Time is a Construct: Paths & Choices


If you could turn back time? What would you change? And even if you did take another path would you end up where you are now?

Perhaps we can change our memory of the past as we go about life and as we project our future. After all life, memories and time are about perspectives. The meaning of a memory changes with time. The meaning of time changes as we go about life.

But can we change an action? Perhaps not, but maybe we can change what it means through time, through ourselves and through talking with each other and not just to our screens. 

Changing the meaning of an action is easier than changing its intention, perhaps that would be like asking someone to change their character, can you ask for change? Or does each one of us have to decide this for ourselves? We each decide our path or we think we do - for we do not live in isolation, and yet we choose if others get to affect us or not. Or do we? Repetition and patterns can get in the way.

So how does art affect us? How a painting makes us feel is generally relative, as is a film. We cannot underestimate the power of the arts to trigger emotions within us. 

Video games are supposed to be a game. If you lose, you can try again. Can you do that in life? Sometimes you can, sometimes you cannot. Depends on so many elements within us and also within others - such as empathy. 

And so all these thoughts were running through as i watched Bandersnatch on Netflix. It is an interactive film or is it a videogame? where we the viewer get to decide the path the main character goes down. However, whichever path you choose for him, the endings are similar in the sense that they are never what he wants - a happy ending - they are different in the sense that the sad part varies.

There is so much referenced in the film and so many ideas to talk about from Alice in Wonderland - down the rabbit hole to Parrallel Universe to Jung to Quantum Physics to Time being a construct to Destiny to cause & consequences to surveillance to free will to being stuck in a permanent maze we call life. If we subscribe to the idea of parallel universes - as the film/video game suggests - then all paths and probabilities we have thought of, want, do not want, are a possibility, are somewhere out there being done and lived. Yet if we do not subscribe to that, then we are left with this life, one linear life (back to the future i have read is being studied - but let us wait and see!) then in this one life we humans can or should be able to decide if and how we want change or to change. It is more complex than that of course, soemtimes politics gets in the way. Sometimes other things, or theories as stated above get in the way, but nevertheless change or no change, which path we are told is within our hands. The fact that we are told this could lead to it not being fully in our hands. 

The writers, directors and editors Charlie Brooker and David Slade deserve a big round of applause, as it’s not an easy project to create or to bring all these ideas together in a form of entertainment. Thank goodness there is free will that creatives can still bring about concepts and ideas to us. Or did we choose to click on the show? I didn’t look for it, it was recommend for me by my screen. Well maybe they-whoever they are-as is mentioned in the show-know me better than I know myself...

Can we change our future without being able to change our past ? I guess yes and no: I cannot unwatch this but I can choose for it to affect me in a good way or not.

What do you all think?

NB: I hesitated writing about this here because the free will /no free will part turns dangerous in the show so please note to all, this is a film/video game not real-you can not undo what you do with your body. The points are the ideas that the film generates that are interesting, the rest is fantasy.