Re: Conscious of the hard problem

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Fri, 25 Jun 1999 15:06:46 -0500

David Blenkinsop wrote:
> "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> >
> > I happen to believe that time travel is explicitly permitted by General
> > Relativity, which forbids a single correct direction of time just as
> > Special Relativity forbids an "ether" or single correct reference frame.
> Notice that even if this radical idea should happen to work out for
> real, it doesn't remove the need for causality as such. For instance,
> the whole point of getting multiple timelines involved in this is to
> open up the "closed" time loops, so that the causal effects extend
> forward into another history, instead of actually going around in
> circles.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. (Speaking about the Scientific-American multiple-timelines idea, not necessarily to you personally.) If going into the future doesn't send me into a different timeline, neither will going into the past. There is no "temporal ether", no single direction of time, and the rules have to be the same in both directions. Causality *is* circular.

Using the term "causality" to refer to what I would call "monodirectional causality" doesn't mean that the laws of physics agree with you. Nor does a deliberately narrow definition of "causality" mean that all order and causality get tossed out the window if the definition turns out to be wrong.

Grandfather paradoxes. Deal.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way