Temporal paradox

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{{Wikipedia}}
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[[image:time-machine.jpg|thumb|left|250px|Do not attempt to replicate this research without using one of these.]]
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A '''temporal paradox''' (or '''time paradox''') is the result of [[time travel]] causing an event to "uncause" that event. Temporal paradoxes affect the "time continuum," giving it a sudden ''continuum interruptus.''
   
{{Q|Do you know how fucking stupid Back to the Future is?!|[[Michael J. Fox]]|Temporal Paradox}}
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Temporal paradoxes not only figure prominently in the [[Most overused 100 Star Trek episode plots]] but are ''the'' well most dipped-into when script-writers need some [[techno]]-babble that claims to explain something without actually meaning anything at all. Them, or gravimetric phase-shifts.
{{Q|That's so weird I remember removing this quote|[[Dinky Noobgamer]]|drugs probably}}
 
{{Q|In Soviet Russia, paradox causes YOU!!!!|[[Russian Reversal]]|Temporal Paradox}}
 
{{Q|Goddammit! What the Fuck is up with all these fucking Time paradoxes?!?|[[Sonic the Hedgehog]]|time paradoxes}}
 
{{Q|Hi grandfa- I mean random guy. I am going to kill you now. Youre-|[[You]]|Temporal Paradox}}
 
   
A '''Temporal Paradox''' (aka '''Time Paradox''') is the result of time travel causing an event to "uncause" that event... did I say that right?
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After viewing a photo on the [[internet]] that one wishes to "unsee," time travel and the use of the temporal paradox is a promising strategy, as everyone else will have no memory of a photo that was never made in the first place. Unfortunately, time travelers seem to retain their memory of events even that they keep from occurring, so they cannot unsee anything.
The following lists some '''temporal paradoxes'''; for more information, see [[Time travel]] or [[Time Travel]]. When considering temporal paradoxes, remember the laws of [[Quantum Murphydynamics]].
 
   
[[image:time-machine.jpg|thumb|dont go near this shit, you hear]]
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The ''[[Butterfly effect]]'' was a full-length [[movie]] about a temporal paradox, though mostly about being a teenage [[fuck]]-up whose every effort to patch things up makes things worse, which he could have done without the muss and bother of time travel.
   
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As an example of a temporal paradox you can see without buying a movie ticket, this article was written by someone who read it, went back in time, and wrote it to be identical to the article that he had read (or would go on to read).
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{{Factoid|that if you do not see a "Go back in time and murder the author" link on the '''History''' page, you can request augmented wiki permissions?}}
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As numerous additional examples, there is the remainder of this article, until someone goes back in time and mercifully prevents it from being written, a gentler alternative than either Revert, Undo, or [[Murder]].
   
== Index of Temporal Paradoxes ==
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== Applications ==
   
=== Temporal Paradox #0 ===
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=== Murder ===
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You travel to the past [[HowTo:Kill Time|to kill]] a chick, and succeed, so that, in the future (your present), she ceases to exist. But this means you don't have to go back in time to kill her. But if you didn't go back, then she would still be alive. Then you'd have to send yourself back in time to kill her, but, if you succeed, she wouldn't be alive when you first planned to kill her. And, as it is pointless to kill a dead person, you give up the time travel. But look! She is still alive, because you didn't go back in time to kill her! And if you decide to kill that person again in her past, then you'd travel back in time, and if you succeed, that person would be dead in the future again.
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{{Wikipedia}}
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Therefore: If [[Romulan]]s travel back through time and kill your father just after your birth, you will grow up to be a brilliant but aimless nasty little punk who steals 250-year-old [[car]]s and picks fights, until you get the crap kicked out of you in a bar and a military officer straightens you out and gives you your own starship. Only, if you are that screwed up, he doesn't. And if you don't get your own command, there is no reason for the Romulans to go back through time. So you don't grow up that way, and you do get your own command after all. But, then, the Romulans travel back through time and cause the death of your father...and so on. This is known as the "Abrams-Orci-Kurtzman effect." If you should time-travel back to [[ancient Rome]], it is instead known as ''[[deus ex machina]].''
   
