I started to think about things one morning when Aaron texted everyone about getting shipped off to Hawaii and about how seemingly small decisions made huge outcomes in his life, like how a certain session of Star War Galaxies lead to him meeting his future wife. I got to thinking about how it would be neat if there was a machine that you could look through that would show how important each action that we are doing is for changing our future. So someone eating cereal wouldn't be changing their future much because most of the decisions they make during that time will result in the same outcome. While a person that is flipping a coin to decide what restaurant to eat at would show up as a pivotal decision about to be made.
I started to think about how such a machine would work, and I think I have it figured out: Suppose we exist in the "superposition" universe where each possibility can and does happen, so if a coin is flipped it lands on heads in some universes and tails in others, however we only experience one instance of the universe, so we only see one outcome of the flip. Now also assume that we can find a particle that can travel faster than light and when reflected travels back through time (yeah, that is a tall order, but it is what would make this machine work.) The Variance in Time machine emits these very fast particles which goes out forward in time through all possible future universes given the current one we are in, and then gets reflected back to the machine. The machine then displays the areas where the biggest variations in the future are found (where the particles reflected back come from the most directions, or change in some manner). The results are normalized so that only the decisions that have the biggest effect on the future would show up and also you could tune the time to hear back from the reflecting particles to that you can "see" different times into the future.
So looking through the machine in a restaurant we see no significant changes to a person reading the newspaper, but a huge red dot on a waitress that may or may not drop a plate of food. The question that this machine brings up is that even though we know that there is a pivotal event to happen, we don't know if it is good or not. Say we are driving on an icy road and the machine picks up that a huge pivotal event is about to occur, the first reaction would be to stop since it might be that you have a wreck, however it could have been that you saved the life of a future president if you would have kept on going. However it could be useful when picking lottery numbers.
Obviously if we had the machine and used it when I was deciding to write this post or not it would have been going off the charts, because by me posting this I have laid the blueprints to what will make me billions of dollars. The Variance in Time machine.