Non-Virtual WABAC Machine

For the next time somebody calls “no do-overs.”

This WayBackMachine may be easier to operate.


  1. cymast

     /  December 21, 2009

    The not going back to before the WABAC Machine’s invention has me flummoxed. Would the machine magically disintegrate? Blow up? Have a melt-down? Throw a tantrum?

  2. acilius

     /  December 21, 2009

    Think of it as not being able to get a signal without a receiver. A radio wave doesn’t throw a tantrum if it’s sent to a location where there are no sets to receive it and transform it into a signal. It just keeps going, in its case outward. Likewise, a time machine like that which Professor Mallett proposes would function as a receiver for content sent back from the future. No receiver, no reception.

  3. cymast

     /  December 21, 2009

    I keeping thinking if the WABAC Machine goes into the past, then the WABAC Machine is in the past . .

  4. acilius

     /  December 21, 2009

    That’s right. So if it isn’t already in the past, it can’t go into the past.

  5. cymast

     /  December 21, 2009

    So you’re putting the inherent paradox of backward time-travel into its primary context. Never mind killing your parents. Or meeting yourself.

  6. acilius

     /  December 23, 2009

    I think that paradox is only verbal. Saying that the time machine can only go into the past if it is already into the past is no different from saying that a road goes someplace where it already is.

  7. cymast

     /  December 23, 2009

    Of course!

    This verbality got me thinking- perhaps the key to time travel as we don’t know it is in our choice of prepositions.

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