This article was written by someone who read it, went back in time, and wrote it to be identical to the article that was previously (or subsequently) read by said person.
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=== Sex ===
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[[File:Entire Bush family.jpg|thumb|left|Rampant incest, made possible by time travel, is the basis of the Bush family. Every 8 years or so, the [[American]] electorate voyages into the past to screw things up again in exactly the same way.]]
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Say you are [[Furry|trans-sexual]], and you are taken back in time when you were a female and tricked into impregnating yourself. Your younger self then gives birth to yourself, which an older you then kidnaps and drops off in an [[orphanage]] several years in the past in order to ensure your own existence. This means that you are your own mother, father, son, and daughter, a result that [[Gilbert and Sullivan]] could only hope to have dreamed up.
   
=== Temporal Paradox #1 ===
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You also realize that you seduced yourself and had a [[Fuck you|one-night stand with yourself]], and you are therefore the world's sickest bastard, and a literal [[bastard]] to boot.
   
If you travel to the past to kill a person, and succeed, then in the future (your present) that person will not exist, thus you don't have to go back in time to kill him/her. But if you didn't go back, then he/she will still be alive. Then you'd have to send yourself back in time to kill him/her, but, if you succeed, he/she wouldn't be alive when you first planned to kill him/her. And, as it is pointless to kill a dead person, you give up the time travel. But look! He/She is still alive, because you didn't go back in time to kill him/her! And if you decide to kill that person again in his/her past, then you'd travel back in time, and if you succeed, that person would be dead in the future again, so you wouldn't bother building the extremely expensive time-travelling machinery to kill a dead person! And as soon as you give up travelling in time, the previously deceased ceases its deceased state, because you had never really killed him/her.
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If you travel back in time and accidentally kill your grandfather, you would not exist in the present, and thus you'd be in a condition totally inappropriate for travelling, to-wit: nonexistent. But, if you don't exist, then you cannot kill your grandfather, so your grandfather would live a normal life well, except for being killed by an ungrateful grandchild. Unless the way you prevented your own conception is by having already impregnated your own grandmother while in the past when she was young. But that's just gross.
   
=== Temporal Paradox #1-a ===
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=== Cinema ===
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From a time of war between man and machines, you are sent to the past by your best friend, the leader of the human resistance, to keep the machines from killing his mother, thus allowing him to exist and continue to resist the machines. You have sex with his hot mom and become his father, securing his existence. However, when the machine hunting your friend's mother is destroyed, pieces are left behind. This allows scientists of the past to study and develop the machines that start to rise against humanity. This raises the question of whether it was such a great idea to go back in the first place, because if your friend (or son) had not existed, the machines would not have to kill his mother or him and would not have been made in the first place.
   
If Romulans travel back through time and cause the death of your father immediately following your birth, you will grow up to be a brilliant but aimless nasty little punk who steals 250-year-old internal combustion land vehicles and picks fights, until you get the crap kicked out of you in a bar and some high-ranking military officer straightens you out. Then you'll get your own command as captain of a starship; but if you have a history of being a thief and a punk who picks fights, you won't get your own command. If you don't get your own command, the Romulans don't end up going back through time. so you don't grow up that way, and you do get your own command after all. But, then, the Romulans travel back through time and cause the death of your father...and so on. This is also known as the "Abrams-Orci-Kurtzman effect."
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:'''Note.''' In the sequel, however, it turns out that the parts allow the humans to progress faster than they had been, and end up causing someone's death, undoing all his achievements and leaving his son and wife traumatized for life, which would stop [[End Time|Judgement Day]].
   
=== Temporal Paradox #2 ===
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::'''Note.''' But in the sequel to the sequel, Judgement Day is actually inevitable and the technology is developed anyway, because it seems that a robot from the future wreaking mass carnage and mayhem doesn't actually go unoticed. Also, Skynet has to be developed because the [[U.S.]] [[government]] cannot control its own [[U.S. Army|army]], what with sending it to vast areas of sand searching for [[WMD]]s. So they have to build a computer to control it all. Which can fly.
   
