Tuesday, May 5, 2009


It is not as easy as it seems to imitate your self after exiting your ‘box’ or ‘coffin’. If Aaron(2) improvises a few things to speed up the creation of Abe’s boxes, Abe could accidentally skip over an important learning step. He may rush into building a box and construct it without the timer. Without having a timer, it would be impossible for Aaron to use the fail-safe without bumping into Abe immediately.

Without trust between the two, there is always too much second guessing. In ‘Fail-Safe’, the Americans start to out-think themselves. What will the Russians do if they think we are lying? Walter Matthou suggests they use their mistake to launch an all-out nuclear attack. He is convinced that this would work because the Russians would never expect such an easily detectable attack. They would have to assume it was a computer error or a testing exercise. The stupid choice is the smart choice if only because it is completely unexpected. The Russians have no strategy for this. The otherwise smart choice is stupid because the Russians have been developing intense responses to any hidden agendas.

Later in the film, the Russians shoot down one of two errant American planes. The Americans tell the Russians which plane is empty and which is heavily armed. The Russians decide the Americans are trying to trick them. They shoot down the empty plane, sealing their fate for a nuclear attack.

This illustrates that it is very hard for Abe and Aaron to trust one another. How could you know if their advice was full of deceit and trickery or honest advice? For that matter, how do you know your future self is telling the truth? Aaron(3) may have made up the whole story or added parts of it just to prevent Abe from telling Granger. Maybe Aaron(4) gave him a pile-driver behind the house when Aaron(3) says he slipped.