Wednesday, October 12, 2011

TIme-Cop Murphy

This post is about an amazing discovery that my daughter and I have made. We have unified Murphy’s Law with Time-Paradox Physics!

It started when Hannah asked me about time-travel paradoxes. The grandfather paradox and such; though I prefer to call it the Time Suicide. The Time Suicide goes back and kills his past self; therefore he didn’t go back and kill his past self, therefore he did, etc. (The time suicide is as pathological as the grand-parricide, but he keeps his madness to himself, and doesn’t bother his elders.) I also pointed out that there is a positive time-loop; the Time Teacher, who goes back in time to tell his past self some valuable information; where did the data come from?

Either way, what’s the answer? I gave Hannah the two stock answers; either there are many worlds, and meddling in the past merely creates an alternate time-line; or there is one time-line, and it resists meddling.

The first option seems to fit with quantum maximality, but somehow seems too loose. Why don’t we see time-travellers from alternate futures popping up all the time? And visitors from alternate worlds is a rather large wild card. I speculate that alternate worldline creation is limited by dark energy. It’s thinly spread, so alternate worldliness are hard to make. (So you’d better bring two machine guns to your encounter with Hitler!)

The second option has a strange ‘backfire effect’; any attempt to change history will encounter strange, improbable events preventing the meddling; usually malfunctions in critical equipment. In other words, the closer to a time paradox, the stronger Murphy’s Law operates! Call this “Hannah’s Law”, or the “Murphy Effect”. Murphy is a Time Cop!

But on further consideration, I realized that the Murphy Effect need not confine itself to the era that invented time travel, but also to the eras that led up to it. Therefore, any technical or social advances that tend to lead to time travel will tend to encounter the Murphy Effect. But society is a unity, so any social advance tends to lead toward the invention of time-travel. Therefore the Murphy Effect applies to all of society!

Thus we derive Murphy’s Law from time-paradox physics!

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