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View Full Version : A cell phone from 1928 or something else...



Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-27, 03:39 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I3O_qa82RA&feature=aso

Could anyone could provide an explanation to this then please feel free to do so.

a1call
2010-Oct-27, 04:21 PM
It is certainly cute. I am an OTR (Old Time Radio) fan. Just this last night I was listening to an episode of The Whistler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Whistler). The whole plot was revolving around mobile phones. A guy crashes his car in heavy rain and is along with his passenger, picked up by a passers by. They discuss calling a garage and how they are gonna find a phone. At this point the driver says I have a phone right here. the passengers go "You have!" in a very surprised voice. The guy says yes just press this button when you talk and release to listen. Then there is a partnership and the guy gets rich and gets a late car and a mobile phone. The plot ends when the detectives prove he could not have made a later mobile call from the area he claimed, due to lack of reception.

Anywho the body language is very curious he pastes slower than the guy in front and does seem distracted as someone on a phone. He also seems to be talking but his hands seem empty. I would put it as a coincidental behavior of someone hiding his face not quite aware of the camera view. He is probably distracted by the directions spoken to him by the director (through a loud speaker).

grant hutchison
2010-Oct-27, 04:28 PM
He? The person is dressed in women's clothing.

Grant Hutchison

Strange
2010-Oct-27, 04:28 PM
She is yelling to her husband (ahead) "Hey look, a zebra!"

BadTrip
2010-Oct-27, 04:33 PM
Fun stuff and all... but I'd suggest that she's probably utilizing one of the early hearing aid devices... often called an "ear trumpet".
Interesting... I wonder where the cell towers would be in 1928? So... umm....it's not a cell phone. perhaps you might ascribe that it's some sort of communicator as in Star Trek or something of that nature... but I don't how it would be afunctioning cell phone in 1928.

Alas... it's an ear trumpet.

just my ATM theory of the moment. >:)

upon further review, you might enjoy this photo:
http://forgetomori.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ABYC000a00fa.jpg

orionjim
2010-Oct-27, 04:53 PM
I agree with BadTrip.

Or it could be an Acousticon Model 28 (http://www.hearingaidmuseum.com/gallery/Carbon/Acousticon/info/acousticon28.htm).

Jim

a1call
2010-Oct-27, 05:07 PM
Very interesting and good point. The dates certainly match.
(S)He might also be using her hand to shape her external ear as a concave surface to focus a higher amplitude of sound to her ear. Something many hard of hearing do without a hearing aid.

NEOWatcher
2010-Oct-27, 05:19 PM
I clicked on a longer version to see if there was more context around it. Stupid me...
It's amazing how many people copied that clip and reposted it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF8WF3vGUn8&feature=related).


I have studied this film for over a year now - showing it to over 100 people and at a film festival, yet no-one can give any explanation as to what she is doing.
My only theory - as well as many others - is simple... a time traveler on a mobile phone

Simple?
This thread showed an extremely plausible explaination in a matter of a few minutes. Yet it has to be a time traveler.
1: How did this time traveler get on the set?
2: Why would the time traveller risk using the device when they know they are getting recorded to be viewed by thousands or millions of people.
3: Who are they talking to? And how is that signal getting to them?

I do like the one comment posted there.

I think she's talking to a candy bar...seems like she eats a lot of them.

LotusExcelle
2010-Oct-27, 05:22 PM
The default assumption is one that could only have happened after cell phones became so popular. It is of course absurd. There have been plenty of other mundane reasons given... and i'm hoping the people saying 'cell-phone' are doing it tongue-in-cheek.

a1call
2010-Oct-27, 05:31 PM
Of course ruling out cell phones by itself is not sufficient proof that he is not a time traveler. There is still the issue of a man wearing woman's clothing which as we all know is a 90s phenomenon.:naughty::lol:

NEOWatcher
2010-Oct-27, 05:55 PM
... There is still the issue of a man wearing woman's clothing which as we all know is a 90s phenomenon.:naughty::lol:
I will dispute that. It was in the days of J. Edgar Hoover.
In fact, it could have been JEH himself.

LotusExcelle
2010-Oct-27, 06:18 PM
Hoover is a time traveler?

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-27, 08:38 PM
The similarity to holding and talking on a cell phone is intriguing.
I have no hypothesis to explain it.

The woman's hand is in a position that clearly indicates to me that
she is holding something. Whatever it is is roughly the size of a
cell phone, and is held in the same position in relation to her face
that a cell phone is held. It is also clear to me that she is talking.

I haven't watched the longer (8:27) video that NEOWatcher linked
because I have a slow dial-up connection. I, too, would like to
know more about the context.

Comments indicate that the film was made at the premiere of
Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus", in 1928. The sign in the window
and other indications seem to support that idea, but they don't
tell us that unambiguously. What is the provenance of this film
clip? Who made it? How was it used? It has been edited with
a dissolve, so it was definitely used for something. It wasn't
just taken and then stored away.

What is the location? Is it known to be a theater? Has the
theater been identified?

Directly behind (that is, to the left of) the elephant in the
second shot is what appears to be an awning. Only the ends
of the words on the awning are visible. We can tell how long
the words are. From the lengths I fit "BIG SHOW ENTRANCE",
though you might come up with a better fit. I can't tell if
there is a word or words in small letters on a separate line
between "SHOW" and "ENTRANCE". Can this be identified?

The oval sign in the first shot, apparently in a window, is
partly readable. It appears to say:

Now Playing
CHARLIE CHAPLIN
THE CIRCUS
and (?)
SID GRAUMANS

The bottom two lines are unreadable, but the bottom line
might end with a pair of initials and either the word "SHOW"
or the name "SNOW", which could be what appears on the
top two lines of the awning, instead of "BIG SHOW". But the
second initial does not appear to be a "G", and I did not find
the name "Snow" connected with Grauman's theater in a quick
Google search. Grauman's theater opened May 18, 1927.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

a1call
2010-Oct-28, 12:06 AM
Perhaps:

*
THE CIRCUS with CHAPLIN, Charlie * - 1928 - Featured in pictorial collage entitled CHARLIE CHAPLIN IN "THE CIRCUS" A CARNIVAL OF FUN by Mitchell Rawson as saved from this old American News Magazine.
(http://www.genealogyimagesofhistory.com/thea-e.htm)

astromark
2010-Oct-28, 12:47 AM
With complete disregard for the OP... 'Something else.' Is the only well reasoned response to this.

We have 0 knowledge of time travel ability and would argue that that is proof enough to dispel this as nonsense.

I would of course welcome some information to the contrary... and will wait for this.... patently.

Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-28, 01:40 AM
What gets me is that the person the "He/She" is talking to that "Thing" in his/her hand so I would probably rule out that it wasn't a hearing aid, like seriously who would be talking to their own hearing aid in their hand? Also another thing the way their knuckles are positioned looks like he/she is holding a mobile phone as well.

a1call
2010-Oct-28, 02:18 AM
like seriously who would be talking to their own hearing aid in their hand?
How about the person you are trying to hear using your hearing aid, such as the director.


Also another thing the way their knuckles are positioned looks like he/she is holding a mobile phone as well.
How would holding a cell be different from holding an early hearing aid linked to above?

Gsquare
2010-Oct-28, 02:32 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I3O_qa82RA&feature=aso

Could anyone could provide an explanation to this then please feel free to do so.


Its simply a recent movie about life in the 1920's with the usual props.....so one of the 'actors' got a phone call while doing his gig. The 'bleed' into an elephant scene shows it to be a movie of recent technical capabilities.
That's my take on it.

