Sunday, 20 November 2016
How Easy Is It To Understand Time Travel?
"He had accepted the fact of time travel more readily than most. His mind was supple and, after all, he was an archaeologist."
-Poul Anderson, "Brave To Be A King" IN Anderson, The Time Patrol (New York, 1991), pp. 34-68 AT p. 37.
"'...hardly anybody in this age of the world is able to imagine travel through time and the marvels of tomorrow. It is no use to tell them, they merely get bewildered and frightened... Maybe I am different because I was always on my own, never cast into a mold and let harden... Then I praise the gods, or whatever they were, that kicked me into such a life.'"
-Anderson, "Ivory, And Apes, And Peacocks" IN The Time Patrol, pp. 141-205 AT p. 203.
Kashtiliash, King of Babylon:
"He had grasped whence the Nantukhtar really came, their island adrift on the oceans of eternity. Few others in this age could, he thought, even shrewd men, learned man. The Nantukhtar hadn't made any particular secret of it, but most dismissed the thought with a shudder as merely more of the eldritch air of magic that surrounded the strangers.
"But I am lucky in that my mind is supple. Perhaps because I am young yet. It is a mighty thing, a fate laid on us all by the great Gods..."
-SM Stirling, On The Oceans Of Eternity (New York, 2000), Chapter Eight, p. 134.
Denison's mind is supple and he is an archaeologist;
Pum is young, was never cast into a mold and he praises the gods;
Kashtiliash's mind is supple, perhaps because he is young, and he invokes the Gods.
The cases are similar.
Would some people simply be unable to understand any attempt to explain time travel?
"'As for the Babylonians, time travel just wasn't in their world-picture. We had to give them a battle-of-the-gods routine.'"
-Anderson, "Time Patrol" IN The Time Patrol, pp. 1-33 AT p. 9.
However, Kastiliash is a Babylonian with a young and supple mind.