Author Topic: What is a Paradox?  (Read 8406 times)

Offline sledgeweb

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2009, 11:07:01 PM »
What dictionary entry are you using Novashannon? For standard use, a Paradox in time travel can simply be stated as being a contradiction in reality. If I go back in time and shoot my father before I'm born, then I could not have been born and grown up and gone back in time and shot my father. That scenario creates a contradiction in logic and reality. What is not a paradox, is if I go back in time to when I was a baby and rock myself to sleep. In that scenario, I still grow up to go back in time to rock myself asleep. There is no contradiction. And, in the rules that LOST is presenting, that would have always happened. Now, in other time travel situations, a paradox may be defined differently... like, going back in time at all creates a sort of paradox which creates a new timeline. But this doesn't seem to be the case with LOST.

Offline opgelost

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2009, 04:42:48 AM »
For me a paradox is when something never got invented.
For example I study Einstein in 2009 and than travel back and teach Einstein
the theory of relativity, so that he can write it down and I can study it in 2009.

Daniel sending Desmond to Oxford in 1996 to give him the settings of his timetravelstuff
from his book in 2004, so that he in 1996 can note that numbers in his book is a paradox.
He never invented them, just told them to himself from the future.

Offline Creflo

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2009, 09:15:51 AM »
opgelost:  What you describe is as close to a paradox as they've allowed in Lost, but for me it only dances on the edge of paradoxical...ness?

I like to call these instances self-fulfilling prophesies.  In essence, your Einstein example and Oxford example represent things (in this case, ideas) which exist without ever having been created.  It could be argued that Einstein or Oxford-Dan had the ideas first, then they were taught the ideas by a traveler in a time before they had invented them.  But in Lost, whatever happens happened.  So there was never a time when Dan worked out the settings himself, he always had been given the info by Desmond...unless one allows for multiple realities.  And we're told to not allow for these.

Offline shadow

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2009, 12:19:06 PM »
This goes back to my post about "Lost" time in the "Whatever Happened, Happened" forum.

The graphic I posted there show time as a two-dimensional construct, not linear:


The Losties perceive time as linear motion going from simply from left-to-right in the graph. However, their actual movement is in two-dimensional spacetime. In fact, with the except of a "flash", the movement of any character will always be down, and to the right on this plane. A "flash" merely pucks them from their current position in the plane and moves drops them to a new location. So far, I think that all flashes we've seen show only a "horizontal" movement in the plane (the colored dashed lines) and that we've seen no evidence that a Lostie can move "up" the diagram.

What this means is that Miles (3 years old) and Miles (33ish years old) can and do exist in the same year without paradox. The simple fact that Miles-33 exists proves that Miles-3 will survive and nothing that Miles-33 tries to change will affect Miles-3 survival. If Miles-33 did try to create a paradox, something will happen (or, more accurately, has happened) to stop him.

The correllary to this is that regardless of what time frame you are in, if your current existence is represented at the lowest point in the diagram of any of your "existences", then your survival is not guaranteed and your death is not a paradox.

For example, in the diagram, there is a dashed line at 1977. In this time frame, the following people are represented:

Hurley-1+ months
Miles-3 Years
Ben-14ish years
Hurely-30 years
Miles-34 years

Hurley-1, Miles-3, and Ben-14 cannot die (otherwise, you would have a paradox).
Hurely-30 and Miles-34, however, can.

Offline DaveJohnson

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2009, 12:38:22 PM »
Shadow - perfect... really, just perfect.

Offline shadow

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #50 on: April 17, 2009, 01:15:03 PM »
The simple fact that Miles-33 exists proves that Miles-3 will survive and nothing that Miles-33 tries to change will affect Miles-3 survival.

Quick correction here.

This should say that nothing Miles-33 does will cause Miles-3 to die. In fact, we are 100% sure that Miles-3 survives to become Miles-33. However, Miles-33 could take actions (including causing his own death) that would SAVE Miles-3.

Thus, to say that "Miles-33 cannot affect Miles-3 survival" is wrong.

Offline SQUIRT199

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #51 on: April 17, 2009, 01:20:48 PM »
Makes perfect sense

Offline Novashannon

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2009, 02:19:40 PM »
What dictionary entry are you using Novashannon? For standard use, a Paradox in time travel can simply be stated as being a contradiction in reality. If I go back in time and shoot my father before I'm born, then I could not have been born and grown up and gone back in time and shot my father. That scenario creates a contradiction in logic and reality. What is not a paradox, is if I go back in time to when I was a baby and rock myself to sleep. In that scenario, I still grow up to go back in time to rock myself asleep. There is no contradiction. And, in the rules that LOST is presenting, that would have always happened. Now, in other time travel situations, a paradox may be defined differently... like, going back in time at all creates a sort of paradox which creates a new timeline. But this doesn't seem to be the case with LOST.

I looked online at onelook.com, which has several dictionaries.  I think the one I chose was marriam-Webster.  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paradox

Prior to reading that, I defined it more as you do.  I don't think the given definition contradicts the LOST time travel experience.  Having a time paradox does not mean that anything gets screwed up, because, in LOST reality, whatever happned, heappened. 
being at the same time as both a baby and an adult is a contradiction, or paradox, but not a time-altering one.  Shooting ones dad and preventing ones own birth, so that you could not have gone back and shot y our dad, is a time-altering paradox, which is impossible.

