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A Little Ontological Paradox
In which we lay awake at night trying to figure it out.
About this creation
Guess who's been watching a lot of Doctor Who?

(source)

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Let's say a man in the year 1950 builds a time machine.



He travels forward the year 2150 and steals a futuristic gadget off the shelf of a future Best Buy.



He returns to 1950 and introduces the gadget as his own idea, taking the credit for the invention.



The gadget becomes so popular that it’s still being sold at Best Buy two hundred years later, when the man originally comes to steal it.



So who invented the gadget?



Comments

 I like it 
  November 7, 2013
Nice! Like the Song of Storms from Ocarina of Time. Who made the song? Cool build.
 I like it 
  January 13, 2012
WOW
  January 31, 2011
I mean, this is so simple, try something harder! AND NOT MEANING OF LIFE, IT'S EVEN SIMPLER.
 I like it 
  January 31, 2011
Since space is a point (only possibility for it to exist in non-existance), time is all existant, so the fact that he stole the machine invented it. The machine practically just... Became. It's how we're going to invent the time machine: someone will bring it to us from the future, as that's waht we'd do. Time travel is great as a way of historical research, useless for a weapon. I'm not wrong.
 I like it 
  January 31, 2011
What's even better than thinking about an answer (for days and days and days) is reading OTHER peoples answers! I got as laugh out of a few. Since I'm not nearly smart enough to comprehend this, I say the chicken's egg did it.
Alex Eylar
 I like it 
captain cj
  January 11, 2011
The man who stole it invented it. Once he showed the invention to the world as his own the inventor had no reason to invent it in the futur because it was mass produced by the theif who claimed to be the inventor. so technically the theif stole his own invention.
 I like it 
  September 20, 2010
I second the Xandegars. You did.
 I like it 
  August 20, 2010
Some inventor in another dimension, that was spun off of this one due to the theft. Lee.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2010
I FREAKIN' LOVE PARADOXES. AND DOCTOR WHO. but the second thing to talk about here is, what the machine does.
  July 17, 2010
thats pretty cool dude!
 I like it 
  July 15, 2010
Quoting Mark Kelso Ya know Alex, I'm already reading a book right now on general and special relativity, quantum mechanics, and their potential unification through string theory...my brain just can't take much more of this!
I've already read a book about that by Stephen Hawking. It's called "The Universe in a Nutshell".
 I like it 
  July 15, 2010
Traveling to the future is possible because time slows down the faster you go, so you can ride in a spacecraft going almost the speed of light and arrive 100 years later in five seconds. However, traveling to the past is not possible because it can create a paradox like yours, unless there is another dimension for all of the "what if?"s created from such paradoxes.
 I like it 
  July 14, 2010
not to do with this, but you know how people say they could like go back in time and murder their grandpa and create another timeline, but I think if they went back they would not under any circumstances kill him, because in the past of where they are from, he has not been killed and thus they cannot kill him even if they try. o_0
Alex Eylar
 I like it 
The Being Called J
  July 10, 2010
weeeeelllll, if you wanna get technical, if time travel is posable, there would have to be another dimension a milli-nano second before and after us of what has and hasn't happened, continuing on to the beginning and end of time of time, but being already at the beginning and end of time, but time has no end, so, just travailing through time would alter the delicate fabric of time, sending a ripple of time change to the non-existant beginning and end of time, thereby destroying our world. In conclusion, I have 2 answers. 1. The machine would actually cease to exist after he claimed it his own because then, in the future when the guy invents it before it's stolen, he wouldn't invent it because its been invented already, but it would have ceased to exist so he would wind up inventing it, and 2. Had this really happened, we would all cease to exist. In conclusion of the conclusion, don't time travel. J out ~ peace.
 I like it 
  July 10, 2010
A nice simple example of why time travel isn't possible! I think about time travel until my mind hurts sometimes.
 I like it 
  July 8, 2010
Cool idea. I must say, for some reason, the time rip with the clocks is my favorite bit.
  July 7, 2010
nice! i love to watch doctor who too.'till next time ~the t brick~
 I like it 
  July 7, 2010
so if he stole the machine and said it was his, the guy who originally invented it didnt invent it. but when in the future he steals his own invention and makes it his own. so technically, hes the inventor of the machine.
 I like it 
  July 7, 2010
Okay it is a little bit confusing, but me like it! :)
 I like it 
  July 7, 2010
now that is an interesting moc. i was going to type out my idea but then i saw Gondabuggan Draconfell's post, and it's pretty much exactly what i was going to say.
Alex Eylar
 I like it 
Gondabuggan Draconfell the gnome arcanist
  July 6, 2010
noone, because the man stole the gadget when it was made by someone else, then ntroduced it as his own idea, therefor erasing the person who originally made it's name, making it his own, stealing it, erasing his own name, therefor making the inventor noone in a neat and tidy litttle paradox. wheew...
 I like it 
  July 6, 2010
i invented it... cool
 I made it 
  July 6, 2010
Quoting Jøsh ! Great build and Nice effect on the brocken shelf. Too bad Dr. Who isn't broadcasted in Germany for some reason, but I have the DVDs. Which doctor do you like best?
