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Hey all. Sorry in advance if I state anything obvious, I'm not a time travel enthusiast, nor have I really thought as deeply about it as many of the posters here. I did spend about 3 hours late last night reading up on the John Titor stuff here and on the JT site, and while a lot of the discussion was way over my head (singularities and whatnot), the philosophical problems were obvious and apparent. I'm a philosophy major due to graduate in may, and while that doesn't make me an authority in any way, it does suggest I have an open mind and the desire to learn more about things that interest me.


With that said, one of the major things that came to mind in Titor's story was the obvious problem with infinite realities (or possibilities). If I take titor as simply a time traveler, and not a genius know it all from the future, then I would imagine even in 2036 those chosen to time travel may not know much more than you or I about existence in general. Thus, Titor wouldn't have many answers to the questions burning in our minds today, such as the last question he vaguely responded to on the day of his departure (that being " If there were an infinite number of realities, then there would necessarily arise a reality that somehow causes there to be no other realities."). This statement is one concerning the Principle of Non-contradiction (PNC). Of course, given the PNC, there could not exist an infinite number of realities, where if there was, a reality would exist which stated that no reality existed. The same idea goes with possibilities, eliminating the claim that anything is possible. All logic, of course, could be completely dismissed if there is a higher, all powerful being, not necessarily a God, but a being who could move beyond logical reasoning. I won't dismiss that possibility, but I would like to focus on PNC with the assumption that it is correct in all circumstances.


So with that said, would it be possible for an infinite number of realities, or worldlines as I think it's called, to exist? One of the things that has bothered me even before reading about time travel is the idea that light = time. Would time not exist without light? We may not be able to see anything, but surely time would still exist. The notion that we may be able to see into the past if we could move faster than the speed of light, and thus literally see these light waves take action seems if not humanly possible, at least logically possible. But still, this does not suggest that to be able to move faster than the speed of light grants access to changing the physical past (and certainly not the future).


One problem with time travel as I see it, as well as infinite realities beyond the problem of contradicting itself, is the ridiculousness that there aren't time travelers everywhere in "our time" giving us constant hints or suggestions of what's in store for our future. Sure, Titor suggested some things, and even assuming he was following military protocol to NOT tell us anything significant that would change the course of the future, if time travel exists and other worldlines are farther in the future than we are, someone's bound to screw up and spill everything. Really, if in 2036, time travel exists and is mainly used by the govt, whereas general public consensus is that TT does not exist, there will still likely be a time after 2036 that time travel is more prominent. This would suggest that these people in the future are bound to end up right now in our time line screwing things up for us. Even if Titor is for real, there are bound to be others who aren't so mature who would likely go around acting as prophets, foretelling the future.


Regardless, as much as the idea of TT intrigues and excites me, it makes more sense to believe in 1 timeline, ours, and the possibility of the ability to "see into the future." If the world is completely deterministic, then the future HAS been written, and it could be possible to sense things in such a way to see what is determined to happen. Not on topic though, so I digress.


So anyway, phone rang and I had to answer it. Now I've lost my entire train of thought =P Should be interesting to see some replies from both sides of the coin!



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Welcome Rad,


One of the things that has bothered me even before reading about time travel is the idea that light = time. Would time not exist without light? We may not be able to see anything, but surely time would still exist.

Can you be sure time would still exist if you had no means to measure it? That is the crux of the issue with regard to light, time, and their relationship. I do not believe we are saying that "light = time". However, we are saying that light is the highest frequency phenomenon that we can directly measure with our human senses. Therefore, light is what sets the arrow of time for us.There is a thought experiment similar to Edwin Abbot's "Flatland" that goes like this: Imagine a species that had no eyes whatsoever. The highest frequency sense that this species possessed was their hearing. For this species, their arrow of time, or their form of a clock, would be based upon sound since they cannot perceive light. Viewing their plight from our realm where we can perceive light, we would be able to see that their idea of both time, and more importantly cause-effect, would be somewhat different than ours. Since they are "limited" by the speed of sound in ordering events in time, they might place a time ordering of "effect then cause" due to their limitation, while we could perceive with our eyes what we see as "cause then effect". Understand?

What this says to me is that what we perceive as "time" is highly constrained from the reality of "time" if one can even claim that "time" is a reality at all. Personally, I believe that time is not one-dimensional as we seem to perceive, but rather 3-dimensional similar to space.


Enjoy the forums,





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Hey Rad,


One of the things that has bothered me even before reading about time travel is the idea that light = time. Would time not exist without light?

I'm not sure anyone here has ever made as bold of a statement as saying that Light Equals Time. even if you want to make that statement you'll have to clean it up and say that the maximum speed of light "C" = Time. because you can have a photon thats not going anywhere, its still light.

The other thing that I see wrong with this statement is one of my more favorite Thought experiments.


all of the planets spin around the sun, because of gravity (as we understand it currently). What if you could magically make the Sun disappear (this would mean 98% of the mass of our solar system just instantly vanishes). Although it would take 8-1/2 minutes for the last light to reach the earth, would the earth and the planets continue spinning in their planes? or would they just fly off like a kid spinning a rock on a string and cutting the string.


