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Old 2010-10-11, 02:36   Link #3061
Ithekro
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Easy answer is: Haruhi breaks the rules of time travel.

Harder explaination? Mikuru may be correct, but her description is likely extremely simplistic and missing pieces that are difficult to explain (to Kyon). In each time travel instance, the time travelers are still uneffected by the time travel and the future seems uneffected by the time travel. Mikuru (BIG) is there in the past both times Kyon goes there as if nothing happened. In the "second" case, if things from the "present" are correct, Mikuru (BIG) shouldn't exist anymore, yet she does, because she was there before and yet the time plane was not effected by the changes (or so it seems).

However Mikuru's people still seem to steer Kyon to get things done (they don't do things themselves in the past). This is where one questions how things happen in the future. Are these things needed to make sure Mikuru's time exists, or are they done because with Haruhi (via Kyon) involved, it makes it so the time travelers need to make sure things happen. Either because, Haruhi breaks the rules, or because Haruhi wants them to do something or else their would be no reason for the time travelers to even be hanging around (and thus make Mikuru even more useless than she already is).
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Old 2010-10-11, 02:49   Link #3062
Joe4evr
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Originally Posted by Gamer_2k4 View Post
So what's the deal here? Am I misunderstanding the description Mikuru gives? Is she wrong/mistaken/misleading? Is there just a huge break in continuity? What gives?
Perhaps Mikuru was talking about it being a Stable Time Loop. Even if you go back in time, you couldn't really change anything since, from the linear point of view, you were already there. See volume 7 for example.
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Old 2010-10-11, 03:06   Link #3063
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Either because, Haruhi breaks the rules, or because Haruhi wants them to do something or else their would be no reason for the time travelers to even be hanging around (and thus make Mikuru even more useless than she already is).
The next post I quote mentions Book 7, so let's use that as a counter-example. The time-traveling in Intrigues is done in such a way that Haruhi doesn't know about it, Haruhi can't know about it, and Haruhi would go nuts if she did know about it. It resolves in such a way that absolutely nothing is any different than if no time travel had taken place at all. We're left with time travel for the sake of time travel, which, while technically fulfilling Haruhi's (admittedly eccentric) wish, is something that I can't get over thinking is incredibly stupid.

And the "Haruhi breaks the rules" bit seems fairly odd to apply here. Haruhi isn't involved in any of these instances short of creating time travel in the first place. In other words, the only two options are "time travel really can change the future, but Mikuru's people don't know that" (which seems patently ridiculous given that that's all they ever use it for), or "the time travel Haruhi created has set rules that she allows to be broken in every instance of their use" (which is equally absurd).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4evr View Post
Perhaps Mikuru was talking about it being a Stable Time Loop. Even if you go back in time, you couldn't really change anything since, from the linear point of view, you were already there. See volume 7 for example.
And volume 1, and volume 3, and volume 4, and...

I know it happens so often, which is the very reason I'm bringing it up. But if what you're saying is true, it makes Mikuru's statement meaningless. It's like saying, "we can't change time except all the times we do."
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Old 2010-10-11, 03:21   Link #3064
Ithekro
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Remember Mikuru's people also say that things happen becaues they always happened that way. The future is fixed from their point of view because it already happened.

The trouble with this is that some things happen because they (or Kyon specifically) did something, but that is how it happened, thus they need to go through the motions to be sure things happens as they happened. A sort of reverse cause and effect. The Effect is known, thus the Cause must remain the same. Even the other Time Travelers going against the system acknowledge that the way things happened happen, even when they fail to change time (or perhaps they changed time....we don't know for sure).

Last problem with time travel...all events take place from Kyon's point of view. One might note that everything in Haruhi's Universe happens to Kyon...not Haruhi. Aliens, Time Travels, (Sliders,) and Espers....and she sees none of it. She doesn't even have a clue about what is going on around her it seems. The Aliens change things around to benefit (Kyon) or fight over Kyon...without Haruhi's notice (I wonder about her sometimes...especially when Yuki does something amazing for a human...like that baseball throw that ripped Haruhi's glove off at Second Base and is caught in the outfield by Itsuki....or her super speed in the relay race).

All these things happening to Kyon suggest either he is the center of the Universe (but Haruhi is the god-like one)...or maybe part of Haruhi's wish is to entertain Kyon...weird as that might seem. He seems to be at the front of a lot of activities. Yet Itsuki reports there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes. What sort of stuff (aside from quelling Haruhi's Closed Space that is)?
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Old 2010-10-11, 23:43   Link #3065
ijuinkun
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What appears to be happening is that knowledge of a future event is mutually exclusive with the ability to prevent it. In other words, you are unable to personally alter any detail that you have foreknowledge of.