I'm quite fond of Matt Smith, but I'll always be a die-hard David Tennant fan. He just seemed so... insane.
 I like it 
  July 6, 2010
And THAT, my friend, is why time travel is impossible. It's just another wild-eyed concept that illustrates man's desire to be more than what he truly is--a mere mortal. Great build.
 I like it 
  July 6, 2010
Great build and Nice effect on the brocken shelf. Too bad Dr. Who isn't broadcasted in Germany for some reason, but I have the DVDs. Which doctor do you like best?
Alex Eylar
 I like it 
commander sidewinder
  July 5, 2010
as the great Doctor would say, " there are some things in time that can be re-written, and I'm O.K. with that, but some events in time must be completed, and you must do that, or who knows what will happen to the timestream?" I think this quote spells it out clearly, I think that maybe the man from the 1800's is from the future, 20-whatever the date was, and took a time machine ( a blue one) back to the 1800's, where it broke, so he then "Invents" the time-machine, takes it back, gets rich with his own invention, and completely reverses the timestream, maybe this event had to happen, or everything would be messed up!
 I like it 
  July 5, 2010
Interesting. After my theory, if time-travel would be possible, we're always living in the last possible timeline including all future interventions. Former events will be rewritten and so we never can remember them (except we're the travellers). In conclusion, the gadget was developed by someone in an original timeline, by the point of the robbery, the paradoxon starts and the real invention-story is cleared of history.
  July 5, 2010
Quoting Hans Dendauw I think the question was rhetorical...~H
Don't be a smartaxe :)
Alex Eylar
 I like it 
Dave Sterling
  July 4, 2010
Nice work Alex! Now you're speaking my language. The ontological paradox is just one of the 'issues' why time travel to the past is considered impossible by many scientists. There was a nice special on Discovery that discussed this a few months ago. Anyway, great build and smashing subject matter. Well done!
Alex Eylar
Dave and John Xandegar
  July 4, 2010
Oh yeah! we almost forgot...the Guy who invented it is Alex Eylar! (Duh)
Alex Eylar
 I like it 
Dave and John Xandegar
  July 4, 2010
We think Kelso's playing up that Superman Comic he's reading a bit too much! Of course, everything WE know about temporal mechanics we learned from Star Trek (so there, Mark :P)!
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
I'll take your question and give you another one."do you control your brain or does your brain control you" and cool moc, I love subjective realities. hehe big words.
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
I have stayed awake nights thinking about this, and I've come to the conclusion that the second someone manages to travel through time, it will shatter, and all reality will come to an end.
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
You would think an I-phone from 2150 would be a sleaker peace of tech, but that's trends for you!
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
Ooh...that is a paradox! Excellent buildung as well, especially the device.
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
Haha. Nice. I love things like this. The Time Paradox and all that stuff. Great work.
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
This is very interesting, nice work! I really like the 'time wall' that you built.
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
Quoting Yuri Fassio That's technically a predestination paradox that creates a subjective time loop. Like travelling back and then finding out that you're your own great-grandfather. Assuming that such thing as time travel would be made possible at any moment in history, there could be several of these in effect at any given time, without ever affecting anything in history itself :) (oh, btw at all effects the inventor of the device would be that man and it would "always" have been that man)
I think the question was rhetorical...~H
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
Assuming that you are assuming that time is not a river but a spherical ball of events that merely happen, with no object to their order; and that you can, as a matter of fact, travel through this ball of chronology; Doctor Who made the machine. (lol)
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
Circular reasoning works, 'Cause circular reasoning works!
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
That's technically a predestination paradox that creates a subjective time loop. Like travelling back and then finding out that you're your own great-grandfather. Assuming that such thing as time travel would be made possible at any moment in history, there could be several of these in effect at any given time, without ever affecting anything in history itself :) (oh, btw at all effects the inventor of the device would be that man and it would "always" have been that man)
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
Wow. Amazing Time Paradox, and build!
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
O_O
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
This is making my head hurt! Great idea, great build, and great presentation. God bless, Drew
  July 4, 2010
I'm pretty sure it was John Connor...~H
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
Ya know Alex, I'm already reading a book right now on general and special relativity, quantum mechanics, and their potential unification through string theory...my brain just can't take much more of this!
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
Nice work on this one, with excellent presentation. Good day
 I like it 
  July 4, 2010
Ha! It's obviously me who invented that thing. Who else could be so ingenious. - But seriously, this is a great presentation of an ontological paradox. Thanks for the source link :)
 
By Alex Eylar
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