Why I think I can travel through time

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Funky Granny, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    You cannot naturally choose to change your frame of reference regarding time at all. You are in my frame of reference regarding how fast time will pass. You can however naturally "travel" very, very long distances on foot.
    And if you are going to use, "relative" distance when regarding spatial distance, then you should regard the amount of variance you are naturally able to create in the passage of time between you and another person relative to, say, a millenium. That is only fair.
    I was just basically saying that if we wish to speak metaphorically, about travelling through time instead of being pulled along by it, controlling life, taking it by the horns, etc. or whatever, there isn't any good argument against that.

    P.S. regarding charity - if i just said, "well, yes, we DO all travel through time", there wouldn't be much to discuss here.
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  3. freddles Registered Member

    regardless, it was pretty obvious what he meant... there's no point arguing it from another point of view.

    As for the rest of it, i'm thoroughly confused about what you mean. I never said anything about choosing my frame of reference in time at all... i have limited choice over how fast time will pass for me; and i think you might be using referential frames wrongly based on "You are in my frame of reference regarding how fast time will pass". I'm pretty sure your talking of a different thing than i am, as this doesn't really relate to what i've said.
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  5. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

    Time (noun) is actually Timing (verb). The act of timing that an entity engages in is that which is indexed to its very structure. So I think that time travel is kind of like the idea of an "afterlife": if you experience it, you wouldn't be the same you anymore.
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  7. freddles Registered Member

    why do you say that Time is actually Timing?

    can't the word have more than one meaning? Semantics of a word is never a good way to discuss the concepts behind it.
  8. Creator_ Registered Member

    I don't see time-travel as happening slower or faster then the common flow-rates. I see an instance as moving outside of the timespace, much like a car driving off of a road, then re-entering at another place.

    [foundationalism: 11dimensions, stringtheory, belief in physical linear timerate vector.]
  9. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    It is similar to someone saying, "I travel everyday", referring to the earth's movement around the sun. I wasn't informed by this hypotheses, as I have thought the same thing a hundred times, so I responded, hoping perhaps to get some other ideas about the concept of time and its passage I had not thought of already.

    The speed at which time will pass is agreed upon with only the most negligible variation, if any, for the earth as a body, that's all I am saying about frame of reference. You, for example cannot travel at .7c or anything like that, so we are all "travelling" together, similar to our travel together around the sun.
  10. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

    Well, it's not mere semantics. When I say that Time is actually Timing, it isn't merely a different meaning attributed to the word; it is a revolutionarily different notion of what time actually is. I am saying that the fixation on time as a "thing"," specifically a continuum that we move through, prevents people from seeing a whole other notion of time, that is of time as an action, "to time," which organisms are engaged in.
  11. Funky Granny Registered Member

    (1) The Doctor started on Monday. He arrived on Friday. The length of time is took for him to travel (his period) is the difference in time between where he left from (Monday) and where he arrived (Friday). So he has taken four days.

    (2) Could it be that the Doctor is "no longer at Friday" when I get to Friday? Here is why this is not coherent - it conflicts with yet another common-sense principle, (M).

    (M) If two objects are located at the same place at the same time then they will meet.

    Now suppose that the Doctor and myself start from Leicester Square. He gets into the Tardis and *travels faster* to Friday, whilst remaining stationary in space. (Maybe I am supposed to see him disappear in a puff of smoke? I don't know.) I sit at Leicester Square until Friday, waiting to see what happens.

    Do we meet or don't we? If we meet at Leicester Square on Friday then my original argument shows that the Doctor has failed to travel faster than me. On the other hand, if we don't meet, then it follows from (M) that the Doctor did not succeed in travelling forward in time whilst remaining stationary in space.
  12. sidchinoy Registered Member

    dude ur assuming an absolute time passage wen u define ur definiton of travelling through a dimension.. here are the various flaws which i found in the argument..-

    1. time is not a regular dimension like ur spatial dimensions.

    2. if u say that travelling is through a dimension is changing ur co-ordinates in that dimension with passage of time.. wat time are u talking about?? whos measuring this time passage.. methinks heres ur major flaw.. ur assuming a universal clock which uniformly measures time for all.. this contradicts spcl relativity.. so there u are..
  13. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

    Funky Granny:

    Forgive me for the lateness of my reply. I was extremely busy for a while and I also wished to consider your ideas more in depth.

    "But the difference is the same - there is a difference of four days in both cases. Therefore, A has not travelled faster through time than B, Doctor Who has failed to travel faster than me. Since I did not use any special features of the case, this argument converts into a proof that no object can travel faster through time than any other.

    If anyone disagrees, the only possible step to reject is my definition of "travelling faster". In this case my question is: could you please come up with a definition that: (i) works in the case of travel through space; and (ii) does not allow this argument to run? "

    I do believe I can satisfy both conditions in the counter-argument I have developed. Allow me to present it to you:

    Suppose that Dr. Who carried upon his person two (for purposes of extra verification) reliable timepieces that would reckon time by a certain constant, undisturable process, such as atomic clocks do. In fact, let us say that Dr. Who carries upon his person two atomic clocks and simplify the matter. Moreover, let us also give you two clocks of equivalent construction. Added to each of these clock pieces is a recorder of the constant process upon which the system rests, so that instead of mere hours and minutes (which are present on the clock faces), we also have an objective measure. Also, the clocks immediatly stop once their goal is met, in order to give precisely accurate judgements and to serve as stop watches.