For example, let us say that Mikuru hypothetically instructed Kyon to kill a person who happened to be her ancestor, but she did not inform Kyon of the target's relation to her. Causality would allow Kyon to succeed in the mission as long as he knew nothing about the targeted person's importance to the future beyond the bare fact that the person's life is being cut short by the assassination. However, as soon as Kyon learns anything material about the person's future (e.g. how he learned that the glasses-boy in "Melancholy of Mikuru" was key to developing temporal theory), then the information becomes a predetermined event.

In short, then, a time traveler (or a proxy) can alter a predetermined event as long as he or she remains ignorant of it. This explains why time agents (such as young Mikuru) and their helpers in the past (such as Kyon) must be given as little detail as possible until after the fact.

A possible technobabble explaination for this is that future events remain in a sort of quantum superposition of all potential states for an individual who has not "observed" them by having future information. Once "observed", an event "collapses" into a definite state--a "predetermined event".
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Old 2010-10-12, 10:47   Link #3066
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That doesn't really make sense, though. Let's run with your example and say that Kyon really does kill Mikuru's ancestor. This almost definitely means he's thrust into a new temporal plane, one that doesn't have Mikuru and one that might not even have time travel. In other words, the only way for Mikuru to have given him that order is for her to have come from the original temporal plane, one that's no longer a possible destination for Kyon.

On the other hand, this means that the future has absolutely no connection to the past. Mikuru doesn't need to exist in Kyon's actual future; she just needs to exist in a POTENTIAL future. While this might explain a lot (most notably how Kyon doesn't start a paradox in Disappearance when he goes back to stop the world replacement) and imply that we're just shown the most interesting timeline, rather than the only one, there's still another problem.

The big issue here is that it makes no sense that prior knowledge would preclude certain actions. Why should it matter if Mikuru knowingly kills her ancestor? Sure, she knows that her future requires him to exist, but she should also know that killing him would just create a new temporal plane, leaving hers intact. Furthermore, that's the only possible resolution if she killed him unknowingly, so the outcome would be the same regardless of prior knowledge.

I understand that, like you said, your theory explains quite well why Mikuru can't know too much about her mission or reveal too much information. However, it seems wholly unnecessary. The mechanics allowing an ignorant killing or that superposition state you mentioned should function just the same no matter what someone knows. It also removes any obligation for Mikuru's people to be "time police," going back to the past to preserve their present. They're just one of many potentials, right? This seems like a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place.

Finally, I guess this all is idle talk anyway. As Ithekro said, Haruhi is the wild card that throws off all bets. It's fun trying to pick apart the actual mechanics, but the Haruhi series has the writer's crutch of "a wizard did it," essentially invalidating the need for any continuity, and, by extension, the possibility of really saying how any of its mechanics work.
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Old 2010-12-31, 12:11   Link #3067
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Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
It is not a logical paradox for something in the future to affect the past. That's just the 4D shape of the world. Ontologically you can ask where the origin of the action is, and there is no answer, but purely mechanically it is consistent.
It's the fact that there is no answer that MAKES it a paradox. The case I keep thinking of (literally called the "bootstrap PARADOX") is this: A guy digs up some strange artifact. Later, he remembers he found it, so he goes back in time to bury that artifact there. This object literally popped into existence as a result of a so-called "stable loop," and yes, it's mechanically consistent. It's also fundamentally ridiculous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett
<lots of stuff about predestination and uncertainty that I'm too lazy to respond to on a point-by-point basis>
There's a problem with the uncertainty aspect of what you're saying, and it's obvious that you actually stumble over it as your post goes on. If I understand correctly, you begin by saying that Mikuru can't influence the past because it's been predetermined for her. Even in her ignorance, she knows too much, so Kyon has to do the time changing for her.

But here's where that breaks down. Supposedly Mikuru can't directly cause Haruhi to go to North High, since that's in her past and therefore predestined. But it's in Kyon's past, too! He has no more power over the change than she does. He's observed that the SOS Brigade exists; therefore, he must go back in time. In other words, all that talk about "Mikuru is the representative because she doesn't know anything" and "Kyon must be the catalyst because he REALLY doesn't know anything" is completely nonsense. It's all predestined, so those are non-factors.

