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Temporal Disruption


In DoFS, when the evolved human is transferring records from the past, right at the beginning, the first record is interrupted by a "temporal disruption caused by atypical solar emissions". Now goodness knows everyone asks about the solar emissions (people are just hung up on gas), but I'd like to know how he was getting the files transferred. I was wandering if they were actually being discreetly harvested from the time of the events themselves by use of some kind . My reasons for this are the apparent temporal disruption, and the fact that a lot of pre-burn records would have been fried.

Basically I want to know what the relevance of temporal disruption was.
The temporal disruption has no relevance because there is no mention in the episode of a temporal disruption. What the (presumed) computer voice actually says is, "Continuity error caused by high energy. Correcting for error. Resetting. Do you wish to continue?"

After the Future Ranger says to continue, the compter voice adds: "Loading records for period covering one year through one thousand years from events shown. Please stand by to receive."

So clearly he is looking at records stored on Earth, not the actual events, and preparing them for transmission to "New Earth." The reference to atypical solar emission comes later in the episode, not after the first interruption:

"Confirmed. Note: Atypical solar emissions increasing in intensity. Estimate Sol will hit nova in less than 5 standard hours. Recommend immediate evacuation."

Quotations courtesy of the episode synopsis on "The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5"


Joe, your right about the ship not saying it, I just checked, but temporal distortion is mentioned on the static on-screen just before the bit you mentioned.
Even the 802.11b radio LAN protocol has a temporal key to ensure packet integrity (mainly against intrustion, but also accidental corruption).

I would assume that communications protocols used after a million years would have integrity checking of some kind as well.

Well, perhaps with the exception of Shadows, who might prefer evolutionary algorithms and say: "Well, if it crashed, it wasn't anything bright to begin with. Develop a better protocol on the fly." /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
I just want to know why Sol is going nova after only a million years time (what did we do to it?) and I always thought by the time our sun got too harsh for (at least the current standard of) life on our planet, if we were still around we'd have the ability to move Earth to a more favorable location. Maybe I'm just sentimental like that. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
jms suggested once (NB suggested not confirmed), that it was possible that somebody was opening jump points within Sol, thus reducing it's mass, thus causing it to destabilize, this was the statement that launched a thousand whodunnits.

I've heard many ideas on this, some suggested humanity was getting rid of it's old planet to stop techstealers taking advantage of what was left behind. Some suggest that it was a tactic to stop humanity dragging it's feet, and get them into pushing Earth forward into it's 4th age, teaching the younger races.

I get the impression through the visual indicators, that mankinds political stance is somewhere between the Vorlons and Lorien's. Suggesting that order is valued highly, but not in a manner that chokes growth and development. This is purely speculation though.

I'd love to see some stories of humanities 4th age, but I doubt it would be anywhere near high on jms's agenda.

I believe King Arthur is in a Vorlon suspension chamber buried beneath the Welsh mountains, and that this will surface after the Great Burn, so Arthur can help bring law and order to a ruined Britain. Lets face it, it would have to be Britain's darkest hour.

I also reckon that there was more to Delenn's vision of Valen when she was a child than she realised.
Oh and by the way, you might dare to move the Earth into a more favourable position but you don't want to mess too much with our Solar System, it's carefully balanced. It would be far more economical to relocate to Mars which would first be in the "comfort zone", and later as matters got worse, move to Io and so on and so forth.

When the sun finally goes pop, it won't be worth saving the Earth. All the planetary resources would probably be used up helping our race expand out into the galaxy, it would just be a husk. It's not worth dragging a dead planet into a new solar system, it's far more praqctical to find a new home a New Earth.

Our terraforming skills in a million years time would probably be top notch. We could probably replicate the Earth's design completely, if we wanted to.

Also we would be able to understand DNA as easily as reading the dictionary or learning the alphabet. DNA after all is a language of sorts, it is the language of life. We would be able to recreate every animal plant or person who ever walked the Earth, or make a funky spaceship like the Rangers are using at that time!

