If you had a time machine...

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If you had a time machine...

If you had a time machine and could go back to change one thing, what would it be?

Rules:

1 You can do any thing you wanted provided you took no more than 30 days to complete the task. You are able to teleport once a day between locations within that same time period (for long distance traveling purposes)

2 You will be given a very small computer which fits in your ear. This computer will translate languages for you and when you speak it will allow others to think you are speaking their language (making them think your lips are moving in sync). This will fix the issue of communication

3 You can also use this computer to access information as needed concerning the time period you are located.

4 You will be unaffected by disease or viruses and you will not infect others

5 You are not limited to various technological possibilities. Meaning that you could do almost any thing with technology.

 

 

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Vastet
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I'd never use it to change

I'd never use it to change anything. I estimate a 66% chance I'd trap all humanity, perhaps even the universe, and maybe all of everything; in a paradox, if anything at all was changed.
I similarly estimate that any attempt would have a 66% chance at accomplishing nothing more than exiling yourself from your own timeline, if such exists (and I'd have to assume it must if time travel were possible). So you'd never change anything, you just no longer exist in your own timeline, and you created a new one by changing whatever you changed.

The only uses I'd have for time travel revolve around researching history and the future, without any direct contact with any inhabitants.

No intent on being rude, but anyone who would actually be willing to change history would make Hitler look rational.

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Vastet wrote:I'd never use

Vastet wrote:
I'd never use it to change anything. I estimate a 66% chance I'd trap all humanity, perhaps even the universe, and maybe all of everything; in a paradox, if anything at all was changed. I similarly estimate that any attempt would have a 66% chance at accomplishing nothing more than exiling yourself from your own timeline, if such exists (and I'd have to assume it must if time travel were possible). So you'd never change anything, you just no longer exist in your own timeline, and you created a new one by changing whatever you changed. The only uses I'd have for time travel revolve around researching history and the future, without any direct contact with any inhabitants. No intent on being rude, but anyone who would actually be willing to change history would make Hitler look rational.

 

I brought up the question because of a new book that is out by Stephen King about changing the JFK assassination.

http://www.amazon.com/11-22-63-A-Novel/dp/1451627289

 

If you go back and do a change in the past you would of course change your timeline, never being able to return to to it.

You risk changing your life completely and you would most likely never see your children again since those people would never be born.

 

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I see only two possibilities

I see only two possibilities as an end result of time travel. Paradox or alternate universe. While there may be other possibilities, I've heard none that had any realism or logic to them.
In the paradox scenario, you intend to change a specific event in Earths history. You succeed. The timeline changes. Because the event you wanted to alter has been altered, you never desire to alter it. So you don't go back to alter it. So the alteration never happens.
Repeat.
In the alternate universe scenario, when you go back in time you leave the universe and go into/begin a new one. Nothing you do will have any impact on your home universe. Far as it's concerned you stepped in a machine and were never heard from again. However, in this new universe, your ability to alter the future as you know it is effectively limitless. Even preventing your own birth isn't a problem, unless it bothers you.
Either way, history can never be truly altered.

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I would go back and stop

I would go back and stop it.

 

 

Seriously, that douglas adams quote is my favourite quote ever.

 

Vastet wrote:
No intent on being rude, but anyone who would actually be willing to change history would make Hitler look rational.

 

I think I might have made hitler look like a boy scout.

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Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
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Vastet wrote:I see only two

Vastet wrote:
I see only two possibilities as an end result of time travel. Paradox or alternate universe. While there may be other possibilities, I've heard none that had any realism or logic to them. In the paradox scenario, you intend to change a specific event in Earths history. You succeed. The timeline changes. Because the event you wanted to alter has been altered, you never desire to alter it. So you don't go back to alter it. So the alteration never happens. Repeat. In the alternate universe scenario, when you go back in time you leave the universe and go into/begin a new one. Nothing you do will have any impact on your home universe. Far as it's concerned you stepped in a machine and were never heard from again. However, in this new universe, your ability to alter the future as you know it is effectively limitless. Even preventing your own birth isn't a problem, unless it bothers you. Either way, history can never be truly altered.

It is more logical to me that time travel is only possible to alternate universes, you can change their timeline but not your own.

What is done is done and can never be undone.

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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Tapey wrote:I would go back

Tapey wrote:

I would go back and stop it.

 

 

Seriously, that douglas adams quote is my favourite quote ever.

 

Good one!