If you travel back in time and accidentally kill your grandfather, you would not exist in the present, and thus you'd be in a condition totally inappropriate for travelling; you'd be non-existent. But, if you don't exist, then you cannot kill your grandfather, so your grandfather would live his life well, until an ungrateful grandchild happened to kill him. Unless you also fuck your grandmother while in the past. But that's just wrong.
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{{Factoid|that if you were to go back in time and hide a box of free-range chickens in a dinosaur's nest, you would singlehandedly solve one of the longest-running conundrums in the world?}}
   
=== Temporal Paradox #3 ===
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=== Problem behaviors ===
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You find a time machine in perfect [[work]]ing order. Immediately, you are visited by [[I|yourself]], only older. His time machine is broken, so he wants yours. However, he is a complete cock-sucker, so you try to kill him. Sadly, he kills you. But if he kills you, how could he kill you? And why did you go on to become such a cock-sucker, anyway?
   
{{q|If you read an [[Oscar Wilde]] quote on [[Uncyclopedia]] that is so memorable that it prompts you to build a time machine, travel back in time and deliver the anecdote to Wilde himself, the witticism is completely without an original author. It is thus a violation of the Law of Conservation of Wit.|Oscar Wilde|Temporal paradox #3}}
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=== Recycling ===
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[[File:Fake rolex.jpg|thumb|right|Long before surplus watches cover Earth's surface, they begin to turn up several on each wrist.]]
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You have a [[wristwatch]] your [[father]] gave you when you were young. You travel to the past to that happy day, where you meet your younger self with his new watch. You give him the watch that you have, so he now has two watches: the watch his father gave him and the watch you gave him (which is actually the future version of that same watch). When you go back to the future, there are infinite wristwatches and the world has become a gigantic Refuse Transfer Station clogged with discarded wristwatches, because the number of watches you have had since you were young instantly doubled an infinite number of times (or perhaps merely incremented by 1 an infinite number of times).
   
=== Temporal Paradox #π ===
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== Follow-on paradoxes ==
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Electrical engineers will recognize the temporal paradox as just another [[feedback]] [[loop]]. Cases where you exist, if and only if you don't exist, are the same thing as taking a <code>NOT</code> gate, whose output is 1 if the input is 0 and ''vice versa,'' and wiring its output back around to its input. In this case, the result is unstable. It is a "multivibrator," an effect that engineers overwhelmingly prefer even to [[anal]] [[Estoppel|plugs]]. (Two of these, cross-wired, are called "bi-stable," a bit of [[queer]]ness that is the basis for all computer [[memory]].)
   
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So a person who has travelled (or will travel) into the past and has made changes that work against his own existence should pulsate between existence and nonexistence. The key question is: What is the frequency? How many times per second does the time traveller throb into and out of reality? There is no answer anywhere in the professional literature.
   
[[Image:time_machine.png|800px|An example of a mind fuck paradox]]
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Separately, we mention above that the time traveller cannot unsee anything because he remembers even people and things that he prevented from coming into existence. Another unanswered question is whether the time traveller can take [[UnNews:Polaroid film packs return to market|Polaroids]] of the nonexistent things, and bring the pix back to the present to show his friends.
=== Temporal Paradox #4 ===
 
   
From a time of war between man and machines, you are sent to the past by your best friend, the leader of the human resistance, to keep the machines from killing his mother, thus allowing him to exist and continue to resist the machines. You have sex with his hot mom and become his father, securing his existance, however when the machine hunting your friend's mother (your baby momma) is destroyed, pieces are left behind. This allows scientists of the past to study and develop the machines that start to rise against humanity. This makes one wonder if it was such a great idea to go back in the first place, because if your friend (or son) would not have existed, the machines would not have to kill his mother or him and would not have been made in the first place.
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== Time-travel Best Practices ==
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=== Don't alter the past ===
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While time travelling, don't alter the [[past]]. Altering the past includes:
   
