Sunday, August 16, 2009

Time Travel: If it was up your ass, you'd know

An article in Slate about the movie The Time Traveler's Wife, or more, about time travel in general since it laid down some fundamental ground rules on time travel caught my attention. I left a comment but somehow – most likely the ineptness of my posting – it got forever lost "in the Fray" of Slate. I had two basic principles that should be maintained when and if we ever learn to travel in time.

In looking for my comment to see if I got any replies or rating, I ran across a reply by the author of article, Dave Goldberg, a physicist no less. He covered one of the ground rules I had specified in my comment, and more importantly,
offered a link to his blog, where he covered it even greater.

I'm way out of my league here since he and certainly some of those leaving comments are physicist while I am only a devotee, but that never stop me from commenting before, and since this is all about time, certainly not now. This is my comment to Mr. Goldberg's A User's Guide to the Unverse.

[Begin comment]
Your put off of the concept of conservation of energy and matter is a bit too flippant. Did this not point to the neutrino long before we found it? Is this not the only concept that illuminates dark matter? Is it not a basic concept in both the space-time relativity camp and those in the quantum group? It does not say we cannot travel in time. It just says that if we do, energy and matter will be conserved – and some would add momentum, but let's keep it simple.

One possible theory: atoms and/or energy are exchanged between two different times. Or maybe, you are right and the same mundane, identical atom can exist at two different places simultaneously, but the conservations equation is satisfied elsewhere.

Another fundamental I would add to your list is the constraints we currently face in the three dimensions we do travel, not even considering time. Your left hand cannot be your right hand. If you are moving in one direction, you cannot be moving in the opposite direction. Moving up while the elevator is going down only means the rate of descent has decreased. (True, both of these should include that time bitch, simultaneous, but simple solutions to complicated concept should be kept…simple.) The point is we are constrained in how we travel in the three dimensions we have mastery. The same should be true of the time dimension. This could explain the "grandfather paradox" or that pool ball thingy.

Another mind game you might play in trying to come to grips with time travel is to imagine how an individual from a two dimension world would experience our three dimension world. How would they comprehend that third dimension? Insights here could translate to insights about this fourth dimension in which we can only travel in one direction by experiencing it.
[End of comment]

Anyway, that was my comment. As to the title of this post: it's Navy unofficial jargon. While doing time in the Navy, I soon discovered that whenever you went looking for something or somebody and you made the mistake of asking a group of sailors if they knew the whereabouts of that for which you were seeking, the response ad nauseam: If it was up you ass, you'd know. A truism if ever there was one.
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