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Taross
2009-01-05, 06:26 AM
I've been fairly quiet and lurking around mostly, reading forums and not posting much (as I do seem to have a bad track record in posting to forums and goofing off). There has been, however, something that struck me when reading all the different speculations on Erfworld, the Arkentools, attunement and complaining about Charlie.

Since the only older clear post on Charlie's identity that I could find was linking to the Unicorn movie I think I'm ok with making a new thread.

My belief is that it might be possible that Charlie is Parson. Only 'future Parson'.

My reasoning for such is mostly based on all the speculation of all you other people;

- Charlie has been said to be not of this world.
- Charlie is 'treating the battle as one would a turn-based strategy game'.
- There is a fourth Arkentool that may or may not be related to control over Time.

That last one started to nag me specifically after reading this:

Charlie is the only Erfian equivalent to Parson, everyone else is a front line fighter or on the defence, charlie is the only KNOWN "armchair general" Erf.
Basically given the time, Charlie is what Parson can be

Now, what if somehow (and we'll just ignore the head-breaking calculations about time-travel, I seriously dislike time-travel as a gimmick.) Parson gets his hands on the time-based Arkentool, attunes with it somehow and tries to use it to find a way home. Said way home needs posession of all the known Arkentools. Something happened in the original Battle at Gobwin Knob that caused at least one tool to 'go missing'.
Parson realises he can't just go and claim all the tools before they're properly found, it'd mess up his own time. So he goes back to set himself up as Charlie and goes to make sure that 1) He can get his hands on whatever tool went missing during that war and 2) He can arrange things to go just right enough where Parson still lives and goes on to become Charlie later on.

He knows when to back off or attack because he's been there before for most of the way. He knows what he needs to get or what he has to sacrifice. He can 'crack' Parsons eyebook because he's using the same (but older) eyebook.

Because he IS now basically changing his own history, there's still the element of chance where the entire battle can go end-up for all his plans. Which is where current-time Parson comes in. As soon as he runs into a moment where the outcome is unsure, he uses one of his negotiated battle-calculations to 'fix' the event in time so he can properly predict what to do to make things run.

I don't know if I'm still making sense. The entire idea of a time-travelling future Parson screwing his past self over just to get his hands on all the Arkentools and finally go home is rather far fetched. But right now it makes sense in my head.

Eraniverse
2009-01-05, 09:58 AM
Mindblowing theory. I like it for its sheer audaciousness.

At least one hiccup though. Future Parson would still have Mathmancy artifact. I suppose it's possible that he traded it away (afterall our Parson was ready to), but I would think such a item would cause serious impact wherever used. So either we're not seeing it or it was lost in some future hijinks remote enough that the voracious scholar Sizemore hasn't heard of its like.

Actually that's not much of a hiccup is it?

zerombr
2009-01-05, 10:16 AM
It doesn't seem to keep in theme with the comic, but possible I suppose. I simply believe Charlie is just another player like Parson, a real gamer inside a game, apparently he just couldn't be happier. In the end, it'll be Charlie who is the real foe to clash with long after Gobwin Knob.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-01-05, 11:21 AM
In time travel theories for what happens if you kill yourself there are a huge variety of options. Most of them are bad. Would you really tell your past self that you'd like to have that nice mathamancy artifact and the smart warlord who comes with it, but you'd take it from his dead hands if that had the be the way?

Fjolnir
2009-01-05, 11:55 AM
while I didn't mean to imply time travel and all it's horrible implications, the thing is if he IS future Parson, he would have to play it straight as a semi enemy combatant he will do everything in his power to prevent the croaking of his past self but he can't make it look too obvious. His threats and such are part of this particular image/facade/whatever but he is trying to influence things so parson lives and if he loses the war goes into his custody

HPV
2009-01-05, 02:12 PM
I simply believe Charlie is just another player like Parson, a real gamer inside a game, apparently he just couldn't be happier.
That's a theory on Charlie's origins that I'm entertaining too, it might fit from the little we know so far.
Although it could just be that Charlie is meant to represent a side run by a competent gamer, as opposed to say, Stanley, whos style comes across to me very much like an 8 yr old trying to play their first strat game. *shrug*

dr pepper
2009-01-05, 03:09 PM
"By His Bootstraps"

Lolindir
2009-01-05, 05:41 PM
Okay, I haven't been around here for half a year to travel around the world, and I guess no-one remembered my previous 2 posts, but... oh well, here goes!

First of all: Not possible!

If Parson would lose a certain artifact, and his last resort is to change the flow of time by making sure the artifact would not be lost, than "future Parson" would simply not exist, because there is no reason for his existence. If he would make sure "current Parson" would get all the artifacts, then he would A> not stay in the game, because he could go home and B> he would never have thought of timetraveling to change the course of time, since there is no reason to.

Sigh, all in one line!

Braincracker!

Godskook
2009-01-06, 05:18 PM
If Parson would lose a certain artifact, and his last resort is to change the flow of time by making sure the artifact would not be lost, than "future Parson" would simply not exist, because there is no reason for his existence. If he would make sure "current Parson" would get all the artifacts, then he would A> not stay in the game, because he could go home and B> he would never have thought of timetraveling to change the course of time, since there is no reason to.

Read Schlock mercenary for a good explanation of paradoxical time-travel. Your entire argument is dependent on it not being possible.

As for the original idea, I don't like it, but it works really well with what little we know. I hope not though.

DevilDan
2009-01-06, 05:44 PM
I think I'd quit reading this strip is time travel became a significant part of the in-story action.

