This was Stephen Hawking’s famous question and or reasoning for why time travel must not be possible: For if it were, and since Einstein’s equations say that the Future already exists, then we should be flooded with ‘tourists’ all around us from some point in the future, when surely the technology will have been developed.
Most of the time, I feel like Movies in general, are the worst types of ‘didactic pornography,’ but you just have to appreciate how, say, a movie like ‘Loopers’ at least tries to creatively address such issues. It’s agains the law. Presumably because of the chaos it would create through an endless cybernetic feedback loop would end up giving off more energy than the Universe could handle. The energy from this feedback loop, that just kept multiplying exponentially, would rapidly become greater than the Big Bang itself and just rip Space apart as well as breaking down the laws of physics.
Whenever I’ve thought about this question, most of the time I end up thinking the darkest of all thoughts, but one that’s all too obvious: That we destroy ourselves before we’ve developed the technology. It’s a terrible thought. God, I hope it’s not true. But look at the facts. This was a real fear in peoples’ live in the 50’s and especially the 60’s at the height of the Cold War, then even into the 70’s and when I was growing up in the 80’s.
Then when the Cold War ended we thought a real “Dawning of the Age of Aquarius” had begun, and that threat was over. Hope it is. But look out over the next thousand to 10 thousand years, which feels like about the amount of time needed for something like time travel to be invented. With so much technological power growing exponentially every year available to the individual, God, such dark thoughts almost seem inevitable, unless, hopefully, we evolve every aspect of our humanity for one, also develop the technology that would stop the ‘lone rogue’ without hampering the benefits of increasing technology for increasing the standards of living, enjoyment, and prosperity for the majority. As much as I hate thinking about this topic in this way, I’m really surprised that no one responded to Hawking with this answer.
But anyway, moving on, having just read “The Way of Zen” and currently reading such things as “Creative Mythology” as well as “Spiritual” things by Deepak Chopra and Ram Dass, another answer occurred to me in the shower: What if the reason is more metaphysical? Such as: The Reason we haven’t been visited by tourists from the future is because we are asking the question.
That’s the same answer that a Buddha master gave when his student asked, “Am I a Buddha?”
“No,” said the master, “You are not a buddha.”
“But,” protested the student, “You said all things are ‘buddha’ things.”
“Yes,” the master responded, “All things are Buddha things. But you are not.”
“Why not?” implored the student.
“Because you are asking the question.”
Most physicists, even the cutting edge ones like Brian Greene and Michio Kaku, would immediately dismiss and leave any conversation if Metaphysics were brought up. But I can’t help but feel that Quantum Theory itself, as well as many aspects of Relativity, is a “Meta” Physical Philosophy. If that’s the case, then surely a metaphysical answer to the question, and metaphysics in general, must have a place at the modern day “Philosophical” Dinner table.