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TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2016
I was walking down the street. I guess because I like walking. I heard a CRACK! I looked down. I had stepped on a watch. The lens was cracked beyond repair but I might be able to salvage the other parts. Since I had nothing else to do, so I went home.
I stood at my kitchen counter inspecting the watch I had found. I turned the dial counterclockwise to see if it still worked. The lens had magically come back together, reparing itself. Startled at the sight of such an impossible rejuvenation, I looked away from the watch to my kitchen surroundings, only to see that I was standing on a sidewalk. In fact, the very sidewalk where I had found the watch, about thirty feet away from the spot where I had originally found it, twenty minutes ago. Apparently I had gone back in time to before I found the watch. So I hadn’t stepped on it yet, which is why it was no longer broken.
But how could it be in my hand if I hadn’t found it yet?
Not knowing what else to do, I walked. I thought about all the incredible things I could do with a watch that could alter time. I started to cross an intersection, but I was so transfixed with the watch that I wasn’t paying attention to the traffic. I didn’t notice a pickup truck fly by, just inches away form me. I didn’t even notice a towering semi-truck speeding straight towards me. When I did notice, it was too late to move.
I awoke in a hospital bed. My left arm, left hand, my legs, and my neck were in casts. My wallet, some pocket change, and other various things lay on the table beside me, along with a very familiar watch. I didn’t remember where the watch came from, but it was familiar. My head ached. In this condition, how could I could I ever be happy again? Then it hit me: The watch! I could go back to a time before I had got hit by the truck. I grabbed the watch clumsily with my unbroken hand but winced with pain. My fingers were not functioning properly and the watch fell out of my hand, but not before I managed to turn the dial, though a little more than I wanted to.
I was walking down the street. I didn’t know how I got there. I guess because I like walking. I hadn’t walked far before CRACK! I had stepped on something. It was a watch. The lens was cracked beyond repair but I might be able to salvage the other parts. Since I had nothing else to do, so I went home.



I like it - particularly that it ends on a circular note.

The only danger I can see you putting yourself in is with the very question you brought up yourself: "But how could it be in my hand if I hadn’t found it yet?"

Are there duplicate watches then? The one you were about to step on, and the one in your hand? I'd suggest digging a little deeper into this one, because you're about to deal with one of the most interesting bits of time travel - the emergence of information that has a paradoxical origin.

One example I'm stealing from Physicist Brian Green is this:

Brian Green is wrapped up in trying to solve one of the biggest mysteries known to man, and decides maybe he'll travel to the future, to a point where he thinks it will be solved, find the solution, then he'll travel back to his present day and write the solution himself - getting the credit, but also speeding up humanity's advancements. So he jumps into his time machine (something all Physicists have in their basement...) and travels 50 years ahead. And he immediately sees that quite clearly that difficult mystery was solved, and solved 45 years earlier to his surprised. Only 5 years from his present day! He rushes to a book store to find the actual publication, and to his surprise the publication is written by his mother! As he opens it, he reads the dedication: "To my son Brian, who taught me everything I know about Physics, and made this book possible." Brian then proceeds to read the book, and returns to the past. He then decides he may as well give his mother the credit, being a good son. And he realizes that he has to teach her a lot of Physics over the next 5 years to make the writing of the book possible... so he proceeds to teach her, and teach her, and teach her. The only problem is, his mother is just awful at Physics. She just lacks the talent for it...and the 5 year deadline is fast approaching. Finally, in desperation, Brian decides he's just going to write the book for his mother - being that he had memorized the solution. He gives the credit to his mother, though she never actually learns the physics behind the book.

And that's where the odd thing arises - if Brian had to write the book that explains the solution to the mysterious problem, for his mother - and Brian didn't teach it to her the first time around when he had traveled into the future, to read the very book his mother wrote... where did the solution for the problem come from?

Oooh... chills.

Another shorter example is from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, when Bill and Ted first meet Rufus, they don't know his name is Rufus, and they are never really introduced. It's only when Bill and Ted suddenly encounter the future Bill and Ted, who travel back into the past, and the future Bill and Ted say "Oh, you've met Rufus?" that they learn Rufus' name. In other words, future Bill and Ted introduce present Bill and Ted to Rufus... but then how did they ever know Rufus' name to begin with?

Oooh, bigger chills.



I actually read your comment alishahnovin. Stupid freakin' time paradox.
REPLIES: alishahnovin



Paradoxes are really interesting. "Is the answer to this question no?"

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