Congratulations on being selected as an alternate timeline research candidate. Your curiosity is what fuels humanity’s increasing understanding of what might have happened in the past, if other stuff had happened in the past. With your candidacy comes a responsibility to understand the deep ethical and moral considerations of timeline synthesis. Creating alternate timelines for the sole purpose of research is a dangerously godlike power that mankind definitely has no right to, but we have it, so we’ve created some guidelines. This is an introduction to the capabilities of timeline synthesis technology and ethical framework for creating synthetic timelines that conform to high quality scientific research standards and respect basic human decency as legally required.
Alternate timeline research has been made possible by a suite of time synthesis processes, but the core of technology is made possible by controlling the phenomenon of suspended xenon double beta decay. In practice, this technology allows the transfer of small volumes of mass from the present to arbitrary past timespace coordinates. This process creates a multiverse fracture that can be tracked by the quantum signature of the transferred mass. The present is unchanged because the mass only exists in the newly synthesized timeline. The mass can later be retrieved for analysis. Robust materials including equipment and some hardy microorganisms can be transferred, but the process is not survivable for complex organisms.
The earliest research missions involved passive recording devices which did little to alter the timelines they created. However, some of these devices were discovered in historical contexts where they made no sense, and became responsible for shaping worldwide religious and philosophical beliefs that made even less sense. It became clear that even seemingly inconsequential experiments require a thorough review for their potential to exacerbate human being’s fundamental irrationality.
The current state-of-the-art for timeline alteration includes extensive capabilities to modify the status of human civilization at nearly any point in the past. Surveillance, signal intelligence, and advanced robotics technologies allow application of precision manipulation of individual humans, geographic or social groups, selection by gnomic properties, or publically available information such as income. A recent mission successfully vaccinated all left-handed orphans against the bubonic plague, later resulting in a left-handed racial purification of Europe, confirming several long held hypotheses about the left-handed.
A well developed temporal analysis toolchain allows timeline synthesis researchers to concentrate on the desired modification and data analysis with few practical limitations.
The ethics of timeline synthesis itself has been debated by the public since its inception, but as research candidates are chosen by their ability to see the greater good of scientific discovery.
As a research candidate, you are responsible for crafting timeline modifications by the strictest ethical standards applicable. The fate of trillions of human lives could be defined by your scientific curiosity. It is up to you to make the changes you make to their lives meaningful enough to justify the outcome.
Human experiences outside of the legally defined prime timeline are understood to be mathematical constructs. Though they are parallel realities that exist as fundamental parts of the cosmic space-time continuum, their only connection to the prime timeline is through our controlled manipulation. By that fact, the prime timeline effectively creates and thereby retains ownership of the data extracted from the synthetically altered timelines. And since the timelines are understood as mathematical constructs, the unit constructs within the total timeline are ancillary legal properties to be used at the discretion of the legal owners.
The prospect of other timelines breaching our prime timeline and making the same legal claim has been discussed as a legal hypothetical, but the first alteration made to any timeline is to initiate a xenon double beta decay cascade rendering the timeline incapable of ever developing the technology on its own. Thus the hypothetical legal debate carries little weight.
There were admittedly some early excesses in timeline synthesis research. There is no question that it is morally abhorrent to mutate ancient canines so that their farts smell like bacon so early hominids always eat them and never develop a lasting symbiotic bond between their species. And there is no excuse for giving ancient humans ready access to virtual reality pornography to see if they still develop pornography.
These experiments were not rigorous applications of the scientific method and they were high profile mistakes that set the time synthesis research field back years. As unfortunate as these incidents were, they led to a more productive, and publicly palatable framework for conducting this important research.
The modern framework for ethical research is built weighing the universal benefits of knowledge against the potential temporary suffering of legally nonexistent beings. This balance is achievable by using contextual multipliers to objectively validate or reject the moral balance of a proposed timeline alteration.
In the infamous bacon farts and VR porn experiments, this balance was not properly calculated. To illustrate the effectiveness of modern ethical considerations, lets reconstruct these experiments using the modern framework.
The historical outcomes of the bacon fart experiment were rendered scientifically invalid because at that time, smoke cured meats were entirely unknown to hominids. The alternate path of human history without dogs, while fascinating, was simply a novelty. The modified myths of Romulus and Remus being raised by falcons instead of wolves, the subsequent Roman Empires focus on flight that changed the course of human technology, and the ultimate genetic transformation of humankind into birdmen, it was a wasted trove of scientific data. The entire experiment was rendered meaningless, and therefore immoral, because of bacon.
The recovered data from the caveman VR porn experiment was likewise fascinating, but useless. Humanity became a mindless hive species that only interacted to fulfill basic biological needs, only developing crude worm and grub farming techniques, but otherwise living packed together in tribal huddles that constantly groped each other. But any hope of applying this research to functional models of human sexuality is useless because the researchers chose only cosplay porn, invalidating the results by introducing uncontrolled cultural variables.
Both experiments could have met ethical standards by simply respecting the validity of the outcome. Later followup experiments using indeterminate burning meat farts and a wider variety of VR porn were accepted as ethically compliant due to the research providing the required benefit of knowledge to justify the radically immoral use of godlike power.
We hope this brief introduction, discussion of past mistakes, and reconstructive analysis was useful and helped you understand your role and responsibilities in creating ethical synthetic timelines for the benefit of all prime timeline humankind.
Be professional, be scientific, and most of all, be creative.