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If I was forced to be

If I was forced to be serious and forced to change something major, I would go with the dividing of korea and the korean war, I would stop that from happening. Korea would have been kept as a whole and independant. I don't know what the world today would be like without that happening but it was a very important event and has had profound impacts on the world today. Then again I watch a lot of south Korean media so yeah I might have been influenced there. But I would think it would settle that part of the world down quiet quickly and if not at least I would have stoped a line of raving lunitics from starving a country. But who knows what would have happened if korea had never been divided and there was no war. WW3? who knows.

 

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Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
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This is not a good question.

This is not a good question. You haven't even explained how time travel works. Is there a single time line or multiple time lines? Paradoxes? Predestination? If you change your own past can it prevent you from getting into the time machine in the first place? Is it like the movie Primer where they could only go back as far as when the time machine had been invented and they had to sit in it while time went backwards?

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Quote:This is not a good

Quote:
This is not a good question. You haven't even explained how time travel works. Is there a single time line or multiple time lines? Paradoxes? Predestination? If you change your own past can it prevent you from getting into the time machine in the first place? Is it like the movie Primer where they could only go back as far as when the time machine had been invented and they had to sit in it while time went backwards?

 

The OP's question is purely fantasy-driven...

 

You want nerdy textbook shit, talk to Hawking and take a hike.

"When the majority believes in what is false, the truth becomes a quest." - Me


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(writing in a Sci-Fi

(writing in a Sci-Fi manner)...

Knowing I could not change the past, if I had no family or ties to this timeline, I would go back and bring with me all the technology I could so that I could end all religions. I'd start a new timeline with a completely atheist society.

I'd bring back dozens of books of science which would be indestructible by normal means, so they would last for a really long time. I'd explain to all those in power that I would return in X number of years to check in on them, if they do not follow the rules I laid out for peace then I would punish them.

The books would not contain my technology on time travel machine.

For examples of power I would feed the masses, heal them, allow for their fields and stock to multiple greatly. I'd explain to every one to discard their beliefs in gods because they didn't exist. If current leaders refused to give up their power and gods I'd use my technology to remove them from power. I'm sure there would be some one beneath that old ruler who would want to take over and I'd explain to them (if the didn't follow the new rules laid out I'd return and take them out of power).

The books would give primers to each chapter as it would be encrypted. They would need to learn one chapter and the technology given so that they could learn the next chapter. The first chapter would be a freebie.

There would be plans laid out on how to deal with smaller groups of people who still believed in gods (ones I wouldn't be able to reach in 30 days). I'd explain that by using the technology I'd given them they could help convert them. Any one who resists should be let go in to the wilderness to fend for themselves.

For people who are criminally insane or deformed (etc) I'd use nano-tech to rebuild their DNA and make them productive members of society. This tech would be available to them at a later time.

I suspect that people who were religious and didn't have the technology would not thrive and would eventually be absorbed. This is no different than how society today has absorbed other cultures. Many religions and non-religious practices have ceased due to overpowering of new cultures.

When I returned to my original point of time, I would hope that everything turned out ok. If it didn't then I'd try again.

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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Gauche wrote:This is not a

Gauche wrote:

This is not a good question. You haven't even explained how time travel works. Is there a single time line or multiple time lines? Paradoxes? Predestination? If you change your own past can it prevent you from getting into the time machine in the first place? Is it like the movie Primer where they could only go back as far as when the time machine had been invented and they had to sit in it while time went backwards?

OK. You would not be able to return to your timeline since you would have destroyed that future. You could return to the same point but on the new timeline.

No need to know how the time travel works, it just does. This is purely fictional. Hypothetical.

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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Sage_Override

Sage_Override wrote:

Quote:
This is not a good question. You haven't even explained how time travel works. Is there a single time line or multiple time lines? Paradoxes? Predestination? If you change your own past can it prevent you from getting into the time machine in the first place? Is it like the movie Primer where they could only go back as far as when the time machine had been invented and they had to sit in it while time went backwards?

 

The OP's question is purely fantasy-driven...

 

You want nerdy textbook shit, talk to Hawking and take a hike.

I should have put in a little more information for the nerds.

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Tapey wrote:If I was forced

Tapey wrote:

If I was forced to be serious and forced to change something major, I would go with the dividing of korea and the korean war, I would stop that from happening. Korea would have been kept as a whole and independant. I don't know what the world today would be like without that happening but it was a very important event and has had profound impacts on the world today. Then again I watch a lot of south Korean media so yeah I might have been influenced there. But I would think it would settle that part of the world down quiet quickly and if not at least I would have stoped a line of raving lunitics from starving a country. But who knows what would have happened if korea had never been divided and there was no war. WW3? who knows.

