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Subject: The Essence of Time Travel rss

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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Assume that time travel is possible.

There are three main camps, as I see it:

1) You can change the past, causing the effect to ripple forward and destroy or alter the present.

2) You cannot change the past. If you travel to the past, the present will not be affected, because it already includes you having gone into the past in the first place.

3) You cannot change the direction of time, you can only speed it up or slow it down. By slowing time down, time appears to have stopped for you, and you appear like a blur to everybody else. By speeding time up, everyone else turns into a blur, and you appear as a statue to them. Using this method you could, in essence, travel to the futre, but never the past.

Did I miss any?

All three of these could make for an interesting book or movie, but the vast majority of writers/directors seem to be in camp 1. I am firmly in camp 2 or 3. Camp 1 allows for too many plot holes and other impossibilities.

Discuss.
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Not that camp 3 doesn't have it's fair share of impossibilities. Like movies often showing a lack of respect to what I call 'time inertia'. Example: Somebody in a state of 'quick time' moving somebody that is in a state of 'slow time'. Movies about stopping time often make this mistake.

In my mind, moving something in 'slow time' would be extremely difficult and have catastrophic results on said item. Can you imagine your body going from near stopped, to millions of miles an hour instantaneously? Splat.

This is all fantasy, of course, but I like to have some scientific explanation, even if it's just a made up technology like 'inertial dampers' or what not.
 
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pronoblem baalberith
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I am traveling through time at the moment.
 
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Neil Carr
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One that solves a lot of the problems of logic and continuity would be the multiverse explanation. When you go back in time you don't back to a period in your own time stream, instead you go back to a time stream that is very similar to one of your own. That way if you go back and kill your grandfather it won't screw up the space time continuum.

As the theory goes, there are an infinite number of time streams because, due to quantum uncertainties, all matter and energy expresses itself in every possible way it can every instant, but these expressions are bracketed into a particular dimensions.
 
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Neil Carr
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ejmowrer wrote:

In my mind, moving something in 'slow time' would be extremely difficult and have catastrophic results on said item. Can you imagine your body going from near stopped, to millions of miles an hour instantaneously? Splat.


There was an X-Files episode that dealth with normal and fast time. Some kids find a weird cave where it changes them for a brief period of time into a hyper state where they can move around super fast. It dealt with issues like tissue damage due to this hyper state, wear on shoes, etc. It felt like the writers were really trying to stick to what made sense with the premise.
 
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Clinton Smith
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No one has proven to my satisfaction that time exists. It think it might be a superfluous concept. Objects change position relative to each other, that is all.
 
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♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
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My favorite concept of time travel, in respect to how it affects past and present events, is in To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. In that book, people can travel back in time, but the timestream will adjust your arrival time and place based on how your arrival at the programmed time and/or place could affect past a future events. It was a neat blend of hypotheses 1 and 2, and my personal favorite one I've seen in fiction.

So, if you haven't read that book, go get it.

Now.
 
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Melissa
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And I will recommend The Centurion's Empire by Sean McMullen - which is not technically time travel but covers the possibility of someone being frozen in time and then 'defrosted' at various times in the future.
 
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Michael Pennisi
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Some of the "edgier" theoretical physicists think that time may very well be a human perception connected to how we experience the Second Law of Thermodynamics and to some extent the universe as a whole. Time, from a cosmic perspective may be something different.

Personally I believe that if travel into the past is possible the paradoxes can only be resolved with a "parallel universe" approach. Otherwise, we have to rethink the whole concept of causality at the non-quantum level.
 
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Dane Peacock
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My favorite time travel book is by Kurt Vonnegut called Timequake. It has an interesting slant on time travel:

The world is flung back 10 years in time. Everyone retains their memories of those 10 years, but must relive everything that happened over that time, fully aware of what is happening.

Outstanding book.

 
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