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Titor's "Timeline C" paradox and other time travel discussion

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posted on Jul, 13 2004 @ 03:35 AM
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I just got my first look at the John Titor story. At a glance I'd say we're looking at a guy who just really loved Terminator then realized... "hey, my name is John too, I could be the soldier of the future". Thats not what I'm really posting about though.

In one of his posts, John Titor said that his mere presence in this timeline actually caused this timeline to diverge into a brand new one (many worlds theory). Specifically, he was at 2036 in world A and then he went back to the 1970s to get something. This created world B- the universe where he exists in the 70s, but then doesn't exist again until his birth. Then he came forward to 2000, which placed him in world C, where he existed in the 70s, and again in 2000 (but not in the time between) and then didn't exist again till his birth. He claims that he has to go back to before the point he first arrived at to get back onto the world A timeline and go forward from there- otherwise he wont truly be back home- he'll be in a world very much like home, but not home.
The paradox: He can't ever get back onto timeline A. Timeline A was where he didn't exist until his birth. He can't go back to before his arrival, because the minute he does that, he's there! This doesn't make the trip impossible, and it doesn't even mean that there will be any way for him to even realize that he isn't back in his own world, but logically speaking, he can never go back to world A.

I suppose this doesn't really debunk him... darn it. Still, I suppose it would be fun to discuss all the implications of time travel, and perhaps somebody here DOES see a paradox that would debunk this (or sees compelling evidence that it's true) so I'll go ahead and post this anyway.




posted on Jul, 13 2004 @ 07:52 AM
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I don't really buy into the multi-worlds scenario. Sounds like he's basing his story off of a story I read by Stephen Baxter called Time Ships. It's basically a sequel to the HG Wells story The Time Machine. It follows right along with that 60's movie. He went forward to be with his girlfriend of the future and a few books for a new society and the next thing you know he's off in a different timeline where she doesn't exist and the Morlocks are an advanced race. Good book though, I won't spoil the end.

But anyway, I believe that if someone came back in time and things changed, it was destined to happen anyway in the grander scheme of things. It's just another event in time, if things get rewritten, so what, who would know, all your proof would disappear or change. If he goes back and kills his parents before he's born, so what, he disappears. He probably wasn't destined to exist anyway, so time in a convoluted way took care of the error. When you go back in time, your future is probably forfeit if you jack with anything in the past. In that book, the germans and allies were fighting wars across time against one another, but they kept chasing each other into the past to destroy each other for good. I'll buy a single timeline in a single universe, with a multitude of universes, but not a multitude of timelines for a single universe.



posted on Jul, 13 2004 @ 12:55 PM
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But physics has proven string theory and multiple dimensions (timelines). The only thing is we have no way to PROVE they exist. Ever heard of the light box experiment. If you cut two slits in a box and shine a light through you get a bar code pattern from photons passing through and creating a screen affect on the inside of the box, now do the same thing with a focused beam that is one photon wide. The photons cant anylonger interfer to create the barcode affect, but it still happens, they defelcet and hit the screen in a barcode pattern even though they should pass through and hit in the same spot every time. Why? Because photons from other dimensions very close to this one "brush" against the present photons and delect them off course, even though they are not there. It a very interestig area but it makes my head hurt. Read Micheal Critons "Timeline", its fiction, but very well researched and thought provoking. Dont see the movie however, it is NOT good or thought provoking, they basically ignore all the quantum physics stuff and just go with the time travel.



posted on Jul, 13 2004 @ 04:33 PM
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The multiple universe theory, at least from Titor's story side, is pure nonsense. Here is why:

There is not one John Titor! There are (almost) infinite John Titors!

Although the above sounds very simple, it creates a situation that directly contradicts what John Titor said.

But first let me explain why there are almost infinite John Titors.

The multiverse theory says that all particles are in all possible states, creating all possible universes at the same time. Therefore, there are infinite John Titors. Of course, there are some versions of the Universe than John Titor never existed in, that's why I said almost infinite.

The existence of multiple Titors can't explain the following:

1) how does the universe prevent two or more John Titors to travel back in the same timeline

2) how does the universe prevent two or more John Titors to return at the same timeline

3) how does the universe prevent a timeline that sent JT back not to receive a JT ?

The point number 3) is very important: Let's just say there are 3 timelines, 2 of which have a JT to send back. Let's say that timelines A and B have a JT. Let's name JTs as JTa and JTb.

How does the universe prevent JTa not to end up in timeline B ? or JTb not to end up in timeline A ?

