Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Timely Advice

When it comes to life in general, there are two schools of thought.

Some will tell you to live for the moment. Look no further than right now and savor it.

Others will tell you to live your life today in preparation for tomorrow.

Today is just a passing thing.

And tomorrow never comes.

But every action you take today will have an impact on your tomorrow.

You cannot see your future today because you have not taken the steps yet that get you to tomorrow.

So we set goals. Objectives. And we plan.

We plan for tomorrow. But when tomorrow gets here, it is always today. There’s another tomorrow to plan for. And we spend that today planning for the next tomorrow.

But technology, it seems changes everything. So far it has changed how we communicate, how we learn, how we are informed. And how we travel.

Technology is not done yet. It’s just begun. And much of what we have today was dreamt up in science fiction a hundred years ago.

So what’s next?

A time machine? One that takes you back in history, and forward into the future? So many stories have been written and movies made about time travel, that well, given our drive to make these science fiction dreams come true, it just seems inevitable. Impossible just doesn’t exist anymore.

But as I sit and ponder this for even a moment, it becomes clear to me that if we were to build a time machine, one that takes you forward in time, that machine would use totally different calculations than one that would take you back in time.

To travel back in time would simply be to retrace the steps that we have already taken. Kind of redundant, don’t you think? So the bigger opportunity would be to invent one that takes you ahead in time, to the unknown.

To move forward in time, you would not simply pick a date and wait to be surprised at where you land. No, it would be more like the navigation system in your car. You pick a destination, and the system tells you step by step how to get there.

My car has a cheaper version of the GPS. It does not show me the route I am about to take, but it simply points me down the next road. I blindly follow the female automated device. And voila … I reach my destination.

So in the future, time machines may very well have the same types of features and models, based on price range.

If it were to be possible to set your time machine future destination and then to be at that spot instantaneously, you would then look back at the history of the steps that were taken, and you would see what you did to achieve your goal.

If you were to type in a destination of a wealthy future, once you arrived, you may find yourself sitting in a jail cell, waiting for your trial.

“How did I get here?” you would ask. And you would look at the travel log, and see that you did despicable things. And you would say “this is not the future I hoped for”. So you would use your one phone call to call the customer service desk of future travel device.

“How may I help you?” would answer the voice on the other side.

“It appears that your device has landed me in jail, awaiting trial for fraud.”

“What destination did you enter into the user interface?” the voice would ask.

“Wealth”.

“Oh. Yes. Did you read the instruction manual?”

“I tried, but it was a little too quantum physical for my understanding”, you would reply. “I just wanted to test it out and see how it worked”.

“So you jumped right into the “Wealth” option then?”

“Yes", 

"Did you select a route?"

"Uh .. no".

"Well, the default value is 'fastest route possible', and you didn't take the time to go through the options to teach it about you as a person. You really should have read the instructions".

"How can I undo this?”

“You can use the ‘back-in-time’ feature”.

“I only bought the future traveling model. I couldn’t afford the back in time feature”.

“Oh, I see. Well, Mr. Brill, I see here that you did accept our end user agreement”.

“Yes, I clicked on the ‘accept’ button. Who has time to read all of that legal mumbo jumbo?”

“And you didn’t read the user manual either then?”

“No, I told you that”.

“Well, I am very sorry, but you are where you are because of your own actions”.

“Look, if you don’t fix this, I will sue you for every penny your company has!”

“But you already waived us of any liability for the use of our product when you clicked the ‘accept’ button on the end user agreement”.

“Can I buy the ‘back in time’ model now?”

“Will you be paying in cash?” asks the customer service representative.

“Well, no, I do not have any cash on me and they have taken all my personal belongings, so I don’t have my wallet, but apparently I am quite wealthy. Surely you can accept my credit?”

“Mr. Brill, you are on trial for defrauding everyone you know and love. Why would I accept your credit? Besides, it says here in our records that all of your accounts are now frozen”.

“So I am screwed?”

“You did it to yourself Mr. Brill”, says the customer service representative, with a deep sigh, likely because they have answered this same type of call a thousand times before.

“Is there anything else I can help you with today, Mr. Brill?”

Later, at the trial, the lawyer approaches the bench to speak to the judge.

“Your Honor, it appears that Mr. Brill was just testing his new time travel device”.

“Let me guess. It was a Fabco Time-Forward 3000” replies the elderly judge, peering down over his bifocals impatiently at the lawyer.

“And this fellow bought his device before the Federal Government shut them down for reckless endangerment to the public …”

“Yes Your Honor”.

“And he didn’t read the user manual”.

“That’s what he said”.

“And he clicked ‘accept’ on the end user agreement …”

A deep sigh from the lawyer. “Yup”.

“And he can’t afford to now purchase the “Back-in-Time” model …”

The lawyer hung his head. “All of his accounts are frozen. I am doing this pro-bono.”

“So in fact, he did all the things he is accused of”.

“Uhhh … yes, it’s all documented in his Time-Forward 3000 history log.”

“And all these people sitting in this court room should just forgive him, it was all a big dumb mistake made by an impatient idiot too lazy to read the instructions?”

“Well … yes …?”

“Guilty”, and the judge slams down the gavel. “Next Case!”

It’s just a matter of time before this technology is invented, and just a little more time until a company like FabCo develops a means to deploy it to the masses. In all of its models, with various options available at affordable and not-so-affordable prices.

And when this time comes, my advice to you is read the user manual. And understand the end user agreement before you hit accept.

And pay the extra thousand dollars for the Back-in-Time feature.


I did.

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