Paradoxes

When looking for a good definition of a paradox in the internet I found this

(logic) a statement that contradicts itself; e.g. I always lie is a paradox because if it is true it must be false

Now I think that sums up what a paradox is quite nicely. Something that cannot logically happen.

It’s the old chicken and the egg thing. Nether can have come first, as the chicken needed to come from the egg, but the egg needed to have been laid by a chicken. Evolution beat the fun out of that though.

Let me give you an example. You cannot go back in time and kill your grandfather before your parent is born. Why is that a paradox? Well as you do, you would only have one parent, and everyone knows that you need two people, both male and female to make a child.

This messes with your head slightly as you would only have one parent, therefore you would never be born, therefore you could not go back to kill your grandfather to stop you being born. Make sense?

Now that’s the general theory of it. But as we can’t time travel, so nobody has actually ever managed to prove or disprove such a theory. What if however, the universe in all its oddness was able to sustain paradoxical events? What if you were able to kill your own grandfather, but in the process you rewrote your own history.

Okay, I am maybe bordering on the realm of science fiction here, but for the purpose of this post let’s assume that paradoxes are sustainable and that we have mastered the ability to time travel.

So if you did go back in time and kill one of the relatives you are a direct descendant of, (not that you would want to) what would happen? The second you killed them would you change there and then? Assuming you wouldn’t fade away, or instantly disappear. Then again is there the possibility you couldn’t kill them?

Time travel being possible, we would probably be jumping through wormholes, and who’s to say we wouldn’t change time, but instead enter a whole new, almost identical reality? Would you really be killing your relative?

Could you change yourself? Like in Doctor Who, actually re-wright your own timestream? You were still born, but just to slightly different parents, with the DNA combination just perfect to make you, or something almost the same as you.

Then again what if (again like in Doctor Who) you had a paradox machine like the TARDIS? If you were able to sustain the paradox (only for a short amount of time before the universe imploded) what would actually happen? Well in theory everything would carry on as normal.

A Paradox TARDIS (From Doctor Who)

A TARDIS converted into a paradox machine

How about a planet, is it possible to destroy your entire planet before your birth? Who knows, as that is all highly theoretical 🙂

Then again, maybe you can only cause a paradoxical event if you mess with your own timestream. So long as you don’t go disrupting your own history, the universe doesn’t mind what you do…

Another great example of a paradox would be teleportation over long distances. Why? Well if you are going to travel several million lightyears away, in less than a single second, then you would get there before you started, relative to your own timestream, if that makes any sense…

Place 1 – ZAP!!! You travel faster than light (and theoretically time itself) so by the time you are there, the light from the new place you have reached won’t reach the old place until thousands of years later, why? As you traveled faster than the speed of light.

Therefore at some point in the future you would be able to see yourself teleporting to the spot millions of lightyears away, hence at some time there is no you at all, whilst at others there is more than one you. But is that really you? If your atoms are being dissembled at one place and then you are being re-assembled at another, possibly out of new atoms, even though genetically identical, is it still you?

That’s another post though, I have a great example of that, it involves a boat and a future article 🙂

Hopefully you have learnt a bit, and hopefully you will have some questions and comments throw at me!

No Internet

On the evening of the Sunday before last, (5th September) I turned on my computer, and there was no Internet. My router physically would not talk to the world wide web. After a lot of fiddling with wires it  still didn’t work, so I had to do something else.

The next morning it was working again, now most people would probably just accept that, but it got me thinking… I felt rather let down by the world wide web, and in a weird sort of way alone.

I know its silly, but do you think that part of our lives now depends, or is even on the Internet? If you were never able to access the Internet again via computer, phone, games console or any other device, would you feel like a small part of you (i.e. your online reputation) had died?

That’s what I sort of felt like on Sunday night. I was 99% confident that the Internet would return with my online self within a short space of time, but it did sort of feel like a part of my profile (not just my Internet one) was sort of inaccessible.

Branding is everything in business is it not? Well in the physical world branding is to people as well. Say a celebrities name and many people will be able to tell you what they do for a living, what they look like etc. This is sort of like human branding. When X sleeps with Y and then the media finds out their reputation hits the floor and their ‘brand’ is weakened.

This is very similar on the Internet, you build yourself your own online brand which is associated with you. I have the Christopher Roberts brand, meaning wherever you find my name you can be assured that you will get quality and unbiased content. That brand stays with you when commenting on other sites and when social networking.

So what happens when the online you is still there, but not doing anything, and the offline you is there, but can’t access the online you? Okay, it sounds a little complicated, but have you ever really given it some real thought?

I can conclude with one thing that I know for sure, the Internet is big, massive, impossible big. Its beautiful, evil and a little bit strange. The picture seems to sum this up.

A map of the Internet

A map of the Internet

For good or for worse, the Internet effects out lives in a massive way.

Ask yourself this, are you better off because of it?