Time 2.0 Experiment 3 Results

Good Afternoon. Here are the results for the third set of dice rolls for my experiment to retrieve information from the future.

At 2:40 pm central on 03/03/2019 my associate rolled 12 d10. The results were: 3,6,1,1,6,1,3,6,9,8,6,5.

I will repeat this experiment next week, 03/16/2019 after 2:00 pm central time. Tomorrow daylight saving begins, so please keep in mind that next week will be one hour shorter. Anyone with access to a time machine or some other means of accessing extra-temporal information is welcome to respond, as usual, in the comments section here or on twitter @bkkawaii.

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Time 2.0 Experiment 2 Results

Good Afternoon. Here are the results for the second set of dice rolls for my experiment to retrieve information from the future.

At 7:55 pm central on 03/03/2019 my associate rolled 12 d10. The results were: 1,3,10,6,6,2,10,4,10,9,5,8.

No one came forward with the results before they were rolled.

I will repeat this experiment next week, 03/09/2019 after 2:00 pm central time. Anyone with access to a time machine or some other means of accessing extra-temporal information is welcome to respond, as usual, in the comments section here or on twitter @bkkawaii.

Time 2.0 Results- experiment 1

Good Afternoon. Here are the results for the first set of dice rolls for my experiment to retrieve information from the future.

At 2:00 pm central on 02/23/2019 my associate rolled 12 d10. The results were: 4,5,8,3,5,1,3,10,2,4,6 and 4.

No one came forward with the results before they were rolled.

I will repeat this experiment next week, 03/02/2019 at 2:00 pm central time. Anyone with access to a time machine or some other means of accessing extra-temporal information is welcome to respond, as usual, in the comments section here or on twitter @bkkawaii.

Time 2.0

 

Next Saturday, 02/23/2019, after 2:00pm central, I will have a series of dice rolls generated and post the results to my blog. Please post a reply to this post with the dice-roll results before 02/23/2019 2:00pm central either in the comments on this post at https://projectdxm.wordpress.com/https://dxmrevealed.wordpress.com/ ,or on twitter @bkkawaii.

 

Objective: to create a secure test for detecting extra-temporal information, and to contact those with access to information not yet generated.

 

Difficulty 1: making sure that a respondent cannot get the information in a time-linear fashion. The only way to do this is to generate the information after the time limit for presenting the information has expired.

For example, if I generate the information at the beginning of the week in the form of dice rolls, and then tell potential time travelers to post the results before I reveal them at the end of the week, someone may find a way to take to steal the information from wherever I hid it. A hoax-perpetrator stealing my diary, finding the key to my lock box, or making me tell them the information under the influence of a mind-altering drug before I black out and forget, though unlikely circumstances, seem far more likely than encountering an actual time-travelers. Therefore, the dice rolls must be made at the end of the week.

 

Difficulty 2: avoiding paradox. If I read a bunch of results for the dice rolls *before* I roll them, the results I received may unconsciously influence the way I roll the dice. I was especially sloppy about this in my first round of experiments, because I did not decide beforehand how many I would roll- I just grabbed a handful of dice from my dice bag and rolled. If I’d read any result submissions beforehand, I might have intentionally grabbed a different number of dice than were guessed, or intentionally grabbed the same number of dice guessed. If the respondent were really a time-traveler, did they influence me by giving me the results, or did I influence their results by rolling?

To avoid this scenario, I have conscripted a friend who will avoid my twitter dand blog an make the rolls without having seen any result submissions. They will roll 12 d10, and use a dice tower to further randomize the results.

 

Difficulty 3: Constraining probability: I think time-travel is impossible in a stable universe, so it’s difficult for me to balance the probability of an actual time-traveler vs. a lucky guess. However, 12 d10 will give a 1 in a trillion chance of a lucky guess, and I have never received many responses before* so I think that should be good enough to start with. If I get a correct guess, I will invite the respondent to make another guess, and this time roll the results on livestream.

 

Difficulty 4: making sure the results are preserved for future eyes. I’m working on this, but I have time 😛 Suggestions for preserving information on a budget are welcome, but I think posting the information online is a good start.