I don't necessarily think this myself, but that is my understanding of how scientists approach such things!
I would like to see stories of that era myself. The encounter suits are so awesome. (My, that sounded trivial . . . )

I'd like to see stories of how the Humans and the Minbari (remember, jms confirmed they reached the level of the Vorlons too) interacted with younger races . . . and how, when it finally came time for us to move on out beyond the rim, how we fared. Did we try to hold on too long, like the Shadows and the Vorlons did? Or did Jason Ironheart show up and boot us out (he promised to be back in a million years)? Was Sheridan reborn into one of the younger races to tell us to move our encounter-suited butts?

Maybe someday the books will start exploring this area. I know I could have fun with it.
I was under the impression that there were no more plans for new B5 books. Only reprints of old stories.
"Sometimes, hope is all we have."
Personally, I don't like to jump too far ahead in a time line. It starts getting way to wierd even for us.
We can speculate all we want. The only glimpse of the future that we have is in the story JMS wrote about Marcus and Ivanova being together...about a hundred and forty years in the future. OR something like that. I'm not going to give out any more details in case someone doesn't know about that one.
Time is funny like that. You never really know how much you have until you've wasted three quarters of it and are looking at a deadline coming at you the speed of light.
As Andy Rooney once said, "Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer to the end it gets, the faster it goes."
Finally got a chance to sit down and look at the episode on tape. I can't believe you even saw that "temporal disruption" thing, since it lasts all of a half second. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I suspect that Lennier is correct in saying that this is more likely to refer to the time codes used by the playback system than any actual "temporal anomaly" ala Star Trek. All the other references to what's going on speak of records being transferred, not eavesdropping on the past and creating new recordings, so I'm more inclined to accept an explanation that tallies with that notion.

As for what is causing Sol to go nova so early - why does everybody assume that the Humans are responsible? It seems to me just as likely that it is some Younger Race that is getting too rambunctious and the Humans are taking the path of least resistance - moving to "New Earth" and letting whoever is responsible think they've won this round.


Yeah I don't like the idea that we trashed our own planet either, just heard so much of that about.

Interesting idea about a younger race, but would we really let a lesser force take out our home, just to be passive? It is true that the lone ranger's /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif final statement does seem to indicate that Earth is regarded as part of humanity's past, but not inherantly important to humanity's present. Perhaps this is because, we are spread so far and wide, and are numerous enough for us to have no dependance on Earth whatsoever. Perhaps like the vorlons we have at that point been everywhere, perhaps we ARE everywhere. I wonder how much galactic territory we inhabit. From The B5 security manual, I think pretty much all of Leo was controlled by the vorlons.

Please do not read further if you are unaware of any B5 short stories:

If Marcus was ressurected, and managed to get a rudimentary version of Ivanova up and running, what, a hundred and fifty years forward? It makes you wonder what the resurrection capabilities of the humans circa 1,002,261 AD are. Could our equivalents have been brought back?

Knowing what we are like as a race, I would be willing to bet that at that time there are already some extra-galactic exploring expeditions going on.

I wonder if we bump into the Shadows on the other side, and they get the hump bexause we look so much like the vorlons from the outside?
1. Resurrect in which sense?

From my point of view (personality is information interacting with environment) you cannot resurrect anyone, because you can never know or replicate the factors which created that personality, caused it to learn, grow and adapt in the way it did. One flap of a butterfly's wing, and the person will be different.

The most you can do (theoretically) is creating a crude approximation. After that approximation gains independence and interacts with environment, it will choose its own direction. No matter the effort, randomness will have its way.

Depending on which approach that person develops (or has already developed) wishing harm for the party who performed the "resurrection" may actually not be excluded. This possibility was explored with the artificial "Garibaldi"...

2. Yielding to a lesser force?

It might be possible. After all, the Shadows and Vorlons chose yielding to a lesser force. While the Vorlons lost one planetkiller (of many) the Shadow planetkiller was pretty much ready to fire, eradicate the fleet of the younger races, and possibly also Lorien. They only fired... two missiles with warheads unactivated.

