Saturday, June 6, 2009

What qualifies as time travel?

If I implanted you with memories of the future, convincing you that it was the year 2030, and in those memories, giving you a time machine to travel back to 2009, and then woke you up with your memories intact, you would think you had travelled in time, even though you had never left the year 2009.

But what would be the difference? If you actually were in the year 2030 and actually did travel back in 2009, you'd be in the same situation: walking around the year 2009 with memories of the next 21 years.

That would also be a great way to get you to do something. I could convince you to assassinate someone because I gave you the memories that your target would go on to do something really awful.

In a way, this is time travel. Even though it really isn't.


Seriously... said...

hey....for a while last summer i had a blog that focused on whatever I wanted it to focus on at the moment. Our first focus was time travel and there are some posts on there about that. There are also some random posts on other things...and then i got pregnant and abandoned the blog. maybe i'll start it up again....but until then, enjoy time traveling.

Seriously... said...

i should leave you the link:

Matsby said...

Thanks for the link, Seriously. I'll check it out.

Vollman, it's not technically time travel (because there is no travel), though it is similar and an interesting thought.

The time travel in the TV series Eureka allows for sending your consciousness back into your past body - allowing you to maintain your memories of the future.

So it is basically the same as that.

Your idea about giving FALSE memories to get the person to do something. That's interesting. And I am sure the government is developing it now if they haven't already.

But your whole concept may actually allow for giving REAL memories and may also really be possible...

The theory of Eternalism is that "all times, past, present and future, are actual times just like all points distributed in space are actual points in space. One cannot privilege any one moment in the dimension of time as "more" real than any other moment just like one cannot privilege any point in space as “more” real than any other point. The universe is thus a spacetime “block"."

-Professor Joel Hunter (

So if the future is just a point in space, then perhaps you could make a connection between their consciousness in the current time-point in space and their consciousness in another time-point in space. (the same as communicating between two points in physical space by telephone).

Maybe you really could patch into the memories of someone in that space-time and "download" them into someone in our space-time. Without anyone actually doing any travel.

I think I am going to be thinking about this one for the next couple days. Thanks.