Why Travelling To The Past Is A Bad Idea | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 01, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 01, 2015

Why Travelling To The Past Is A Bad Idea

Time travel is a fascinating concept. Especially, the idea of travelling to the past captures our imagination like no other. Let's say you find some way to actually go back. Whether you are a Doctor Who fan, Sci-fi lover or just want to give Shakespeare a fistbump; here are the reasons it might not be a good idea:

No modern amenities: 
The first reason is a simple one. The incredible advancement in technology has made us dependent on a certain kind of lifestyle, which is unavailable in the past. No air-conditioning, no smartphones and no Wi-Fi: that is the scenario you stand to face. 

Difficult transportation: 
You finally reach Renaissance-era Europe and want to head over to China. Dangerous ships at the mercy of the wind, robbers at every corner, having to walk for uncountable miles and lack of well-made roads will make sure you don't get too much 'travel' out of your time travel.

Diseases: 
A time traveller carrying a modern day 'superbug' would probably cause a pandemic worse than the Black Death.
On the other hand, many dangerous diseases have been extinct for a long time, so we have no natural resistance against them. You could die two days into your trip just by breathing. 

Unfavourable social customs: 
Society tends to become more inclusive and tolerant through time. To a modern person, most past societies would appear bigoted and hard to live in. With the 'wrong' skin colour, or just by being a female, your windows of exploring any given past society could be pretty small.

Lack of access: 
Getting close to historical figures, places or events would be extremely difficult. Why would the king of Babylon let a random traveller see his precious Hanging Gardens? Why would Alexander meet an apparently mundane civilian? They probably wouldn't unless you have a heat-seeking death machine with enough ammo to ward off an army.

Language barrier: 
Language changes rapidly through time. We don't even speak Bangla the same way we used to a hundred years ago. If you only know modern-day languages, you have no hope of communicating with people five hundred years in the past.

Lack of hygiene: 
The hygiene practices of days gone by were… lacking to say the least. To a modern person, everything would feel dirty. Say goodbye to good soaps, modern showers or a decent toilet.

Paradoxes and side effects: 
What if you kill Lincoln before the civil war? Or prevent your parents from ever meeting? Your random interferences in the past could cause paradoxes and negative changes, maybe even destroy the world.

Nostalgia filters are off: 
We humans, as a whole, have a tendency to glorify the past. It's seldom as good as we remember it. Maybe you find your favourite battle was a disappointment. Maybe your favourite author was actually an insufferable bigot. After sacrificing your life in the present to travel back, such disappointment could easily become unbearable to you. 

Novo Manzoor is an athlete. He surfs the web all day. You can reach him at: novo_manzoor@yahoo.com

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