Lemarc
2009-01-07, 03:54 AM
It would be a predictable, but entirely satisfying ending to Erfworld if Charlie were discovered to be not only the real enemy, and mastermind behind events including the destruction of Faq in a bid to obtain the Arkentools, but also a player like Parson who is (happily, in Charlie's case) trapped in the game. By the time they came face to face, Parson would have fully connected with the inhabitants of Erf and come to think of them only as people, and he could bitch Charlie out about his remorseless treatment of Erfworlders as nothing more than tools for his amusement. There'd be a showdown, Charlie would get killed by an Erflander, and Parson would return home. It would make for a good ending, I think, and it also fits with what we know so far (I don't remember Charlie ever showing any compassion for his archons, although I may be wrong).

Simanos
2009-01-07, 04:21 AM
If they make this another time travel plot I will cry.
Time travel (to the past) is the worst tool of a bad writer.
It ALWAYS gives a paradox and is a cheap way for the writer to surprise the audience cause logically they can't choose either way when a decision comes to predict how the paradox will work. And it will come, trust me.
L. A. M. E.

PS: Delete this thread while you can :smalltongue:

Fjolnir
2009-01-07, 07:14 AM
my favorite time travel paradox is John Connor's continued existance at the end of terminator, honestly because I STILL argue he should have faded into nonexistence if what the terminator said was true and Skynet would be destroyed by his destruction and the destruction of the old terminator parts, since the whole time travel thing was invented by Skynet to hunt people in the past and his father used that technology to get there and father him, he couldn't so poof

DigoDragon
2009-01-07, 10:09 AM
my favorite time travel paradox is John Connor's continued existance at the end of terminator

It seems in the case of Terminator, the flow of time is hard to change-- if you take the TV series as cannon then everything done in the past seems to only delay or slightly adjust the future, but it won't completely stop the inevitable "Judgement Day".

My thought was that Charlie was the first Earther to be brought to Erf using that "Summon Ultimate Warlord" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0013.html)spell.

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 11:40 AM
My thought was that Charlie was the first Earther to be brought to Erf using that "Summon Ultimate Warlord" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0013.html)spell.

The idea has been discussed before.

ondonaflash
2009-01-10, 03:53 PM
It looks to me like Charlie is suiting up to be a fairly significant antagonist, though not an overly malicious one. But I will say that of all the characters in this comic, Charlies is the most intriguing, because as the Erfs are wont to say, Charlie's intentions are not clear.

Lemarc (I thought you was dead, you got a song and everything!): the fact that you could recite that story beginning to end only serves to show how cliched it is.

I do not believe Charlie will be the final villain, if only because so far he's been to nice. Charlie could do a sudden reversal, but I think he has a different role to play. He could possibly play the role of "Mentor", but I am inclined to believe that the ultimate villain is yet to be revealed.

Altima
2009-01-10, 04:43 PM
I think I'd quit reading this strip is time travel became a significant part of the in-story action.

Agreed. The only show that I've ever seen that has done time travel that didn't induce my gag reflex was Babylon 5.

As for Charlie, we just don't know enough about him (or her) to make anything more than wild guesses. He (or she) could, of course, be from Earth, but if that were the case, I would have expected Charlie to be a bit more sympathetic to Parson's plight--if only to have someone Charlie could, truly, 'talk' to.

On the other hand, we don't even know the circumstances of Charlie's ascension to the Charles Comm throne. Was the ruler quietly deposed while Charlie was the heir? Did Charlie turn and take the kingdom?

MadScientistMat
2009-01-11, 05:01 PM
...as opposed to say, Stanley, whos style comes across to me very much like an 8 yr old trying to play their first strat game. *shrug*

When I first saw Stanley, my impression was exactly that: He looked like he was a small child attempting to play a strategy game. That would square with a lot of Erfworld's twisted cute appearance if Erfworld were a game for children... but the charcters inside the game have no idea it's a kids' game, so for them, it's Serious Business.

Lemarc
2009-01-11, 11:03 PM
Lemarc (I thought you was dead, you got a song and everything!): the fact that you could recite that story beginning to end only serves to show how cliched it is.

Probably I have different tastes to you; I don't mind cliches, provided they are told well enough to offset how common they are. Cliches become cliches for a reason, after all. But, as I said, it would be predictable, so I agree that it's unlikely to happen.


On the other hand, we don't even know the circumstances of Charlie's ascension to the Charles Comm throne. Was the ruler quietly deposed while Charlie was the heir? Did Charlie turn and take the kingdom?

It might be a self-made kingdom, unless he comes from a line of Charles'.

Rekov
2009-01-12, 01:41 AM
It doesn't seem to keep in theme with the comic, but possible I suppose. I simply believe Charlie is just another player like Parson, a real gamer inside a game, apparently he just couldn't be happier. In the end, it'll be Charlie who is the real foe to clash with long after Gobwin Knob.


Who says that he didnt give that to parson. We dont know how his food was spawned. Charlie, if he was future parson, would be in the exact position to know what parson needs to know, and to know what parson must figure out on his own in order to survive in Erfworld.

DevilDan
2009-01-12, 02:44 AM
Who says that he didnt give that to parson. We dont know how his food was spawned. Charlie, if he was future parson, would be in the exact position to know what parson needs to know, and to know what parson must figure out on his own in order to survive in Erfworld.

So I guess that he lost the mathamancy item at some point.

