Temporal engineering like most things creates problems in location A at the same time as it ameliorates problems in location B. Consequently the evaluation of a temporal engineering solution often hinges on taking steps to oneself be in location B and avoid as best one can being in location A. In the case of energy production, the TE solution was to find micro-thin slices of oil or other hydrocarbons in the past and extract them, allowing them to be burned in the present. If a nano-second sized time slice was extracted from the interior of a tank of gasoline in 1974 for example, the gasoline before and after the extracted slice would still burn, but with enough time slices aggregated in the present, you could drive your car. The unintended consequence of temporal oil extraction however was as follows: extracting a nano-second of oil from a past historical period would inevitably take along a substantial proportion (up to eighty percent) of the rest of the universe at the time of the extraction and this residue or “slag” would then have to be stored somewhere.
But if solutions generate problems, so, often as not is it the case that problems generate solutions. Universe-slag (US) could be stored in storage units yesterday. Because yesterday had already passed, the problems of locating storage units now, in terms of cost and inconvenience, could be ameliorated, and yesterday could be packed with storage units across the length of the Earth, and many units deep.
The student who is attentive to my dialectic will anticipate the result. Did the solution of storing US yesterday generate a concomittant problem? Indeed it did, and praise to that student for his or her attentiveness. The proliferation of slag-storage yesterday created anxiety today. Because the human brain structure evolved, lo and long ago upon the hominid-rich Serengeti, to use the past to construct feelings of the future. Yes, the storage units were in yesterday and yesterday never becomes today, but the simple human brain, evolved as it did for long-lost simpler times, simply did not know that. The human brain, fool that it was (although to be fair a bit brighter than liver and kidney) created anxiety about what would happen if those over-brimmed and ever-more-over-brimming storage units ever arrived like poor relations with valises full of sterno and crockery in the present, and demanded to be put up and put their feet on the tea table!
New problem — anxiety about yesterday’s storage unit. New solution? Take that anxiety, remove it from the brain, and store it a moment from now.
That solution worked and generates no problems. Right now it is calm. At this moment we are calm.
All is well, chief. All is well.
But the very next moment, may it never come — ANXIETY!