Thoughts on Time Travel

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Tomorrow, Jul 18, 2009.

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  1. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #1
    I wish that it were only that simple. :)

    Oh, well - maybe someday I can just get everyone else to travel forward in time, since I can't travel backward.

    Thanks for the help, everyone.
     
  2. gotzero macrumors 68040

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    #2
    You could move the rest of your world while you stay still...
     
  3. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #3
    Unless by going into the future you can see how things were done so when you traveled back in time you can take all the credit before it ever happens.
     
  4. Teh Don Ditty macrumors G4

    Teh Don Ditty

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    #4
    Have you ever seen a portal?

    Burn it to the ground.

    </Donnie Darko>

    Seeing the future kinda takes the fun out of it, dontcha think?

    Sounds like my job
     
  5. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #5
    You become the Star Child.
     
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #6
    Then it would be a colossal waste of Time.
     
  7. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #7
    If there is a true end of time and we make a device that can get us there, what would happen if the machine goes past the end.
     
  8. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #8
    Well, we're already going forward in time, but if you want to go further, you just need a ship capable of going some percentage of light-speed. The faster it goes, the further in the future you can go.
    Actually, what's really happening is time dilation, the closer to 'C' you go, the slower time passes for you. Outside of the ship, the world spins at the same rate.

    The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman used this theory to great effect.

    To drop another author, I'd suggest Kim Stanley Robinson's Remaking History. In the story "Enola Gay," he runs through multiple scenarios caused when the bombardier Ferebee refuses to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.
    In one instance, the B-29 returns the next day and another bombardier does the job. In another, the plane crashes. In another, the act causes WWIII. And in another, the act creates world peace.

    Robinson's point in the story was we can't really be sure how history is created or defined and thus, in changing something, we can't be sure about the consequences. Or, if our own act will really make a difference in the wide scope of events.
     
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #9
    Exactly.

    Or, we can be put in stasis, and let time pass us bye.
     
  10. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #10
    Didn't we already will have been going to have this discussion?
     
  11. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #11
    How far forward in time can we go. Can we hit the end of time itself, and how will we know it is the true end of time. If we go too far forward can we reverse it.
     
  12. Tomorrow thread starter macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #12
    So the (albeit fictional) example of Biff going back and getting rich is out of the question...bummer. :(

    I guess there really isn't any way to go backward in time, only forward.
     
  13. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #13
    I agree of course, and my example was extremely trivial compared with the horror of the holocaust and the unquestionable benefit of being able to prevent that carnage.

    That said, the history of civilisation has been defined by wars and unspeakable acts of cruelty and aggression. These events have also been the 'mother of invention' - as we've sought to quickly improve technology for strategic advantage.

    Perhaps we live a paradox; without war we certainly wouldn't have the technology and society we have today - and there will be more wars in the future leading up to the point where we (possibly) develop time travel. But using that time travel technology to travel back in time and prevent war would in turn prevent that very same technology from being developed.

    So a prerequisite for the development of time travel may well be that previous horrific events cannot be reversed, no matter how much we may wish it.
     
  14. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #14
    If you change anything from the past, you cannot predict the outcome in that version of the future.

    The only time I'd say "okay, go for it, change something" is if it's like a Terminator type situation (see, I learned everything I need to know about time travel from movies :p) where someone does know the outcome if we stay on a particular path. But then, look how they all believed the warnings from Sarah Conner.


    P.S.

    http://upc.*************/uploads/catmacros/theend.jpg
     
  15. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #15
    Your location is apt for this discussion.
    While I appreciate your opinion on the matter, I'd like to believe that the saving of 6 million lives is worth the losses we would endure if those 6 million were still alive. You're thinking of the negatives. What of the positives?
     
  16. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #16
    As a practical example, Geddy Lee (the Bassist and lead singer of Canada's best musical export Rush) is the child of Polish-Jewish parents who were survivors of the German Second World War Dachau and Bergen-Belsen internment camps.

    No Hitler = no Rush.
     
  17. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #17
    Exactly.

    I think no matter how horrible the event(s), the past shouldn't be altered because you have no idea what it will do for that version of the future.
     
  18. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #18
    I have been to the future, nothing much better than today to report. Better to move along at the current pace. :p
     
  19. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #19
    All well and good, but the prevention of those horrific events could still end up leading to far greater horrors in the revised future. What if assassinating Hitler resulted in your parents or grandparents from meeting. Every event has entirely unpredictable and unknowable ripples through time.
     
  20. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #20
    But if it could save untold numbers of lives, maybe the alterations would be worth the consequences. Personally, I would not change events in my own life, but if we could save those men and women affected by September 11th, and relieving the pain of the family member's suffering, maybe it would all be for the best.

    Saving over 6 million Jews from extermination through the assassination of one man seems justifiable. Do you agree?
     
  21. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #21
    Ah, see now I don't think past events should meddled with, even the truly horrific stuff. When I look back through some of the more defining moments of my life, if I took even one of those away I don't think I would be where I am now.

    It's like when old Biff stole the DeLorean and went back in time to gave that sports scores book to young Biff to make a fortune for himself in bets. That "little" event messed Hill Valley UP! We must learn from Hollywood blockbusters! :D
     
  22. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #22
    But imagine the theoretical applications of such travel. The abilty to revise history and even the course of wars. What if we went back and destroyed some of the world's most infamous beings such as Hitler before they could commit their most heinous crimes? What if Pearl Harbor never happened? What if we evacuated Lousiana before Katrina hit? What if we could go back and evacuate the Twin Towers before the terrorist attacks? But if this travel was discovered by our enemies first, the applications could be horrendous.
     
  23. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #23
    Einstein wrote in his memoirs that he was "disturbed" by the idea that his equations could be solved in ways that allowed for time travel. With our present understanding of physics, you would need the power of a star if it is indeed possible, so barring any changes in our understanding of physics we won't be seeing any time travel in our lifetimes.
     
  24. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #24
    Actually, a vehicle has been created that allows people to be moved approximately 50-60 years into the past, and then return them to the present day. It's called the Isle of Wight ferry.
     
  25. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #25
    But, how would we know?

    Let's just say someone dies here in an attempt - what's to say they didn't actually succeed at going back in time? In order to avoid a paradox, they would not be able to exist at both times, so one would have to die.
     
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