Nice illusion though.

..

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-28, 02:49 AM
There has not been established any reason to think that the
woman is an actor rather than a passerby. If the woman were
talking to someone within view but at a distance, I think she
would most likely either be talking loudly or looking at that
person to be sure the person hears her. She does not appear
to look at anyone or to be talking loudly. She looks exactly
like a person talking on a telephone.

For a few minutes, while composing my previous post, I
entertained the possibility that she was speaking into a
microphone which transmitted a signal via radio to a nearby
recording device, to be used in connection with the film.
I dismissed that possibility because:

- I am not aware that any radio transmitters were that
portable in 1928

- The way she is holding (whatever) to the side of her face
makes it appear that she is listening as well as talking, and
I'm pretty sure that no combination radio transmitter/receiver
existed in 1928 that was so portable (even if the handheld
part only consisted of a microphone and earphone, like a
telephone handset, which *could* easily have been that size),

- She doesn't look like my image of a Hollywood reporter,

- She isn't acting like a Hollywood reporter, she is acting
like a passerby,

- She isn't given special treatment by the camera, as would
be the case if the audience was intended to see her talking.

That last is somewhat counterbalanced by the fact that she
stops walking within the frame and turns toward the camera.
But she doesn't look at the camera and doesn't appear to be
looking at anyone out-of-frame. So I don't think she's
reporting the movie opening for the camera.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

a1call
2010-Oct-28, 03:13 AM
There has not been established any reason to think that the
woman is an actor rather than a passerby.


No, But it is certainly more plausible that she's an actress rather than a time traveller.


If the woman were
talking to someone within view but at a distance, I think she
would most likely either be talking loudly


How could we determine the loudness of her voice? I assume the clip is silent.


or looking at that
person to be sure the person hears her. She does not appear
to look at anyone or to be talking loudly.


It would be normal for an actress, acting to avoid looking at the camera or the director.




She looks exactly
like a person talking on a telephone.


That is quite true, but looks can be deceiving. I would expect a hard of hearing, communicating with someone out of view to behave just as someone would, talking on the phone.

I have not seen any indications that the clip is not part of the actual movie. It is generally referred to as part of the movie from what I can see. The poster in the clip suggests otherwise, but even then it could be a staged clip.

ETA: IMHO the fact that neither the man in the front nor the woman look at the camera is an indication that the clip is staged. Movie cameras must have been a great novelty and hard to ignore from a passers by's vantage point.

astromark
2010-Oct-28, 03:41 AM
We have no reason to establish a conclusion of electronic device.

If that was a film out take from 1928 circa., then no such device had been built.

The era of the Charles Chaplin films has been well recorded and filled.

After a few looks at this short film I make a different judgment.

That this is a walk through shot where the woman attempted to stay hidden from camera.

By hiding behind what could be a number of things. A pad and pencil held up to obscure the face...

Was my first thoughts. Not a cell phone... The stop and turn shows a ' how was that ' look to me...

Not suggesting that I know any more than anyone else...

But would be willing to gamble on it not being a communication device. I invite you to suggest other explanations...

Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-28, 03:42 AM
Its weird at a glance but what would be the most plausible explanation.

a1call
2010-Oct-28, 03:47 AM
Its weird at a glance but what would be the most plausible explanation.
Just about anything that you can imagine other than time travel. How about an insane gesture by a mad wo/man? Or head ache, or avoiding the sun, camera. Talking to ones self or just moving the lips.

JCoyote
2010-Oct-28, 04:19 AM
OK although I have no awareness of any sort of "walkie-talkie" being produced by a factory in 1928 or prior, does this preclude the possibility of the existence of one? Can we, only using items available in 1928, create a short-range 2 way radio that could fit in that size?

I see a set of possible explanation categories:

1. Human
A. Time Traveler [Item Anachronistic]
B. Period user of obscure or custom technology [Item Not Anachronistic]
C. Period person of peculiar behavior (crazy, etc) or obscure role (unfamiliar or discontinued film production position or other role) [Item Not Anachronistic]
D. Hoax [Item Not Anachronistic]

2. Non-Human
A. Person or item of extraterrestrial or extrauniversal origin [Item Anatopistic]

And of course, any combinations thereof. Are there any other categories we can come up with here?

Ken G
2010-Oct-28, 04:24 AM
I'd say the whole thing is an interesting study into how we tend to impose into what we see that which we are used to seeing. There is actually no solid evidence at all that there is anything at all in her hand, as the shadow of her hand on her face mimics a dark solid object. Or if the curved fingers suggest they are holding something, it could be a rag or handkerchief of cold compress, who knows. If the light were different, and there wasn't that shadow, so we could see there was nothing in her hand-- would we still think she was pantomiming talking into a cell phone? The only facts we have are that she is walking with her hand to her face, and she at one point stops and turns, and speaks. That's not a lot to get a cell phone out of.

There's also no reason to think the scene was trying to depict a cell phone-- if I was going to pantomime talking into a cell phone, I could have done a much more obvious job. And there's no explanation of why the clip cuts off there-- my guess is, it became perfectly obvious a moment later she had nothing in her hand, or something that wasn't a cell phone, and so they just cut it off to create the illusion. I don't know a lot about movies of the 1928 period, but that looks way too high resolution and too smooth for that period, especially when slowed down and zoomed in. So my guess is, it was filmed later, maybe in the 40s or 50s, I really don't know-- it certainly doesn't look modern, and it doesn't look like an intentional effort to depict a cell phone, it looks like an elderly woman with her hand to her face, maybe with a kerchief in it (I don't even know any elderly women today who walk as they talk into cell phones.)

publius
2010-Oct-28, 04:40 AM
This one made the rounds on some of the sites I frequent and one story pointed to similiar "time traveller" photo from the 40s:

http://forgetomori.com/2010/fortean/time-traveler-caught-in-museum-photo/

There's a man there that seems to be out of time, looking like some modern "hipster dude" with shades and a stamped T-shirt, holding a small portable camera.

But as the above analysis shows, he may be dressed oddly for most men of that time, but nothing he's wearing really couldn't come from that time period.


-Richard

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-28, 05:02 AM
There has not been established any reason to think that the
woman is an actor rather than a passerby.
No, But it is certainly more plausible that she's an actress
rather than a time traveller.
It's also more plausible that she's the president of the USA
rather than a fake giraffe. There's a fake zebra and a fake
elephant in the film. So maybe she's the president of the
USA.

The point is, no reason has been established to think that
the woman is an actor rather than a passerby. Time travel
is not relevant to that point.




If the woman were talking to someone within view but at a
distance, I think she would most likely either be talking loudly
How could we determine the loudness of her voice? I assume
the clip is silent.
By the way her mouth, face, and body move.




or looking at that person to be sure the person hears her.
She does not appear to look at anyone or to be talking loudly.
It would be normal for an actress, acting to avoid looking at the
camera or the director.
Yes, but you were suggesting that the woman is talking to the
director, not acting. Which possibility are you arguing for?

I was (for a few minutes) thinking that the woman might have
been a Hollywood reporter, not an actress, reporting on the
opening of a new movie using newly-invented sound recording
equipment, which certainly *did* exist in 1928, in spades. But
she just wasn't acting like a person who wanted to be filmed.

As soon as I started to compose that last sentence (while seeing
the video again) I felt like a complete idiot. I now have a good
hypothesis. It's something I've seen quite a number of times
before. Sheesh. Simplicity itself.

I do have *some* sense of dramatic timing, even if it might not
be as good as Charlie Chaplin's.