The uncertainty principle can never actually come into play for that very reason. No matter where in time you exist, you're in SOMEONE'S past, all the way until the end of time. It doesn't matter if you, personally, haven't observed the results of the choices that you can make. Someone has, so you're locked into the path they remember. In other words, time is as linear as can be. Any way we try to explain the elements of it amounts to futile retroactive justification. Mikuru isn't clueless because she has to be; she's clueless because that's how the timeline was constructed. That's all.
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Old 2011-01-01, 10:53   Link #3068
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Originally Posted by Gamer_2k4 View Post
Posted here at CrowKenobi's request.



It's the fact that there is no answer that MAKES it a paradox. The case I keep thinking of (literally called the "bootstrap PARADOX") is this: A guy digs up some strange artifact. Later, he remembers he found it, so he goes back in time to bury that artifact there. This object literally popped into existence as a result of a so-called "stable loop," and yes, it's mechanically consistent. It's also fundamentally ridiculous.



There's a problem with the uncertainty aspect of what you're saying, and it's obvious that you actually stumble over it as your post goes on. If I understand correctly, you begin by saying that Mikuru can't influence the past because it's been predetermined for her. Even in her ignorance, she knows too much, so Kyon has to do the time changing for her.

But here's where that breaks down. Supposedly Mikuru can't directly cause Haruhi to go to North High, since that's in her past and therefore predestined. But it's in Kyon's past, too! He has no more power over the change than she does. He's observed that the SOS Brigade exists; therefore, he must go back in time. In other words, all that talk about "Mikuru is the representative because she doesn't know anything" and "Kyon must be the catalyst because he REALLY doesn't know anything" is completely nonsense. It's all predestined, so those are non-factors.

The uncertainty principle can never actually come into play for that very reason. No matter where in time you exist, you're in SOMEONE'S past, all the way until the end of time. It doesn't matter if you, personally, haven't observed the results of the choices that you can make. Someone has, so you're locked into the path they remember. In other words, time is as linear as can be. Any way we try to explain the elements of it amounts to futile retroactive justification. Mikuru isn't clueless because she has to be; she's clueless because that's how the timeline was constructed. That's all.
You obviously were not paying attention. I was pointing out that Kyon had to encourage Haruhi to go to North High because she did go to North High and so he was bound to encourage her to go to North High because he had already observed it. I even pointed out that Kyon-present can not change the past (his past that is), rather he is a common catalyst for the time travelers because Kyon can change the present (present for him, past for the time travelers) because to Kyon it's the present. This does not apply to Kyon when he time travels himself outside of his own time orign.

Why can't Mikuru cause Haruhi to go to North High? Of course she could, if it had already been observed that she caused Haruhi to go to North High. If it has been observed in the past that Mikuru-future caused something to happen, then Mikuru-future must cause that to happen. You are arguing that she can't cause it to happen, but why not? Again you are stuck on insisting that time is linear. But if you are time traveling then time is not linear in the sense that only the past self can effect the present.

Future self can effect present self, as long as the effect takes place in the past. It when the action is observed that preserves cause and effect, not the original time-origin of the actor. It's not the actor that is important to preserving causality, it's the observer that creates causality.

The reason it has to be Kyon instead of Mikuru that causes Haruhi to go to North High is because it was already observed by Haruhi that "John Smith", a high school student encouraged her to go to North High. She told Kyon about it. Mikuru has also observed that Kyon encourages Haruhi to go to North High. Which means that there is no actor present with out future foreknowledge that Kyon as John Smith encouraged Haruhi to go to North High.

Which means that Kyon didn't have a choice. He was not selected to encourage Haruhi because he was free to act. He was selected to encourage Haruhi because he had already done it (from the perspective of the observer).

See you are insisting that the actor is the determinate of time order, but he is not. It's the observer that is the determinate. Of course it gets confusing because Kyon-past is the observer (by Haruhi informing him of the event), and Kyon-present is the actor, which means that Kyon observes himself doing something before he actually does it. Usually it's the other way around, the past self is the actor, and then we the present self observe the results.

Furthermore your claim that someone in the future has observed this is irrelevant. This someone does not exist from the point of view of the actor (Kyon), and there for does not bind Kyon's actions. Only if this future someone told Kyon their observations would there be a constraining effect on Kyon. (And even then it might not be a total constraint as this other person could be lying).

Of course, this is not consistent with my personal view of how the real world works, but in Haruhi's universe it is clear they are using the idea that each observer creates his own reality. If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound? Haruhi's answer is: No, it does not make a sound, because no one hears it. The act of observation is what creates reality. Thus all reality is subjective. Which, by the way, is why Haruhi is able to change the world.

It's all logically consistent with the internal workings shown in the story.

