So… Let’s Say There’s an Alternate Universe…

28 May

Ok, I have a hypothetical question this morning: Let’s say there are alternate universes (some people do, in fact, maintain that there are) meaning in this context that basically anything that can happen, would happen.

If anything that can happen does happen in another universe, that means that somewhere out there is the perfect you.  The you you’ve always wanted to be.  The you that made all the right choices, had the right amount of willpower, hard work, support, and luck to turn out to basically be this universe’s fantasy version of you.

Ok now, here’s the question: Are you jealous of yourself, or are you happy that somewhere out there you’ve really made it?  Also, what does you fantasy self look like?

I don’t know how I’d feel knowing there’s a Loren Riley out there that has perfect skin, was never awkward, graduated top of her class in astrophysics, and is currently producing the next Star Trek franchise.  I really just don’t know.

To get an idea on what a normal feeling would be, I asked some coworkers what they thought, and some interesting trends emerged: most people I asked didn’t care about themselves in an alternate universe, and most contended it doesn’t matter since we can never know anyway.  But when asked how they would feel about a highly successful clone (i.e. the prefect you in this universe) the response was overwhelmingly negative.  One of my coworkers even unhesitatingly declared he would find a way to kill himself if he found out someone had made a superhim in clone form.

So here’s the same question (how would you feel about a superior you in an alternate universe?) with some parameters:

  1. If we knew for certain that alternate universes exist, and therefore a highly successful version of you is likely to exist? (We can’t prove they exist and you have no contact with your alternate self, but you can assume a superior you exists.)
  2. If you knew without any doubt that this person absolutely existed in an alternate universe?
  3. If you could actually travel to the alternate universe and meet the highly successful version of yourself?

I’m curious to know what people think.  It’s a question that’s been bugging me lately.

*Note: If you happen to be the best possible version of yourself in this universe, please disregard this post.

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28 Responses to “So… Let’s Say There’s an Alternate Universe…”

  1. Mike January 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Well, I’m late to this, but the Rosetta probe came out of hibernation today. If you are a true nerd(TM), you can probably infer the series of clicks that got me to this page 😉

    Talking about a perfect version of me is a little like the question of what the universe would look like from the edge of the observable universe (ie exactly the same). Any version of you that achieved every thing you’ve ever wanted without suffering would probably be a really insufferable version of you. They’d probably find a reason to be jealous of you.

  2. took zoxor September 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    my perfect self would welcome me into his life, feel bad about my life struggles, and introduce me to his friends

  3. mw5868 June 4, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    Reblogged this on Under Darkened Skies.

  4. L. Palmer May 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    I would probably be really annoyed by my own sheer awesomeness.
    Unless, my counterpart had a real dinosaur. Then I would ride the dinosaur.

    • Loren Riley May 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

      Yes! That would be awesome. A universe in which dinosaurs didn’t die out, and humans have domesticated them. Great. Now I want a dinosaur.

  5. deecrowseer May 30, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Hi… um, have you set a limit on “nested” comments? Because I can’t reply to your reply!

    That’s probably for the best though, as it prevents me from embarrassing myself by posting a long, drooling comment about the mirrorverse version of Kira, and evil vamp-Willow from “Buffy”…

    • Loren Riley May 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      I might have. I’ll check. If so, I did not mean to… But yeah, evil universe Kira is so crazy! I don’t even know how to feel about here. I really like evil Sisko, for sure. I feel like Avery Brooks’ true crazy intensity goes into that character really well. And evil Bashir is hilarious, and evil O’Brien strikes me as being almost, but not quite, exactly the same as normal universe O’Brien. Did you ever see Enterprise’s evil-verse episode?

      • deecrowseer May 31, 2013 at 12:11 am #

        No, I gave up on “Enterprise” when they started mucking around with time travel in the first season… it undermined the whole concept for me, for some reason.

        The evil-verse episodes sound fun though… I assume “agony booths” just play that godawful Russell Watson song on a loop?

        • Loren Riley May 31, 2013 at 8:47 am #

          Ha ha! Yeah, I have a friend who hates that song. I used to call her and leave it as a message when she didn’t answer her phone (because I’m evil like that). The evil-verse episode of Enterprise may be the worst Star Trek episode ever produced. It is seriously painful to watch. And it’s a two-parter. I got through it, but I almost didn’t make it. It was so hard to finish Enterprise, but I had this thing where I wanted to be able to say I’d seen every episode of every season ever produced, so… yeah. I saw that one. Otherwise I would have turned it off after about 20 minutes. It was just terrible.

