Sunday, June 27, 2004

Just a Quick Post

By: Michael Akerman

First off, I'll be changing my blog "soon" (which, of course, means sometime between now and the heat death of the universe). I hope to build all the changes without rolling them through until I'm done, then introducing them all at once. I'm especially focused on the carpet and drape scheme, by which I mean, background colors and frame arrangements.

Now, the subject of this post:

I went to see Harry Potter 3 today (very good, by the way) and it got me thinking (again) about time travel. Incidentally, I posted this on the Halo Revolution forums.

"Time travel is interesting, you know. If you assume a continuum, then you cannot affect anything through time travel. For instance, let's assume that you attempted to go back to the 1940s and save Hitler's life. Well, if that we're the case, in a continuum where the past constantly leads into the current present, Hitler would already be alive, as you had spared him in the past. So, paradoxically, you would have no motivation to save Hitler, since he had already been spared. If you had no motivation, you would not go back and save him, so, following the normal course of events, Hitler would have died. Now, of course, you have your motivation back. So you head to the past and save him; however, he was already saved before you time traveled, so, logically, you wouldn't expend the effort to time travel and save him. The only logical answer, of course, is that you were motivated by some other factor to travel through time to save him, thereby creating the present where he is saved. Of course, in our case, this is not the case, so the only thing that could have happened is some time traveler accidentally killed Hitler in the 1940s, leading, through the normal course of time, to our present."

This also leads to the conclusion that time doesn't exist. Following normal scientific principles:

The past cannot alter the present.
The future cannot be altered, as it doesn't yet exist.
The present cannot be observed or measured, as it is an abstract, infintessimally small span of time.
If neither the past, present, or future can be affected in any means, and the current time period at any time, the present, cannot be observed, measured, quantified, or otherwise known to be, time cannot exist.

Therefore, time is merely an abstraction: a method to attempt to give order to things by simplifying measurement of planetary rotation.

...more to come, probably, about something Harry Potter brought up...


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