Talk:1203: Time Machines

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This one kinda went over my head; the explanation is the best I could come up with. Alpha (talk) 05:00, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Examine the transcript and Cueball's movement in the second and third panel. The time machine in this comic is a time-reversing one, not a time jumping one. Davidy²²[talk] 05:13, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

My thoguhts: Cueball turns on the time machine, which starts up and they start going back in time, returning to the time the machine it turned on. Time is going in perfect reverse, so the machine switches off and then he is back where he started. 05:10, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

I didn't get it when I first read it, and this explanation seems to make the most sense; if it is the intended joke, I wish Randall would have reversed the sound effect "click" in the third panel ("!kcilC"), which would indicate that time is moving backwards (from the reference frame we're watching it from), which would have made this explanation more obvious for me. 18:22, 24 April 2013 (UTC)larK

The Machine even turns back Cueballs actions, so maybe even his memory of turning it on, what might make him so puzzled - eventually - if he decides rational to try the machine (and if desicdes always rational) - he will get in a loop of turning it on - travelling back and forgetting that event - and turning it on again. - That might get Interesting 05:32, 24 April 2013 (UTC) Lupo

I don't think he looks puzzled because nothing happened, I think he's curious b/c he just came across a Time Machine. That is, the last frame of the strip takes place seconds before the first. So the "trouble" with time machines (of this variety) is that if you go back in time you can't take the present with you, and nothing changes. 06:00, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Alternative view: Feedback. Stephen Hawking has discussed the general problem with a whole class of time machines (namely, wormwhole based time machines), where the energy from the future is added exponentially to the system due to system feedback. More or less as a microphone cannot get too close to its speaker without having that horrible sound. This would explain who the guy in the comic turns the machine off... there is a large buildup of energy feedback and this can be observed in the EEEEE...

"In the end, I think a wormhole like this one can't exist. And the reason for that is feedback. If you've ever been to a rock gig, you'll probably recognise this screeching noise. It's feedback. What causes it is simple. Sound enters the microphone. It's transmitted along the wires, made louder by the amplifier, and comes out at the speakers. But if too much of the sound from the speakers goes back into the mic it goes around and around in a loop getting louder each time. If no one stops it, feedback can destroy the sound system. The same thing will happen with a wormhole, only with radiation instead of sound. As soon as the wormhole expands, natural radiation will enter it, and end up in a loop. The feedback will become so strong it destroys the wormhole. So although tiny wormholes do exist, and it may be possible to inflate one some day, it won't last long enough to be of use as a time machine. That's the real reason no one could come back in time to my party.

Source:" (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

But with that above analogy, in a sound system, you have external power to amplify the signal - the energy the microphone takes out is not what gets put back out. In a wormhole, unless there is something to amplify the radiation that comes out the other end then it's a closed system (and if you do amplify it then where did THAT energy come from). (Nigel 08:39, 24th April (UTC))

A more generalized flow chart explaining the problem with time machines, assuming you get to keep moving forward: --Willowy burrito (talk) 13:17, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Another problem with this design of a time machine is that it draws power from the wall. What would happen if he crosses the time when there was no outlet at that location? Or no power grid at all? But that may not pose a problem here because it seems he doesn't get too far back into the past anyway. So, for our future time machine inventors: make those machines self-contained! -- 15:24, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

I think that pretty much somes up why some people think you can't use a time machine to go back in time before the time machine itself existed. If it was an ancient time machine, you could go back quite far, but if one was made on February 5, 2013 you couldn't travel before that point because the time machine wouldn't exist before that time, so no time machine anymore, no travel. Hence what you said about crossing the time when there was no outlet. Cueball couldn't go back that far. --Dangerkeith3000 (talk) 15:36, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Paging <a href="">Dr Sam Beckett</a>... 16:30, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
You can always use lightning ;-) Sebastian, -- 16:58, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
1.21 GIGAWATTS! --Dangerkeith3000 (talk) 21:17, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

PRIMER!!!!!!! -- Robot123 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Ugh! The original explanation (going back in time by one second) is drastically over thought. It's a "time machine" that does nothing other than make a noise -- just a box with a switch. Cueball turns it on, and a second later turns it off, thus having traveled through time into the future by one second. The T numbers are incrementing, just as they always do, even prior to a rocket launch. We're all traveling through time -- "all systems ARE normal." Please reconsider. Jeff. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Except that he is travelling into the *past* by one second. He goes from T-10 to T-11 - that's back in time. I think the original explanation is on the button. As soon as he starts to go back in time, he undoes the action of activating the machine, so he doesn't get anywhere. MGK (talk) 23:46, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

um... no. it's called "countdown" for a reason. 17:47, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

I agree with, I also think Cueball moved 1 second into the future, much like 630: Time Travel Saibot84 (talk) 19:12, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
How about putting this as an alternative explanation? The current explanation makes sense to me but the forward version is just as funny. Alpha (talk) 19:37, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
But then it wouldn't go "EEEEEeeeee *click*". It would be "*click* EEEEEeeeee"... 21:03, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Touché. I thought all the events in panel 3 happened at the same time. Alpha (talk) 21:46, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I was thinking that too after close inspection. Good point. I think the alternative explanation had some good merits tho, because tho maybe it seems like the *click* comes at different order than the EEEEeeee's just because the sound is relatively closer to us. If it is closer to us, wouldn't we hear the click AFTER the EEEeee's if going backward??? My head hurts. Great comic, this one. --Dangerkeith3000 (talk) 00:00, 25 April 2013 (UTC)