Monday, 1 August 2011

Deep thought not Friday

Here we are as planned, but still not on a Friday. For a warm up, I suggest this, this, this and this.

Saying that the laws of physics as we know them permit travel into the past is the same as saying that, to paraphrase Bertrand Russell, they permit a teapot to be in orbit around Venus

Can we doubt if this quote spreads and we do reach Venus, there won't one day be a teapot in orbit there, even if only as a prank? Could time travel, or any speculated tech, be as inevitable?
_

7 comments:

Trey said...

Maybe the first Orbital settlement around Venus should be named Teapot...and be inhabited by androids inspired by characters from Alice in Wonderland. ;)

Desert Scribe said...

If time travel is inevitable, then it's already happened.

For further reading, see "Palimpsest" by Charles Stross

The Angry Lurker said...

A strange but doable quote?

Paul´s Bods said...

Time travel? A stone is real, the sun coming up is a reality but time is a construct..the measuring of it that is. Time passes, yep..but the human measurement of it is devised to keep check on the passing.
Think..virtually every town before the industrial revolution had no clock (on the church or townhall etc)...time was dictated by the length of the day and the seasons..different areas of countries had different concepts of when things had happened, then the factory owners needed a control system to get the workers to all turn up and leave "on time" and spread the use of time pieces ...the expanding train system finalised this process. befoer that, the greeks and romans had a simple day, year system which was changed at the toss of a hat, the Julien claender, then the church with the gregorian calender.
Some religions even (still) have a different concept of what year we are living in...the judaic one is the year 4000 or something, I can´t remember)
Actual time travel..or the slowing of the perception of what is the modern measurement of time is totally possible.
Do something boring for an hour...it seems like ages..do something fun and interesting for an hour..whup!!! the time is gone.
Also, and i don´t recommend it but tread in the footsteps (or at least the heel print) of say Carlos castenada or ken keasey...time when taking the "additives" that they took takes on a completelxy different meaning.
They called it "mind altering", altering the actual perception (not only of time but space)
A similar concept (castenada/keasey style)is described (in the book) and shown in (but not described so well in the film) Dune.
A good phrase is from one character who says, "by force of will I set my mind in motion"...the last word being the key in the sentence ;-D

The very fact that I am writing this in my construct time of 19.19 and that someone in another part of the world can read it straight away when it´s posted at say; 0600, depending on where they are clinging to this ball called earth, suggests..nay proves the construct of time. we are both in the same spacialtime frame...the HERA & NOW..but at different constructions of time zones.

Cheers
paul

Porky said...

@ Trey - There's an adventure in that.

@ Desert Scribe - Agree, but where and when? One approach has each move in time creating an alternative reality. That would help with paradoxes. Maybe the back and forth is going on close by, in a fold in reality? Or maybe if we're here, but with no time travel visible, there's a correlation between our existence and the absence? The article the quote comes from also mentions the idea of limited tracts travel can happen along. I've looked that story up and it sounds interesting. Asimov's The End of Eternity is clever too.

@ The Angry Lurker - Our wish might just be our command. But it's still sooner said than done. I can help with the wishing at least, but I'm not absolutely convinced it would be a good idea.

@ Paul's Bods - Blimey - another classic comment. And not only thought-provoking, but educational. Here though the question is the overlap between flexibility in the measurement of time and the flexibility of time itself. Thinking of it as perception is a great starting point for fiction of course. It was also looked at publicly in the ST:TNG episode with the Traveller, and a sensitivity to time has come up in Who too, in the nature of the Doctor.

James S said...

I'm going to cheat and say that there's probably some universe where time travel occurs, but it's not ours.

Basically I'm of the school of thought that successfully traveling through time would necessitate leaving the universe and entering a different one where it is possible to pop up in medieval Spain or whatever after leaving 2011.

Since we have only forward-moving temporal causality in our universe, this leads me to think that either time travel is impossible in our universe, or that it is one-way only.

Maybe we can leave but we can't come back. All attempts to do so would be to enter (create?) parallel universes just like ours, but with the addition of the time traveler.

If people could pop in and out of the our universe at different points in time then there would always have been time travelers everywhere messing with stuff, obviously. And since there aren't they can't ;)

Porky said...

The idea of popping out and not being able to get back is intuitive, and romantic too, with no going back, the loneliness of the eternal wanderer. But maybe it gets weird and there's a different order of original universes for the parallel universes? For fiction how about the idea of exile in time, being forced out for some temporal transgression by the nature of time itself?