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Posts : 902
Join date : 2011-06-23
Age : 42
Location : Wisconsin, USA


I was putting this under Sooth's topic of Time, but this is so far off from his point that it would just be silly. As a warning, this will be long, with much narrative of my thoughts. But if you read and absorb, this may blow your mind as much as mine...

Things are clicking into place in my head lately, again. Between books, movies, and reality. The latest, most profound WTF involves Time. I had asked Sooth if he'd yet seen the trailer for the new Bruce Willis movie, 'Looper', and he watched it, following up with a time loop question email that pretty much killed the movie... much like discussions have destroyed the coherency of the Terminator series. But this isn't ultimately about movies, just bear with me. About a week ago, we watched 'Rise of the Planet of Apes' and I enjoyed it, BUT was left with wondering how the "reboot" would fit with the original story, so I set about doing a marathon of all 5 of the original movies. Aside from the social and political statements, there was much there about the theories of time, and changing the future. And then...

In the third movie, when a few of the apes fix the spaceship and come back to our time, it was 1971. No big deal. At one point after the apes earn celebrity status, they are taken on a shopping spree, and the female (Zira, for anyone who remembers) sits while models at a dress shop parade dresses in front of her to choose. I'm watching these dresses from 1971 swish by on the screen, these god-awful fashions, these skirts made of tablecloths and blouses of wallpaper hypnotically blasting my brain with olive greens, maroons, and canary yellows... suddenly my brain flashes me an image of THAT video that went stupid on youtube about the old 1920s movie, some Charlie Chapman film I think, wherein they believe a person in the background can be seen walking down the street talking on a cell phone. I'm not going to post the video, as there's hundreds like it now (I seem to remember), but if you haven't seen it, go take a look, and give a chuckle. Yes, in a GRAINY, frame-skipping (1920s...), black and white film, there's just no way a person might be holding a small rag with an ice cube or something to their cheek as they walk down the street.

BUT, why did I get a flash of that image all of a sudden during the 1971 dress parade? I went back in the film to the start of the scene, wondering if I hadn't seen something subconsciously that reminded me of it. Nope. All good. The only thing I saw from the future was someday that woman's dress would be a carpet design. Very Happy

So, time. Time travel. Here we go. Why would someone from the future want to come back to the present or past? Observation? I can read a book about the Civil War, and know I don't want to SEE it. Alter an event? Everyone knows the theory of changing time creating ripples that will eventually destroy everything, so why would a society capable of time travel want to risk it? Maybe like the show Quantum Leap, it's an accidental thing and it's okay to change the futures of people that won't ever be major players? Well, that also isn't the point... Let's just say the technology is there, and people can come back to our present or our past. Let's say, like the leprechaun, we want to catch a time traveler in the act. What could we do? Not we as a society or a race. I'm talking about, you, Bob from down the hall.

I want to force a person from the future to come back and interact with me. Do I commit murder? Nope, been done. Do I try to eradicate an entire race of people? Nope, been done, and despite movies and games about it, nobody has gone back to stop it BEFORE it happened. IF there was some kind of time patrolling agency, what deeds would they watch out for? What BEHAVIORS? If it's possible to have records of everything we do, then every action is pre-ordained, for them who have access to these records. So I'm thinking the trick is to make a hiccup in those records. A red flag that would pop up in the future histories.

We make a lot of decisions on instinct or trained behavior. We drive the same routes, without thinking about it, out of habit and demands on time or fuel. Toilet seats, jobs, movies, eating... all things which theoretically could be recorded in some future archive. So what if we start analyzing those things we don't think about? Start thinking about them, and trying to determine how often we can bump those behaviors? Turn left and take the short cut because it's always the way... but instead force yourself to turn right. That's a bad example, but they're all bad examples. Like changing an eating time... in this day and age there really isn't anything SET. BUT... YOU have 'predictable' and 'recordable' behaviors. How can we tweak those just enough to make a future someone say "We need to figure out WTF they're doing"??? Question

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Time :: Comments

Re: Time
Post on Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:13 am by LadyLiterature
Sorry but Bob from down the hall is a bit busy at the moment. He is having his brains eaten but not his eyes, no one is that unreasonable. Laughing
Re: Time
Post on Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:34 am by soothsayer
If it helps, the cell phone found in the Charlie Chaplin movies was a sort of hearing aid; I too began checking that out, which is how I came about the information.

SO (says I in a humorous tone), my question regarding Looper vexed thee? Ha!

Anyway, here's a little video on time travel. I like the host's series on paradoxes, mainly because she's super cute.

Yay, cute!
Re: Time
Post on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:16 am by soothsayer
Anyway, now that that is taken care of, allow me to continue along your line of questioning.

1. Why would someone from the future want to come back to the present or past? Observation? I can read a book about the Civil War, and know I don't want to SEE it.

I think it would be for observation / research / study. Sure, we know about the events of the Civil War, but we don't know about the people who fought in it, we don't know about the daily life. Oh sure, we can make assumptions and understand that this is how it was, but unless we can see it for ourselves, how can we truly know? Now take any historical time period, and we'll have a multitude of things we believe to be true, theories on the whys and hows and whats... but they're just theories.

