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Old 21st August 2022, 08:49 AM   #1
Emre_1974tr
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Time travel would change the world with the butterfly effect

If someone goes back in time, even if he does nothing there, he changes the whole world with the butterfly effect. Because it affects the people around it first, they affect others and spreads like dominoes to the world.

I mean, there is no traveling back in time. If there were, each visit would change the whole world in the long run.

Peace
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Old 21st August 2022, 09:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
If someone goes back in time, even if he does nothing there, he changes the whole world with the butterfly effect. Because it affects the people around it first, they affect others and spreads like dominoes to the world.

I mean, there is no traveling back in time. If there were, each visit would change the whole world in the long run.

Peace
Or, all possible worlds exist simultaneously in an infinite number of timelines.

You're welcome.
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Old 21st August 2022, 09:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
If someone goes back in time, even if he does nothing there, he changes the whole world with the butterfly effect. Because it affects the people around it first, they affect others and spreads like dominoes to the world.

I mean, there is no traveling back in time. If there were, each visit would change the whole world in the long run.

How do you know it hasnít been changed?
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Old 21st August 2022, 09:59 AM   #4
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Read Isaac Asimov's "The Red Queen's Race" for an example of time travel.
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Old 21st August 2022, 10:00 AM   #5
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Dupe post . . . . or was it?
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Last edited by Gord_in_Toronto; 21st August 2022 at 10:01 AM. Reason: uoe post . . . . maybe
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Old 21st August 2022, 10:10 AM   #6
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[redacted by the Time Police before I could post]
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Old 21st August 2022, 10:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Little 10 Toes View Post
[redacted by the Time Police before I could post]
Commander Hay's force is swift to act.
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Old 21st August 2022, 11:14 AM   #8
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I love time travel stories. (Well, not so much in weekly sci-fi TV series, unless that's the premise.)

I am at the ultimate conclusion that "If it could be done, it will already have been done." (or, "It's already been done".)

Or, if alternate universes are created, there's no way for us to know because this is the one we're in.
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Old 21st August 2022, 12:21 PM   #9
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Overall, I think the butterfly effect is misunderstood. It doesn't say what people think it does. Just because a small effect in one place may have huge implications elsewhere, doesn't mean it will. Similar to "if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound if no one is there?"

Small changes in a big system can be overwhelmed by the totality of forces at play. If you spit into a hurricane, you're not going to change the effect of the hurricane. OTOH, leaving your apartment a minute later might prevent your death. Chaos reigns, and you can't predict what will or won't affect things.

Plus, as already mentioned, we'll be blissfully unaware of any changes to time anyway, so who cares?
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Old 21st August 2022, 12:49 PM   #10
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I believe that the parts of human history that are important to us are very sensitive to the exact people who were involved in those events. And which people exist is very sensitive to which particular sperm ended up fertilizing an egg. Physically interacting with a man would probably be enough to cause all of their future descendants to be different people. And the descendants of anyone those people interacted with would also be different people causing a spreading cone of change.

So just bumping into someone on the street in ancient Rome would make for a totally different population and society in the present day.
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Old 21st August 2022, 01:27 PM   #11
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It's an interesting science fiction thought experiment, but it has zero to do with the "butterfly effect" which specifically deals with chaos theory and non-linear dynamic systems. It's a very real scientific effect, as opposed to the philosophical 'what if i could go back and kill my father' type queries...
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Old 21st August 2022, 02:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
If someone goes back in time, even if he does nothing there, he changes the whole world with the butterfly effect. Because it affects the people around it first, they affect others and spreads like dominoes to the world.

I mean, there is no traveling back in time. If there were, each visit would change the whole world in the long run.

