Time travel and the contradictions of history

A contrarian view of the grandfather paradox

At some point in the future, someone or something cleverer than you and I discovered time travel.

The physicists had argued that it was impossible to travel back in time. Maybe forward they said, maybe by a few fractions of a second, but not into the past.

They were wrong.

The old view, the wrong one, had argued that the grandfather paradox — where the time traveller would travel backwards, encounter his grandfather, kill him, and therefore never be born — was proof enough that backward time travel was impossible. That narrow minded view was wrong.

Instead, a clever contrarian won. The contrarian started something that none of us had imagined possible.

And it was at this time when the world became more complex than you and I could have imagined. The new dimension was added.

A second world emerged, running parallel with the first. And then a third, and quickly a fourth. And quickly more. More than you or I could ever comprehend.

This is the world you and I live in today. It’s a simulated one, where every node of the decision tree is played out, in ever increasing complexity.

Every single decision and course of action initiates a further world.

Sometimes, some of these worlds collide, as the branches of the tree overlap. At some points, the simulation’s degrees of complexity become more than you or I could ever envisage, but at others, and on rare occasions, the world becomes singular again, but only ever momentarily.

That last part, the part where the worlds collide is what you see when people recall things differently. I call it the contradictions of history. You’ll realise it the next time someone’s version of the past contradicts yours or another’s. It’s why no two accounts of the past are the same.

In this case, the small things that happened before are inconsequential: decision A and B had no impact on the outcome of C.

I don’t know in how many versions of the world I wrote this, but I know that in other worlds I didn’t write it at all.

Somewhere, someone or something knows — it will all be captured in some analysis of the simulation.

But my writing is far too inconsequential for it to be noticed.