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Problems with Time Travel

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Three of Seven, Wed 11 Jan, 2017 5:36 PM
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    #1
    Thinking about time travel is an exercise in mental pain, if you think too hard, it gets complicated and seems very hard to think of as a possibility.

    If time is a straight line, then if you move back on that line, you effect everything that comes later, unless you just observe. If you went back in time and stabbed yourself, you wouldn't be able to go back in time and stab yourself, since you wouldn't be alive to go back in time in the future. Making it a very simple paradox, anything involving yourself or people around you is going to cause problems. Even so much as not going out on a night out that you regret in your past would have a major impact. What if Hitler won? You might not exist in that future either, it's a drastic change, but then you wouldn't have gone back in time.

    Unless, a time that is a straight line, created a copy of you if you moved forward or back, but this means you couldn't return to yourself, you would effectively multiply across the timeline. This seems to be the way Voyager handled the problem, with the timeship being able to merge all instances of a person back into one. But if there's no way of merging, then you're a bit stuck and have to live life from that point, each time.

    Also, if time is a straight line, can a time machine exist before the time it was built? Or does it have to be in a fixed location to send and pull people in time?

    Now if time is fluid or can create parallel timelines, then everything becomes far easier, the parallel version would mean any change creates a new timeline, so you could go and kill yourself, then continue along the new timeline, since the point of death is a change, creating the new world, you just continue to live through it. A fluid timestream would mean we have all lived and died already, infact, we could have died before we were born, this would be chaotic but easier to navigate, however it doesn't fit in with what we know about an expanding universe.

    Time travel is complicated, what problems come to your mind!
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    #2
     –  Last edited by Pacmainia9; Wed 11 Jan, 2017 6:24 PM.
    Having thought about this probably a bit too much for one person, I think that you just ironed out my last problem with time travel: paradoxes. I believe in the infinite alternates theory, where everything that it is possible to happen at any given moment of forever has happened, and we followed our path down this time-stream we all share right now. For example, there is one where I discover FTL travel, and another where I type a multitude of insults and profanities in this box. I am pretty satisfied with this one right now.

    What you said about when we jump through time creating a copy fits quite nicely with this with a little tweak or two. If you picture time as something like a branch of a tree, or something like the Watch_Dogs 2 research wheel thingy, one of its branches, with The Beginning of Time™ as the start. Instead of creating a new line from doing some recreational time travel, you create a bridge from your current timeline to another, but one where you had arrived from another time exactly when you did.

    I can understand some people not liking this though as it aligns with the predetermined destiny stuff which makes people feel that they do not have the ability to choose their future, but I find this comforting. It also means that somewhere our completely ideal self that we all have in the back of our minds is sitting at a computer reading this exact sentence and is now feeling a little odd inside!

    Now my coffee is cold so I have to go and heat it up again.
    Pacmainia9
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    #3
     –  Last edited by Bedders; Wed 11 Jan, 2017 7:16 PM.
    You all think too much... I'm hiding from this intelligent conversation.
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    #4
    I can understand some people not liking this though as it aligns with the predetermined destiny stuff which makes people feel that they do not have the ability to choose their future, but I find this comforting. It also means that somewhere our completely ideal self that we all have in the back of our minds is sitting at a computer reading this exact sentence and is now feeling a little odd inside!
    I don't believe in a predetermined destiny, there is a lack of evidence to suggest such a thing could exist. I can think of doing something, but never do it, or do it much later. If it was predetermined, I wouldn't have even had the thought, I would have just done it. It's possibly the least comforting thing out there in my mind, unless you are in a good position in life, it's hard to believe in a predetermined universe because that would mean you may never escape.

    When I talk about a fluid timeline, I mean events can happen in any order, but what you perceive is in a straight line. The thing about this is it means you have made a decision either already, or you haven't made one yet, it's possibly the most confusing to explain. Because it's chaotic and there is no order to it, which possibly makes it very unlikely, since we already know that if you look at the Earth from a long distance, you are seeing a version of the Earth that has been, in a linear way, due to how light travels.

