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Thread: If I had time machine...

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Sounds like a causality loop problem to me.
    That's the reason I'd destroy my time machine - life is complicated enough without the idle curiosity of time-travellers.

    Grant Hutchison
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  2. #32
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    I did have a time machine left to me by my future great grandchild, but I discovered that one element of quantum mechanics is that you can be in two times at once but you cannot remember anything , or if you remember something you cannot place when it happened. It's so frustrating but I don't know where I left it, I have a feeling that comes in dreams that I set it to always be in tomorrow, and hit the yes button ignoring the Are you sure? message. The funny thing is I have a post card that came with it saying "Hi great grandad, I found this with its battery flat and decided to charge it from my apple transporter, and it now says " Undo, Are you sure?" so here goes nothing"
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  3. #33
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    The danger is that your time machine would turn out be responsible for the sightings.
    Grant Hutchison
    Well, that's one of many explanations for ufos.

    Sounds like a causality loop problem to me, by ozduck
    Sounds more like y'all are already looking reasons for debunkification, lol. If ET's were involved I bet that they'd be really surprised to see me there too. An observer observing the observers, hoot!

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Well, that's one of many explanations for ufos.
    Yeah. That was my point.

    Grant Hutchison
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  5. #35
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    Can I make it look like a Police Public Call Box?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #36
    With some of the machinery we us it almost like having a time machine.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    http://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    That's the reason I'd destroy my time machine - life is complicated enough without the idle curiosity of time-travellers.

    Grant Hutchison
    Would you really? Are you not that curious? Would you not be at all tempted to go back in time and witness some of the famous historical events? Or even just to actually see what the dinosaurs really looked like?

    I think curiosity would get the better of me!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    Would you really?
    I really would. A functioning time machine is a nightmarish prospect.

    Grant Hutchison
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    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I really would. A functioning time machine is a nightmarish prospect.

    Grant Hutchison
    That quite surprises me.

    I just assumed most folk on such a forum like this would be extremely inquisitive, enough so that such a temptation would be too good to resist, regardless of what might be consequential. What is the prospect of a time machine that frightens you so much? I'm interested in your thoughts on the subject.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    That quite surprises me.

    I just assumed most folk on such a forum like this would be extremely inquisitive, enough so that such a temptation would be too good to resist, regardless of what might be consequential. What is the prospect of a time machine that frightens you so much? I'm interested in your thoughts on the subject.
    Doesn't the world suggested by the OP, in which people try to fix their present problems by going back in time to change the lives of their earlier selves, strike you as spine-chillingly horrible? How would you feel if your future self turned up on your doorstep with an arm-load of foreign-language tutorials and a warning to steer clear of the woman you love? Only to be confronted by a farther-future self who snatches the foreign-language tutorials and tells you that you really, really, really need to make a go of it with the woman you love?

    And if people are willing to bully their past self in effort to change their present lives, think of what happens when governments, terrorists and every special-interest group with an axe to grind gets involved. I don't see how that world is anything but a hellish doomsday scenario.

    Grant Hutchison
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  11. #41
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    That's a pretty good setting for a sci-fi black comedy, though.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  12. #42
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    I don't know how you'd know it really worked, because you'd have changed the past to what it was. You might eventually hit upon a past where you never end up with the time machine.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
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    Make a test
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    That's a pretty good setting for a sci-fi black comedy, though.
    This story is kind of like that: https://www.tor.com/2011/08/31/wikihistory/

  14. #44
    I was just thinking of the paths not taken
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
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  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    That's a pretty good setting for a sci-fi black comedy, though.
    See "The Dead Past" by Isaac Asimov

    Not a black comedy but a good example of why knowing what happened in the past may not be a good idea. (It does not concern you travelling back in time but being able to " see" back in time via "chronoscope"). The problems of people using it with evil intent or continually reliving past tragedies etc would cause untold distress. And you can be sure that if technology can be misused humans will do so.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Doesn't the world suggested by the OP, in which people try to fix their present problems by going back in time to change the lives of their earlier selves, strike you as spine-chillingly horrible? How would you feel if your future self turned up on your doorstep with an arm-load of foreign-language tutorials and a warning to steer clear of the woman you love? Only to be confronted by a farther-future self who snatches the foreign-language tutorials and tells you that you really, really, really need to make a go of it with the woman you love?

    And if people are willing to bully their past self in effort to change their present lives, think of what happens when governments, terrorists and every special-interest group with an axe to grind gets involved. I don't see how that world is anything but a hellish doomsday scenario.

    Grant Hutchison
    I don't disagree with any of what you mention. Obviously you are aware of such problems and the consequences of "meddling" with history. So with all this in mind would you not want, yourself, to at least make trips back to just observe events? Assuming you kept your time machine a secret and only used it by yourself for observation purposes only?

