Decisions: a short story by: GF Willmetts: Snoisiced.
Diaries are now the most important thing in the world now. Once upon a time they were used to note important dates and schedules. These days, with Digital Diaries and since the event, they took decisions out of life. Instead of internal discussions as to whether to take a job or not, one only had to look and the DDiary showed the decision. You might have gotten there eventually but it took out all the hard thinking involved.
Some took it as a gift from the future but others, myself included, that it took out all the indecision in life. Life was now too safe. Why couldn’t we take a different job than the one we thought we would get? The scientists soberly thought that it was keeping us true to the events known from the future. It couldn’t have been for all of us but for some specific people only they had to do a scattershot to ensure nothing rocked the boat. No doubt somewhere along the lines the flutter of one butterfly having the effect on the whole stampede. They, whoever ‘they’ were, ensuring their future was ensured and that everyone was getting the right kind of job they were suited for. The Peter Principle was obsolete.
Of course, I wasn’t the first person to try to deviate from what our personal DDiaries said. We were bloody-minded to not want to be dictated to by a digital app.
It didn’t work, other people got the jobs they were after because, of course, their DDaries said they would and the employers knew they would be having the right people for the jobs, even those of us who didn’t want them but ended up finding they were a good fit. It didn’t take long for most people to become converts. That doesn’t mean everyone stayed at these jobs all their lives. Some moved within weeks, months or even a couple years. Short contracts still existed but they also had the DDiary to show them what their next jobs would be. You were only kept up-to-date with the next job, never the one after, so you could jump one if you liked. Maybe whoever was doing it in the future didn’t want us to know our complete careers, let alone promotions, retirements, deaths or other things that ensured the next generation could get jobs.
Me? There was never any indication that I was going to move to another job. I’d guessed enough temporal physics to know that you couldn’t send people back in time. I mean, if that was possible we would have met time travellers by now. Sending information into the past was different. Neutrinos did it all the time. To send a stream of info into the DDiaries of everyone was precise timing. Not everyone had DDiaries but enough of them to make the difference and when it was realised they contained the future, it persuaded many others to get the DDiary as well. Those who didn’t? It didn’t make any difference, they were probably picking their jobs correctly anyway, just with a bit more cognitive worrying about whether they were making the right decision.
Announcement of the next job was usually within the terms of giving notice. After a few years, any job movement of mine was hardly forthcoming. I tried to look for another job but by that time it was ingrained. No one else was willing to employ me if my DDiary, which they insisted on seeing, didn’t show me working for them. I wasn’t in their DDiary. I might not want to confine myself to these rules but no one else was willing to buck this new system. All I could do was continue with my job, digital transfer by entanglement. A means to enable long distance communication and I mean really long distance for use in space travel. What good was a message back and forth or forth and back when it would take weeks or months for an answer? Entanglement meant it could be right up-to-date.
Y’see, things weren’t all bad. The DDiaries ensured we had all the right equipment to build accident-proof spacecraft so were making great strides into space so my work was deemed important. I wasn’t the only one on the project but I was deemed the most crucial. A combination of maths and tech with a minor application of quantum entanglement. Simple for me but confusing for everyone else. No wonder I could never get another job. I was in the perfect one for me.
Yeah, then it occurred to me, too. As it must be occurring to you right now. I was causing entanglement at a distance that meant as I was causing some sort of time travel. The same sort of thing that could cause that the DDiary problem.
Did I cause it to happen? If I changed anything, I would put back space communication until the next generation or rather the next person with my kind of abilities whenever that was. But if I didn’t, mankind would lose any semblance of free will which it had already lost.
I went over the formulas, an examination of quanta for any particle I hadn’t take into account. It would be harder to check the other end of the entanglement but it would have to resemble this end or it wouldn’t work. That only left the time dilation between the two spots. Had that caused this to happen? So was the problem going out or coming back or, because of the entanglement, both at the same time? What about the future? Thing was, other than time travel, what had it to do with giving advance notice of job movement. That was never in the programming. All it was supposed to do was send and receive messages. Unless it was being subverted? Maybe my successor or one of them in the future, even if they didn’t know it…yet!
Maybe I could send a message to him, her or them? When wouldn’t matter. An all-points bulletin to stop research into creating a job choice app on DDairies and give everyone their choices back. The fact that it didn’t look like that here was probably how advanced it was in the future. I mean it had to be some sort of app, hadn’t it? Who knows what other futuristic apps could come back. They could make the job choice option look pale in comparison. Just because it hadn’t reached this far down the timeline didn’t mean it couldn’t happen. To do that, I would have to make some sort of future app myself.
But what if I didn’t? I mean, the app itself is what started things. Without it, wouldn’t things flip back to normal, at worst I could put a switch-off and have things flip back to normal in a few days so to conserve what’s already happened. Time couldn’t be that immobile. Reality could diverge and we’d all get our personal freedoms back. Even I knew it would be foolish to think I could change past events a second time.
Entanglement would be the way and a means to send a message to my older self. That was easy. I had the means and I knew the original error could be replicated and sent into the future. Then my future self could correct whatever mistake I had made except…maybe that is what happened in the first place and my future me made the mistake. Think on that. The mistake had already been made and sent back. So I must have done it. I checked my DDiary. I was still on the job but it could also mean that my DDiary hadn’t been affected. I had been making the assumption that I stayed on the job rather than no change meant mine was free will to do as I pleased.
I set the app in motion, sending myself a message into the future to stop any experimentation in this direction. If I still existed, I would be in an alternative reality and normal life would go on elsewhere. How would I know?
Even more ridiculous, a message came back. I wasn’t expecting that.
You’re on hold.
Please try later.
So much for that idea. Maybe I should wait until I’m much older and just pick up the message.
end or is it?
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