 

Can you go in to a little more detail? How would you stop N Korea from happening?

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When I ask "how time travel

When I ask "how time travel works" I only mean what kind of time travel is it. There are no less than three kinds of time travel in fiction, each with several variants.

You seem to be saying there's a single mutable timeline where history is subject to change like in the Back To The Future trilogy of films. If you change the past then the future is erased and a new one is created starting with that event.

This still raises several questions about free-will, causality and how you explain changes in the past. Consider The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (the film with Guy Pearce not the novel.) He goes back in time to prevent his girlfriend's death which he finds to be impossible because it would have precluded inventing the time machine.

If there's a single mutable timeline changes to the past may seem inexplicable without some sort of predestination or self-consistency that in this kind of narrative is sometimes referred to as elasticity.

Let's say my friend would have met me for lunch a week ago but didn't because she died in a car accident on the way to the restaurant. I go back in time one week and meet her in the parking lot before she gets in the car and we walk to a different restaurant. Now that the accident hasn't happened I don't know about it anymore and the reason for my past self getting into the time machine doesn't exist so I must have created a new chain of events for myself that result in me doing it. I'd be trapped in an infinite time loop like in the series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.  

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Gauche wrote:When I ask "how

Gauche wrote:

When I ask "how time travel works" I only mean what kind of time travel is it. There are no less than three kinds of time travel in fiction, each with several variants.

You seem to be saying there's a single mutable timeline where history is subject to change like in the Back To The Future trilogy of films. If you change the past then the future is erased and a new one is created starting with that event.

This still raises several questions about free-will, causality and how you explain changes in the past. Consider The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (the film with Guy Pearce not the novel.) He goes back in time to prevent his girlfriend's death which he finds to be impossible because it would have precluded inventing the time machine.

If there's a single mutable timeline changes to the past may seem inexplicable without some sort of predestination or self-consistency that in this kind of narrative is sometimes referred to as elasticity.

Let's say my friend would have met me for lunch a week ago but didn't because she died in a car accident on the way to the restaurant. I go back in time one week and meet her in the parking lot before she gets in the car and we walk to a different restaurant. Now that the accident hasn't happened I don't know about it anymore and the reason for my past self getting into the time machine doesn't exist so I must have created a new chain of events for myself that result in me doing it. I'd be trapped in an infinite time loop like in the series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.  

It didn't matter what form of time travel it was; only that you could time travel.

In my previous post I might not have explained my viewpoint. What I was saying is that if you went from 2012 on this time line to 2000 BC you would be in your timeline, your true past. Once you change the past your time line no longer exists. You can't go back to that original starting point. You have created a new timeline which you can still return to 2012 but you would find changes when you arrived.

I have an issue with that HG Wells story. If you invent a time machine and go back in time, the time machine comes with you. It would be no different that the bones in your body (which precludes the time machine). So why doesn't your body turn to mush? Once you invent the time machine, it stays invented. Doesn't matter if you go back to 1,000,000 BC, it still exists.

I disagree about the "not knowing of the accident". If you go back in time you carry with you the memories. This is my argument about "god not being all knowing and all powerful".

P1 - God is all knowing

P2 - God is all powerful

P3 - God can change the past

C1 - If god changed the past and made every one else forget the changes, god would still know it happened, thus it did happen.

C2 - If god made god forget the past changes and made every one else forget, then no one would know (even god) that he changed the past). So god isn't all powerful because god would never know that he could change the past.

C3 - God isn't all powerful and God isn't all knowing.

 

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Of course it matters. What

Of course it matters. What kind of maniac would hurl themselves backwards in time without knowing what kind of universe they were in? Because you didn't specify and since there's more than one possibility I had to create my own time travel narrative.

I can't remember the accident because there's a single timeline. Once I prevented it that means I came from the only future that exists where it never took place. Believing my past self will now get into the time machine and disappear I continue along the timeline normally.

What actually happens though is that after missing his lunch meeting my former self has a strange conversation with his would be companion and realizes this has something to do with the time machine. Upon returning home and seeing me through his apartment window he believes I'm attempting to usurp his proper role in the universe so through clever subterfuge he tricks me into going back to the parking lot instead.

This time however I arrive two minutes late and she dies. I rush back to the time machine going back a third time preventing the accident, erasing the timeline causing a permanent time loop.

After the 39,951st iteration I'm still left with only a vague sense of déjà-vu. I can't even tell 437 years have passed by looking in the mirror because I age backwards whenever I go back in time.

Eventually I'm caught by a consortium of time correcting aliens who haul my lunch date and me into time court for crimes against the space-time continuum.

