What is striped timeline time travel?
February 2, 2009 8:53 PM   Subscribe

What is the "striped time line" theory of time travel? My coworker keeps talking about it and can't quite catch it. It is apparently explored in one of the Dragonball series, but I can't find anything about it online. This is, of course, flabbergasting because, well, Anime + time travel /= Google paydirt?!?!?! Anyone got the skinny?

I like to think of myself as pretty geek-friendly (ok, so I'm a geek), and I like time travel logistics problems, but I don't know what the hell my co-worker is talking about.
posted by es_de_bah to Science & Nature (4 answers total)
This might help, although it doesn't use the term 'striped'. Link is for the Wayback version as I couldn't open the original.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:40 AM on February 3, 2009

Googling "dotted line time travel" turned up this. Helpful at all?
posted by oulipian at 4:31 AM on February 3, 2009

I've never heard the term. In the android/Cell saga of "Dragon Ball Z", there's a character named Trunks who travels from the future to try to fight against the androids. It turns out that every time he makes a time jump, he causes timeline forks: one when he leaves, and one when he arrives.

The actual sequence of events relating to him is complex, because in one version of the future he's killed by Cell, who steals the time machine. In a different version of the future he knows Cell is coming and doesn't get taken unaware, and kills Cell instead. (That's the one that's shown in the series, at the very end of "Cell Games".)

Likewise, in his past there's a version of time where he never shows up. In that one, androids 17 and 18 kill all the Z fighters except for Gohan. Goku isn't involved in the fight because he died from a heart virus.

There's another one where Trunks does show up, and his medicine saves Goku, and Trunks gets involved against the androids, and they end up fighting against 17 and 18 and, I think, winning.
posted by Class Goat at 4:56 AM on February 3, 2009

Best answer: I have never heard of the term either, but if were taking the DBZ timetravel as an example I think what hes talking about is consistant time travel. Trunks is unable to change the past, instead he creates different parallel universes each time he travels in time, the changes he makes become part of the history of that timeline ie: they always happened. Where he smacks the Novikov principle on the head however is when he later returns to visit the same timeline and makes more changes, also his time machine would have to be able to travel between alternate universes for him to return to his own timeline.

What I think is more likely in case of DBZ timetravel is that it is also known as bugger-weve-written-ourselves-in-a-corner-lets-have-a-timetravel-arc timetravel.
posted by Z1LCH at 1:30 PM on February 3, 2009

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