What would you do with a rollback?

June 2007

What would you do with a rollback? Talking with Christina today about Terry Pratchett's Yeti, we stumbled upon this I-think-fascinating question:

If you could create a save-point now—to which you could return at any time in the future, as if everything past that point had never happened—what would you do?

Me? I would walk out of my job, pay the rest of the year's rent, and just go somewhere. I'm still pondering what this means.

Nato commented:

Perhaps continue with life as it is now, and then when I'm about to die, go back to the save point, and then relive it?

Fraser commented:

I don't know.

I mean, I'm not terribly unhappy with how my life is arranged at the moment. Sure, there are things I don't like, but I have an underlying expectation that, eventually, some of my problems will disappear, some of my wishes will come true and I'll figure out some of the answers.

I don't feel like there's anything crazy I could do to hasten all of this. I'm just not very interested in running away from my job, experimenting with drugs, getting rich and buying stuff, having lots of casual sex, killing politicians or any of the mad things one might come up with.

What I am interested in is growing from where I am now - knowing myself better, contemplating God more deeply, forming deeper relationships with people, learning more about the things that interest me.

eonsim commented:

I'd wait a week or two before making the save point :) then do something similar to Nato.

era commented:

I think I would die. Probably as some form of political statement.

IDIEEASY commented:

Kill myself to find out about afterlife or whatever, and depending on the result, roll back and pick the right religion or none.

Alternatively, it depends on the rules. Can you roll back to the same point forever? And do you remember what happened after the save point? If yes then no to these questions, i would save at some great experience and just roll back every few seconds. A bit like having alzheimer's, but only nice :)

Nato commented:

I was thinking, I actually don't know if I'd want to use it. Assume I lived my life, then something goes horribly wrong, and say, I lose a limb. I'd be tempted to do a roll back, but then, I would have to either (a) start totally different, in which case, I'd always look back and compare with my other life, and there'd be that nagging doubt that maybe I could have done it better, or (b) live all my life up till a point, where I avoid losing the limb, which would be kinda tedious (e.g. I'd hate to have to re-write my thesis), and then there is the chance of not getting it right (with the problems of (a)), and finally there's the chance that a worse fate would await me, such as losing two limbs. If I had multiple rollbacks, I'd get tired with trying to find the best life, if I had a single rollback, I'd always be worried to use it, in case my next try was worse, then I'd potentially regret it.

So as it is, I'm kinda content to live without a rollback.