Stardate VII



AND now, I said, let me show in a figure how our human nature is aged and unaged: Behold! Humans beings stand on an open field, at the Origin. There are two of them in close proximity. Naturally, each of them sports an open can of Spam on his head. These cans of Spam have been chained to their skulls since birth. With each passing day, the vultures that reside overhead nibble more and more Spam from each person's head. Spam is life. A person rendered Spam-less by the vultures is immediately dead.

You're nuts.

And do you see, I said, that (as inidicated by the amount of Spam on their heads) the two humans have the same chronological age? The two humans embark on a journey. They agree to meet on the other side of the field, at Checkpoint Charlie.

You have shown me a strange image, and it's a strange kind of meat.

One of the humans, Bobcrates, moseys is a nonchalant fashion in a straight path from the Origin to Checkpoint Charlie. The other, Gunther, takes another path. Gunther, accelerating to great speeds, travels in a great arc from the Origin to Checkpoint Charlie. Gunther travels a greater distance at a greater speed; so naturally he arrives at Checkpoint Charlie at the exact same time as Bobcrates.


Bobcrates and Gunther have a happy reunion. After a moment, Gunther notices that he has more Spam on his head than Bobcrates. "Bob, you're thinning. You have less Spam on your head than I!" exclaimed Gunther.

Gunther is now younger than Bobcrates?! How is that possible?

Is it not the vultures that eat Spam off of people's heads?


And is it not more difficult for a vulture to eat Spam off the head of an accelerating human?

Far truer. Especially humans of Gunther's speed!

So what we have concluded is that a human can outrun the menace of time. Humans that accelerate quickly enough age less than humans that do not accelerate! Gunther and Bobcrates both travel and then meet at the same event, yet one has aged less than the other. Twins of different age!

There is no difficulty, he replied; and I agree with you in thinking that nothing more need be said.

Orientation in Space-Time

Visualization of Space-Time

Time Dilation