 

What I cannot constrain: The branching paradox previously discussed here. If a time-traveler creates a new tangent of time when they travel or send information back in time I may not see them, being in the prime (for this scenario) universe. I have tried to constrain this as best I can by making the initial invitation to time-travelers and pre-committing to the rolls, thereby constraining causality, but when time-travel is introduced, causality necessarily goes wonky(‘wonky’ being the technical term.) A time-traveler creating the new tangent in the timeline is something I cannot constrain.

I encourage anyone who sees a way around such problems to either post their suggestions, or to run their own tests and post the results. Maybe, if I find enough like-minded people, we could create an organization of citizen-scientists using varied methods to search for extra-temporal information. Maybe we could call ourselves the Extra-Temporal Information Search, or ETIS, unless we find a better name that isn’t accidentally SETI.

 

*And don’t just make billions of bots to generate and spew generated guesses at me. I’m too lazy to read them all, and if I did see one that made a correct guess, it would still have to pass single guess on the livestream test.

Lunar Eclipse 2019

Due to fatigue and cold fingers, I did not view the 2019 lunar eclipse in its entirety.  I stayed outside until 10:00pm central, however, which was long enough to observe the beginning of the eclipse and take a few pictures. While going through the images, I noticed some stunning peculiarities compared to the images I’ve taken of the gibbous moon.

 

 

The most obvious difference is that the curvature of the Earth’s shadow as it begins its trek across the moon gives the edge a concave shape, while the curvature of the gibbous moon appears convex.

There are some more interesting details to note, as well. First, the ‘edge’ of the earth’s shadow on the lunar eclipse photos does not appear as sharp and distinct as the terminator between the night and day side of the moon.

 

 

Also, there is a difference in the level of detail in the two images. When the moon is full, its image through a telescope appears rather flat and uninteresting.

moonfull

Since, the sun is shining directly toward the moon from our vantage point, we don’t see the shadows and highlights that make craters visible when the moon is waxing or waning.

moon2

lunarevening

The last picture, which is closest to the quarter moon, has by far the greatest level of visible detail. The detail is greatest near the terminator.

Compare this with the lunar eclipse which, because it takes place during the full moon, still looks flat. From our perspective, the sun’s angle has not changed. The earth’s shadow has just fallen across its face.

eclipse2

eclipse1

Even though I did not get images of the entire eclipse, I hope you enjoyed these images and some of the insights they brought. Happy viewing, and happy 2019!

 

 

 

 

West Texas Wildflower Survey

There is a trail near my house where I like to walk, and there has been so much rain this season that there are more wildflowers in bloom than usual. I thought it would be fun to take a survey of the wildflowers while on my walks, and identify as many as I could.

 

Devil's Bouquet
Devil’s Bouquet aka Scarlet Muskflower (Nyctaginia capitata choisy)
dayflower
Dayflower (Commelina erecta)

 

Slender Stem Bitterweed
Slender stem bitterweed (Hymenoxys scaposa)
Copper globemallow
Copper globemallow (Sphaeralcea augustifolia)
globemallow2
Another Copper globemallow in a slightly different shade.

 

Prairie Fleabane
Prairie fleabane (Erigeron strigosus)
greenthread
Greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium)
Meadow Beauty
Meadow beauty (Rhexia mariana)
Wild Sunflower
Wild Sunflowers (Helianthus Annuus)
Brown Bitterweed
Brown Bitterweed (Helenium badium)
wild quinine
Wild Quinine (Parthenium integrifolium)- I think…

 

bastard cabbage
Bastard Cabbage (Rapistrum rugosum)

I will probably do another survey in the spring. There should be a greater variety, then, and hopefully I will be able to find some bluebonnets.

Weirdos Wanted

Epistemic Status: Tentative. I think there may be the seed of a good idea in here, but it needs a lot more thought. How could I test whether it is true?

 

 

“I haven’t gone insane; I’m trying to disprove time-travel. If I were trying to prove it, then I would be insane.”

I say this almost every time I tell someone about my time-travel experiments. When the person I’m speaking to says the usual vague “mmmm, cool” before trying to change the topic, I will further explain that I’m a science fiction writer, and that the whole project was something fun to put on my blog. That statement usually seems to help, and we can go to the next conversation topic having firmly established that I’m not a weirdo.

I’m just someone with a quirky sense of humor. It doesn’t matter that you don’t get the joke. The experiment is still just a joke, and that makes it safe.