2. Alter an event? Everyone knows the theory of changing time creating ripples that will eventually destroy everything, so why would a society capable of time travel want to risk it? Maybe like the show Quantum Leap, it's an accidental thing and it's okay to change the futures of people that won't ever be major players?

Completely agree here, which is why I posted the above video... and why movies like Terminator and Looper (from the trailer I saw) AND Nightwatch make my brain feel all woozy. The movie Sounds of Distant Thunder hits on this rather well (damned butterfly effect), as does the Michael Crichton novel Timeline (was there a movie based on this? Methinks there was...)


Ever hear of John Titor? He's a supposed time traveler that came to us with warnings and messages and and and.

That could be one reason why the traveler comes back, to give us warning, but then that creates the paradox. The future cannot alter the past, or else it would alter the future.
Quote :
Bill and Ted introduce us to this idea: if they agree to do something in the future which involves changing the past, will those changes be effected in the present? My answer is yes and no; but we'll take it one step at a time.

Bill and Ted realize that to get their companions out they will need keys. They resolve to travel back in time and steal Ted's dad's keys (you remember that they had disappeared) and hide them behind the sign in front of the police station. But they haven't done this yet, so the keys aren't there. All is not lost--they still have Napoleon, and can talk about the others that they met to some degree, so they leave and go get an A on their project. But since they still have to restore all of the important people to history (remember, Lincoln's assassination never happened now) they still have to arrange the breakout. So this time they go back and take the keys, hiding them behind the sign, and creating an anomaly which should resolve to an N-jump (since they will make the trip next time to confirm that the keys are behind the sign).

This raise the issue of the keys. Where were they in that original timeline? There are two good possibilities. The first is that Ted's dad genuinely lost his keys somewhere else, but then Ted traveled back and stole them before they were lost. The second is that the keys were never lost in the original timeline, but that we never saw that history--in the history we know, Ted had already come from the future and removed the keys.

But there are more obstacles to cover. Once inside, they realize they need a distraction. They don't have one, but they concoct the idea of using the tape recorder on a timer. It doesn't happen, they go back and do their report with Napoleon, and this time when they travel back to get the keys they also set up the tape. Maybe they also leave a note for themselves on a typewriter by an unoccupied desk, but this is unlikely. On the next time through this history, they pick up the keys and the recorder activates on schedule, and in they go--but they get caught going by an unoccupied desk, and never complete the plan. Back to the Napoleon report, and back to the past, and this time add the note (or possibly add the word "duck" to it). On the next timeline they find the keys, the tape, and the note, and make it into the jail.

Well, this is very iffy at this point. Maybe they get out of the jail; maybe Bill does the report while Ted sits in jail, but they get an "A" on the project. Maybe Ted happens to make it out through the window and get the report going before his dad catches them. Maybe they convince dad that they need these people for their history report, or maybe they leave and do the report again with just Napoleon. Whatever happens, they agree that the trashcan idea Ted had at the moment of crisis was a good idea, and on their next trip back they install it. Now everything works, and they do the report with a full contingent of historic figures.

Or, as another video puts it...


I'd say the best way to get a time traveler to check things out would be under the guise of research. Look at all the anomalies modern man wonders about in regards to ancient civilizations; we would have to develop or build something that would make future man wonder why we did it, and how.
Re: Time
Post on Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:44 pm by VaderXanth
Paradoxes can be so much fun....

So If I went back in time with winning lottery numbers and won the lottery which I didn't win because I never bought a ticket in the past, I would have to kill my old self which is younger than me by days and in turn kill myself because without the older (younger) me I wouldn't exist.

Unless the theory of decisions making various alternate future possibilities possible, it would work?

(and a great time for Mother to call.... skipped grove).... Evil or Very Mad
Re: Time
Post on Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:55 am by Shadowcrunch
Boy, nothing like a little necroposting, but dammit this article fits in here so well... except for the part that I started this thread semi-seriously and the people this article is about are... um... just read the article. You can tell me what they are, aside from nuts.

Wait... what if THEY are the ones from the future? And they created this phony ass research study to prove they didn't travel through time so they would have no one watching their terrorist agenda?!

Oh... and I just read the comments under the article. Much like youtube, comments rock!!!
Re: Time
Post on Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:40 pm by soothsayer
Don't these people realize that in all likelihood their target's future would be different than ours? I mean, sure, the travelers would be able to go back in time, their time, as it is a known target... but that, once here their mere presence, should it become factually known would be enough to alter our future?

Think about it. Should we discover a time traveler, of course we're going to naturally question them and subjugate them to tests. What if they reveal something, whether that be in knowledge or something within their blood? The biggest concern would be within the blood; they surely would have new types of vaccines in the future, or have been exposed to new strains of things like the flu, things that would appear within the blood. Just by that we would know what to prepare for, or how to go about preparing for something.

This then creates the paradox of where did something originate, unless reality splints into the multiverse concept. By discovering something with what the traveler has said or been tested on, we could alter our current course... which would alter the traveler's past... thus making the future an unknown once again.
Re: Time
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