And was not worried enough about his own health to just take him right away...

quindraco
2009-01-12, 06:35 AM
But Parson A. Gotti is an anagram for "A Protagonist"; Charlescomm is an anagram for "Calmer Schmo". I think we both know what that means!

Simanos
2009-01-12, 10:30 AM
Agreed. The only show that I've ever seen that has done time travel that didn't induce my gag reflex was Babylon 5.
EXACTLY!
(and even "that" was a pretty close call for me)

raphfrk
2009-01-12, 11:00 AM
It seems in the case of Terminator, the flow of time is hard to change-- if you take the TV series as cannon then everything done in the past seems to only delay or slightly adjust the future, but it won't completely stop the inevitable "Judgement Day".



Not sure if this needs a spoiler tag.

Haven't seen the series, but maybe the existance of John Connor is the reason that Judgement day cannot be avoided. If you change the past, the future is recalculated so that it is consistant with the new past *including* the fact that it needs to change it. See here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novikov_self-consistency_principle).

If time travel is possible, there are an infinite number of futures that are consistant with current history. For lots of occurances of a time traveler/object from the future appearing next to you, there is a method to make that happen.

To prevent the war happening, the 'good guys' need to make it so that the most likely future that explains all past 'temporal events', is one that excludes the war.

For example, they could find the guy who went back in the first movie and convince him that the best way to prevent the war is for him to go back in time and play his part in events that transpired. Similarly, they need to build the various terminators that went back in time and program them to act appropriately. They would also need the time machine.

Ofc, if Skynet is required to actually figure out the time machine, then the only feasible future would be one including Skynet.

Simanos
2009-01-13, 10:59 AM
No. The existence of John Connor is NOT the reason that Judgment day cannot be avoided. The reason is easy Profits can be made by making a stupid time travel movie sequel.
Time travel (to the past) is impossible, illogical and paradoxical.

DevilDan
2009-01-13, 12:09 PM
Time travel (to the past) is impossible, illogical and paradoxical.

Wow. I'm glad that's settled then. Must run out and destroy all copies of the Back to the Future movies, the Time Machine, etc. It can be done well in fiction, or at least enjoyably. I always liked the pulp novel "One Against Time," for example. There are probably countless others that use time travel intelligently. And there are many that don't.

dr pepper
2009-01-13, 01:14 PM
I believe Simanos is refering to Niven's Paradox:

If it is possible to change the past, then time travel will never be invented.

In other words, countless time travellers will act, every possible permutation of history will be expressed, until finally the timeline shifts to one where there are no time travellers.

However, the Terminator Universe seems to operate on the principle that once you leave your own timeline you are independent of the past, and even if things get changed so you were never born, you continue to exist.

raphfrk
2009-01-13, 07:49 PM
I believe Simanos is refering to Niven's Paradox:

If it is possible to change the past, then time travel will never be invented.

In other words, countless time travellers will act, every possible permutation of history will be expressed, until finally the timeline shifts to one where there are no time travellers.


Alternatively, it could shift to one with time travellers who happen not to create any paradoxes.

So, I guess it comes down to the question, of all possible universes, which are more likely, universes with no time travel or ones where time travellers behave themselves?

If time travel can be invented, then it seems reasonable that intelligent life will find it.

Also, if the initial conditions of the universe will result in time travel, then it must exist, unless you can use a time machine to change the initial conditions. If it didn't then there would be no time travel event to shift the universe away from the invention of time travel in the first place. Ofc, it would only require one time travel event.



However, the Terminator Universe seems to operate on the principle that once you leave your own timeline you are independent of the past, and even if things get changed so you were never born, you continue to exist.

It could also mean that as long as there is a possible future where you can exist, then one of them will become the actual future.

Simanos
2009-01-14, 01:41 PM
Wow. I'm glad that's settled then. Must run out and destroy all copies of the Back to the Future movies, the Time Machine, etc. It can be done well in fiction, or at least enjoyably. I always liked the pulp novel "One Against Time," for example. There are probably countless others that use time travel intelligently. And there are many that don't.
Be. Very.
The amount of enjoyable stories with time travel to the past is miniscule compared to the whole. Even those (even in Babylon 5) are bad logic. If you're smart enough to figure out why it is impossible (most people aren't) then you can cry or take it as a joke in the story (not for real). Best not to dwell on it much, forget it.
You will never achieve time-travel earthlings! "cough cough" :smallcool:

Capt'n Ironbrow
2009-01-14, 01:57 PM
enjoyable time-travel stories... It brings to mind the Belgian comic Suske & Wiske (available in English as Willy & Wanda or Spike & Suzy). If you want to see some light-hearted time travelling to history with little consequences for the future, that's the stuff. the creator of the comic had a history obsession, so every now and then the protagonists would take the time machine or be hypnotised to history and back. mr. Vandersteen had lots of original ideas to bring his characters to historical times (mostly old Flanders) but the tele-time machine became a regular feature.

I used to find those adventures the most entertaining. I believe there are times they even go to history just for laughs or educational value (how was it like?) and never, NEVER-EVER does professor Barabas (builder of the time machine) warn about the grave consequences of going back in time and running about... for the suske&wiskeverse, there aren't any!

teehee, the hijinks they would get into :smallbiggrin:

Simanos
2009-01-14, 03:08 PM
I made the "as a joke" caveat already...

koima
2009-01-14, 03:16 PM
I could see Charlie as Parson-of-the-future, but in my own day dreamings of things to come Charlie is a girl (from our world) and Parson falls in love with her thus giving him something to live for besides gaming.

dr pepper
2009-01-14, 03:22 PM
I could see Charlie as Parson-of-the-future, but in my own day dreamings of things to come Charlie is a girl (from our world) and Parson falls in love with her thus giving him something to live for besides gaming.

