Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
All You Zombies— The most craziest of the time travel paradoxes (wikipedia.org)
42 points by reazalun on Oct 10, 2008 | hide | past | favorite | 21 comments

People here might also enjoy the film "Primer" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primer_(film)

Bump. What an incredible movie.

It's even more amazing considering that the guy who plays Aaron (one of two main characters) also wrote the script, directed, edited and produced the movie, and also composed the music ... drumroll .. all on a budget of seven thousand dollars !

The same budget as Rodriguez' El Mariachi, but with FAR greater quality (although you could argue that El Mariachi is better at story-telling). Of course, things could've gotten a lot cheaper since El Mariachi.

not "could have," "did" get a lot cheaper. Most of El Mariachi's costs were actual film and processing; nowadays you can rent a camera for a week for $500 which will give you film quality.

I'm 85% sure Primer was shot on film.

"Primer premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the coveted Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film."

Now showing on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) this month. Two showings today, Saturday 10/11. Running time: 80 minutes

Saturday, Oct. 11 at 11:15 AM EDT

Saturday, Oct. 11 at 4:00 PM EDT

Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 7:35 PM EDT

Thursday, Oct. 30 at 4:00 AM EDT


Oh, hell! Don't ruin the story with a page of spoilers, folks.

It's a really nifty one to read.

Complicated paradoxes like these make me appreciate simple ones like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sound_of_Thunder

After I saw Donnie Darko, I had to spend most of the night and early morning reading the theories which was fun. Great movie.

I recall Biff from Back to the Future saying in an interview he had no idea what was going on in the last film of the trilogy.

Ah, I read By His Bootstraps when I was like 16. I devoured tons of Heinlein novels, and various short story anthologies. It amuses me when I see a new sci-fi film and they're making out like "We had to research our science fiction to make this original film" when in fact the short fiction is far more gratifying than watered-down movies.

I'm in the middle of To Say Nothing Of The Dog by Connie Willis. It is the most hilariousest of the time travel paradoxes, at least that I've ever read. It won a Hugo and was nominated for a Nebula.

This is not unusual. It only works because you are assuming that time has the properties of space, but you do not want to give it ALL the properties of space!

If you give time a property of space (the moving up and down), then do not select the properties you want to apply.

Huh! I never read Heinlein - I thought he was a preetty bland writer stylistically. But that's a pretty excellent concept for a story.

All I remember about that story is feeling like I'd been punched in the brain at the end.

It's not even a paradox. It's entirely consistent - but kind of boot-strapped.

This is one of those things that gets posted to Reddit every couple of months.

If you haven't read Stephenson's "Anathem", do.

These are fun ideas. Of course, temporal paradoxes are a red herring I think. If one takes the Everett-Wheeler many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics seriously, there is no problem. If I go back in time and impregnate my own mother, this happens in an E-W parallel world, causing no paradox with respect to the world wherefrom I originated. The only "rule" I think is that whatever I do travelling back in time along parallel worlds is I musn't increase entropy "back in time" to the extent that the "net increase in entropy" across all worlds is negative. However, since time travel probably is an infrequent occurance, the entropic effect is likely negligible, so, basically there ends up being no way I can harm the laws of physics, etc. thru my time traveling. So in brief, to one and all I say, happy time travelling!! :-)

Yeah, the many-worlds interpretation really takes the fun out of things. (But what was Fraa Jad up to?)

I'd love to order this one, but amazon.co.uk only seem to have it bundled with 5 other books, second hand, for the neat price of £170.

I see from wikipedia I can get the full text for free from online, but when I'm reading books, I prefer to have a proper book, and I'm not that keen on printing out a shitload of pages.

Online link for the lazy but interested: http://ieng9.ucsd.edu/~mfedder/zombies.html

Try here: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=1186838200

Just USD 7.35. It's a secondhand book, published in 1959!

Golly, that was a good year: All You Zombies, plus Flowers for Algernon plus Casey Agonistes!

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact