29.5.09

Premise: No Paradox

The hypothesis of time travel in fiction is that to go back is to cause the future in which you, the person in question, goes back in time. One cannot go back and change things, supposedly, because then one would not exist in the proper manner or location in order to go back. This hinges on a principle of anti-paradox, yes?

Only I'm having trouble with two pieces of it. First, as we experience time linearly, it would be a totally fucked incident were we to significantly alter our exterior input experience. The fear of the anti-pardoxicals is that universal laws must necessarily exist, and violations of those laws make their fields moot, yes? Only, that's the point of doing something as fucked as time traveling in space, the new thing that we're trying for the first time. Therefore, it's probably going to cause all sorts of wicked paradoxes and other things we might not even have figured are paradoxes, but like triple level paradoxes, yeah, unrecognizably weird shit that we can't put into words. So I don't see the big reason to claim it's got to be coherent or anything.

That said, I am going to advance another of their type of theories that it isn't a paradox at all, only I'm going to expand it beyond "causing ones own oneness". Here, the problem is something like killing your mother, yes? So I go back, kill my mother, I am not born, how did I kill her. What an idiot series of events, really. What I've done, beyond wasted a time travel trip, is commit an elaborate suicide. In a normal suicide, I kill myself at one point and cease begin in point after. Here, I've killed myself, as well as all parts of myself that exist at all times. The act done, I'll die, just as in a suicide. That I'm dead doesn't mean that I can't have done the act that killed me. "The man couldn't have committed suicide, your honor, he's dead!" Let's move it slightly off suicide and matricide and toward general behavior. I commit, at timepoint B, general behavior element D. This general behavior causes me to go to timepoint A, and commit general behavior element C, yes?

First, I presume we're not significantly bound by D->C causuality, or B->A timeline, that we can imagine a universe in which the future influences the past. Second, and more interesting, is that this all presume a constantly created timeline. To elaborate. Every instant that occurs, occurs in a planned order that constitutes the existential makeup of Time, as understood here as the set of all events in a linear unchangeable order. That is to say, were an instant to be shifted or altered, it would no longer be Time, as understood here, but would instead be something else. So we need to envision this type of time, the faulty type, as being constantly produced. That this is fragile is perhaps only a point of view, it might be perfectly infinitely strong. What it lacks is its own internal logic that demands only forward-being causuality, because if I alter Time, and turn it into (time) by shifting an element, by killing my mother, by committing general behavior element c, then I've not only altered the moment and the subsequent moments, but have struck at the ontological character of Time and transformed it backwardsly.

4 comments:

Hollingsworth J. McTubbins said...

This would have been better with some demonstrative graphs and illustrations...

Hollingsworth J. McTubbins said...

Although, I would have to say you are talking about a narrative device that encourages presupposition and in the case of LOST (which I'm assuming was the basis for this premise) seemed sort of like a lazy, obvious and somewhat boneheaded conclusion to arrive at.

Your premise is solid, but unfortunately for LOST it leads to, in my opinion, forgettable television that at one point in time was the basis of some thought provoking conversation about intrigue and mystery and after the introduction of time travel, the narrative tension is derived from the viewer's inability to comprehend a paradox.

Grant said...

Maybe. I think it remains unclear what happens to the timeline, and if it becomes that they're their own precursors, I think you're right, it's a horrible end to a brilliant show. I'm not sure that's where it needs to go.

My premise wasn't based on Lost, anyway, though I thought about it.

E-- said...

Stiffler, JT, Buffy, Mandy and the ROCK?!?