Now you can say that it is inconsistent with what we have observed (so far) in reality, but that is a pretty silly compliant when we have things like reality benders running around the Haruhi universe. Additionally, it actually is not certainly inconsistent with what we have observed in science, as we have never observed time travel and so we don't know for sure how it would work. You have to appeal to the truth revealed by God through religion before finding things that contradict the Haruhi theory of time travel.

This is not to say most scientists would agree with the Haruhi time travel theory. Just that they couldn't disprove it, mainly because it can not be tested. Most scientists reject the possibility of time travel to the past.
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Old 2011-01-02, 14:34   Link #3069
Himeji
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I'm now half-way through the Endless Eight arc - watched the first four episodes today in one go
I could use some words of encouragement now to watch the remaining four.

The first and the second episode were still different enough, third and fourth less so though
It's interesting that they already found out in the second episode (of eight) that they're in a time loop. Ok, in their time, it's the 15.498th repeat
However, I really doubt though it's the first time they find out about it. There's only idle talk about "If we only knew what to do to stop it", but they don't do anything about it
Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day" at least tries all sorts of stuff to break out of the loop, and eventually decides to make good use of it by learning new skills (foreign language, ice sculpting...).
They however don't do *anything* to try to change the course of events, so everything happens as usual with Haruhi going through her list of event and still being dissatisfied. Then it's 31 August again, and Kyon is like, "Damn, that day again, now we'll get yet another repeat."
*knock knock* Hello, McFly? If you don't like the repeats, wha aren't you doing anything to change it? If you follow Yuki's attitude of "I don't care if I'm stuck in a time loop, I'm just anobserver anyway", nothing will ever change for sure

That's it for now... more to come after I watch the other four. As I said, I could use some words of encouragement there
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Old 2011-01-02, 18:00   Link #3070
keri
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Originally Posted by Himeji View Post
I'm now half-way through the Endless Eight arc - watched the first four episodes today in one go
I could use some words of encouragement now to watch the remaining four.

The first and the second episode were still different enough, third and fourth less so though
It's interesting that they already found out in the second episode (of eight) that they're in a time loop. Ok, in their time, it's the 15.498th repeat
However, I really doubt though it's the first time they find out about it. There's only idle talk about "If we only knew what to do to stop it", but they don't do anything about it
Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day" at least tries all sorts of stuff to break out of the loop, and eventually decides to make good use of it by learning new skills (foreign language, ice sculpting...).
They however don't do *anything* to try to change the course of events, so everything happens as usual with Haruhi going through her list of event and still being dissatisfied. Then it's 31 August again, and Kyon is like, "Damn, that day again, now we'll get yet another repeat."
*knock knock* Hello, McFly? If you don't like the repeats, wha aren't you doing anything to change it? If you follow Yuki's attitude of "I don't care if I'm stuck in a time loop, I'm just anobserver anyway", nothing will ever change for sure

That's it for now... more to come after I watch the other four. As I said, I could use some words of encouragement there
Well, of course they don't do anything to change the events. Unlike Bill Murray's character, none of them (except Nagato) actually remember what happened before. They just have the niggling deja vu - so for all they know, they are doing things differently - and Nagato does tell them that each repetition isn't exactly the same. If they did remember clearly, like Bill Murray's character, then they probably would try to do things differently, since they have knowledge of all the other times they've gone through the loop. I don't even know if Mikuru has the deja vu that Kyon and Koizumi have. It always seemed to me that she was oblivious until they pointed it out to her.
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Old 2011-01-02, 19:32   Link #3071
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Himeji View Post
I'm now half-way through the Endless Eight arc - watched the first four episodes today in one go
I could use some words of encouragement now to watch the remaining four.

The first and the second episode were still different enough, third and fourth less so though
It's interesting that they already found out in the second episode (of eight) that they're in a time loop. Ok, in their time, it's the 15.498th repeat
However, I really doubt though it's the first time they find out about it. There's only idle talk about "If we only knew what to do to stop it", but they don't do anything about it
Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day" at least tries all sorts of stuff to break out of the loop, and eventually decides to make good use of it by learning new skills (foreign language, ice sculpting...).
They however don't do *anything* to try to change the course of events, so everything happens as usual with Haruhi going through her list of event and still being dissatisfied. Then it's 31 August again, and Kyon is like, "Damn, that day again, now we'll get yet another repeat."
*knock knock* Hello, McFly? If you don't like the repeats, wha aren't you doing anything to change it? If you follow Yuki's attitude of "I don't care if I'm stuck in a time loop, I'm just anobserver anyway", nothing will ever change for sure

That's it for now... more to come after I watch the other four. As I said, I could use some words of encouragement there
Totally agree with you on Endless Eight.

