Once Bob puts Alice into statis, the stasis ball is impenetrable, so the cops don't know if Alice was alive or dead when she was involuntarily put into stasis.
However, they do know that the stasis bubble containing Alice will eventually open up and pop Alice back into the current time. And they know when that will happen. So, the state puts Bob (the guilty party) into stasis too; with Bob's stasis timed to end when Alice's ends.
In this way, both stasis fields pop at roughtly the same time, and Bob can be tried either for murder, or for whatever the name is when you transport someone into the future against their wishes.
The bubbles in Vinge's story send people to a future they don't know, and that may be hostile or deserted (I think he wrote a sequel with that idea).
They bubble forward a bit, just in case everyone took a timeout (maybe a toxin was released and there’s a cave full of bubbles waiting for the earth to repair, who knows), but only a few new people show up. Not even enough to repopulate the species. The weird thing is that your status is determined by where you left from not how rich you are. A powerful family skips forward and finds themselves lower status than a group of lower-upper class people with what amounts to top of the line camping gear, which is so much newer than the family’s gear that everything it can do it does better than theirs.
There’s one reclusive person who basically has a space ship. She has been away from humans so long she is barely human (relatable) anymore. She goes out to check other solar systems and finds nothing there either.
The implication is that either we gave up or we ascended somehow, but since they can only travel forward there’s no way to know. They missed the boat.
In the first book, IIRC, they did not know that, and in fact believed the spheres would last forever.
The spheres were used like nukes, in a very indiscriminate way. Whole armies were sphered in a short time.
Many years after, when the first sphere popped, they realized a new way of time travel just opened.
Yes, till it got easy to make the bubbles. All you have to do to prevent being bubbled, was to carry a bubble. Doesn't prevent cutting you in half though, assuming they guessed the right half, so you might want to carry a few.
As far as I know, the book doesn't cover if the bobble retain their angular momentum or charge.
I always wondered if creating a bobble around an off-center weight would allow you to kind of spin it by wobbling it.
There were some places where large pieces of land unbobbled without any relative movement, so maybe they were locked in their rotation somehow?
I really liked that book a lot.
Or alternatively, is the point that you can’t be punished for kidnapping if you might also have murdered the person, but that part can’t be proven? None of that makes sense.
There is also the interesting question, what if Alice was never in the bubble in the first place?
Presume Alice was 'kidnapped' in the ball for XX years. You trial Bob and sentence him for 20 years. 20 years passes, Bob serves his sentence and some time later it occurs what Alice were dead all these years, but Bob not only left the country but served his sentence.
Or you sentence Bob for the murder of Alice (even better - execute him), yet Alice is alive, though 20 years later.
Thing is, till the bubble pops you don't know for what exactly you should punish someone and hence - how hard and harsh.
It's a classical dilemma of bringing in/justice with the lack of means to prove anything.
There was a short story in a similar vein with a 'light retarded glass', ie glass what slowed the passage of light through it for times. It were essentially a CCTV/DVR with a years to retrieve 'the record'. The protagonist of the story waited for ~decades waiting to confirm if he sentenced the culprit rightfully for murder or he murdered innocent person with the state authority.
Maybe someone would remember what was the name of this story.
By all means, sentence Bob for kidnapping, stick him in jail, have him get out, put a tracker on him and forbid him to leave the country. Then, when Alice pops out and is dead, you just trial him again. It's a different crime! What's more, even if it was the same crime, it'd be material new information!
(Quoth the ECHR: "The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not prevent the reopening of the case in accordance with the law and penal procedure of the State concerned, if there is evidence of new or newly discovered facts")
You jailed Bob for years for the crime he didn't commit. Are you happy?
Bob could claim e.g. that she escaped after being kidnapped and he's no longer aware of where she is.
Alice's dead body can still be found at some point, which could prove that Bob killed Alice; or she can be found alive, but because of any reason did not want to be found.
Vinge posits a technology that is used for good and bad purposes. One of the protagonists is a cop who is bobbled by a criminal and emerges in the distant future, when the Earth is essentially uninhabited except for a handful of humans who have been bobbled (electively or not).
Involuntary time travel VS involuntary murder.
He’s retired now but he was a professor of CS and Math at San Diego State.
Catch your crime boss enemy with his pants down? Bubble him and watch his empire unravel.
Someone sleeping with your wife? Bubble.
He only goes as far as he does because his protagonist in the second book is a detective (and a victim).
But it's finite time (an assertation left as an exercise for the reader) until murder .. when the tidal forces tear the husbands atoms asunder.
But I love the story. Clever use of time dilation.
P.S. I love this discussion
Basically you catch up to everything that has ever fallen into the black hole before you.
My guess is that it would look like another big bang.
