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  #1  
Old 11-07-2012, 07:06 PM
kneegrows kneegrows is offline
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Lightbulb Question for all wheel of time fans:

What happens when some one opens a portal to the location a few feet behind them (so the portal shows themselves in front of the portal) and shoots balefire through it at themselves? ANSWER IT!
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2012, 07:16 PM
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ANSWER IT!
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:53 PM
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do we know if weaves can travel through portals?

and if it can, nothing since balefire would remove the actions he/she did for at least a few seconds so he/she would be alive again I suppose?
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:33 PM
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and if it can, nothing since balefire would remove the actions he/she did for at least a few seconds so he/she would be alive again I suppose?

Yeah so the person would then have no recollection of what happened then just do it again therefore locking him in a never-ending cycle.
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  #5  
Old 11-07-2012, 08:39 PM
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Interview: Feb 26th, 2003
tarvalon.net Q&A (Verbatim)

Question
If I were to open a gateway in front of me that opened behind me, and I balefired myself, what would happen?

Robert Jordan
Young lady, you are entirely too obsessed and have far too much time. You need to get some sort of life. I suggest you go have an intense love affair. Doesn't matter with who, be it man, woman, or German Shepherd.

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do we know if weaves can travel through portals?
Yes, they can. See Elayne in TPOD, the gateway she was unweaving, Aviendha shooting fireballs through it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:52 AM
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Young lady, you are entirely too obsessed and have far too much time. You need to get some sort of life. I suggest you go have an intense love affair. Doesn't matter with who, be it man, woman, or German Shepherd.
If Graendal did that and then balefired the dog, would that be perverted or not?
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:38 AM
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From what we've seen about balefire, I'd say it simply doesn't do paradoxes like that. In other words: if you BF yourself, you're just gone.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:00 AM
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From what we've seen about balefire, I'd say it simply doesn't do paradoxes like that. In other words: if you BF yourself, you're just gone.
But no one would remember that, so the issue would still be undecided.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:15 PM
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What if you missed yourself and hit your balefire beam instead?
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:58 PM
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From what we've seen about balefire, I'd say it simply doesn't do paradoxes like that. In other words: if you BF yourself, you're just gone.
Another possibilty is that he BS is tied to your soul somehow so it will just "go through" you. Same as if the stream hit itself.

Or, it could be possible that only some weaves can go through portals, balefire not being one of them.
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2012, 02:58 PM
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Was going to come up with a clever answer, but I think this article from Wikipedia might be more educational and informative. Let's examine some of the possibilities as they apply to WOT (because I really have no life and enjoy doing that kind of thing):

Time line protection hypothesis

Given the distortion of probability we've already seen when the pattern "drifts too far off course", i.e. the creation of ta'veren to correct the problem, I'd suggest this is quite likely. In all cases where the practical scenario to create the paradox is established, something will happen at the last second to prevent it. Someone will dive in and save the channeller at the last second, a ter'angreal will stop working, the channeller will be severed, blocked, or subject to a stedding-like effect before the Balefire weave can be completed. I expect this is probably the resolution RJ would choose (other than answering it with "go shag a dog").

Novikov self-consistency principle

Not really applicable in this scenario, except that the resolution might be the addition of a second channeller or ter'angreal to the scenario allowing the effect to take place paradox free, as outlined above. Remember the Wheel is capable of doing these things.

Multiple universes hypothesis

In this theory, it seems that the gateway - although appearing to open directly behind the channeller allowing them to BF themself - would actually open into a mirror world. This is one solution, but the problem is there's no clear indicator as to why this would happen if the initial gateway was opened normally.

Branching universes hypothesis

Under this theory, applied to the Wheel Of Time, a mirror of the Wheel would be created in which the channeller was not destroyed, and one in which they were. Unfortunately, this doesn't really answer the question, since we know that mirror worlds are not the real world and not as valid as the "main" timeline, so one of the two timelines would have to be real and one not. So this solution is no solution.

Timeline corruption hypothesis

Not really applicable here.

Temporal merging hypothesis

Applied to WOT, the effect is similar to the divergent universes hypothesis; a mirror self would be "brought in" to perform the Balefire. Unfortunately, this just raises the question of how many mirror selves one has to get balefired - presumably, one would require an infinite number, and Rand showed there are at least mirror worlds where the channeller wouldn't exist in TGH - and how they get in to the main universe to do the BF in the first place.

Choice timeline hypothesis

Under this theory, the channeller would actually be destroyed the moment they opened the first gateway, or even before, the moment they opened themself to the source. This is at least possible; to a casual onlooker, it might look as if they simply overdosed on the OP and burned themself to a cinder, LTT style, and given the way the universe is set up, who is to say they didn't?

Can-Not Because Has-Not

Not applicable to this kind of paradox. We know can because has; the method of time travel (balefire) definitely exists in the world of WOT.

Self-Healing hypothesis

Essentially the same as the timeline protection hypothesis, especially for our purposes.

Destruction resolution

I wonder how the Bore was made?

To give a bit more context within WOT, theoretically, no matter the strength of the Balefire used, it would always be strong enough to completely eliminate the channeller's thread from the pattern entirely. The Balefire would not hit the channeller, since the channeller had already been erased. Instead it would hit itself, which would increase the strength of the Balefire by joining the two streams, creating an infinitely powerful stream of Balefire, which, when it first did hit the channeller, would erase him or her completely from the pattern. The removal of an entire thread from birth to death would have an incredibly powerful effect, causing the pattern to begin unravelling, or at least major balescreams. This would be my answer to the question posed by WSB.

The problem with this theory is that we have actually seen two threads of BF hit each other, and the effect wasn't to create a single, stronger stream; it was to apparently "link" two threads in the pattern together. Of course, the two threads in this one example were from two different sources rather than the same source hitting itself. Further, they were from two opposed powers; the creative/preservative power of the One Power, and the destructive power of the True Power. That too might have an effect.

Temporal Modification Negation Theory

Functionally the same as the timeline preservation theory.

Doomed Timeline Theory

Functionally the same as the timeline preservation theory.

Summerville's Timeline Theory

Not applicable.

Having considered potential solutions, I have to go with timeline preservation in this case, even though I hate it IRL, because it fits best with RJ's world. We know probability can be bent, and we know that within his world predestination is at least sometimes apparent, as with Rand and the prophecies. Thus I'd have to argue that the scenario would simply be impossible to create. Something would always happen to prevent it.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2012, 10:11 PM
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What happens when some one opens a portal to the location a few feet behind them (so the portal shows themselves in front of the portal) and shoots balefire through it at themselves? ANSWER IT!

I consider myself well-versed in Balefirology, so I must attempt a response. It's a long-winded analysis at first, but boils down to one simple point.

First, your question assumes the Gateway can be positioned as you describe. We'll consider it so for the puposes of the question, but certain limitations on gateways exist. For example, you can't superpose Gateways; the second Gateway opened to the exact same location shifts alongside the first Gateway (see Elayne's section in Knife of Dreams). Given that fact, it stands to reason you may not be able to position two Gateways face-to-face with each other either, or place one perpendicular to another so that whoever walks through self-slices in half. In short, Gateways not only allow travel from one place to another, they may exert some stabilizing effect on the immediate area. In any case, we're pretending the scenario is plausible, and I think it is even given odd gateway behaviour.

We've seen one example of a Gateway that could have been affected by balefire. Graendal knew her immediate area well enough to make a gateway and escape Rand's balefire. If her palace was unmade, then the area she was standing in for the last while was not really known to her, and her gateway would have failed. She would have formed the weaves, they would have fell apart, but she would have believed they were there! She would have jumped through the non-existent gateway, landed on the other side of the room, and been balefired.

