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Spontanaeity Isn't Always Good

Today it saw me beginning with deciding to go straight to Money Mart after visiting Bun Master, then walking down Park Ave to get home, but stopping at the lights to consider checking Sobeys for air fresheners. My conclusion was that no, I wouldn't, because I'd already planned to go to Canadian Tire, and there was something else I wanted to look for out there anyways. So I continued down Park Ave all the way to Keil, and on from there. Fairly decent walk, with the only bad part being walking into Canadian Tire. Had I kept my headphones in for 30 seconds longer, nothing would have happened, but now I think the guy may have been taking information for credit card registrations, so if I get one from them anytime soon I'll just as soon send it back with a note saying "I don't want this". The rest of the night was better though, and something I watched made me start thinking about a somewhat unusual topic.

I haven't wanted to mention this for some reason (perhaps stigma associated with it), but I'm 100% certain the reason we've been having bandwidth issues lately is because I've downloaded every single episode of both Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Voyager. I just find them interesting, if anything, and the thought to look for torrents has come to me before, but that was back when I couldn't fathom downloading something totaling ~60GB, so I was left to watch one or two episodes here and there whenever I stayed the night at Josh's house. Anyways, I just finished watching the final episode of Voyager tonight ("Endgame"), and the very beginning left me with one big question.

The ship is shown having returned safely to Earth, where everybody is celebrating and things are generally festive, but since I can't quite remember where I was going with that, I shall divert to at least one of the episodes of "The Next Generation" that involved quantum realities. Some 200,000 (if I remember right) converge at one point, causing both hilarity (the deadpan "We're receiving 200,000 hails!") and sadness ("In our timeline, we're all that's left!") to ensue. Things are eventually sorted out, as they are in every other episode (well, almost every, to account for the several split into two parts), but that concept left me wondering for a while. Assuming the idea of quantum realities isn't just a theory, it's quite literally mindblowing to think of all the different timelines that would exist for mine or anybody else's life. For reference, the way it's portrayed in that episode is that for every decision you make, an alternate reality will exist where you'll have taken the opposite position. For example, if I couldn't decide when to go to bed tonight, and ended up laying down at 7 when I was thinking of staying up until 8, there could, by that theory, exist another reality where I stayed awake for that extra hour.

Of course, that idea has a huge flaw, in that there would have to be an infinite number of timelines from the very beginning of your life, in the way that eternity is also infinite. To illustrate, something I read recently that describes eternity quite well: "Imagine a mountain as tall as your mind can fathom. A bird flies over top, and as it reaches the tip of the mountain, the bird drops a small rock, and continues on its way, not to be seen for another thousand years. Even after the mountain has been worn down to but the tiniest pebble, eternity will have not yet begun". There's another saying like that that ends along the lines of "Eternity advances by a mere instant", but I don't like that one as much, because it implies that eternity is finite, even if on a phenomenally colossal scale - after many millions of years it will eventually end, and what comes afterwards? More accurately put though, there would be the exact same number of alternate realities at the end of your life as there were when you were born. Unless you want to postulate that additional realities only come into existence when you have to make a decision, but what about the choices that brought you to that point? Actually, it's more of a paradox. Given B happening because of A, how can A exist when nothing comes before it? It's no wonder I'm confusing myself just trying to write about this.

As for Voyager, it was something to do with why you would bother putting effort into living your life if it wasn't unique. In that episode, they're said to have returned to Earth after 23 years in the Delta Quadrant (it does feel a bit weird being that specific, but a little detail is better than just rushing over things so as not to seem too "into it"), but something about that seemed off. Perhaps it was their projected homecoming date in a previous episode, or another detail that I can't think of right now, but it didn't seem real, and sure enough, most of that episode was comprised of jumping between two time frames, being the present, while they were still on their way home, and the future, where the tenth anniversary of their safe return was being celebrated. Now, in fairness, the those two timelines were kept in sync, in that if something happened in the present, it would affect the future (which was another major plot mechanism), but the thought of any number of alternate realities, different than those mentioned above, is quite humbling.

Imagine, for example, that my life goal was to walk all the way around the world. Given the rules of that theory, there would be, say, ten different timelines where I was trying to achieve the same goal. Sort of makes you stop and think "Why am I doing what I'm doing if there are nine other versions of me doing the exact same thing?"