If the universe does not prevent this, then it is quite possible that a timeline that sent John Titor back can receive a John Titor of another timeline. How does a timeline know if the JT that got back is not the original one ? John Titor specifically said that he can not go back in his timeline. This is case A, which leads to a contradiction (the universe does not stop from a JT to come back to its own timeline (albeight a different JT), but John Titor said this is not possible).

From the other hand, if the universe prevents a timeline that sends a JT to receive a JT, then no timelines that sent a JT would get a JT back! therefore, in order to receive a JT back, with the needed equipment, a timeline would NOT SEND JT back (in order to receive one from another timeline). This is case B, an also a contradiction, because if no timeline would sent JT back, then no timeline would receive a JT.

I hope you understand my proof. If you don't, I will be more than happy to explain it further.



posted on Jul, 13 2004 @ 08:00 PM
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Okay, whoa guys. This is a case of "Developing arguments off of fallacies."

First, John Titor never claimed he would get back to his exact line, he claimed he would get back to one extremely similar. It would obviously be impossible to go back to his actual timeline, but there are an infinite (yes, wholly infinite, because there is an ever-increasing and uncountably large) number of timelines so similar to his original that there would be no recognisable difference. His 'machine' was allegedly capable of determining how similar a timeline was to his original through theoretical means. That means that he'll get back to a timeline very much like the one he left, so much so, that he wouldn't know the difference where it that he didn't already know there was some small one.

Essentially, Titor never claimed that he'd be back to his exact starting point.

Now, zsandman and CAPT PROTON's posts sort of cancel, as they raise and subsequently conclude an issue, so onto masterp's.



The multiple universe theory, at least from Titor's story side, is pure nonsense. Here is why:

There is not one John Titor! There are (almost) infinite John Titors!

Although the above sounds very simple, it creates a situation that directly contradicts what John Titor said.


.. Okay, I don't think it does. Apparently you'll tell us how after you've explained why there are (almost) infinite Titors.



But first let me explain why there are almost infinite John Titors.

The multiverse theory says that all particles are in all possible states, creating all possible universes at the same time. Therefore, there are infinite John Titors. Of course, there are some versions of the Universe than John Titor never existed in, that's why I said almost infinite.


Well, there are actually an infinite number of John Titor's. Infinite doesn't mean as many as could theoretically have been created, it is the concept of an ever-increasing number that is impossible to count. So there is an infinite number, but, I get your meaning.



The existence of multiple Titors can't explain the following:

1) how does the universe prevent two or more John Titors to travel back in the same timeline

2) how does the universe prevent two or more John Titors to return at the same timeline

3) how does the universe prevent a timeline that sent JT back not to receive a JT ?


The universe has to make these preventions? I'm sorry, but, those cases would just exist. They would be rare, but they would exist. Every once in a while, two John Titors would appear, in which case one would likely just leave again and then all would be well. Or they would cope with two. A tragedy, but an inevitability - a risk acknowledged before John left initially.



The point number 3) is very important: Let's just say there are 3 timelines, 2 of which have a JT to send back. Let's say that timelines A and B have a JT. Let's name JTs as JTa and JTb.


Jesus. You don't have to make it this complicated. The majority of us understand, those of us that don't likely shouldn't.



How does the universe prevent JTa not to end up in timeline B ? or JTb not to end up in timeline A ?


It doesn't have to!



If the universe does not prevent this, then it is quite possible that a timeline that sent John Titor back can receive a John Titor of another timeline. How does a timeline know if the JT that got back is not the original one ? John Titor specifically said that he can not go back in his timeline. This is case A, which leads to a contradiction (the universe does not stop from a JT to come back to its own timeline (albeight a different JT), but John Titor said this is not possible).


Settle down here bud, you've said a mouthful, and lost most of your skill at typing, you neglect to clarify your meaning, and are no longer typing using proper english conventions. Onto the next point, yes, TitorA could return to timelineB, that's how it works. No one goes back to their actual timeline, just one very similar. The timeline doesn't have to know anything. Yes, he did. That isn't a contradiction, and you've just actually contradicted yourself.

Logically:

The universe does not actually stop people from returning to their original timelines, but, people for all practical purposes do not, because there are an infinite number of timelines.

If someone did go back to their own timeline, they wouldn't know it, they would think they were just in one very similar to their own. It.. there's no contradictions here, I think you're just uncomfortable with the idea that a Titor could enter a line where no Titor was sent, where a Titor could be sent but not come back, or where two Titors arrived together. It is an uncomfortable notion for the mind to deal with, but it is a fact of the reality.



