a stiuation that might escalate quickly into a terrifying battle.)

Several days later, a film called "Primer" found its way to the top of my Netflix queue and subsequently into my mailbox. When I watched the film several things happened. The first was that I became obsessed with understanding it from start to finish. The second was that I had a burning need to discuss it with several people, the most urgent of which being Shkeve. Then I became convinced that the Shkeve I was talking to that night about the practical strategy and failsafe planning for time travel was, in actuality, Shkeve (1).

That probably shouldn't make sense. Regardless, I have rarely gotten the satisfaction out of a film that I have out of "Primer." I have watched it at least 6 or 7 times and spent at least as much time discussing it with some very intelligent and fascinating people.

If you can suspend disbelief, be it practical or physical, and allow your brain to conduct the thought experiments that inevitably accompany viewing "Primer," any reasonably intelligent person will have an enjoyable time viewing and, I hope, discussing the film.

*I'm no physicist, but the concept makes more sense than a flux capacitor. The idea, as I understand it, is that IF you removed certain PROVEN theories to the contrary, it might be possible to travel backwards in time. I won't go into relativity or try to explain this, but let's just be clear that we are talking about something that MIGHT be possible if some rules were bent that more than likely can't be bent.