What Could Go Wrong with Time Travel? | NowThis Nerd

Hey guys, I’m Dev and I’ve never hosted a How to Kill video, but I’ve been blown away by your response to our series Do you need to know how to kill Michael Myers? No, but we’re proud of that fact that we taught you how

We love making these movie trope survival guides, and today, we’re expanding them Doc, are you telling me you built a time machine out of a DeLorean? Because that friendly old scientist who asked you to feed their dog might be a much bigger threat than a maniac in a mask Now, unless you’ve got about six degrees from MIT, You’re probably not gonna be the person who discovers time travel Sorry But there might just come a day when your dad’s favorite comedian shows up with a magic phone booth, and wants to drag you along for the ride

Catch you later, evil dude! So, if you find yourself standing on the precipice of time and space, stop Take a moment You’ve got a time machine, so there’s no rush And ask yourself What Could Possibly Go Wrong With Time Travel? In short? A lot You’ve got to be pretty damn sharp to shatter the space-time continuum, but all the overachievers who invent time machines can’t seem to wrap their big brains around the dire consequences of their actions

– Is this normal? – I don't know! I can’t blame them entirely, though, we’re dealing with some pretty heady concepts It travels forward only towards the B end, and when it gets there the feed runs down parabolically until it just stops, but it doesn't, it curves back around towards the A end Including the most mind-boggling misfortune of all, the terrifying Temporal Paradox If you change the past in a way that contradicts the future, like going back in time to kill your own grandpa, it creates a paradox basically, an impossible situation If granddad dies before he conceives your father, that means you’ll never be born But if that’s the case, how could you have gone back in time to whack him in the first place? This is heavy! Let’s get this out of the way, the space-time continuum doesn’t handle inconsistencies well, And if you’re not careful, you might be erased from existence entirely Prime example: Marty in ‘Back to the Future

’ But even that’s getting off easy In ‘Part 2,’ Doc warns of an even worse fate if the gang were to meet their future selves: The encounter could create a time paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe! Think about it: What if the older Jennifer thought her younger version was an intruder and shot her? Oh please, Mr Strickland, I just wanna know what the hell is going on! Or she simply bashed her own head on a rock when she fainted? If young Jen dies, that means there’s no future Jennifer around to kill her, potentially causing a cosmic collapse Great Scott! It’s scary stuff, and if you’re dead-set on assassinating your ancestors, your best hope is the multiverse theory Sometimes, creating an impossibility just splits the timestream into two universes

Our time is fractured You two somehow created a feedback loop of uncertainty that split our reality into two equally possible impossibilities The moment you kill your grandpa, it creates a parallel existence where you were never born But what if your meddling was always part of the cosmic plan? When John Connor orders Kyle Reese back in time to protect/bang his mom, that didn’t erase some other father from the timeline John’s entire existence is a causal loop

This is deep He’s born, survives Judgment Day, and sends Kyle Reese back to do to the nasty in the pasty Then, the whole thing repeats itself If you don't send Kyle, you can never be God, a person could go crazy thinking about this

Just like how Philip J Fry was always supposed to go to Roswell and become his own grandfather, Ooh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr I'm My Own Grampa! Let's get the hell out of here already Screw history! Or how Bruce Willis inadvertently creates the Rainmaker when tries to kill him as a boy in ‘Looper’ You let this boy live, he's gonna take everything you've got

I've seen what he becomes! I haven't seen that yet In a causal loop, history accounts for everything, including your time travel You can’t change the past, because you always will have already gone back there Really, the biggest victim of a causal loop is grammar, so if you’re in the right kind of universe, there’s nothing to fear from a paradox But that still doesn’t mean time travel is a great idea

You’ve got to watch out for the Safeguards When you mess with the timestream, you put a big old target on your back, I got something for your ass! Don't mess with time! Especially if you're up to no good I will mess with time! In ‘Primer,’ a couple of engineers manipulate the stock market using some extremely convoluted time travel They make some serious bank, but after the inevitable shenanigans, multiple copies of people are running around in the same 4-day period The universe can’t handle the strain, and the characters’ brains start to degenerate in response to their impossible existence

If that’s too subtle, how about some spooky flying monsters? The Reapers from ‘Doctor Who’ act as the timeline’s white blood cells, devouring anything and anyone associated with a paradox, Kinda like Stephen King’s Langoliers Now if giant CGI pac-men aren’t scary enough, a lot of time-travelling societies use human law enforcement to keep the timestream intact ‘Star Trek’ has some pretty strict rules about temporal meddling, not that anyone in Starfleet seems to give a shit The Temporal Prime Directive The less I know about the future, the better

