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Time Twister

Prompts for the Promptless Retrocausality

RETROCAUSALITY IS A THOUGHT EXPERIMENT ADDRESSING THE QUESTION, “CAN THE FUTURE AFFECT THE PRESENT, AND CAN THE PRESENT AFFECT THE PAST?”.  IT IS ANY OF SEVERAL HYPOTHETICAL PHENOMENA OR PROCESSES THAT REVERSE CAUSALITY, ALLOWING AN EFFECT TO OCCUR BEFORE ITS CAUSE.  IT OFTEN REFERS TO PHILOSOPHICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF TIME TRAVEL, THOUGH THE TWO TERMS ARE NOT UNIVERSALLY SYNONYMOUS. (Logo courtesy of Queen Creative.)

Wow. Can the present affect the past? I’m going to say “no”.

I read the Wikipedia entry on the topic. It’s all a bit spurious, physics-wise, although there are theories. There are always theories. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong century to be a physicist. I like to see my physics in action.

We’re talking “causality” here – cause and effect. One example of cause and effect is described by the “butterfly effect”, which is also part of chaos theory. Now, I’m happy with chaos theory per se. If you pop a ball on the top of a hill it will eventually roll in some direction or other based on all sorts of starting conditions. But the “butterfly effect”? A butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane thousands of miles away weeks later? Really?

The Butterfly Effect

Those Chinese butterflies have some serious mojo going on
“The Butterfly Effect” by DraliDoodles

Back to retrocausality. As a thought experiment it’s fun, I guess, especially if you’re with your mates down the pub, or it’s post-university-disco and you’re all sitting in the kitchen, nicely drunk making cheese toasties and talking philosophy.

As a reality, I’m thinking it could not be! I’ve watched a ton of Dr Who and he always actually travels to the past in order to affect the future. If he could affect the past by changing something in the present, he wouldn’t need the TARDIS, now would he?

But whoa there just a minute! How do we know that this retrocausality thing isn’t happening all the time? We don’t! Think about this:

  • I don’t like something about my past
  • I fire up my RetroCausalitron(TM)
  • I change the past from “here”, the present
  • The timeline from “that point then” on to “this point now” is rewritten
  • Because the timeline has changed I never actually changed the past – that action belonged to a defunct timeline. Nor do I even want to change the past as it is now what I wanted it to be.

Therefore we could have changed the past millions of times from the present and we’d never even know. Now that’s scary. My head hurts.

Drali Confused

  1. August 11, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I love it. I’m sure you’re right & Retrocausality is happening all the time.”The Butterfly Effect” DraliDoodle is brilliant 🙂

    Like

    • August 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Glad you liked it – the DraliDoodle team dug deep in their pockets and bought a graphics tablet 🙂

      Like

  2. August 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    ha. that is a clever article, I don’t see many articles in here about these subjects, much less that make me laugh. I will be keeping an eye on your blog as I write about similar subjects 🙂

    Like

    • August 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! The Queen Creative/Rarasaur “Prompts for the Promptless” often features quite thought-provoking subjects 🙂
      I’ll pop on over to your blog in a bit to check it out!

      Like

  3. August 11, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    This is why I love time travel. It makes my brain do twirlies in my skull. Wheee.

    Like

    • August 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      It’s real mind-bending stuff. I love it when stuff doesn’t make sense no matter how much you try to work it out, and in the back of your mind is the realisation that it never will!

      Like

  4. August 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I am sure it can happen, but we will never know as the effects are mindboggling and cannot be observed in the present. But we can sort of imagine it so it must be possible it is as easy as that really

    Like

  5. August 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Hahaha! The Butterfly Effect is awesome!

    Like

    • August 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      My new graphics tablet seems to lend itself to drawing butterflies, for some reason!
      And people flying off bikes :-). I think he fell off because I forgot to draw any pedals.

      Like

      • August 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

        Hee hee! …or brakes…

        Like

      • August 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm

        Ha, yes, that’s probably it! Maimed by a badly drawn bike…

        Like

  6. August 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Interesting progression of ideas. I’ve read of the Butterfly Theory, recently Jodi Arias “spoke” of it during her murder trial. Very odd woman.
    Like this post, a lot. Thank you.

    Like

    • August 12, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the post.
      I Googled Jodi Arias. CNN has transcripts of some of her police interviews. Yes, odd woman indeed.

      Like

  1. August 11, 2013 at 7:27 am
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