Peace
That's your opinion. What is it based on? Have you accounted for the quantum-level 'fuzziness' of reality? Why do you considered that time is not only plastic but chaotically so?
Show your research.
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Old 21st August 2022, 02:52 PM   #13
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Back in 2007 there was a short-lived time travel TV series called "Journeyman". In one episode the main character traveled back to 1984 and accidentally left a modern digital camera behind. Someone found it and reverse engineered it, resulting in him returning home to a world with significantly more advanced computer technology.
More importantly for him, a problem with the computer systems at work five years earlier caused him to work late when he originally didn't, he and his wife conceived their child a day later than they had originally, and he found that he now had a daughter instead of the son he remembered.
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Old 21st August 2022, 04:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
Back in 2007 there was a short-lived time travel TV series called "Journeyman". In one episode the main character traveled back to 1984 and accidentally left a modern digital camera behind. Someone found it and reverse engineered it, resulting in him returning home to a world with significantly more advanced computer technology.
More importantly for him, a problem with the computer systems at work five years earlier caused him to work late when he originally didn't, he and his wife conceived their child a day later than they had originally, and he found that he now had a daughter instead of the son he remembered.
There was also a film ("About Time," I think?) where the character could go back in time and change things as himself (meaning he would go back to his younger body.) He went back too far one time and changed his children.
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Old 21st August 2022, 05:20 PM   #15
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And so many of Heinlein's stories.
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Old 21st August 2022, 11:36 PM   #16
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There is no such thing as Time.
Everything happens everywhere all at once. And you can see that if you just get the right amount of inebriated m
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Old 22nd August 2022, 12:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by TheGoldcountry View Post
Overall, I think the butterfly effect is misunderstood...
The butterfly effect is summed up by the phrase sensitive dependence on initial conditions which means small changes in a beginning state produce large results over time.

And yes, this can indeed be applied in some versions of time travel fiction. You go back in time, try your hardest not to change anything, but that twig you stepped on and broke that hadn't been broken in the original timeline results in big changes when you return to your own time.

But there are other applications of time travel in fiction where you can't change the present by messing with the past, because in the present, you already messed with the past, and the present takes that into account. TVTropes calls this the Stable Time Loop.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 12:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
But there are other applications of time travel in fiction where you can't change the present by messing with the past, because in the present, you already messed with the past, and the present takes that into account. TVTropes calls this the Stable Time Loop.
One of the best examples IMO is the first Terminator film. Skynet sending the terminator back in time to prevent John Connor being born is not only what causes him to be born, it's also what ensures he'll be in possession of all the information he needs to defeat Skynet.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 06:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
One of the best examples IMO is the first Terminator film. Skynet sending the terminator back in time to prevent John Connor being born is not only what causes him to be born, it's also what ensures he'll be in possession of all the information he needs to defeat Skynet.
In terms of Hollywood Science level of time travel, T1 made sense (up until you explained otherwise!), T2 I thought was even more flawed, in that the terminators couldn't have been invented without it going back in time, so how could they have come back in time at all? A throw away comment that blemished an otherwise perfect film.

T3, while a far inferior film, made sense in that the events in T2 simply postponed the development. Humans had the idea to build these things, and there was always going to be more experts to work out how to make them. The only person of any consquence involved in Skynet that died was Miles Dyson, but there was a while team involved that was at home went the building went bang.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 07:44 AM   #20
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Coincidentally, one of the top ten jokes from this year's Edinburgh Festival is: "I spent the whole morning building a time machine. That's four hours of my life I'll definitely get back."

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Old 22nd August 2022, 08:09 AM   #21
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Yes, it is!
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Old 22nd August 2022, 08:10 AM   #22
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Coincidentally enough, I just picked up a copy of The Time Machine from a free book swap.
I was also thinking of that Big Bang Theory episode where the guys buy a replica of the Machine from the 1960 movie, thinking it was a miniature, model-size. They paid $800 for it. They were bemused when it turned out to be a full-size replica (at least, until they started playing with it.) Hell, I'd pay $800 for one of those!
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Old 22nd August 2022, 08:10 AM   #23
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Hold on a sec, I'm going to check if time travel really is possible.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 08:50 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Tachyon orders
The barman: "What will you have?"
Tachyon enters
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Old 22nd August 2022, 08:51 AM   #25
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Old 22nd August 2022, 08:52 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
If someone goes back in time, even if he does nothing there, he changes the whole world with the butterfly effect. Because it affects the people around it first, they affect others and spreads like dominoes to the world.