She looks exactly like a person talking on a telephone.
That is quite true, but looks can be deceiving.
Of course looks can be deceiving. That's the whole reason
for the existence of this thread, and of my analysis.



I would expect a hard of hearing, communicating with someone
out of view to behave just as someone would, talking on the phone.
Interesting, but I won't try to argue against it. Instead I'll just
reveal my hypothesis: She is holding her hand up to try to hide
her face from the camera. And she is talking to her husband,
who-- most annoyingly-- always walks ahead of her. I've seen
people put things between their face and a camera quite a
number of times. Usually women. I just now looked at a photo
of my mother holding a restaurant menu up in front of her face,
among the small number of photos I have on this computer.
Please don't tell her I told you.



I have not seen any indications that the clip is not part of the
actual movie. It is generally referred to as part of the movie
from what I can see.
By people who know as little about it as you and me?



The poster in the clip suggests otherwise, but even then it could
be a staged clip.
The suggestion is strong enough for me to be certain that the
clip is not from the movie. It would not fit in with the storyline
in any way. On the other hand, in 'Blazing Saddles', Black Bart
and Hedley Lamarr have a gunfight outside Grauman's theater,
the marquee of which shows that 'Blazing Saddles' is currently
playing. Though the title had to be matted in because it was
changed after production ended.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

JCoyote
2010-Oct-28, 05:07 AM
I do agree there is a perception issue here. Although I would really want to see some detailed frame-by-frame scans of the original celluloid. There might be more information to pull out from there that wouldn't have made it into a compressed mpeg2 stream.

Many people are seeing what they want to see. Humans in general see either what they want or what they fear.

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-28, 05:26 AM
And there's no explanation of why the clip cuts off there-- my
guess is, it became perfectly obvious a moment later she had
nothing in her hand, or something that wasn't a cell phone, and
so they just cut it off to create the illusion.
That shot ended with a dissolve into the next shot. The camera
original is probably loooooong gone. Nothing suspicious, there.



I don't know a lot about movies of the 1928 period, but that
looks way too high resolution and too smooth for that period,
especially when slowed down and zoomed in. So my guess is,
it was filmed later, maybe in the 40s or 50s, ...
That was exactly my first impression as soon as I saw it start
to download. I pretty much decided that I was being 2nd-half
of the Twentieth Century chauvanistic. But I dunno, either.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-28, 05:40 AM
I gather that the video was made by aiming a video camera
at a TV screen. Can anyone say why that would be done?
Because the person didn't have the required hardware or
software to capture video? To get around copy protection?
Or what?

(The name "Samsung" is at the bottom. Does Samsung really
make a TV with such a thin top bezel?? That is really thin!)

Considering that it was (apparently) made that way, how
did the TV and camera get and stay in synch? It is perfect!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

a1call
2010-Oct-28, 05:55 AM
I would say it's done as a means of de-pixel-ating the original in slow motion. The motion blur in a re filming somehow results in better perception of the scene. Don't ask me why, but often a blurred image of a pixelated text is more readable than the original which is the basis behind anti-aliasing.

JCoyote
2010-Oct-28, 06:11 AM
Well there is an original film by the discoverer; links are alongside in youtube. He refers to a box set you can find this on and how to get to it. It does not necessarily preclude a modern hoaxer working in archives to add a cleverly made easter egg to a dvd set. This is why my comment was about original celluloid. HOWEVER, this is a 1928 film and if it was a celluloid to dvd transfer the quality could be what you see. We're almost at the 1930's here.

Also as to her talking to "someone off in the distance", I would like to point out something about film sets. There could be someone 3 feet away from her in that shot. Remember, on a film set it is very common to have swarms of people and production gear a hairsbreadth from the camera's view.

eburacum45
2010-Oct-28, 07:01 AM
I can't see any 'phone' in 'her' hand, so I will assume that she hasn't got one, it being 1927 and all. In addition, her hand is a little too far forward to be holding something to her ear; she seems to be holding her hand up to her upper cheek. Perhaps she is trying to shield her eyes from the sun, which is fairly low in that shot.

Alternately she may be trying to hide her face; she might be a bit-part actor who is playing several different parts in this film, and she might be holding her hand up to avoid recognition. Or, sincle this is supposed to be a shot of members of the public attending a premiere, perhaps she is someone who wants to avoid publicity. Maybe she doesn't want to be seen with the geezer in front.

Jens
2010-Oct-28, 01:10 PM
I can't see any 'phone' in 'her' hand, so I will assume that she hasn't got one, it being 1927 and all.

That's really an important issue. As far as I can see, there is no cell phone visible. It is simply that she is holding herself in a way that we tend to associate nowadays with the use of cell phones. But with no evidence of a cell phone, it is really unreasonable to assume there is one just because she is holding her hand in a certain way.

Buttercup
2010-Oct-28, 01:50 PM
I do like the one comment posted there:


I think she's talking to a candy bar...seems like she eats a lot of them.

Lol!!! :D Yeah -- it's a BIG Hershey Bar (without almonds). :p

Ken G
2010-Oct-28, 01:54 PM
Alternately she may be trying to hide her face; she might be a bit-part actor who is playing several different parts in this film, and she might be holding her hand up to avoid recognition. Or, sincle this is supposed to be a shot of members of the public attending a premiere, perhaps she is someone who wants to avoid publicity.I considered that but ruled it out because she stopped and turned when near the center of the frame. Not the action of someone camera-shy or trying to conceal their identity. The bottom line is, all we know about her is that her hand is to her face, and that could be for a hundred reasons. Today, the most likely reason would be a cell phone. In 1928, or whenever that was filmed, the most likely reason would be something else. The question is, how much less likely is it for someone to have their hand to their cheek in 1928 than today, and is that such a small ratio that if we looked through all the films of the era, it would be unlikely to find an actor, or a passerby, with their hand to their cheek?

eburacum45
2010-Oct-28, 04:04 PM
It could be toothache, or an attempt to cover up (or scratch) bad skin; both things that were probably more common in the early part of the 20th century than today.

Buttercup
2010-Oct-28, 04:10 PM
It could be toothache, or an attempt to cover up (or scratch) bad skin; both things that were probably more common in the early part of the 20th century than today.

Yeah. And modern technology/gadgets are making viewing the past a bit tricky sometimes. For instance, watching an episode of The Andy Griffith Show (from approximately 1968; a colored episode) a while back: Opie is holding and looking down into what looks like a BlackBerry. :confused: For just a second that's what it looked like -- but of course it's a transistor radio. He's tuning it to a particular station.

Swift
2010-Oct-28, 04:11 PM
Oh good grief, the story is now on CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/10/28/charlie.chaplin.circus.time.travel/index.html?hpt=C2).

NEOWatcher
2010-Oct-28, 04:41 PM
And worse, it's not only a story, but a bad story...

The only explanation: She's a time traveler.
At least that's the word on the Web.
Apparently the reporter has not run across this thread. (and I'm sure there's plenty other discussions with plausible ideas)

a1call
2010-Oct-28, 05:21 PM
Another hearing aid of the era:
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/objects/display.aspx?id=6713

tbm
2010-Oct-28, 05:41 PM
It's not a cel phone. It's more likely a hand-held telecommunications device such as a small walkie-talkie. She is no doubt conversing with others that have the same device, or perhaps she is communicating with the mother ship.......................

"Beam me up, Scotty, this planet sucks!"

tbm

Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-28, 05:48 PM
So many explanations so many different answers will there be any right ones I guess?

