well this is weird. with one statement i risk, you look see, upsetting two distinct groups; those that believe my next words are stating the obvious and also those who will not accept the nature of what i say. here we go, then - time travel, as we imagine it and as it is portrayed in films and books, is impossible.
why / why not? because time, as we know and understand it, does not exist. from seconds through to days, weeks and years, these are not nature and are not science - they're man made measurements created and accepted for convenience. you cannot build a front end to enter dates and times to travel into as the processing back end - nature, the earth, the universe, "time" - would not have any idea as to what to do with it.
oh sure, you can view the past, through the medium of photographs, video, images, etc, which is why we are here today. as the more regular reader here will be aware i've been embarking on a mission to convert some VHS to DVD, and in doing so i recently stumbled upon footage of myself that i was unaware of the fact of it being something which existed.
i am the somewhat larger one in the above, and that is indeed me at Chez Harlo, and that would indeed be young Andrew, one of an unspecified number of cousins i was to be joined in this world by during the course of the 90s. i think two, but if i could remember the exact number i would indeed absolutely share it here.
what was i doing there and then? looking at the date and time, i believe i was back in England for the first time in five or so years to witness Boro's somewhat ill-fated quest for glory. two cup final defeats and an unjust relegation for non-football reasons was how it all ended, but my was it fun getting there.
ok, so if one cannot time travel a la the simplistic approach taken in, say, Back To The Future, could one engage in some sort of variant of it? absolutely. you could not, however, do it dynamically, which is to say you couldn't interact with it.
in really broad and basic terms, all that we have done as a planet has in some way been "transmitted" outwards, somewhat like light. a plausible, and the most likely, theory is that the echoes of images of all that we have done resonate throughout the universe, both known and unknown. further theoretically, then, it should be possible to "decode" those emissions and "see" them, but i'd have no clue how.
you are probably better off, then, looking at images which exist and are easier to access from the past than setting about making some sort of device to "visit" that which has passed.
i do, on the whole, find it somewhat exciting when i discover images or recordings of me from the 90s. this is not really drawn from some vanity, but rather a sense of them being so rare. this was all prior to people having phones which took pictures and videos, to be sure. a reasonable estimate would be that more pictures are taken of me - often by me - every month than were ever taken during the whole of the 90s. with regards to video, i would say, give or take, in any one week there's more footage take of me than was ever made during that decade too.
what can you do with my observations on time travel? not a lot, really. if you are an argumentative sort, there's the point i have made here before. if you meet one of those "special kind" of atheists, the ones who scorn religion as there is no "scientific basis" for religion, you are welcome to call them a hypocrite if they happen to have a watch or otherwise recognize and "believe" in time. most of them, however, are well aware of their hypocrisy, and just get more shouty and upset than usual when they become aware of you knowing this.
would i be interested or excited about the idea of time tourism existing beyond the realm of finding old video footage to take images from? absolutely. who would not be? it would be fantastic if someone one day came up with the means of doing what i have said could not be done, and i'd be at the forefront of the delight expressed at most of this all being wrong.
until such a, for want of a better word, time, then, i shall simply carry on being all excited and fascinated when, by chance, i am enabled to travel into the past via unknown footage.
that's probably an accurate amount of philosophy for a Sunday morning, then. more as and when it happens, dear reader.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!