Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I've got a shiny new idea.

  1. May 31, 2004 #1
    It's called alternate realities. I think alternate realities are a bunch of fun. As I understand it, an alternate reality could, theoretically, be created when there is a choice. Like right now I could choose to post this, or I could choose not to. And as I understand alternate realities, it's like the timeline splits. The timeline that's led up to this moment splits in two. In one reality I do post all this crap. In one, I don't. It can all get really complicated if you add in all the choices being made in the universe. I wonder, how could this exist? Would a choice create like a duplicate universe? And how could the timeline split simultaneously? Would two simulataneous choices produce four separate realities? And most importantly, to me, assuming alternate realities exist, how could one travel between. How could one leave one reality and enter another? And to expand on that, what effects would it have to travel between realities? Would you cease to exist, would you become whatever representation of you there is in the new reality? That's cake for thought.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2004 #2
    The question is do you really have a choice?
     
  4. May 31, 2004 #3

    Alkatran

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Whenever I watch tv, and they're talking about alternate realities, the "If I flip a coin it could land heads ot tails. In one reality it lands heads, in the othe..." and I ALWAYS rolls my eyes because:

    If the realities were EXACTLY the same up to this point, what in the world would case the character to put an extra X amount of forced into that coin, giving it enough energy to do another turn before hitting the floor? So, coin flips should always end up the same.

    I suppose the real question is, once you get down to a low enough level (think quantum physics) are things really determined? How long does it takes for these random occurences to make an observable difference?


    Writing this post brought to mind the episode of Futurama where they enter an alternate reality where all coin flips end up opposite of what they were. (pretty funny)
     
  5. Jun 2, 2004 #4
    Yeah, Futurama's hilarious. Rupert Murdock will pay for cancelling it. :mad:
     
  6. Jun 2, 2004 #5
    Wait, do you you have a choice about what? Do you mean, "Do you have a choice about wether to travel between realities," or are you just trying to sound smart?
     
  7. Jun 2, 2004 #6

    LURCH

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think he meant, "do we have a choice about anything?". Like, you said, "Like right now I could choose to post this, or I could choose not to...". But oyu did. Maybe there was never a chsnce that you might not post it. As with the coin toss Alkatran used in his analogy, if you exist in a universe in which you were raised with exactly the same history and given exactly the same stimuli all your life, how could you make any different decission than you actually did?

    At least, I think that's wha he's saying.
     
  8. Jun 3, 2004 #7

    EL

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There is also one possibility that the world is non-deterministic but we don't have any choices.
     
  9. Jun 12, 2004 #8
    Oh, sorry aboot that. Hey, good point. I shouldn't have questioned you. :frown:
     
  10. Jun 12, 2004 #9
    What do you mean by "non-deterministic?"
     
  11. Jun 12, 2004 #10
    Wait, let me guess. I'll probably get it wrong but I've got an idea. Do you mean like everything isn't pre-determined, but still there is no free-will. Like, in Chen's idea, it sounds like maybe all of my future is already mapped out and I have no choice at all, no matter what I think I'm doing I'll simply travel that path until I cease to exist. And maybe in your idea, my fate isn't determined yet, but I still have no choice, like there is only one path I can ever take, it just isn't defined yet. How'd I do?
     
  12. Jun 12, 2004 #11

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I do if I choose to. :tongue2:
    There is an episode in Star Trek TNG that you reallllllly need to watch. This is its exact topic. The fun begins when those timelines merge and the Enterprise meets its counterparts in all of those timelines.
    ...and you need to watch The Matrix - and read Oedipus. In The Matrix, Neo goes to talk to The Oracle (a reference to Oedipus) and The Oracle says "don't worry about the vase." Neo says: "What vase?", turns to look for the vase, and knocks it over. So the question isn't how did the Oracle know, but rather would Neo still have broken it if the Oracle hadn't said anything?

    In Oedipus, The Oracle predicts Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother. To avoid that, his mother and father give him to a servant to kill him. The servant doesn't and Oedipus eventually grows up and by chance meets his father on the road, gets in a fight and kills him. Then later, meets and marrys his mother.

    There are three points you can take from either of these:

    -You can't escape your fate, so don't even try.
    -You make your own fate by trying to escape it.
    -Act like you don't have a fate (whether you really do or not is irrelevant) and make it up as you go along.

    Your choice. :wink:
     
  13. Jun 12, 2004 #12
    Maybe Neo would break it anyway by doing something else, or maybe the Orcale didn't have the choice of not saying it, because she wanted to impress Neo by her prediction coming true :)

    Seriously, I had this idea that if you know the future and if you try to change it and if you succeed, then your past would be changed to avoid the paradox (including your memories so you wouldn't notice anything)
     
  14. Jun 13, 2004 #13

    EL

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think you got my point!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?