TED Conversations

Jordan Reeves

TED-Ed Community Manager, TED Conferences


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In ten words or less, what is a question no one (yet) knows the answer to?

Is there life outside of our planet?

What's a bigger factor in our development: environment or genetics?

Is there any real truth, or is everything relative?

What will the earth be like in 100 years?

Topics: answers questions

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    Dec 6 2011: If time travel depended on this question being free of mispelled words, could I never come back and fix it?
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      Dec 9 2011: I really believe time travel is a myth.. a fantasy theory. If someone could go back in time, we would anihilate ourselfs or just stopped existing, see unnatural things, meet people from past and future and vitness the utter chaos, or we just woud not be here cause in past such utter chaos would be done by time travelers wanting to go backwards and backwards as far as it gets... Scientists trying to explain it not happenig by theories of parallel realities. No matter how many such realities would be there, if in one of them time travel would become possibility, then time travelers would spread trough parallel realities like wildfire and we would have time travelers in our reality aswell. Its just fantasy...
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        Dec 9 2011: Mr. K,
        You seem to have a genuine interest in the fascinating concept oftime travel.
        I, on the other hand, do not.
        My contribution to the conversation was meant to suggest an unanswerable question.
        You will notice I began my question with the most potent of words. . . . . "if".
        So my interest lies in whether you can answer my hypothetical question or not.
        Good luck on the time travel question and thanks for your comments.
        • Dec 9 2011: According to another theory, after you go back in time , it will become ridiculously impossible for you to make your sentence grammatically correct . The whole universe will come together to stop you from doing that.
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          Dec 10 2011: Im sorry, i got a bit driven. But i can answer your question aswell:

          "If time travel depended on this question being free of mispelled words, could I never come back and fix it?"

          1. Answer to your question is "Yes". Lets assume that soon you would edit your question and get rid of any misspelled words and then time travel becomes possible, and then there is no obstacle to come back to even earlier moment (moment where you first posted original, misspelled word) and fix it sooner, making the time travel possible earlier in the reality to which you woudl travel (of course it coudlnt be this one, becouse it still didnt happen).

          2. You could of course ask otherwise: "(...)depended on this question in this moment of time being free of mispelled words". - Then the answer still would be "Yes" - Becouse for example other "You", from other reality where it would not be dependant on similiar condition, could come back and fix it in some different reality.

          3. You could of course ask yet otherwise: "If time travel in all realities depended on this question in this moment of time, in this reality being free of mispelled words". - Then answer would be "No". If time travel would be dependant on that question and you misspelled word "mispelled" in this point of time in this reality, then you could never time travel, so you could never come back and fix it.
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          Dec 11 2011: Mr. Long, Word is full of learnings. Hypothetical questions speeled by you creates an isolation from practical world. Any new ideas are not matures untill and unless we make mistakes as you said you mispelled and you want to correct it. Hypothetical questions is concealing the reality.
          So let us continue the ideas and research groomed by our great researchers and creeds.
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      Dec 9 2011: time travel seems relative as we think time is relative. (10)
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        Dec 9 2011: It beats the heck out of me, Philip.
        Can you answer my "unanswerable" question?
        What is the meaning of the number 10 in parentheses?
        Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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      Dec 9 2011: The question is truly unanswerable. As time moves, the meanings and spelling of words migrate. If one were to misspell the sentence while embarking to a time where its spelling was accepted, would the journey be valid? And if a person misspells and spell check does not catch it, would future readers ever know?
    • Dec 11 2011: "If time travel depended on this question being free of misspelled words, could I never come back and fix it?"
      No, you could not "never come back", because yes you spelled correctly. Ha ! paradoxes are pretty, (or is that paradoxi?)
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        Dec 11 2011: Very clever Ian, but in the original question, "mispelled" is misspelled....try again!

        I think I might have a retort:

        If you time travel to the past where the misspelling would not be detected, there would be no need to come back- you would travel forward to fix it... and if you were to time travel to the future you would be SOL.
        • Dec 12 2011: Erp. My mistake then, that will teach a dyslexic to mind his p's and q's a four in the am. Still... I liked it better without errors.

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