Both were directed at the White Star where the people troubling them resided. They clearly knew the source of opposition. However, even those missiles did not detonate, simply crashed into ships. In this situation, Shadows were more patient than one might expect from their kind.

Instead of using the planetkiller, they tried to convince the opponents one more time. Events passed as they passed, Shadows grossly overestimated their correctness and debating skill. Instead, the opponents convinced them of their own error, and the Vorlons too.

3. Seeing Shadows?

If after a while, decendants the younger races of the B5 era would meet a Shadow, they would know its origin. During the times of departing to New Earth, the Shadow War is still known. Presumably, so are general details about the creatures who organized them.

Even a Shadow might recognize a radically different Human or Minbari. I'm sure that at the point of departing beyond the Rim, they had many details about the Rangers in their databases. Seeing a ship sporting a large symbol of the Anla'Shok, they would quickly deduct its origin.
What i meant about seeing the Shadows on the flip side was that would they interpret the appearance of humanities technology and encounter suits as meaning they had become more like the vorlons, not would they actually mistake them for vorlons, after all their is a difference in the configuration of the ships, and as you say the big Isil Z'ha badge on the side is a dead give away.

How well saturated do you think humanity is though? I still got the impression that mankinds numbers and needs have outgrown their need for Earth in terms of resources, size and favourable location.

I just had a thought.

Maybe New Earth is like the Constantinople of The Christian Roman Empire. Constantine decided (for various reasons) that the capital should be moved from the traditional setting of Rome, so he created a new one. After it was established, it shared power with Rome until the empire was divided. Eventually Constantinople's star rose, and it became the seat of power for the Byzantine people... Byzantium.

I was thinking that Earth could have been equivalent to Rome in that scenario. That maybe the An'la Shok working together created the need for a more convenient homeworld location. Babylon 5 was built in neutral territory, where alien races could come together to sort out their differences. Maybe this is the Alliance's approach to leading the younger races. Set up your homeworld in the centre of where they are all based, so they can come to you to sort out their differences and learn from you. It would be in keeping with the "humans build communities" spirit that Delenn observed.

Maybe it is just me, but Earth seemes pretty barren by the time the Ranger leaves orbit, do you think that was the fault of the atypical solar emissions, or do you just think we'd exhausted the Earth anyway and it had it's day, maybe continuning to use it would be flogging the proverbial dead horse.

Well I'm going to go now, these words are probably all muddled up anyway as it is nearly 2am here.

God Speed everyone /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
Even in most general terms... I cannot know.

However, I can guess. There are roughly six billion humans. Our current existence means... pretty much oversized locusts. Consuming almost as much as we can, reproducing almost equally fast. Just like oversized locusts, we live only for a while, after which a new generation must take over.

How would this balance change, in case of creatures possessing detailed knowledge and experience regarding their own structure and function? Enough to jump over their own shadow -- repair, maintain, perhaps even knowingly build and change themselves?

I suspect their population would be large, but not necessarily greater. Enough to maintain diversity and manage their tasks, but much less crowded, I would suspect. Less than would fit in their living environment. For us and most creatures like us, large numbers are a necessary precaution to ensure quick evolution and general survival of our kind.

For creatures who no longer need the safety net of population numbers, and can multiply more efficiently if the need should arise, I suspect that typical population levels would be smaller. In the imaginary world of Babylon 5, there might be tens of billions of Humans and Centauri, but only one billion of Shadows or Vorlons, perhaps even less.

Even with their smaller numbers, such creatures would consume countless times more energy, store and process countless times more information, even when using less matter to produce that energy and store that information.

With technical enhancements to original biological structures, their personality would probably lean towards greater flexibility, greater independence and detachment from body. One might speculate that with creatures like Shadows, the word "body" might mean something like "customized personal living environment".

I suspect they would change bodies much like we change our clothes, according to need and mood. With sufficiently long time, it might be possible for our natural mode of living to disappear. Having your own body would probably be convenient, but if needed, one could manage without it.

