Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Let's Talk About Time Travel Part 2

Image result for time travel images

Last week I discussed time travel on the small screen, highlighting two shows I think are great time travel shows. You can check that post here. This week I wanted to discuss time travel in more general terms- specifically the problems it might cause. So... let's jump in. 

What would happen if you actually went back in time? Would anything you do cause a paradox, or change the future? Could you go back and see... yourself? I personally don't see how there can be two of the same person. But say it is- what would that be like? Could you go back and change something you wish you had done differently? And if so, I wonder if the cascading effect (like ripples in a pond) would change lots of other things, resulting in a different future. If so, what happens to the old future? Does it cease to exist, or are there two timelines now? 

This is where things get mindbend-y. Let's say you go back and decide on a different major. Or a different whatever. Well, just about everything would be different from that point, right? Like those ripples in a pond- there would be all kinds of effects from that choice. How would the universe keep it straight?  

Are there "rules" of time travel? What about the future- how can we go somewhere that hasn't happened yet? Or maybe it has... would you rather go back in time, or forward? What would you change? 

If you could choose to go back in time, or into the future, which would you choose? What eras would you love to see? And if going forward- what would you be looking for? Share in the comments!

26 comments:

  1. No! Just, @#*%$^& gah! No time travel! Lol. I feel too strongly that if anything, any tiny little thing, were changed in the past, it would make a completely different present/future. I know there are some theories that a new timeline would be created and then both would exist, and I don't know, I suppose that's acceptable? But way too confusing and mindbending.

    As I mentioned in your last time travel post, the only time travel portrayal I've ever been able to handle was The Time Traveler's Wife. And it worked for me because his time travel was a genetic thing, and he didn't get to choose when or where he traveled---it just happened. And so the times he traveled to the past, they DID already happen. Like, if he traveled as an adult into the past and talked to himself as as kid, he already remembered that time when he was a kid and talked to his adult self because it already happened. And once he even tried to change something while he was in the past, see if it would change in the future, but then it turned out his attempt at changing it was actually what caused it to be that way in the first place. Get me? Sounds confusing, but it actually does make sense in the book. And that's they only way it makes sense to me, if the time traveling has already been taken into account in the present time and therefore nothing actually changes because the traveling already happened... This was probably just the most confusing comment ever lol.

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    1. Ha ha I remember you're not the biggest fan of time travel. :) I actually love it just for the possibilities- it opens up so many story choices, even if a lot of them have been done to death. And the idea of creating a new timeline, by making one change, is kind of exhilarating. I don't know, I kinda like the idea of multiple timelines out there- if I had done this, bam my life went this way. Kinda fun to think about (and yes mindbendy) lol

      Time travel is a genetic thing is very interesting, and not something I've seen touched on. That opens up a whole new mess - if his visit back is already factored in, how can it be if he hasn't gone back yet? It probably makes sense in the book, like you said. My brain now hurts. :)

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    2. It's almost like all moments in time exist all at once. If in 2005 he travels back to 1990, then that means in 1990 his future self has to show up. Because it wouldn't make sense if that never happened in 1990. But I actually have read a couple other books that handled time travel similarly, just not the genetic part.

      For example, in one of the HP books, someone saves Harry from a dementor attack, and he thinks the person he sees is his dad, but later on he travels back in time and realizes that person was himself and that he now needs to go save his past self from the dementor attack.

      Or in this other book I read, a girl who could time travel met her father for the first time, but he was already close to her because, after meeting him, he died, but then she started traveling back in time to before he died in order to get to know him and spend time with him.

      Kind of like how the blurb for The Time Traveler's Wife says about the two people, "...who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one." It does seem way less confusing when you actually read it lol because I remember being so confused by that blurb.