There is a certain set of people who do get the joke. These are the people who enjoy watching corny 1950s scifi movies, where the villain proclaims, “everyone called me crazy. Everyone laughed at me. Well who is laughing now?” Many of the people who get the joke are actual scientists who know how actual science works, and they know that scifi villains have it all wrong.

I’m not an actual scientist, and I’m certain I’ve gotten a lot wrong.

As I work on designing my next set of time-travel experiments, I wonder why I can’t find much substantive work to guide me. What do actual physicists know that I don’t? It seems like the experiments I am designing are simple and obvious, yet I can find very few people doing anything similar. Why isn’t there an organization analogous to SETI that seeks to contact extra-temporal intelligence? Even Stephen Hawking’s attempt to contact time-travelers seems to contain a subtle wink.

In my initial post, I posited that time-travel was impossible. The laws of physics don’t really seem to prohibit it, however, so I decided to use what limited resources I had to test the idea. There are a million potentially confounding factors, but performing practical tests is the first step to narrowing those confounding factors. Even so, attempts to detect time-travelers have been sparse. Perhaps actual scientists take the dangers of creating alternate timelines or being deluged in an infinite number of time-travelers more seriously than I have, but I doubt that is the case.

Given the weird looks and mumbles I’ve had to endure, I would guess that others think I’m taking the dangers, and my own experiments’ importance, too seriously. I’m not a scientist, I have no formal training in physics, and yet I have the hubris to think I can do experiments on time that they have not done. Therefore, I must be crazy.

 

 

#

 

 

21st century scientific work requires years of specialized training and meticulous work. It seems of the low-hanging fruit in science was mostly picked in the 19th and early 20th century. Current evidence suggests that research productivity is declining, despite the advantages our current technology has brought. The big discoveries are fewer and fewer.

But the world is so vast and the horizons are so wide that it seems intuitive that there are still discoveries waiting all around us. Perhaps those discoveries seem so difficult to find because we are only looking where we’ve already trod. The scientists of the past established their fields where they already picked the low-hanging fruit, and today’s scientists return to those venerable fields to gather fruit of their own. It is seen as abnormal- even taboo- to wander outside of the established fields of science and into the unknown.

People sometimes give lip service to the idea that scientists of the past had to wander into strange and unusual territories in order to establish the fields of science that flourish today. After all, everyone laughed at ­­­-insert scientist here- before he was proven correct. However, science is a respectable endeavor now, and has therefore become complacent. Fewer and fewer people are willing to stake their professional reputation by wandering into strange areas. No one wants to be rejected by their peers, and it is much harder to build respectability from the ground up than to enter an already-respected field of study.

To make matters worse, many people demand evidence that a path of inquiry will yield fruit before taking it seriously. Others may roll their eyes and complain that resources are being wasted on researching things that have no obvious practical use. This unfortunately sets up a catch-22. After all, how is one supposed to find evidence before one looks for it? How can one prove that something useful will be found where no one has ever gone? There may be nothing there, but there may be ground-breaking discoveries lying in wait to be found. Every result, positive or negative, gives us a better idea of the territory.

Given the size and scope of the territory, and how little time humanity has spent making a serious exploration of it using the tools of the scientific method, I predict that we are overestimating how good our map actually is.

I have no professional reputation at stake. That is why, despite the social discomfort, I will continue to write weird stories, do weird experiments, and seek unusual ideas. While it is important to build on work from the past, we have plenty of people willing to do so already. Right now, the world needs weirdos.

 

Time-Travel 1.0: A Post-Mortem

In order to ensure that my second round of experimentation is constructive, it is useful to examine the conclusion of the first run of time-travel experiments in greater detail.

There are several possibilities why my attempts to contact time-travelers failed. The first few have been discussed a great deal already, so I will discuss them briefly.

1.      Alternate timelines: It is possible that when a time-traveler goes into the past, their actions to alter the past create tangential timelines. The original timeline, in which they did not appear to alter events, remains. My main objection to this hypothesis was that my actions, by inviting a time-traveler to come to visit, have already created this chain of events.  In other words, the cause of the time-traveler’s actions- my invitation- remains in timeline A, so it follows that the effect of the invitation would also occur in timeline A instead of timeline B.