Garcia from "Criminal Minds", perhaps? She's always hoping to meet a boy online.

Chicken Little
2009-01-14, 03:25 PM
Be. Very.
The amount of enjoyable stories with time travel to the past is miniscule compared to the whole. Even those (even in Babylon 5) are bad logic. If you're smart enough to figure out why it is impossible (most people aren't) then you can cry or take it as a joke in the story (not for real). Best not to dwell on it much, forget it.
You will never achieve time-travel earthlings! "cough cough" :smallcool:

Similarly, all stories with telepathy, magic, The Force or Santa should likewise be ignored.

If you find yourself unable to ignore these, make sure to tell people that Santa isn't real. Provide graphs and charts explaining the obvious logistical issues involving a single man visiting every house on the planet in one night. Never mind the outlandish claim of self-propelled, aerodynamic reindeer.

daggaz
2009-01-14, 03:36 PM
But Parson A. Gotti is an anagram for "A Protagonist"; Charlescomm is an anagram for "Calmer Schmo". I think we both know what that means!

This is why I wish I were better at anagrams. Damn didnt see that one at all... are there others??

And I like the OP's theory as well, especially the detail about hacking Parson's eyebook. Clever. And bollucks to people who claim timetravel is illogical while in the same breath they passionately discuss the ramifications of cartoon world where a "human" character is magically transported into a world of well, magic, and talking puppets who breathe and die but are never born. Hrmph I say to ye!

DevilDan
2009-01-14, 03:56 PM
"Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!"

"I didn't get a harrumph out of that guy!"

"Give the governor a harrumph!"

"Harrumph! Harrumph!"

"You watch your boop..."

That said, I sincerely hope there is not an iota, scintalla, modicum, hint, breath, or even whiff of time travel in this story.

Ragn Charran
2009-01-14, 04:03 PM
On time travel and paradoxes...

There is the technique of writing the events such that the time traveler changes nothing because the arrival of the time traveler happened in the “original” timeline and everything he did in his travels happened prior to his leaving and were what lead to his being able to time travel in the first place. In other words, not only were the time traveler’s actions what had always happened, they are actually required for the timeline to exist as it was prior to his time travel! It requires the assumption that time is not entirely linear (which, let's face it, if time travel is possible it cannot be wholly linear!), and it could be argued that it requires time to be preprogrammed or fated, but once that assumption is asserted it can be used successfully as a literary device.

While the two examples I’m about to quote off aren’t exactly “highbrow” sci-fi, and use time-travel to be entertaining rather than necessarily clever, they both avoid conventional paradoxes in this way.

Spoiler 1: Futurama

In “Roswell that End’s Well” the crew travels back in time and crashes on earth. Zoidberg is captured, and Fry accidentally kills his grandfather before his father had been conceived. While initially this looks like a paradox, it turns out that a) the Planet Express ship is the UFO that crashed in Roswell, and b) when Fry doesn’t cease to exist after killing his “grandfather”, he assumes that the sexy young woman who he thought was his grandmother can’t really be his grandmother, and ends up having sex with her. The kicker is, he got her pregnant, she always claimed it was the “grandfather’s” baby, and Fry was actually his own grandfather all along, essentially creating himself.

Of course, later episodes and movies (especially Bender’s Big Score) completely ignored this concept and went Terminator style instead, much to my distaste.

Spoiler 2: Robotech (novels)

“The End of the Circle” shows that certain time travel events created the events documented in all the prior books. At one point, the SDF3 needs a protoculture drive, so the protoculture youth led by Drannin use their powers to search for one. They find one – in the past, in the SDF1 – and bring it to the SDF3, simultaneously causing and explaining (the author’s own words in the book) the great mystery of why the protoculture drives disappeared after the jump to Pluto in “Genesis”, all the way back at the start of the series.

(I particularly liked this example because the mystery was never previously explained - through 17 prior books it had remained an unsolved enigma, to both readers and characters. Prior to the event happening in the future, no one ever understood why it had happened in the past).

Even more overarching is the revelation that Zor was the child of Minmei and one of his own clones, who were thrown into a subdimension outside of conventional time during the events of “The End of the Circle” and somehow ended up at Tirol in the past. In other words, the creation of Protoculture and the resulting galactic war were dependant on the cycle of Zor existing, finding protoculture, the wars happening, Zor’s cloning, and one of the clones travelling back in time with Minmei.

This technique could be applied to Erfworld and TC's theory (but I doubt it will be), and if it were it would most likely fall into the lowbrow, raw entertainment vs. solid and detailed writing category with my two examples (which is why I doubt it will be!).

daggaz
2009-01-14, 05:17 PM
Ahh but the Futurama version, while awesome, makes the mistake of introducing a less realized paradox, that of leaving something physical behind.

In this case, it is the one copy of DNA which Fry leaves to himself. That single half-strand of DNA gets older and older every time the loop is completed, whereas the rest of the world is "stuck" in time and always has a young age.

An easier way to visualize this paradox is if he had left something more tangible, like say a piece of paper. With every loop, the paper ages, so eventually it should be brittle and crumble to dust. But that cant happen because it is a fresh piece of paper at the "start."