Shadows would probably be quite puzzled by the fact that the younger races cannot transfer their mind from one computing environment into another. Just like for us, having your own car is more convenient than using public transport, for a Shadow, having your own body would greatly facilitate travel, research, study and communication.

Ships would probably be considered simply another level of extension, something like "customized portable long-range transport environement". Their sensors would be just another replacement for eyes, their tools and weapons just another replacement for hands.

With a greatly diminished, perhaps entirely disappeared role of natural biology, along with increasing role of artificial systems performing similar tasks, reproduction would probably become much easier, much more efficient. I suspect that in our eyes, Shadow reproduction would qualify as gross software piracy. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

They might possibly take part of their own personality, perhaps parts of others too, assemble something they would consider suitable. They would allocate it some memory, give it some processing time, initially let it grow as part of their own mind. Finally, they would probably transfer it into a new living environment, where it could grow, learn and interact with the world independently.

Our kind reproduces by transfer of cells and genes, letting them gradually build a new person, a mind which gradually programs itself. Shadows or Vorlons would probably not rely on genes. Their development probably relies that heavily on the mind... that they would probably assemble the mind first, and provide it with a body later.

Individual development might occur on an entirely different timescale. We learn in decades, use our knowledge for decades, then slowly become forgetful and fade away, either quickly or slowly. For creatures of Shadow/Vorlon technical level, learning might take centuries, millennia, ages. With little or no forgetfulness, I suspect they would have to manage their own memory.

All pure speculation, suitable ideas for fan fiction. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Lennir, you speak of Shadows being "surprised" at one thing or another. They've been around so long; why would they be surprised at anything? (Except the younger races getting tired of them and throwing them out. "He has opened an unexpected door . . . ")

Also I imagined that by the time of the Great War (the one we know) there were only a handful of Vorlons and Shadows. The Shadows were using Humans to run their ships, which I take to mean that they were a little low on suitable candidates among their own ranks. And how many Shadows/Vorlons do we see in the whole series?
-- 2 Shadows with Morden early on
-- 3 with him when they take down Kosh
-- 2 killed by Londo
-- 1 on Z'ha'dum when Sheridan's there.
Some of these probably overlap. For all we know, there's a grand total of 3 Shadows left, plus the Eye. The ships probably count for something, but even still we don't see many shadows at all.

The Vorlons we see are even fewer in number: Kosh and Ulkesh. I believe that the two Vorlons we get a quick glimpse of at the end of War Without End are our well-known duo. There's the reflection we can see on Lyta's tank on the Vorlon homeworld, but that could easily be Ulkesh himself. (It's certainly not Kosh; wrong encounter suit.)

Now compare this to the number of Humans or Narns we see in the series. See my point?

JMS did say that there were "a bunch" of Vorlons on the main ship visible in "Interludes and Examinations," but my point stands: the old races are dwindling. There are quite possibly fewer than a thosand left of each kind.
Points to consider:

I recall hearing that the explosion on Z'ha'dum killed many Shadows. How many is many, remains an open question. However, despite many being lost, they felt confident enough to step up the war. I would guess that if many were lost, many more got majorly annoyed.

I also recall reading the technomage books, which are naturally not the original story told onscreen, only based on outlines by JMS. However, those stories depict quite many Shadows. Hundreds on Galen's journey towards the Eye... would translate to millions on Z'ha'dum. Tens on a remote colony world... might translate to approximately one billion in the whole galaxy.

About Vorlons, I really cannot tell. If any information about their numbers has been presented, it has gone unnoticed to me. I only one occasion of Kosh telling that they are "not sufficiently many" to move yet. However in this case, Kosh might have meant military strength, not population numbers.


Would one really expect every Shadow or Vorlon in the galaxy to show up publicly? Direct presence would be rather unconductive to achieveing indirect manipulation of younger races. Being seen was not in their interests. Hence, one should not expect to see them. There might be a thousand Shadows, might be a million, might be a billion. We would still see five.

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