Strange
2010-Oct-28, 06:04 PM
So many explanations so many different answers will there be any right ones I guess?

Well, time traveller will be right down the bottom of the pile. Most of the rest are at least based on things we know exist. Take your pick.

sabianq
2010-Oct-28, 08:48 PM
well i dont know about his, however, my "time" machine is a stationary mass, temporal displacement unit manufactured by General Electric. The unit is powered by two, top-spin, dual-positive singularities that produce a standard, off-set Tipler sinusoid.

oh.. wait...

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-28, 09:48 PM
I can't see any 'phone' in 'her' hand, so I will assume that
she hasn't got one, it being 1927 and all.
1928.

I can't see anything in her hand, but her hand is positioned
exactly as if she were holding something in it. I make no
assumption one way or another.



In addition, her hand is a little too far forward to be holding
something to her ear; she seems to be holding her hand up
to her upper cheek.
Her hand is a little too far forward to be holding some types
of things to her ear, such as a single headphone speaker.
Her hand is in the right position to be holding some other
types of things to her ear, such as an ordinary telephone
handset or a mobile phone or cell phone.



Perhaps she is trying to shield her eyes from the sun, which
is fairly low in that shot.
I'd say the Sun is high enough that she doesn't need to shield
her eyes. While they are facing the direction they are walking,
the brims of both the man's and the woman's hats are wide
enough to shade their eyes. The shadow of the woman's hand
is below her eyes because her hand is so low.



Alternately she may be trying to hide her face;
As I said, I think that's it.



she might be a bit-part actor who is playing several different
parts in this film, and she might be holding her hand up to
avoid recognition.
Now, that's got to be just about the loopiest explanation for
anything I've ever heard. Although glass towers on the Moon...



Or, since this is supposed to be a shot of members of the public
attending a premiere, perhaps she is someone who wants to avoid
publicity.
It doesn't need to be quite so dramatic. As I said, I think she
just doesn't want to be photographed. Because she doesn't feel
particularly photogenic. Oh, here:

http://www.freemars.org/jeff2/fixed_up.jpg



Maybe she doesn't want to be seen with the geezer in front.
I very much doubt that. I do think she probably wished the
geezer didn't always walk ahead of her like that.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Strange
2010-Oct-28, 09:57 PM
Now, that's got to be just about the loopiest explanation for
anything I've ever heard.

I don't konw. A friend of mine is an actor; she has done lots of work as an extra and said the important thing is to try and ensure your face is not seen as that can reduce the chances of getting more work (producers don't want it to look like it is "the usual suspects" in the background of every TV show).

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-28, 10:17 PM
Alternately she may be trying to hide her face; she might be a
bit-part actor who is playing several different parts in this film,
and she might be holding her hand up to avoid recognition. Or,
since this is supposed to be a shot of members of the public
attending a premiere, perhaps she is someone who wants to
avoid publicity.
I considered that but ruled it out because she stopped and
turned when near the center of the frame. Not the action of
someone camera-shy or trying to conceal their identity.
She wasn't near the center-- she was approaching the edge,
when she reached the rear of the ersatz zebra. She wouldn't
know how wide the camera's field was. She didn't turn all the
way to the camera, either. She turned her body less than
45 degrees, without moving her feet. And as the the dissolve
fades her out, she appears to be resuming her movement to
the left. I think it was just a very brief pause. She may have
been looking for cross-traffic on beyond zebra.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

.

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-28, 10:36 PM
The closeup images a1call made show clearly the essential
interesting thing here: The way the woman's hand is positioned.
A wide gap between the middle two fingers is generally not seen
unless holding something. For a rectilinear object, that would most
likely be with the first two fingers on one edge and the other two
fingers on the adjacent edge. However, in this case the angle
between the pairs of fingers is much less than 90 degrees, so my
best guess is that it just happens to be easy and natural for her
to spread her fingers out like that when she is trying to spread
them apart at all. (I don't have any trouble making the Vulcan
hand-sign, but it doesn't come naturally.) I doubt she was ever
a ballet dancer...

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

astromark
2010-Oct-28, 11:30 PM
Wow... Look at this... People with to much spare time, or nothing more important to do... Count me with them, Lol;

But just look at all the spurious conclusions reached. ( including mine ) 1928 - 2010 it was just 82 years ago...

This bit of foolish nonsense made the evening news... must be nothing on a... ?

astromark
2010-Oct-29, 01:03 AM
Watching this little piece of old film from the Charles Chaplin days...over and over...and seeing what is not there.
I do not see a cell phone... I do not see a time travelled being...
I do see a woman attempting to cross the field of view and she seems to be shielding her face from the camera...
Without finding more information about the set on that day... How can we know ?
It could be a friend with a walk through roll.. It could be a lot of other things as yet unimagined....
Its NOT a time traveller with a cell phone is it ? In 1928 there were none.... Its that simple.

laser200
2010-Oct-29, 03:13 AM
...Many people are seeing what they want to see. Humans in general see either what they want or what they fear.

Which is exactly why air crash witnesses are almost always wrong about what they 'saw'.

I see a male Extra, portraying a woman, and concealing his gender by using the hand. Talking was allowed on Silent Film lots, and he is probably telling a bawdy joke to a nearby actor.

His/hers/(it's?) leather-gloved is curled exactly like a relaxed gloved hand would curl. The contrast of the lighting, and the shadow, makes it look like there is something held.

This is exactly the same pose you see on the news when some low-life is led into, or away from, a courthouse when cameras are present.

Jens
2010-Oct-29, 06:37 AM
This is exactly the same pose you see on the news when some low-life is led into, or away from, a courthouse when cameras are present.

A bit off-topic, but not all people led into courthouses are low-lifes. Lots of people like Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mandela, etc., etc., were arrested but weren't necessarily low-lifes (I suppose in such cases it depends on your views).

Though of course, such people don't usually cover their faces.

eburacum45
2010-Oct-29, 10:53 AM
I'm more puzzled by the extraordinary shoes this woman is wearing.

CosmicUnderstanding
2010-Oct-29, 02:11 PM
I can't believe some people really are drawing the time traveller with a cell phone conclusion with any degree of seriousness. Amazing!

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-29, 03:06 PM
What about her shoes do you find extraordinary?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

a1call
2010-Oct-29, 03:36 PM
I think he is hinting to the fact that they were are in 70s style, 2070s.:lol:

ETA: On a more serious note, it's the aspect ratio. Her shoes aren't that large. The clip is horizontally stretched by more than 10%.

ETA-II: The probable reason for the horizontal stretch is that the clip was re-filmed after being played on a high def display.
The probable reason for that could be to produce a clip with zoomed in view, as well as a slow motion playback.

eburacum45
2010-Oct-29, 05:13 PM
I thought the aspect ratio might be the problem. The woman's shoes look like Charlie Chaplin's stage boots. Hmm; perhaps it's the Tramp himself, sneaking past the camera in drag...

Gsquare
2010-Oct-30, 03:59 AM
A bit off-topic, but not all people led into courthouses are low-lifes. .

True, there are a few decent, honest attorneys.
Its just that 99% of them give the rest a bad reputation. :)

....

Van Rijn
2010-Oct-30, 05:12 AM
Now I'm seeing a lot of sites showing pictures of a guy holding a Siemens 1924 hearing aid in a way that's very similar to the video:

http://news.lalate.com/2010/10/29/siemens-1924-hearing-aid-photos/

That isn't the only reasonable explanation, or the only possible hearing aid, but now that there is a photo example it seems like people are actually admitting it was debunked. Before the pictures, it seemed the likely explanations were largely being ignored.

