Trope-a-Day: Temporal Paradox

Temporal Paradox: It’s a block universe; the short form would be to say that predestination paradoxes are permitted (although the non-informational kind are tricky) and grandfather paradoxes are not, since even though you can violate local causality, global causality is always preserved.

And if you find yourself caught up in one of these, You Can’t Fight Fate.  You may, however, be able to cheat, if there’s a chance – and there usually is a chance – that what you thought happened first time through might will be not have been what actually happened.

Trope-a-Day: Stable Time Loop

Stable Time Loop: The Chronological Consistency Protection Theorem (see: You Already Changed The Past) does appear to permit these kinds of predestination paradoxes (at least, the informational kind; the object paradox may also be possible, but testing it is dependent on finding an object that won’t age during the period of the loop, including in all the aspects that the universe will check that current technology may not be able to).

It is also somewhat limited by the main people who can make use of it for Retroactive Precognition/Retroactive Preparation being the transcendent/weakly godlike artificial intelligences.  Experiments by lesser intellects… well, they don’t actually produce messages reading “YOU ARE NOT SMART ENOUGH TO BUGGER ABOUT WITH THE TEMPORAL CONTINUUM”, but the gist of the results appears to be fairly plain.

Trope-a-Day: You Already Changed The Past

You Already Changed The Past: While extraordinarily limited, time travel does exist in the Eldraeverse – as it must, because so does FTL travel.  This is all you can do with it, however, because the Chronological Consistency Protection Theorem is very firm about that, and the universe is even firmer.

(And if you’re going for an object paradox, you’d better be grabbing something that doesn’t age during the loop.  Said universe will check things that your fleshy senses and quite possibly the technological sensors you’ve invented haven’t thought to look at and indeed can’t perceive.)


Trope-a-Day: You Can’t Fight Fate

You Can’t Fight Fate: According to everything known about temporal mechanics, the universe is a block universe – which is to say, while local causality violations are possible (effects can, sometimes, precede causes), global causality violations are not (effects, nonetheless, always have causes).  Or to put it another way, while predestination paradoxes are permitted – and enforced – grandfather paradoxes are not.  The probability of any event-chain that might lead to a global causality violation is always zero, and anything which happened in the past, even if it involves the future of your personal timeline, will necessarily happen.

You can sometimes fiddle fate, because what you think you know about the past is not always what actually happened in the past; but you can’t fight it head on.  Free will may be stronger than destiny, but it’s not stronger than causality.