People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to affect, but actually, from a non-linier, non subjective point of view it is more like a big ball of wibbily wobbly timey wimey…stuff “ The Doctor – Doctor Who (David Tennant)
I like to agree with the creators of Dr. Who here. One of the common mistakes we make is to get trapped in our own perspective, and we struggle to actually see that the experience we have of anything as only one fractional perspective of the situation or event, while there are an infinite number of alternates.
Today a ship takes 3 weeks to get from Plymouth to Singapore when less than 20 generations ago it took many months to years. See what I did there? “Less than 20 generations ago” is arguably a very long time. 17 lifetimes in fact, considering grandfather to grandchild overlap. Or its arguably a very short time, thinking in planet and astronomical terms.
Without getting too deep into a discussion on chaos theory and scale, the science of chaos does show us one of the biggest problems in perspective. Our perception is bound by scale and experience. Which is weird because we are very good at believing we are above the system, not part of it.
One day a significant asteroid will hit this planet. It may kill all life. It has done so before, and it will again. Perhaps a super volcano will erupt before that. Its considered 10 times more likely. Either way, the evidence is so clear and the data so certain, you can bet on it at any odds and win. But when it does, where will we be? At the current rate, based on most people’s perspective of the universe they live in, probably head down thumbs swiping or tapping on a mobile device.
But we are dreaming of our own redemption. With the realization of the value of a capability to at least get into orbital locations of only a few hundred thousand kilometers, all the way to planned trips to Mars and beyond, we are working toward getting off the rock.
It’s an all-in job, with entertainment companies and authors other studios inspiring us globally to dream big, sports and medical people helping us learn better healthier ways to improve our physiology and scientists and business leaders helping us design and build the machines of our dreams, perhaps we will save ourselves before it’s too late.
All we have to do is learn to get along, learn to accept healthy competition. And all that takes is a change in perspective. Perhaps we can then also rethink time, and like the ships of old, overcome the vast increasing distances of our universe to travel to new planets and places to live. Or perhaps, in the DNA of a bacteria or virus on one of the spacecraft already out there – we already have started our voyage – where time is not linear, or even relevant.