Monday, 9 November 2015

My Future Adventures and Untimely Death in The Past

My dear readers, I’m afraid that I have an extremely sad announcement to make.  To my shock and sorrow, it has been brought to my attention that I died in 1972.  This tragic revelation came as a considerable surprise to me, since I’d always been led to believe that I wasn’t born until the 1980s.  However, I’m afraid that the facts are quite incontrovertible.

No lesser authority than Google itself has proclaimed this to be the case, and if we once start questioning the accuracy of Google, our entire civilisation will come crashing down about our ears.  Please see the screenshot below from Google Books:

The information is there, in plain black and white (and blue, for the links).  It opens up a whole slew of fascinating questions.  The only logical explanation, of course, is that at some point in the future, I travel, or am sent, back in time and am forced to make a new life for myself in the twentieth century.  We are able to glean a little from the bare facts presented.  My assumed birth date is in 1910, but there is no indication of my age when I arrive in the past.  It must be before 1952, since that is the point at which I take up my appointment at Aberystwyth, so I obviously go back in time before the age of 42.  I have less than 10 years before my journey through time!

But why do I go, and why is it that I didn’t, or couldn’t, return?  Was it an accident?  Did something go wrong to prevent me coming back, or did I go in the knowledge that it would be a one-way trip?  If so, what a noble sacrifice!  I am moved by my own courage.  Or perhaps I was fleeing something, and the past was the only place I could take refuge?  How terrifying! 

How, once I’m there, do I avoid creating space-time damaging paradoxes?  Does my marital status change if my wife hasn’t been born?  Till death us do part and all that, but what if she isn’t alive yet, especially seeing as I’ll die before she’s even conceived?  Enquiring minds (and census forms) need to know!

The most important question of course, the one to baffle the minds of physicists, philosophers and historians for years to come (possibly in the past), is how on earth, in the next ten years or less, I manage to learn Welsh!  What if I don’t learn Welsh, even if I know that in the past, I have already learnt it in the future?  Will that create a paradox itself?  Am I honour-bound to learn Welsh to stave off a universe-breaking space-time paradox?

Just so that no stone is unturned in our intellectual quest, we must also consider lesser possibilities.  It is conceivable that someone has entered the wrong information on Google, and got me confused with some other Thomas Jones, one who can (or rather could) speak Welsh.  In that highly unlikely situation, should I possibly contact them to point out their error, or leave it, in the hope that the late Professor Jones’s reputation will have a favourable effect on my book sales?  Is the reputation of the Professor of Welsh at Aberystwyth (1952-70) likely to have any beneficial effect at all, or might it even be harmful, despite the fact that he was a distinguished scholar?  Is it entirely moral to use Professor Jones’s name in vain in this way, even if it happens to be my own?

Knotty problems indeed my friends.  Knotty problems.  All we can do is wait and see.  Now, where’s that Welsh phrasebook…

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