Troubleshootin The Tale: Temperature Traveler
July 18, 2006 6:48 AM Subscribe
Abstract Thinking Filter: So I created this creature that travels by temperature instead of time, so to speak.
posted by vanoakenfold to Science & Nature (29 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Please help me find any potential flaws and limitations of describing the goings-on of a creature that travels by temperature but has no limitation of when.
Just as we, as people, are time travelers in a steady, minute-by-minute progression, we have proximity access to physical objects that continue to exist within our relative progression of time -- that is, I have access to both the contents of the oven and the contents of the freezer as long as they are in my kitchen (or otherwise traveling distance) at the same time I am currently in existence, since the temperature of the objects in question is of little or no consequence as far as my access to them is concerned.
This creature/person, is inversely/reversely limited by temperature but not time -- that is, he has access to the oven's heated contents from December of one year to December of the next simultaneously but by the simple action of moving there (irrespective of when they exist) just as I may walk between my fridge and oven... but he is limited to objects of a certain temperature as his progression through temperature increases/decreases over his lifespan.
The story was going to be an perhaps-equally convoluted method of storytelling, whereby the text is actually a transcription of a microcassette-recorded interview with periodic editorial notes, in the form of (which may bog it down, though I do enjoy irregular storytelling methods):
Creature: My people have "always", in your sense, been here. But in our sense, most of your people have only been here since about 98 degrees give or take.
Interviewer: So you're saying our people who have a fever of 101 can talk to your people who are on the degree scale of 101, while those who are at 98.6 degrees can't even see you?
[At this point he stands up as if ready to leave.]
Creature: Yes. As the temperature of this area is now passing into a warmer climate because of your sunrise, we will both no longer have access to each other. However, if I travel to your evening when the temperature reaches this temperature while the sun sets, just by going there because I want to -- as easily as you may walk from a cooled building's waiting area to step outside in the sweltering heat -- we can continue our conversa...
[A cool breeze wafts by, temporarily obstructing our conversation and the fact that I can see him. Upon its passing he is still speaking to me. The poem Who Has Seen The Wind pops to mind out of the blue.]
Can you think of any possible flaws or limitations in carrying on a conversation with such a creature, ignoring compatible language issues? I am thinking of making the lengths at which the creature exists within the range of a certain temperature span a number of our months. In one way, the creature could tell me the future as long as he experienced it within the same temperature range as I am currently existing so that he can communicate it to me, yet I could tell him of his "future" predicaments he may experience while encountering an "upcoming" temperature he has not yet "grown" into.
For instance, if he asked me for say, a spoon. If the spoon was not within his temperature range, I could heat it up or cool it down to his level and it would appear as if by magic. Likewise he could acquire an object for me by moving it forward or backward in time by some similar uncertain method of propulsion (just as he has no particular understanding of how I can heat or cool things at will).
Any speculations of problems I might encounter, such as inconsistencies of my concept with the above rough-draft excerpt that I may have flubbed?