Or, What I Learned By Building an Award-Winning Time Machine

A lightbox asks if you wanna be a time machine
A lightbox asks if you wanna be a time machine
You really don’t have a choice

This is the final installment of the Who, What, When, Where, Why of Existence series we began in 2019.

“History is written by the victors,” they tell us. We give Winston Churchill credit for the quote. He didn’t say it first. But he was a victor, so there you have it.

As for the rest of us — we edit history. Annalee Newitz takes that notion to its logical extreme in their latest novel, The Future of Another Timeline. They build a clear, compelling fictional world quickly and deftly. Within it, the characters who travel through time are Geologists, tweaking history with edits that hopefully fly under the radar — no tropes where protagonists go back to indiscriminately kill history’s worst humans before they do too much damage. …

On seeing Sleater-Kinney, the Library of Babel and the Milky Way this month

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A billboard I drive past every day on Silver Spring, in Milwaukee

The fourth in a series of essays, following who, what and when. Those were apparently behind a paywall, which I took down. So feel free to catch up if you’d like, though it’s not necessary — I’ll be grateful if you spend some time with this one.

Long ago I got claustrophobic in the infinity room at the art museum. It had rules — one at a time, special footwear, no food or drink, no touching. …

Paul Celan, Basho, a funeral and a talk on quantum gravity

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Where: nearby, when: always

Part 3 in a series: when, which follows who and what.

We reach when we’re young. Overly aspirational, take on what we’re not ready for. We grow older and grow and try to re-live the back then of us. They collide like today.

We wonder about the appropriate response. Then the casket’s open and the present of her becomes past tense and we remember the used-to-be before any of this of her.

The her we didn’t know wasn’t our her, only imagined and picked up in pieces given to us with second hands. …


Brent Gohde

Adventures in reading and writing. Making sense of what’s new in science, sci-fi, philosophy, culture, and creativity. And basketball.

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