Vintage Wave-function Collapse: "What Mad Universe" by Fredric Brown

What Mad Universe - Fredric Brown

And then you say "putting ideas under the noses of the people who most hate them. That's what science fiction exists for." You sure about that? I suspect most readers who expressed a preference would say that they are generally rather keen on ideas. In fact, the literary-fiction crowd often use 'the idea is the protagonist' as a stick with which to beat SF. The problem is that the notion of travel comes from movement through space. When we're standing still, and on no conveyance, we are not traveling relative to the world around us (of course, the planet is traveling through space). But in the case of time, when we stand still, we are indeed moving forward at the pace of life in time. So, in that context, time travel must mean more than that standing still movement - it must mean traveling faster than that to the future, or at any speed at all to the past, which does not happen at all in natural life time. One view of time is that is does not actually "pass", as we experience it, and that there is nothing uniquely real about the present. There is a 21st century and there is a 16th Century, there are elephants and there are trilobites. The past or future are not less real because we do not coexist with them, any more than distant universes, separated from us by the speed of light, are less real because we cannot perceive them. As Einstein put it: "People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion".




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