but it did help a little because we're talking about quantum states
back to drudgery
in other words, a steins;gate/doctor who exploration of time travel that I'll probably expand on later when I've got a fresher memory of both series
Okay, it’s been a little while since I’ve watched Doctor Who (thanks, Grand Moff), so my memory is a little hazy. I’ve been watching Steins;Gate again recently, and am struck by something.
The timelines and attractor fields actually make a decent amount of sense in Doctor Who. There are certain Fixed Points (although there are more of these in Doctor Who than in Steins;Gate) which are connected in a very Butterfly Effect-like manner to a LOT of different events. Changing them could lead to events like a Dalek Empire stretching the known cosmos, or even, in the most extreme cases, to all of time breaking down and the arrival of the Reapers.
This does, however, mean that Paradoxes are possible. (In fact, they are more than possible; above all they’re the things the Doctor is very anxious to avoid.) So John Titor’s post is not 100% accurate. Changes don’t always lead to a mere change in worldlines.
Parallel dimensions do exist (i.e. the Cybus Industries world in the Tenth Doctor’s reign, the ‘Evil Doctor’ Salamander in the Second Doctor’s The Enemy of the World, Inferno in the Third Doctor’s seasons, potentially the Arthurian world in the Seventh Doctor’s Battlefield). They, however, tend to be vastly different from the Base World we usually see. There would probably be at least a 50% world divergence in Steins;Gate terms (this, from a show in which the point was to make it beyond one percent divergence).
Inferno was unique in that, while UNIT was a lot harsher, a lot more iron-fisted in the alternate dimension, it still existed. In fact, it was one of the closest parallel worlds I’ve seen in the show. In terms of the Steins;Gate language, it’s one of the closest things we get to a worldline within the attractor field that exists.
We probably won’t get a lot of look into this, since travel between dimensions has become difficult (although that may have changed post sorta-reboot 50-year-special, which was the latest thing I’ve seen from Doctor Who—this from the gal who never finished the Eleventh Doctor’s run because I stopped being able to handle after Angels in Manhattan stupidity), but it seems like most of the less-than-one-percent-divergence worldlines in an attractor field are missing.
Where are they?
Theory: The world we see actually is the attractor field. That is, it’s all the worldlines at once. It’s a quantum state, where the non-passive act of observing makes it quantum-locked. Changes within that one-percent attractor field (or however large it actually is—conquering things is a possibility, not a certainty, that affects many lives, but doesn’t—always—have a devastating effect on Time itself) are allowable, since the Doctor and his companions change things by their very presence. There’s limitations to that, however—fixed points that cannot change because doing so would warp the attractor field beyond recognition. These fixed points are different depending on what world you’re from, just as there are elements for every individual song required to make them recognizable, but the songs are distinct.
So, with Inferno and my theory, does that mean that the quote-unquote Original world ceased to exist and was replaced by the alternate-UNIT worldline as the Active Worldline of all the possibilities in the attractor field?
Well…That’s the thing about quantum states. We may never know, because the very act of knowing, of gaining information about that thing, fixes its quantum state. So in the end, all this will probably just remain a thought experiment.
Still fun, though.