Time Travel Equilibrium

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pdyxs
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Time Travel Equilibrium

Postby pdyxs » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:03 am UTC

A thought I've been having for a couple of months is the question of how the world might look if time travel became ubiquitous.

That is, say that time travel becomes commercially available for, say $1000 per trip. For arguments sake, let's say it's the kind of time travel that doesn't let you go back before the time machine was invented, and that it's the 'parallel worlds' approach (so you don't get those nasty time paradoxes). What happens? Does time actually start to meld together? Does the price of time travel go up or down? Do we start getting 'time zones' of economic stability or instability (do countries get replaced by time zones?).

This is, overall, a pretty complex question. A slightly easier question is really whether there'd be an equilibrium, or whether it'd be unstable. I can see there being some local equilibria in time zones where the money and resources run out, but other than that it seems that it'd be inherently unstable.

Thoughts?

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Scyrus
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Re: Time Travel Equilibrium

Postby Scyrus » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:15 am UTC

If you are using the parallel worlds interpretation I can imagine a lot of people abusing timetravel to heist other worlds to get more money for even more timetravels. People could also lose their touch with morality and interdimensional kidnapping and trafficking would be commonplace.
Not to mention other travelers might enter that world using the same technology. The inflow and outflow of travelers would upset the conservation of energy.

Overall I think crime would be as high as ever, and economy would fall apart. People can just use force and timetravel to get anything they want (literally).

zenten
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Re: Time Travel Equilibrium

Postby zenten » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:06 pm UTC

It depends on how the time machines work, from the perspective of the user. If you can use them to just hop to whenever then you get the same issues as teleportation would have except magnified to a huge degree. If it works more like flying a plane today but also lets you travel in time then I would see the moment it is invented (since you can't go before then) to be incredibly stable, although it would probably be very unpleasant for anyone living through that transition period, if for nothing else because of all those nasty germs they wouldn't have had trillions of years to evolve an adaptation to.

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The Great Hippo
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Re: Time Travel Equilibrium

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:36 pm UTC

pdyxs wrote:A thought I've been having for a couple of months is the question of how the world might look if time travel became ubiquitous.

That is, say that time travel becomes commercially available for, say $1000 per trip. For arguments sake, let's say it's the kind of time travel that doesn't let you go back before the time machine was invented, and that it's the 'parallel worlds' approach (so you don't get those nasty time paradoxes). What happens? Does time actually start to meld together? Does the price of time travel go up or down? Do we start getting 'time zones' of economic stability or instability (do countries get replaced by time zones?).

This is, overall, a pretty complex question. A slightly easier question is really whether there'd be an equilibrium, or whether it'd be unstable. I can see there being some local equilibria in time zones where the money and resources run out, but other than that it seems that it'd be inherently unstable.

Thoughts?
One very important question: Is it possible to send anything back to the point in time you departed from?

If not, the answer to your hypothetical is very simple: We have this box. Anything we put inside the box disappears; we never hear from it again. The economical impact is essentially null (we couldn't even prove the people going back in time are actually going back in time; our box appears in every way identical to a disintegration box). The only interesting bit would be dealing with the people who come from timelines far ahead of us (probably to exploit some piece of future knowledge they have for personal gain!). These future people would, of course, either not currently exist in the present (they haven't been born yet!) or have pesky present-clones (pre-time-travel selves!) to deal with.

If yes, the answer gets more complex: Okay, so people can actually go back to the world they came from! We might need to invent a new language just to handle the grammatical repercussions of the resulting fiasco.

Also -- if we are wise, we will pass a law saying anyone who arrives here from the future must immediately be sent back to their point of origin; meanwhile, it is perfectly legal for you to get into the box and go back in time to a point before that law was passed -- because hey, fuck those guys.

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The Great Hippo
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Re: Time Travel Equilibrium

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:05 pm UTC

Actually I totally fucked this hypothetical up.

I imagine the machine would work as follows: You'd finish building the time machine, at which point, upon turning it on, a future-self of you would immediately step through with a sledgehammer -- and proceed to brutally destroy the time-machine. Said-self would turn to you and say 'TRUST me, it ain't worth it'.

Then say: 'Oh hey do you mind if I crash at your place for the next few decades'.

Drathen
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Re: Time Travel Equilibrium

Postby Drathen » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:22 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Actually I totally fucked this hypothetical up.

I imagine the machine would work as follows: You'd finish building the time machine, at which point, upon turning it on, a future-self of you would immediately step through with a sledgehammer -- and proceed to brutally destroy the time-machine. Said-self would turn to you and say 'TRUST me, it ain't worth it'.

Then say: 'Oh hey do you mind if I crash at your place for the next few decades'.


What I want to know is when we started taking time travelling advice from pelicans.


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