Offline BobBX542

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #53 on: April 17, 2009, 03:37:52 PM »
GMTA, I was going to post the definition, too.  By that definition, Miles the baby being in the same time as MIles the Freightie is indeed a paradox, because one contradicts the other.  Actually, I think time travel is by nature a paradox. 

I agree with your last part about Time Travel itself is a paradox (kind of), but Future Miles being present in the same time as Past Miles isn't in itself a paradox, because neither one could stop the other.

Chang could be upset about the two bunnies, because any time you ring two identical entities from separate time-spaces together, there is the possibility for a paradox to occur, resulting in the complete collapse of the atomic structure of the universe, simultaneously completely rendering all matter non-existent. Including the entire planet earth, and every thing that lives. Miles being in the presence of his baby self isn't a paradox, but the fact that he is there opens up the classical paradox scenarios of killing himself as a baby, etc. The two bunnies appearing together wasn't a paradox, obviously - because nothing bad happened, but Chang was concerned about the potential of a paradox - if the future bunny shot the past bunny, for example - so he quickly ordered that the bunnies be separated and not allowed to see each other. Maybe? Just a thought.

Time Cop fan are we sledge??

As for these two below...

What is not a paradox, is if I go back in time to when I was a baby and rock myself to sleep. In that scenario, I still grow up to go back in time to rock myself asleep.

For me a paradox is when something never got invented.
For example I study Einstein in 2009 and than travel back and teach Einstein
the theory of relativity, so that he can write it down and I can study it in 2009.

Daniel sending Desmond to Oxford in 1996 to give him the settings of his timetravelstuff
from his book in 2004, so that he in 1996 can note that numbers in his book is a paradox.
He never invented them, just told them to himself from the future.

I respectfully disagree. It seems to me that a paradox would be if you do anything to affect the other version of yourself at all. Even something as simple as rocking yourself to sleep as a child.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 10:28:50 AM by BobBX542 »

Offline Walkabout V.2

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #54 on: April 17, 2009, 10:00:49 PM »
This goes back to my post about "Lost" time in the "Whatever Happened, Happened" forum.

The graphic I posted there show time as a two-dimensional construct, not linear:


The Losties perceive time as linear motion going from simply from left-to-right in the graph. However, their actual movement is in two-dimensional spacetime. In fact, with the except of a "flash", the movement of any character will always be down, and to the right on this plane. A "flash" merely pucks them from their current position in the plane and moves drops them to a new location. So far, I think that all flashes we've seen show only a "horizontal" movement in the plane (the colored dashed lines) and that we've seen no evidence that a Lostie can move "up" the diagram.

What this means is that Miles (3 years old) and Miles (33ish years old) can and do exist in the same year without paradox. The simple fact that Miles-33 exists proves that Miles-3 will survive and nothing that Miles-33 tries to change will affect Miles-3 survival. If Miles-33 did try to create a paradox, something will happen (or, more accurately, has happened) to stop him.

The correllary to this is that regardless of what time frame you are in, if your current existence is represented at the lowest point in the diagram of any of your "existences", then your survival is not guaranteed and your death is not a paradox.

For example, in the diagram, there is a dashed line at 1977. In this time frame, the following people are represented:

Hurley-1+ months
Miles-3 Years
Ben-14ish years
Hurely-30 years
Miles-34 years

Hurley-1, Miles-3, and Ben-14 cannot die (otherwise, you would have a paradox).
Hurely-30 and Miles-34, however, can.
Will everyone be pissed if I say I just don't get it? Actually this is good as it will get for me. I understand that we are discussing a fictional topic, time travel, because Bob is right that all things linked to it are both theoretical and teeter closer to paradoxal than not. But I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread for giving me an opportunity to better understand the Sci-Fi nature of the show. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading every word.

Offline Maxor127

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #55 on: April 17, 2009, 10:02:50 PM »
Journeyman Project > Time Cop.

Offline IFP

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #56 on: April 18, 2009, 03:24:17 AM »
There are many types of paradoxes (paradoxii?) but the only one we are witnessing on LOST is the Predestination Paradox.
Yes, it is a paradox, even though what happened happened. It's a loop of causality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predestination_paradox


Offline WhatThe

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #57 on: April 18, 2009, 03:32:51 AM »
I respectfully disagree. It seems to me that a paradox would be if you do anything to affect the other version of yourself at all. Even something as simple as rocking yourself to sleep as a chiled.

But within the time travel philosophy presented on Lost, whatever affect you had on the other, younger version of yourself was always a part of your younger version's existence. So it wouldn't be a paradox.

Offline WhatThe

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #58 on: April 18, 2009, 03:34:16 AM »
This goes back to my post about "Lost" time in the "Whatever Happened, Happened" forum.

The graphic I posted there show time as a two-dimensional construct, not linear:


I like your explanation and the chart really illustrates what Miles was trying to tell Hurley (and us).

Offline WhatThe

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Re: What is a Paradox?
« Reply #59 on: April 18, 2009, 03:39:57 AM »
There are many types of paradoxes (paradoxii?) but the only one we are witnessing on LOST is the Predestination Paradox.
Yes, it is a paradox, even though what happened happened. It's a loop of causality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predestination_paradox



That's a good page to read. I also think that the paradox mentioned about Lost that will apparently never happen is not the type that we're witnessing (and that your link explains). Those paradoxes are ok within the realm of Lost because they follow the logic of "whatever happened, happened".