The girl is sentenced to death but the time judge takes pity on me because I was only trying to help a friend, sentencing me to 1,000 years of community service traveling the universe through wormholes correcting other people's time travel mistakes. I'm a 39,951 time loser with a rap sheet long enough to span half the galaxy. Now do you see why it's important?
 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Gauche wrote:Of course it

Gauche wrote:

Of course it matters. What kind of maniac would hurl themselves backwards in time without knowing what kind of universe they were in? Because you didn't specify and since there's more than one possibility I had to create my own time travel narrative.

I can't remember the accident because there's a single timeline. Once I prevented it that means I came from the only future that exists where it never took place. Believing my past self will now get into the time machine and disappear I continue along the timeline normally.

What actually happens though is that after missing his lunch meeting my former self has a strange conversation with his would be companion and realizes this has something to do with the time machine. Upon returning home and seeing me through his apartment window he believes I'm attempting to usurp his proper role in the universe so through clever subterfuge he tricks me into going back to the parking lot instead.

This time however I arrive two minutes late and she dies. I rush back to the time machine going back a third time preventing the accident, erasing the timeline causing a permanent time loop.

After the 39,951st iteration I'm still left with only a vague sense of déjà-vu. I can't even tell 437 years have passed by looking in the mirror because I age backwards whenever I go back in time.

Eventually I'm caught by a consortium of time correcting aliens who haul my lunch date and me into time court for crimes against the space-time continuum.

The girl is sentenced to death but the time judge takes pity on me because I was only trying to help a friend, sentencing me to 1,000 years of community service traveling the universe through wormholes correcting other people's time travel mistakes. I'm a 39,951 time loser with a rap sheet long enough to span half the galaxy. Now do you see why it's important?
 

You are sick. You need professional help. 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams


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Quote:Of course it matters.

Quote:
Of course it matters. What kind of maniac would hurl themselves backwards in time without knowing what kind of universe they were in? Because you didn't specify and since there's more than one possibility I had to create my own time travel narrative.

I can't remember the accident because there's a single timeline. Once I prevented it that means I came from the only future that exists where it never took place. Believing my past self will now get into the time machine and disappear I continue along the timeline normally.

What actually happens though is that after missing his lunch meeting my former self has a strange conversation with his would be companion and realizes this has something to do with the time machine. Upon returning home and seeing me through his apartment window he believes I'm attempting to usurp his proper role in the universe so through clever subterfuge he tricks me into going back to the parking lot instead.

This time however I arrive two minutes late and she dies. I rush back to the time machine going back a third time preventing the accident, erasing the timeline causing a permanent time loop.

After the 39,951st iteration I'm still left with only a vague sense of déjà-vu. I can't even tell 437 years have passed by looking in the mirror because I age backwards whenever I go back in time.

Eventually I'm caught by a consortium of time correcting aliens who haul my lunch date and me into time court for crimes against the space-time continuum.

The girl is sentenced to death but the time judge takes pity on me because I was only trying to help a friend, sentencing me to 1,000 years of community service traveling the universe through wormholes correcting other people's time travel mistakes. I'm a 39,951 time loser with a rap sheet long enough to span half the galaxy. Now do you see why it's important?

 

Gauche's avatar makes more sense now...

 

 

 

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After Gauche just raped my

After Gauche just raped my brain, I've decided to go back to April 14, 2012  7:25 a.m. to stop Bum from creating this thread.  Jawdropping!

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


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In the spirit

 

 

Of fantasy I'd like to go back to the year 250,000 BCE and explain to those folks the benefits of hand washing and alcohol as an antibacterial agent. 

You'd never talk the buggers out of believing in god with a few bits of technology. They'd burn you as a demon.

Hell, they burned and impaled the bloke who translated the bible into English - Tyndale.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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I hope you're a good artist.

I hope you're a good artist. I don't think language had progressed much beyond cave paintings at that point. Sticking out tongue

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digitalbeachbum wrote:You

digitalbeachbum wrote:

You are sick. You need professional help. 

A person as easily disturbed as you are should never fuck with backwards time travel.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Gauche wrote:digitalbeachbum

Gauche wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

You are sick. You need professional help. 

A person as easily disturbed as you are should never fuck with backwards time travel.

I wish you'd post more. Whether or not I agree with you on some subjects has no impact on the respect you've earned on others. Or even on the subjects we disagree on, tbh.

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Gauche wrote:digitalbeachbum

Gauche wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

You are sick. You need professional help. 

A person as easily disturbed as you are should never fuck with backwards time travel.

Now only if backwards time travel was possible...

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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