There is another, less-often discussed objection to the alternate timelines hypothesis, and that is because time-travelers (from their perspective) have unlimited time in which to meddle, the number if alternate timelines they have the capacity to create is without limit. Only the prime timeline will be free from encounters with time-travelers, and the possibility that we live in that timeline is infinitesimal. Practically speaking, there is no way for me to control for the alternate-timeline possibility experimentally (if I am wrong about this, please let me know.)

2.      The temporal prime-directive: In my initial assessment of the temporal prime-directive, I was dismissive due to the fact that rules are not airtight- people, given enough time, find reasons to bend or break rules. A time gate, or a Chronology Protection Agency, will also be broken eventually if created by people- even if these people are godlike. After all, the people trying to break the time gate will likely also be godlike, if this is the case.

I assign a higher probability to the idea that nature itself acts as a time gate. The laws of physics appear to have put a hard limit on speed at 186,000 miles per second, and they have surrounded stable singularities with lovely little event horizons, and I think that these types of limits would be far more difficult for people to crack, unless we utilize very specific subatomic particles to send information backward in time. (It would be really awesome to find a way to find or even send such information. Perhaps we could do this with the clever use of time-crystals? Maybe we just need to do the same thing we’ve been doing with SETI, and look for strange patterns, primes etc.)

3.      Informational noise: The informational noise hypothesis has been less-discussed. Anything that can be communicated, measured, and described in any quantitative or qualitative manner can be considered information, and as long as time and entropy exist, new information will be generated and subsequently lost. The information generated so far is finite, since the age of the universe is finite. But if time-travel happens, then time is no longer finite. From the time-traveler’s perspective, the amount of time that the time-traveler has to gather information is infinite, and the amount of new information that they can generate within their own timeline and by re-visiting and changing the past is infinite.

Therefore, the information that the time-traveler has access to and the time in which the time-traveler has to access said information is 1:1.

                    <——*———*———-*——>

                    <——*———*———-*——>

This remains true whether the timeline branches into a tangent when new information is generated or not.

4.      Unimportance: Even if a time-traveler could find the information I’ve generated amongst the noise, they have the whole of time and space to explore. I’m probably not cool enough to warrant a visit. Perhaps even a person we call a giant in our own time, such as Stephen Hawking, is not cool in a cosmic sense. Greater minds are sure to come in the future; even if humanity destroys itself, another more brilliant species will surely replace us, even if we don’t have infinite time to work with. We have a LOT of time to work with, and if a civilization gets access to time-travel, then they can generate people infinitely cooler than anyone I’ve ever known or heard of.

5.      Information degradation or sabotage: I dismissed this possibility in my initial conclusion, as well, because there was a window of time in which I could observe my information remain unchanged, and that should be enough time for a time-traveler to access it. However, if time-travel invitations are going to have a better chance of being noticed among all of the informational noise, then the invitation should be available at as many points on the timeline as possible. This leads me to the next points.

6. Time preservation: how can I make sure that the information is available for as long as possible- to give it a greater chance of being seen for far into the future? The internet seemed like a good plan, but though the maxim states that whatever is on the internet is forever, it’s only been around a few decades- the internet may be a fleeting technology if we find a way to send information through time using time crystals or neutrinos or wormholes. Plus- we’ve already looked for evidence of time-travelers on the internet, and haven’t found much. At this time, the only other copy I have of the dice roll results is a paper journal written in ink, which is obviously a poor preservation method.

7. The “parking” problem: I gave a week’s window between pre-commitment/announcement and the dice rolls. Given he infinite nature of time, what if a week’s space of time is too narrow a space of time to “aim” one’s time machine toward? How accurate would a time machine be? How wide of a space is necessary?

8. Blinding: If I receive a set of predictions before I roll the dice, this knowledge will unconsciously or consciously affect how I roll the dice. This will, of course, produce a paradox. In my next set of experiments, I need to get someone who does not check the social media channels for results to roll the dice, preferably using a dice tower. We need to then preserve as well as we can.

SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, has been searching for aliens for a very short period of time- a blink of the eye, in the cosmic sense. Yet the question remains; if extraterrestrial intelligence can arise, why haven’t we found aliens, yet? It’s difficult to work out exactly how likely it is for intelligent life to arise, since we only have one example in one place from which to extrapolate, and so we continue to search. Likewise, it’s difficult to work out how likely we are to encounter a time-traveler, or to gain the ability to time-travel, so the only thing to do is keep looking. I’ve conducted my first practical experiment on time-travel, and the results have given me a lot to think about for the next experiment

I consider the lack of data on my first time-travel experiment to be invaluable. I’ll see you in the future, better prepared and a little bit wiser.

