Saturday, 22 July 2017


When Everard persuades Carl that he must return to the Gothic period in order to play the role of Odin betraying his followers, this is because, in their timeline, that betrayal has already occurred.

Thus, if Carl refuses to return, the first problem will be the arrival in the twentieth century of that Carl who did appear in the Gothic period and enact the betrayal. Carl’s current intransigence would have prevented his departure from the present but not his arrival in the past because that had happened earlier. I quote the rules of time travel taught in the Academy.

Everard tells Carl that an incipient causal loop can set up a resonance which can produce catastrophically multiplying historical changes. He does not tell us what a resonance is but could it mean this? - Carl’s refusal to conduct the mission of betrayal duplicates Carl; then, if either Carl travels further into the past than the Gothic period, there is the danger that, when he returns to the twentieth century, it will be to the twentieth century of a timeline in which Odin’s descendants were not betrayed, did defeat their enemy and did bring it about that an entirely different story was recorded in the Volsungasaga, thus preventing the history in which a Carl Farness sets out to track down the origin of the story of Odin’s betrayal.
-copied from here

I have copied an earlier attempt to answer a question asked in current posts. Manse Everard says that an incipient causal loop can set up a resonance that can produce catastrophically multiplying changes of history. Can it? Does the Patrol know this? How often has it happened? How was it rectified? Or is Manse's statement mainly theoretical?

In physics, resonance is a phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at specific frequencies. Frequencies at which the response amplitude is a relative maximum are known as the system's resonant frequencies or resonance frequencies.
-copied from here

A resonance is an interaction between two systems or between a force and a system. Catastrophically multiplying changes of history must mean that one change would cause so many other changes that it would be difficult or impossible for the Patrol to identify and counteract the original change.


S.M. Stirling said...

If the Goths had defeated the Huns -- it's implied that would happen if the brothers had killed Ermannaric -- the 20th century would be catastrophically different. That was a major -political- turning point; it was the beginning of the Volkerwanderung, the Migration Period, as entire ethnic groups went bouncing around Europe (and North Africa!) like billiard balls, bringing down the Western Roman Empire and severely damaging the eastern half. The Roman defeat at Adrianople is just one early incident. If the Goths and the others had stayed... well, just for starters, the whole area covered by the Slavic languages in our history would be speaking languages descended from East Germanic (which is extinct in our history).

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

I certainly agree history would have been drastically different if the Teurings had slain Ermanaric. For one thing, I think Manse Everard told Carl that Christianity would have spread far more slowly than it did in our timeline. Because the Goths, if led by the Teurings, would have had far more CONVICTION in Carl/Wotan/Odin as their chief god.

Yes, unweakened by internal strife, the Goths would not have fled from the Huns, but fight them off, and thus stayed in what is now Poland/Ukraine. No Volkerwanderung too would have meant a STUNNINGLY different history.