Rather than a paradox of causality, this is a paradox of thermodynamics, and this one puts extremely tight restrictions against time travel, even more so than those of causality.

multilis
2009-01-14, 05:32 PM
Time travel could be to a parallel universe.

Charlie might really be Parsons subconcious that is very smart and sees what is possible for Parson to become so to a degree is *his* future. Charlie is probably very similar to a role that Parson GM would play in challenging his friends in real life.

Rather than Charlie though, imo the real unusual one is the Spell that brought him there, and gives him Luckamancy charms and tells him to eat up, your going to need it.

Ragn Charran
2009-01-14, 05:52 PM
Rather than a paradox of causality, this is a paradox of thermodynamics, and this one puts extremely tight restrictions against time travel, even more so than those of causality.

Interesting point, though it could be argued that since we have already established that time is not linear for this to work, there is no repeating loop to age the item in question, they both just exist and are as old as the points in time in which they exist.

Suicide Junkie
2009-01-14, 06:15 PM
Ah, but it isn't the same molecules going around and around, but rather a copy of the pattern they hold.

The cell containing the time travelling DNA fragment will get old and die, but that doesn't matter to the other ~50 trillion cells in his body which were built from local materials.


To use the paper example;
Future you comes back and leaves a scribbled stickynote on your fridge saying that your house is about to burn down.
You read the note and run outside to safety.

Later you're getting sucked into a portal to the past, so you grab a stickynote out of your cubicle and scribble the message, leaving it on the fridge for your past self to read.

The note is fresh from the factory, and only survives about 48 hours before being incinerated. No problem.

raphfrk
2009-01-14, 06:15 PM
An easier way to visualize this paradox is if he had left something more tangible, like say a piece of paper. With every loop, the paper ages, so eventually it should be brittle and crumble to dust. But that cant happen because it is a fresh piece of paper at the "start."


DNA is copied, so that doesn't really apply. It would be more like sending back a CD and then your former self burning a copy. There is a very high probability that the copy would be successful and the nature means that once it works once, the result is 'locked in'.

Tarvok
2009-01-15, 01:05 AM
I like time travel; I really do. As much as I dislike ST:VOY, I watch it for the time travel angle. I mean, their time travel plots may not be great (though necessary, to incorporate previous sporadic instances in previous series into a coherent whole), but their negative space wedgies are ten times worse. (Cracking the event horizon, indeed!) And the Back to the Future movies (all of them, INCLUDING the second) are among my favorite movies.

But I would be very, very disappointed if it suddenly factored into Erfworld. Thus far, we have NO hints that it may be behind certain events. Charlie's extraordinary competence and inscrutable motives do not necessarily have to result even from his being from the "real world," let alone Parson in the future! It only demonstrates that there are potential motivations that are, as yet, hidden from us. Another example would be Wanda, who, it seems, serves Stanley not entirely out of loyalty, but out of some past history with Ansom--past history as yet unrevealed to the reader.

Of course, if this experience IS actually a dream (objection nullification: it began BEFORE he disappeared in a cloud of "plot", and is actually still asleep, waiting for his party to arrive, drooling all over his notes...), that totally nullifies the idea that Charlie is Parson's future self... though it does make him necessarily an extension of Parson's current self (as all the characters would be).

daggaz
2009-01-15, 02:50 AM
DNA is copied, so that doesn't really apply. It would be more like sending back a CD and then your former self burning a copy. There is a very high probability that the copy would be successful and the nature means that once it works once, the result is 'locked in'.

DNA is copied, but the "original" strand still has to be brought from the future and placed into the past, so the thermodynamic paradox still stands for that molecule. Unless you are going to claim that every single atom in the strand is replaced somehow thru error correction, which is a thermodynamic impossibility and entirely acceptable, considering we are talking about time travel in a magical cartoon world.

Simanos
2009-01-15, 11:34 AM
Similarly, all stories with telepathy, magic, The Force or Santa should likewise be ignored.

If you find yourself unable to ignore these, make sure to tell people that Santa isn't real. Provide graphs and charts explaining the obvious logistical issues involving a single man visiting every house on the planet in one night. Never mind the outlandish claim of self-propelled, aerodynamic reindeer.
So you think Santa is real? OK I guess that shows if you're right or I am on the paradox thing.
What? You like to use straw-man arguments, but not when they are used on you? How original...

As long as magic has some well defined logical rules, suspension of disbelief can be sustained. As the saying goes sufficiently advanced technology can appear as magic.
Time travel to the past always is paradoxical. Always.
The worst part isn't that. It's that it's a cheap method to surprise the audience. The writer is called at some point to make an arbitrary choice that the audience has no logical reason to support either way. So the writer gets to play clever and boost his ego.
There are stories where time travel is just a nostalgia machine (like going to prehistoric times) and the paradoxes are not explored (they are still there, always) because we just want some "old times" fun. What was suggested in this thread is not like that clearly. Charlie is supposed to be Parson, they talked to each other for...
I give this idea 2 thumbs down.

Wyvv
2009-01-15, 02:38 PM
Charlie as a time traveling Parson... I think that'd be great, but only in a rather specific scenario. The way I see it, if Charlie is Parson, after he finds out things go on for awhile. Plot twists, battles, and all that good stuff including. Then eventually he dies in battle and wakes up in his bed the day he was supposed to vanish. He goes on with his day as he had planned acting as if he's unsure about what happened. He gets to the point where he was summoned and starts freaking out. Then, suddenly, he wakes up again, this time in Erf. Several turns before Parson supposedly found out Charlie was him, he got hit by a stray boulder from a battlebear and was knocked out and dreamt the whole thing, including the part about him dreaming his trip to Erf.