          • deecrowseer May 31, 2013 at 11:30 am #

            > “I used to call her and leave it as a message when she didn’t answer her phone”

            Aw, that’s so cruel! But presumably you had to hear it every time you did that, so who were you *really* punishing, hmmm?

            > “I had this thing where I wanted to be able to say I’d seen every episode of every season ever produced”

            I can understand that… my blog is littered with examples of my own masochistic completism! It’s not like I watched both “Sex and the City” movies for fun, dammit!

            • Loren Riley May 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

              Awww, that’s just brutal. WHY? Why would you do that to yourself???

              • deecrowseer June 1, 2013 at 2:49 am #

                Well, they do say that suffering leads to enlightenment… although in the case of the SatC movies, it mostly led to anger and disgust. 😦

    • Loren Riley May 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      Also, yes apparently there was a 3 nested limit. I’ve upped it now so feel free to reply as much as you want! I love long drooling comments that refer to Star Trek, so never worry about that! 😀

  6. AnnaBananaBell May 29, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    Quite honestly, I could probably care less 😛 Even if I knew, I would just go my separate way.

    • Loren Riley May 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      You wouldn’t even have lunch with here or anything?

      • AnnaBananaBell June 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

        Probably, who knows how I might mess stuff up if I interacted with her. It probably would just cause more problems. What if I messed up her life?

        • Loren Riley June 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

          Or improved it considerably? But yeah, if Doc Brown is to be believed, the consequences of meeting yourself could be disastrous! 😀

          • AnnaBananaBell June 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

            I would feel bad if I messed up my perfect self’s life 😛

  7. authortombaldwin May 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Loren, somewhere out there in one of those universes is the perfect you. However, what I think you are missing is that this very universe is indeed the home to some of the perfect beings. We are spread thinly throughout the layers. And yes, it is here, in this reality that I have achieved perfection. All those others out there scattered through the universes are the lesser versions of myself. This gives you the opportunity to bask in the glory of a perfect being and while you may not reach that level I have, you can at least see the goal and work towards it.

    • Loren Riley May 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      Haha! Of course you are Tom! How could I forget something so obvious? Although, you’ll notice I did not preclude the possibility that the perfect you is in this universe. It’s nice for you that you happen to be the perfect version of you here. But now you have to feel sorry for all your other yous in alternate universes that will never achieve your level of perfection. 😀

  8. deecrowseer May 29, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    Philosophically speaking, I’d assume that there were a roughly equal number of better and worse versions of Me, so there’s no point worrying about it too much… all I can do is try to be a better version of the Me that I am. To steal a line from ‘Desiderata’*: “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” From a New Age-y mystical perspective, all those various Me-s would simply be imperfect material fragments of the original, spiritual, divine ME, who chose to manifest on this plane… so, we’re all One in a cosmic sense.

    Sorry for rambling… but you did ask! 🙂

    [* “Desiderata” a poem by Max Ehrmann… which was recorded by Leonard Nimoy and included on his album under the title “Spock Thoughts”!]

    • Loren Riley May 29, 2013 at 1:26 am #

      It’s true – I did! It’s not rambly, I like your response. Have you ever watched any of the alternate universe episodes of Stargate SG-1? Your new agey answer kind of reminds me of Tealc’s perspective – that this is the only universe that matters! 🙂

      I like the Desiderata line. Vain AND bitter. That would be the pits.

      • deecrowseer May 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

        The arrogant writer in me wanted to change the “And” in that Desiderata line to “Or”… but it’s not my poem, so I don’t really have the jurisdiction!

        Haven’t seen those episodes of ‘SG1’, no… but I do enjoy it when shows do an alternate universe/timeline story… especially if it’s a dark, sexy alternate universe! 🙂

        • Loren Riley May 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

          Like in DS9! Where everyone is really aggressive and bi. 😀

  9. hoopoeinanoak May 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    in Another Earth, the main character meets another her who has apparently fared better. and that’s the end of the movie. everything else is up for imagination.

    in case of myself, i don’t think i would be jealous as it wouldn’t really be me as i experience myself. it would be another person. but i would be curious to meet that other version of me.

    • Loren Riley May 28, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

      I’ll have to watch it! It sounds interesting. And it has fairly good ratings on IMDB. 🙂

  10. abilynn May 28, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    While I like the idea of an ideal me existing in some universe, I can’t really feel any connection to or ownership of her, aside maybe from a sisterly bond. I mean, she’s not me. She’s someone else who is similar to me in some ways. But there are people in this universe who are similar to me but better as well. So it kind of feels the same.

    • Loren Riley May 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      It’s hard to know. I think I’d be filled with some confusing feelings, dominated by regret, because I’d feel like ‘oh that’s how I could have turned out if just…’

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