I have a question about the time dilation predictions of relativity theory that is keeping me up at night. It goes as follows: The attached diagram helps! We imagine 3 independent frames of reference and label them X, Y, Z. X represents the point of origin, classically considered to be planet Earth. Y and Z are two projectiles, classically considered to be space ships. Y and Z are dispatched simultaneously from the point of origin X. They both accelerate, Y up to 0.45 times light speed and Z up to 0.9 times light speed. From the perspective of frame X, the time dilation between itself and Y will be slightly less than 12%, and between itself and Z, the dilation will be slightly less than 230%. From the perspective of Y, the time dilation between itself and Z will be slightly less than 12%. So, between X and Y the dilation is 12%. Between Y and Z, the dilation is also 12% because the relative differentials between X and Y, and, between Y and Z are identical. And yet, according to relativity theory, the time dilation between X and Z will be 230%. The imbalance in the dilation differentials creates the contradiction. Classically stated, we have; Y being 12% younger than X, and Z being 12% younger than Y. But, Z would also be 230% younger than X, and would have to be two different ages simultaneously. The mathematical situation created by the theory, effectively overlays exponential proportionality onto linear proportionality. Naturally this creates an imbalance in the weight of the values when analysed as above. Furthermore, since the theory states that the effects are dependant upon the frame of reference of the observer, then the zero point of the exponential of dilation, must always be set at the observer’s frame of reference with respect to those further to the right, and to some calculated median along the exponential of dilation, with respect to frames laying to its left. This creates conceptual difficulties arising from the implication, that as an observer moves to the left, or to the right, along the velocity line, (that's the blue line in the attached diagram). They are somehow able to alter the velocity dependant physical effects of time dilation, with respect to any other, stable frames of reference, anywhere along the line. This raises some extremely bizarre questions; how does the physical universe know where the frame of reference is along the line? How does it alter the effects of time dilation to suit? And how do we cope with the further implication that pure awareness is able to alter the physical effects of time dilation? I am more than ready to be shown the light (pun intended) but it has me perplexed to say the least! I thank in advance, anyone willing to put me straight.