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View Poll Results: Was there ever a timeline where John Connor was not fathered by Reese?
Yes. John Connor cannot independently create himself. He had to come from somewhere. 18 20.93%
No. The first film is a closed loop predestination paradox. 68 79.07%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 27 2009, 03:39 PM   #16
Professor Zoom
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

The Evil Dead wrote: View Post
Looking at it based only on the first film, I think it's a closed loop. Whatever happened, happened.

And was ALWAYS going to happen.
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Old May 27 2009, 03:47 PM   #17
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

And again, that makes perfect sense once you are IN the loop, that someone not yet born can be your father. Since the time travel is occuring in the 'future' part of the loop, though, you still need to be able to account for an original timeline where thing progressed normall up until the point of the first time travel.

I completely get that once you're in, the original timeline doesn't matter, and it can self-create, with effect preceding cause and all that. Still have to account for the original timeline where NO time travel occured, though.

Citing an example from somewhere else doesn't really help at all, because there are just as many unrelated examples where the opposite happened so...?
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Old May 27 2009, 04:20 PM   #18
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Scout101 wrote: View Post
Still have to account for the original timeline where NO time travel occured, though.
No you don't. The original time line has the time travel in it! That's the whole point of the closed loop... there wasn't a starting point, never a timeline where the event didn't happen. Everything is completely consistent. You might as well be saying that you need to account for the timeline where WW2 didn't happen... it doesn't make sense. It always happened.

Going only by the first movie, it was a closed time loop. Connor created himself and that's always what happened and what always will happen. It is the original and only series of events.
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Old May 27 2009, 04:22 PM   #19
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

I haven't gotten around to seeing the third and fourth films, nor the series, but I always thought of the original movie as presenting a self-contained predestined time-loop. It is not logical, and I would never expect such a thing to exist in real life even if someone ever did invent a time-machine, but for dramatic purposes I like the idea that Kyle Reese was always going to be John's father, and that Sarah was always going to train her son to fight the machines.

Although T2 was in some ways more exciting and better than the original, it always disappointed me they ended the film by seemingly preventing the future war. It undid the beautiful "A storm's coming" ending of the first movie.
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Old May 27 2009, 04:35 PM   #20
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Argus Skyhawk wrote: View Post
Although T2 was in some ways more exciting and better than the original, it always disappointed me they ended the film by seemingly preventing the future war.
I liked it that way. The Future Coda ending was my favorite out of all of them. I always wanted - and still do want - an ultimate end to the series where Skynet is wiped from existence and Judgment Day never happens.
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Old May 27 2009, 04:38 PM   #21
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Arrghman wrote: View Post
No you don't. The original time line has the time travel in it! That's the whole point of the closed loop... there wasn't a starting point, never a timeline where the event didn't happen. Everything is completely consistent. You might as well be saying that you need to account for the timeline where WW2 didn't happen... it doesn't make sense. It always happened.

Going only by the first movie, it was a closed time loop. Connor created himself and that's always what happened and what always will happen. It is the original and only series of events.
The original CAN'T have time travel in it, though, as the time travel event doesn't happen until 2018 (or insert date here). By definition, if the 1984 timeline has time travel in it, it's NOT the original timeline anymore. You can call it the first itteration of the closed loop if you like, but there has to be a situation that brings the time travel about in the first place. Easy to set up the closed loop once you begin it, but you have to get to 2018 without time travel in order to travel back in time...
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Old May 27 2009, 04:48 PM   #22
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Scout101 wrote: View Post
By definition, if the 1984 timeline has time travel in it, it's NOT the original timeline anymore.
Why?

1984 was just going along minding its own business when two time travelers appeared. What part of that makes it not the "original" timeline? Looking at it another way, if your definition of "original timeline" is "one where there is no time travel" then there was no original. Closed time loops don't have a start... that's part of their definition. They don't have a first iteration and they don't have a last one. The just are.

One of the things with time travel is the effect preceeds the cause. Just because the cause happened in the future doesn't mean that there ever had to be a 1984 where the effect didn't happen. In the first movie, they didn't have a ripple effect or alternate timelines or anything... whatever happened, happened. And always happened. And always will happen. Going back in 2018 or whenever didn't change the past because that was already part of established events.
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Old May 27 2009, 05:07 PM   #23
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

It's not the original timeline because people from the future have arrived. Meaning that things have already progressed past that point in time, and someone is showing up from the future.

All the rest of what is being argued makes perfect sense, but you have to have an original condition where someone in 2018 decides to time travel, or you can't get into the loop.

it also makes the entire series fairly pointless. Neither Skynet nor Kyle would really care about the war, the future, or anything at this point, both would just be time travelling because they have to create John and Skynet. Not so either can win the war, but just so they can go back in time again.