I mean, there is no traveling back in time. If there were, each visit would change the whole world in the long run.

Peace
Peace!

And welcome to one of the classic tropes of science fiction literature!
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Old 22nd August 2022, 11:30 AM   #27
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I think it was Larry Niven who taught us the important but ever-so-subtle principle, if you've traveled back in time, don't drop a matter annihilator into the Moon. Tiny little mistakes like that can mess up your timeline just as much as major ones!
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Old 22nd August 2022, 01:36 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by wobs View Post
In terms of Hollywood Science level of time travel, T1 made sense (up until you explained otherwise!), T2 I thought was even more flawed, in that the terminators couldn't have been invented without it going back in time, so how could they have come back in time at all? A throw away comment that blemished an otherwise perfect film.

There was a similar scenario in the "12 Monkeys" TV series, which went in a completely different direction than the original movie. Instead of being a red herring, the Army of the 12 Monkeys was a global cult founded by another time traveler, seeking to use paradoxes to destroy linear time and make Humanity immortal in an eternal "Now". They created the plague because they needed time travel to complete their plan, and since the founder was from the future he knew that time travel was invented to find a way to stop the plague.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 02:58 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
If someone goes back in time, even if he does nothing there, he changes the whole world with the butterfly effect. Because it affects the people around it first, they affect others and spreads like dominoes to the world.

I mean, there is no traveling back in time. If there were, each visit would change the whole world in the long run.

Peace
You need to read more SF. There are a number of ways around this.

1 - "If there were, each visit would change the whole world in the long run."

So what? The timeline is in continual flux. Deal with it. You and I and our world are an ephemeral timeline which will eventually produce a time traveller who will snuff us out of existence. We won't know, of course, since we will never have existed.

Easy come, easy go.

2 - Timelines are self-healing. They permit details to change, but the larger issues will be preserved.

3 - While time travel is "possible", the universe acts to prevent it and thereby preserve its current existence. A civilization which is about to produce a working time machine will inevitably experience a supernova in its immediate stellar neighborhood, wiping out the civilization before the time machine is created. Or an undetected asteroid will impact in the vicinity of the inventor's lab, destroying it.

4 - The appearance of a time machine produces a split timeline. The original timeline produces a present/future in which an inventor fires up his invention and disappears without a trace. The new timeline differs from the original in that a time machine appears in the past, and produces differences from the original. Both timelines "exist", so far as the term has meaning. And, yes, this potentially implies the "existence" of a multitude of timelines. So what?

5 - The present exists because a time machine appeared. And has, from our perspective, "always" appeared. This is different from 4) because it says nothing about the fate of the "original" timeline. This obviously plays hob with conservation laws, but so what?

6 - If a time machine is operated, it goes back in time and creates a new history. If the new history produces a time machine, that in turn produces yet "another" history, and so on. See #1. However, if a time traveller produces changes, they may result in time travel never being invented. And that is how it has always been. Just because something is possible does not mean it will happen.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 03:59 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by wobs View Post
In terms of Hollywood Science level of time travel, T1 made sense (up until you explained otherwise!), T2 I thought was even more flawed, in that the terminators couldn't have been invented without it going back in time, so how could they have come back in time at all? A throw away comment that blemished an otherwise perfect film.
T2 was the best film of the series. The later movies were flawed.

Quote:
T3, while a far inferior film, made sense in that the events in T2 simply postponed the development.
But the robots were always going to lose, no matter how much they tried to change the past. By T3 we knew this and were getting bored.

People who nitpick the 'science' in science fiction don't understand what it's about. It has almost nothing to do with science.

