An email from the future

I am fascinated by those movies, like Frequency or Looper, where somebody in the future gets somebody in the past to change reality. For example, there’s a scene in Frequency where a person 30 years in the past plants a tree, and suddenly a fully grown tree appears in the here and now.

I had an experience today that felt a bit like that. Our Institute provides wireless mikes so that we can record our classes for any students who might miss the lectures. I noticed at one point that my wireless mike had one dead, its 9V battery having run down. We tried to contact the system administrators, but they had all gone home for the day.

So I sent an email to the system administrator suggesting that in the future, they might want to keep a spare battery in the drawer. I was nearly done with the email when it suddenly occurred to me that this couldn’t be the first time this had happened. “What if,” I asked myself, “the system administrator has already read the email that I’m writing, and has acted on it?”

Whereupon I pulled open the bottom drawer of the podium, and saw a fresh 9V battery, just where I would have suggested they put it. I popped in the new battery, and we went on with the class.

Of course if this had been a real time travel movie, there would be a problem. After all, I never actually sent that email…

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