Sunday, April 30, 2006

Winds of Conundrous Time Travel

I really should have climbed Camelback or Squaw Peak this morning as planned. Instead, I made the mistake of firing up the computer before fetching my cup of coffee. After checking headlines to see if anything had changed (nothing had changed) I picked a few blogs from my ever-expanding collection, quickly landing on Winds of Change and the tickler to Michael Totten's post, "Everything Could Explode at Any Moment" (about the crazy situation with Hezbollah on the Israeli-Lebanese border).

Totten's post held my interest all the way through and into the comments section, where I found an eye-catching comment ("Everything anyone is telling you in that border region is a lie. ...") by Robert Spiers. I guess I'd lost interest in hiking the mountain by then, so what the hell, I followed the link to Spiers' blog, Conundrum - The Cosmic Pilgrim, where, near the top, Spiers had noted that he'd been shaken by a passage from Dan Simmons (another writer new to me). The passage Spiers quoted prompted me to follow the link to Simmons' post, which is a short story about a Time Traveler. (I think the link will die soon because of the way Simmons has organized his site. If so, look for the Time Traveler piece in his archives, probably entitled "April 2006 Message from Dan".)

I won't spoil Simmons' short story - just to say I think he is on the right track (mostly) because his time traveler projects consistency with what is the best model I have of human affairs, that being the one presented by Howard Bloom in his The Lucifer Principle. Both authors, though, seem to assume that many present trends will continue, which they will not because sustained steady growth against limits is not possible.

1 comment:

jj mollo said...

I read the Simmons story, which is pretty powerful. I have a couple of problems with it, though. Using a time traveler to support a particular scenario is basically unfair. It reduces all counter-arguments to straw men, easily blown away by the self-evident truth, which the time traveler alone has access to. Making this argument after 9/11 is also a bit cheap. If he had written it in August, 2001, it would have been on the front page in October, 2001.