As for encouragement for the other four... all I'll say is that I remember one of them having a rather nice shot of Haruhi's ass in a bikini.

That, and the climax in the final episode is good, and while it might not be worth eight episodes, it's definitely worth just the four you have left to watch.
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Old 2011-01-02, 21:13   Link #3072
ijuinkun
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They really threw the audience for a loop by having the second episode's count be 15,498, since that was the number of the final repetition in the novel, so we weren't expecting it to go on for a further twenty repeats. (I think the final count was 15,519?)
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Old 2011-01-02, 22:01   Link #3073
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I like how they messed around with novel readers. "So you think you know whats coming right? Well guess what, you don't!~" It essentially chucked everyone on the same boat. I can still remember the amount of crying, tension and suspense E8 created. Truly only Haruhi would dare attempt something as unprecedented as E8

Anyway with regards to Himeji finishing E8, you're pretty much half way done. Mine as well do the other half since you've invested and watched upto this far. 4 episodes is just a little under an hour and a half anyway, I've sat through 3 hour long lectures that have been worse then E8. If you're marathoning through the whole series, then just remember the end goal of the marathon, the Disappearence movie. Other things you could do to help, would be maybe play spot the difference between the episodes and taking little breaks between the episodes if you're really struggling to get through it.
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Old 2011-01-02, 22:09   Link #3074
Himeji
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Yatta!
Finally did it and watched the other four episodes as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Totally agree with you on Endless Eight.

As for encouragement for the other four... all I'll say is that I remember one of them having a rather nice shot of Haruhi's ass in a bikini.
Yes, seeing Haruhi in bikini really helped there
Without that, I wouldn't have made it... I would've only watched the first and last ep then.
I'll post some pics in the image thread.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
That, and the climax in the final episode is good, and while it might not be worth eight episodes, it's definitely worth just the four you have left to watch.
The climax was... ok, I guess. It was nice to see Kyon actually doing something instead of just going, "Oh noes, we'll get another repeat!". However, doing homework together? Couldn't he have thought of something fun or interesting?
Still, you could already be happy that Kyon thought of anything at all in the first place
I was a bit surprised though that this rather bland activity was enough to give her a sense of completion and terminate the time loop she unconsciously caused... it looks like the only important thing for her there was to spend the last day together with the others as well, completely regardless of whatever activity they would do.
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Old 2011-01-03, 04:05   Link #3075
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It's been a while since I watched Endless Eight, but one thing I remember being annoyed at was Koizumi checking out Haruhi's list of things to do. I thought that would lead somewhere, anywhere, but it never did!

Also, IIRC that list looked quite different each time. That was a bit weird. You'd think that if the same person were to write things down at different points in time, they'd usually have a commonly used way to format it.
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Old 2011-01-03, 11:48   Link #3076
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You obviously were not paying attention. I was pointing out that Kyon had to encourage Haruhi to go to North High because she did go to North High and so he was bound to encourage her to go to North High because he had already observed it. I even pointed out that Kyon-present can not change the past (his past that is), rather he is a common catalyst for the time travelers because Kyon can change the present (present for him, past for the time travelers) because to Kyon it's the present. This does not apply to Kyon when he time travels himself outside of his own time orign.

Why can't Mikuru cause Haruhi to go to North High? Of course she could, if it had already been observed that she caused Haruhi to go to North High. If it has been observed in the past that Mikuru-future caused something to happen, then Mikuru-future must cause that to happen. You are arguing that she can't cause it to happen, but why not? Again you are stuck on insisting that time is linear. But if you are time traveling then time is not linear in the sense that only the past self can effect the present.
You and I must have different definitions of "linear," because that's not what I'm arguing when I use the term. For me, all that linear means is that time truly does have a continuity. Haruhi remembers being inspired to go to North High because a time traveler suggested it to her. That's linearity. Continuity is the only thing that allows the time travelling plots to be written, but the problem is that the same continuity produces unsolvable paradoxes that are just brushed aside by the author and many (probably most) readers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Future self can effect present self, as long as the effect takes place in the past. It when the action is observed that preserves cause and effect, not the original time-origin of the actor. It's not the actor that is important to preserving causality, it's the observer that creates causality.