  17. #47
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    I just think the temptation to go on trips would be far too great to ignore, certainly for me personally. The difficulty would be to resist the temptation to meddle with history. Especially your own personal history, attempting to put right mistakes you made and regret could have major consequences. But there is nothing to say that this is not already happening, at which point we end up with the loops that Grant hits on and we may never be aware of them.

    Ignoring the science, this is one of the main reasons I believe time travel (at least into the past) is not possible. But I find the subject very interesting and intriguing.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    I don't disagree with any of what you mention. Obviously you are aware of such problems and the consequences of "meddling" with history. So with all this in mind would you not want, yourself, to at least make trips back to just observe events? Assuming you kept your time machine a secret and only used it by yourself for observation purposes only?
    No, I've no inclination to do that. The small chance of me finding out something useful or interesting is offset by the complexity of the whole undertaking, the personal risk, the risk of causing harm by disease transport, and the risk of inadvertently disrupting the very event I've come to see.
    It's like asking me "If you had some local anaesthetic and a laparoscope, wouldn't you want to see what your insides looked like?"

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2018-Apr-24 at 01:11 PM.
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    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  19. #49
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    Does a super-8 projector with films qualify?
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    No, I've no inclination to do that...the risk of causing harm by disease transport...

    Grant Hutchison
    Wow, that's a dimension of horrifying I hadn't considered. Would modern/contemporary pathologists be able to tell if an old or ancient plague was caused by a modern pathogen, somehow transported out of time? Imagine the protocol to go back in time to investigate it.... yikes.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


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  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Wow, that's a dimension of horrifying I hadn't considered. Would modern/contemporary pathologists be able to tell if an old or ancient plague was caused by a modern pathogen, somehow transported out of time? Imagine the protocol to go back in time to investigate it.... yikes.
    Imagine going to witness the 1918 Armistice being signed, and bringing the Spanish Flu back with you. Or a quick visit to Tudor England that reintroduced the "English sweats" to the modern world. Risk a few million deaths (including my own!) to satisfy my curiosity? Not me.
    (There's a hallucinatory chapter in Robert Silverberg's Up The Line, in which the time-travelling narrator, feeling depressed and hopeless, joins a "Plague tour" to London in 1665. He and his fellow time-travellers walk the chaotic streets at the height of the Black Death, wearing full bio-hazard kit, secure in the knowledge that the situation is so hellish no-one will take any lasting notice of them.)

    Grant Hutchison
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    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Wow, that's a dimension of horrifying I hadn't considered. Would modern/contemporary pathologists be able to tell if an old or ancient plague was caused by a modern pathogen, somehow transported out of time? Imagine the protocol to go back in time to investigate it.... yikes.

    CJSF
    Isn’t that kind of the plot of Doomsday Book?

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Isnít that kind of the plot of Doomsday Book?
    I don't know. Is it?
    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


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  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Isn’t that kind of the plot of Doomsday Book?
    And 12 Monkeys

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    I don't know. Is it?
    CJSF
    I misremembered, the disease in the "present" (technically our future) wasn't from the past, they just hypothesized that it was because it first appeared at the same time as the time travel. The epidemic in the present just parallels the time traveler ending up in England during the Black Death, but the diseases are different.

  26. #56
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    Absolutely anything I wanted to, to make the World a better, peaceful place.

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayT View Post
    Absolutely anything I wanted to, to make the World a better, peaceful place.
    Yeah, but how do you ensure that, without constant checking and meddling? Say you do something "good" - stop an event or prevent a decision, but later on even though that had caused pain, something awesome or "peaceful" came of it, but you ensured it didn't happen? And some otherwise unrealized suffering happened? How do you mitigate all of those sorts of consequences? It's a fun mental exercise, but I'm with Grant on this one.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayT View Post
    Absolutely anything I wanted to, to make the World a better, peaceful place.
    Oh, and bad manners on my part! Welcome to the board!!! :-D

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Yeah, but how do you ensure that, without constant checking and meddling? Say you do something "good" - stop an event or prevent a decision, but later on even though that had caused pain, something awesome or "peaceful" came of it, but you ensured it didn't happen? And some otherwise unrealized suffering happened? How do you mitigate all of those sorts of consequences?
    You don't. I don't know, for a fact, whether any action I take today will, in the long run, make the world better or worse. But I still make decisions and take actions.

    As far as that goes, why would time travel be any different?
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  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    You don't. I don't know, for a fact, whether any action I take today will, in the long run, make the world better or worse. But I still make decisions and take actions.

    As far as that goes, why would time travel be any different?
    Well, it's tremendously selfish, so some might object on moral or ethical grounds. You'd be tailoring the timeline for what you considered "good" and "beneficial" rather than let chance "decide" it or whatever change of society/morals/decorum/laws might have done. It's a kind of guerrilla tyranny, in a way.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

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