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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 Challenge
Time as a Dimension
Travel to the Future

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
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

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.

Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies
A Letter from Chad Hadsell:
Time is Just an Abstraction

Is time real, or is it just part of our perceptions?  And if it is merely our perceptions, could it be that something so subjective could be different for different people?

The Challenge

Subject:  Re: a simple question
Date:  Tue, 29 Sep 1998 16:37:01 EDT
From:  "chad hadsell"

I was always under the impression that time is not so concrete in its existence as, say, CFC's are. I've always viewed time as a perception thing.  Thus, when one says "wow, time really flew by this week!" it actually did, for that person. Time is an arbitrary measurement of progress created by the human mind.  Therefore i guess a better question than my previous one would be if time travel is even possible. Can you travel through something that exists only in your mind?  If you can, it seems that it would only affect you, no?  I have read a great deal of sci-fi based on the concept of time travel, and though it makes for very interesting plots, when it comes down to the root of things, i don't believe that you can travel backward or forward in time.  All you can do it reverse progress.  It would be akin to "unbaking" a cake.  Of course, travel to the future is absolutley rediculous.  The very act of traveling to the future changes the *future*.  Next time you "go back to" the same "time" in the future, it would be different.  Every action that occurs right now changes how progress occurs, and therefore also changes what is commonly called the future.  I guess the key to the whole thing here is that only the "now" exists. There is no such thing as the future yet, and when it occurs, it instantly becomes the now.  There is no longer such a thing as the past, as it no longer is the now.  Some may say that this is a limited perception of things.  But when you really start to think about it, i don't believe it is any more limited than the notion that, since we can move through space it must follow that we can move through time in the same manner.  Time is niether linear nore "spacial" but rather exists at a single point.  it is not the 4th dimension, but rather the 0th.  Does this make any sense to you?  its hard to talk about this concept with such limited terms as language provides.  tell me your thoughts on this.


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Time as a Dimension


Your "simple question" has become much more complicated.  Now we are beginning to examine the concrete and the abstract, the objective and the subjective--many concepts which are difficult even for graduate philosphy majors.  But let me tackle what I can.

First, I want to distinguish three ideas about time.  There is the reality of time, the measurement of that reality, and the subjective experience of it.  To explain what I mean, I'm going to have to talk about distance.

There is a grocery store not far from my house; it is just about a mile from here; it could also be said to be about 2 kilometers from here.  Now, I don't know for certain the exact distance--but there is an exact distance.  But the significant thing here is that the distance is a real and fixed thing, whether or not it has ever been measured, and whether or not any of us know that distance.  Even if the concept of distance was unknown to us--say, if we were dogs or wolves--there would be a real distance between my house and the store.

The measurement of that distance is an abstraction.  We've invented units of distance, and we use those units to define space.  Thus I can tell you that the distance to the store is about a mile, and you know what that means--you can think of two places which are about a mile apart, and so know how far I am from the store by that comparison.  But the unit--the mile--is not the reality; it is the measurement of the reality, defined by the symbols we call language.  Yet the unit is very valuable, because it gives us a way to determine the distance objectively, that is, to give the distance a value which is not affected by anything other than the real distance between the two points.

But if I walk to the store with $50 in my pocket, and spend it on groceries, and then I carry those groceries home, I would tell you that the distance from my house to the store is not as far as the distance from the store to my house.  Similarly, if I drive to the store, it doesn't seem nearly as far from home as it does when I walk.  My perception of distance is extremely subjective; if I'm not counting paces, or using measuring devices of some sort, it is very difficult for me to know how far things are from each other in any objective way.

Now, if time is a dimension, then it would be logical to assume that it is similar to the other dimensions.  Thus we have our subjective perception of time--it may seem to move faster or slower, in the same way that two points may seem farther apart or nearer together.  Yet we have invented units by which to measure it--seconds, minutes,