(Retort) I am afraid due to this section being too unfunny I am forced to retort. In the film (Teminator.. OMG didn't you realise it was?) The parts found allow the humans to progress faster what they were already working on, as stated in T2 Judgement day. They end up causing the death of some black guy and all his achievements leaving his son and wife scarred for life from seeing some austrian cut his flesh off shortly before invading poland. This supposedly would stop judgement day.
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* Killing people. Those people include important historical figures and any of your ancestors.
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* Killing yourself during a journey to the past. This immediately creates a "plot bifurcation" that will confuse most movie-goers.
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* Killing certain snakes and ocelots that were just about to mutate into ''[[homo]] sapiens.''
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* Having unsafe sex with people from the past. This risks injecting modern viruses into the past and changing human history, which would otherwise have to wait for [[African]]s to catch the diseases from farm animals and [[Hanuman|chimpanzees]].
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* Issuing checks or money orders. By definition, they will be back-dated, which is illegal.
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* Entering a certain storeroom of the [[Dallas]] Book Depository on a sunny day in 1963 and pushing [[John Fitzgerald Kennedy|Kennedy]]'s [[assassin]] out the window just before he can fire, even though this means the [[Vietnam War]] would have gotten even huger and you would have been drafted and shot dead in a [[rice]] paddy "before" you could do any of the above.
   
HOWEVER in T3, it states that judgement day is actually inevitable and the technology is developed anyway because funnily enough being a robot from the future delivering mass carnage and mayhem doesn't actually go unoticed. It is also said that Skynet has to be developed because the US government is incapable of controlling its own army, what with sending it to vast areas of sand searching WMD's. So they have to build a flying computer to control it all, why does it need to fly? Well who knows, the only important thing is that this giant supercomputer flies.
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'''Exception.''' If you were supposed to do any of the above to ensure the normal unfolding of human history, then don't '''not''' do it.
   
The paradox really is, if they hadnt gone back in time at all, it would have saved us three very similar, bad guy comes after you and eventually dies films, that made absolutely no difference to the course of history what-so-ever. Thus time cannot be changed
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=== Don't blab about their future ===
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{{Main|Prime Directive}}
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While time travelling, it is best not to say anything at all. Any utterance could give the citizens of the past dangerous information about the future that could alter the temporal continuum, which is the [[panty|panties]] underneath the very fabric of space-time. Dangerous disclosures include:
   
IT CANNOT!!! Anyone who says differently is a cunt.
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*Any and all [[Stockbroker|hot investment tips]]. If you find yourself in September 1929, don't tell anyone — not even a closest friend from the era — to pull all their money out of the [[Great Depression|stock market]]. Remember: Practice "tough love."
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*If one of your parents ever disclosed that he slept around, there is no need, while in the past, to blab it to a young version of the other parent. Not even long enough in advance that they might "talk it out." You wouldn't want to drive them apart before you were even conceived.
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*Leaving objects from the [[future]] behind in the past is a disclosure of sorts. This not only includes modern weapons that would fatefully alter the balance of power, but DeLorean cars and computers, especially those with [[WiFi]]. You learned as a Boy Scout to always police your own campsite. This was not because candy wrappers in the woods is really a problem — but to prepare you to travel time.
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*Any and all innovations. Do not give an engineer from the past the secret of producing [[Invisibility|transparent]] [[aluminum]]. Not even if he is so impressed as to agree to embezzle large sheets of PlexiGlas&reg; that will get you back to the present with the whales you stole from the local aquarium.
   
=== Temporal Paradox #5 ===
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'''Exception.''' As above, if the person you are talking to was destined to know it or invent it anyway, then don't '''not''' disclose it.
   
If you were to go back in time and hide a box of free range chickens in a dinosaur's nest, you would single handedly solve one of the most long running conundrums in the world.
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'''Caution.''' Although Modern Man now knows exactly which species are "invasive" and which belong in a habitat, and what the ideal [[Global warming|climate]] is and even the correct level of CO<sub>2</sub> in the air, it is important for the time traveller to figure out whether the correct unfolding of history requires that a friend know/do something, or that he '''not''' know/do it. If Earth's future requires that your pal save his wife from being run over by a truck at the next corner, then tell him, even though none of you can see it coming. If, instead, she must die, then just keep it buttoned, tackle him when he tries to pull her back, and try to look sad and doleful afterward. Time travel is not always pretty. But someone has to do it.
   
