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June 2013 - Journal of Interest
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26 Jun

Time travel

Time travel

In this article I want to explore the idea of using time travel to affect the course of history, to right wrongs, and otherwise impose one’s own wants and wishes onto the past in order to shape the course of historical events. Righting the wrongs of the past is a common theme in time travel fiction, and it represents an attractive proposition to us: Can we save the unsavable? Supposing we had access to a classical time machine,1 could we do it? My answer is… Well, probably not.

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  1. The technical term for what the layman would consider a ‘time machine’ is a ‘Wellsian’ time machine – where a brave adventurer straps himself in, flips a switch and catapults himself forwards or backwards in time. It’s named after H.G. Wells, author of the sci-fi classic The Time Machine

24 Jun

Nationalism and prejudice


Speck of Sand

Above our nations’ selfish thoughts
There hangs a ceiling black and bright
A hundred million sparkling spots
Nature’s gifted humbling sight

Lost in blindness goes its grace
Its twinkling beauty left unseen
Through blood and tears we hide our face
And daily make our hands unclean

Only some can hear its voice
To stop the silent howls of hurt
And realise that we have a choice
In drawing lines with sticks in dirt

All this strife for wanted land
From humans’ greed and goodness’ lack
All to claim a speck of sand
Adrift amidst the ocean black

When a person studies history, they do so with a careful attention given to themes. The past teaches us about the present and about ourselves; it can show us to what degree our behaviour exists as a product of our culture and to what degree it exists independent of it. Through a thematic lens there is much to be discovered, but one theme in particular I am interested in is that of nationalism, and prejudice.

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