Consider This

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I've been sick the last couple of days, so I didn't post. Today, I give you this to think about.

Here's the situation:

You're given a backpack (nothing too fancy, just a standard, laptop safe, backpack like a student would use) to fill as you see fit over the course of 12 hours and told that at the end of that time you - and whatever you've put into your backpack - will be transported 10-15 years into your own past.

You will look the way you did at that time. The only thing different will be the backpack and what's inside it. There are no rules as to what you can or can't put into your bag, but you should use your best judgement as to what to do with it.

So, what do you take?

Do you go with the Powerball numbers for the last 15 years?

My state is a non-participant in Powerball (phooey!), so that's a no-go for me. I guess I could go with the state lottery numbers. writing would be a whole lot easier if there was a significant amount of back-up cash in the bank :-P Well, I guess writing would be as easy or hard as it always is, but the pressure would be off.

Do you load up a laptop with all manner of gadgets and widgets that would be state of the art 15 years ago?

I wouldn't know what to do with them if I did. :-P

Do you seek out the sports upsets from those years?

Ditto the last answer.

Do you redo all of your college essays / tests so you'll ace them this time around?

If there's a laptop in that backpack, I'd definitely keep all of the schoolwork/essays/tests I'd done so I don't have to do all that work again. I'd also keep all of my current writing (WIP, etc.) If nothing else, I'd be ahead of the curve - ha! It would have to be saved as .rtf to make it compatible with old computers though... bleh. (I don't guess there's any way to stash a decent laser printer and a few years worth of toner in a backpack, is there?)

Do you rule the stockmarket by knowing the history of the best trades?

Meh. Stockmarket.

Or do you take a more philanthropic view of things and use your unique perspective to try and change things for the better. Do you warn your friend/relative of the dangers of an impending car accident, make sure they're doing anything other than getting into their car that day, or something bigger like making sure someone gets an early screening for the disease they don't yet know they have?

This has possibilities.

Understand that no one on the other side will know (or most likely believe) that you have lived those 10-15 years they've yet to see, so telling them things you shouldn't know may have unexpected consequences - especially if that window puts you in an especially young age group.

So... what would you choose?

How much impact in how many lives does one person with the right information have the chance to make?

2 Chiming In:

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Call me crazy, but I don't know that I would try to change anything. I could go the sci-fi time loop route and say that I couldn't change it anyway without changing the me that goes back. But really, I like the me that I am because of the things that have happened to me. Even the rotten boyfriend, the friends that died, etc. I might even just choose not to go back at all.

If there were absolutely no consequences to go back in time, I would probably focus on the little things, like making sure I talk to more people and telling my family friends how special they are to me. I think that would be the most meaningful change I could make. (And also, probably making some really good headway with my husband when we first met instead of waiting ten years like I did.)

Terry Towery said...

I'm torn between wanting to do something really important for mankind (going back and killing Hitler, for instance, BEFORE he killed millions), and something totally selfish. Like going back to Father's Day 1996 and stopping my Dad from getting in his car and driving to see my sister that day ...

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