To take another crack at the "closed loop without an origin" argument: a problem in computer programing can create an infinite loop pretty easily, yes? You've gotta have code before that to set up something TO loop though, right? Can loop all you like once you reach that part of the code (the future, in the terminator example), but have to run the code to that point WITHOUT the later parts of the code interfering the first time through.

The first time people from 2018 showed up in 1984, it was, by definition, the 2nd crack at things. You can close the loop right at that second, but logically, you've got to experience things from 1984-2018 once already before someone from 2018 can attempt to change the past. It has to have, well, past once already.
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Old May 27 2009, 05:11 PM   #24
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

All the rest of what is being argued makes perfect sense, but you have to have an original condition where someone in 2018 decides to time travel, or you can't get into the loop.

But that's the whole point! it all happens because it happens - the loop is always complete and closed - it's not meant to be logically consistent, you aren't suppose to work out where the loop begins because you can't - it just is. It's an ontological paradox.
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Old May 27 2009, 05:19 PM   #25
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

If you just want to argue that it happens because of magic, and doesn't have to make any logical sense, why bother to argue your case at all? Just claim a wizard did it and be done with it. You can't "kinda" use the logic, though...

The loop CAN'T always be complete and closed, because it would never exist at all that way. Like a skipping record, you have to play through to a certain point before you hit the skipping part. You can keep repeating those couple seconds of song all you want, but you had to play the song to that point to GET it to skip.

Unless you want to change the argument to make this a random bubble of time, where nothing before 1984 or after 2018 exists, and it just loops on itself forever, created in that state? You're back to saying a wizard did it, though...
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Old May 27 2009, 05:29 PM   #26
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Scout101 wrote: View Post
If you just want to argue that it happens because of magic, and doesn't have to make any logical sense, why bother to argue your case at all? Just claim a wizard did it and be done with it. You can't "kinda" use the logic, though...
Who said anything about not making logical sense? There's nothing about a closed time loop that is inherently illogical or inconsistent.

The loop CAN'T always be complete and closed, because it would never exist at all that way. Like a skipping record, you have to play through to a certain point before you hit the skipping part. You can keep repeating those couple seconds of song all you want, but you had to play the song to that point to GET it to skip.
This isn't the same as a skipping record or as your code loop that you said earlier. The reason is that any iteration of the loop depends on their being a previous iteration of the loop to feed into the next one. Again, what's going on is that the effect of an event is preceding the cause. And that effect is part of what's required for the cause in the first place. Everything is completely consistent and ultimately unchanging.
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Old May 27 2009, 06:14 PM   #27
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

I liked it that way. The Future Coda ending was my favorite out of all of them. I always wanted - and still do want - an ultimate end to the series where Skynet is wiped from existence and Judgment Day never happens.
How then would it be a closed loop?
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Old May 27 2009, 07:02 PM   #28
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Could look at the chicken and egg argument for closed loops, i guess. To get the egg, it has to be layed by a chicken, which has to hatch from an egg, and so forth. That functions as your closed loop. Still need the proto-chicken to lay the first chicken egg and get you started, though. I'm thinking of this timeline the same way: First time through, you got to 2018 with something similar, but not quite the timeline we're familiar with. They went back and spawned the current timeline, which is now self-sustaining and a nice little closed loop.

Even in the examples you're using to argue against me, you're saying the same thing, really. You're talking about "the effect of an event is preceding the cause", but since the timeline had to progress to 2018 for the original event to take place, there WAS an itteration of 1984-2017ish without interference from the future. The event (timetravel) happened, and now there ARE effects of an event happening before the cause of the event.

Still had to happen once without that occuring, though. You can't get to 2018 to time travel the first time without going through 1984. Once that has happened, the rest of the logic works fine, and you can loop all you want. Just can't travel from 2018 for the first time without an original 1984
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Old May 27 2009, 08:49 PM   #29
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

people think of time as being a linear progression of cause and effect. but it's not. when observed from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more of a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.
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Old May 27 2009, 09:34 PM   #30
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Re: John Connor's existence POLL

Scout101 wrote: View Post
Could look at the chicken and egg argument for closed loops, i guess. To get the egg, it has to be layed by a chicken, which has to hatch from an egg, and so forth. That functions as your closed loop. Still need the proto-chicken to lay the first chicken egg and get you started, though. I'm thinking of this timeline the same way: First time through, you got to 2018 with something similar, but not quite the timeline we're familiar with. They went back and spawned the current timeline, which is now self-sustaining and a nice little closed loop.
I see what the problem is here. You are, in your mind, and probably unintentionally, creating a second time dimension, so that you can represent non-linear time-travel as a linear function, which is easier for people to wrap their heads around.

However, there is no second time dimension. Time defines the order of events. Kyle Reese appeared in 1984 first. Period. There are no future events before that. Though Kyle remembers these things, they haven't happened yet, from the point of view of an outside observer. The event that causes Kyle to be sent back happens after, from the point of view of the outside observer. This isn't illogical, because time only has one dimension. There is no such thing as a previous future or an original future.
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