      So I suppose I'm not entirely against the idea of time travel in books, it's just that I don't risk it since it's rarely done in a way I agree with. As you can tell from my ridiculously long comment, I've thought about it a lot lol. But I understand why other people like it :-)

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    3. See it's all that mind bendy stuff that I love. :) I like that idea of time existing all at once- that definitely makes it more plausible. Like if it's all a continuum and you can access any point on the continuum, then it's not necessarily a paradox. Maybe that's similar to the whole time is a fourth dimension/ wormhole argument.

      I think the whole going back to see yourself thing is one of the twistiest elements of time travel. Can there be two of you at the same time, even where there a continuum? How wild would that be? And the example you gave where the girl went back to know her dad- that sounds VERY fascinating.

      Love this discussion! I can totally see why it's not your thing though. :)

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  2. I do think that even tiny changes could have huge repercussions, BUT not factoring in the consequences I'd LOVE to time travel. I don't think I'd necessarily like to travel to MY past, but I'd like to go further back in time, like Ancient Greece or Egypt just to take a look. I'm also pretty curious about the future, but slightly more wary of it? Neither the past nor the future technically exist, but at least with the past you have some frame of reference. With the future, the planet might already have been destroyed or artificial intelligence could have taken over etc. :D Then again, COOL TECH and THE FUTURE. I don't think I'd like to go to MY future the same way I wouldn't want to go to my past, but I'd like to see it in a few centuries or even millenia. Time is just so weird and fascinating and basically doesn't make any sense at all, so naturally it's intriguing.

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    1. Yup- agree. I love the idea of changing something and creating a whole new timeline? Not just to do it but just the sense that it happens- that it's possible. If it were I mean. Ha ha. But it is kinda wild to think about if I had done this, my life might be totally different? Different job, different lots of stuff.

      Also yes to time travel to the past. There are a lot of things I'd like to see- maybe the library of Alexandria (and grab some scrolls while there ha ha) and just so many things we wonder about. Could get answers. :)

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  3. LOL! The only way I would want to travel back in time would be with The Doctor or Hermione and her Time-Turner! Otherwise, YES the repercussions could be catastrophic and I'd never want to change something in the past and make the future worse or something. It totally is mind-bendy to think about but I can't help LOVING to think about it. It's just so fascinating :D With the proper precautions, I'd LOVE to time travel. Especially to the past and see all of the wonders of the world during their prime, like Egypt, Greece, Rome...Victorian London! ALL of it! Awesome discussion Greg ♥

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    1. I kinda like the Tardis, so I'm with you there. I keep hearing I have to watch Dr. Who. I agree it's amazing to think about. I would do an ancient wonders tour I think, if I were able. :)

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  4. Good post! I just think of the butterfly wings or whatever that is called. I know you know what I'm talking about, how it changes things across the world. I would think that if time travel occurred it would change the present as we know it, so it would be a risky adventure. I would not choose to go forward to the future. I don't want to know.

    I do enjoy some time travel adventure or time travel romance stories but finding them are few and far between. Well, at leas the ones I would enjoy. I also like sliding-doors stories, which in mind are similar in a way.

    Thanks for a fun post!

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    1. I like them if done right. And yes I'm not sure I would want to see the future- kinda iffy. Still... would be tempting. :)

      Probably would stick with the past lol. Although yes- if you did something that prevented one from being born, how would that work? Seems like unless there are multiple timelines, it just doesn't work. :)

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  5. Time-travel is one of those things that I think is far too theoretical to have concrete rules for. Besides I think it's much more interesting to see how books and shows choose to approach time travel. Personally, time travel just screams "danger", because we might not be able to see all the consequences to even a small change. Nice post!

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    1. Thank you. And agree- who knows the rules really, so why be tied down to certain rules? I also like seeing the different takes on time travel.

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  6. My brother and I use to talk about time travel, and still do from time to time. I think it's something that needs to have rules and limited to who can do it. There could be big changes that could rock the world with traveling through time and changing things. People who are here now may not be if you change something. Some people reference the butterfly effect, but it's possible with time change. :)

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    1. That's true, I think that concept of huge (maybe unintended) changes is one of the scarier elements of Time travel (and one of the fascinating)!

