How Am I Supposed to Remember What I Wrote Nearly Seven Years Ago?

A few days ago I wrote a post about procrastination, and the wonderfully funny and irreverent blogger Tippy Gnu left a comment that mentioned the word precognition. 

I thought to myself that precognition would be a pretty cool superpower to have, and so that led me to think about what would be my top choice for a superpower. For years, I’ve always answered that question with “teleportation:”. And so my next thought was that I could write a blog post about my favorite superpower (realize all these thoughts happened in the span of about two seconds, and I was done thinking for the day).

The next day, yesterday, I decided to do a quick search to see if I had ever written about teleportation before, and lo and behold, there it was.

February 25, 2016.

The title of my blog for that day was: If You Could Have One Superpower, What Would It Be?

I read the post, and while I did mention teleportation, that blog post was more about what superpowers Bill and Melinda Gates wish they had. Being goody two shoes, they answered, respectively, for “more energy” and “more time”. I closed that blog post by saying I had reconsidered, and if I had one superpower it would be to make the world a more peaceful place.

Fast forward almost seven years, and I’ve completely forgotten that post and desired superpower, having gone back to teleportation.

So that’s what this blog was going to be about, and even though I’d written about superpowers before, I’m not creative enough to come up with two ideas for a blog post in one day, so I’m sticking to it.

But this post gets right to the issue of superpowers, and I discovered a couple of things.

First, here is a list of the top superpowers that people wish they had, from a 2018 Marist poll. Respondents were only able to choose from these five superpowers, or unsure. Note that there is no nonsense like “more time” or “more energy” or “world peace”…

  • 29% – time travel
  • 20% – read people’s minds
  • 17% – ability to fly
  • 15% – ability to teleport
  • 12% – invisibility
  • 5% do not want any of these superpowers
  • 3% were unsure.

There were some demographic differences:

Time travel is the superpower of choice for pluralities of white (30%) and Latino (26%) residents. Of note, 23% of Latinos would like the ability to teleport. Among African Americans, the ability to read people’s minds (30%) tops the list followed by time travel (26%).

Men (36%) are also more likely than women (22%) to select time travel. Among women, nearly one in four (23%) select mind reading. Also of note, reading minds (26%) is the most mentioned superpower among Americans 60 and older. The ability to time travel is number one among those 30 to 44 years old (36%) and 45 to 59 years of age (31%). 30% of residents under 30 would like to be able to teleport.

So I guess I’m not alone in my desire to teleport.

But when I read the results of this poll, I was struck with another thought.

I had always considered teleport and time travel to be the same thing – the ability to go anywhere, anywhen.

So I had to look it up.

Big mistake.

There are some people who take this sort of thing quite seriously, even talking about which one is more likely to ever happen, or has happened, at least in the lab.

And there are others, like me, who view them as the same superpower.

Here are a few responses to the question on Quora:

  • Teleportation is the transfer of matter and energy from one place to another, without crossing and affecting the physical space in between. Time Travel, on the other hand, is the travel of matter between 2 certain points in time, by moving physically through space and time, kind of warping the physical space to do so.
  • Teleporting is moving through spatial dimensions and time travel is moving through the temporal dimension.
  • Teleportation is quick travel by disintegrating you into your constituent atoms and reassemble you at the destination. Time travel is travelling to past or future without having to reassemble you.
  • To just time travel, you could stay in the same place; you just suddenly appear in a different year, for example. To just teleport, you’d be staying in the same time, but would appear in a different city, for instance.

Like I said, there are some people really into this sort of thing, but I can now see the difference between the two.

And as a result, I’m not sure which one I’d prefer.

But then while still searching on these differences, I came across an article from Nova: Trap Doors in Time and Space: Teleportation, Time Travel, and Escape from Black Holes that seems to suggest that perhaps you could have both, you could teleport to wherever you want, and time travel to any time you want at that place. The proverbial best of both worlds.

So I’ll go with that. My choice of superpower would be the ability to teleport anywhere, at any time. If that’s really two superpowers, then so be it.

By the way, world peace would have come in right behind these two choices.

*image from Nerd Caster

100 thoughts on “How Am I Supposed to Remember What I Wrote Nearly Seven Years Ago?

  1. Teleport for me as well and all you need is Betsy’s cow bell. 🙂
    I am surprised that there were not more men than women that wanted to read minds. Men always say they can’t understand women, that superpower would help. Perhaps they are scared about what they might read! LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks, Jim. Now here’s my wonderfully funny and irreverent comment (or at least my mildly amusing and slightly non-conforming comment):

    For my superpower, I would choose invisibility. First, I’m ugly, so this solves one very important problem for me. Also, I could become very rich by walking inside open bank vaults and helping myself (I presume the money would become invisible as soon as I grabbed it). And I could win any fight against anyone.

    As for other superpowers, why would I care about mind reading when I could eavesdrop on people, as an invisible man, and hear what they’re saying about me behind my back? And as far as teleporting is concerned, I could sneak onto airlines and travel that way. It’s not instantaneous, but at least it’s free. This would also give me the ability to fly. Time travel is too problematic. If you go back in time and screw the wrong thing up, you might never be born. Thus, I believe invisibility is the best superpower.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. On second thought, time travel is even better than immortality because time travel allows experiencing things that happened before birth. Adaptations of Wells’ The Time Machine are some of my favorite science fiction movies.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was going to say to read people’s minds, but that could be rather disturbing or it might scare me how little some people know. They all seem to have some redeeming value.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have you read the St. Marys series, Jim? I just finished the second book, and it’s all about time travel – no teleportation, sorry. But it’s an interesting series. Fabulous expose on everything super. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think time travel is the most advantageous and would provide something similar to teleportation. As an example, you board a plane for a 26-hour flight to Australia. When you arrive, you simply travel back in time 26 hours, and the result is the same as teleporting.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think you should really concentrate on developing a superpower with maths skills, which might be helpful in your day job: Feb 2016 isn’t as close to being ‘nearly 7 years ago’ as it is to being nearly 6 years ago! Now you’ll have to change this post’s title 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I never really thought about it before but teleportation would be mine. Spend the day on an Australian beach in February. Mountain Bike in Moab. Eat ribs in Austin… All in the same weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. well the fact that it was one of the five choices suggests that you are not alone in wanting such a power…

      and thanks for going back and commenting on my older posts. while it is greatly appreciated, please do not feel a need to do so!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I write about whatever is on my mind so if it’s something I’ve written about before I don’t care. Except when I’m out of time and grab something old, lol.
    I wouldn’t want to read people’s minds because I don’t have the self-confidence necessary to read what people really think about me. Teleportation would be cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. First of all.. “nonsense like world peace”. 🤣🤣 Love that! So true.. Just stop! 🤪🤣

    I like the idea of invisibility and reading people’s minds.. But I’d need to have the ability to turn it off sometimes, especially the latter!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Teleportation is one of the most practical superpowers, to be honest. Much more than reading people’s minds (I couldn’t stand hearing their bad thoughts about me) and invisibility (the amount of people that’ll barge into me). And flying? What, like someone’s not going to record that on their phone and I get caught and imprisoned for ‘research’? You definitely picked the right one.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’d love to be invisible because I could sneak into meetings and know what is really going on particularly with politicians and I could lick them in shins and nobody would know it was me …

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This is a heady discussion with different advantages. Combining the two would be super. And speaking of super, cheers to the James Webb telescope that was just launched into space. This is big!

    Liked by 1 person

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