[tlhIngan Hol] vIb - propagate

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Mar 26 06:51:33 PDT 2020

On 3/26/2020 9:05 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> Have I mentioned that I despise the fictional concept of Time Travel?
> It basically treats Time as if it were a separate dimension instead of 
> recognizing that the concept of a dimension is abstract and fictional. 
> Everything that exists is in motion. That’s the core of Relativity.

The concept of dimension certainly is abstract, but it is not fictional. 
You can demonstrate dimensionality with effects like the intensity of 
light as distance from its source increases.

> Mathematicians arbitrarily invent the concept of an X axis, which 
> doesn’t exist, a Y axis, which doesn’t exist, and a Z axis, which 
> doesn’t exist, in order to mathematically model an object’s position 
> at a given instant, which doesn’t exist, and then creates an 
> artificial model of motion as a series, which doesn’t exist, of 
> instants, that don’t exist, and calls that fictional series “Time”, 
> which doesn’t exist.

Axes are fictional, but space-time exists. What we call time might be an 
emergent property of motion through space-time, but that doesn't mean 
time doesn't exist. Similarly, temperature is just an emergent property 
of the motion of particles in a delimited area, but it still exists. You 
can measure it. It has tangible effects. Just because it's made up of 
components doesn't mean the pattern doesn't exist.

Anyway, there is no single "concept of time travel." Fiction has lots of 
different ideas about time travel, many of which are contradictory. Some 
of them go the way you've gone in despising time travel: they say that 
time travel could work if you recognize that space and time are just 
abstractions with which we filter our perception of reality, and if we 
can remove those filters we can see all the infinite timelines of the 
universe and manipulate them. (See Douglas Adams's /Mostly Harmless/ and 
the concept of the Whole Sort Of General Mishmash.) Others go in exactly 
the opposite direction and suggest that all one has to do to travel in 
time is to manipulate mathematics itself to have tangible effects on the 
universe, including altering one's location in time and space. (See 
/Doctor Who/, "The Shakespeare Code." I also reference the 
never-quite-published role-playing game /Narcissist,/ in which the 
inventor of time travel did so by manipulating mathematics so deftly 
that he just appeared somewhen else. This isn't quite spelled out in the 
pre-release version of the game, but I've had conversations with the 
author, where he described this idea for me.)

Even Star Trek isn't consistent on how time travel works. Slingshot 
around a star or imploding planet. Step through an alien device that has 
no origin. Have your body "prepared" and step through a doorway. Hang 
around with aliens that exist outside of time, then leave at any point 
in history or the future. Time cannot be rewritten, time flows around 
nexus points that can change the future, any casual change in time can 
have major ripple effects, no one remembers changed history, our heroes 
remember changed history, everyone remembers changed history. To try to 
analyze the physics of a word by Okrand when the franchise itself is 
completely muddy on the subject would be folly.


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