Saturday, April 10, 2010

First Synod of Time Travel

Here is the basic problem for the time traveler: If he journeys backwards, he shouldn’t leave a crumb. If his wormhole takes him into the future, he’s got to keep his yap shut. Traveling to the future can lead to big problems with the SEC, as it allows for the ultimate form of insider trading. If you know that Citibank is going to post a profit when its quarterly report is released, then you’ll buy a pile of stocks ahead of time. If you know who is going to win a Trifecta or a Super Bowl, then you’re going to clean out the bank. Making jaunts to the past poses a set of problems all its own, as there is a whole class of time travelers who are absorbed in trying to correct their mistakes—literally. Apparently, not acing high school history class was so traumatic for some of these voyagers to the world of yesteryear that they return hoping to retake the test, and find that they’re able to get off the wait list to Harvard. Then there are the smokers and drinkers and philanderers, who all want a second chance—few of them realizing that their selfish desire to get another turn at the plate can lead to genomic ARMAGGEDDON! Say no more, as Monty Python put it. But the bottom line is this: Time travelers need to hire consultants before they go “Back to the Future.” With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, time travel may soon be just a matter of flipping a switch. By the year 2500, time travel will undoubtedly be a no brainer. But there are moral and ethical concerns, and these will be addressed at the First Synod of Time Travel, scheduled for Bloomsday, June 16, at

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