    Now let us present our scenario thus: On Monday at 10:00 am, both you and Dr. Who shall meet at Trafalgar Square with an intent to meet there the next Friday at 10:00 am. To accomplish this aim, Dr. Who shall take his time machine, whilst you on the other hand will simply go home and enjoy your days off from his presence. That Friday, you return, only to find the good doctor walking from his time machine at exactly the time set, namely, 10:00 am.

    At this point, you are quite correct. Both you and the Dr. are precisely four days from whence you departed. By this reckoning, no travel took place.

    But we must consider the time pieces you both have! Let us see whether they accord with the above admission that both of you now stand four days distant from the past.

    But lo and behold! When Dr. Who and yourself present the time pieces to one another, we find a remarkable thing: Whereas Dr. Who's clocks say that only one second has passed - reckoned both by the clock and the calculator of the atomic movement which, for simplicity's sake as opposed to scientific accuracy, will have counted only 1000 revolutions of the atom - whereas yours has recorded several hundreds of millions. If the clocks are thus to be trusted (and indeed we can repeat the experiment by switching the clocks to be certain if need be!) we are then obliged to conclude that Dr. Who travelled through time (as reckoned by the revolutions of the atoms) significantly faster than you.

    Furthermore, that Dr. Who now finds himself back in the normal reference frame of the Earth, which would indeed reckon four days as passing, would not at all change the fact that, in a very serious way, it is not Friday for him and that he did in fact travel through time. If we reckon Friday as "a day which occurs this and that many revolutions of the atomic clock's atom after Monday", then we must conclude that the Dr. is still in Monday for himself, and if we conclude that his reference point is as valid as any other's, then simply because he is now travelling through time at the same speed as everyone else, and that to the rest of the world four days have passed since Monday, it does mean that he has not accomplished his aims, only that he has returned to the "normal reference frame".

    The same process can be repeated for both distance and for travelling backwards in time.

    For distance:

    Dr. Who and you decide to see whether speedier travel might be shown spatially to correspond to the atomic clocks. So armed with them, you both enter equally calibrated (but for the slight modification) Jaguars and drive along the exact same route, unfettered by traffic, from Trafalgar Square to Big Ben. The only difference is that Dr. Who must drive restricted strictly to 50 miles an hour, whereas you are given the luxury to drive at the vastly speedier 100. Or if you'd prefer cars that reckon distance by the metric system for that lovely base-10 appeal, Dr. Who and you are both willing to oblige and travel 50 and 100 kilometres per hour respectively.

    But assuming you prefer the Imperial reckoning of distance, you set off with Dr. Who (who quickly falls behind!) to Big Ben. Moreover, let us presume that for you it takes only 10 minutes, but for Dr. Who it takes 20.

    Meet at Big Ben, you both show eachother your clocks and are shown that, in correspondence to the prior time travel, the clocks show a different amount of revolutions having taken past. For whereas yours says one 100,000revolutions were counted, Dr. Who's says 200,000. Or that, quite in line with Big Ben's judgement, you took but 10 minutes, Dr. Who took 20 minutes, and you moved faster, just as we must presume that Dr. Who travelled faster through time by recourse to the amount of revolutions passed.

    To the Past:

    You both take a leisurely drive over to the Tower of London, where you consider the possibility of travelling back in time. As Dr. Who, not you, is in possession of a time machine, he volunteers to demonstrate his time travelling abilities. Thus he agrees to take his time machine, travel precisely 1 hour into the past, and then to meet you one hour in the future after at this very same spot, so as to give you time to get some late breakfast or otherwise entertain yourself, as he shall for the two hours he shall (for he shan't take the time machine into the future again) be spending. You agree and the good doctor is gone.

    An hour later, you come to the Tower of London and meet the Dr. who, walking up to you, shows you his clocks and you show him his. And lo and behold! Your clock shows but an hour has passed, whereas his shows two. Once again we must conclude that someone has experienced more time (and thus in relation to the other reached this point in the time slower) and this time it is the Dr., who experienced two hours though he, if he did not go back in time an hour back, would have experienced only one.

    Through the above, I am lead to believe that, though intriguing, your prior argument was false. Time travel does not imply a logical contradiction, although I'd still wager it is physically impossible nonetheless, much to the doctor's chagrin!


    I opted to critique Funky Granny's (ab)use of the time travel, on the foundation that "time travel" referencing the normal flow of time could be construed as a Strawman Argument, in that it might be used to pull the rug out from beneath the Time Travellist's argument, without tackling it at all. Moreover, it prompoted Funky Granny's more extensive argument which more elegantly treated the topic of time travel, although as above, I affirm the opposite of her conclusions.

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