Chicken Little
2009-01-15, 03:19 PM
So you think Santa is real? OK I guess that shows if you're right or I am on the paradox thing.
What? You like to use straw-man arguments, but not when they are used on you? How original...

Heh, learn to take a joke. :smallbiggrin:


EDIT:
As long as time travel has some well defined logical rules, suspension of disbelief can be sustained. As the saying goes sufficiently advanced technology can appear as time travel.
magic always is paradoxical. Always.
The worst part isn't that. It's that it's a cheap method to surprise the audience. The writer is called at some point to make an arbitrary choice that the audience has no logical reason to support either way. So the writer gets to play clever and boost his ego.
There are stories where magic is just a nostalgia machine (like fighting a wizard) and the paradoxes are not explored (they are still there, always) because we just want some "old times" fun.

See what happens if you switch their places? You're not proving anything; just pointing out the obvious. This is a work of fiction, therefore anything can happen.

Much hugs, take it easy :smallwink:

Edit2: I'm not for or against time travel as a story element. I just can't help myself in poking fun at your carefully constructed arguments

raphfrk
2009-01-15, 06:15 PM
DNA is copied, but the "original" strand still has to be brought from the future and placed into the past, so the thermodynamic paradox still stands for that molecule. Unless you are going to claim that every single atom in the strand is replaced somehow thru error correction, which is a thermodynamic impossibility and entirely acceptable, considering we are talking about time travel in a magical cartoon world.

It is perfectly possible.

Taking a CD example:

1) You receive a CD from the future
2) You make 2 copies of the CD using a CD writer
3) You send one of them back in time to 1)

With near certainty, the data stored on the 2 CDs will be identical.

In the DNA case, the data on the DNA is copied, the actual atoms that make it up are less relevant.

DevilDan
2009-01-15, 06:53 PM
Taking a CD example:

1) You receive a CD from the future
2) You make 2 copies of the CD using a CD writer
3) You send one of them back in time to 1)

With near certainty, the data stored on the 2 CDs will be identical.

The Time-traveling RIAA will stop you!

dr pepper
2009-01-15, 11:36 PM
The Time-traveling RIAA will stop you!

Not after i jump forward past the Revolution!

Lamech
2009-01-15, 11:50 PM
Time travel to the past always is paradoxical. Always.
I'm going to nit-pick because you said always, AND emphasized it. Lets say humanity wanders into a proto-wormhole*, and manages to make it into an actual wormhole. It turns out that it sends people a million years into the past, and... a billion-light years to the left. No paradox there, assuming no FTL. A second worm-hole would be a problem, but since under this system they are not naturally occuring...

*Something that can turn into a worm-hole if humanity tampers with it, but isn't until that happens. I just made this up on the spot.

And the moral of the story is "always" is often wrong.

DevilDan
2009-01-15, 11:50 PM
Not after i jump forward past the Revolution!

Traveling forward in time? Now that's just ridiculous.

Tarvok
2009-01-16, 12:40 AM
Traveling forward in time? Now that's just ridiculous.

... unless you have a TIMED MACHINE (http://dresdencodak.com/cartoons/dc_013.htm)! :smallcool:

jazz1m
2009-01-16, 02:25 AM
My favorite time travel usage was in Idiocracy where Luke Wilson is trying to figure how it works when he's trapped inside a costco.

"Wait, she'll go back into the past and tell the past me not to go into the cryogenic freezer. But if that happened in the past, then that means I wouldn't be here. Unless she hasn't done it yet...How does time travel work?"

Not exact quotes, but you get the idea.

Simanos
2009-01-16, 09:29 AM
...
How about you learn to have your jokes bested and thrown back at you instead?
The problem with your argument is that it is possible to create well defined logical rules for magic, but not for time travel (to the past). One such rule for magic should be:
Magic does not allow time travel to the past :smallcool:
See what happens when you switch the places of two things that aren't equal or similar enough? You get a fallacy.


...
Heh, I loved Idiocracy. Nice parody of everything.


Traveling forward in time? Now that's just ridiculous.
Actually that's the only thing that's possible. Easy. We do it all the time. Right now too :smallcool:


...
Nice try. But the point is, if a wormhole is possible, then another one is also possible even if it doesn't happen. You don't have to actually use a time machine to create a paradox. Even the possibility of the paradox is enough to inviolate the logic of the existence of a time machine.

Chicken Little
2009-01-16, 11:45 AM
How about you learn to have your jokes bested and thrown back at you instead?
The problem with your argument is that it is possible to create well defined logical rules for magic, but not for time travel (to the past). One such rule for magic should be:
Magic does not allow time travel to the past :smallcool:
See what happens when you switch the places of two things that aren't equal or similar enough? You get a fallacy.

Bested? I wasn't even aware there was a competition

Oh Simanos, I enjoy your posts on this time travel thing. If you didn't take yourself so seriously it wouldn't be so funny.

Good luck on proving someone wrong on the internet. :D

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 12:06 PM
Actually that's the only thing that's possible. Easy. We do it all the time. Right now too

I can see that nothing gets past you.

Simanos
2009-01-16, 06:36 PM
Bested? I wasn't even aware there was a competition

Oh Simanos, I enjoy your posts on this time travel thing. If you didn't take yourself so seriously it wouldn't be so funny.

