If I Concentrated Hard Enough

I seem to remember reading a story, perhaps aged 10 or 11 13 or 14, about quantum physics. It might have been The Time and Space of Uncle Albert, but I can’t find the contents anywhere to check.

Anyway, I was struck by a line in it. The line said that there was no particular reason that time travelled forwards, and that it was a possibility, albeit an unfeasibly small one, that an event could occur in reverse, purely by chance, in the everyday. I seem to remember it used the example of a diver, leaping backwards out of the swimming pool and onto the diving board.

This completely blew me away. If it was possible an event could ‘jump’ backwards in time, however infinitesimal, then surely it might have already happened? Or be about to happen somewhere? Or right in front of me? Perhaps, if I looked hard enough, it might.

I started thinking about laying physical models on top of the world, and laying the world on top of physical models.

Perhaps, as the water sloshed side to side in the sink in front of me, that moment, just then, as the water splashed up the side, would be the fastest velocity that those particular Oxygen and two bonded Hydrogen molecules would ever reach, in the entirety of time. What will be the knock on effects of those two ripples meeting? If I touched one, would a plane fall out the sky? Maybe, in that unexpected splash, out of the corner of my eye, next to the overflow drain, the one in a googolplex event occurred. And I missed it, because I was doing my teeth.

Perhaps, if I concentrated hard enough, all of the data would pour out of the surfaces and motions surrounding me. And maybe, just maybe, that’s what it would be like to be god.

It was a good book.