But this is merely an optical illusion. Objects that fall into the black hole emit only a fixed amount of energy before they hit the event horizon (and then the singularity). It just takes infinitely long time for that energy to escape.
And in general, there's no way for the observer to tell if the falling ship is falling towards the black hole or merely accelerating under its own power.
So as you fall down the black hole, the objects in front of you will start getting less red-shifted and brighter as you begin matching velocities with them.
But nothing special (for you) happens at the event horizon.
The images of objects that fell before you, will just continue to become brighter and brighter. In fact you'd even be able to communicate with somebody who just fell in in front of you.
But you don't have a lot of time before the singularity. So you won't catch up with _everything_ that fell before you, and the amount of energy that you absorb from their fading echoes will not be infinite. It won't even be that large.
What will get you, is the fact that this finite amount of energy will get concentrated into an infinitely thin and infinitely bright band at the singularity.
Edit: this Forbes article describes this effect.
And of course, at some point the tidal forces would be so large that any non-point-like observer would be torn into pieces.
The possible directions that you'll see actually become constricted to a line, not a point. It's essentially a projection of the time axis. That's because in a classical theory singularity exists as an infinitely long time-like line. As you fall down, you can influence the location where you hit it a bit if you fire your ship's engines.
But anywhere on this line the gravity (curvature) is still infinite so it's not like you'd be much better off.
That’s it. I’m getting a “not accelerating towards black holes” bumper sticker for my ship. I might die a sphagetti, but people will not think that I was foolish. That will clear up any ambiquity.
I smiled as I read this and recalled that old saw attributed to someone's high school coach: "Nothing good happens after midnight."
When you stand still on Earth, photons from your feet move at light speed into your eyes. When you fall feet first into a black hole, they emit stationary photons on the event horizon, which you cross at the speed of light. It’s all c to you though.
(I’m halfway through Cox and Forshaw’s Black Holes: The Key to Understanding the Universe. It’s really good — undergrad relativity written as a pop sci book. I think I’ve understood it so far.)
I don't know where you're getting this but nothing with mass can reach the speed of light. And it's absolutely possible to cross the event horizon (of a very large black hole) without having any idea whatsoever. There would be no particular event to happen that would indicate to you that you did.
>Basically you catch up to everything that has ever fallen into the black hole before you.
In our neck of the multiverse we call this death.
Who's to say it's not a fact?
Black Holes and the Fundamental Laws of Physics
If the FBI created a sting wherein they gave you a gun you thought was real, but wasn't actually capable of firing, and you pointed it at someone and pulled the trigger, you could still face a murder a charge even though there was no way the gun would do any harm. It was your intent followed by action to achieve that intent that mattered.
Since the victim's demise here was decelerated, at least from the point of view of everyone in the trial, it can't be murder. Maybe some kind of kidnapping.
I'd rule out kidnapping, because unlawful detainment presumes that the person can be released from that detainment. There is no possibility of release for Xavier.
False imprisonment seems to fit:
To prevail under a false imprisonment claim, a plaintiff must prove:
Willful detention in a bounded area
Without consent; and
Without authority of lawful arrest. (Restatement of the Law, Second, Torts)
But it was a very interesting ending!
That is incorrect. The inside and outside of the black hole are causally disconnected. For someone who passes the event horizon the entire future history of the universe plays out above them as the universe warps down into a single beam of light as the black-ness engulfs you.
From the perspective of someone outside, nothing ever "crosses" the event horizon - it just slowly redshifts into darkness and appears to take infinity to "touch" the even horizon.
There is nothing "happening" inside of any black hole right now that has any corresponding time in the outside universe. From our perspective, it happens in the infinitely far future.
I believe this is only true if you have found a way of lingering with zero speed at the event horizon. If you are entering it at near light speed, as you likely would, you will be ingested as a part of "treadmill" containing yourself as well as all the light and will not see much of the future history.
For an external observer you'll appear to slow down as you approach the event horizon. However feeding blackholes do increase is size obviously (or they would all be the same size), which may well save you from the (from an external perspective) an infinite descent.
No there isn't. As far as external observers are concerned, an object falling into a black hole takes an infinite amount of time to cross the event horizon. It vanishes from sight because its emissions get red-shifted beyond detection range, but in principle you could still see it however far in the future you care to go, "frozen" in place over the horizon, still approaching it asymptotically.
> Due to this effect, known as gravitational time dilation, an object falling into a black hole appears to slow as it approaches the event horizon, taking an infinite time to reach it
This seems like the kind of "clever" legal defense that I expect judges in the real world would probably shoot down real quick though.
Even without a black hole or stasis tech, you could attempt, a similar situation occurs e.g. with people in coma. Someone who injured a person badly enough that he is in coma could also try to argue "Your honour, the person never said he is uncomfortable with the situation, you can go right ahead and ask him..."
I don't think that would be very convincing.