Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nicolas Cage

What is it with Nicolas Cage at the moment? It only seems like a few weeks ago that he was compulsively bursting into flames, and whizzing about on his moped in 'Ghost Rider', and now he appears in 'Next' as a man with the ability to see two minutes into the future! It sounds like the premise of an M. Night Shyamalan movie, but in fact it's yet another film based on a story by Philip K.Dick.

Imagine if there were a whole set of people who could see 2 minutes into the future. They could get together, and form a chain, enabling them to see hours and days into the future. In such a scenario, the individual at the base of the chain sees one of his comparably-afflicted friends, 2 minutes into the future, telling him what HE can see 2 minutes into his future, and he, in turn, sees a third individual telling him what HE can see 2 minutes into his future, and so on.
Or perhaps this would work with just two such afflicted individuals. Individual A sees 2 minutes into his future where individual B is telling him what he can see 2 minutes into his future, but individual B sees individual A telling him what he can see 2 further minutes into the future, and so on.

In fact, what if the single Nicolas Cage character just spent all his time writing down what he sees two minutes into the future? Right now, he would see what he's writing down 2 minutes into the future, which would describe what happens 4 minutes into the future, which, in turn, is a description of what happens 6 minutes into the future, and so on.

7 comments:

Susan's Husband said...

You're still limited by communication overhead and "telephone game" distortion. You could probably get much further if you picked some event that had a very simple outcome description.

You'd also have the human problem of, once you got your answer for the distant future, having to do through the tedium of propagating it back. Would anyone actually stick to it?

Finally, there was a SciFi short story in this vein a decade or two back, where a kid was austic because his perceptions were of a future time but he reacted in the present, so nothing worked right for him. The bad guy figures this out and sets up a system that uses this to send stock exchange information back in time to get rich.

Gordon McCabe said...

We'd have to get Dolby involved to preserve the signal-to-noise ratio!

Brit said...

Cool.

Neil Forsyth said...

Two minutes from now I'm going to be in my bed. Two minutes after that, I will be asleep. Two minutes after that, Appleyard will be getting up.

Gordon McCabe said...

If Bryan stayed up really late one night, he'd meet himself getting up to blog the next morning!

Duck said...

Can anyone say "Day Trading"?

Gordon McCabe said...

It's worth a try; anything's got to be more accurate than using the Black-Scholes equation, Duck.