You spilled a whole glass of milk. Your mom is going to walk in and see it any second. Obviously, it wasn’t entirely your fault; you accidentally tripped on the charger. Is she going to believe that? Hmm, probably not. Time to use the ‘Undo Button’ and put this mess to an end. You go back in time before you tripped over your charger, you are more cautious, and there! You didn’t spill the milk this time.
For those of you who aren’t aware of such an invention, let me illustrate. The ‘Undo Button’ is an invention that my imaginary scientific inventor alter-ego invented when he was trying to come up with an idea for the week’s column.
Simply put: when life throws lemons at you, you could possess the ability to go back in time and duck so that those life lemons don’t hit you hard. This will be similar to an ‘Undo’ option on your day-to-day software, such as Microsoft Word where you can undo your previous action. As for the science behind this game changer, it would be a rendition of a time machine.
The possibility of one which would let you travel to any point in time in the past or the future seems unlikely; a more executable version of it would be the Undo Button, which only lets you go back to your last impactful action: the last action of yours that you thoroughly regret doing or abstaining from. The succeeding consequences of being regretful are usually the worst cases of making impulsive decisions.
Although this scenario excites us, science doesn’t exactly have it in itself to satisfy our cravings. There is still regrettably very limited support in theoretical physics; thanks to our man Albert Einstein, and his conjunction with Quantum Mechanics or Einstein-Rosen bridges.
However, we can’t let a few theories, or the lack thereof, stop us from speculating. Stop reading this, and just think of all the possibilities. You will never have to face the world in a sleep-deprived state because you stayed up till 3am binge watching that show; you could just ‘Undo’ it and sleep at 11pm like you healthily intended on. You could avoid that accident that led to the amputation of your toe.
Coincidentally, ‘No Regrets’ could actually be a good campaign slogan for the multi-billion dollar conglomerate manufacturing the product. Now that we have seen the glorious side of things, let us add a pinch of reality to this ludicrousness.
The idealist in me wants to believe that we would use such powerful and consequential technology purely for harmless, non-lethal and selfless activities. The realist in me knows, however, that’s never going to happen.
Like most 1990s sci-fi/action movies, this technology would fall into the wrong hands and those said wrong hands would probably use the ‘Undo Button’ to take over the world. Though I am not the archetypal evil villain, it isn’t that hard to predict. Right from the wheel to objects that could fly, mankind has always found a flip side to every invention. Maybe we will never be allowed to have good things, partly because the allegory that there are two sides to every coin holds true for every scenario. However, is it worth risking the invention or fulfilling the cravings of necessity considering its flip side? Depends on whether the good side of the said invention outweighs the flip side of it.
That being said, inventions like these might have to remain theoretical because the monotonous usage of such a device might just ruin inbred human devices such as the moral compass. Where would humanity be if that doesn’t point north? Like my pal Spock once said, The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
(When he isn’t writing, the creative producer with The Rascalas watches a lot of ‘cat videos’ on YouTube)