Imagine, if you will, a playground of cosmological proportions. This playground is so vast that you have never seen the other side, yet you have lived your entire life within a tiny section that encompasses all of humanity’s knowledge.
Bravely, one day, you set off exploring.
In your adventures, you happen upon a machine, which looks something like an old-fashioned phone booth, quite out of use, and inert. The hinged door
barely opens, yet once inside you find a curious array of buttons and dials, marked with a script you don’t understand, but fascinating nonetheless.
As far as a power source goes, there is nothing that you can see that would re-activate this long lost relic from a distant past. To you, it’s an
anomaly in your own world view.
You notice a panel, flat and dusty, with the appearance of a modern LCD display. Curiosity takes a hold of you, and you tentatively reach out with
your hand, touching it.
To your amazement, the screen springs to life, flashing strange symbols, and from somewhere nearby a voice in foreign dialect issues a command,
On a whim, you speak, stating simply that you don’t understand the language. The display, after a few seconds, speaks in English, much to your
“Please input a command.”
“What language was that?”
“That was a dialect of *untranslatable*, the language of the last occupant.”
“What are you?”
“I am a virtually intelligent quantum interface device, to use the simplest explanation. A more complex explanation would define me as having
10^nth qbits of processing power, capable of utilizing quantum decoherence and collapsing wavefunctions at the level of objective reality.”
“What do you do?”
“I travel the multiverse, one occupant at a time.”
“Are there other, uhm, machines, like you?”
“An infinite number, of course, but by necessity, only one per multiverse at a time.”
“Only one? Why?”
“Are you familiar with Schrodinger’s Cat?”
“Well, in that particular thought problem, the split between realities is a casual, local, and relativistic event, spreading out at the speed of
light. There is only need for one observer at the local level of such an event, as such events are said to occur simultaneously. The Many Worlds
Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, after a bit of revision, turned out to sufficiently define the multiverse.”
Suddenly, you are filled with many questions. Your mind races, embracing the most obvious inconsistencies.
“What about the Conservation of Energy? Isn’t that a violation of the MWI?”
“Not exactly. Energy is conserved within each universe. No violations there. Also, since the energy of each split branch is weighted against
it’s probability, the total energy of the multiverse is also conserved.”
“What about Occam’s Razor? Personally, I’d prefer a single universe, without the need for an infinite number of them.”
“In truth, Occam’s Razor is simply a constraint placed upon the complexity of physical theory. The MWI has fewer postulates, and therefore, a
simpler theory than others.”
You stand there, amazed, gears churning. You realize finally that before you is an astounding device.
“Where would you like to travel to?”
“Do you mean that I can go anywhere?”
“Any when, as well.”
“But, but,” you stammer, “there are paradoxes!”
“Even the Grandfather Paradox?”
“Take for instance, that you travel back into time, set on killing your grandfather. You succeed in doing so. Upon returning to “your”
present, you’ll find that nobody knows you. You have erased your own time-line. You will be temporally displaced, a person with no past, in the
new time-line that you have created.”
“No record of my existence at all?”
“No birth certificate, nothing. Remember that with the Many World Interpretation, any seemingly random quantum event with a non-zero probability
actually occurs in a different time-line. In essence, by erasing your previous time-line, you become trapped in a different one.”
“Well, say I went back a bit further, and prevented myself from shooting my grandfather?”
“You would be creating a Point Of Divergence, which would split the time-line again. In this instance, your original time-line wouldn’t be
erased, and you could go back to it, everything normal, but the POD would create a Closed Timelike Curve. Such a split would be logically
inconsistent, and by stopping the murder of your grandfather, you will have doomed yourself to an infinitely repeating cycle in a closed branch of the
multiverse. Such closed loops is why there is only one of me present in any given multiverse at any given time. Remember, the point of divergence
occurred when you became remorseful and tried to stop yourself.”
“So no killing grandparents?”
“No logical inconsistency.”
With that, you state a destination 200 years into the future, and with a bright flash, you disappear from sight.
Note: I wish to thank my opponent, adjensen, and anyone else reading.