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View Poll Results: Would you want to be a teen again?
Yes, but only if I can go back in time 6 24.00%
Yes, but only if I can be a teen in the present day 4 16.00%
Yes, I'd be fine with either option 9 36.00%
No way! 6 24.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2020-11-30, 17:57   #1
The Carnivore
 
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Default If you could, would you choose to be a teen again?

I watched the movies "Big", "17 again", and "13 going on 30" over the past few weeks and thought about this.

Suppose you're given the option of going back to your teen years while maintaining your current knowledge. You cannot change your mind after you've made that decision, and you have two options:

Option 1: Go back to the past, but with a different series of events after your arrival. So, if you're 36 today and choose to go back to when you were 14, you'd be transported back to 1998. However, the butterfly effect causes things to change after that date. The lotto numbers and stock market will be different, and when you try to claim that M6972593 is prime, you find that someone else has just finished testing that number and is now being awarded the EFF prize. Also, would Y2K and the dot com bubble be handled better or worse this time around? Would the 9/11 attacks result in higher or lower casualties, and would they still occur or simply be pushed off to a different date?

The upside is that you do get to change your grades, school activities, career, and relationships with others.

Option 2: Remain in the present, but with everything wiped clean. You'll be given the body you had in your teens, but your savings and debts will be wiped out, leaving you with a net worth of zero. Everyone you know will assume that you died peacefully, and you'll be teleported to the opposite side of the country with a new ID, new parents, new teachers, and new classmates. You do get to choose whether you end up in a city, suburb, or rural area, but other than that, the place you go to and the people you interact with will be completely random. You will not be able to contact anyone you currently know.

The upside is that you have a greater chance of seeing how the next 60 or so years will be like since you'll have a younger body.

Any thoughts? As for me, I'm fairly but not entirely happy with my life now, and my teen years weren't particularly good or bad. I think I'd take option 1 and decline option 2.
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Old 2020-11-30, 18:26   #2
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Carnivore View Post
I watched the movies "Big", "17 again", and "13 going on 30" over the past few weeks and thought about this.

Suppose you're given the option of going back to your teen years while maintaining your current knowledge. You cannot change your mind after you've made that decision, and you have two options:

Option 1: Go back to the past, but with a different series of events after your arrival. So, if you're 36 today and choose to go back to when you were 14, you'd be transported back to 1998. However, the butterfly effect causes things to change after that date. The lotto numbers and stock market will be different, and when you try to claim that M6972593 is prime, you find that someone else has just finished testing that number and is now being awarded the EFF prize. Also, would Y2K and the dot com bubble be handled better or worse this time around? Would the 9/11 attacks result in higher or lower casualties, and would they still occur or simply be pushed off to a different date?

The upside is that you do get to change your grades, school activities, career, and relationships with others.

Option 2: Remain in the present, but with everything wiped clean. You'll be given the body you had in your teens, but your savings and debts will be wiped out, leaving you with a net worth of zero. Everyone you know will assume that you died peacefully, and you'll be teleported to the opposite side of the country with a new ID, new parents, new teachers, and new classmates. You do get to choose whether you end up in a city, suburb, or rural area, but other than that, the place you go to and the people you interact with will be completely random. You will not be able to contact anyone you currently know.

The upside is that you have a greater chance of seeing how the next 60 or so years will be like since you'll have a younger body.

Any thoughts? As for me, I'm fairly but not entirely happy with my life now, and my teen years weren't particularly good or bad. I think I'd take option 1 and decline option 2.
Undoubtedly option 1.

I know a lot more than I did then. I could avoid a lot of mistakes which I then made, a good few of which did not depend on specific events or circumstances. I could (very likely) exploit general knowledge from the last 50-ish years which likewise does not depend on specific data.

