A bit different this one, but it reflects where I’m at.
Tag Archives: Story
The reasons for the population explosion of the 19th and 20th centuries became clear shortly after society crumbled, sometime in the 21st century.
It was at about this time, sadly just too late for many, that a power source both clean and immeasurable was discovered. Such was the depth and beauty of this source that engines for harnessing its power could be built with the simplest tools by anyone half conversant in the new technology.
The ready availability and exceptionally low cost of this power source had an equalising affect on the population of the Earth at that time. All material goods, personal gain and one-upmanship became something of a misnomer, once any person could produce as much of any item as they desired. There suddenly seemed to be no point to it all.
And, by and by, this lead to the invention of the time machine. It behoved people to return just a short time in the long history of this planet, (you could only stay on this planet; travel to other solar systems or even other planets was clearly a complete waste of time, due to the ridiculous distances involved), to the period perceived as the ‘boom-time’ in the long story of the Earth – the industrial and technological revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries.
It must have been a great time to be in, went the reasoning, as there were so many people around at the time…
As you may be able to tell by now, what actually happened is that almost half the people on the planet at that time were in fact not from that time, but from a short time in the future.
The situation was such that you had people leveraging their knowledge and savvy to become the oligarchs of that famed period in hostory, whilst certain ‘thrill-seekers’ spent time in the most overcrowded and inhospitable areas of the world – living life on the very edge of survival.
It got to such a point that these people, somewhat foolishly, did not keep track of the date. Hence, society duly crumbled, due to obvious reasons, and the majority died with the rest of humanity.
Those that were left after that horrendous time had a different perspective on it all, and promptly invented the new power source – and so it went on.
In June 2005 a man wearing a white short-sleeved shirt, white knee-length shorts and no shoes passed through the security gates at Terminal 2, Heathrow Airport.
The security guards didn’t like him: he had no shoes, so they could not order him to take them off. He had no bag, so they could not search it. He did not set of the metal detector as he had no coins, keys or belt.
In fact, all he did have was a passport and boarding pass in the breast pocket of his shirt. It was a busy day, so they let him through.
The men monitoring the security cameras didn’t like him either. He stuck out like a clean patch on a soiled tea-towel, so they followed him with their cameras and they were surprised at what they saw.
The man, smiling faintly, walked every aisle of every shop, yet never touched or picked up any item.
He stood in every que at every coffee shop and fast food concession, yet every time he got to the front he just walked calmly on.
After he had done all this, he left the airport and was not seen again.
He was the worlds first airport tourist.
This story deals with a seeming paradox in the world of quantum physics. That is, that light can be proven to be both a particle and a wave, depending on how you look at it. It stems from theories and experiments from the mid-twentieth century; Einstein and all that.
It was the big day for this photon – there he sits, snugly, in the particle accelerator, waiting for the green light.
For months he has been preparing for this moment; hanging out with the larger electrons, learning ow they came to be as big as they are, while he was still barely a nucleus.
To the mesons and bosons he had spoken, whilst they raced along backwards and forwards, (and sometimes both!). From them he learned the order of things, the ‘elimentariness’ of the world.
And now he was ready, sitting there, waiting for the electromagnets to warm up. Soon he would be journeying, at the speed of light, towards the most important event of his life!
Soon it came – the hum in the background, the green light came on – he was off! Out through the barrel of the gun he went, out into the unknown, out into the world!
And there it was – the famous dark screen that his contemporaries had whispered about. ‘Be careful,’ they had said, ‘for a choice awaits you there. Beware of That Which Watches.’
Onwards he hurtled, and then he saw them – two there were, many many orders of magnitude larger than himself – looming, gaping holes in the screen. He knew his purpose then, he knew what he was here to do. He braced himself,preparing for that most sacred act that a photon can perform.
He concentrated and, slowly but surely, as he sped along, his whole being stretched, blurred, smoothed and spread. He was going for it! He was now truly a wave, spreading though the ether, a movement of energy, not of particles; propagating himself towards the voids in the screen.
But wait! What is this? As he approaches the screen he can see, concealed behind each hole – particle detectors!
‘Oh no!’ he thought – ‘if That Which Watches’ is expecting a particle, how will It notice me, if am but a wave?’ Losing his concentration completely, the photon collapses back into a single particle, and just scrapes through one of the holes in the screen…
And there he is picked up by one of the detectors, like an all-seeing orb, as passes on to the sensitive plate beyond.
the photon hits this new plate and comes to rest, the agony of the journey and the energy expended in collapsing from wave to particle finally spent, all remaining of him a single spot on a photographic plate.
In another world a human being looks up from a small photographic plate and turns to another human, saying ‘You see, Albert, I told you light was a particle…’
Disclaimer: I know the physics isn’t bang on; it’s just a story x