The reason it has to be Kyon instead of Mikuru that causes Haruhi to go to North High is because it was already observed by Haruhi that "John Smith", a high school student encouraged her to go to North High. She told Kyon about it. Mikuru has also observed that Kyon encourages Haruhi to go to North High. Which means that there is no actor present with out future foreknowledge that Kyon as John Smith encouraged Haruhi to go to North High.
Haruhi didn't tell Kyon about the John Smith thing until after he had gone back and inspired her. She told him in Disappearance (December); he had gone back in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody (July). From Kyon's perspective, he didn't HAVE the future foreknowledge that he was the encouragement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Which means that Kyon didn't have a choice. He was not selected to encourage Haruhi because he was free to act. He was selected to encourage Haruhi because he had already done it (from the perspective of the observer).

See you are insisting that the actor is the determinate of time order, but he is not. It's the observer that is the determinate. Of course it gets confusing because Kyon-past is the observer (by Haruhi informing him of the event), and Kyon-present is the actor, which means that Kyon observes himself doing something before he actually does it. Usually it's the other way around, the past self is the actor, and then we the present self observe the results.

Furthermore your claim that someone in the future has observed this is irrelevant. This someone does not exist from the point of view of the actor (Kyon), and there for does not bind Kyon's actions. Only if this future someone told Kyon their observations would there be a constraining effect on Kyon. (And even then it might not be a total constraint as this other person could be lying).
So does the actor matter or doesn't he? Initially, you say that the observers are the determinates, and the actor isn't. By the end, you're saying that the observers are irrelevant as long as the actor isn't aware of them. Which is it?

Part of me thinks you're trying to say that the Kyon that young Haruhi saw was the observer, and therefore the Kyon in the present is bound by those observations. But if you truly believe that, you're missing out on a fundamental aspect of time travel. Regardless of how the timespace around him is looping and twisting, a time traveler still has his own personal, straight-as-an-arrow linearity. It's why if I went back in time for a year, I'd be a year older when I returned, even if I returned the same instant I left. Future instances of a person are distinct from present instances, regardless of where in time those instances are inserted. That's why if you clone yourself, the other person ceases to be YOU immediately. He has different experiences now, and an increasingly differing past.

It's because of this truth that multiple Kyons can exist in the same time period (as seen twice in Disappearance). They're different people, or, more relevantly, different observers. Kyon the observer from three years ago is simply not the same person that Kyon the soon-to-be time traveler is in the present. This is all assuming that, one, my understanding of your argument is correct, and two, you're correct in assuming that observation precludes alternate action.

But there's something you haven't considered! At the end of Disappearance, Kyon is convinced he can bring the alternate world back if he simply doesn't go back in time to save himself. This wouldn't be possible under your rules, because not only has another instance of him observed the rescue, but he himself has observed BEING rescued! If you're correct, he should have absolutely no choice in the matter. That fact that he DOES go back eventually doesn't mean that he HAD to go back.

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Of course, this is not consistent with my personal view of how the real world works, but in Haruhi's universe it is clear they are using the idea that each observer creates his own reality. If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound? Haruhi's answer is: No, it does not make a sound, because no one hears it. The act of observation is what creates reality. Thus all reality is subjective. Which, by the way, is why Haruhi is able to change the world.

It's all logically consistent with the internal workings shown in the story.

Now you can say that it is inconsistent with what we have observed (so far) in reality, but that is a pretty silly compliant when we have things like reality benders running around the Haruhi universe. Additionally, it actually is not certainly inconsistent with what we have observed in science, as we have never observed time travel and so we don't know for sure how it would work. You have to appeal to the truth revealed by God through religion before finding things that contradict the Haruhi theory of time travel.

This is not to say most scientists would agree with the Haruhi time travel theory. Just that they couldn't disprove it, mainly because it can not be tested. Most scientists reject the possibility of time travel to the past.
Believe me, I'm well aware that pretty much none of the content of the Haruhi series has any scientific basis. My responses to your posts are all within the scope of the series and are all relative to the content within.
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Old 2011-01-04, 02:28   Link #3077
quigonkenny
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You and I must have different definitions of "linear," because that's not what I'm arguing when I use the term. For me, all that linear means is that time truly does have a continuity. Haruhi remembers being inspired to go to North High because a time traveler suggested it to her. That's linearity. Continuity is the only thing that allows the time travelling plots to be written, but the problem is that the same continuity produces unsolvable paradoxes that are just brushed aside by the author and many (probably most) readers.
Give me some examples of some of those "unsolvable" paradoxes, and I shall solve them for you. I've always found them quite easy to justify, so maybe my brain's just convoluted enough to "get it"...or maybe I've just got several years of discussion on you. Personally I find most of them as less "paradoxes" and more "logical repercussions due to the existence of time travel".

