Saturday, 8 August 2015

Temporal And Causal Vortices

"'Causal loops can too easily turn into temporal vortices.'" (Time Patrol, p. 671)

"'Often a causal loop has a powerful and subtle force to it. What we've got to do is prevent it from developing into a causal vortex." (p. 600)

What is a temporal or causal vortex and how can a causal loop become one?

"'An incipient causal loop is always dangerous, you know. It can set up a resonance, and the changes of history that that produces can multiply catastrophically. The single way to make it safe is to close it. When the Worm Ouroboros is biting his own tail, he can't devour anything else.'" (p. 449)

What is a resonance? Changes multiplying catastrophically sound like a "vortex." When the Patrol realizes that a causal circle has started, Patrol agents must ensure that the circle is completed. Otherwise, the events can become a causality violation.

"...he knew their whole reality for a spectral flickering, diffraction rings across abstract, unstable space-time..." (p. 480)

I think that space-time is concrete enough even if unstable.

"...reality is conditional. It is like a wave pattern on a sea. Let the waves - the probability-waves of ultimate underlying quantum chaos - change their rhythm, and abruptly that tracery of ripples and foam-swirls will be gone, transformed into another." (p. 671)

Here Anderson approaches the idea, made explicit in The Shield Of Time, that temporal changes can occur without time travelers' intervention. The future tense of "...abruptly...will be gone..." clearly refers to a second temporal dimension.

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