To Change or Not to Change the Past
Rey Crittenden, Division 3, College freshman #ws18e-s2d3

Everyone has something from the past which they wish to change. It is for this reason why so many writers and creative thinkers believe that time travel is a brilliant idea: with the power to go back in time, people can change the past for a better future. But while there are those who consider altering the past is beneficial for all, others believe that changing it will cause more damage, such as destroying lives to replace with others and creating terrible paradoxes with incalculable peril. It is important to understand the consequences of each choice before choosing whether or not the modification of the past is the right choice.

I live in 2018, time unaltered. The sun is bright, the weather is high, and the majority of people are stable. We are in the middle of a technological revolution as we learn and develop new concepts and machines. Men and women work appropriate hours to succeed and make profit, and many families are happy. But while my family is pleased, there are others who struggle everyday to survive. Some families live on the streets, others dig in garbage piles to make a living. Some beg on street corners, others rob and steal. There is bad in this world...but there is also good. We have criminals, we have the poor, yet we have donators and entrepreneurs. Life is progressing. This is our time.

Being sent to the past, with the knowledge of the current present, will have a major effect on the continuation of time. There are many ways to change the past, but each has a consequence. One way to change the past is to introduce present technology, allowing the current present to become technologically advanced.

I live in 2018, time altered. Modern computing power was introduced into the 1600’s which gave us extra time to spend on evolving tools and machines. Cybernetics has saved many lives: veterans who barely survived the wars, children with physical disabilities, and adults that have been horribly disfigured in vicious accidents. Medicine has eliminated all diseases and cured all ailments. Entertainment has become virtual, and everyone can choose to live the life they've always dreamed of. This is the time of technology.

Utopias are often dreamed of associated with technological marvels. But all choices have consequences. There is a risk to go back and change the past, for not everything is designed to go as planned.

I live in 2040, time altered. Cities have fallen, lives lost. Although much of Earth's populace has gained an advantage in the development of technology, there is still a small percentage of us who cannot afford such leisures. These are the men and women who have ruined our society. They have spent years training to tackle the world's most important computing sources in the hopes to destroy everyone connected with it. Robotic prosthetics have turned on their owners, military drones have bombed their own bases; because of our reliance of technology we have lost the strength to fight back. For decades our technology fought for us, but now it fights against us. We grew weak as we became more dependent of technology. Life is declining. This is the end of our time.

Technology is not the only major alteration that one can make to change the present and future. Another change that can be made is revealing the major terrorist groups, actions, and other major crimes to past peoples in order to avoid the misdeeds of the present.

I live in 2018, time altered. Half of the world’s countries have been united under one flag, the rest under another. Thanks to my introduction of key political murders and scandals, major war has been avoided and the entire planet has come together to become the United Nations of Earth, vowing for a world without turmoil, wars, and terrorists. We live in harmony amongst all creatures, gaining what we need to survive without fighting. Our time is complete peace.

Saving the world by announcing crimes that have negatively affected the present seems like an amazing idea to world peace, but it does have an unintended side effect many may not see.

I live in 2018, time altered. The United Countries of America has grown to encompass half the planet, and “Peace for all” is our motto. However, there are those who oppose us for they believe our methods are not strong enough to defend the weak, not hard enough for the criminally insane. Wars still rage against the Unified Party of the Gathered, the remaining countries who believe that the U.C.A. is not doing what is necessary to keep its people safe and secure. Although I have done my best to bring peace throughout the planet and abolish crime and war, there has always and forever will be people who think others are wrong and fight for what they believe is right.

It is difficult to fathom in which direction a branch of time will follow. Going into the past to introduce technology is only a small part; once concluded, it is of vital importance to keep the advancement of technology on track to far surpassing the current present, as well as keep everyone pleased and allowing technology to be obtained fairly easily. Returning to the past to expose present crimes and terrorist activities might seem like the most important option, but even a slight change to the past will completely rebuild a different timeline, introducing new problems never experienced in the original timeline. Such a simple question as “what, if you chose to, would you change of the past?” can have major repercussions. All scenarios must be envisioned in order to calculate the foreseeable risk.

With all the major possibilities thought of and written out, I can determine my final decision. Between altering the past and risking the consequences or leaving the past alone and allowing the present to continue, I would risk it all and choose to alter the past to enhance future technology.

This decision was in reality quite difficult for me to conclude. In honesty, my original decision was to leave the past alone for, during the planning of this essay, I believed that the risks of time travel would be too high. But the more I pondered the choices, the more I realized the benefits outweigh the consequences. Altering the past completely changes the present, wiping out the lives of hundreds and replacing them with people of different standards. But surely this is not such a bad thing. In our current time fiction writers, future scientists, even a few politicians, have fears of a world with too much technology. But armed with this fear, going back to the past will allow me to introduce these consequences to a population who has yet to understand what power they yield. Teaching them the probabilities of a dystopian future at the hands of corrupt technology will allow the development of safer, more secure tech as well as safe guards for limiting any rapid expansion of experimental technology and adversaries that wish to fight against its growth. Keeping these new developments at prices where everyone can afford will also be important to holding the masses at a safe distance and halting the likelihood of lower class citizens from revolting due to high pricing.

The reason as to why I choose to alter the past is because if I have been given the chance, it is worth the risk to try and make the present a better life. Although revising a new future will replace the lives of the present to make space for people of the new timeline, if done properly the lives of the future will be significantly more lavish and content. Introducing new, technological innovations can lead to advanced medicine to cure all disease and save millions of lives, cybernetic prostheses that will revive veterans who have lost limbs in wars or men and women who were involved in gruesome accidents, and reveal upgraded entertainments systems that every family can own and enjoy. This new world can be a paradise, and so long as it is well thought out with every step planned, it can be possible to change our time into a better one.
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