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12 Monkeys (1995)

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Old Sep 26, 2004, 07:44 AM   #1
2 flights since Sep 2004
Location: Czech Republic
Lightbulb My View of Time Travels


I have read most of topics discussing about time travel here and I just bring my own angle of view.

I absolutely agree with people who say that Cole, Jose or scientist did not send anyone to past to change anything, but to collect more informations and trace pure virus and the way it get on the world.

I can say that many clever people with opened fantasy are here and I am glad of it. Because of them I have been thinking of 12 Monkeys, especially time travelling quite long time and I figured out this:

Our first task is to decide if there is only one reality or if there are multiple realities, something like parallel universes where many possibilities comes real.

I will take both of it; Lets start with "more realities":

If we look at the problem of time travelling we get quite many possibilities what we can do. By going back to past and changing some event we do not change our own reality but we create new "branch of reality" that lives its own life. Now we must consider two possible ways. If I make new reality (this is not the same as change reality!) and return back (forward, in fact) to "my presence" will it be presence of my own reality or the newly created one? I can't find more pros or cons for any of this options. If I stay in newly created reality, will I live in newly created reality or in my former reality? Imagine one straight road. Thanks to my intervention to time line I create crossroad. Now - do I take old road or new one??? If I decide to go back - and it's important to say "go back from where I come" - will I return to my former reality?

Now let's apply this on 12 Monkeys: Some say that miss Jones was in plane to stop mad assistant from spreading out virus. I'll put aside my opinion that it's not true and imagine, what happens if she's successful. By killing him, or stealing viruses from him she creates new reality. Quite happy reality in which people will survive (if they are able to isolate United states - virus is already spread on airport). She can (is it her choice???) stay to live in this reality (better) or go back to her "sad reality" (worse). In her own reality she can say: "I've saved the world.", which means "I have created reality where world is saved.", but she still has to live in catastrophic reality. This happens if we agree with the theory of parallel realities.

Here is another example and I will come back to it later again: Take the scene where Cole and Jose are sent back to WW1. By this they create new reality where, in the books, they are mentioned as mad soldiers losing their ability to speak french, etc. If they don't travel back, those book will surely alter and there will be no clue about them. This thing with them being in books is very difficult, I'll explain it later.

I, personally, don't agree with theory of multiple realities, or my brain refuses to think on this level. I don't like it; people from other realities living their lives in newly created realitites. People that sacrifice themselfs to save the world and then come back to old ruined one. This is not how I believe it works.

Let's talk about second possibility and take as truth this fact: There is only one reality. By changing any event in past we don't create new reality but we "change" our own reality. And, in fact, this is no change at all...

Here is my main idea: We cannot change reality. Reality is already given. As one member stated: "I consider reality as something solid not flow." I absolutely agree. Try to understand this: Time in which we currently live (are living to be exact) is result of all events that happened before it. So if I go back in time and change something I, in fact, DO NOT change anything at all. I just ensure that my presence is correct. If you know sitcom Red Dwarf you can remember scene when Lister knows that if Cat wont break his tooth that he wont die. So he runs to Cat to prevent him eating his metal fish just to break him his tooth by himself! Presence will happen whatever you do. And not only presence.

Now get back to Cole and Jose in WW1: One member here stated that past cannot be changed. What happened - happened. Maybe it's not "super-correct" but main idea correct is.
And another member replied: "You're wrong, past can be changed, because Cole and Jose went back to WW1 so they changed past by getting into books."
And first member says "That there can be done only minor changes to past." which is surely wrong now. How can you determine what is minor and what major change?

Watch it this way: Is there any book, did ever exist any book about WW1 where Cole and Jose ARE NOT stated? Of course not! There is no such book. I can't say: From 1916 to 2035 there was book where no Cole or Jose were photographed and when year 2035 "happens" this book changed just to contain Cole and Jose. This is wrong!!! They have ever been in that book!

We, as "outside observators" surely understand what they two want to say. But to fully understand it we must go into the story, not watch it from outside.

If you disagree, try this: If I say that there is only one reality, how can it be changed??? It cannot be, it's one solid complex. If you say that you change time line where is the "original one" if there is only one allowed? Everytime you travel to past to change something you only fulfill what is already set.

This can also solve paradox of killing my own ancestor in past: I can't say if I can do it or not. What I can say for sure is: I am here, i exist, so I didn't do it!

Take another example: You surely imagine that sometime in future, mankind will invite time machine. Maybe you get this idea as well: What if they will discover time machine, go back in time let's say to year 1900, and - I will not say wipe out mankind - but for example paint all the skies to orange color. It's just hypothetic. So now, you disbelievers ;-), look out the window - it's ok, it's blue or grey or white. So you dont have to be afraid! They will not invent time machine and paint the skies to orange or whatever. You don't have to worry about your present condition. It cannot be changed. You will never wake up next morning just to realize you don't exist.

Time paradoxes are all the same. You have some reason to change something in past. If you change it, then in future you will not have the reason to change it and so you won't come back to change it. That means you will have the reason and go back in time.... and so on and so on. I can't be sure if it is possible and what happens if so. Will it destroy whole universe or will something prevent to do it? Don't know. What I can say is: My presence, my reality is result of all events. Maybe in future mankind will invent time machine and go back to past to change something. But if they did it - we already experience it, we don't have to wait till machine is invented.

I hope you still understand what I mean. I'll try to go back to 12 Monkeys.

In my opinion, all people who think that Cole was able to change something or even scientists wanted him to change past, so these people are wrong. They are underground, mankind is almost extinct so it's clear it cannot be changed. People who say that miss Jones is in plane just in case Cole is unsuccessful are wrong too! She already knows results of Cole's mission. Also she is not there to make sure that apocalyptic assistant will spread virus over the world. She knows that he will do it. For her he already did it!

So the only and only one reason for Cole's mission, for his death was to gather informations for scientist to be able to get pure virus. Thanks to producer's interference to screenplay we know that he succeeded. That mankind will return to planet surface. But there is no way to save mankind from extinction in 1996. It already happened for miss Jones (past tense) and it will surely happen for doctor Reilly (in future) whatever she do to avoid it.

What comes out of all this theories? For me it is that reality is solid. It's fuc*ing solid and you can't do anything to change it.

Past, presence even the future is set and our role is only to obey it. In fact, we are time's slaves. We are something like puppets and time is puppeter... If you think that you are free and you can do what you want - wrong. It is already set and you only fulfill it whether you know it or don't.

Imagine that exists something like "Book of time" where you can find everything that ever happened. Now try to think that you are free and can do what you want. For example think that you can write any number on a piece of paper and that no-one can make you write number he wants. You think it depends just on you. So you write the number...and when you open Book of Time you will see that this number is already there.

It opens door for much more discussing like: Are we responsible for our deeds if everything is already set? etc... But it doesn't belong here.

I don't say this is universal thruth, it's only my opinion, but I stand behind it and I believe it.

Thanks for your attention.
Palladin is offline Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2004, 08:47 AM   #2
145 flights since Sep 2003
Location: Living the science fiction of my childhood
Re: My View of Time Travels

I, personally, don't agree with theory of multiple realities, or my brain refuses to think on this level.

Have you ever read anything on "string theory"? I have a post on it somewhere on this board with a link to a "Nova" TV show about it. This theory predicts multi-realities.
videonaut is offline Reply With Quote

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