But you definitely don’t want to break the laws of physics in the world of ‘Timecop’ In the distant sci-fi future of 2004, there are only two uses for time travel: Going back to rob ancient treasure, Would you please give me the gold? and sending heavily armed kickboxing cops after the bandits I know you think you’re cute swiping that sports almanac from the future, but when your alternatives are a dystopian nightmare where your arch nemesis is married to your mom, NOOO!!! or a kick in the face from Jean-Claude van Damme, Just reconsider But if you’re still insistent on changing the timeline, you stubborn bastard, you’d better be aware of The Butterfly Effect This is gonna cost me The concept originated from Ray Bradbury’s story ‘A Sound of Thunder,’ Where a time-travelling tourist messes up big time by accidently stomping on a prehistoric butterfly, leading to a drastically different earth millions of years later

It seems like an insignificant change, but that butterfly could have pollinated a plant that was eaten by a mammal that was lunch for a dinosaur, that had an audition for ‘Jurassic Park’ What a dick! The slightest change to the past can result in wildly unforeseen consequences THIS IS INDEED A DISTURBING UNIVERSE

One wrong move, and the next thing you know we’re living in a world where hamburgers eat people Ironically, the movie named after ‘The Butterfly Effect’ has an extremely weak understanding of the concept The main character travels through his own life, making some pretty huge changes to the timeline, but the fallout really only affects him and his friends You have to change everyone else's life again? Is that it? Maybe next time you'll pop up in some mansion while I end up in Tijuana doing some donkey act Every time I try to help someone, everything just goes to shit

Don't give up now, slick If stomping on an insect results in global fascism, I think Ashton Kutcher strangling himself in the womb would have some bigger repercussions The Butterfly Effect is why you shouldn’t even dream about de-posing a despit while you’re flying through time Hey, I get it You wanna kill Hitler

I wanna kill Hitler Hang on! I just want to make one stop! [GERMAN GIBBERISH] Everyone wants to go back in time and kill Hitler before his rise to power But even with your noble intentions, you just can’t change something that huge and expect the same world when you return Nine times out of ten, you’re gonna wind up with an apocalypse on your hands In ‘11

2263,’ James Franco successfully prevents Kennedy’s assassination, Jack Kennedy here Secret Service tells me that, ah, my wife and I owe you our lives Thank you but it turns out JFK’s second term wouldn’t have gone so well

I don't understand I thought JFK would have made things better If you’re ever tempted, just remember Abe Simpson’s advice: If you ever travel back in time, don't step on anything! Even the tiniest change can alter the future in ways you can't imagine! And if you’re still gonna go through with it, you rebellious bastard, you can always make like Homer and keep messing around until you create a future that’s close enough for comfort Foolish Earthling Totally unprepared for the effects of time travel! Scientists a lot smarter than Homer have done some serious damage to history, and by now you should be well aware of the risks

But what’s The Best Case Scenario? Has anyone figured out the right way to time travel? And how the hell did they do it? If you ask me, no one’s ever done it better than two San Dimas stoners named: I'm Bill S Preston, Esquire! And I'm Ted 'Theodore' Logan! Yeah!!! And we're WYLD STALLYNS!!! During the course of their Excellent Adventure, Bill and Ted pretty much ignore every single rule of time travel Excellent! They carelessly pluck historical figures out of their own times just to pass a homework assignment, with zero regard for the Temporal Prime Directive They’re not worried Beethoven is going to succumb to present-day diseases he has no antibodies for, they just want to rock and roll Bill, my friend? Yes, Ted, my friend? This has been a most excellent adventure

One! Two! One, two, three, four! You should also pay close attention to the clever ways Bill and Ted use causal loops to their advantage The heroes of the story don’t actually have to worry about anything, as long as they remember to go back in time after the happy ending and leave all that stuff where they needed it After the report, we'll time travel back to two days ago, steal your dad's keys and leave them here! Where? I dunno How about behind that sign? That way, when we get here now, they'll be waiting for us See? Woah, yeah! Without any care for the chronological consequences, Bill and Ted ace the report, find true love, and reshape society in their image

Y'see, eventually, your music will help put an end to war and poverty It will align the planets into universal harmony, allowing meaningful contact with all forms of life And it's excellent for dancing Then, they conquer death itself in the sequel Maybe that’s the real secret to time travel

Don’t concern yourself with paradoxes, predestination, or that pesky problem of free will Just have fun with it Rules are meant to be broken, after all, but in order to break them, you need to know them first So stay tuned to NowThis Nerd in the future, or in the past, for the next time we tackle that all-important question: ‘What could go wrong?’ Hey guys, thanks for watching! I’m really excited about our new series, and I want to know ‘What Could Go Wrong’ next Cloning? First contact? Talking to animals? Let us know in the comments below what you want to see, and as always, please subscribe to NowThis Nerd

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