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the problem with theories of time travel -


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*my lil disclaimer - i tend to be crass, sarcastic, and cynical...in all honesty, i know NOTHING of consequcnce about the universe and its workings nor do i pretend to...my function here is simply to play devil's advocate and nudge people's minds in different directions so perhaps someone much wiser may open their minds to constructive possibilities i could never even fathom*


That being said -


I'll start with the sarcasm before moving on to my main point or thought. A vicious attack that hopefully no one takes personally (and if you feel yourself being attacked, see above...). It seems the majority of users on this site seem to have a lot of stock put into the idea of multiple realities...that every concious decision that a human makes spawns another parallel universe. That there are literally an infinite number of "you"s on an infinate number of "earths" in an infinite number of multiverses. To me, this is as idealized as the concept of a Heaven where angels play harps and you are given your every desire and need as you relive your best day for all of eternity. It really is a nice picture, and there is some inherent logic to it that stems from our inate sense of morality and reward. and i suppose yes, it is possible...surely i've never visited the afterlife that i can remember, so i guess i can't credibly debunk it, especially since it really is a popular general view of a LOT of chirstians historically...but i'd still be willing to wager my life and the life of all those dear to me that its a pretty ignorant viewpoint from a philosopical AND scientific standpoint.


so, i feel, is the VERY popular notion of alternate realities in the popular sense. (and for those of you starting to bore of my writing style, bow out now because it gets more laborious from here). For those of you who contest alternate realities...lets examine. Your basic premise is that every concious decision is polarized and can spawn two alternate realities, thus a given person makes such an obscene, incalculable amount per day, the population as a whole throughout all of time creates an infinate amount of possibilities and tangents. This leads to the following problem -


Conciousness (in human form) is nothing but a single grain of sand on the fabric of space time...so, in a direct interpretation of that range of thinking, there are only two possibilities.


ONE: that there was ONLY a single universe until human-like conciousness (any polarized thinking by any being...but under this premise we'll assume that no concious beings were spontaneously created with the universe) and only when the first entity with polorized thought made his first 'decision' was the first tangent created, or


TWO: consciousness was an energy which started WITH the universe, and the polarized properties are inherent in everything not just what we think of today as concious beings. that matter itself posesses the same potential for infinite possibilities. This generates a problem for anyone who decides they want to bound from one parallel universe to the other though. Scientifically, the chain of events that led to the human condition is IMPOSSIBLE, yet it did happen. The chances are so astronomical that even serious scientists use it as PROOF of the design of a higher power. So if matter was "choosing" different paths to take, a 'parallel' universe would never have evolved in the way that ours did, never led to humanity in that single grain of sand on the fabric of all of space time. The entire map of our galaxy would look very different from one universe to the next, let alone how our solar system evolved, let alone how our planet was shaped, let alone how life evolved, let alone how human civilization evolved. Is it possible? is it what we WANT to believe?...wings, halos and harps...i can never say for sure.


I could blather on about it for a while longer, but that was just my devil's advocate talking. I do have a point and thought somewhere under all this.


If you don't know the concept behind a moebius strip, leave now -


The main point in this whole exercise is that SO much of space/time study is based on one huge inherent flaw...the human mind. There's an interesting passage on the splash page for TTI...talks about how "a minute is a minute because we say its a minute"...i think most people interpret that statement's implications wrong, including what follows it on that page. It goes on to say that a day on another planet would be longer, and a year, etc...




Time IS simply a measure of spatial change. Thats it. Thats all it is. And the ONLY reason time exists is because our brains function as a filter to understand that change and percieve it in a linear fashion. Without our brains to decode space/time, the entire spectrum of it would be an instant. I'm not saying it would be ONE instant in fact, i'm saying it was be ZERO instant...undevisable...a thing we have no way of appreciating or understanding. To us, our brain is sending and recieving constant stimuli from senses, and like a very advanced computer, we decode the stimuli, and that is where our sense of time comes from.


Therefor - take out the brain, take out time.