However, she wisely only made a gateway that went a short distance, so knowing the area was of no importance in getting the weave to work properly. Her gateway worked regardless of the retroactive devastation of the area by balefire. In the end, there's not too much to be learned from this example other than realizing the best defense against balefire is weaves that have no conditions attached.

So, you're a competent channeler, you weave a Gateway in front of you that opens up behind you, and because they are so close, any damage to the area caused by balefire will not affect the existence of your gateway. Looking through the Gateway, you see your own backside, and beyond that another Gateway through which you see your own backside, and so on.

You shoot balefire at yourself (finally a weight-loss plan that works), and the Gateway is untouched by the balefire. The balefire emerges from the Gateway behind you, strikes you, and you are unmade, as are your recent actions.

If you tied off the Gateways and used a feeble amount of balefire that doesn't go back far enough to the time when you wove the Gateways, then your gateways will still be standing until the knots come undone.

If you tied off the gateways and used enough balefire to undo the time when you wove the gateways, then this is what happens: you never wove the gateway because you ceased to exist just before weaving it. No gateways are left standing because you never made it to the point where you wove them. It is as though you stood there about to weave a gateway, then vanished from existence. The Pattern has an easy time correcting your foolishness, no balescream, just a balesqueak.

If you're still holding the gateway open, then the effect is the same as above, you simply vanish just before weaving the gateway, or just after, but in either case the gateway vanishes when you do.

The key point is that it doesn't matter so much what actions you did to enable balefiring yourself, you are undone first, your recent actions are undone as a consequence of you being undone. Nice call Sarevok.

WSB asks what if you strike the balefire weave with balefire? This happened in Shadar Logoth, Rand's One Power undid Moridin's True Power, even as the opposite also happened. As each power undoes the other, it causes the undoing of the source of its own destruction. The reason for the connection established betwen the two men seems to rely on what the True Power and One Pwower represent metaphysically. Rand's philosophy and Moridin's philosophy tried to destroy each other, yet each only exists in contradiction to the other. There is no Light without Dark, there is no free will without destiny, etc. You can't have one without the other. I still don't know what it means or how it works.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:36 PM
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I agree with Sarevok. Balefire erases you from the pattern. This is different from just dying, where your thread remains. Even if your balefire successfully undoes your balefiring yourself, there is no you-thread left to be put back into the pattern.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2012, 03:21 AM
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It's like dividing by zero.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:51 AM
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It's like dividing by zero.
But but, dividing by zero isn't a time paradox.... Its only undefined for operations with real numbers and ints. Its completely possible to define it for other systems.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:34 AM
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If you balefire yourself with an infinitely small amount of balefire, wouldn't that count as dividing by zero in this sense?
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:42 AM
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If you balefire yourself with an infinitely small amount of balefire, wouldn't that count as dividing by zero in this sense?
infinitely small amount = no balefire

So I'd say not balefiring yourself counts as not balefiring yourself.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terez View Post
Interview: Feb 26th, 2003
tarvalon.net Q&A (Verbatim)

Question
If I were to open a gateway in front of me that opened behind me, and I balefired myself, what would happen?

Robert Jordan
Young lady, you are entirely too obsessed and have far too much time. You need to get some sort of life. I suggest you go have an intense love affair. Doesn't matter with who, be it man, woman, or German Shepherd.

Also,


Yes, they can. See Elayne in TPOD, the gateway she was unweaving, Aviendha shooting fireballs through it.
I may be misremembering here, but didn't Rand also send "fire and lightning" through his gateway at Rahvin in TFOH? Right before the part about how "he was death".

Oddly enough, Rahvin blocking it wasn't given a mention, but I imagine that was a given.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:47 PM
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Only on TL do you get long discussions with serious posts to an obvious troll thread. If I was a mod here, I'd have probably closed this thread at first blush and not had a second thought.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:00 PM
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shhh! let them have some fun. It gets far too serious around these parts at times.
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