=== Temporal Paradox #6 ===
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How to tell which is the case? It always works to build a small computer, using wires, vacuum tubes, and small pieces of mica available on-site. If necessary, disassemble your [[cellphone]] and use some of the parts to complete the construction. After you finish, write a small [[MS-DOS|operating system]] and a web browser, and go on-line and pull up the next day's newspaper. This will tell you exactly how to act.
   
You find a time machine and realize it works. Immediately you are visited by [[I|yourself]], only older. His time machine is broken, so he wants yours. Unfortunately, he is a complete cock sucking faggot so you try to kill him. Sadly, he kills you. But if he killed you, how could he kill you? And why are you such a cock sucking faggot in the future anyway?
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=== Don't break the law ===
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It is tempting for the time traveller to [[steal]] whatever resources he needs to complete his mission and return to the present; also, to [[kill]] whomever gets in the way. After all, you have a job to do, and everyone else only has themselves and their world, which is all over and done with anyway.
=== Temporal Paradox #7 ===
 
 
You are intersex, and you are taken back in time and tricked into impregnating your younger, female self (before you underwent a sex change). Your younger self then gives birth to yourself, which an older you then kidnaps and drops off in an orphanage several years in the past in order to ensure your own existence, with the resulting consequence that you are your own mother, father, son, and daughter. You also realize that you seduced yourself and had a one-night stand with yourself, and you are therefore the world's sickest bastard.
 
 
=== Temporal Paradox #8 ===
 
 
You go back in time and mess everything up, but when you get back to the present it turns out you'd already messed everything up in the past BEFORE YOU EVEN WENT BACK so everything's exactly the same.
 
 
=== Temporal Paradox #9 ===
 
 
You have a watch which you have had since you were young, when your father gave it to you. You decide to travel to the past to the day you first got your watch, after which you meet your younger self with his new watch. You give him the watch that you have so that he now has two watches- the watch his father gave him and the watch you gave him (which is actually the future version of that same watch). When you go back to the future, infinite watches are generated and the world is crushed under the weight of the watches. This is because, given that the past and future are connected, the number of watches that you have had since you were young multiplied itself by two an infinite number of times, all at the same time.
 
 
=== Temporal Paradox #10 ===
 
 
You go back to the year 2004 and warn the other Uncyclopedians about the oncoming flood of shitty one-liners. However since they haven't
 
actually seen these for themselves, the idea appeals to many and so the whole reason for the Great Stub Flood of 2005 was because
 
you had the [[bad|brilliant]] idea to go back in time to stop it happening.
 
 
==Advice for Understanding Temporal Paradoxes==
 
 
1) Don't ask your younger/older self what's going on.
 
 
2) Shit Happened.
 
 
== Solution to some Temporal Paradoxes ==
 
 
While time travelling, don't alter the [[past]]. Altering the past includes:
 
   
* Killing people. Those people include important historical figures, your relatives, and most important, yourself. Do ''not'' kill yourself. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
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The risk is if the citizens of the past realize that the future will give rise to such a culture of theft and murder as to make their pursuit of morality senseless. With such a realization, a strange little man with a [[toothbrush]] [[Mustaches of Legend|mustache]] could take over an entire country, start a [[World War]], and gas six million [[Jews]]. Erm unless that, too, was destined to happen anyway. In which case: Why didn't you steal some for me too?
* Having unsafe sexual relations with people from the past. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Leaving objects from the [[future]]. DeLorean cars, [[iPods]], garbage and [[laser pistols]] must be brought back. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Putting instant coffee in a microwave oven. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Speaking, writing, drawing, miming, or communicate future events in any means. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Killing certain types of Snakes and Ocelots. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Backdating checks or money orders. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Transmitting recordings of old time radio shows into a black hole. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Enslaving native people. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Singing [[karaoke]]. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Existing. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Pissing off [[Dialga]]. Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
* Go piss off [[Mew]], Unless, if you dont were suppose to do it, Dont do it or he will kill you!.
 