I might be a lone voice crying in the wilderness because observation and experimental evidence does not (yet) exist to support my assertions, but so what?
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Old 2020-11-30, 18:37   #3
kriesel
 
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Both options are pretty tempting. Let me know when the system has been developed and tested successfully on some live volunteers.
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Old 2020-11-30, 19:02   #4
rogue
 
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Although there are some things I would like to change, I prefer my life as it is today.
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Old 2020-11-30, 19:45   #5
storm5510
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I picked yes, going back in time. Why? To not do the things I should not have done and to do the things I did not do but should have. Of course, I would want to take my knowledge of the past with me so I could navigate a new course. The real challenge would be not to corrupt the time line too much.
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Old 2020-11-30, 21:26   #6
chalsall
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Default Absolutely not!!!

I'm no longer young enough to know everything.

That's a good thing!!!
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Old 2020-11-30, 21:53   #7
VBCurtis
 
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Option 2 is "no, thank you". Trading my established life/family/friends for 30 years of youth, nuh-uh.

Option 1 is pretty attractive- I've not suffered personal tragedy, so there's nothing in particular to despise re-living; like most anyone, lots of personal decisions to revisit and adjust with the benefit of wisdom + experience.
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Old 2020-12-01, 08:29   #8
LaurV
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It is freaking difficult to choose between the three options (the two presented, and the third, stay in present, as it is). We feel reasonably comfortable with our present, of course we could make it MUCH better, but that would mean a lot of things for others, which we don't want to do. Like for example, making our loved ones suffer, and especially, our enemies happy with our death, hehe They still have to stand us, and suffer with us (or because of us, hehe) for a while... There is no such an easy escape for them!

We remember reading a SF story in the past (like 45 years ago), but we don't remember the title, or the author (somebody help us please!) about a society which was punishing its criminals by sending them to the past. The idea was that the time is like a rubber band (which idea also appears in Asimov's "End of Eternity" story - we loved Andrew Harlan sooo much!) and you can't deform it "forever", you can push in a point, then it will bend for a distance in both directions, but as you go further and further, the bending is less and less visible, until is not measurable anymore. Time "heals itself". So, if you send somebody back to dinosaur's age, he can't do much there, even with his actual knowledge, he will eventually end up being eaten by some raptor and don't influence the time for more than few hundred years or so, unless he finds a way to procreate, or does something extremely persistent in time... With some caution, you can avoid both those situations, when you send them back. Unless sh!t happens... And in this particular story, indeed, it happened. Then, one other guy is sent back to retrieve the first, and move him to another time. But I don't want to spoil the story, you have to look for it yourself. It was called something like "my most sublime mission", or so (at least, the translation, but we don't remember the original title or the author, as said, help would be appreciated).

Marvelous story! Must to read! And if you read it, you'll understand why is so freaking difficult to choose between the three options...

Edit: On the other hand, the possibility to live another 70 years or so, that's very tempting, regardless of the fact that we move in time/space or not. Our story didn't affect the age. You went back to the past, but were the same old annoying fart...

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2020-12-01 at 08:45
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Old 2020-12-01, 08:38   #9
retina
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Option 1 is just Groundhog Day (the film) AFAICT.

If you get to keep trying things out, then absolutely that is the only "correct" option to choose. It's a way to keep living forever, tweaking the outcomes to keep improving things each time around.

Last fiddled with by retina on 2020-12-01 at 08:46 Reason: Oops, I meant option 1
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Old 2020-12-01, 12:16   #10
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
Time "heals itself".
Sorry if this is a bit macabre, but...

Williams S. Burroughs...

Quote:
“Question: If control’s control is absolute, why does Control need to control?”
“Answer: control needs time.”
“Question: is control controlled by our need to control?”
“Answer: Yes.”
“Why does control need humans, as you call them?”
“Wait… wait! Time, or landing. Death needs Time, like a junky needs junk.”
“And what does Death need Time for?”
“The answer is so simple. Death needs Time for what it kills to grow in. For Ah Pook’s sake.”
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Old 2020-12-01, 14:16   #11
Dr Sardonicus
 
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The movie Big, does not conform to either option. A kid is given a "look ahead," perhaps, but whether he remembers any of his "early adult" experiences is not clear. The scene of Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia playing "Heart and Soul" was a masterpiece.

I never saw Groundhog Day. However, the same basic idea was used in my favorite episode of The X-Files, entitled Monday. Its denouement reminds us that there can be a high price for making things "come out right."
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