100 thoughts on “Time Machines”

  1. would need to look at matter and time as two intersecting spots on a map and send someone to a given spot of matter at a given spot of time in order to avoid the whole earth is moving problem. Of course, you don’t want to KNOW how big of a database you’d need to pull THAT off..

  2. There might, at some time, be a way to isolate one region of Spacetime from all other regions of Spacetime from a temporal perspective – you could call that region a kind of time-machine; or you could call it a deep-freeze; or a can of beans.

    I really don’t know how that would help you identify changes in the timeline external to your Spacetime region, ‘though.
    1] You’re either experiencing the same relative Time, or you’re not. You’re either outside your safe region or not.
    2] Whether out or in your region, that region and all regions of Spacetime around it are still in the same Dimension or Reality you started out in, and in which, it’s safe to assume, the same “timeline” will apply – as the same Spacetime and timeline will exists everywhere, Universally and in each tiny part of the Universe the same, now matter where and how it is – it’s just experienced relativistically.
    Changes in what you call the “timeline” would mean changes not just on Earth in respect of Hitler, but Universally down to each tiny element, and for the whole of Spacetime, for that Dimension: so your little safe Spacetime region experiment has only isolated you relativistically, like a freezer – your freezer will still be in the Universe, and the temporal displacement you are trying to avoid by the exercise would still apply to you, Universally – you would just “experience” it Relativistically [although you wouldn’t actually experience anything, as has been pointed out].

    So the answer is, maybe.
    But it doesn’t matter at all because:
    A] You wouldn’t be able to “avoid” the changes in the way you describe, and
    B] everything you have written is nonsense.


  3. Whoever thought this up and then sat there typing it in, believing it made any kind of sense, is a total idiot.

  4. What?
    A collapsing Universe is just a theory – and we’re only able to account for less than 5% of the mass in the universe that math indicates that there should be for that discussion to even go anywhere. We’re a long way from being able to say anything at all about that for certain.

    But anyway – so it contracts and explodes again? Does it, ‘though? This seems to be supposition: which is based on what?
    Everything happens “mostly the same” each time? Oh really? Why should it? This seems to be presumption: which is based on what?

    We “should” be reborn every time the Universe is reborn? Should we, indeed? Why is that? This looks a lot like supposition; presumption; assumption and wild conjecture.

    The 3rd paragraph is just confused.

    The 4th paragraph [sigh..] is irrelevant. You can’t travel back in time, and if you could, you cant kill your grandfather or you wouldn’t be around to be travelling back in time. Other than that it just states the obvious.

    The probability discussion, blah, blah, blah – well-trodden philosophical ground, but mixed in with the themes of paragraph 4 in an attempt to support this overall position – which is largely unsupportable, as above.

    Overall, this is ridiculous and is the exact problem with this whole “time-travel” discussion – bedroom theories that aren’t validated by the basic science principle of structured auto-criticism, [but instead seek to self-affirm!], that aren’t properly evidenced or supported with reasonable logic and that are laced with just enough half-truth of terms and concepts not fully understood to make those theories seem reasonable.

    Disclaiming such terribly poor science or logic by saying it’s “just for discussion” is insufficient – and insulting! Otherwise I could just post “Green eggs and ham, green eggs and ham – the Universe is a triangle- because I said so. [It’s just for discussion]”.

    Absolute nonsense! And the reason why the Internet is a minefield.

  5. The argument is that, although Science Fiction and Science are related, they are very different things – and they have the flavours of “good” and “bad”.
    The “good” tends to be scrupulous in understanding the surrounding existing, science, terms and logic of the condition it is attempting to speculate on – not much of value comes of a poor foundation.

    So, none of our technology started as an idea in a “ridiculous” book or play. I might accept that some of it started in a “good” book or play – that obeyed the criteria of “good” above – but even that might be arguable.

