I recently re-watched a very nice movie the other night entitled “Amelie.” Some of you may remember this movie from 2001. Most will likely remember her father’s globe-trotting garden gnome and the inexplicable photographs he received in the mail from parts distant. But what some may not necessarily remember from 13 years ago was Amelie’s self-imposed and Sovereign mission throughout the movie. Is it possible that there is Integration and alignment between “Amelie” and John Titor?
As background a quick synopsis of the film (h/t Rotten Tomatoes):
The French movie “Amélie” is a story about a girl named Amélie whose childhood was suppressed by her Father’s mistaken concerns of a heart defect. With these concerns Amélie gets hardly any real life contact with other people. This leads Amélie to resort to her own fantastical world and dreams of love and beauty. She later on becomes a young woman and moves to the central part of Paris as a waitress. After finding a lost treasure belonging to the former occupant of her apartment, she decides to return it to him. After seeing his reaction and his new found perspective – she decides to devote her life to the people around her.
Amelie’s chosen tactic to serve those around her was a decidedly indirect one. She worked to maneuver events and influenced people’s thoughts in such a way as to spur action towards a desired outcome. Sometimes these outcomes were as simple as to convince her father to see the world or as complex and far-reaching as to foster love between two lonely people. What is important to take away here is that her actions were unseen and in the background. No one ever suspected that their actions were inspired by quiet whispers in their ear.
But how could this subtly complex story possibly be related to the time travel question? This can be answered, but first we must properly identify the actual utility of ‘time travel.’
John Titor’s statements in his posts from 2000 (which were relevant for its time), describe a very concrete and easily comprehended use of the time travel technology: the recovery of lost technology (the IBM 5100). While I will not deny Titor’s claim or likewise question this particular use here, his narrative does describe a very overt, plain and useful employment of a ‘time machine.’ There are other such examples from yet other ‘time travelers’ making use of the technology in a similar fashion, but for simplicity’s sake, we will stay with the Titor example.
Are we to believe, however, that this particular mission profile would be the only type of mission the “177” Program might employ? Are we to assume that human innovation and the very human tendancy to justify just about any action did not lead to other uses for the technology, however well-managed and well-intentioned? With a proper understanding of human nature, my inclination is that the machine is not sitting on a shelf in some hidden military warehouse of the future. No, its use continues…
Because of this, if we accept that Humanity might have difficulty walking away from such a powerful technology, we should then speculate on what other missions might be conceived by the Program. Titor himself admitted as much, although in a manner quite oblique when he mentioned that once MWI was properly understood by the public, then the natural resistance to time travel mostly evaporated. Doesn’t this statement imply that the Program did make further use of the technology in other avenues?
To my eyes, bending human history towards a desired future is the first and likely most impactful option. Instead of creating or cancelling events out of whole cloth such as the attack on Pearl Harbor or 9/11 (which is likely largely impossible), changing the timing of those events might be more feasible. This strategy also likely minimizes any large and direct effects to divergence calculations (a purely speculative thought for my part).
A good example of changing the timing of an event might be expressed using our old friend, Mr. Tesla as an example. What might ensue if we were to simply speak within earshot of Mr. Tesla one day in 1873 musing on a future innovation we wanted him to make earlier than he ‘originally’ would have? Perhaps we would make this statement in Mr. Tesla’s presence 10 years before he presented Alternating Current at the World Expo of 1893, for example?
We might wonder aloud: “How might one accomplish changing the flow of electrical current? Are there any potential advantages to alternating the flow of current?”
By strategically allowing Mr. Tesla to overhear your conversation, you could essentially light the fire of curiosity in the one man who could (and already did from the time traveler’s perspective!) answer the questions you posed aloud and within his earshot.
Or perhaps another example might be to casually state that a machine could be powered by a rotating black hole, and merely sit back and wait for the tall blade a grass to demonstrate his ingenuity and curiosity?
Have you changed the course of human history by doing this? Yes. Have you completely disrupted the life of Mr. Tesla? Possibly not much more than the amount it would disrupt him 10 years later had you kept your big time traveler mouth shut.
Eventually, Mr. Tesla’s accelerated invention of Alternating Current would “rightly” be attributed to him. But his inspiration for the idea, the spark that moved his thinking into one particular direction however, would be hidden.
The ‘time traveler’s’ Hidden Hand closely mirrors Amelie’s indirect and hidden actions for her friends. Because of this, young Amelie has quite a bit in common with our friends who move amongst the universes. Interestingly, Amelie neither required nor sought any recognition for her actions. Can we say then that through her Understanding and Compassion, she demonstrated a sense of Humility as well?
As Amelie, a time traveler’s actions will be nearly 100% invisible to those they are meant to effect if not the world at large. Is this not the very definition of Humility, at least at some level; eschewing overt recognition? I have already spoken in a previous essay on the time traveler’s expanded view of Humanity and his resultant Compassion. Humility, it would appear, may be another of those heart-felt Virtues they possess.
If given the opportunity or option of acting in Amelie’s place, would we volunteer? Would we have the Courage to act on a stage specifically set to impact the lives of our fellow man? Do we have it within us to be Humble enough to Understand that we’ll never see the whole picture of the lives we are effecting, but have enough of that Understanding to feel the Compassion for our friend?
Were Amelie to ask me if I wanted integrate myself into her sovereign mission to make the world a better place, I am fairly certain my response would be
“Yes, I Volunteer.”