That title probably requires some explanation, but I also think it holds up on its own as an incident my family would not see as being all that unlikely. I’m not saying that one Easter, they wrote down their top ten “Things that will probably happen to Christoper before he dies or is put in solitary by Nurse Ratchet” and that this was on that list, but more they say, well, yeah, that makes sense.
I was contacted by a casting agent, who was looking for people some sort of faux reality tv thing, because he had been led to believe that I was building a time machine in my garage.
I know what you’re thinking: Christopher doesn’t have a garage! He depends on street parking!
You’re also thinking, like my family, that the time machine is not unlikely. Now, you don’t think I’m building a working time machine, you just think I finally cracked and am using plans given to me by Nikolas Tesla, which he secretly writes in invisible ink on paper napkins from the napkin dispensary on booth four of the Waffle House on US 19, near Countryside Mall. You think that’s why I won’t throw out the napkins on the floor of my car. And you’re not entirely wrong, however, I am not actually building a time machine.
When I was contacted, I rather suspected that a mistake had been made and that the casting agent believed he had found some crank.
This was confirmed when he gingerly asked, hey, before we speak, I understand that you’re building a time machine in your garage… um, how’s that going?
I felt that I had to admit at that point, that no, I am not.
But this also feels like a cool segue into quantum entanglement.
It’s been a banner year for quantum mechanics — a set of researchers just published a result that purports to show that quantum entanglement bridges both space-like AND time-like distances (e.g. the entangled pair can communicate across time.) They claim to have entangled one photon with a second photon which had been destroyed before the entanglement procedure began.
That was part of a lengthier conversation with a friend, and while the focus was on what the potential loss of the certainty entropy meant for what little certainty he felt like he had in life, it’s also kind of cool, because that’s a kind of time travel, isn’t it? Entanglement with something that only existed in the past?
The earlier conversation had been about how the universe, in certain contemporary models, appears perfectly static from the outside, but new models explains how that can be the case and still be in constant, roiling change. Basically, an outside observer would see a static, unchanging universe and anyone with the universe would see something quite dynamic. Sort simultaneously giving hope to both Parmenides and Heraclitus (his first thoughts were of Parmenides and mine of Heraclitus… any psychological insights from that, people?).
Because he’s more of science-y type and I’m more of a humanties-y type, we went in different directions. Mine was that this could provide an intellectual model for a better understanding of how a god could be omniscient in a universe where humanity has free will. But that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.
In the meantime, I will not be appearing on television, showing off my time machine.
And, in case you’re wondering… this the blog post that convinced them that I was building a time machine: https://coffeephilosopher.com/2012/07/05/im-building-my-time-machine-for-real-this-time/