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  7. great post and questions. I often wonder about all that. If would time travel, what rules would govern it??? I think I would love to go to the past and see about humans evolution. Answer the question about the missing link. definitely witness Jesus life (even though I'm not religious). Not sure if I want to see the future. Maybe a very distant one.

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    1. I agree with both of those- would be very cool to see. and think of all the questions we could answer! :)

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  8. Oh boy... I don't know! I mean, there could be alternate dimensions? That would make "sense", right? Because if I were to go back in time and change something, but there were TWO of me at the time I went to, the one that went into the past, that one would then become a different person all together. With different memories. Also, while I think changing MAJOR things would cause a ripple effect, there are changes that I don't think would. I mean, sure they could, but just because I got coffee one day at 7AM instead of 7:15AM doesn't mean my ENTIRE life would change (although, it's a possibility, no one would know!) Okay, now I'm just confusing myself. This whole thing just reminds me of Donnie Darko lol xD


    Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

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    1. That's a good point, minor changes might not really change anything at all. Or does even the smallest deviation change everything? It gets mind bending. :)

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  9. Yay - I enjoyed that other post. I have a friend who studies physics, and he tries to explain all the stuff to me about the stuff in time travel books could be reality and ... it just freaks me out. I will stick to fiction and pretend that it's all fantasy...
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  10. I absolutely love time travel! But I don't think it would be possible to see ourselves, that should definitely do something to the time-space continuum. I have read some excellent time travel stories, and some that were really strange, too.
    I know that it's not possible for real, but some scientists state that time isn't truly linear, it only appears that way to us, because we cannot grasp more than that.
    I agree with you about going back to the past and changing one tiny thing and that one thing could have immense consequences on everything else that happens afterwards. Even a 'simple' thing like changing majors would have a great impact. Because I would have different friends, different places I'd go, and that is only the small stuff. Having different friends would probably change my outlook on many things, whether I like to admit it or not, I'm sure my friends during my teenage years definitely influenced me.
    I love this post, Greg, and I'll have to check out your other time-travel post, too.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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  11. Difficult question, Greg. Hmm... I every once in a while think what if, but then I realize that even the slightest change would effect things I love now, so even if some things were bad choices, sometimes good things come from them. Does that make sense? I would like to go back to watch happy moments though. Hearing people's voices, or smelling my grandmother's perfume they don't make anymore would be priceless. Seeing what people look like in the future would be stellar, too. I have always said that if those little grey "aliens" are real, it is us from the future going back in time; not beings from another planet. Think about it, they are always gathering DNA and giving people visions of future catastrophes. It makes sense that humans from the future would be doing that, not beings from another solar system. They walk around with no breathing apparatus, what are the chances aliens could breath our air? Plus, what are the chances life in another solar system would evolve with arms, legs, and heads with orbital eyes? I would love to see if my theory is correct. Ha ha. :)

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  12. Time travel! I love it. I'd be all over t going everywhere. While I'd love to go to the past, I think I'd want to go in to future and see how things are. That would be cool.

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  13. Is this a good time to bring up Doctor Who...?

    Time travel is so tricky! My WIP has a time travel element to it, in a way, and I had to decide how I wanted it to work! It was so hard.
    As far as stories go, I think it's okay to try to change the past, but it shouldn't actually change anything? Like, if someone tries to change the past, then from a future POV they've already done that so things were always going to end the way they did? Things just got complicated.
    Everything's a paradox and I'm sleep-deprived and I don't think I can make sense right now... I'll be back ;)

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  14. I love time travel books, but you're right that it can be completely mindbendy! And sometimes, if the rules are TOO specific it just turns my brain to mush - so there has to be some balance there. As long as the author can make it make sense without making it insanely confusing (Ha! Easier said than done!) I'm all in!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  15. I LOVE the idea of time-travel and I really enjy reading time-travel in books. I don't think I would want to see the future, but going back into the way far past and witnessing events that shaped the world would be awesome!

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