Fiction of the future
Robert walked to the door. An ordinary office door, without a sign, only with a number. By her appearance it is impossible to guess who is waiting for him inside. After a while, Robert opened the door and entered.
- Dr. Gretting! Please, we are looking forward to you, - said a man in an expensive suit. - My name is Albert Montier, I am the chairman of the board for controlling your invention - the tachyon reactor.
- control? But after all, my invention is in the public domain.
“Of course, but we would be the last idiot if we had not tried to control such a strategically important device, primarily for reasons of national security.”
- Understand. But I still do not understand the reason why I am here.
- Now I will explain everything to you. But first I want to note that almost everything I’m going to talk about is a state secret, which I have to share with you, as a person who best understands the mechanics of what is happening. Our statistics department had to sweat a lot to create a complete picture of what and, most importantly, why it is happening in our country, and in the whole world too. It all started 5 years ago when you published a schematic diagram of a tachyon reactor with which you could look into the future. Already at that time, globalization was so comprehensive that our intelligence services simply could not react, and the design of the reactor went to other countries. Therefore, we had to start a new arms race and try to make a working prototype before the others. The installation confiscated from you helped us greatly in this, ”said Albert with a small smile. “Although the rest of the countries also soon made their first prototype, our military were delighted. Intelligence, in fact, remained out of work, but, in general, the effectiveness of the conduct of hostilities sharply increased, and the loss of personnel was reduced to zero. When other countries mastered your invention, it became a powerful deterrent. Military conflicts almost disappeared. The following, who wanted to benefit from the foresight of the future, were scientists. At first it seemed that, looking forward, it was possible to speed up technological progress many times over, passing days and even weeks of tedious mathematical calculations. However, in practice this did not happen. Truly revolutionary discoveries are extremely rare, and scientists have seen only themselves in the future,
- Naturally, the presence of the opportunity to see the future did not automatically make them smarter.
- Absolutely. Then someone suggested thus reducing the time for mathematical calculations on a computer. The problem was that only the human mind could look into the future - one cannot take there any instruments and take photographs of what you saw there. Therefore, although scientists have seen the intermediate results of calculations, no one has managed to remember them entirely in the present, and soon these attempts were also abandoned. Meanwhile, the technology of the tachyon jump went to the masses, and the townsfolk too could look into their future. The device for this was called the "pocket prophet". Because of its small size, it could not develop much power and showed the future only a few minutes ahead. At first we didn’t see any danger in it, on the contrary, at first there were much fewer queues in shops and traffic jams. Also, the death rate from accidents has sharply decreased. However, with the proliferation of "pocket prophets" their constant use began to have a negative effect. Everyone who looked into the future, withdrew from our reality a scenario that did not suit him at least a little.
“This is obvious, as it follows from Heisenberg’s quantum uncertainty — the observation of a system changes its state, and we can never get to exactly the future we saw.” But this should not be a problem, since the possible number of development options for the future is uncountable, and you can achieve arbitrarily similar scenarios compared to the one you saw.
- Absolutely, but only from a mathematical point of view. In practice, we face psychological problems. Imagine that you have learned that in a couple of minutes hooligans will attack you in the next yard. You will not, like Neo, effectively dodge attacks, only that this version of events is minimally different from what he saw? No, you turn around and go the other way. At the same time, hooligans may notice that you have changed your mind and changed yours. Again, not to run into hooligans, you will need to look again into the future, thereby changing it. After that, the hooligans can again change their behavior, and so on ad infinitum. The example is exaggerated, but it reflects well what was happening to people. They began to use "pocket prophets" more and more often, with or without reason, which has increasingly led to unpredictable distortions of the future. As soon as we understood what was happening, the government immediately banned all tachyon reactors and tried to remove them from the population. Unfortunately, they did not succeed in doing this - people did not want to give them away, and they foresaw when the police were going to confiscate them, running away in advance or hiding. The sight was both comical and eerie - patrol cars drove through the empty streets, as if the whole city was suddenly extinct. We looked for six months ahead, no longer allows Gretting's barrier - and each time we saw the same thing in minor variations. People either went crazy, because they were frightened by the uncertainty of the future, because, whatever they do, it will not be what they expect; either they were so eager to be the last to look into the future, that they forgot about food and sleep, and, in the end, starved to death. We cannot change the situation on our own, but our prophets periodically show that you can create an anti-tachymic reactor, go back in time and change it.
Robert looked disappointedly at Montier. So the teacher looks at the student who said outright nonsense.
“I really can create an anti-tachyon reactor,” the scientist said quietly. - The problem is that its use will not have any effect.
“Because changing the past will not change our reality, but will create another version of the development of events that will absolutely not affect us in any way.” Anyone who goes into the past will disappear for us without a trace, and will never return. It is just the same as if someone in the past saw his future, that is, our present, and could never reach it ...
The figures at the table began to blur, the voices fading. Robert managed to remember how he was in his office and he was holding a sheet of paper in which he had just written what he had just seen in large letters. But this vision disappeared almost immediately. Robert returned half a year ago, where he again saw a sheet of paper with notes. He had to go through eight more returns, each time the visible blurred more and more.
Finally, it was all over. My head ached frantically, some images crammed inside her. It is not clear whether it was a dream or not. Robert carefully opened his eyes. He was lying in a chair inside a huge structure - a prototype tachyon reactor, which he built a few hours ago. Today's date was burning on the screen - it means everything is in order, it is in the present.
- It turns out, humanity is not ready to accept my invention. Well, so much the better! Moving on to plan B ...
With these words, he hung up all the windows, after which he took a lottery ticket bought the day before and started marking the numbers that would win the jackpot tomorrow.