Tag Archives: The Time Machine

Don’t trust Dora!

According to common ideas about time travel and general common sense, traveling back in time to view your past self is possible. Dora the Explorer has demonstrated this fact for us:

Exhibit A: Past (and extremely horrifying) Isa, Tico, Boots, Benny, and Swiper. Don’t ask me how I know all this.


On the opposite end of that spectrum, we have the famed idea of “Hey, we could talk to future us! How cool is that?” a la Amy Pond in the series five episodes of Doctor Who, the Hungry Earth and Cold Blood (*Sob* How could you do that to Amy, Restac?) and once again, Dora the Explorer:

Exhibit B: Present-day Dora and Swiper talking to Future Dora. Once again, don’t ask how I know all this. Let’s just say it was basically the same situation as the one wherein Sam Vimes learned about the noble game of crockett. Down to the last detail.

But according to the most basic rules of everything, talking to one’s future self SHOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE.

Allow me to explain, before you all denounce me as a complete idiot.

Let’s say you have access to a time machine, preferably in the shape of either a Victorian-esque sleigh or a  1960’s police phone box (Blue, naturally. The bluest blue you ever saw) , because Victorian-esque sleighs and phone boxes are cool.

So. You have this very important thing you need your future self to remember (i.e., this test you need to take, or that blog post you wanted to write some day, or [if we’re going to get really theoretical here] the next Molly Fyde book is due on this day five months in the future) so you get in your time machine and throw the time roter, mess with the zigzag plotter, and push the blue boring-ers, along with a bunch of other levers and buttons. You also stroke the time machine and sing it a song for maximum effect. You wind up about four and a half months after you left. You jump out of your time machine into your bedroom and creep through the house (Don’t want your family to see multiple yous) looking for yourself. But all you find is your family, overjoyed to see you and desperate to know where the heck you’ve been for the past four and a half months, and your little brothers and sisters making sure you know that they really actually truly thought you were DEAD.

Wait, what? where’s your future self that you need to remind about that one thing? That makes no sense. It worked for Dora when you were four, right?

Answer: There is no future self. You got into your time machine and flew away, so there was no future self for you to visit. Unless I’ve got things horribly wrong, there is no way to visit your future self unless you have a really cool time machine that can somehow penetrate the barriers of reality without blowing up a star so you can visit an alternate reality version of yourself that never jumped into a time machine.

So basically, don’t trust Dora on issues of time travel. She bends the universe to fit her needs, which is an abominably stupid thing to do. The more you bend something, the bigger the recoil when you finally let it go. It’ll come back around and slap you in the face.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for the evening. I’m so glad Matthew likes Blue’s Clues better than Dora the Explorer these days.


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Posted by on July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


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