History,  Memes

An interesting thought experiment

PurpleSlog has an interesting thought experiment of What Five Places/Events Would You Visit With A Time Machine? They are

  1. Israel at the start of Christianity (the same as PurpleSlogs)
  2. The Kennedy Assassination – I’m partial to the Oswald acted alone theory, but it would be nice to know for sure.
  3. The Russian revolution
  4. The writing of the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution
  5. The White House with Lincoln during the Civil War


  • Nick

    1) Taking in a live show of Ziggy and the Spiders before Bowie moved on from the character. I guess I’d need to research what would be a good show to see, to optimize performance, timing and location.

    2) 42nd Street in New York during the height of the exploitation era of cinema.

    3) Seeing Dario Argento’s Inferno on opening night in a Roman movie theater.

    4) I know this is against the rules, but I can’t abide by these rules. You people are obviously twisting your wires in the opposite direction I am. I’d pull a Jack Finney and go back to stay. Not to get rich, though I would definitely look out for my interests and bet on things, in moderation, that would keep me doing what I like without ever having to worry about money again. I’d get a job, as a projectionist probably, at an old (new?) Drive-In.

    5) See the first Mongolian Clusterfuck.

    How is it none of the political/religious events even occur to me? I mean, going back to see Jesus born, how is that any different than just not buying it? If you’re not going to believe in christianity (notice the small c) at least have the stones to do so without inventing a freakin’ time machine just to be sure. Seriously, I’m kind of disturbed by the seriousness of the choices. I admit you’re likely disturbed by mine as well. The fifth one is a joke.

  • Steve

    Actually the fifth seems interesting.

    And why the small C? It’s a proper name by any definition.

    And it’s quite different than not buying it. I recently watched the Seventh Seal for a second time because I found it meaningful, not because I didn’t believe watching it the first time was a dream. Also, understanding it better is a powerful secondary (or primary reason).

    And they didn’t occur to you because your personality is devoid of (in Eric Hoffer’s phrasing) the religious sense.

  • Nick

    The small c was just to be dismissive. I know, kind of a jerk move, but like they say, turnabout is fair play.

    I had this argument with Annie last night, and she made a similar argument to The Seventh Seal thing. My perception is that many people would like to go back to that time “to know for sure.” Not so that they could enhance their faith.

    I guess what I’m saying is, how is that not cheating? Isn’t the whole game based on the buying of an idea that you will never know is true until the game is over?

    Any yeah, #5 would probably be an interesting time.

    I’m intrigued by the Eric Hoffer idea/accusation.

  • Serge

    1. The first Moon landing, as seen on Earth. No, I wouldn’t want to actually be on the Moon to settle the soundstage theory.

    2. Napoleon’s speech to the troops convincing them to follow him after he returned from exile. Why not?

    3. Premiere of Psycho.

    4. The Enola Gay.

    5. Tessla’s lab!

  • Steve

    I definitely agree with Serge on Tesla.

    And turnabout for what?

    And as for the Hoffer quote – (I’m rereading his autobiography, it’s fresh on my mind), and while he had read most of the classics by the time he was 27 he had not read the Old Testament. His reason for that curious omission was that “by nature being devoid of the religious sense”. It’s a perception about you, not an accusation.

  • Nick

    From Urban Dictionary:
    Mongolian Clusterfuck –
    A military tactic used by the Golden Horde (i.e. Genghis Khan and his descendents), in which an army invades an outnumbered force and overpowers them, but doesn’t kill many of them; instead, the conquerors rape and otherwise humiliate the conquered, then leave.

    I looked up some quotes from Hoffer regarding religion, and yeah, totally agree, I lack the religious sense. I was just being a little snarky, probably from held-over frustration from arguing the point with Annie last night where it literally came down to “they are the same thing, and if you aren’t a believer you’ll never see that.” I’m paraphrasing, of course. I don’t have the religious sense, so to me it seems impossible that someone would want to see some event that could prove their faith entirely for the purpose of boosting that faith. But I guess I’m being simple-minded. Thinking back to my childhood, there were a lot of older ladies around who, in between telling me I was going to hell for having long hair, would have jumped at the chance to see Jesus born. Still, it’s hard for me to fathom most people wanting to see it without at least being a little interested in possibly being off the hook with the whole going to hell thing.

    Turnabout for the smug/sanctimonious way some religious people are when it comes to being dismissive of anything and everything that doesn’t fit neatly into their world-view. My most recent ire was raised by this: “Before owner Gary Thompson secured the site for his Forsyth County operation, he lost two sites in Alpharetta.

    In Forsyth County, commissioners approved a conditional use permit last month. Afterwards, Commissioner Charlie Laughinghouse said he would ask the board to rescind approval because of a rumor that a drive-in would show R-rated movies.”

    R-rated movies! Oh no! I mean, the guy’s name is even Laughinghouse. In related news, I’m running a piece of my shit in the next Forsyth County election. It’ll probably lose because it’s platform is too confusing for anyone to understand.

  • Steve

    I don’t think “proving the faith” is what anyone is talking about. It’s not an end-state.

    What are you running the next election?

    I’ll have to loan you some of my Hoffer books. His first, The True Believer is an all time classic study of mass movements.

  • Nick

    That was a poorly written joke to criticize the moronity that passes for local government in Forsyth. Some guy wanted to open a family oriented drive-in, and he was shut down by a councilman because the councilman had heard a rumor that guy might play an r-rated movie. I’d be willing to see the guy’s point if it wasn’t for the complete lack of barriers to young people being exposed to r-rated material everywhere. They didn’t stop kids from seeing r-rated movies, they stopped the people in the community from being able to enjoy the fun of a drive-in. Not cool.