I didn’t see Stephen Hawking in Seattle yesterday

Raymond Chen

I didn’t see the Stephen Hawking lecture in Seattle yesterday, but then again, nobody did. I did see him when he came to town back in 1993 and again in 1996. I think it was during the 1996 appearance, after his presentation on imaginary time was complete and the floor opened to questions, the first person to the microphone asked, “Hello, Dr. Hawking, my name is ABC, and I’m an oneironaut. That means that I travel through space by means of dreams. I was wondering if your imaginary time has any connection to my ability to travel in this manner.”

The sound of a thousand people rolling their eyes filled the room. “We have in our presence what many people consider to be the smartest living human being, we have time to ask him three questions, and one of them is this one!?”

We waited patiently for Dr. Hawking’s response, which was basically, “No, I don’t think so.”