By the way, my first association was with a Star Trek communicator. Of course that isn't real, but the point is that I remembered watching people holding their hands like that before there were cell phones.

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-30, 07:46 AM
I don't remember anyone ever holding a Star Trek communicator
near their ear. Are you sure you do? Are you referring to the little
earpiece Nichelle Nichols used?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Sam5
2010-Oct-30, 06:51 PM
Now I'm seeing a lot of sites showing pictures of a guy holding a Siemens 1924 hearing aid in a way that's very similar to the video:

http://news.lalate.com/2010/10/29/siemens-1924-hearing-aid-photos/


Other photos here:

http://www.usaliveheadlines.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/siemens-hearing-aids.jpg

a1call
2010-Oct-30, 07:39 PM
This one made the rounds on some of the sites I frequent and one story pointed to similiar "time traveller" photo from the 40s:

http://forgetomori.com/2010/fortean/time-traveler-caught-in-museum-photo/

There's a man there that seems to be out of time, looking like some modern "hipster dude" with shades and a stamped T-shirt, holding a small portable camera.

But as the above analysis shows, he may be dressed oddly for most men of that time, but nothing he's wearing really couldn't come from that time period.


-Richard

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/objects/display.aspx?id=92882

ETA: Above link is:

Turn pin spectacles with tinted, double folding lenses, France, 1790-1850

There is a bit of "Grandpa were there dinosaurs when you were a kid" associated with all this.

Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-30, 11:51 PM
People people *Eyes shifts from the left to the right and then coughs* Its a time traveler its as simple as that :D.

novaderrik
2010-Nov-01, 07:00 AM
People people *Eyes shifts from the left to the right and then coughs* Its a time traveler its as simple as that :D.

doubtful- time travel isn't real.
probably just a friend of Nikola Tesla that was using one of his remotely powered radio transceivers to help him aim him earthquake machine..

Gamefreak89
2010-Nov-02, 08:05 AM
doubtful- time travel isn't real.
probably just a friend of Nikola Tesla that was using one of his remotely powered radio transceivers to help him aim him earthquake machine..

Oh yes good old Nikola Tesla loved the guy and his work :D bit of nut case in some ways but you have to respect his work and theories, but anyways back to the question maybe "If" such things like hand held radios existed back then but that is just my imagination. Then again maybe some things that we didn't know about actually existed back then without actually proof of it being in recorded in history or in the museum.

Jim
2010-Nov-02, 03:12 PM
How did this thread manage to last so long in Q&A? Moved to OTB.

Please continue.

Gamefreak89
2010-Nov-02, 10:54 PM
Anyways what handheld devices existed back then?

Strange
2010-Nov-02, 11:20 PM
Anyways what handheld devices existed back then?

Er... Hearing aids. I said HEARING AIDS :)

Van Rijn
2010-Nov-03, 12:23 AM
How did this thread manage to last so long in Q&A?


It probably involves time travel.

Gamefreak89
2010-Nov-03, 04:02 AM
What about radios, or something created by Nicholas Tesla or someone of that genius caliber?

Selenite
2010-Nov-03, 05:30 AM
Doctor McCoy must have lost his communicator again.

http://pyxis.homestead.com/STPieceoftheAction.jpg

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-03, 05:38 AM
Maybe she was using an electric shaver.
It makes as much sense as a cell phone.
And almost as much sense as a hearing aid.

And if I need to spell it out for anyone, the reasons a hearing
aid doesn't make complete sense are:

- She was apparently talking, not listening.

- She isn't holding it the way known hearing aids of the time
might be expected to be held.

- It isn't apparent who or what she would be listening to at that
moment: she evidently was *not* looking at anyone she is talking
to nor anyone she was listening to, though it seems likely to me
that she was talking to her husband.

So obviously it *must* have been an electric shaver.

"when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains,
however improbable, must be the truth" -- Sherlock Holmes
not thinking particularly clearly.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Gamefreak89
2010-Nov-03, 05:59 AM
Maybe she was using an electric shaver.
It makes as much sense as a cell phone.
And almost as much sense as a hearing aid.

And if I need to spell it out for anyone, the reasons a hearing
aid doesn't make complete sense are:

- She was apparently talking, not listening.

- She isn't holding it the way known hearing aids of the time
might be expected to be held.

- It isn't apparent who or what she would be listening to at that
moment: she evidently was *not* looking at anyone she is talking
to nor anyone she was listening to, though it seems likely to me
that she was talking to her husband.

So obviously it *must* have been an electric shaver.

"when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains,
however improbable, must be the truth" -- Sherlock Holmes
not thinking particularly clearly.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

It makes a lot of sense lol but I'm still wondering if there is any other way to analyze the video at a better resolution? All these speculations but which one is right?

LotusExcelle
2010-Nov-03, 07:59 AM
Clearly she was a female version of Al from Quantum Leap. The device of course is the Ziggy interface, perhaps with a defective readout, hence holding it up to her ear to listen. This is the ONLY thing that makes ANY sense given the evidence.

Strange
2010-Nov-03, 08:29 AM
- She was apparently talking, not listening.

What people can't talk and listen at the same time (I will stay away from whether she, or women in general, ever listen to their husbands),


- She isn't holding it the way known hearing aids of the time
might be expected to be held.

I thought the links above were quite convincing.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Nov-03, 09:55 AM
He? The person is dressed in women's clothing.

Grant Hutchison
Which explains why the face is hidden.:)
I also got a strong impression of "He" from the half reveal of the face at the end.

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-03, 04:21 PM
I also got a strong impression of "He" from the half reveal of the face at the end.I think the mannish appearance is probably explained by the stretched aspect ratio, alluded to earlier.
As to the "talking, not listening" problem: I see the mouth move only once or twice, after this half-reveal takes place. I'm quite prepared to believe that people walked down the street chewing in 1928, as they do now. In fact, chewing gum was particularly popular during Prohibition in the USA, allegedly because it masked the smell of drink on the breath. (Since Tesla has already been mentioned I'll drag him into the conversation again, by reporting that he called for chewing gum to be prohibited instead of alcohol.)

Grant Hutchison

Gamefreak89
2010-Nov-03, 07:19 PM
Hmm I agree with grant on this one but one other thing still bugs me though why did she or he stop right at that certain spot for?

NEOWatcher
2010-Nov-03, 08:09 PM
The filmmaker or the character?
It seems obvious to me that the picture dissolved at that time, so there's nothing more to see.

If you're talking about the character, then she might have glimpsed the zebra and saw that she had more bars.

DonM435
2010-Nov-03, 11:52 PM
Arthur C. Clarke wrote that the strongest evidence for a security leak from the future are Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks.

JCoyote
2010-Nov-04, 01:48 AM
Perhaps it is an ice pack for a toothache. The positioning is right and it might even explain the mouth movements as well.

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-04, 01:55 AM
Arthur C. Clarke wrote that the strongest evience for a security leak from the future are Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks.
Well then, that's proof enough for me.

Let's build us a time machine and get this show on the road.

astromark
2010-Nov-04, 03:56 AM
How ?

........................................ :wall::)

DonM435
2010-Nov-04, 01:25 PM
This all supposes that someone smart enough to build a working time machine will be dumb enough to casually stroll by a live camera with a blatant anachronism pressed to his or her ear.

I guess that it could happen.

JCoyote
2010-Nov-04, 02:59 PM
This all supposes that someone smart enough to build a working time machine will be dumb enough to casually stroll by a live camera with a blatant anachronism pressed to his or her ear.