Good luck on proving someone wrong on the internet. :D
I'd rather you were seriously funny, but one takes what one can get. :smallconfused:


I can see that nothing gets past you.
Only time. :smallcool:

Godskook
2009-01-18, 04:54 AM
I'd rather you were seriously funny, but one takes what one can get. :smallconfused:

He was funny.

Simanos
2009-01-25, 04:11 PM
He was funny.
Not seriously funny though :smalltongue:
And, no matter who's funny or not, I still am right...

DevilDan
2009-01-25, 09:53 PM
See, I never realized this was som sort of humor or joke contest. Had I known that, I would not have made a single joke. I mean, what more of a travesty of humor could there be?

Furin_Mirado
2009-01-26, 12:24 AM
Not seriously funny though :smalltongue:
And, no matter who's funny or not, I still am right...
Sorry to say, but anyone that tries to have a serious argument on the internet is inherently wrong.:smallwink:

Ninjamuffin
2009-01-26, 12:41 AM
The problem with time travel is you have to leave the time-current (not a stream, but a small current in the ocean that is existence) to do so, thus causing yourself to lose time-coherency. Short trips, once or twice max, and time won't lose you impression, but any longer or more often and you risk being forgotten and having your place filled with an automaton that looks, acts, and thinks like you. (it actually is you, one that doesn't believe in time travel) Also, time refuses to let you back in, since it doesn't recognize you anymore. That is, of course, assuming you don't get gobbled up by any of the 'big fish' that live in the open water outside the current. There are one or two known 'reefs', safe havens outside of time, but they're difficult to find and not impervious to nasties of the 'whale' size. (we would be krill in this allegory)
So, really, most people who don't believe in time travel are actually people who figured it out and spent too long out of the current, getting themselves replaced with a doubting doppelganger.
Anyway, it's much easier to simply assume that Charlie is just crazy. Clever, but insane.

DevilDan
2009-01-26, 01:11 AM
Insane? What exactly has Charlie done that would be characteristic of someone without a good grip on Erf-reality?

Ninjamuffin
2009-01-26, 01:24 AM
Insane? What exactly has Charlie done that would be characteristic of someone without a good grip on Erf-reality?

Insanity has many levels and doesn't always mean a lack of grip on reality. Also, it's not always a bad thing.
Like, say, Deadpool, Charlie is eccentric by his universess standards to the point that it borders insanity. By our standards, he's pretty normal, maybe a little weird (Charlie that is, Deadpool is still kinda insane by our standards too), but, by Erf standards, he's so far out there in manner and speech and operation as to be considered insane. Heck, Wanda and co. have probably even thought Parson was insane at some point or another, and he's known to be from a different reality.

Simanos
2009-01-26, 08:06 AM
Sorry to say, but anyone that tries to have a serious argument on the internet is inherently wrong.:smallwink:
I would say the opposite is more likely true :smallcool:

The problem with time travel (other than the arrow of time stuff) is that people keep imagining the universe as some sort of computer simulation/game and that what happens now is in the processor memory and what happened in the past (or future maybe) is stored in some "divine hard disk" that you can look up or even "load" again. Some even imagine that instead of 1 infinite "computer" there's infinite numbers of such infinite "computers". Occam's Razor anyone?

The facts so far show that you can imagine all you want, but that doesn't make it right. There's only 1 type of existence that we have discovered. The now, the present is what the universe is. Time is but a record of events. The past doesn't exist actually.

DevilDan
2009-01-27, 03:14 AM
My favorite "theory of time" is that every single moment of existence, like frames from a movie, exists "simultaneously," as it were, sort of like "time slices." Note that this still precluded any form of time travel.

Tubercular Ox
2009-01-27, 03:23 AM
My favorite "theory of time" is that every single moment of existence, like frames from a movie, exists "simultaneously," as it were, sort of like "time slices." Note that this still precluded any form of time travel.

I've heard that theory... and I can't remember where. Spill it!

DevilDan
2009-01-27, 12:49 PM
I've heard that theory... and I can't remember where. Spill it!

I know next to nothing about physics, just what I read here and there. McTaggart wrote about the B-theory of time a century ago. It spread to poetry and was the subject of philosophical speculation and pop mysticism. Julian Barbour published a book on the "serious physics" side of it, The End of Time.

EDIT: This 2007 article talks about how people are still struggling with how the Wheeler-DeWitt equation gets to just ignore the idea of time.
http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/in-no-time/article_view?searchterm=time%20exists&b_start:int=0

ishnar
2009-01-27, 02:38 PM
Time travel to the past always is paradoxical. Always.

There are two holes in your argument. First, a multi-universe eliminates the paradox. If there are multiple universes, then you can go back in time and kill your great grandfather.


The worst part isn't that. It's that it's a cheap method to surprise the audience. The writer is called at some point to make an arbitrary choice that the audience has no logical reason to support either way. So the writer gets to play clever and boost his ego.

Second, you assume that time travel is only used to surprise the audience. I've read plenty of stories with time travel that time travel was only used to set up the background of the story, and everything proceeded from there. Actually, except in episodol TV crap, time travel is not played hot-and-loose.

A good example. Someone finds themselves back in time. So they are confronted by the conflicting time-travel theories. Which is simply resolved at the near the beginning with something like. Well, I was a historian and there was no mention of all these nuclear bombs going off at this time. So many-worlds it is. Or, the time-traveler finds themselves frustrated when everything they do somehow is balanced so the past events still happen.



