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Vashkoda writes...

Hey Aris. Well, the argument about missing loop origins is moot since Greg says there are none. Now I'm more interested in -why- these loops even exist. But I guess I'll explain more what I was thinking when I brought up the "missing origins".

What I reasoned was that for a certain period of time (lets say the first few hundred cycles of time), time was new and malleable and could be "experimented" with. So if Xanatos got his hands on the Gate in the 1990's and then decided he wanted to go to the 900's, he -could-, and yes, it -would- mess with the timestream, but that obviously would have been his intent if he wanted to send himself the coin so that he could be rich. And yes, that would mean that the Xanatos he once was would never have existed because his actions would change his own history (hence the "non-working paradox"). But lets imagine that this situation happened to hundreds of individuals who tried to alter the timestream, and lets say that for the most part, they cancelled themselves out so that they never happened. But for a -few- individuals, maybe their altered history does -not- prevent their getting the Gate and going back in time as they had originally done (even in real life, some people do get their cake and eat it too). Except of course now, the Xanatos who travels back in time is not the same as the Xanatos who originally went back (this one's richer, for example). So small adjustments are made in the timestream, but nothing as drastic as when Xanatos first appeared in the 900's (now the Prince might notice that Xanatos is dressed nicer than before, but at least Xanatos's appearance itself doesn't trigger anything new). So as time as a whole repeats itself, adjustments are made and wrinkles are ironed out until finally everything -works- and makes sense. Sure, it might take hundreds of cycles, but at some point every predicted event will be accounted for and the timestream, at last, becomes "immutable".

And as for the butterfly-effect, who's to say that there originally was a Macbeth, Napoleon, or Kennedy? Maybe they're all the result of Xanatos or some other traveler going back in time? The way I see it, the present as it is now could just be the final result of all the alterations made in time. So it's not a coincidence at all that Goliath still exists when Xanatos comes back from his trip (for all we know, Goliath still exists only -because- of X's trip).

Greg responds...

You just gave me a headache.

Response recorded on November 21, 2000