* If [[Snake]] shoots Ocelot when he was a young commie, Snake'll get yelled at. Through time. Pretty sweet, eh? Unless, of course you were supposed to, then don't not do it!
 
*Associate with Doctor Who. Unless, of course you were suppose to, then don't not do it!
 
But if you stick to the rules, time-travelling can be [[fun]] ''and'' [[safe]]:
 
* Go piss off [[Mew]], Unless, if you dont were suppose to do it, Dont do it or he will [[fuck]] the world up!.
 
* Parking your Time Machine on the Turin Shroud and travel backwards to see where it really came from.
 
* Standing behind the grassy knoll at [[John Fitzgerald Kennedy|Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963 12:30 PM CST]].
 
   
Please remember to always wear the appropriate clothes for the time/place you are visiting, and keep your hands and internal organs inside the time machine during the travel.
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==See also==
or, quite simply,
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*[[Sushi|Tempura paradox]]
DON'T MESS WITH THE UNIVERSE OR ITS CONTENTS. it is delicate and must be sealed in bubble wrap. SO DECLARES [[Cthulhu|CTHULHU]].
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*[[Time travel]]
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*[[The Doctor]]
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*[[Quantum Murphydynamics]]
   
=== NOTES ===
 
*one theory is that if you go back in time and change something a new universe is created however this has been proven wrong do to someone going back in time to kill Hitler but then he created a time paradox which asploded his head.
 
 
[[Category: Time travel]]
 
[[Category: Time travel]]

Latest revision as of 16:00, February 14, 2015

Time-machine

Do not attempt to replicate this research without using one of these.

A temporal paradox (or time paradox) is the result of time travel causing an event to "uncause" that event. Temporal paradoxes affect the "time continuum," giving it a sudden continuum interruptus.

Temporal paradoxes not only figure prominently in the Most overused 100 Star Trek episode plots but are the well most dipped-into when script-writers need some techno-babble that claims to explain something without actually meaning anything at all. Them, or gravimetric phase-shifts.

After viewing a photo on the internet that one wishes to "unsee," time travel and the use of the temporal paradox is a promising strategy, as everyone else will have no memory of a photo that was never made in the first place. Unfortunately, time travelers seem to retain their memory of events even that they keep from occurring, so they cannot unsee anything.

The Butterfly effect was a full-length movie about a temporal paradox, though mostly about being a teenage fuck-up whose every effort to patch things up makes things worse, which he could have done without the muss and bother of time travel.

As an example of a temporal paradox you can see without buying a movie ticket, this article was written by someone who read it, went back in time, and wrote it to be identical to the article that he had read (or would go on to read).

?
Did you know...
that if you do not see a "Go back in time and murder the author" link on the History page, you can request augmented wiki permissions?

As numerous additional examples, there is the remainder of this article, until someone goes back in time and mercifully prevents it from being written, a gentler alternative than either Revert, Undo, or Murder.

edit Applications

edit Murder

You travel to the past to kill a chick, and succeed, so that, in the future (your present), she ceases to exist. But this means you don't have to go back in time to kill her. But if you didn't go back, then she would still be alive. Then you'd have to send yourself back in time to kill her, but, if you succeed, she wouldn't be alive when you first planned to kill her. And, as it is pointless to kill a dead person, you give up the time travel. But look! She is still alive, because you didn't go back in time to kill her! And if you decide to kill that person again in her past, then you'd travel back in time, and if you succeed, that person would be dead in the future again.

Bouncywikilogo5
For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Temporal paradox.

Therefore: If Romulans travel back through time and kill your father just after your birth, you will grow up to be a brilliant but aimless nasty little punk who steals 250-year-old cars and picks fights, until you get the crap kicked out of you in a bar and a military officer straightens you out and gives you your own starship. Only, if you are that screwed up, he doesn't. And if you don't get your own command, there is no reason for the Romulans to go back through time. So you don't grow up that way, and you do get your own command after all. But, then, the Romulans travel back through time and cause the death of your father...and so on. This is known as the "Abrams-Orci-Kurtzman effect." If you should time-travel back to ancient Rome, it is instead known as deus ex machina.

edit Sex

Entire Bush family

Rampant incest, made possible by time travel, is the basis of the Bush family. Every 8 years or so, the American electorate voyages into the past to screw things up again in exactly the same way.