Except for Disappearance, which I see (ontologically) as a prime example of "information insufficient to solve".

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Haruhi didn't tell Kyon about the John Smith thing until after he had gone back and inspired her. She told him in Disappearance (December); he had gone back in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody (July). From Kyon's perspective, he didn't HAVE the future foreknowledge that he was the encouragement.
Agreed, but there was already sufficient foreknowledge available for the readers to realize he was the encouragement for her to go to North High (starting with "Have I met you before?"). Since this is all literature, foreshadowing is sufficient to allow the audience to be a stabilizing observer. And of course in-story, there's Mikuru(big), who experienced the whole thing (more or less) and set things in motion in the first place.

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But there's something you haven't considered! At the end of Disappearance, Kyon is convinced he can bring the alternate world back if he simply doesn't go back in time to save himself. This wouldn't be possible under your rules, because not only has another instance of him observed the rescue, but he himself has observed BEING rescued! If you're correct, he should have absolutely no choice in the matter. That fact that he DOES go back eventually doesn't mean that he HAD to go back.
No, but it does mean that he WOULD... ^_^ Such is the fine line between predestination and removal of free will.

Free will is just as—if not more—important a determiner as outcome in well-written fiction of any genre, but especially in time travel fiction. You just, as an author, have to make sure that the choices the character makes that lead to the predestination are the natural choices they would make given what they have knowledge of, or else it feels forced. Free will isn't the ability to make any choice out of an infinite number of options, after all, it's the opportunity to make that choice in a situation where you would have a choice. If you're falling off a cliff, it's not a violation of your free will to not be able to choose to fly away, or land on a more forgiving surface than the one below you. Similarly, if you found yourself hanging over a cliff with a small child in a contraption where your weight differential was going to cause the child to fall to his death, and you willingly stepped out of the contraption and fell to your own death in order to save the child, that was not a violation of your free will. Whether or not you knew that the child was your younger self.
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Old 2011-01-04, 14:57   Link #3078
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Give me some examples of some of those "unsolvable" paradoxes, and I shall solve them for you. I've always found them quite easy to justify, so maybe my brain's just convoluted enough to "get it"...or maybe I've just got several years of discussion on you. Personally I find most of them as less "paradoxes" and more "logical repercussions due to the existence of time travel".

Except for Disappearance, which I see (ontologically) as a prime example of "information insufficient to solve".
Before I say anything else, I want to point out that there's little difference between a "logical repercussion" and a paradox except semantics (assuming you mean "repercussions of logic" and not "repercussions that logically follow").

You exclude Disappearance, but I'll mention it anyway to have it out in the open. This is a paradox because in order for Kyon to nullify the alternate universe, he has to stop it before it starts, but the Kyon that was doing the nullification was FROM the alternate universe. It's literally a case of the grandfather paradox, where one's actions after having traveled through time make it impossible for him to have traveled through time in the first place.

The second paradox is one that the two of us have discussed before, and I see little point in starting that discussion again. But, since you asked, the closed time loops that you so readily accept are examples of the ontological paradox, in which information can arise out of nothing. In this case, that information is Haruhi's desire to go to North High. It's basically the same thing as a man getting the plans to build a time machine from his time-travelling future self. The plans literally have no origin, and that's what makes it a paradox. (And no, I don't care that it's retroactively consistent. That's not anywhere close to the point.)

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Agreed, but there was already sufficient foreknowledge available for the readers to realize he was the encouragement for her to go to North High (starting with "Have I met you before?"). Since this is all literature, foreshadowing is sufficient to allow the audience to be a stabilizing observer. And of course in-story, there's Mikuru(big), who experienced the whole thing (more or less) and set things in motion in the first place.
Wow. I really have no idea how to respond to "the audience is a stabilizing observer." That's just...so OUT THERE, so completely irrelevant, and...man, I don't know. It's mind blowing. Even responding to it makes me worry that I'll sound horribly condescending for having to explain the concept of a story to you.

I typed up two (probably very) insulting paragraphs explaining why the audience couldn't be treated as an observer (which this sentence is now replacing), so just take my word for it that it can't. And yes, Mikuru counts as an observer, but the point I was trying to make was that Kyon CAN'T count as an observer. That's all.
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Old 2011-01-05, 11:24   Link #3079
quigonkenny
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Wow. I really have no idea how to respond to "the audience is a stabilizing observer." That's just...so OUT THERE, so completely irrelevant, and...man, I don't know. It's mind blowing. Even responding to it makes me worry that I'll sound horribly condescending for having to explain the concept of a story to you.

