Don’t Do That, Then

Originally published at: Don’t Do That, Then | The Associated Worlds

lookforward monitor: a specialized optronic circuit containing a signaling microwormhole or temporal tangle channel from the near future. (The precise time period depends on the application, and has been configured for periods as short as one micropulse and as long as a full hour.) The function of the lookforward monitor is to receive a continuous input signal from the future and generate an output signal if the input signal ceases or otherwise departs nominal.

retroveto: Triggered by a lookforward monitor, a retroveto is a safety procedure invoked automatically, whether to cancel a user-initiated action which would have caused a disaster within the time range of the lookforward monitor (detectable since changes to a worldline propagate instantaneously along that worldline in terms of its internal time), or to trigger preemptive emergency procedures, for example a reactor scram.

retroabort: In spaceflight and other transportation jargon, a mission abort triggered by flight computers in response to an abort signal from a lookforward monitor indicating catastrophic vehicle failure.

Extensive iterative development of the design concepts involved in retroabort technology along with related families of devices such as UNMOVED MONAD and the moiraean alarm ultimately led to the development of refined shielding technologies, most notably the probability unseller.

– A Collection of Temporal Technologies

“Doctor, my brain hurts when I f*** with causality”

Jokes aside, how does one retroactively explain the loss of signal from the retroabort in a way that make sense given the ship is still happily transmitting during the supposed time of LOS

To quote myself from the Discord:

There are two possible consistent timelines.

In one, it doesn’t fire and everything works properly. In the other, it fires and the system does an emergency shut down, which triggers it.

Ah, I forgot that safe =/= system still in operation

Also, for a different explanation of the retroveto, as written elsewhere:

"This is kind of like how my retroveto systems work in the block universe. In practice, they’re always triggered by messages from the future informing them that they triggered in the past and averted a disaster, since that’s the stable potential worldline, and never by messages telling them that a disaster has occurred which they need to avert.

But you have to be careful to construct them so they can also be triggered by messages from themselves that there was a disaster that they need to avert, even though this will never happen in any resulting future worldline. Because if you don’t, the conditions that are never triggered which nonetheless would cause the have-averted message to be sent couldn’t happen, and so the loop won’t be forced to exist to create the stable worldline."

You know, I’d totally read a conlang glossary on the grammar and vocab used to describe temporal travel without twisting one’s brain into ana-kata-pasta