Say you are trans-sexual, and you are taken back in time when you were a female and tricked into impregnating yourself. Your younger self then gives birth to yourself, which an older you then kidnaps and drops off in an orphanage several years in the past in order to ensure your own existence. This means that you are your own mother, father, son, and daughter, a result that Gilbert and Sullivan could only hope to have dreamed up.

You also realize that you seduced yourself and had a one-night stand with yourself, and you are therefore the world's sickest bastard, and a literal bastard to boot.

If you travel back in time and accidentally kill your grandfather, you would not exist in the present, and thus you'd be in a condition totally inappropriate for travelling, to-wit: nonexistent. But, if you don't exist, then you cannot kill your grandfather, so your grandfather would live a normal life — well, except for being killed by an ungrateful grandchild. Unless the way you prevented your own conception is by having already impregnated your own grandmother while in the past when she was young. But that's just gross.

edit Cinema

From a time of war between man and machines, you are sent to the past by your best friend, the leader of the human resistance, to keep the machines from killing his mother, thus allowing him to exist and continue to resist the machines. You have sex with his hot mom and become his father, securing his existence. However, when the machine hunting your friend's mother is destroyed, pieces are left behind. This allows scientists of the past to study and develop the machines that start to rise against humanity. This raises the question of whether it was such a great idea to go back in the first place, because if your friend (or son) had not existed, the machines would not have to kill his mother or him and would not have been made in the first place.

Note. In the sequel, however, it turns out that the parts allow the humans to progress faster than they had been, and end up causing someone's death, undoing all his achievements and leaving his son and wife traumatized for life, which would stop Judgement Day.
Note. But in the sequel to the sequel, Judgement Day is actually inevitable and the technology is developed anyway, because it seems that a robot from the future wreaking mass carnage and mayhem doesn't actually go unoticed. Also, Skynet has to be developed because the U.S. government cannot control its own army, what with sending it to vast areas of sand searching for WMDs. So they have to build a computer to control it all. Which can fly.
?
Did you know...
that if you were to go back in time and hide a box of free-range chickens in a dinosaur's nest, you would singlehandedly solve one of the longest-running conundrums in the world?

edit Problem behaviors

You find a time machine in perfect working order. Immediately, you are visited by yourself, only older. His time machine is broken, so he wants yours. However, he is a complete cock-sucker, so you try to kill him. Sadly, he kills you. But if he kills you, how could he kill you? And why did you go on to become such a cock-sucker, anyway?

edit Recycling

Fake rolex

Long before surplus watches cover Earth's surface, they begin to turn up several on each wrist.

You have a wristwatch your father gave you when you were young. You travel to the past to that happy day, where you meet your younger self with his new watch. You give him the watch that you have, so he now has two watches: the watch his father gave him and the watch you gave him (which is actually the future version of that same watch). When you go back to the future, there are infinite wristwatches and the world has become a gigantic Refuse Transfer Station clogged with discarded wristwatches, because the number of watches you have had since you were young instantly doubled an infinite number of times (or perhaps merely incremented by 1 an infinite number of times).

edit Follow-on paradoxes

Electrical engineers will recognize the temporal paradox as just another feedback loop. Cases where you exist, if and only if you don't exist, are the same thing as taking a NOT gate, whose output is 1 if the input is 0 and vice versa, and wiring its output back around to its input. In this case, the result is unstable. It is a "multivibrator," an effect that engineers overwhelmingly prefer even to anal plugs. (Two of these, cross-wired, are called "bi-stable," a bit of queerness that is the basis for all computer memory.)