I typed up two (probably very) insulting paragraphs explaining why the audience couldn't be treated as an observer (which this sentence is now replacing), so just take my word for it that it can't. And yes, Mikuru counts as an observer, but the point I was trying to make was that Kyon CAN'T count as an observer. That's all.
Actually, it was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek hint that people may be overthinking the minor details in what is, at its core, only a story. When you get down to it, as long as it's logical for the audience, it's fine for the story as long as you don't overthink it. As long as it's externally consistent, internal consistency is just a bonus. Plus I'm not too sure yet whether I put any truck in the "observer theory", at least in the Haruhiverse (I'm leaning toward more overthinking). And don't worry, your post was sufficiently condescending...

As for your examples, I'll start with Disappearance. I shy away from trying to puzzle out the details because I haven't been sufficiently convinced what exactly happened during Kyon's "hospital time". Did things happen again exactly as he remembered, only "reset" to the normal 'verse once we reach the escape program? It would require Yuki to both coerce Asakura into playing her part, and act exactly as she remembered (both of which we've seen done, the former in the snippet of Volume 10 we've seen, and the latter between the two Tanabatas, which Yuki arguably "relived" thanks to synchronization), but it would be externally "cleaner" from a paradoxical viewpoint. Or did the events in the Yukiverse get "written over" and "never happen", leaving only Kyon (and potentially Yuki and Asakura) to remember those events, and giving logic a big middle thumbs up? Both seem to have hints that they happened, but it's inconclusive to me, hence "insufficient information".

And as for your other events, I'm not going to rewaste the time trying to explain what I've already sufficiently explained elsewhere, and what you've already admitted is "retroactively consistent". How else would you define "solved"?

And "logical repercussions" might not be the right phrasing, but it refers to the fact that when you add time travel to the equation, the very laws of logic have to change to accomodate. Things that were not possible before are now, simply due to the ability to travel in time. I likened it previously to the existence of imaginary numbers. Without acknowledging their existence, the square root of a negative, or a negative result of a square, is illogical.
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Old 2011-01-05, 12:17   Link #3080
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Actually, it was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek hint that people may be overthinking the minor details in what is, at its core, only a story. When you get down to it, as long as it's logical for the audience, it's fine for the story as long as you don't overthink it. As long as it's externally consistent, internal consistency is just a bonus. Plus I'm not too sure yet whether I put any truck in the "observer theory", at least in the Haruhiverse (I'm leaning toward more overthinking). And don't worry, your post was sufficiently condescending...
That's fair. The issues I currently have weren't glaringly obvious upon my first watchings of the time travel events, so I guess it has that going for it. It's kind of like in Star Wars, when you realized that the ruins of the second Death Star have to go somewhere, and they're very likely to fall and crash into Endor, killing all the Ewoks. Of course, that doesn't occur to most people watching it, so everyone decides it has a happy ending. Of course it does.

As for the condescending part, yeah, that was my fault and I'm sorry. I was just so stunned by the claim, and your smooth transition from it to an example of a legitimate observer masked that the first part wasn't entirely serious. It's just that I've learned from my time on the internet that "no one can be THAT stupid" is (sadly) rarely true, so, you know...my bad.

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And "logical repercussions" might not be the right phrasing, but it refers to the fact that when you add time travel to the equation, the very laws of logic have to change to accomodate. Things that were not possible before are now, simply due to the ability to travel in time. I likened it previously to the existence of imaginary numbers. Without acknowledging their existence, the square root of a negative, or a negative result of a square, is illogical.
Logic doesn't HAVE to change when time travel is introduced. There's some "self-consistency principle" out there that says that, when time travelling, you can't take actions would would cause a paradox. If you tried to shoot your ancestor, for example, your gun would jam, or it wouldn't be a fatal wound, or something like that. Time travel can work, and work well, even when retaining traditional logic.

Problems like the bootstrap paradox are simply not required for time travel. While applications exist that require the use of imaginary numbers (such as some circuit logic, IIRC), nothing in time travel requires that objects and ideas can exist without an origin, other than an author's desire for something "cool." Just because something can be abused doesn't mean it should be, or that it's justifiable to do so.

In fact, many paradoxes that come up from time travel CAN still be logically explained away. The grandfather paradox, for example, can be fixed as I said above, or by saying that the ancestor only died in one of two parallel universes, and that the time traveler came from the other. It's when such logical solutions are actively ignored and people seek refuge in the notion of "it's time travel so it doesn't have to make sense" that I begin to see a problem.
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