(08:54)SonjaOfTheMoon: Back. One of our mysterious friends claimed that Xeno wants Pancake to blow up Australia. This is weird.
(08:54)SonjaOfTheMoon: Sup with you guys?
(08:56)SonjaOfTheMoon: Oh, gods.
(08:56)EntropicPhantom: Yeah, it's a mess, alright.
(08:56)FelisKitty: Summarize for the new girl, please. You can go back in time... but only to create a new timeline, right?
(08:56)EntropicPhantom: Merges, though.
(08:57)SonjaOfTheMoon: I think I've got a pretty good handle on how those work. Let me try an analogy.
(08:58)SonjaOfTheMoon: Let's say you're programming a robot to clean up after an accident. It's got a lot of small debris to pick up.
(08:59)SonjaOfTheMoon: You could have it pick up each piece individually, but that's slow. If the robot collects everything into one big pile, it can just pick up the pile and bring it to the recycling center together.
(09:00)SonjaOfTheMoon: Sure, that probably works better.
(09:01)SonjaOfTheMoon: So you have the robot pile up leaves and dispose of them all at once, but what if it's a really big yard? You'd waste time moving leaves around only to move them somewhere else.
(09:02)SonjaOfTheMoon: The ideal solution is probably to gather them into a few small piles and clean up each pile at once. So if some leaves are near a bunch of other leaves...
(09:04)SonjaOfTheMoon: Precisely. Etamnanki, or Gaia, or something is doing something with timelines, and if it can smoosh them together, it can process a bunch at once.
(09:04)SonjaOfTheMoon: That's my hypothesis, anyway.
(09:05)FelisKitty: Etamnanki? Gaia?
(09:08)SonjaOfTheMoon: Etamnanki seems to be a communication system of sorts as well. As I said, Alex and I have been contacted that way.
(09:08)SonjaOfTheMoon: Not a damn clue who was trying to reach us or what they were saying, though. We only detected the transmissions with an @hena script.
(09:09)EntropicPhantom: That might be too much of a logical leap? What if it's... y'know, something else?
(09:11)SecundaSonja: We need to collect more data. Theo knows more. How can we reach him?
(09:13)FelisKitty: We already do have some information, though. Time travel, tarballs, yeah?
(09:14)SecundaSonja: It seems like the relative positions of timelines matters a lot, and they can be manipulated.
(09:14)SonjaOfTheMoon: Go on?
(09:14)SecundaSonja: In our timeline, it's October 23, 2083. We'll call that timeline A. Suppose it's earlier in timeline B - let's say September 23, one month before. If Luke were to contact "himself" in timeline B, the timeline B Luke would receive information about his future.
(09:15)EntropicPhantom: Why not just contact yourself in your own timeline?
(09:16)SonjaOfTheMoon: Rule 11. '"Lateral" transmissions ... do not typically cause timeline forks."
(09:17)SonjaOfTheMoon: Gods. How the hell do we fight this?
(09:19)EntropicPhantom: Hold up. If it were that easy, someone would have done it already. If Pancake could just retcon your escape from the Griddle, for example, he'd have done it already.
(09:20)SecundaSonja: Which gets back to my earlier point. To effectively leverage time travel, you'd need to coordinate events in multiple timelines.
(09:20)SonjaOfTheMoon: It's like... Conway's Game of Life.
(09:21)SonjaOfTheMoon: There are tons of structures in Life that don't seem to do much, but they're part of a larger structure that isn't obvious until it activates.
(09:21)SonjaOfTheMoon: Like, there's a combination of cells that normally just sits there, but when a spaceship hits it, it duplicates the space ship.
(09:22)SonjaOfTheMoon: And there's another combination that turns incoming space ships around. So if you aim those at each other and fly a space ship into it, you get a gun that fires infinite space ships.
(09:22)SonjaOfTheMoon: None of which would be obvious from either structure in isolation. It's the interplay that matters.
(09:24)SonjaOfTheMoon: There's a wiki that explains it pretty well. tl;dr, a "space ship" is jargon for any combination of cells that moves across the board over time.
(09:25)FelisKitty: Do any of you play Go?
(09:25)FelisKitty: Do any of you play Go well?
(09:28)FelisKitty: High-level Go play is all about building weird megastructures, and then connecting them at the end to capture lots of territory at once. It's a similar idea.
(09:29)SonjaOfTheMoon: I think we can all agree that the right combination of timelines gives you more options. But there's still a fly in the lotion.
(09:30)SonjaOfTheMoon: Look at rule 12: "objects whose worldlines intersect the timeline from an external source".
(09:30)SonjaOfTheMoon: What the hell does that mean?
(09:32)SonjaOfTheMoon: Well, the filesize kinda gave that much away.
(09:33)SonjaOfTheMoon: All the same. There's a hole in our understanding. What are we going to do about it?