Just like you, but different
Meditation on sleeping.
Two things. Being small which I’ll get to another day
the second though a dream snippet, which is what I want to write down.
.. The laughing man declares that he’s figured it out, and he can do it. There is no indication that the laughing man in under duress or particular strain. There appears to be some kind of family tree on a large monitor, some of the dots on the tree wink out and fade, the tree withers and re-arranges.
The man looks at the big screen again. Laughs.
He’s erased someone from history, from ever being, and that has changed his circumstance.
It’s not clear if he’s happy or not.
It might be later, it might not be the same man, zoom out the monitor, more dots wink out and fade, swathes of them, a voice says we learnt to go further back in time than just the living.
There are a few hundred people left huddled in a large room, poorly dressed, looking at a large monitor, wondering, waiting. …
I have no idea how this works of course, it’s a dream, I’m sure that you could attach meaning to it if you had to. This seems to be a simple dream, the idea that you can re-write the now, based on the concept of “killing the grandfather” or however far back you want to go in the tree, changing the way a family grows or spreads. What’s not clear though is, because it’s a dream, or how this might play our in an alternate history.
Seems that the first snippet was a man who could do this for the living tree, but the ability had been learned by another, or expanded at a later date.
I think the final part of the dream snippet were the final few hundred survivors from the family tree, watching the tree. It’s not clear who in the room has the power to remove people from history, or if there are more than one person, or if this is a result of some war. It seems clear they are related though the remains of a single strand, vulnerable to something outside their control.
Thinking about this, and simply put, say for instance, that you could change the birth of Hitler, or remove Hitler from the time-line of history. This could mean that 60 -85 million people that died in WW2 then didn’t die. Who knows. You could also, for instance, remove (randomly) Henry VIII, what would that look like?
This then made me wonder and I have a single question.
What is the name of the oldest recorded person to have lived. Like the fictional Adam or Eve. Who’s the first ‘real’ person who’s name we know? Quick google…..
Interestingly these first names are not those of kings or mighty priests but rather accountants, traders and slaves. This is because the proto-writing is almost universally to do with the transaction of goods, stockpile record keeping and accounting. Some of the first names I am aware of are those of the slave owner Gal-Sal and his two slaves Enpap-x and Sukkalgir (3200-3100 BCE)
The Narmer Palette, dating to the 31st century BCE, displays the name “Nar-Mer”, the Pharoah credited with unifying Upper and Lower Egypt. There are names from before this time in later written records, which may or may not be legendary figures, and then there is Iry-Hor,
It’s possible of course for family tree history to end for one reason or another, mostly death and lack of heirs for instance, but I wonder how far back you’d have to go before you could wreak total havoc and disaster. Of course if you remove a viable amount of people then you lay open the idea of extinction and no alternate history.
I wonder how much work would have to be put in to make this into a short story, which possibly has already been written, where archivists and genealogists are the power in society, and how island nations like Britain. Australia, New Zealand, and even the Americas would look like.
Naturally the dark side of me makes this a ‘war’ in some way with tit-for-tat removals, perhaps, of course though the idea that removing the past re-writes the future makes a storyline complicated as it would surely change history, all the time? The goal might removal of the genealogists, but that could be complex because well, family tree structure.