Greetings, would-be fellow travelers


New Member
Greetings, would-be fellow travelers

Greetings, would-be fellow travelers:

I'm hailing you from Richmond, Virginia, which is a city, depending on to whom you talk, that is stuck in the past. Hence, throughout my life I've had an interest in time travel; particularly in the branching of events. One of our most famous residents, who considered himself a Richmonder, was Edgar Allan Poe.

Near the end of his life, Poe wrote a pseudo-scientific book called "Eureka."

In it, Poe wrote his fevered explanation of Life, The Universe and Everything. If you've never seen it, you should give the piece an examination, although it's fairly dense and doesn't make sense about half the time. Critics who've managed to parse the writing in "Eureka" come out on the side that it proves he was crazy, or that at the very least, he was trying to grapple with extremely complicated issues of physics and cosmology that an antebellum essayist not trained in either of these disciplines would've been hard pressed to render cogently. Or there are some who wonder if the book wasn't written as a hoax -- Poe was fond of hoaxes, and secret codes, and, well, he wrote fiction and poems.

What?s interesting is, he got things right that weren?t accepted in mainstream physics for more than a half century after his death. His view of cycling, unlimited universes, created in what we call a Big Bang and ultimately winding down into a Big Gulp that, maybe or maybe not, may actually be a Big Bang, too, is on the edge of contemporary cosmological theory. Lucky guesses? Poe couldn?t get enough money together for a literary magazine, but he understood?for his own satisfaction?cosmic mechanics. This wasn't unusual. Even James Fenimore Cooper wrote an explanation for the All, and Cyrano de Bergerac before him. But neither of these men were Poe, and Poe made such an intriguing statement as this:

" Let me declare only that... there does exist a limitless succession of Universes, more or less similar to that of which we have cognizance...If such clusters of clusters exist, however?and they do?it is abundantly clear that, having had no part in our origin, they have no portion in our laws. They neither attract to us, nor we them. Their material?their spirit is not ours?is not that which obtains in any part of our Universe. They can not impress our senses or our souls...Each exists, apart and independently, in the bosom of its proper and particular God" (Poe 55).

The "clusters of clusters" is an interesting concept if we take the view that for each individual there is a whelter of "universes" for every act or decision of that individual. But just as I am in this part of my reality writing a message on a time travel forum, I may also, insanely, be smashing my computer with a hammer. Or in bed. Or out drinking. I could be doing absolutely anything else, but I'm, at this moment, writing this message. The worldline of Harry writing this message cannot communicate --well, maybe not without some astounding power source and a Dirac radio -- with the Harry who is smashing his machine to bits in a fit of madness, or who is (and should be) in bed, or is (preferably) out drinking. Or dating Heidi Klum.

My existence, as Poe seems to suggest, is the "Harry Cluster" (an unfortunate phrase, but I'll leave that for now). You who read this, have your cluster. And so on.

And I guess that brings us back to monads. But that's for another time. Pun intended.--HEK


Senior Member
Re: Greetings, would-be fellow travelers

Welcome to the site, Harry. That's got to be the most impressive and well written "first posts" I've seen here in a long time. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff :) I'm sort of a fan of Poe, but I rarely read poetry or anything like that. I just remember reading his stuff in highschool and that being the ONLY poetry I ever liked. I'll have to go hunt down that book now ;)

Again, welcome!


Re: Greetings, would-be fellow travelers

Welcome Harry. I agree with TheHeggy, very impressive first post.