My guess is that Gravity and Time are instantaneous throughout the universe and that although it might take 8-1/2 minutes to see the Sun is gone, we would instantly be hurtled out of our current trajectory around where the Sun Used to be.


another good point you make is the multiple worldline/timeline theory. in its very Basis it is flawed against time travelers, because it means that all outcomes are not only possible but happen in different but similar universes. This means that Michael Jackson is president, time travelers tell us all the kewl info from the future, an asteroid blows up the earth, dinosaurs make a revival and JFK survived but got very pissed off. Anything you can imagine, and its hard to comprehend. I think worldline/timeline theory is completely uncomprehendable and a land of fairy tales and make believe.


however I do believe all choices are possible, just not that they exist in some Paralell Universe.



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Now this is Einstein's formula:


E = MC^2.


Perhaps you know this or not, I do not know!


Now, this formula can be used for -- Space Travel or Time Travel.


One way it is Space, the other way it is Time!


Explaining this formula out of a Hanbook for Electronic Tables and Formulas (from the Past not current):




E is in ergs. An 'erg' is a centimeter-gram-second unit of energy or work equal to the work done by a force of one dyne acting over a distance of one centimeter. (A dyne is a centimeter-gram-second unit of force, equal to the force required to impart an acceleration of one centimeter per second per second to a mass of one gram.)(Power is the rate at which work is done, mathematically expressed as the first derivative of work with respect to time and is commonly measured in units such as the watt or horsepower.)






m is the mass of the matter in grams. A gram is a metric unit of mass and weight, equal to one-thousandth (10 to the power of -3) of a kilogram. A kilogram is equal to 2.2046 pounds. One ounce is equal to 28.3495 grams. One pound equals 16 ounces. All measurements are in Avoirdupois Weight. One kilogram equals 0.0011 ton (short). One short ton equals 2000 pounds.




c is the speed of light in centimeters per (/) second. c^2 equals 9x10^20.


Dynamics equals the combined study of kinetics and kinematics. Kinetics is the study of the relationship between motion and the forces affecting motion. Kinematics is the study of motion exclusive of the influences of mass and force.


A dyne is dynamic. Dynamic is of pertaining to dynamics!


Does anyone have memory? Well, that is the Past, and through hypnosis usually a more vivid account can be obtained, than perhaps, by mere thinking of the Past. Can a person vividly recall a childhood memory being both in the present (usually older) and remembering as a child who went through that experience?


A hologram may be a representation having enough energy as a field present in the form of work still existing, perhaps? (both Past and Now!)(The Future?)


Now, energy exist in abundance, and if you try and compress time back to zero (at least to me) you can never ever get there, for energy would go the other way, and have to be infinite. So energy and time are related. What can you make with energy? Perhaps, everything else we call Space, and Time is still there, expanding out uncompressing as much as energy and entophy (the gradual running down of energy and the Universe).


Now according to Einstein everything is Relative, depending on your view point (that is everything is moving relative to something else).


Because of Einstein's formula, take a spaceship trying to approach the speed of light (the fastest thing allowed to move that fast in this Universe, since it's mass is for all practical purposes so close to zero, it becomes possible to move this mass the fastest, or light is a wave essentiallly and perhaps mass is just a compressing at that point you observe it so you think you actually see what can only be described as a bunching up of the waves from your puny measurement at that time, you have no, measurement tool that can do any better for that is impossible to obtain with exact uncertainty), so as the spaceship trys to approach the speed of light, its observed length approaches zero (tends towards zero, which is impossible again as you can never get there and surely will not exist!).


Another interesting thing that happens at relativistic speeds is an increase in the masses of objects as they move faster and faster. The increase occurs to the same extent as the decrease in length and the slowing down of time. As the speed of the ship approaches the speed of light, its mass grows larger and larger without limit!


So, according to Einstein's forumla, as the spaceship trys to approach the speed of light, it observed length tends towards zero, and its mass grows larger and larger without limit!


You will never ever get there!


Using integral calculus, astronomers and physicists have proven that no finite amount of energy can propel a spaceship to the speed of light!


Einstein's formula is always shown to be correct, when the mathematics and the testing is done!


If you close off your spaceship, and navigational equipment, so no outside influence is measured or seen or recorded, you will still be able to determine the acceleration of the ship and it can be calculated as the magnitude of the acceleration as well as the direction. When it comes to acceleration, there are, in a certain sense, absolute reference frames in the cosmos!


If the windows are kept covered, the radar turned off, and the navigational aids are placed on standby, and you are on a planet with a gravitional pull, the passengers can not tell in such a vessel whether the force is caused by gravity or by acceleration. You can not tell the difference!


This forms the equivalence principle -- the so-called acceleration force is exactly the same as gravitation, since Einstein reasoned that the two forces act in an identical way on everything, from people's perceptions to atoms and from light rays to the fabric of Space-Time! This is the basis of the Theory of General Relativity!


