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Changing The Past

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Thread: Changing The Past

  1. #1
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    Default Changing The Past

    Please pardon me if this has been discussed previously. I just became a member of this site & this is my first post. First off, I've been reading Stephen King (Richard Bachman) for years & I've read almost every non-fiction work he's produced (including "The Ledge" published in Playboy many years ago). I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them, even though you can count me as one of the disappointed over the way "The Dark Tower" series ended.

    This was another great SK novel ... however, let me point out that changing the past is totally impossible ... even if we had the ability to travel back in time. Before the hordes devour me, let me explain why:
    "If I could travel back in time & kill someone as the novel describes, I could also kill my own mother before I was born! But then I would never be born so I wouldn't exist to travel back in time to commit the murder. Therefore, as a physicist (no, not Sheldon Cooper) & a fantastic singer, I have to conclude that changing the past is impossible."

    Now traveling forward in time & changing the future ... that's an intriguing idea & I can't prove that it's impossible. In fact, I believe it's quite possible.

    CIAO

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Changing The Past

    I've read almost every non-fiction work he's produced (including "The Ledge" published in Playboy many years ago).
    ...last I knew, The Ledge was fiction....
    ...as to the other points, again-the DT series is a work of fiction and as such, requires suspension of disbelief-it's not meant to be based on the laws of physics-just the enjoyment of a very long tale...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Changing The Past

    Great first post Stephen. Even though changing the past is impossible as you have pointed out, 11/22/63 was a fantastic story that let us all experience the "what if factor".

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Changing The Past

    My bad ... I meant to say I have read almost every fiction work Stephen King has written! I only pointed out the impossibility of changing the past because as a child I was fascinated by the idea of a time machine. The concept has been explored in comic books, novels, television shows, etc. This is still a great novel & I hope to see it made into a movie soon!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Changing The Past


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Changing The Past

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Please pardon me if this has been discussed previously. I just became a member of this site & this is my first post. First off, I've been reading Stephen King (Richard Bachman) for years & I've read almost every non-fiction work he's produced (including "The Ledge" published in Playboy many years ago). I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them, even though you can count me as one of the disappointed over the way "The Dark Tower" series ended.
    I can't imagine why you would be disappointed. It couldn't have ended any other way and in our guts (mine at least) we knew how it would end by book five at least. That is another discussion for another day.

    This was another great SK novel ... however, let me point out that changing the past is totally impossible ... even if we had the ability to travel back in time. Before the hordes devour me, let me explain why:
    The point of fiction is to make the impossible plausible and in doing so generate a good story. What is actually impossible is beyond the ken of you or I. As far as we know travel backwards in time is impossible in the first place until someone does it, let alone change things when you get there. It makes your whole comment kind of pointless doesn't it? Taking issue with time paradox is somewhat silly since the premise of the story hinges on "what if it was possible?" Like all good science fiction, it deals with the social, political, and ethical questions of something normally beyond means but now becoming possible.

    "If I could travel back in time & kill someone as the novel describes, I could also kill my own mother before I was born! But then I would never be born so I wouldn't exist to travel back in time to commit the murder. Therefore, as a physicist (no, not Sheldon Cooper) & a fantastic singer, I have to conclude that changing the past is impossible."
    You are regurgitating a popular time paradox here and all of us have heard it a thousand times before. While I don't see the point in wanting to argue with a fictional (and somewhat magical) process in a story, I'll play a long for a bit. Let me point out that I'm sure there were many great, learned men back in the day who took issue with the whole crazy idea that the world is round or the Earth revolves around the sun claptrap. I'm sure the made idiotic statements like, "therefore as a scientist and a really great Monk I must conclude a round world or the Earth revolving around the sun to be impossible." Do you see where I'm going with this? The more we learn the more we discover how little we know. Rehashing old paradox arguments is about as interesting as listening to people argue about how may actual episodes of Star Trek there are in fact.

    Now traveling forward in time & changing the future ... that's an intriguing idea & I can't prove that it's impossible. In fact, I believe it's quite possible.

    CIAO
    Now I am going to be a bit snide. We are traveling forward in time right this moment. Every action we take is changing the future. I guess I would have to agree that forward momentum through time is possible at an impressive sixty seconds a minute. I'm going to drop the snide bit for a moment and point out that "time" itself is a meaningless term. It only exists as a measurement of decay. We measure seconds and minutes and days and weeks and years and decades and centuries and so on mainly by events. We mark events in a series. That is not time. We only consider it time because we are mortal and pass. Things break down and decay. As we speak the universe itself is hurtling away from itself, expanding ever outward at a high rate of speed (which we simply cannot sense). Time is meaningless to it until the point at which it entirely breaks down. Even then, since energy cannot be destroyed, things will just go on. Time (like math) is an artificial construct (a tool if you will) we use to make sense of things. Time, space, and dimension are all really terms we use to describe the LIMITATIONS of our current sensory array.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Changing The Past

    Stephen - even though time travel seems impossible for many reasons, one thing does make it possible. A telescope can peer back in time in our universe to very near the beginning - just after the Big Bang. So, in fact we can travel back in time right now! As for the future - well, in 3 billions years, our galaxy will crash into Adromeda galaxy, and that will make a huge impact on our future.
    Honestly, I'm just kidding around - I love SK's treatment of this period of history. It brought back many memories of that time, and the events that happened around that time. I would recommend this book to anyone for a good read, a great adventure, and some insight into that trajedy.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Changing The Past

    Generally, I like to think that if I traveled back in time and somehow caused the death of my father way back in the 70s, before I was conceived, I would still be able to just as easily travel back to the present day. It's just that that present day would be a January 2013 in which my mother had quite possibly never met my father, and I had never been born. It'd also be a January 2013 in which I had been completely and utterly absent since I left the 70s, and so no one anywhere would know me from Adam's house cat... even the folks I'd been friends with for years.

    That's my take on it anyway.

    I love to think about things like time travel, the multi-verse, and whatnot.

    I have to admit though that if I found a doorway to 1958, I'd at the very least be tempted to just.... hang out. Say to myself, "Hey, I can get the 80s back!! Maybe even the 90s! All I have to do is not croak!"

    I wonder what would happen if I went through the doorway to 1958, and then stayed there to 2013 and THEN went back through. Would I be back in the "present" 2011 or 2012? Having been gone for just a couple of minutes?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Changing The Past

    You could go back in time and kill your own mother, and not be wiped out of existence. Time is not linear. If I went back to the 50s and killed my mama, she still would have had me prior to me killing her. See, it might be 2013 right this second, but if I went back to the 50s tomorrow and killed my mama, it would be MY future.

    And NO I would never kill my mother!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Changing The Past

    PS- I think on the 2nd to last season of Lost one of those scientist dudes went back and killed his own mom by accident when she was on the Island back in the 60s or 70s.

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