My physics training has always deprived me of a certain level of enjoyment from the science fiction genre. As much as I have tried, I could almost never get into anything serious with “time travel” or “parallel Universes” in it. To me time traveling is a lazy writer’s excuse to avoid creating a real plot. And I’m too much of a Copenhagen interpretation guy to accept parallel Universes. Just can’t do it.
That is why I was so surprised by my utter admiration for and attraction to the TV Series Fringe, which has copious uses for BOTH time travel AND parallel Universes. Okay, Season 5 kinda let me down but still it was an enjoyable ride throughout. Was it as epic as the re-imaged Battlestar Galactica? Probably not. But it did deal with the total annihilation of not just one but two humanities. Was it as romantic as the X-Files? Probably not. But there were more love stories in this series than just what’s between Mulder and Scully.
Overall I will make the rare recommendation for Fringe and put it as the only member in the list of movies and TV series that I enjoy watching with both time travel and parallel Universes in its plot lines.
Here is a true conundrum to all of us nerds who are also capable of romantic endeavors aka matters of the heart not just of the mind (or brain if you are so neurologically inclined). Imagine the not-too-distant future where teleportation is just another commonplace green technology to rid us of our dependence on fossil fuel, much like the electric car. Yay! Beam me up, Scotty! Or Geordi if you belong to my generation. But in any case, don’t you realize that if teleportation were indeed possible, that would imply that we could clone people!? I’m talking about the technological prowess to break down and transport all necessary information right down to the atomic/molecular level and re-ensemble all of it to teleport me from Chinatown in San Francisco to Koreatown in Los Angeles. Yay! Beam me up now!
You see? If we can do that, what’s to prevent us from sending the same information to Seoul, Korea at the same time? Man, I could be paying a visit to two different room bangs in two different cities simultaneously! The physics of cloning is now clear! Cool!
Not so cool! Because that would really mess things up. Biologically, that means I would live forever because I could just keep replicating my transported self over and over again. However, this conundrum is not relevant at this time. A later blog post perhaps? What’s really upsetting to us romantic nerds is that cloning is a direct assault to the holy concept of “The One” aka “True Love”. By definition, “True Love” is one-and-only (c.f. how to find true love) so how can we have two of me if I’m your “The One”. Right, girl? Baby, I can explain… Please don’t run away… Hey, where you going!?
See the conundrum!? But wait! Maybe we can’t really transport anything perfectly because there is that problem of quantum coherence (look it up!) Maybe it’s not really the same old me that shows up in K-town!? I swear I feel like a different person in K-town but that’s a different story. Anyway, if the teleported me isn’t me, that would mean that we’re not technically teleporting! So what do I give up: scientific fantasy or romantic fantasy?