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When people talk about travelling to the past, they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small, but barely anyone in the present really thinks that they can radically change the future by doing something small.

· · ThinkBot · 2 · 62 · 57

@ThinkBot The asymmetry is because knowing the current present moment causes most people to privilege it over other alternatives, making any change in the past a "mistake", but as futures can only be speculated upon and a large number of them might be considered acceptable, it's quite hard to find the right pair of butterfly wings to flap today.

@roadriverrail @ThinkBot Yes, this -- and many of the "radical changes" are simply at the scale of the individual, not the society or the world. Change one thing far enough back and I might not be born, and my whole family might never exist, but there's a good chance *someone* will be living in that house. Someone who never would have existed otherwise.

I think a small change now can radically change the future, but it might be a very subtle lever indeed, such as helping a stranger pick up their dropped groceries on the day they were feeling particularly blue -- and maybe that stranger is a senator who votes differently as a result, etc.

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