I guess that it could happen.

And now we can tell the future, because the inventor of time travel will obviously have a transvestite brother-in-law who wasn't educated on paradox.

Gamefreak89
2010-Nov-05, 05:11 AM
LOL lets all head aboard the time travel train lmao well I for one think that one to many paradoxes are not cool especially if you run in to yourself from the past lol.

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-05, 05:33 AM
I don't see why there would be any trouble with meeting
oneself. If I had a time machine, practically the first thing
I would do with it would be to go back and give one to
myself, which would be how I acquired it in the first place.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

DonM435
2010-Nov-05, 12:35 PM
That's why nobody's inventing a time machine just now: they're all waiting for their future selves to come back and hand one over.


At the end of the film Time After Time, H.G. Wells points to a shelf of rare old volumes in the H.G. Wells Exhibit and says "I have to go back -- I've got to write all those books."
I was thinking "You dummy! Just take the books along with you and spare yourself the trouble!"
Well, he may have to copy them out in longhand to avoid suspicion when he submits them to a publisher, but it would still save a lot of thinking time.

Grey
2010-Nov-05, 02:58 PM
I don't see why there would be any trouble with meeting
oneself. If I had a time machine, practically the first thing
I would do with it would be to go back and give one to
myself, which would be how I acquired it in the first place.In The Man Who Folded Himself, that's exactly how the protagonist ends up with a time travel device. By His Bootstraps and —All You Zombies— have similar plot elements, too.

Grey
2010-Nov-05, 03:09 PM
At the end of the film Time After Time, H.G. Wells points to a shelf of rare old volumes in the H.G. Wells Exhibit and says "I have to go back -- I've got to write all those books."
I was thinking "You dummy! Just take the books along with you and spare yourself the trouble!"
Well, he may have to copy them out in longhand to avoid suspicion when he submits them to a publisher, but it would still save a lot of thinking time.A side plot in The Eyre Affair is trying to figure out the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. It turns out in the end that nobody wrote them. Thursday Next's father from the Chronoguard realizes that history is messed up, and goes back in time to give Shakespeare the actor a collection of the complete works, with instructions to make copies and publish them on a specific time schedule. "Time is out of joint. O cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right!"

By the way, these are all pretty enjoyable reading.

Strange
2010-Nov-05, 03:30 PM
In Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure their future selves introduce them to Rufus, wich is how they know his name is Rufus...

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-05, 03:40 PM
In Harry Harrison's Technicolor Time Machine, the narrator encounters his future self, who hands him a bit of paper on which is drawn a diagram of the solution to a time-travel problem, vital to the plot at that point. When the narrator eventually becomes his future self and relives the encounter, he realizes he's got to come up with this diagram. Searching his pockets, he finds the original and hands it over.

Grant Hutchison

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-06, 12:18 AM
What always bothers me about incidents such as this one with the supposed cell-phone-using-time-traveller is that those who call "time traveller," or whatever the situation calls for, only ever focus on the immediate scene without considering all the consequences of and prerequisites for their proposed scenario.

If they really believe it's a modern day cell phone, then where did all the necessary infrastructure come from and where is it? Despite what their name implies, cell phones are not stand-alone units. They require a tight net of antennas and some pretty fancy digital equipment (computers) to function. Where are they? Did the time traveller bring it all with him and install it somwhere? And who is the strange lady speaking to? Another time traveller?

DonM435
2010-Nov-06, 03:00 AM
...
And who is the strange lady speaking to? Another time traveller?

And what's the conversation? "You'll never guess who I just saw . . . Charlie Chaplin! Uh-oh . . gotta go!"

SeanF
2010-Nov-06, 03:03 AM
In Harry Harrison's Technicolor Time Machine, the narrator encounters his future self, who hands him a bit of paper on which is drawn a diagram of the solution to a time-travel problem, vital to the plot at that point. When the narrator eventually becomes his future self and relives the encounter, he realizes he's got to come up with this diagram. Searching his pockets, he finds the original and hands it over.

Grant Hutchison
"Weren't those a gift from Dr. McCoy?"

"And they will be again; that's the beauty of it."
------------------------------
"You realize that by giving him the formula, we're changing history."

"Why? How do you know he didn't invent it?"

astromark
2010-Nov-06, 03:05 AM
What worries me with this is that a small group of completely insane people seem to think that a small snippet of film clearly showing a person on a film set holding a hand as to obscure there face is immediately contrived to be both a time traveller and talking to a hand held... when no such proof of fact can be said to be real... What hope humanity...where is the truth police ? Call in the Thunderbirds.

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-06, 05:29 AM
Mark,

If you didn't have that bit of information that the film was from
1928, you, too, would have assumed that she was talking on a
cell phone. Similarly, since the video took a while to download,
I had time to examine the zebra as a still image before the
animation started moving. I asumed that it looked so peculiar
because it was a real horse that was painted to look like a zebra.
It wasn't until I saw many frames that I realized it wasn't alive.
Then I had an alternative explanation for its odd appearance--
including the wide stance of its rear legs, which would be to
make it more stable.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-06, 05:52 AM
What always bothers me about incidents such as this one with the
supposed cell-phone-using-time-traveller is that those who call
"time traveller," or whatever the situation calls for, only ever focus
on the immediate scene without considering all the consequences
of and prerequisites for their proposed scenario.
You have to start somewhere. Theories don't pop out of peoples'
foreheads fully-developed. (I think that story about Athena is
probably apocryphal.)



If they really believe it's a modern day cell phone, then where
did all the necessary infrastructure come from ...
The future, obviously.


... and where is it?
Aboard the TARDIS, obviously.



Despite what their name implies, cell phones are not stand-alone units.
Eh... Huh-- What??? What does their name imply??? I know what
kind of cells are involved. (Whether they're attached to one another
or differentiated or not ...)



They require a tight net of antennas and some pretty fancy digital
equipment (computers) to function.
They could just as well have used analog. The net only needs to
be tight if you want coverage all over. If you are only handing a
limited number of phones in limited areas, you might not need a
net at all.



Where are they? Did the time traveller bring it all with him and
install it somwhere? And who is the strange lady speaking to?
Another time traveller?
Whaddaya mean "strange"??? Just because she's from another
time doesn't make her strange!

She might be talking to another time traveller. Given that she
*is* a time traveller, why shouldn't she be talking to another
time traveller? Or she could be talking to her great-great-great
grandmother back in 2239, or her great-great-great-great-great
grandson in 2417, or the time travel control center in 3799.
Or she could just be recording her observations for future use.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-06, 06:05 AM
In Harry Harrison's Technicolor Time Machine, the narrator encounters
his future self, who hands him a bit of paper on which is drawn a
diagram of the solution to a time-travel problem, vital to the plot
at that point. When the narrator eventually becomes his future
self and relives the encounter, he realizes he's got to come up with
this diagram. Searching his pockets, he finds the original and hands
it over.
Hmmmm. That obviously doesn't work. When did the paper
acquire its wrinkles and creases and smudges and fingerprints?

Does my giving myself a time machine have the same problem?
It isn't so obvious to me that it does. The time machine I give
myself would likely have been purchased at Target, since once
they become available anywhere, Target will carry them.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

captain swoop
2010-Nov-06, 11:10 AM
In the 'Big Bang Theory' when Leonard is having his 'interview' ato be a housemate he and Sheldon agree that if they discover time travel in the future, the first thing they will do is go back to that time and place at that moment and let themselves know. They pause for a few seconds and look round the room. Sheldon says 'That's disappointing.'

