Friday, May 21, 2010

Paradox

Here is some dialogue on time travel. This is from my book, "Pillar of Salt", once entitled "Travel Back--2062".


“The problem with the paradox theories is that they assume that throughout time travel the chain of events is still current. They treat non-linear time as linear.” Professor Bush was the most sought after quantum physicist in the 13-span. She studied in Princeton University in 2248 under Raul Stalmar, the inventor or the cylinders. She was what most people referred to as a linear. She had chosen, after finishing her doctorate and receiving her Ph.D that she did not wish to travel through the cylinders, seeing the detachment is caused in humanity. She had lived in her own linear time for years, teaching and studying quantum physics—her dissertation and area of expertise was time travel, more specifically the paradoxes it caused. She lived in 2802 when she received several threats of death. Fearing the age old paradox truth of one’s grandparents being killed to prohibit any chance of their grandchild being born she travelled back in time, one hundred years. She spoke of this exact truth during her lecture today.

“The fact of the matter is that when you travel back in time you create a new timeline—one that has already been created in the future. It is as if we are all suckers to fate. Therefore, if someone was to go back in time and kill both of your grandparents or even you; as long as you had broken that linear time-line by traveling at some point back in time you sever all connections with your previous time-line. You essentially are born again each time you travel through the cylinders.”

“But wouldn’t that mean that there are multiple copies of yourself?” a girl, I had guessed was in her early twenties and asked, her hand up above her but not waiting for the professor to call on her.

“Yes. Exactly. Have any of you ever run into yourself when you were younger? Been curious as to how you were raised or how you acted as a kid?” There were several murmurs of acknowledgment.

“But how would your mass be in two or three places at once?”

“Because your mass is not associated with the space-time entanglement that has become a part of this world. This is why there are issues today of over population—people are in so many places at once. I’ll admit it is confusing to understand at first.

“Having such a fluid time line has some very obvious disadvantages—detachment from society is the biggest. I’m sure all of you have experienced it. Because the future is so fluid, if you leave it and move towards the past the future you return to could be completely different. Your friends don’t know you, your family has different views of you, or in cases of attempted murder your family doesn’t even know who you are.

“But we have to remember the good in the cylinders have brought. For example, who here knows when the last murder up to this year occurred?” There was no answer from the glass. They thought about it but no one knew.

“I don’t even know,” Prof. Bush admitted. “It is almost impossible to murder someone. People like myself or other linear’s are easier targets. It is easy to know where our present is. But those that travel regularly, it is near impossible to know where your present is. They cannot know where you will be going or if the version of you that they see is the current one.”

“So now killing has become more of an addiction,” I spoke up from the back of the class.

“Exactly. Why is that Saul?”

“Well. They can kill a person over and over if they know where they are going to be at, at some point in time. They find them kill them, and then travel back several minutes, killing them again; and so on. It’s attempted murder.”

“That is correct. It is almost a game. They know they are not killing the present or current most version of an individual. Although it may be in the future it is in the individual’s personal time lines past. In fact, killing someone’s present self would still not kill them. This is because they have previous selves that can be warned and would then follow a different path. That type of murder cur-attempt murder has a heavier sentence, however—”

“I’m sorry,” a voice came from the back. It was a tall man who was raising his hand waiting for Prof. Bush to acknowledge him. She nodded towards him. “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand how it is possible to travel back and not screw up your . . . uh . . . analogous self. If you go back and stop your parents or grandparents from meeting than your analogous self is never born, therefore you never travelled back in time . . .” he trailed off at the end, unable to find the right words.

“This is an important thing to understand,” as she spoke she walked over to the large white board and began drawing a diagram. I was interested. These things I had simply accepted, having grown up in these conditions, but I did not understand why it worked. She drew a fork with two branches, lettering certain areas of the branches:



“One of the important things to remember is that we are traveling through space-time, not only time—our matter is transferred. If a traveler from point c returns to space-time point b where they did not exist before and causes a new branching, one where their parents never meet and travels down this new branch they are then free to bring about the non-existence of their analogous self on timeline b-e-f.

“Now what you are saying is that if they interrupted the causal chain that happened on b-c-d, which had brought about that persons own existence; and if this interruption resulted in her nonexistence of her analogous self, the person would than cease to exist—that person then will not journey into the past from point c therefore that person would not have travelled back in time and now ceases to exist at point b or after.

“However, interrupting one’s own timeline in no way affects the existence of the time traveler who left at point c—only the possibility of development of their analogous self.”

“Hmm . . .” the student looked slightly confused, but the professor continued.

“This gets messier when you consider the multiple time travels and time travelers; this allows multiple branches all intertwined into one, all going back as far as point b, or to the year 2062. These multiple branches allow multiple versions of yourself that even after you left those versions can be altered by you or someone else interrupting the linear time flow.

“I know it’s all a bit overwhelming.”

1 comment:

Matt said...

Very interesting stuff. Can't wait until it's done so I can read the rest.