    The other problem with time travel is with things of a random nature, so you can note the winning lottery numbers down, go back in time, use those numbers but end up with a different result because a lottery draw is random. The only way it would stay the same is if your predetermined idea was true!
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    #5
    I do not believe in predetermined destinies either, in my head the timeline we live on is built as we travel through it, each decision we make is a crossroads which can lead any which way we want it to. As for this fluidic timeline, I will have to look into this further!
    Pacmainia9
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    #6
    I may have made up the idea of a fluidic timeline in my head, but I'm sure others have thought about it!
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    #7
     –  Last edited by Strathkin; Thu 19 Jan, 2017 4:54 AM.
    If time is a straight line, then if you move back on that line, you effect everything that comes later, unless you just observe. If you went back in time and stabbed yourself, you wouldn't be able to go back in time and stab yourself, since you wouldn't be alive to go back in time in the future.... Time travel is complicated, what problems come to your mind!
    Well I suspect if time was a straight line as you denote then you'd be able to go back in time and stab yourself again, provided you didn't do something that prevented yourself from being born. Still the paradox I'm attempting to address is how might people in the past still appear to be consciously aware of all experiences in one period aware of events that have occurred as recorded by their mind yet still somehow linked to the others.

    When I look at time as a straight line that plays out the same when events, choices available, and people, animals or objects around you are all the same; that makes time seem much more like a recording (which implies chance or choice is really the illusion as fate or destiny is preset on our surroundings) but one theory I talk about later attempt to resolve this which is often referred to as the Many World theory. Still I've often wondered how do people appear to be conscious and aware for people who'd we'd previously known to have lived and died then I remembered two people who linked conscious to a quantum computer which is not limited to processing or computation in one time or dimension that limitation only comes to recording the outputs.

    One doctor Stuart Hameroff, M.D. who is a Emeritus Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology, and Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizon; commented briefly for a video (What the Bleep Do We Know) as he and others explored Quantum Physics, Consciousness and other proven unusual research that seems to defy our current commonly conceived idea's about the world around us. Most of his work was developed in part with another leading Physicist Roger Penrose (English mathematical physicist, mathematician, and philosopher of science; he is the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford, and shared the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics with Stephen Hawking) which identified the process called 'orchestrated objective reduction' - 'Orch OR' which attempts to resolves Penrose's notion that consciousness requires the mind to collapse the quantum wave function thru quantum computation proposed as objective reduction.

    You can read his comments of the mind & consciousness acting as a Quantum Computer here:
    http://www.whatthebleep.com/portfoli...uart-hameroff/

    On the page above it speaks briefly of a theory both Prof Penrose (Oxford) & Prof Hameroff (Arizona) developed that finds a common link to with the mind operating in similar ways to a quantum computer which is not bound to processing data in one time or dimensions even if we are limited to recording (memory) or outputs only within a given reality similarly to a quantum computer. It's a possible explanation for how consciousness is present in others who have lived and died if we were able go back in time.

    Still Star Trek has ignored how simply having someone present to observe never results in changes to the timeline, having someone present may alone caused a person to go right instead of left preventing someone meeting. Quantum Physic's also identifies observation alone can change how the game is played as well as the recorded event in the famous quantum particle Double Slit experiment. Which is why many who contemplate time travel or it's feasibility have realized it's even likely far more complicated that we see in Star Trek Cannon.

    Many Quantum Physic's Theories (have different levels of peer support or opposition) so until the day comes the math & psychics can be fully verified often some even go beyond our current capabilities (many smaller steps have occurred, others in will occur in ten's or hundred's or years, several more could take thousand's) but right or wrong it all expands our knowledge and is part of the growth that Q found inherent in the Human condition when he offered to make Riker a Q. One of the more bold theories is the many-world's interpretation which suggests that all possibilities of a wave function do play out in different dimensions or realities in parellel.

    "The many-worlds interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts the objective reality of the universal wavefunction and denies the actuality of wavefunction collapse. Many-worlds implies that all possible alternate histories and futures are real, each representing an actual "world".