From the other hand, if the universe prevents a timeline that sends a JT to receive a JT, then no timelines that sent a JT would get a JT back! therefore, in order to receive a JT back, with the needed equipment, a timeline would NOT SEND JT back (in order to receive one from another timeline). This is case B, an also a contradiction, because if no timeline would sent JT back, then no timeline would receive a JT.


Now you're building arguments off of fallacious ideas again - I hate when people do that. See, a timeline doesn't refuse a JT from returning, that's not the way it happens. If there are 200 trillion timelines each with a difference of approximately a nanometer of a single atom, would you be able to choose the one you just left? I wouldn't, no one would! The odds are 0 when there are infinite universes with tiny changes - because 1/Infinity isn't something that exists, it is for all practical purposes 0. These aren't contradictions, just things that you as a person don't seem to like.



I hope you understand my proof. If you don't, I will be more than happy to explain it further.


There is the small chance I've understood, and sadly there were many grammatical errors in your post. I have at time had to extrapolate ideas from your writing, if you wouldn't mind explaining in an edited and clear version, we could have a fine debate.

PS - Forgive lateness.



posted on Jul, 13 2004 @ 08:54 PM
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Dont forget however the law of conservation of mass, 'mass can not be created or destroyed, only change form. Therefore Titor could not jump timelines because he is introducing air, dirt, a truck, a timemachine, and himself, that was taken away from one dimension and added to another. Cant happen. The atoms he is made of are occupied in other forms in this timeline. In the book Timeline I talked about, the people were destroyed and reconstructed in the other timeline, escentially they were not themselves anymore but a copy of themselves created from atoms in the new timeline.



posted on Jul, 13 2004 @ 11:50 PM
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Conservation of mass doesn't say you can't travel, it just says you can't uncreate. You have to picture alternate versions of the universe as different points in the larger universe- parts of a whole. Just as you can move mass in the 3 tangible dimensions without violating any laws of physics, you could probably also travel through the dimension of time, and the other intangible dimensions (if they are traversable in any way) without breaking the rules.

By your logic the affect of photons form nearby points on the extra dimensional planes would violate the laws of thermodynamics (because you APPEAR to get something for nothing, but actually you are getting something from somewhere else.)

Viendin is spot on in his response to masterp. You can't think in terms of order and consciousness. You have to think in purely physical and logical terms.
To reinforce what he has said, you can never get back to your own timeline not because of some mystical "order" to the universe, but because the changes you make, simply be existing, create a new timeline defined by your presence as opposed to your absence. Unless you can cease to be present you can not get out of the new timeline.

The problem isn't that JT's mission wouldn't be possible, its just that he can't help his timeline. He can get the computer and take it back, but why bother sending him back if he can't help you? Building a time machine would be a massive waste of resources that could otherwise be directed for meaningful advancement.

The multiverse theory is very hard to wrap my brain around still. Michio Kaku insists that the ability to concieve of simple illustrations is the root of much genius in physics. I can not concieve of a "negative" world being created by my decisions. I choose to take a sip of coke, and I proceed down the timeline where I took a sip. This makes sense. Part of me however, proceeds down the path where I did not take that sip. One of us did not have a choice in the matter. Maybe neither of us did for that matter. This leads to infinite questions on fate and other things. Was I always me? Are my other selves also me? Do I choose which paths I take, or do other mes get the other paths and I am destined to follow a certain course? It makes my head hurt.



posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 12:05 AM
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can i just point out, having read like the 2nd post..
Multi-world theory is pretty much proven..
With working quantum computers (which work in parallel universes) and quantum mechanics, schrodinger's cat, etc.



posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 12:37 AM
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This just seems to me to be an issue that can't be proven one way or another... how can we prove that we are in another worlds timeline or that something has occured if we cannot go back to that point without potentially changing the world again?



I love this topic of time travel, its just such a good example of Quanum Physics, MEchanics etc in actoin



posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 04:22 AM
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and are no longer typing using proper english conventions


Judging grammar and proper English is highly irrelevant to our discussion. Nice try, but most are more clever than judging one's posts by a few grammatical errors (and I am not even a native English speaker).

You say (point A):


The universe does not actually stop people from returning to their original timelines


Then you say (point B):


If there are 200 trillion timelines each with a difference of approximately a nanometer of a single atom, would you be able to choose the one you just left? I wouldn't, no one would!


You are contradicting yourself: initially you say that the universe allows one to return to the original timeline, then you are saying that the universe does not allow one to return to the original timeline. Obviously, If one is not able to choose the timeline to return, it means that the universe puts a physical barrier to it (point B). But you are saying otherwise in point A(John Titor never claimed that the universe allows it, but he is not able to do it. He specifically said that universal physical laws do not allow it).

