Friday, December 19, 2008
An Ongoing Media Virus by Bobby Campbell
"IT IS THE BUSINESS OF THE FUTURE TO BE DANGEROUS."
- Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage
In the autumn of 2000 an avatar called "TimeTravel_0" began to communicate through the world wide web, claiming to be a visitor from the year 2036! Though that someone should make an outrageous claim via the internet is hardly noteworthy, except but when so very many people actually come to believe it. (and also when those that disbelieve it engage with such vigorous opposition.)
John Titor, as the character would eventually be known, entertained netizens for nearly 5 months, offering creative speculations on the physics of time travel, and prophesying a great many catastrophes for the immediate future. Upon the Spring Equinox of 2001 he bid farwell, for to return to the year 2036, and has not been heard from since.
Though the avatar itself has long since dissapeared, the John Titor media virus carries on even 8 years later. There was a notable outbreak just this past September on account of a meme he left behind:
"John Titor: ... the major breakthrough happens at CERN ...The creation of microsigularities...its a black hole about the size of an electron... "
Most of the Titor predictions have come and gone, with perhaps some generalized correlation to some actual events, though really, without actually having come true.
That there is not a civil war raging in the United States right now, as predicted by John Titor, should invalidate his claim to having come from the future, right?
Within the sticky shell of the preposterous time travel story, there are sub plots which necessitate contemplating actual and incredible postulates of the science of our day.
"The Everett-Wheeler-Graham or multiple world theory is correct. All possible quantum states, events, possibilities, and outcomes are real, eventual, and occurring. The chances of everything happening someplace at sometime in the superverse is 100%."
So as to craft an enduring and vital media virus, John Titor did not claim to be from THE future, but rather A future.
Thence the saga continues!