There have been days recently when I would have liked to have been taken out of the present.
Anywhere would have done. Greece 2012. The moon 2034. The entrails of a whale, to chat with Jonah, the eighth century B.C.
Science seems to have been very slow to take us out of our place and time, despite the best efforts of Michael J. Fox.
I can reveal, however, that progress has finally been made. For an Iranian scientist has invented The Aryayek Time-Traveling Machine. Or, at least, he says he has.
According to today's Telegraph, 27-year-old Ali Razeghi says that his much-needed creation can take you eight years into the future, so that you can see what you look like after that surgery you so covet every day.
Razeghi is managing director of Iran's Center for Strategic Inventions, and surely no invention can be more strategic than his.
Please think about it -- he already knows whether Iran will obtain and then explode a nuclear bomb. He already knows that the San Francisco Giants will again win the World Series. He already knows that a Clinton-Christie ticket will turn America into a very different place.
At least, I am assuming he does.
The Telegraph quoted him as explaining: "My invention easily fits into the size of a personal computer case and can predict details of the next five to eight years of the life of its users. It will not take you into the future -- it will bring the future to you."
We all need the future brought to us, so that we can try to cut down on the vast number of mistakes we continue to perpetrate in every present.
Razeghi admitted, so the Telegraph says, that his device will be useful to both institutions and individuals: "Naturally a government that can see five years into the future would be able to prepare itself for challenges that might destabilize it. As such, we expect to market this invention among states as well as individuals once we reach a mass production stage."
I worry whether Razeghi will manage to reach the mass production stage. I worry that Samsung will immediately mimic his invention and use its vast production capabilities to make a future killing.
There may be no Judge Lucy Koh to protect Razeghi in foreign lands. Indeed, he admitted that he is afraid that if he releases the prototype, China will immediately copy it.
But let's imagine the wider implications.
More Technically Incorrect
We are subversives at heart, driven by the knowledge that we can't live forever. So won't we try to subvert the future as we know it?
Won't we read the little printouts from our time machine and then decide that no, the future won't be quite like that after all?
The time machine will tell us we will marry the girl next door and have eight children. So, instead, we'll run off into the woods and commune with elves.
But what if the time machine reveals that we will have a sumptuously happy life, our dreams will be fulfilled, and our every wish granted? Won't that take some of the, well, fun out of life? In fact, won't it take all the fun out of life?
On the other hand, what if we're told that we will be subjected to divorce, scurvy, and pestilence? Won't we try to do everything possible not to succumb to such a fate?
I worry that The Aryayek Time-Traveling Machine has implications for humanity with which humanity cannot cope.
I wonder what the future of The Aryayek Time-Traveling Machine truly is. I worry it will be Back to the Futile.
Update, 11:27 a.m. PT: I am not sure whether Razeghi foresaw this, but an Iranian government official has now denied this time machine is real. As ABC News reports, Iran's deputy minister of science, research and technology, Mohammad Mehdinejad Nour, implied that this was all bunkum.
He said: "Such a claim has not been registered in Iran's State Organization for Registration for Strategic Inventions." So it doesn't exist, in effect. But will it?