What was suggested in this thread is not like that clearly. Charlie is supposed to be Parson, they talked to each other for...
I give this idea 2 thumbs down.

Still, if it were many worlds, then Charlie could still be Parson from a different universe and thus followed a different path. Maybe a reverse universe or something. Not that I support this idea. Mainly because Charlie's speech text is in the same font as everyone else's but Parson's in clearly different. So I don't really see Charlie=Future Parson.

Kreistor
2009-01-27, 06:23 PM
There are two holes in your argument. First, a multi-universe eliminates the paradox. If there are multiple universes, then you can go back in time and kill your great grandfather.

I'm going to nitpick here. If this is the case, then you haven't time travelled at all. You've jumped to a copy of your universe at a previous instance of time. If you're trying to fix or change your universe, you fail, since the universe you leave continues on as it had been, albeit without you. Time travel is, then, useless.

On a side note, one of the more interesting time travel variants I've read is Thrice upon a Time by James Hogan (1982). A young scienteist creates a method of sending messages backward in time, howver it could only be received by the same unit that sent the message. A message, once received, did not need to be sent. He writes teh story two ways. Sometimes we get to see the failed path; that is, he writes a path which ends in disaster, we see the message sent to the past to prevent it, and then the story leaps back in time to the receipt of the message and we see the problem solved. Sometimes he writes the receipt of a message, and we never see the path that sent it, so it goes unexplained. What gets really chaotic for the scientist and his friends is when they start receiving messages from doubly dead paths. A message gets received with little reference, which makes no sense because they're on path C, the message was sent from path A expecting a reference point that explains things for a new path B, but path B sends a message back before this, putting everyone in different places and removing the context. Okay, let's explain that with an example. First run through, four people (1, 2, 3, 4) are playing a game to explain the machine. Person 4 is out of the room at the machine. Person 1 secretly picks a person, waits five minutes, then tells person 2 that person 3 is the selected person. Person 2 sends a message back 4 minutes earlier with person 3's name, which person 4 receives, walks into the room, and announces person 3's name. Wait 2 days. A disaster at a nearby fireworks plant. The scientist learns where the problem was, sends a message back 3 days to give them time to convince the factory to look into the problem, and the scientist and his friends go to work. The next day, they notice a message was received that was only "Person 3". On this third pass through this point in time, the game is not being played. They have no context for why they received a message saying someone's name. Is that person going to die?Have something bad go wrong? What?

Now once they get into multiple disaster events, things really start getting messy.

Note that in this version of time travel, the final world where all problems have been solved cannot determine if there were multiple copies of the universe, or only one. the only way to determine if there is only one universe is for a universe to send a message, and then see the world continue unchanged. In a reality where there are multiple copies of the universe, tehre is always one where time travel never exists. In that one universe where no message is received, because it is always the first univese to send, no proof of time travel ever occurs. No message is ever received, so no time travel is possible.

Anyway, just a mind frack for you. Time travel ain't simple.

Simanos
2009-01-28, 01:15 PM
Ishnar read what Kreistor wrote...

Ragamuffin
2009-01-29, 05:06 PM
{Scrubbed}

Simanos
2009-01-30, 08:16 AM
{Scrubbed}

Kreistor
2009-01-30, 12:10 PM
{Scrubbed}

[snipped by Kreistor]

Since Roland scrubbed everything to do with what I said, there's no point of reference for my post. I'm not going to leave something like that with no reference point. It looked, all by itself, antagonistic, with everything else gone.

Simanos
2009-02-01, 03:30 PM
{Scrubbed}

Roland St. Jude
2009-02-01, 07:04 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Please don't attack, insult, belittle, or abuse others.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-10, 02:04 PM
On time travel and paradoxes...

[snippage]

It requires the assumption that time is not entirely linear (which, let's face it, if time travel is possible it cannot be wholly linear!), [...]Actually, it can be linear and still have time travel be (theoretically) possible. That's one of the explanations for why time travel might be possible, because it is able to be described by using a certain number of dimensions, and if you can use more dimensions than needed to describe Time you can access it at any point.

Similar to this: A line is a one dimensional construct, it has only length. Draw a line on a sheet of paper, and you have a one dimensional construct on a two dimensional construct, one with length and breadth. We live in three dimensions, and are able to bend that paper so that any two points on that line are touching. The line is still one dimensional, and the paper is still two dimensional, they do not recognize that they have been bent. But we in three dimensions see that two points of the line now are touching.

So one theory of time travel I've read suggests that if we manage to learn to operate in more dimensions than Time requires to be modeled accurately, you can in a similar fashion make any two points of time touch. From there all you need to do is learn to cross over at the point of contact, either forward or backwards in time.

Of course, this is all nice on a theoretical level. But the being who can operate in more dimensions than Time requires to be modeled accurately is already so far removed from a three dimensional human as to be like unto a god.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-10, 02:10 PM
I'm going to nitpick here. If this is the case, then you haven't time travelled at all. You've jumped to a copy of your universe at a previous instance of time. If you're trying to fix or change your universe, you fail, since the universe you leave continues on as it had been, albeit without you. Time travel is, then, useless.Not at all useless! If I memorize the mega-ultra-lottery number which would have won today but no one chose those numbers, and "time travel" to an alternate universe which is really just an exact copy of my universe except that it runs a day behind mine and that there is no me but conveniently a woman who thinks she is married to me and a family who conveniently remember growing up with me, I'll gleefully accept that fact that my original universe continues on without me while I labor under the decisions of how to spend my mega-ultra-millions. :smallcool: