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Non Cliche Time Travel Idea

  1. Jul 19, 2013 #1
    I am currently in the process of re-writing an episode for a Science Fiction television series. Currently the main character a 280 year old human scientist travels back in time to stop catastrophic events set in motion. I would like to stay away from the actual time travel of a human being. So I had an Idea John Carpenter used in Prince of Darkness. The main characters all have dreams of a future event, it’s a message sent backwards thru time, by attaching, or embedding information inside sub atomic particles. I think this Idea is most original as it is the lesser of all evils of cliché.

    Is this possible? Must the message be received in images during an unconscious state? Could the message be decoded by a machine?

    My Idea was the scientist build a machine to accomplish such a task, the information could be sent back and decoded only by the use of the exact same machine built in the past, or in our time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    See: Timescape by Gregory Benford. In his case scientists examining an exotic semiconductor discover that anomalous signals apparently generated by the substance are a reaction to tachyons which encode a message sent from the future.

    You need faster-then-light particles (tachyons) with the ability to stimulate the visual centers of the brain - which you'd want someone to say are at their most receptive in a hypnagogic state.

    As the technique improves, the receiving character goes from disturbing feelings and sounds to indistinct images to full-holographic lucid dreaming and, thus, 2-way communication.

    Any SF with FTL telepathy does something similar, though not normally so obvious.

    Issues are: causality violation (grandfather paradox) and that this would be a very sophisticated version of the kind of time-communicator envisaged by Benford so why don't the future people have those? (perhaps they are trying to communicate beyond the point in time that the receiver was invented? Someone realizes: "Hey, parts of the brain can be used... they'll think they are dreaming!")

    Is this TV series in production with a budget and everything?
  4. Jul 20, 2013 #3


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    another idea would be to have them see visions when they look at some object that connects them to the future. It could be an abstract painting with writing on it and the message comes by highlighting the letters or with abstract lines and figures that rearrange to produce a message. It only displays when the scientist is alone or at some specified time like midnight on a full moon.
  5. Jul 20, 2013 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    Actually - you could argue that some well-documented astronomical alignment would help target the message since you have to aim the beam to some spot the Earth used to be some time in the past, and get the right spot on the Earth ... even so you'd end up sending the message to a wide area of the Earth... a sort-of "when the stars are right the sensitive receive visions... ia ftagn naght..."
  6. Jul 20, 2013 #5
    This reminds me of an episode from Stargate Universe (obviously don't read this if you haven't seen the show, and are planning on watching it):

    A Colonel aboard the ship has recurring, very vivid and explicit dreams of their ship being destroyed. In one dream, the crew members try to devote all of their limited power to the shields of the ship, but their defenses are destroyed and they all die. This process continues for several nights, with different actions being taken by the crew members, but each time, it ends poorly. Eventually, his premonitions come true, when the exact scenario presents itself. Basing his decisions off his dreams (he felt as though they were too vivid to ignore), he is able to avoid the destruction of their ship.

    It was concluded that the ship (which was designed and built by a species far more intelligent than humanity) was aware of a present danger, and warned the Colonel (the man in charge), by way of accessing his mind as he slept, which was apparently the easiest time at which to do so.

    I don't have anything more to add. I simply thought that the ideas were similar enough to share.
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