Sunday, 26 July 2015
Not In Our Yet
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), p. 135.
We think of divergent, multiple or alternative timelines but another possibility might be a single discontinuous timeline. See here, specifically the third possible solution to the causality violation paradox.
In a causal sequence, event A causes B which causes C. Thus, there is a temporal sequence, ABC. However, if A is the invention of a time machine, B is the departure of a time traveler and C is the arrival of a time traveler, then the temporal order may differ, e.g., ACB. Further, if C prevents B, thus AC(B), then the observable temporal order is AC. In this case, A occurs and would have caused B which would have caused C which, however, occurs and prevents B. Indirectly, A causes C although C may appear to be uncaused. B "...does not exist in our yet, our reality." In the discontinuous timeline scenario, B does not exist in any other reality either.
However, sometimes Time Patrollers, while experiencing an event, say that that event might be prevented and this is contradictory.