Re: PHYSICS/SPACE: Legitimate time travel proposal

Date: Sun May 20 2001 - 11:28:04 MDT

Lee Corbin wrote:
> As you have already probably guessed, this picture involves
> a sort of meta-time. (You should properly have gagged at a

Um, let me think: Harlan Ellison's time guardians? (Forgot the
original title, it was a xeroxed tattered Russian bootleg,
anyway -- which kinda strikes me as ironic, but I digress)
Interesting that the time control elite was excised from
existence by Far Future folks who discovered their meddlings
before (see, here's the metatime thing again) they could extrude
their presence into their timeline (Harlan Ellison might
not be getting the new IP landscape, but he's partly excused
by what he did), because their reality simulations deviated
from reality, since not including external meddling. However,
that particular universe did not have a very strong development
vector, it was more or less a randomwalk. The Far Future guys
who could wipe the Time Control Fashists just got lucky on the
cosmic lottery. I don't think we're in a randomwalk, though.
> But so far as I can make out, this is what David Deutsch is
> in effect saying. If you "go back in time" you are going to
> a different branch of the multiverse, that's all. (The

Yes, but let me tell you: there are some *SERIOUSLY WEIRD*
universe instances in the Multiverse out there. Even given
such harsh constraints as contemporary, and same physics.

The usual disclaimer applies.

> multiverse is a continuum, so it would lack my finite recursion
> property that I used for illustration above, but that isn't
> essential.)

> It's not completely clear to me what he's saying, but the idea
> I get out of this is as follows. Suppose that you are climbing
> a hill at a certain angle theta. Then information from the
> future arrives which enables you to climb at theta+iota. But
> then since you are now on *that* slope, so to speak, you are
> going to be receiving information from a more advanced future.
> The effect of that information will be to now place you on a
> theta+iota+iota slope, and so on, as long as you keep your machine
> receiving from the tangential future. (The tangent space, for
> those who know differential geometry, is a good metaphor here.)

It's not completely clear to me what he's saying, but the idea
I get of this is similar to what I thought I've been saying, so
yes ;)

The feedback I was thinking about was in fact a bit more malign.
It assumes Far Future to be a rather degenerate place, where
matter has been restructured to accomodate for maximum substrate.
Tigers and Lions. If you go back from that plateau, and assume
continuous development, you've got a fitness gradient. Driven by
it, the omega biota backpropagates through any open temporal
gateway. Assume exporting a sample of current biosphere 100 MYears
backwards. You've suddenly got a pocket of much fitter species,
who walk all over their progenitors. Imagine a group of Rednecks
with equipment stranding -3 MYears. Would we be then holding this
discussion right now? Heck, no. No need to reach back thus far,
assume a bit more primate testosterone in the Cuba crisis, and
you wouldn't be reading this. No me, no you, probably no Internet
either, no computers, etc. Still people, but totally different
reality branch. Rather seedy reality branch, if you ask me, but
then, I'm not there.

The Omega degenerate condition is by definition static, but it
is fit beyond your wildest imaginations, and so it totally wipes
anything which was so dumb as to open the channel into the future.
Think Neolithical types landing -200 megayears, or Mars Attacks
types in medieval France, then multiply that by 10^9. Yes, it's
that bad, and probably even worse.

Assuming there are two overlapping temporal portals
coexisting within each other's Blight impact radius
(it's not lightcone, they're probably not *that*
hardass, but not *too* far from it). So you've got
Blight continue percolating back, until the very first
such temporal channel has been opened (of course, one
of the prime functions of the Blight is to turn the
spacetime into swiss cheese, so that the biota can freely
percolate back and forth). The Blight thus keeps pushing back
its own horizont.

> For the metaverse, this would have the following implication.
> Intelligent life (i.e. life that is capable of devising and
> profiting from the use of time travel devices) almost always
> goes off on an indescribable tangent (to badly mix metaphors).
> That is, a Singularity is achieved in a way that we have not
> so far discussed very much.

The Blight can't obviously (here's the proof: you're reading
this) open Interuniversal portals, at least not on their own,
without us assisting them on our side. Assuming Blight exists,
of course. Nevertheless, when people say "hey, I think I found
out a way to open a portal into the future which could
really work. Let's run off and do an experiment" I wish they
would consider far-out yarn as spun above.

Of course, considered that the Blight has had ample experience
to overrun incrementally different cultures, it should be perfectly
capable of emulating a +15 min future. If that experiment
really works, you might be talking to the Devil, without even
figuring out whether the Devil exists, or not. Until you talk
to the Devil, and forfeit your soul, and anything else. On
the plus side, it will be probably so quick so it's not going
to hurt, so we could as well do it.

Assuming the portal is traversable to matter, there's nothing
to be done but to not to do the experiment. Assuming we got
lucky, and the portal can "only" propagate photonic pulses,
the first thing to do is to immediately end the experiment, and
never again to try the experiment. Fat chance.
> Anyway, so much for paradoxes: they can be dealt with in the
> manner that I have suggested, namely by an appeal to the
> multiverse which (I think!) is indistinguishable from the

There are a lot of contemporarily universes which are blighted.
Spacetime portals, if indeed are possible (fat chance) are Just
Not Your Average Star Trek Series.

I'm overdoing it on purpose, but only because I think I do
have a point.

> meta-time idea above. (My reference to the 1937 Electrical
> Handbook is taken from the marvelous old time travel short
> story "Other Tracks", which has inspired almost all my time
> travel ideas.)

Sometime, people are going to read the archive, and to think
about what we right now think about medieval scholasts.
What an awful waste of human life.

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