What is bootstrap paradox ?
By: Khanh Nguyen Nam
Courtesy of Doctor Who:
Imagine a man with the DeLorean time machine, which is actually capable of travelling through time. He loves going around in the space time continuum, meeting historical figures and all, while he has an archive of useful information on his computer.
Who does this man decide to visit next? Beethoven, one of the greatest composers of all time, sounds like a bright idea.
Voila! Late 18th century. He arrives at the front door of Beethoven himself, and discovers that there was no one who lived there named Ludwig van Beethoven. Strange? All historical documents said he’d lived there.
The time traveller asks everyone around him. No one has any idea of who the hell is Beethoven.
Damn it, if he went back to the future now, he would live in a world where the Beethoven’s Fifth wouldn’t exist. That would be depressing. Unless…
Our time traveller conveniently carries a music sheet for the Fifth Symphony with him, along with most of the musician’s major works. He travels a few years forward, to around 1805, and publishes the work under Beethoven’s name.
Effectively, he became Ludwig van Beethoven.
By the time he came back to 2017, the Fifth Symphony was, thankfully, existent. Then, as he was about to move on, something struck him like lightning.
If Beethoven was not real, who composed Beethoven’s Fifth? Who put the notes on those pages? Our time traveller is definitely not a musician.
Now, here is my take on the possible explanation of this paradox:
Applying the multiverse theory, the time traveller is from a reality where Beethoven was a real person and composed the Fifth Symphony. The time traveller took the music sheets with him on his adventures way before the era of Beethoven.
Through a series of butterfly effects caused by his adventures, Beethoven somehow ceased to exist in a new alternate reality. The reason why the sheets didn’t disappear was because it was taken from a parallel reality where Beethoven did exist as a flesh and blood person.
By going back in time and publishing the sheets, he effectively created a new infinite loop called the bootstrap paradox, and the origin of the paradox can no longer be traced, as it goes on infinitely.
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