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Comment of the Day: Rules of Time Travel Edition

Illustration for article titled Comment of the Day: Rules of Time Travel Edition

In today's comments, we watched a coin fly over a cup, debated the merits and drawbacks of 3-D screenings... and came up with some invaluable additions to the time-traveler's handbook.

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Responding to this post on 10 silly tropes of sci-fi time travel, commenter twophrasebark throws in a few more unusual features of sci-fi time travel to the list:

11) People will speak modern English whenever you travel back into the past.

12) The Earth is traveling around the Sun at 67,000 miles/hour but whatever about your geographical location from when you left to when you get there

13) Time travelers always travel to the point where the most exciting plot developments happen, but rarely to the time that makes the most sense. (Example: Picard and Kirk can return anywhere in Generations, but choose to confront Soran when he is about to launch his super weapon. But Picard could have left Kirk to enjoy paradise forever and just returned to the moment he met Soran and decked him. The End.)

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Heed these instructions, time travelers.

Image: And Inc / Shutterstock

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DISCUSSION

remyporter
Remy Porter

The Earth is traveling around the Sun at 67,000 miles/hour but whatever about your geographical location from when you left to when you get there

The Earth is not traveling relative to me, now is it? I'm not time traveling on the Sun, so the Earth's movement relative to the sun is irrelevant.

There is no absolute frame of reference to compare the motion of the Earth and my timeship against. The very act of non-linear time travel makes the comparison complete nonsense anyway. Even if it didn't, given that space and time are a continuum, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that any device that allows you to cross time in a non-linear fashion would permit the same thing for space. So the DeLorean could have worked as a TARDIS, but I think we can agree that Doc Brown was probably taking some shortcuts on the math.