Sovereign Sky - Excerpt 1 - A Proliferation of Parallels
A small scrap of paper flutters against a street lamp and then suddenly breaks loose, tumbling across a sidewalk inducing a kitten to dart after it, tripping a package-laden shopper and spilling her haul into the streets where a young gentleman stoops to help her pick up. Centuries later, their offspring populate a nation. ...But what if that scrap of paper had broken loose a few seconds sooner or later? And what if that timing hinged on the quantum fluctuations of a butterfly’s heart on the back side of some distant planet? Or the mere whim of a story teller’s imagination?
DISCLAIMER - This draft short story excerpt is a work of Science Fiction designed to communicate insights about the actual "Real World" in which we live. Any similarities to the places, people, and events of that world are either a coincidence or a deliberate attempt to ridicule specific elements of that world that ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Excerpt 1 - A Proliferation of Parallels
Doc Brown: Marty, I think we’ve got a problem…
Marty: What's that, Doc? Did something not turn out quite to scale again?
Doc Brown: No, Marty, this is much more heavy. I don’t think we can ever get back to our home time line!
Marty: Aw, gees, Doc don’t tell me that. I’ve got plans…
Doc Brown: Our problem, Marty, is there’s not just one space-time continuum. Isaac Newton called it a multiverse! There’s an infinite number of parallel universes and they keep splitting of new ones every time a tiny choice is made by anyone anywhere. Our jumping around in time is really wreaking havoc with all the parallel universes around us. It’s not enough to go back in time and stop somebody from doing something. There are side effects! Ripples in the fabric of stochastic space-time that might not even be confined to this galaxy!
Marty: That doesn’t sound good Doc…
Doc Brown: It’s worse than that Marty, even thinking about alternatives causes more parallel universes to come into existence as statistical probabilities. The author of this story about us is himself drastically complicating our problem!
Marty: You’re scaring me, Doc.
Doc Brown: It gets even worse. All the science fiction writers that exist in all those parallel universes are busy spinning off entire new phylums of families of fractally fictional future universes with every word they write or speak or even think about writing or speaking!
Marty: Cut to the chase Doc, is there a way back to the future or not?
Doc Brown: Well, that’s why I’ve invented this new miniaturized multiverse probe. It’s a multiverse-agile unmanned drone that we can send forward in time sniffing out our correct universe by examining the contents of the internet which serve as an observable log of every relevant event. Any mismatch it discovers in the record allows it to instantly recognize a wrong turn and move on to the next possibility.
Marty: But, Doc! You said there are an infinite number of possibilities! It’ll take forever for that probe to examine them all!
Doc Brown: We’ve got forever, Marty. An infinite fabric of forevers. This probe is self-replicating at the quantum level. Every time the universe forks the probe forks with it. It can examine them all in parallel!
Marty: Yeah, I see what you're saying Doc, but how do all those probes know what to look for?
Doc Brown: Well, we need an incorruptible reference we can scan electronically. Humans began putting all their knowledge on-line in 1983 just like Asimov envisioned in his Foundation Trilogy Encyclopedia Galactica. Ever since before our first test jump with Einstein in 1985 there has been a record of sorts that can tell us what universe we are in - kind of like a fingerprint. Only one universe out there will precisely match our electronic Encyclopedia Galactica. We let the probe find it for us and then simply jump to its multiverse coordinates!
Marty: Yeah, Doc, but I didn't download a copy of the Google Archives before we left, did you?
Doc Brown: Of course not Marty, but it wouldn't matter anyway. Google keeps corrupting the record, revising history to suit its political interests. We can't really know whether what we'd have there corresponds to the actual universe the probe is in or some diseased figment of their own imaginations. No way I'd want to live in a universe down-selected by Google!
Marty: So we're screwed, Doc. Your multiverse probe won't have a clue about what it's looking for!
Doc Brown: Not so fast, Marty! You forget about blockchains! They keep track of time stamped events incorruptibly! They're perfect for mapping a multiverse! Unfortunately, blockchains with sufficient granularity didn’t exist until 2013. We can get some idea starting with bitcoin in 2009, but it’s not until a fast version BitShares gets launched in 2015 that we start to get close to the one second granularity we need to be really efficient. Fortunately, that’s the very year of our furthest foray into the future so far. In fact, I’ve mapped out a common nexus point just a few years beyond that, Nov 5, 2018, where we have not yet disturbed the fabric of the multiverse in any measurable way! A sizable window in the time span we want to return to is fingerprinted in depth on the blockchain between those two nexus dates. All we have to do is upgrade BitShares with a parallel side chain that overlaps that chain at sub-second intervals and we've got a precision roadmap out to the end of time!
Marty: Whoa Doc. But how are we gonna get a reference copy of the BitShares blockchain for our original universe...
Doc Brown: No worries, Marty. While I was waiting for my hover conversion the first time I visited 2015 I looked into all the other technologies that might prove useful. BitShares was in the news at that time. The genesis block of BitShares had just been laid down six days before I arrived on October 13, 2015, so it was easy to download the whole BitShares chain up to that point. I've got it right here on this stick! Everything else can sync up with that!
Marty: That's awesome, Doc. Um. But how does that help me get back to my truck and, um, Jennifer in the right 1985?
Doc Brown: No problem, Marty, I've got it all worked out right here in this Guide for a new parallel side chain called the BROWN EOS (BEOS). Give it a read and come back to me when you've got questions. We'll go over it point by point when you are ready. I'll need your help coding it all up and programming every probe to insert it into every time line precisely on November 5th, 2018!
Other posts in the Sovereign Sky Series
All My Free Speech is Fiction
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 1 - A Proliferation of Parallels
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 2 - Specialization is for Insects
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 3 - The Fall of Empire
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 4 - Doc's Darwin Awards
ABOUT THE AUTHOR