    I just hope when that day does come and we do understand Space & Time (Time referred to as the 4th Dimension with billions of years) with a possible 5th (like Prime & Kelvin timelines having even billions of more potential realities of the many worlds theory) never see's us like Quinn if Humanity as Q stated might one day surpass the Continuum. I'd like to thing we'd never find ourselves saying we've played the games, travelled the road, even been the scarecrow...

    A MIT Video (double slit) experiment without quantum particles & measuring instruments (observer)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN-w...ature=youtu.be

    Computer recycle coffee & prepare a fresh pot. Oh wait, almost forget it's not the 25th century yet. Redface
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    #8
    Theres just way too big of a rabbits hole here to really have a meaningful conversation.

    I like to think of time on a individual basis. Since the world/universe is perceived differently by everyone, I like to imagine everyone has their own timeline, and that timeline only moves forward. So if you did travel back to a certain point in your past, you are only changing your own timeline.

    There isn't much logic about it but it always engages some interesting conversation because not many people like to think of it that way.

    It's terribly riddled with holes, I know. It still leaves open paradoxes to a extent. lol
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    #9
     –  Last edited by Strathkin; Sat 14 Jan, 2017 1:44 PM.
    I'm glad Three posted about it to hear what thoughts or idea's different people have on the time travel including yourself. We'll never generate new idea's, concepts, or even knowledge without exploring different points of view.

    Today Physicists are still trying to understand how the elusive Graviton's interacts with the 3 others fundamental forces and combine with other generally accepted laws & theories. So there is still much to learn and were only likely to see new discoveries change or evolve our current understanding for centuries to come. Right now most of efforts at least at CERN seem focused on discovery of the Higg's Boson or God Particle to attempt to discover the Higg's Field that is though to give particles mass; the other area being explored is trying to understand Dark Energy or better understand Gravity. Generally gravity was thought to eventually slow down the inflation or expansion of the universe and eventually causing it's collapse; but the science is showing it's only expanding at far faster rates. Scientists have theorized dark energy countered the inward pull of gravity, unless much of what we thought we knew about Gravity is incorrect.

    So while Three & Yourself also referenced Rabbit Hole or Paradox's. There's much to learn and every new discovery is likely only to unlock bigger and more probing questions, constantly forcing us to rethink much of what we understand about the Universe. Including theories that content the Universe is (mostly) flat, and much of what we perceive is similar to holographic principles...

    Maybe we have more in common with the EMH that we thought. Wink

    https://phys.org/news/2016-11-theory-gravity-dark.html
    http://physics.about.com/od/physicse...oprinciple.htm
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    #10
    This is the problem with theoretical physics, and theoretical anythings in general: You can debate and debate until everyone is blue in the face, and no body's theory holds any anything anymore. Until someone does it, we're not going to know!

    So, who want's to be the world's first time traveller? And herein lies another problem. If we live in a world where time travel is done and commonplace, and you go back to before the first person to time travel did so, would you steam his accomplishment from him? The same could be said for any major breakthrough! And that really messes with my head...
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    #11
     –  Last edited by Strathkin; Sat 14 Jan, 2017 3:08 PM.
    Well I think you've found the major potential flaw with time travel Three was looking for. Regardless if time travel results in parallel timelines (making it potentially easier) it also makes it far more exploitable and harder to monitor because what changes for one timeline does not necessarily change for the other.

    In Star Trek we've never really saw an actual change to the Prime Universe except with the Whales. It's also very plausible that the Earth they returned (which we think of as Prime) was also an alternate Universe created by new variables in how the wave function collapsed similar to what occurred in the Kelvin timeline.

    The Many World's theory claim's time travel itself isn't even required to create these alternate realities. Each is simply created by each and every possible outcome to different choices your presented with. Currently there's no way to verify the millions of possibilities one person alone could generate, but far stranger behavior's exist in Quantum Physic's which defy the far more familiar laws of classical mechanics to most.

    Still were likely stuck waiting till Humanity is more like the continuum or surpasses it. Unless were offered what Riker was?
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