13 May, 1953

13 May

We fitted the tubes and tuned the machine first thing to prepare for the test. It started up perfectly and we raised it to 47% capacity.

I told Vasi about finding the folded piece of paper last week and she let out a stream of Russian expletives (she has this odd habit of swearing in Russian when she is excited). To minimise the chances of subconsciously affecting the results of the experiment, I have decided to prepare 100 pieces of folder paper. I would write the date on 99 of them, and Vasi on one. Of course we should do a properly controlled experiment in the future, but for now this will have to do.

We put the 100 pieces into a bag, plucked one out at random and, still folded, placed the paper in the machine. It took several seconds for the paper to completely disappear, but disappear it did. Then Vasi and I checked the other 99 pieces of paper – each one was in my handwriting. 

The only thing that tempers my excitement slightly is that I would have expected the future me to have sent other messages to the present me by now. 

I imagine some readers of this will be confused by the paradoxes. All I can tell you is that paradoxes arise due to a misunderstanding that time is linear. It is so much more. Stephen describes time as ‘a line, a loop, a tangle of threads, a sculpture of dazzling complexity.’


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