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Temporal Anomalies

Main Page
Discussing Time Travel Theory
Other Films
Perpetual Barbecue
About the Author
Contact the Author

See also entries under the
Temporal Anomalies/Time Travel
category of the
mark Joseph "young"
web log
elsewhere on this site.

Quick Jumps

The Question
The Answer

Not Letters

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  First Response

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  Second Response

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  Third Response

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  Fourth Response

Vazor's Time Travel Questions:
  First Response


Doctor TOC, 12 Monkeys Fixed Timeline
Doctor TOC, Woman on Plane
JKrapf007, Evil Dead 2 Not a Remake
Nathro, Evil Dead 2 a Sequel
JKrapf007, Travel Before Your Birth
Nathro, More About Evil Dead
Sauce96, Terminator and Star Trek
Sauce96, Presenting an Original Story
Sauce96, Defending Paradox
Muhammed, A Line from 12 Monkeys
Holger Thiemann, 12 Monkeys Fixed Time
Chad Hadsell, Local Infinity Loops
Chad Hadsell, Time an Abstraction
Holger Thiemann, Testing the Theory
Chad Hadsell, Travel to the Future
Chad Hadsell, Erasing Future Self
Holger Thiemann, Temporal Duplicates
Gecko, 12 Monkeys Analysis Incorrect
Jason Seiler, 12 Monkeys Static Time
Jason Seiler, Metaphysics Class Links
Etienne Rouette, Woman on Plane
Matthew Potts, Woman on Plane
Bart, Parallel Universe Theory
Bart, Clarification
Illumin8, Spreadsheets

Movies Analyzed
in order examined

    Addendum to Terminator
    Terminator 3:  Rise of the Machines
    Terminator Recap
    Terminator Salvation
    Terminator Genisys
    Terminator:  Dark Fate
Back To The Future
Back To The Future II
Back To The Future III
Star Trek Introduction
    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
    Star Trek: Generations
    Star Trek: First Contact
    Star Trek (2009)
12 Monkeys
    Addendum to 12 Monkeys
Flight Of The Navigator
  Flight Of The Navigator Addendum
Army of Darkness
Lost In Space
Peggy Sue Got Married
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Planet of the Apes
Kate and Leopold
Somewhere In Time
The Time Machine
Minority Report
Happy Accidents
The Final Countdown
Donnie Darko
  S. Darko
Harry Potter and
    the Prisoner of Azkaban

Deja Vu
    Primer Questions
Bender's Big Score
Popular Christmas Movies
The Butterfly Effect
  The Butterfly Effect 2
  The Butterfly Effect 3:  Revelations
The Last Mimzy
The Lake House
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Hot Tub Time Machine
Los Cronocrimines a.k.a. TimeCrimes
A Sound of Thundrer
Frequently Asked Questions
    About Time Travel

Source Code
Blackadder Back & Forth
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
11 Minutes Ago
Men in Black III
La Jetée
Midnight in Paris
Meet the Robinsons
H. G. Wells' The Time Machine
The Jacket
Safety Not Guaranteed
The Philadelphia Experiment
    The Philadelphia Experiment II
Time After Time
About Time
Free Birds
X-Men:  Days of Future Past
Edge of Tomorrow
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Project Almanac
Time Lapse
O Homem Do Futuro
    a.k.a. The Man from the Future

Abby Sen
When We First Met
See You Yesterday
The History of Time Travel
Copyright Information

The temporal anomaly terminology used here is drawn from Appendix 11:  Temporal Anomalies of Multiverser from Valdron Inc, and is illustrated on the home page of this web site.  This site is part of M. J. Young Net.

Books by the Author.

The Book

Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies
A Letter from Chad Hadsell:
Localized Infinity Loops

Chad is bothered by the possibility that one person could destroy time completely.

The Question

Subject:  a simple question
Date:  Tue, 29 Sep 1998 00:33:27 EDT
From:  "chad hadsell"

okay, so when one person creates an infinite loop, what happens to the rest of the people from that person's time?  Say someone goes bak in time to kill themself.  they succeed, but in doing so, they will no longer exist in the future, so they can't go back and kill themself, so they are alive, so they *can* go back, they succeed, so they can't.... you get the idea, it just keeps looping.  But what about the people who are in no way affected by this person's life?  There has got to be someone somewhere who is not affected in anyway whatsoever by any of the other person's actions.  So does their time loop? why would it? would they suddenly cease to exist along with the one who started it all? That just doesn't make sense.  From this isolated person's perspective, time should continue just fine, even while Mr."iwannakillmyself" is stuck in his little loop. Time branches off at this point, and the looping character probably will simply not exist in the new branch.  But it is all so mind-bogling.  What is your view on this type of thing?  I can't believe that ALL time would loop infinitly because of some puny humans' actions.

--chad hadsell

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The Answer


If I split the atom in Los Alamos, why should anyone else in the area be killed besides me?  There must be people in Los Alamos who don't even know I'm about to split an atom, who don't know that I have split it, who wouldn't understand what that means if I told them.  But they are still dead--because a nuclear fission reaction of that sort affects an area around it.

People in Indochina and in much of Africa have never made any significant use of Chloroflourocarbons--CFC's, the gasses which have been implicated in destroying the ozone layer.  Yet these people are exactly the ones who will suffer most if the ozone layer fails, as their location close to the equator causes them to get more direct sunlight and more UV already.  It certainly doesn't seem fair that they should suffer, most not knowing anything about CFC, ozone, UV, or greenhouse gasses--yet if the ozone is destroyed, all life on earth suffers.

The same could be said for other forms of pollution and environmental damage.  Countries who don't pollute the atmosphere suffer from the damage done by those who do; those who don't overfish the ocean will be compromised by the lost fisheries as much as those who do.  Much of what comprises our reality is shared by many, most, even all of us.

What I am saying is that if someone goes back in time, he affects time itself--and wherever that same time exists, it is changed.  Thus anyone within the area of effect of time is affected by that change--and that means everyone in this universe.  There is only one temporal dimension in our universe; we share time with each other, and with the rest of the cosmos as we know it.  If any one of us damages or destroys time, it is damaged or destroyed for all of us.

It is conceivable that there are other universes which relate to time in different ways, or which have distinct temporal dimensions; in that case, time might not be affected for them, or might not be affected in the same way.  For them, time might continue.  It might even be possible that there will one day be a way to move from their universe to ours; they might be able to enter our world and repair the damage.  But in view of the fact that our discussion of the effects of time travel begs the critical question--how can one travel through time at all?--trying to determine whether someone from a distinct timeline could enter ours and repair it is too theoretical even for me at the moment.

Thanks for the question--it's a good one, and shows you're thinking; and it's forced me to think, which is very important.  I'd be glad to tackle another, if you've got one in mind.

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