Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Backwards Towards the Future

Historical science fiction account of yesterday today and tomorrow.
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While searching on the Internet one day for information on how to build some aspect of a time machine, the inventor / traveler discovers a diagram that indicates there is a way to travel back in time after all he could understand the diagram and connect it to other media that he discovered while researching time machines and time travel.

The time machine he invents uses the Internet and it connects all media that is relevant in understanding history so that person can travel back in time through the information that stores reality. He shows his sister who tells him that's not a time machine, that's just a slide show in power-point using your dumb theory, music videos and frames from old time travel movies, and academic works of the same theme from the late sixties to the present.

They get in a fight and she kicks him in the leg, and tells her mom that he's abusing her. Their dog is barking and wants to play with the throwing disk that has two coil springs on the top a bottom that retract and expand as the disk turns. His skateboard runs on the same principle, except the coil springs turn inside two rotating rims that rapidly coil and decompress the springs allowing for hovering. His school teacher confiscated the board and his principal stole the idea saying all the school children's ideas belong to him because this is our town and you're just traveling people.

He decides to travel back in time through the Internet to get his coil board that coils springs like a screw and releases the compressed spring very efficiently. However, he travels back too far and ends up inside a conference room in the late 1960s where one of the few existing telecommunications devices contains information about mass communications media. He is looking at schematics for submarines, and exoskeleton suits, ecological management, and conceptions of the early Internet and computers. He notices that in 1968 he is a political dissident and feels an overwhelming urge to destroy the technology, but he is inside a crude mechanical outfit composed of straps and steel shanks that constrain his movements.

He is panicked but notices he is being made to watch detailed technical lectures about the finer points of technological development. He doesn't want to be rigidly disciplined masses involved in technological development, and he squirms to get loose to find his spring board, and understand what was going on in 1968. He escapes, but is mistaken for a dropout when a paperback copy of Being and Nothingness falls from his back pocket, and a thick glassed bureaucratic technician bends over and examines it in totality.

He is allowed to escape from the hospital building that contains this early computer, and for the next several years is immersed in the social and political life of the sixties and seventies and muses how interested people in his day would be to see this. However, someone inside the building wonders that if the boy was allowed to escape, that he thinks he is better than them as she looks at the confiscated paperback near her conversation pieces that implies she notices where people direct attention and what that means.

Anyway his mind is completely erased after leaving the scientific center, and he gets a room in a building where he is being observed at all times and is visited by a cast of characters that each represent some aspect of colonial era political conflicts. He declares war on these and escapes to another house where he has sex with a girl, and she says something interesting to someone else who might like to see the movie. He notices he is actually just someone watching that movie with a girl, and realizes that his time travel device that includes a watch and three hands in a timer, has miraculously situated him inside another media reality in effect escaping from towards the future, so in a paradoxical ending going backwards towards the future. In the end it leaves you asking how many wards was he in, and if it's back to wards for him?

rcarty, Dec 23 2014

Design Quarterly: Towards the Future, John McHale http://modernism101...plicate/#.VJ3QXdwDA
[rcarty, Dec 26 2014]


       That was eerie; I got the sensation you were channeling Kurt Vonnegut...
Grogster, Dec 23 2014

Voice, Dec 26 2014

       there done that.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 26 2014


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