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-06, 01:29 PM
Hmmmm. That obviously doesn't work. When did the paper
acquire its wrinkles and creases and smudges and fingerprints?When did it acquire the drawing? Who did the drawing? Who made the piece of paper, and from what?

Grant Hutchison

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-06, 05:37 PM
Isn't watching people arguing about and offering corrections for inconsistencies of improbable occurences within actions that are impossible to begin with fun? ;)

HenrikOlsen
2010-Nov-06, 05:38 PM
If they really believe it's a modern day cell phone, then where did all the necessary infrastructure come from and where is it? Despite what their name implies, cell phones are not stand-alone units.
The name actually implies their dependency on the infrastructure, the name comes from the system of "cells" the world is divided into by the antennae.
A fundamental part of the system is how an ongoing call can be handed over from one cell to the next without interrupting the call if you're moving while speaking.

Strange
2010-Nov-06, 06:05 PM
If they really believe it's a modern day cell phone....

But there is another problem. If it is a modern day cell phone, that implies we have time machines now. But we don't (as far as I know). How do we know what a future cellphone-equivalent will look like? Would you hold it? Or would you have some sort of implant to communicate? Or...

DonM435
2010-Nov-06, 09:41 PM
Isn't watching people arguing about and offering corrections for inconsistencies of improbable occurences within actions that are impossible to begin with fun? ;)

Or as Mr. Renfield put it: "Isn't this a strange conversation for men who aren't crazy?"

I note that YouTube has removed the item. Dagnabbit, that proves that they're surpressing evidence, and of course it must be evidence of time travel.

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-07, 08:58 AM
Why in spacetime would YouTube remove *that*?




Hmmmm. That obviously doesn't work. When did the paper
acquire its wrinkles and creases and smudges and fingerprints?
When did it acquire the drawing? Who did the drawing? Who
made the piece of paper, and from what?
Well, sure, but those are the questions that the reader is meant
to come up with, to ponder, and be perplexed by. They present a
distinctly different quandary than the question of why the paper
is completely unchanged from the time it will be received until
the time it was given.

Languages spoken by time travellers have additional tenses.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Strange
2010-Nov-07, 10:30 AM
Why in spacetime would YouTube remove *that*?

Copyright probably.

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-07, 10:59 AM
Somebody at YouTube would remove a 5-second-long snippet
from a 1928 newsreel because of copyright??? Really???

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

HenrikOlsen
2010-Nov-07, 01:22 PM
Somebody at YouTube would remove a 5-second-long snippet from a 1928 newsreel because of copyright??? Really???
Really.

If there's a complaint which looks to be from someone who actually has knowledge about the state of the copyright, then YouTube removes it. It's the only way to protect themselves against getting sued. Ditto for clips showing people engaged in illegal acts.

Google will die the death of a thousand cuts if they don't and people start suing.

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-07, 01:32 PM
Well, sure, but those are the questions that the reader is meant
to come up with, to ponder, and be perplexed by. They present a
distinctly different quandary than the question of why the paper
is completely unchanged from the time it will be received until
the time it was given.I think I'm just intrigued at your threshold for "obviously doesn't work".

Grant Hutchison

HenrikOlsen
2010-Nov-07, 01:52 PM
I think I'm just intrigued at your threshold for "obviously doesn't work".

Grant Hutchison
I think I understand the objection, it's one I have as well.
The consistent time travel story has every physical entity in it going through a timelike curve, the more intertwined they are the better, but you should at the end be able to trace a timeline for every object (or part of an object).

When a piece of paper, which we know deteriorates over time, is going through the loop, it ends up at the end of the loop in a different condition to what it was in when it started, hence there's a nagging feeling that something's not right and we haven't been told the whole story. The part we watched is not stable.

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-07, 02:02 PM
I'm a bit intrigued by it, too. My brain really hates anything
that it thinks might be work, I asked before, and I really have
not been able to trick my brain into thinking it through: Does
giving my 1963 self a time machine that I will someday buy
at Target present the same paradox as the unchangedness
of the paper? It isn't obvious to my lazy brain that it does.

If it is obvious to you-- or to your brain-- could you ask your
brain to explain it to mine? Otherwise I'm just going to go
on thinking that the unchangedness of the paper is a paradox
while the existence of the paper, or time machine, or cell
phone, or whatever, is amusingly weird but not a paradox.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

HenrikOlsen
2010-Nov-07, 02:48 PM
I'm a bit intrigued by it, too. My brain really hates anything
that it thinks might be work, I asked before, and I really have
not been able to trick my brain into thinking it through: Does
giving my 1963 self a time machine that I will someday buy
at Target present the same paradox as the unchangedness
of the paper? It isn't obvious to my lazy brain that it does.
No, it doesn't present the same problem, since one can set it up such that the time machine has a clean timeline from it's built, bought by you, moved through time by itself, given to you as a present from yourself, used to transport you to the future, kept on a shelf until you arrive and wants to go back in time, used to transport you and the time machine you just bought back to you, and then probably getting trashed after it's part in the loop is done.

Easier to follow with a picture I think.
13909

The bits where you go on with life and the time machine sits on a shelf can easily be replaced with Jeff's Wild and Wacky Time Travel AdventuresTM as long as it's present to be found by you on arrival.

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-07, 03:48 PM
Wow! It's lightsaber time!

This is like watching people argue about the correct pronunciation of Southern Continent Klingon dialect.


... The consistent time travel story has every physical entity ...
So what?

Unless some people may have forgotten, time travel is fantasy. Make up your own rules. You can let anything happen. There's no such thing as a threshold for "obviously doesn't work" in wild fiction.

My time machine resets matter to the condition in which I want it to be. É voilą, the paper in the pocket is just right.

Prove me wrong.

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-07, 03:53 PM
I think I understand the objection, it's one I have as well.
The consistent time travel story has every physical entity in it going through a timelike curve, the more intertwined they are the better, but you should at the end be able to trace a timeline for every object (or part of an object).

When a piece of paper, which we know deteriorates over time, is going through the loop, it ends up at the end of the loop in a different condition to what it was in when it started, hence there's a nagging feeling that something's not right and we haven't been told the whole story. The part we watched is not stable.This is an uncaused piece of paper that violates conservation of energy by its mere existence. But it "obviously doesn't work" because it would also need to be immune to wear and tear? It just seems like swallowing the whale only to gag on the minnow.

Grant Hutchison

HenrikOlsen
2010-Nov-07, 04:28 PM
I think it's my puritan SF "you're allowed one impossibility" tenet that's being triggered.

Any time travel violates (time-local) conservation of energy in the same way, that bit I'm not worried about, that's part of the one allowed impossible. :D
Ditto for cause coming after the effect.
The undeteriorating paper is a second impossibility which could so easily have been avoided simply by copying it during the loop.

And it is really that it is undeteriorating without an explanation which breaks things for me, as that's what causes the impossibility of the real problem, namely that its timeline is a closed loop.

I don't actually have a problem with a closed-loop timeline if there's an explanation why there's no change in the entity going 'round it. Pratchett's Pyramids is an example of a story with a closed timeline which doesn't have that problem (it has others though) because it's explicitly explains why the person going round the loop it is unchanged.

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-07, 04:43 PM
...
Ditto for cause coming after the effect.
The undeteriorating paper is a second impossibility which could so easily have been avoided simply by copying it during the loop.This piece of paper doesn't reverse causality; it is acausal. Never manufactured, never drawn on, yet nevertheless appearing and providing necessary information. It's already an impossible object. Copying it would simply have telegraphed the trick and diluted the boggle factor that Harrison was aiming to ellicit. (Do you know that Technicolor Time Machine is a comedy, BTW?)

