A Debate on the Ramifications of Time Manipulation

Dr. John Skylar, noted expert on the science of Anachronism, has written an essay on the theory of multilpe time streams. It is quite contrary to the official stand of the Institute of Time Travel and I therefore cannot endorse it.

However, I believe that when science squelches the ideas of free thinkers, it is in danger of becoming no more than dogma. Radicals should be allowed to present their theories without fear of being attacked or laughed at, whether you believe them or not. Polite debate should never be discouraged. Even the most ridiculous ideas have often inspired theories that proved true.

So I present Dr. Skylar's speculations at The Anachronist's Blog

Myself, I'm not sure if Dr. Skylar is a genius or a madman or both. (Not that I'm one to judge. You have to be a bit barmy to want to become a Temporal Anthropologist.)


The Science of Anachronism

Dr. John Skylar, from the University of Constantinople, is a professor of Anachronism, the science of interpreting data collected from various eras and time streams to determine the infinite possibilities that might occur. (That is probably an oversimplification.) When Dr. Taylor heard I was going to go to Australia, offered his services to advise me what to avoid if I did not wish to change history. Of course I am trained to avoid that sort of thing, but one should never get too cocky and ignore warnings.

I found Dr. Skylar's counsel quite sound. Indeed I was not aware how delicate the political atmosphere of the time. I needed to get footage of James Service, a minor politician who was on his way to becoming a major statesman. He would play a pivotal role in the federation and creation of Australia. Thanks to Dr. Skylar I made sure I did not influence Mr. Service by sidestepping any discussion of politics or the future. Instead I brought up the subject that brought Mr. Service to Australia in the first place. He was a tea importer. To be honest, I found the subject of conversation far more interesting than politics anyway!

Here is Dr. John Sylar's report: How to Save History: Australia 1874

And thank you, Dr. Skylar.



Wednesday, 13 January 2657

Mum called me Sunday to tell me Great Grams Hazel had collapsed and was in the hospital. Mum was distraught. Hazel was Mum’s grandmother on her dad’s side and they had always been close. Mum wanted--needed--her son. All she had was me, the man the Institute of Time Travel had created. I didn’t know if I could be much comfort to her, but I was determined to try.

Grams Hazel is 215. By the natural aging index, she would be in her late 80’s, early 90’s. Modern medicine and genetic engineering has slowed the aging process down. It seems to slow more the older we get. Until we reach adulthood, we age at a natural rate. Just as well. Who would want to live through fourteen years of puberty? We have inadvertently created a society where the elderly outnumber the young. It always amazes me of the number of children in the Victorian age and how many are unwanted. For us children are like rare jewels to be treasured.

I have told you last blog how awkward family gathering were for me. At least Dad’s side of the family has a strong tradition of history professors. I might make them uncomfortable, but they tolerate me because I’m a history researcher and they grudgingly respect that.

Mum’s side of the family is another matter all together. They do not approve of me at all. When I came into the hospital waiting room I heard the whispers. “What is that freak doing here?” She’s my great grandmother, too. I stayed out of their way, in the corner. I was going to be there for Mum.

Relatives faded in and out. Mum however was pretty well camped out in the waiting room. Dad had a bug he didn’t want to pass around, so he couldn’t be there for Mum. I stayed with her as much as I could, putting my life on hold.

Last night when everyone went to dinner, Mum came over to me. “Thank you, Wendell.”

“It’s quite all right, Mother. It is my duty, as a son and great grandson, to be here to give what moral support I can.”

Mum sort of stared at me a moment. “MY Wendell would have just hugged me and said ‘Oi, no problem, Mum.’ You used to be so laid back and affectionate and funny. Damn Institute took my Wendell away and left this stuffy Victorian in his place.”

“I do apologize for putting you through any sort of anxiety. That was never my intention.”

“I know that. I also know it wasn’t easy for you to be here today. Everyone is mad at you for what you’ve become and none of them try to hide it. MY Wendell was a kind, considerate and caring person--and so are you. You are a good person, whoever you are. It was hard enough to lose my boy, and have some stranger take his place. It would have killed me if the Institute had stuck some git in his body.”

“Instead they stuck a twit in it, eh?”

Mum laughed at that. “All right, so they didn’t completely destroy your sense of humour.” She patted my cheek. “I’d give you a big hug and kiss, but I know that sort of thing makes you uncomfortable now.”

“Feel free to do it anyway. I only look uncomfortable.”