Ask Conlan: Full Disclosure

It’s time again for Ask Conlan, the segment in which I take questions from readers. You can ask me literally anything, no topic off-limits, even questions that don’t make sense. I am here for you. This week1 our first question comes from one C.B. McDougal.

Mr/s. McDonald writes:

Dear Conlan,

How are you?

C.B. McDonnely

Wow. Just… wow. Who do you think you are? Who THE F**K DO YOU THINK YOU ARE! I can’t even fathom what would make you ask a question like that. I… I can’t even look at you right now. Just leave. I SAID LEAVE!! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!

Phew. I apologize, folks. Some people have no sense of decorum, and occasionally it riles me a little bit. I’m sorry for the outburst (although I’m sure you can understand, under the circumstances).

Let’s move on.

Next question:

Hi, Conlan. My name is Manuel. I live in another country. Here in my country we do not have many wonderful things. I use my meager income to “surf” the internet at a local internet restaurant and request money transfers from kind people. (I am a prince and/or high-ranking government official.) What I’m trying to say is: Is time travel possible?

Nice try, Floyd. But the answer is, uncategorically, yes (with an “if”) and no (with a “but”)2. You see, time—like space—is indeed relative. Einstein demonstrated this through a series of experiments involving sticking out his tongue and blinking. Because it is relative, the faster an object moves, the slower time moves for it in relation to everything around it.

For instance, if a theoretical rocketship were to take off from the Earth at near the speed of light and travel to the nearest googolsphere, then immediately turn around and come back, the occupants of the rocketship would have experienced the time aboard as six years. However, the time on the Earth would have proceeded so that those remaining on the Earth would not witness the return of the rocketship for close to 60 years (Earth time)! The measurements may not be precise, but the idea is sound.3 So you see, time travel to the future is possible in this sense (however, technological restraints at this time make it unfeasible).

But suppose you wanted to travel back in time. Is that possible? Good question. The answer to that is, “Duh” and “Maybe”. In this case what you would need is a flux capacitor. But these do not exist (despite elitist Hollywood liberal claims to the contrary). What to do then? What to do…

Haven’t you been paying attention, stupid? Go into the future to get a flux capacitor after they are invented, then you can go anywhere you want! I mean, anywhen!

Easy as pie.4 Perhaps you are asking now, if time travel to the past may one day be possible, why are we not overrun by time tourists from the future, as they must be traveling the hell out of time, all the time? Is that even a question? The answer is obvious, again. Because now is boring. Why would anyone come here? The mere fact that you asked about time travel implies that now is boring and you want to go elsewhen. So why would you be so Hollywood elitist to assume that future generations would want to come now when they could go then? Do you see now? Wow, you’re dense (like time).

Anyway, at least my smart readers will understand my point, even if Floyd/Manuel doesn’t.

That’s all for now.

  1. Not a scientific unit of measurement. []
  2. Apologies to the good writers on the Simpsons, all of whom left years ago. []
  4. Full disclosure: I don’t know how to make pie. []