Scientifically speaking, time travel paradoxes are a crock. But they make an excellent plot device. The reason for this is that in reality we cannot change the mistakes of our past, so we have to accept them and try to do better in the future. Going back to the past to 'fix' things is a cop out - and an option we don't have anyway so there's no point considering it. Time travel stories explore this moral quandary and others. They are not about being scientifically accurate - and we don't want them to be.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 04:22 PM   #31
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For me, the best science fiction is actually social fiction. Speculate about some technological paradigm shift - the "science fiction" - and then imagine a story about how the humanity we're all familiar with would react or adapt to such a shift.

Larry Niven seemed to do this pretty well. Same with Isaac Asimov. And Ray Bradbury, in his own weird way.

Niven's stories about what happens when a humanity that has sworn off war makes contact with alien civilizations who think they're easy pickings, for example. Answer: The humans kick those alien asses. But what if the aliens are literally the most aggro and effective warmongers around? Answer: They're not. Humanity, remember?

Even something like The Murderbot Diaries takes a speculative technological premise - cyborg security robots - and tells us a human story about it that we can all relate to today.
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Old 22nd August 2022, 04:56 PM   #32
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<Emre wishes he had a time machine, so he could go back and prevent his earlier self from kicking this particular hornet's nest>
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Old 22nd August 2022, 07:42 PM   #33
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Old 23rd August 2022, 01:57 AM   #34
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I suppose if the machine only allows jumps into the future, as in Joe Haldeman's The Accidental Time Machine, there's less of a problem. Apart from the fact it assumes there is one fixed(?) future. And does have other time travelers who send the protagonists back in time at the end. Though the main protagonist has enough nous to avoid doing anything to change the future from there.

There is also a problem (mainly due to sloppy plotting?) of things appearing from nowhere, like the body-morphing machine thingy in Babylon 5. Given by Valen to the Minbari, it is then taken back in time by Sinclair who uses it to become Valen, so he can later on give it to the Mibari etc.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 03:03 AM   #35
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The documentary Millennium, starring Kris Kristofferson, was about this very issue:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

What you actually get when you change the past is time quakes.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 03:21 AM   #36
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I am a time traveler. Seriously.

Last month I got on a plane at 6 pm on July 23rd, flew for 9 hours and landed, at noon on July 23rd. Six hours before I took off! Explain that skeptics!!
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Old 23rd August 2022, 05:49 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by SteveAitch View Post
There is also a problem (mainly due to sloppy plotting?) of things appearing from nowhere, like the body-morphing machine thingy in Babylon 5. Given by Valen to the Minbari, it is then taken back in time by Sinclair who uses it to become Valen, so he can later on give it to the Mibari etc.

Ontological paradoxes are fairly common in science fiction. The protagonist in "All You Zombies" and the movie adaptation "Predestination", the notebook in "By His Bootstraps", Captain Kirk's glasses in Star Trek II and IV, and the title character's necklace and he himself in "Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann" (went for an obscure one there at the end).

The "12 Monkeys" TV series I mentioned also makes use of it, with it being revealed at the end that the original source of the virus was the corpse of a person from the future who was transported into the distant past and eventually found by scientists.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 06:55 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
I think it was Larry Niven who taught us the important but ever-so-subtle principle, if you've traveled back in time, don't drop a matter annihilator into the Moon. Tiny little mistakes like that can mess up your timeline just as much as major ones!
I think Niven's idea that time travel is fantasy - even when you have working time travel - was a good side step on the problems of time travel. So when someone is sent back into time to grab a horse for the amusement of the leader he comes back with a unicorn, further travels result in him collecting Moby-Dick and a range of weird and wonderful creatures from fantasy. (The Flight of the Horse)
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Old 23rd August 2022, 07:06 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by SteveAitch View Post
There is also a problem (mainly due to sloppy plotting?) of things appearing from nowhere, like the body-morphing machine thingy in Babylon 5. Given by Valen to the Minbari, it is then taken back in time by Sinclair who uses it to become Valen, so he can later on give it to the Mibari etc.
That's not a problem, nor sloppy plotting. That's what makes time travel stories fun.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 07:25 AM   #40
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Speaking of time-travel stories, has anyone seen Dark? German TV show on Netflix. You could do worse.
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