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Time travel in December

Posted December. 02, 2013 05:51,   


If we could be transported to Dallas on the day when John F. Kennedy was assassinated (Nov. 22, 1963) in a time machine, could we have prevented the assassination? Jake Epping finds a secret entrance in a restaurant garage that is connected to the year of 1958. He takes advice from the restaurant owner and embarks on a time travel. His mission is to prevent Kennedy’s assassination after five-year preparation. If he succeeds, Lyndon B. Johnson will not need to take on the presidency, and as a result the Vietnam War will not break out, which means a more peaceful world for today. This is the imagination, based on which the novel “11/22/63” by Stephen King begins.

Time travel is a popular material for movies, TV dramas as well as novels. There are many examples other than “Back to the Future.” Film director and screen writer Richard Curtis who is known for the box office hit, “Love Actually,” also launched a film dealing with time travel. In this movie to be released in Korea this Thursday, Tim, the main character too shy to date a girl, hears from his father on the day he comes of age that every man in his family has the ability to travel in time. It is fun to watch Tim to travel in time struggling to get back the love he has missed.

Is time travel practically possible? Scientists have proposed various theories about time travel but the bottom line is it is not yet possible. Stephen Hawking introduced the “grandfather paradox” in his new autobiography published this year, “My Brief History.” If you travel in time to the past and kill your grandfather before he has your father, you cannot exist in the present. In this case, however, you cannot go back to the past to kill your grandfather. Hawking said, “Even if new theories are found in the future, I believe time travel will be impossible for good. If it would become possible someday in the future, we should be overrun by tourists from the future today.”

December has already begun. It is the month when people prone to regret many things and blame them on short time. If we could go back to the first day of this year, would we be able to live a better and happier life in 2013? Although we can’t go back to the past, we can do something new at this moment and in the future. Gratefully, the first day of 2014 is approaching.

Culture Desk Reporter Shin Seong-mi (savoring@donga.com)