Hard to imagine? Sound a little too abstract? (back to the moebius strip...)


One of the interesting things behind a Moebius strip is that it helps us understand what a two dimensional universe would look like in three dimensions. Imagine you're living ON the moebius strip, in two dimensions. You're walking along, you're walking along...in a strait path, never altering your course...you could walk for infinity, and you start to believe you're living on a plane that extends in two directions, and infinitely so. so god comes to you and says, "Hey junior, check it out...this world doesn't go on forever! you can actually cover a significant bit of ground if you just jump the space between instead of walking all the way around!"...but you are a two dimensional being. you have no concept of the third dimension, thus no matter how hard you try, the only way you can see your universe is in two dimensions...extending infinitely in both directions. Why? because you can only ever experience what your two dimensional mind can interpret.


HOPEFULLY thats a little less abstract...I know it still requires a bit of imagination...but now apply that to how we appreciate time. We appreciate time only in the way our mind decodes the experience of spatial change (whether that be the earth moving around the sun, an electron moving a kajillionth of a micrometer, or stimulus moving from our eyes to our brain). Without the human brain (or at least the human understanding of 'conciousness'), all of space time is 0 and undivisible. Everything that "happens" happens instenaneously...see the problem with our language? I can't even convey it without making allusions to it happening in an instant...a measure of time that STILL moves forward...a divisible unit. There's no language that I know of to explain it better...maybe someone else can offer a more poetic way to put it.


Thats all for now, but I welcome comments, verbal attacks, cyber-castrations, chicken sandwiches...whatever you're feeling in response to this...I haven't said anything new, I know. If anyone was hoping for more, please see the above disclaimer.





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I have to agree with you on some things but not on others 1st off on the issue of time. Time exists in the form of spatial change and in other forms whether we are there to see it or not. Thats the old argument of if a tree falls in the woods does it make sound yes it makes a sound it causes vibrations and excites molecules still making noise without anyone around to acknowledge it . I do agree with your point we have used and distorted the sense of what time truly is by simply calling it linear its a mesurement of far more than just simple spatial distortion its also potential,and possibility, as a myriad number of cause and effects transpire at any given point.


We are here discussing this as a result of possible potential and in another universe we wouldnt be here at all. Our sense of time is at best limited. but to say in its true form we create it sounds slighty arrogant on the part of philosophy. And sounds like an attempt to put yet another lable on something that cant be possibly labled as time is space, space is time, and spacetime is possibility cause and effect and potential. Which is all fluid and random and never staionary enough to truly comprehend at this point in it all.


As for this being proof of a devine being, or a grand design, you can write what you wish in that blank the potential possibility exist for both sides of that coin. Except that its not truly a coin just our perception of it so for the sake of argument we will stick with coin for now. :D


Time travel can be achived by understanding the fact that it can happen to you at this moment and that at any given point the possibility exists for you to travel time albiet in a completely random fashion. So by trying to construct a time machine and going to a specific point in it your not creating a time machine, but rather a probability generator on its grandest scale.


I admire the fact that you decided to play devil's advocate as I feel that more can be gained from abstract conversation than a formula any day The math is the end result of the thought not the answer in itself and that to truly come close to understanding anything at all about the universe we need to use the tools possibility gave us philosophy and harmonics will play a major role in this.


Thats what seperates the einstiens, and hawkings, from the analytical number crunchers that work on wall street.



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thanks for the note back and for your thoughts - didn't mean to allude to the fact that i personally think that such an implausability coming to light is proof of a higher power...i was speaking more of the insurmountable odds of it happening in one universe let alone a great many...that even some men of strict science concede that its SO unlikely it simply can not be random. my personal bias is completely off the charts where that conversation is concerned.


but i still contest that the way your describing time is based on your brains experience...compare the tree falls example to this...if a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound to the rock that it fell on? of course not. the rock can't hear. has no capacity to. a rock doesn't have any understanding of sound. it only MAKES a sound because our ears relay that information as sound.