Now, I've been able to remember what I was thinking of originally, so I'll get back to that other train of thought in a moment. In the episode in question, the future crew is shown to have returned to Earth after 23 years, as I already said, while Voyager in the present is still trundling their way through the Delta Quadrant. Eventually those two time periods converge (which is another kind-of paradox, suggesting that time is nonlinear, although such are the wonders of time travel), and things are worked out without causing any more difficulties.

In a short sentence, it's like reading the end of the story first. If you know what's going to happen, why bother putting any effort into what happens along the way? I suppose you might want to continue living your life normally, because otherwise your inaction could aversely affect the future, but that's the problem with the story example. The end of the book will never change, so you could read the last few pages first then go back to the beginning and read chapter by chapter from there, but when you get to the climax again, it will be exactly the same as it was the first time. With time travel, however, the odds change a bit, and I'm about to start repeating myself when this isn't quite what I was going for in the first place.

Combine the present affecting the future, and the theory of multiple realities. Let's say you have the ability to view all of them at once, and see your future self visiting you in the present in, oh, timeline C. Everything works out beyond wildest dreams for that you, so why put effort into making the most of your life when you already have everything you could possibly imagine in timeline C?

Another thing this is making me wonder about is effectively living multiple lives in different timelines, but that's more or less straightforward, as long as they never cross or join together. Otherwise, things that are still quite difficult to fully comprehend, but nonetheless fun to think about and, in this case, write quite a few paragraphs on ^^ Oh, and of course, as stated way at the beginning of this cut, I downloaded both series in the space of about 1 and a half months, totaling 119GB, when our base limit is 75. Also with Adam and Naomi doing stuff on the internet as well, but thus far this month they've used about 15GB combined while I'm at double that on my own. I have Enterprise and Deep Space 9 both queued up in uTorrent as well, but as yet, that program is going to remain closed. Until January, at least, but preferably whenever Dad gets the bill and can tell us if we've, no, I've stayed within our limit this month.

With that out of the way, I have to say I'm a bit saddened at the prospect of tomorrow being my last day off for almost a week. Not that I don't want to work, but I'm starting to get used to this. Besides, I did most of my running around today, and I'm just thinking of walking home from Real Canadian Superstore tomorrow so I can stop at Tim Hortons along the way and get a sandwich for supper. Something to commemorate having 6 days off with, I guess (because I need to excitement <3), and I'd like to see what Mom says if I tell her "Go on ahead. I'll meet you at home." Within the past couple weeks I've walked out there close to 5 times, so I'm definitely going to miss them being open 24 hours. It's kind of the same thing as what happened with Sobeys though. Once, a long time ago, that place seemed much too far away to walk to, but now the only reason I don't go there more often is because they don't have much of interest to me anymore. Chips are about it, and maybe air fresheners, but I'm assuming they have those only because I think I remember seeing an aisle of cleaning supplies there before. Sure, Real Canadian Superstore is much farther away, but if I go there too often, it's going to become another normal store, and it's one of the few that are left. The Tim Hortons way out on Bloomfield is the only other place that comes to my mind at present, and I will get myself out there sooner or later too.

On a different note, I got to fiddling around with Firefox tonight as well, and after about half an hour of consulting Google, found an entry for userChrome.css that only hides the titles of bookmark folders. What that means is that I can now create any number of folders for whatever purpose, and assign them each their own icon. Before, I was limited to the custom RSS icon, because otherwise Firefox would've seen that both that folder and one of my live bookmarks had the same name (that being none at all), and applied the same icon to them. The only thing I've done with that thus far is subscribed to both Reddit's frontpage feed, and also the one for AskReddit. I enjoy seeing questions asked like "What was your most embarrassing moment?", and reading all the replies. Although I do still need to find out why it freezes up for such a very long time when I click "Load more comments", but it's definitely something specific to Firefox, because Google Chrome works fine.

Anyways, that'll do for tonight, because I'm getting kind of incoherent now, and it's after 7 again. That is, if I could stop opening more tabs right at the last minute, but maybe I'll get to them tomorrow. Or just read them now so they're done with. Something like that~

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