I know all these first-person accounts of ChronoSwooping have become a cliché here on Substack, where, let’s face it, anyone can write pretty much whatever they want no matter how self-indulgent and derivative. Nonetheless I think I have some unusual insights to share, which derive from my own experience but which may offer some general lessons as to the nature and significance of “time-travel”, both the original and long-prohibited “body-transit” method as well as the newer and more streamlined ChronoSwoop.
[…] The campaign against (Tempus-gliding) technologies would probably have killed them, or at least pushed them so far down into the oglindas as to occlude them from the public’s consciousness, if in 2021, at the worst moment of the pandemic, the ChronoSwoop company had not appeared as if out of nowhere and dropped its addictive new app with its signature “Swoop left/Swoop right” functions. Key to ChronoSwoop’s success was the discovery that users will draw significantly more pleasure from being cast into random moments in the past (Swoop left), than from being permitted to choose particular moments they have deemed significant in the post-hoc construction of their autobiographical self-narrative. And if you find yourself thrown back into an unpleasant or dull moment, then a single swift Swoop right will bring you immediately back into the present. You can of course go into your settings and laboriously reconfigure the app to permit you to choose your precise dates, but the great miracle of ChronoSwoop’s success is that almost no one bothers to do this. The people want their time travel to come with streamlined, easy interfaces. They want to move through the past like they move through their feeds: going nowhere in particular, with no clear purpose.