Grant Hutchison

novaderrik
2010-Nov-07, 08:59 PM
But there is another problem. If it is a modern day cell phone, that implies we have time machines now. But we don't (as far as I know). How do we know what a future cellphone-equivalent will look like? Would you hold it? Or would you have some sort of implant to communicate? Or...

the time traveler got an old cell phone from a museum before traveling back in time- being from the future, he (or she) didn't know when cell phones were invented, so when they brought it with them to 1928 in an attempt try to fit in, the actually made themselves look out of place and accidentally got caught on camera..
like when they went to that museum of natural history in that one episode of Futurama where they showed how primitive robots built cars in the 20th century- the robots were dressed like Fred Flintstone and just hit the cars with a big log as they passed by on the assembly line..

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-08, 04:03 AM
Thanks for the diagram!



I think it's my puritan SF "you're allowed one impossibility" tenet
that's being triggered.
Yes! I think that's the biggest chunk of the problem. We are talking
about time travel, so to dismiss time travel as impossible (for any
reason, or none) is contrary to our mission here. So we accept that
time travel happens. As part of that, we can accept that a sheet of
paper exists that never seems to have been made. But the notion
that the paper is unchanged by years of handling is an entirely
separate problem, not explained by the assumption of time travel.
It amounts to a second, separate miracle, that is not obviously
required for the first miracle to occur, and thus must be cut away
by Ockham's lightsaber.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Grey
2010-Nov-08, 01:52 PM
But the notion
that the paper is unchanged by years of handling is an entirely
separate problem, not explained by the assumption of time travel.
It amounts to a second, separate miracle, that is not obviously
required for the first miracle to occur, and thus must be cut away
by Ockham's lightsaber.In By His Bootstraps, Heinlein specifically arranges to have the all important English-to-language-of-the-future dictionary get worn out from years of long use, and the protagonist carefully copies it all down into a new notebook, and then throws the old one away. The old one is sufficiently worn by that time that he doesn't notice that the notebooks are identical apart from the difference in age. And of course the new one is the one that eventually gets sent back in time. So he's solved the issue of the physical notebook deteriorating, but the information in it still comes from nowhere. But I also agree that Harrison's trick works fine as long as the story is adopting a fairly lighthearted tone and not taking itself too seriously. :)

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-09, 02:22 AM
... to dismiss time travel as impossible ... is contrary to our mission here. ...
Mission? What mission. And who do you include in the "us" of "our"?


... So we accept that time travel happens. ...
No. We accept that time travel is a motive in fiction.


... As part of that, we can accept that a sheet of paper exists that never seems to have been made. ...
Being fiction, fantasy, dreams, delusion, whatever, we can accept whatever we want. Fantasy knows no rules or bounds.


... and thus must be cut away by Ockham's lightsaber.
To invoke poor Friar Ockham in this matter is, well, absurd.

To say "this is impossible, but adding another impossibility to the present impossibility makes the whole thing more impossible so we have to remove part of the impossibility from the total impossibilty so we only have a simple impossibility" is just plain silly. 0 = 0. Add a 0 to the initial 0, you still get 0. Friar Ockham would be pleased by how little remains.

When dealing with fantasy and fiction, one can't set all the parameters by oneself and expect everybody else to play along.

Btw, my time machine was built by Xerox. Prove me wrong.

99gecko
2010-Nov-09, 05:45 PM
As pointed out on another website, for those of you who can lip, read the woman is repeating, "Can you hear me now?.... Can you hear me now?...".

Clearly, she works for Verizon. ;)

SeanF
2010-Nov-09, 06:00 PM
I'm going to agree with Jeff here.

If I have a time-travel story that starts with "In 1994, 30-year-old James stepped out of the time machine, having just come back from 2004," and ends with either of the following two sentences:

"In 2004, 40-year-old James stepped into the time machine and headed back to 1994."

"In 2004, 30-year-old James stepped into the time machine and headed back to 1994."

I had better explain either how time travel made James 10 years younger (in the first sentence) or how James lived 10 years without getting any older (in the second sentence).

If I don't, I've done my readers a disservice, moreso than the simple fact that it appears James didn't exist before 1994 or after 2004. That, after all, is before and after my story, anyway. :)

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-09, 09:18 PM
... If I don't, I've done my readers a disservice ...
Strange, the final scenes (chapters) of 2001: A Space Odyssey compound impossibilities, contradictions and mysteries 10^20, but nobody seems to mind.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-10, 07:14 PM
Why wasn't she just using a bluetooth headset? Future my behind!

publiusr
2010-Nov-15, 09:08 PM
I'm calling it a simple wind-up music box that she placed up to her ear to sing along with so as to avoid the noisy hustle and bustle of a visiting circus that had just passed by on the street.

baric
2010-Nov-15, 10:57 PM
In Harry Harrison's Technicolor Time Machine, the narrator encounters his future self, who hands him a bit of paper on which is drawn a diagram of the solution to a time-travel problem, vital to the plot at that point. When the narrator eventually becomes his future self and relives the encounter, he realizes he's got to come up with this diagram. Searching his pockets, he finds the original and hands it over.

Grant Hutchison

A similar creatio ex nihilo moment occurs in "Somewhere in Time", where (in the present), the aged actress gives Christoper Reeves a timepiece. How did she get it? Why, from him when he subsequently traveled back in time to meet this mystery actress who gave him the timepiece. :P

Strange
2010-Nov-23, 01:33 PM
In Harry Harrison's Technicolor Time Machine, the narrator encounters his future self, who hands him a bit of paper on which is drawn a diagram of the solution to a time-travel problem, vital to the plot at that point. When the narrator eventually becomes his future self and relives the encounter, he realizes he's got to come up with this diagram. Searching his pockets, he finds the original and hands it over.

Grant Hutchison

Closed timelike curves via post-selection: theory and experimental demonstration (http://arxiv.org/abs/1005.2219) appears to provide an explanation of this paradox (in principle, at least). Although this version of time travel has as much in common with a time machine as quantum teleportation does with a Star Trek transporter...

eburacum45
2010-Nov-26, 09:05 PM
Closed timelike curves via post-selection: theory and experimental demonstration (http://arxiv.org/abs/1005.2219) appears to provide an explanation of this paradox (in principle, at least). This experiment, on the face of it, does seem to favour Novikov self-consistency rather than the permissiveness of the Many-Worlds interpretation.

Gamefreak89
2010-Nov-29, 06:21 PM
lol we are still talking about this? Has anyone give a good answer as too what that man/woman was holding?

NEOWatcher
2010-Nov-29, 06:23 PM
lol we are still talking about this? Has anyone give a good answer as too what that man/woman was holding?
What makes the various possibilities presented here not a good answer?

Gamefreak89
2010-Nov-29, 06:24 PM
I dunno considering that there are alot of pages here that I haven't gone over and see what people put.

NEOWatcher
2010-Nov-29, 06:38 PM
I dunno considering that there are alot of pages here that I haven't gone over and see what people put.
So you want somebody to spend their time to make the Cliff Notes version of a thread that you started in the first place?

pzkpfw
2010-Nov-29, 08:03 PM
I dunno considering that there are alot of pages here that I haven't gone over and see what people put.

You don't even bother to read your own thread?

Frankly your behaviour starts to look a little Troll-like.

Thread closed.