Now Mass can bend Space-Time, and if you have enough Mass, it is possible to bend Space-Time enough around your vicinity that you can actually make that Space Trip shorter (because Space although bent by the normal mass present in that amount of Space) to make it into a Time Travel Trip instead. You have bent the current path through Space enough to get there ahead of the time it would take for the normal Space Trip, so now it becomes a Time Trip, since it takes less Time then traveling the normal way through Space.


Now you have Time Travel, in the shortened length of Space.


Now you have Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Theory, which has everything weird about it. That you can not exactly determine anything and the observer is part of the system trying to observe.


In the famous thought experiment of Schroinger's (sp?) Cat in the box, with a vial of poison setting next to it and ready to break or not -- You can not determine whether the Cat will be alive or dead without opening up the box, thus making the reality of what you are observing take a path and in one path the cat will still be alive (the vial of poison has not broke) and in the other path the cat will be dead (the vial of poison did break). This you can not determine and if the vial of posion is exactly in the middle and whether the shotgun went off or not to break the vial of poison, until you open up the box, both probabilites can exist. When you open up the Box to see whether the Cat is alive or dead, you have taken one of the Paths that can exist. To say that either possibility can not happen is to say that either could not happen, which is impossible!


So some scientists and physicists tend to support the idea of multiple universes, since all possibilities and probabilities can co-exist together, but until you as the other part of the equation observe and take one path, those scientists and physicists will tend to state that either path can be taken. Actually in the end can you actually make a difference in which path you will take?


Enter in the ol' familiar good or evil. That in infinite realities, you end up with religion as all worldlines exist that tend towards being good or evil in extent of all multiple universes that can exist(as well as worldlines not existing but how would you know, and worldlines that do exist in all extent). But to me it is still a Bell-Shaped Curve, and the possibility that a God exist to bend all worldlines towards the good is still a distinct possibility, although one can certainly say that about the Devil, but in the end, as religion states -- hasn't God won already?


Whether we are a sort of hologram, and whether the Superverse exist will still be a question, perhaps, for some years to come!


Thus as David Deustch imagines (a physicist) that tending towards good is the choice and the free-will you are still able to make, in any worldline or multiple world-lines that may exist or not!


This is where you can come in!


Are all worldlines (of the Superverse) the extent of the imagination, or as well, are they all real in a sense of some sort of form of holographic existence that you can not readily tell, but may actually be able to get a glimpse of, from your vantage point of existence?


Certainly it is exactly uncertain, which is exactly certain as of the physicists that claim to have now proven -- exact uncertainty!


Without time travel to parallel worldlines, one can only imagine if the math and formulas will prove it -- in the Future!



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I think that you're getting the jist of it.


A couple things to keep in mind:


In the relativity experiments the proper motion for the spaceship is a "uniform motion of translation." That is, in a straight line and at a constant velocity. If the frame is spinning then the observer can determine her absolute angular velocity (in the limited sense) without reference to some other object.


Schroedinger's Cat has a flaw (and Schroedinger was aware of it - he posed the experiment to show the absurdity of the situation, not prove it ;) ).


In the original experiment we put a live cat in the box and propose that it is in a mixed state (both alive and dead) as long as the box is closed. There is a symmetry of states there.


But the symmetry is not absolute. Try putting a dead cat in the box. If the symmetry holds then the cat should be in a mixed state of both alive and dead which is only resolved by splitting into two seperate realities upon opening the box as in the original experiment. Unfortunately it isn't likely that a "live cat" is contained in the wave function of the dead cat. :)


In the formula E=mc^2 let c=1 (no units, just a plain vanilla flavored "1")


You get rid of the squared speed of light and are left with E=m*1...E=m.


Everything isn't quite "relative" just based on your frame of reference. Here's an example:


You have two balls of stuff. They are at rest with respect to you. You measure their rest mass and they are equal.


Now you accelerate them toward each other at some very high velocity and smash them together. These are special balls because they don't shatter...maybe they are some form of super-clay...but mold together into a single lump. And they also collide absolutely head on...no angle of deflection...and the lump returns to rest relative to you.


What is the combined rest mass of the two masses now? It is greater than the individual rest masses that you originally measured because momentum must be conserved. Momentum is energy and E=m thus p=m (p=momentum)


Has this been proven? Yes. E=mc^2. When you rip an atomic nucleus apart, for instance in an atomic bomb, the mass added to the subatomic particles when they were accelerated and which was conserved when then collided and formed the uranium or plutonium atom is released.



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Ah, well, it is not the 1930's anymore but the 2000's.


Anyway, the cat could not be in the box, since probably animal right groups would say something about it.


And you would not want to use a dog, for a dog is man's best friend.


And anyway, the cat probably jump out of the box, because it has nine lives, and claw the face of the human that put the cat in there in the first place, and probably the human would bend over his/her/alien face and die from the poison anyway, so that person would not know the results of that experiment.


Anyway, nowadays it is:


Home, home on the range,


Where the Bears, the Deers, the Mountain Lions, and the Russian Boars play,


And if you get hit by a Russian Boar weighing up to 500lbs, and going 30miles/hour,


You probably will not get away.


Well, still working on the phrasing of all of that song!




Still must have something to do with philosophy whomever, whatever, that is!



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