Today, I received a comment on the COATT blog (provided below) which I felt merited a more robust response than might be possible in a small comment box. Similarly, I would like to afford the author’s question and my response a wider audience since I am sure that there are a great many in the Titor-verse who have similar questions or assumptions.
Consider this a sneak peek into the depth and quality of analysis that will be available in the update to Conviction of a Time Traveler. Enjoy…
I dispute the very idea that John Titor made “predictions” – He told the history of his timeline, which he believed to not deviate from ours by more than a few percentage points. But a small change can have larger ramifications – moving events off by decades. Or Titor was wrong about how much deviation there was. Perhaps something had gone wrong and he was off his timeline by 15-20% . We are talking about a “Many-Universes” conception of reality here – so the only expectation we can have about Titor’s statements is that they are true in John Titor’s original timeline – a timeline he admitted he could never be sure he returned to, just as he admitted there was no way he could prove he was a time traveler by making “predictions” .
So we take his statements for what they are worth – a possible future. If you had told me in 2000 that there would be a Civil war in the United States in 5 years, or 10 or 20 or 30 I would have laughed at you. I am not laughing now. The Actual year doesn’t matter. If similar events happened in Titor’s timeline, then they COULD happen here. Its up to us to see if they ARE happening here by looking at the real world around us.
The term “prediction” is reliant upon one’s perspective, as I’m sure you’ll agree. In the regime of ‘time travel,’ one man’s memory is another man’s prediction. Nevertheless, I render this a distinction without a difference and shouldn’t cause us too much consternation.
The idea of basing our judgment on ‘how different’ Titor’s world line is to ours on what Titor claimed is a recipe for disaster leading only to obfuscation and confusion. While your characterization of the Butterfly Effect is relevant in the abstract, it is not necessarily germane or practically impactful in a real sense.
In a similar vein, you mention how Titor would not/could not make any predictions because his world line was different from ours. While I understand how you came to this understanding, I might offer a different perspective: The idea that our world line is 2.5% different from his world line is a non sequitur. I would caution against leaning too heavily against the 2.5% numerical value for the ‘differentness’ factor. For now, simply understand that that numerical value is not what it appears. This idea will be more fully fleshed out in the upcoming update to Conviction of a Time Traveler, but for now, just set aside the idea of being able to measure differentness at all; for all intents and purposes, Titor’s world line of origin (also a non-sequitur) is nearly identical to our own (again, a non-sequitur).
Rather, I put forward that Titor would not/could not predict our future because he was unaware of where or how the individual world line differences would appear. Stated another way, by merely saying that our universes were 2.5% different, he lays no claim on being able to identify which 2.5% is different. What if he were able to correctly predict the lotto numbers but his prediction of the color of your car was incorrect? Would you believe or disbelieve his claim of ‘time travel?’ It is for this reason (among others, obviously) that Titor refused to make any predictions over and above the ones he made while posting online. I highly recommend reading my essay, “2.5% of Trump.”
In sum, and I understand how much of a cop-out saying this is (for now), but the TimeTravel_0 narrative, and its attendant context, are orders of magnitude more complex that many give it credit for. It is rare to come upon anyone who fully grasps its complexity and, not for nothing, I am certain that even I fall far short in imagining the outer edges of its scope. The best any of us can do is to constantly question our previous assertions and leave room for the possibility that we might just have it all wrong. Be prepared to abandon your hard-fought and well-defended conclusions for new and unexpected vistas.