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  1. I think splitting the forum into your two suggested parts is a fine idea. Hank
  2. Yes, Thank you, NoName. I'd forgotten about that paradox, which I believe is not logically equivalent to the grandfather paradox. I think I've heard it referred to as many different things, but I like the simplistic "free lunch" description. So, the next question would be whether or not all time change paradoxes are either logically equivalent to the grandfather paradox or the free lunch paradox... Hank
  3. Guess that means that you know it all, eh? Perhaps we should dedicate a topic to actually reading and attempting to understand posts before replying half-cocked. Hank
  4. I'd like to guide this discussion back to the request I posted by clarifying: I am looking for a consistent time travel theory that would allow my situations #1 and #3 but not allow #2. Pure speculation is okay, and perhaps I should be asking speculative fiction writers rather than time travel enthusiasts. The theory for which I am searching does not have to be one that is currently entertained as possible. Because this is for fiction, it can be false, so long as it is consistent. I want to allow for minor changes to the past, and any change to the future, but no change in the past that would jeopardize the time travel event. Thank you, Hank
  5. Again, what I'm asking is if all time change is essentially the same apparent paradox. I am not asking how we develop a time travel theory that explains that those paradoxes are not actually paradoxes. I want to know if making any change is logically equivalent to the grandfather paradox. I am leaning towards yes, but am not totally convinced.
  6. This is a pretty long thread based upon a very short first message, perpetuated by arguments brought about in the replies. First off: To what purpose? Sure, the few people who follow this and other threads will get a sense of the overall arguments and be swayed by them. But people like me, who aren't going to spend a lot of time on every thread, will miss common arguments because we don't look for interesting discussions on uninteresting topics. So I was wondering if somebody could post an informative topic subject and then the others can discuss on that. Afterwards, perhaps the moderator can take them and get the line posted as a FAQ or something on www.timetravelinstitute.com Sounds like the arguments go round and round... Second: Common ground People talking about time travel talk are talking about different things. Can anybody ever give in to a question and say something like "Yes, time travel as you perceive it is impossible. However, current theory suggests that time travel like THIS is possible..." Hank
  7. I think that most people nowadays are first exposed to time travel through mainstream entertainment (movies, television). Most of those theories assume a single linear timeline without any alternate realities, or assume that fate will intervene to preserve the timeline. Unfortunately, people who have really given it a good deal of thought have realized this is inadequate to explain somewhat obvious paradoxes that will crop up with such a theory. I am not one of these people. Don't have time. Don't need to be. I just have to be thoughtful enough to realize when something someone says makes sense. Critical analysis skills are important here. Unfortunately, a lot of these theories are (or begin as) pure conjecture, almost just an excuse to explain how "time travel" might still be possible. You are probably totally correct to believe that time travel (as you think of it) is not possible. That still leaves open the possibilities of a different kind of time travel that is possible. Alternate realities (parallel universes), for example. But would that actually be time travel? Maybe when we come up with new time travel theories, what we are actually saying is time travel is impossible, but APPARENT time travel is not. Just a bunch of definitions, I guess... Hank
  8. Simplification of Grandfather Paradox: (I wish I had a stronger background in symbolic logic, but then it might be inaccessible to others (like me now)) A time traveler (Hank) goes back in time and makes a change (kill Hank's grandpa) that makes the initial trip not possible (Hank wasn't born). Is the following situation equivalent? My dad could really use some money right now, so I go back in time and tell him to go buy Microsoft Stock. The only reason I went back in time was to tell him to buy the stock because he needed the money. Thus, after my trip, he no longer needs the money, so I don't go back in time to tell him to buy the stock, therefore he does need the money... Hank
  9. Grandfather Paradox summary: I go back in time and kill my grandfather before he impregnates my grandmother. An apparent paradox, because then I am never born and thus never go back in time to kill my grandfather, thus he lives and impregnates my grandmother and I am eventually born to go back in time... Seems like time travel theories are invented to "solve for" the various apparent paridoxes. We use this example because it is simple and fairly easy to understand. My question is whether or not all time changes can be simplified into the same grandfather paradox. Is any time change equivalent to the grandfather paradox? I am not so much interested in theory that explains the grandfather paradox isn't a paradox, but rather that all time change creates the same apparent paradox. Hank
  10. I wanted to separate some of my thoughts on the question with the question... Is there a difference in acting in the past to change the present *AS* acting in the present to change the future, assuming that knowledge through time travel is used to precipitate the action? To solve for allowing #1 and #3 but not #2, what if the "present" is actually the PRESENT and the future is actually only a projected possible future? I feel a little slimy trying to slip that in, though. I would like to say that you can change the future any way you want with knowledge of the future, BUT you are constrained in the changes you make to the past such that you cannot eliminate your time travel experience. Sometimes, I think that fiction has mistreated the future. It places limits on what actions can be taken in the past to change the present, but does not consider what changing the present does to the future. It seems to me that it should just be a matter of perspective, that my future is someone else's present. Unfortunately, I am attempting to fit a new theory into what is kind of an already existing fictional entity. To continue without selling out my consistency, I must justify having #1 and #3 exist while disallowing #2. Bad way to do things, putting band-aids on a story. Maybe I should just do what Star Trek (after Kirk) did and invent a new particle to explain it all. Hank
  11. I would like to solicit comments regarding the following situation. I wish to use it as a springboard for discussion, because I see many possibilities: How is any change due to time travel possible if it involves knowledge of objects that come from a future portion of the time stream that is wiped out by a change? For example: #1 In a trip to the future, I find out that tomorrow I will break my leg in a freak car accident, ending my career as a long-distance runner. So I don't leave the house tomorrow, and avoid the accident. But the knowledge of the accident is in a timeline that no longer exists. #2 I go back in time and accidentally kill the inventor of the time machine before it is invented. But without the invention of the time machine, I cannot go back in time to kill the inventor. Are these logically equivalent to the grandfather paradox? To each other? #3 I go back in time and, after I am born, give my dad a tip on buying Microsoft stock. I return to the present and I'm rich (yay)! This is for the purposes of a somewhat consistent time travel theory for FICTION. For the sake of drama, I would like to allow the possibility of changes that the time traveler can see. I am also allowing real changes, not minor changes that will be fixed by the timestream, and nothing about fate or the inevitibility of the future. I also don't want parallel timelines or alternate realities. I am attempting this with a single linear timeline that can be changed. For the sake of what I want, I would like to allow for #1 and #3, but say #2 would like cause the destruction of the universe or something. Thanks for any help, Hank <This message has been edited by Yankee (edited 31 May 2001).>
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