Time Travel, Part IV

 

               This morning, July 15, 2018, I officially declare my time-traveler experiment complete. Below are the results.

      I have not been contacted by any time-travelers or prognosticators with the results of the dice rolls I made this morning at 8:30 am, CDT.

      1d12- 9

      2d6- 6,4

      2d20- 16,9

      1d30- 8

      1d8- 2

      1d100- 50

      1d6- 6

      1d4- 3

      1d12- 12

      1d12- 7

      1d20- 5

 

      In summation- no paradox-enabled time-travelers met me at the designated meeting place on week one. One person guessed the result of one of my paradox-safe dice rolls on week two, after I had already made the roll, and did not guess any of the other rolls. No one guessed the results of my rolls on week three after I’d offered them a lost sonata written by a singularly unaccomplished musician.

      I had planned to offer ever-increasing incentives until I reached my highest possible bid, and then declare the time-travel experiment closed. Unfortunately, earlier this week I came across the following story.

      Stephen Hawking and the time-traveler party.

      Stephen Hawking had already conducted an experiment similar to mine- he threw a party for time-travelers and sent the invitations out afterward. There was also an open invitation for time-travelers to attend his memorial. According to reports, no time-travelers came.

      I had actively been trying to avoid seeing the results of experiments similar to mine because I didn’t wish to grow discouraged, and that may have been wise. I know that I will never, ever be able to offer a time-traveler anything better than the chance to party with Stephen Hawking, or the chance to pay their respects him. I cannot compete with a giant. Therefore, my experiment is closed.

      Conclusion: Either there is no time-travel, time-travel is guarded by a secure gate or temporal prime directive, there is too much informational noise in the infinity of time for time-travelers to find invitations from the past, or the time-travelers can only reply to Bridgetts in tangential timelines. (Edited to add- someone has let me know that another possible confounder is that someone may tamper with my experiment or dice-roll results in the future. They have, after all, infinite time and opportunity to do so. This is less of a problem because there is a window in which I have already observed the results remain the same.)

      Things I wish I had considered: the possibility of my local starbucks being overrun by an infinite number of time-travelers, the possibility of my blog or twitter being overrun by an infinite number of messages from time-travelers.

Time Travel Part III

Last week, I issued a challenge to time-travelers (as well as any prognosticators who may be reading) to foretell the results of a series of dice rolls I was to make today, 07/08/2018 at 9:30 AM CDT. I promised to post the results of the rolls no matter the outcome of the experiment, in order to avoid any potential paradox. The results of the dice rolls are as follows.

1 d10- 5

1 d20- 18

3 d6- 6,2,2

3 d6- 5,2,5

1 d100- 73

1 d20- 13

1 d4- 4

1 d4- 4

1 d12- 1

1 d6- 4

2 d20- 2,8

Result: 1 person guessed 1 dice roll- the 1d20 (18) during a d6 dice roll. I assign a probability so low that it is negligible that this person is a time traveler. I hereby conclude that this experiment is a successful failure.

The person who made the guess has expressed to me the doubt that 1) a time-traveler would ever see my posts, considering the infinite informational noise contained within time. Even if time-travelers have infinite time to find your posts, they say, more information is being added in the meantime. To a time-traveler with unlimited time, I am infinitely unimportant.

I have no way to combat this effect experimentally, except to say to myself that an infinite subset of infinity seems to approach one, instead of “undefined” as they say. However, I cannot deny my cosmic unimportance does approach infinity.

I only have one incentive to offer any time-travelers, and it is a mere trifle. I am going under the assumption that some time-travelers will become collectors of sorts, and seek out lost treasures in the time stream. To that end I am willing to offer any time-travelers a quaint little sonata I wrote when I was in college. I never wrote down or recorded the sonata, and it only exists in my brain. If and when I go, the sonata goes, too. If any time-travelers would like a copy of the sonata, send me the result of next-week’s dice rolls @bkkawaii on twitter or https://projectdxm.wordpress.com/ . I will roll early next Sunday, 07/15/2018, at 8:30 AM.