So a person who has travelled (or will travel) into the past and has made changes that work against his own existence should pulsate between existence and nonexistence. The key question is: What is the frequency? How many times per second does the time traveller throb into and out of reality? There is no answer anywhere in the professional literature.

Separately, we mention above that the time traveller cannot unsee anything because he remembers even people and things that he prevented from coming into existence. Another unanswered question is whether the time traveller can take Polaroids of the nonexistent things, and bring the pix back to the present to show his friends.

edit Time-travel Best Practices

edit Don't alter the past

While time travelling, don't alter the past. Altering the past includes:

  • Killing people. Those people include important historical figures and any of your ancestors.
  • Killing yourself during a journey to the past. This immediately creates a "plot bifurcation" that will confuse most movie-goers.
  • Killing certain snakes and ocelots that were just about to mutate into homo sapiens.
  • Having unsafe sex with people from the past. This risks injecting modern viruses into the past and changing human history, which would otherwise have to wait for Africans to catch the diseases from farm animals and chimpanzees.
  • Issuing checks or money orders. By definition, they will be back-dated, which is illegal.
  • Entering a certain storeroom of the Dallas Book Depository on a sunny day in 1963 and pushing Kennedy's assassin out the window just before he can fire, even though this means the Vietnam War would have gotten even huger and you would have been drafted and shot dead in a rice paddy "before" you could do any of the above.

Exception. If you were supposed to do any of the above to ensure the normal unfolding of human history, then don't not do it.

edit Don't blab about their future

Main article: Prime Directive

While time travelling, it is best not to say anything at all. Any utterance could give the citizens of the past dangerous information about the future that could alter the temporal continuum, which is the panties underneath the very fabric of space-time. Dangerous disclosures include:

  • Any and all hot investment tips. If you find yourself in September 1929, don't tell anyone — not even a closest friend from the era — to pull all their money out of the stock market. Remember: Practice "tough love."
  • If one of your parents ever disclosed that he slept around, there is no need, while in the past, to blab it to a young version of the other parent. Not even long enough in advance that they might "talk it out." You wouldn't want to drive them apart before you were even conceived.
  • Leaving objects from the future behind in the past is a disclosure of sorts. This not only includes modern weapons that would fatefully alter the balance of power, but DeLorean cars and computers, especially those with WiFi. You learned as a Boy Scout to always police your own campsite. This was not because candy wrappers in the woods is really a problem — but to prepare you to travel time.
  • Any and all innovations. Do not give an engineer from the past the secret of producing transparent aluminum. Not even if he is so impressed as to agree to embezzle large sheets of PlexiGlas® that will get you back to the present with the whales you stole from the local aquarium.

Exception. As above, if the person you are talking to was destined to know it or invent it anyway, then don't not disclose it.

Caution. Although Modern Man now knows exactly which species are "invasive" and which belong in a habitat, and what the ideal climate is and even the correct level of CO2 in the air, it is important for the time traveller to figure out whether the correct unfolding of history requires that a friend know/do something, or that he not know/do it. If Earth's future requires that your pal save his wife from being run over by a truck at the next corner, then tell him, even though none of you can see it coming. If, instead, she must die, then just keep it buttoned, tackle him when he tries to pull her back, and try to look sad and doleful afterward. Time travel is not always pretty. But someone has to do it.

How to tell which is the case? It always works to build a small computer, using wires, vacuum tubes, and small pieces of mica available on-site. If necessary, disassemble your cellphone and use some of the parts to complete the construction. After you finish, write a small operating system and a web browser, and go on-line and pull up the next day's newspaper. This will tell you exactly how to act.

edit Don't break the law

It is tempting for the time traveller to steal whatever resources he needs to complete his mission and return to the present; also, to kill whomever gets in the way. After all, you have a job to do, and everyone else only has themselves and their world, which is all over and done with anyway.

The risk is if the citizens of the past realize that the future will give rise to such a culture of theft and murder as to make their pursuit of morality senseless. With such a realization, a strange little man with a toothbrush mustache could take over an entire country, start a World War, and gas six million Jews. Erm — unless that, too, was destined to happen anyway. In which case: Why didn't you steal some for me too?

edit See also

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