take that even further, jump way outside the box, and think that our sense of time as linear AT ALL is a construct of the workings of our own mind and how it decodes the universe. for instance, if time were to stop, would any one experience the stop? surely NOT, because there'd be no more forward motion of time to experience it. if time were to speed up, would we notice it? surely NOT because our minds would take exponentially less time to process the information. because we exist in time, and this is how the mechanics of our brains handle and process it. so if time were to move 10 times faster, our brains would be also processing 10 times faster, etc. we'd notice no change. if it were to move 100000 times faster, our brains would process 100000 times faster...we'd notice no change. if time moved infinitely faster, our minds would move infinitely faster, we'd experience no change.


i contest that in that...the only reason time is NOT moving infinitely fast is because we dont percieve it as doing such. an inanimate object surely does not experience time the same way that we do right? would you say slower? faster? of course not, neither. the rock that didn't "hear" the tree has no appreciation for time. to that rock, the concept of time is ZERO. or INFINITE. Please stop me if there is a fault to this logic...


Think of observing it from someone existing OUTSIDE's point of reference...if time is moving "infinitely fast" to an inanamite object...that meaning that there literally IS no before or after (which of course there isn't to a rock), it all becomes instentaneous. only WITHIN that moebius strip is there a two dimensional being who can't SEE that because he's still thinking in two dimensions...(for those of you who need the hint, thats a metaphor)


I'm not saying this is RIGHT...but I think its plausibly as right as anything i've ever heard...and the falacy in most things i've heard is that they're CENTERED around a human's perception of time. this HAS to change if we're ever to truly understand it. OTHERWISE its a bunch of humans just HOPING what time SHOULD be or seems to be...halos, harps, etc...


maybe that was a better description? please, keep the dialogue going!



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oooo. God and a mobius strip in one thread!! I'm at work right now, but hope to reply later this evening.


In my bathroom, I have two things hanging on the wall.


1. MC Escher's Mobius Strip II


2. A framed quote of Proverbs 6:6


So, I'm excited to get into this discussion, just can't right now. I don't have the "time" lol.



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Okay my own disclaimer>>> I'm in noway taking this discussion to cosmic theology any reference to divinity is simply stating than in all possible outcomes being attainable. I can neither prove or disprove this any more than the next person simply saying the possibility exists.


That being said I agree with you we would'nt directly percieve any changes even if time stopped we travel at an insane speed allready through the cosmos without a concept of it allthough I find it unlikey that it would as its just as dynamic as the tree or rock. The tree falling in the first place would be just the tip of the ice berg. It would still be audible albiet not to the person 5 miles away but the individual can still percieve the after affects. Let me explain, a tree falls in the woods smacks the rock making an audible crash you the individual cant percive this since its not a direct threat. But it has the possibility of being a direct threat. Say the falling tree spooked an elk in the vicinity thats a possibility its also entirely possible that the elk freaks out over the event and scrambles away. Which then runs out in front of your car causing your untimely demise. Even though the tree was inaudible it still had a interaction with the individual just not an audible one but its affects were still felt. And this event spings forth multiple possibilities for potential.


The only reason we did'nt see it coming is we are conditioned with a fight or flight sensory system which is only capable of percieving immediate or obvious danger not a possibility. The reason being since anything being concievably possible at any given moment in Space time theres no way we could percieve it, seeing that we only use 10 % of our potential our neurons could'nt take the abuse. There fore the ability to dectect the after affect of time speeding slowing or stopping would be percieved just not the initial event itself its after affects would be percieved in multiple subtler ways from that point onward.


And at the same time it's not preordained there's possibility for the event that brings on your demise the potential to be anihlated by an infinite number of other events. That being said the possibility for an infinetly fast time stream is possible and that past present and future are separated by outcomes, and a myriad number of colided events. But the possibility it could stop is just unlikely. As the fabric of time is no less dynamic than the rock or the tree. And the event that brought on this universe was on a much larger scale than the tree who allthough was not audibly percieved affected things from that point onward and shows no signs of slowing down let alone stopping. :D



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