Well, where are they?


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"Where are the time travelers?"

Excuse me?

"Where are they? Shouldn't they be crawling all over us?"

Oh, you're worried about the Temporal Fermi Paradox?

"Like, 'where are the aliens' but for time travelers? Yeah."

The same things apply, but it's worse.

"Same things… rarity and lifespan of time-traveling civilizations, ability to travel, huge number of destinations?"

Yes. It's like the Drake Equation, but recursive. We don't know any of the probabilities, and it seems likely certain sorts of time travel would prevent itself via paradox… or otherwise ruin itself.

"Such as several time travelers from different futures crashing into each other?"

Yeah. Splat, or maybe boom. Or just poof.

"We'd notice that, right?"

Maybe. The universe is a big place, full of noise and exploding stars. Universes where time travel was too common might all just go kablooie.

"So, now a time-travel component to the anthropic principle?"

Exactly. We're here, because we couldn't be somewhere drowning in time travelers.


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Comments (4 so far!)

Robert Quick

Robert Quick

I was entertaining a theory that many of our misremembered things about our friends are due to the effects of time travelers and paradox making a mess of our present. Nicely done on the rules and terms. Fun!

  • #3078 Posted 4 years ago
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I'm a little confused by half of the dialogue not being in speech marks, but it's a very minor quibble. The tone of the piece is well set.

I'm personally a big fan of the alternate-realities theory.

  • #3084 Posted 4 years ago
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I have made it a habit to write exactly 1024 characters... sometimes that incentivizes me to do weird things with the punctuation and formatting when I can't make word choices that line it up.

  • #3087 Posted 4 years ago
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Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

I quite like this piece. It's an interesting take on a common bit of theorizing.

  • #3091 Posted 4 years ago
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  • Published 4 years ago.
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