    Yes, of course, in the name of creativity, you can position anything you please; but it all depends what you want to achieve – a genuine flight of fancy, or properly constructed, rationally plausible prediction – that has some basis in science?

    Isn’t a decision there one of the reasons we now find a DaVinci sketch of a helicopter so astonishing? I’m sure there were others of the time who drew their wild dreams of things that could fly – but, from a scientific perspective, who now cares?

    My argument is that plausibility, based on a clear understanding of principles, (and, yes; educated speculation), is what separates what may be possible from the clearly impossible, regardless of the probability of the speculation – and it is that which ignites further investigation and brings Fiction into Reality, therefore it is that we should seek to apply.

    I’ve no doubt that the two examples you give may have been declared insane, impossible or improbable at some point, yet they were plausible.
    Fiction predicted space-flight, but it didn’t declare that the rockets would be powered by faeries – the prediction was plausible.
    And let’s not forget; it wasn’t the mere saying of it that made them so, it was the iterative application of scientific principles to the ideas, by scientists, not writers, that brought speculation into reality.

    I really didn’t mean to rain on your parade, stifle your creativity; or appear rude – and if I did, I apologise.

    As I said, creativity is valid – absolutely necessary actually – but I am the one in slightly the wrong place. I was just looking for “what-if’s” where the creativity and speculation are balanced by some kind of regard to what we know of principles.
    Personally, speculation that is not supported that way drives me insane because, otherwise, in my view, that really is pure science fiction – and we could just sit here and say anything at all about this idea or anything else, none of it arguable beyond “OK” – and where that’s the case, I’d have to ask myself where’s the value in it?
    And, bizarrely enough, now I stop to think of it – it’s discussions on *science fiction* sites that are far more concerned with remaining in the bounds of scientific plausibility than appears on this particular discussion – in the Science Blog. Go figure…

  6. and I don’t even try to deny or shrug that off. I like scientic discussion..regardless of whether it is science fact, science fiction, or just plain science wackiness.

    The fact is, I’m not bothered by improbabilities or unlikeliness in a discussion, because the way I see it, the fact we are even here on this planet, proves that the extremely improbable and unlikely happen and continues to happen on a daily basis.

    I realize that science is often based off of hypothesis, experimentation, theories and verification.. But somewhere in those is room for open ended jaunts into the rediculous..If not..I suspect Quantum Mechanics and several arms of medicine and other general sciences would have been dropped as a viable form of science long ago.

    How many of our current technology started as an idea in a rediculous book or play written ages ago by people who were just trying to tell an interesting story. Robots for example. Cloning. And lots of other stuff.

    In science, truth is often stranger than fiction. There are plenty of legitimate articles on this blog alone to demonstrate that fact.

  7. I agree, you would break your ankle, miss the bus, or have your gun jam. How about you do kill him (though why would any sane person WANT to kill their grandfather?) only to return to your own time and find out you were adopted and you killed someone else’s grandfather. Don’t try it. He might know you’re coming and kill you first. Paradox solved.

  8. There’s at least 2 ways of looking at time travel (assuming it’s possible).

    1) A time traveller goes back in time and changes history. According to string theory (or what’s probably more popular now m-theory), the change causes an alternate reality to be created…one which we live in and the other which is an offshoot from the point of the change caused by the time traveller.

    2) A time traveller goes back in time and changes history. Per the previous respondent, ppl would not know any different since that change ripples across time to our present day. For example, if the “original” timeline was that Hitler was supposed to win WW2 but a time traveller killed him or made it so Hitler lost WW2, we would not know about the “original” historical timeline (since everything in our history reflects the “new” timeline).

    Regardless of which of the above (or some other theory) is true, my question is…is there a way to measure or determine that history has changed? Is there a way to anchor a point in our timeline so that should a time traveller change our past, we can at least notice something strange happened? Being able to do this would confirm time travel is possible and occurring.

  9. Perhaps you could go back in time and re-learn proper spelling.

    Or maybe learn it for the first time? Just a thought.

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