The rest of your post is filled with irony about my grammatical errors, as if it matters. Am I in a grammar competition and I don't know it ?

Since you did not understand the paradox, I will explain it to you one more time:

Case A: John Titor can not go back to his own timeline. Therefore, no John Titor would be sent back in time. Therefore, John Titor is lying.

Case B: John Titor can go back to his own timeline, but he said otherwise. Therefore he is lying.

In both cases it is proven that John Titor is a liar.

In case you are wondering about case A, here is the explanation:

Imagine that you are part of an elite team of scientists from all over Earth that has to take the decision if John Titor shall travel back in time or not. You know for a fact that John Titor can not get back to his own timeline, which means that once you send John Titor, you will never seem him again.

You obviously have two choices:

A. to send John Titor back, in order for some other timeline to receive him.

B. not to send him back, in order to receive a John Titor from another timeline.

Which choice would you take ?

If you choose A, you will never get a John Titor back, and therefore you would never know if the mission succeeds or even if time travel is possible. Since you will never get something back, you can't know that time travel is possible, all your time travel experiments would have failed, and therefore you would never have sent John Titor back.

If you choose B, then all timelines would wait for John Titor to magically pop up, but this would never happen, since no timeline would have sent a John Titor in the first place.

So, in either case, it is proven that John Titor is a big liar and the whole thing is just a big hoax.


Multi-world theory is pretty much proven..
With working quantum computers (which work in parallel universes) and quantum mechanics, schrodinger's cat, etc.


I don't think its proven. It may be that a particle seems in a superposition of states (all states possible in the same time), but we don't know if this translates to multiple versions of the macroscopic world at the same time. Furthermore, since a quantum computer can return all the results to this timeline, it means that all the possible quantum states only affect this timeline, not others. Have in mind that the connection between the quantum world and the macroscopic world has not been made yet.



posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 11:09 AM
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yes, but technically;
a quantum computer operates in parallel universes.
They have a working quantum computer.
Therefore there are parallel universes.

A particle can only be in one state at a given time in a given universe, quantum computation looks at it's state across parallel universes, so it has numerous states, thus allowing rapid calculation



posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 11:22 AM
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Yes maybe you would not get your John Titor back, but it the machine worked correctly you would get one very similar to the one you sent and he would have the computer you wanted, therefore time travel worked for you. This is what happens in the book TImeline I was referring to, the people that went back were lost for good, the one that came back was infintesimly similar to the one that left. Kinda scary, I wanna be me not someone kinda like me.



posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 07:24 PM
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Masterp, the reason I referenced your grammar was that you were speaking at length about a fairly complex subject, with three different versions of John Titor and three different time lines and somewhere around 28 possible cases. Throughout this you would infer things that made no sense, or lose track of what you were saying, say something else, then resume your previous point. All in all, I just made reference to it to give a reason for me possibly not understanding where there was a contradiction.

And, in the beginning of your next post, you say I contradict myself. I do not.

In 200 trillion universes, one is my original. There is no barrier around the others, or around that original, preventing me from returning to it should I actually try. It is possible, just extremely unlikely.


11011011011011011011011011011011
00100100100100100100100100100100
10110100101101001011010010110100
00101101001011010010110100101101
10110101010101011100101010101010
10110101010101010101010101001101

There. If one of those happened to be my favourite, could you just tell me which one it is? You could guess, there's a chance you'd guess right. Nothing is stopping you from guessing correctly, but it isn't likely that you will. If there were 200 trillion of those, or, as in reality, an infinite number, your chances would be small enough to be nil.

Now, John could, through some amazing luck, go right back to his original timeline. Woo yay. But - it would be really, really, really freaking unlikely.

It isn't a contradiction. Something can be just-next-to-impossible without being disallowed by a universal law. Just very unlikely.

Now, to your new example.

There is a glaring flaw in your logic.

Even if one JT wasn't allowed to go back to his own place - which isn't true, it is just so unlikely that it may as well not be possible - then it doesn't mean another JT from another timeline cannot be sent in.

If one timeline sent a JT back, then there are an infinite number of timelines that sent JT's back - the great majority of those timelines would receive a JT. A few that didn't send JT's back would get JT's, a few that did send JT's would get none. A few would get 2 JT's, there may even be some with 3, 4, or 20 someodd JT's. The point is, a timeline is not disallowed from having any John Titor return once one is sent, it is merely very unlikely that the actual exact one sent will return - instead one shockingly similar, so similar that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference - will return.



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