The is not, and never shall be, Time Travel.

After all, if there was Time Travel, or if there ever could be Time travel, Shakespeare would be so constantly bothered by such huge swarms of fans, that he couldn’t have got any writing done.

Where do you think he got all his ideas?

The hell with Shakespeare. The crucifiction would be so crowded that the Roman dude wouldn’t be able to pull his arm back to thrust the spear.

Maybe that’s what happened to the body. Time-traveling souveneir takers. :stuck_out_tongue:

There are all sorts of ways around that. For example travelling back creates an alternate universe. Or the universe won’t allow major changes; if enough people try to go to a person that history would change, something will prevent it. Or changes in time flow forward at the normal speed of one year per year, and never reach the present; linear alternate universes, as it were. Or history is conserved, and any changes the time traveller makes will erase themselves as soon as the traveller leaves ( want to, say, rape or torture someone and get away with it ? Rape or torture someone in the past and reality itself will eliminate the evidence that a crime ever occurred once you leave . . .)

I don’t know about you, Bosda, but I’m traveling through time right now.

And we’d finally get to the bottom of that whole Francis-Bacon-on-the-grassy-knoll conspiracy theory, too!

It is fun to think of, though, isn’t it? I like to muse over the possibility of having a very limited amount of time to set only one thing right – like having an RPG on the ramparts of Masada for two hours, or going back to fifth grade for one month, or not being such a dorky virgin on that Christmas ski trip in high school. On the other hand, if everyone had one chance at that, can you imagine how crowded Dealy Plaza would have been?

Now that I think about it, though, here’s a premise for a sci fi book: Everyone in the world is given one chance to go back to one day in their lives, and everybody talks about how humankind is going to get a chance to set right all the horrible things that have happened throughout history. But when it’s all over, and everybody gets back from that one day, all of those things have still happened, because everybody went back and changed only one thing in their own lives, which ultimately had almost no impact on any of them – but all of the assassinations, bombings, wars, genocides and other horrors have happened anyway because nobody bothered to change them. Hmmmmm…

Maybe time travel is tightly controlled or is expensive and can only be afforded by very few

I was going to post a variation: There will only ever be one time machine in any stable timeline.

Either the first time machine will be the last, because whoever controls it will bend the course of history to ensure that no other is created, or another will be created, and whoever controls that one will see to it that the first becomes uninvented.

I think you are pretty much right. I really doubt that you can travel back in time. Occam’s razor tells me that there is no mechanism and too much complexity and contradiction to allow such a technology. Traveling forward in time, however is obviously doable, and exactly how this manifests itself is open to speculation. Near light speed travel allows this, if you define forward time travel as traveling to a time far in advance of one’s natural lifespan.

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

Well, it wasn’t exactly *time * travel, but … hey, we went somewhere!

OK, let’s look at Hitler as an example. There are millions of people who would go back in time to kill Hitler as a small child. After this history altering event, Hitler would be only a small side note as a young Austrian child who died under mysterious circumstances. No one in the future who had access to time travel would care about the death of this insignificant child and try to change history by preventing his death.

It seems like it would be that the first person to alter history by offing a significant historical figure would also be the last, so long as he did it well in advance of any important accomplishment by that individual.

Suppose time travel machines are ridiculously easy to make - the technological equivalent of building a wheel. Virtually every civilization that gets much past the point of banging the rocks together figures out how to travel into the past. And off they go, traveling through time, and constantly changing history. History gets rewritten thousands of times each day and each version of history is different. And in one of those versions of history, improbable as it is, nobody invents time travel - and that’s where everything stops. Because once history lands on a timeline where nobody invented time travel it stays there forever. Time travel is an inherently self-canceling phenomenon.

Shakespeare was revealed to be largely a fraud in 2023 when manuscripts revealed that the work was done by an idiot savant that he took in and then stole from. The savant couldn’t communicate orally and died at 18. Much of her identity is still unknown hence no visitors.

Revisionist historians greatly obscured much of Hitlers role in starting WWII after 2027. This was touched off by reruns of the cartoon South Park which is still a huge hit and most young people crack up at that Cartman who loves to dress up and act like Hitler. Handlebar mustaches became much in vogue even for girls. The holocaust was largely discredited by the book “Senseless Mass Suicide” that stayed at the top of the bestseller lists for over a year.

Of course, all this predates time travel which Steven Hawking invented from his in 2036 after several body transplants rejuvenated his will to think.

I see a time-line Kill Hitler sport – time travelers kill him as a teen, then a child. Then they kill his mother, etc., moving up the ancestral chain to make DAMN SURE HITLER IS DEAD!.

There seems to be a near-world-wide consensus that the very first mission of a human time traveller should be to kill Hitler. Everything afterwards is open to negotiation.

That was a Stephen Fry book (look it up yourself, it’s late, I’m finishing this beer and going to bed). It didn’t work out as well in practice as it did in theory. Something about who took power instead of him not only being evil, but also not inept, and capable of holding power.

My whole argument was that after the first guy killed him as a teenager, he would then be a historically insignificant character, and people would not even know to go back and kill him.

It seems as though the whole world would be quite a bit blander without a whole lot of megalomaniacal genocidal maniacs, which according to my theory, would be virtually nonexistant. Not that this would be a bad thing, and I suspect current world history would be a lot less fucked up.

I remember reading somewhere that it possible to build a time machine by creating a wormhole. You then accelerate the one end of the worm hole (let’s call it End A) to near the speed of light so from our perspective time runs more more slowly at A. If somebody in the future then went in end B they appear at end A in their past. The only limitation is that you cannot go back to a time before the wormhole was built.

Seeing as we haven’t built a wormhole yet, this explains why we haven’t been overrun with time tourists.

actually, i just returned here to this now, after creating & planting the shakespearian works.

seems this hitler fellow is something like one of those “butterfly effects.”
i’ll go back and try to fix that, but if the united states of africa ends up in chaos & disease, or the soviet american dictatorships united somehow, remember you asked me to get involved.

at the very least, let us all hope there is never a fifty-third world war.

There are also theories that history has a level of inertia about it - it will tend to take the same general course even if time travellers attempt to change it.

One story I read years ago dealt with this suggestion. A character was inducted into the Time Police on the occasion of offing himself with (iirc) a .38 calibre handgun of some sort. So he tried to save himself. His first attempt was to disarm his gun - so the in-time version of himself loaded his gun and shot himself.

The out-of-time man tried several more and more convoluted ways of saving his in-time self, and each time history changed so that the end result was that he wound up with a .38 bullet in the head. He finally succeeded in clearing all threats of being shot in the head. Standing at the open window, feeling relieved… he was hit in the head by a meteorite the exact size and shape of a .38 calibre bullet.

He gave up.

Maybe history likes itself the way it is and doesn’t want to be changed.