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Ookla the Turbulent

Time bubbles in the modern era

7 posts in this topic

Preface: This question is quite nerdy and I don’t expect anyone to think this is interesting but be.

So I’ve been thinking about how the Mistborn Modern Era would work, so as the 2nd era has shown mistborn is on track to follow earth like technology (e.g. guns, cars, etc.) so it’s quite clear that computers are going to become a part of life on scadrial at some point. My question is how would a timebubble (of any sort) effect the action of a computer. Specially how would a timebubble effect a fibre optic connection, from my understanding fibre optics work by flashing a light on and off in different pulses which corespond to 1s and 0s in binary if you have a timebubble around that connection could you scramble that data by compressing the intervals with timebubbles.

If anyone smarter than me can shed some light on this that’s be great. 

Thank you for reading my super nerdy question

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I believe that that would be an issue. I think that aluminum plating of these machines will become a thing to avoid people messing with them.

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The problem wouldn't be with the time difference so much as with the edge of the bubble. Objects going through the edge of the bubble get thrown a little off course, and as far as I can tell there is a visual distortion at the edge as well. If either of these would mean that not all of the flashes would get through, then yea, you would either have data corruption or even a complete loss of connection. If that is the case, then you might need to have aluminum lined cables and machines

As for the problem you mention specifically, I can think of a simple solution: A second cable that flashes on and off regularly. At that point, the time difference isn't a problem. Let me see if I can demonstrate. (This is probably over-simplified, but you should get the general idea)

(Empty space = 0, and | = 1)

Under our current system:

|| |    ||| |  ||  |  | |   ||   | | ||

becomes 110100001110100110010010100011000101011

Now, let's have the same sequence, but a time bubble gets in the way and slows the signal down:

|| |    ||| |  ||  |  | |   ||||||||            ||||    ||||    ||||||||

The computer now reads it as 110100001110100110010010100011111111000000000000111100001111000011111111, which is definitely wrong.

 

Now, let's do it with my system: (Each line is one cable)

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
|| |    ||| |  ||  |  | |   ||   | | ||

The computer reads the data as 110100001110100110010010100011000101011

Throw in the time bubble:

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | ||||    ||||    ||||    ||||    ||||    ||||
|| |    ||| |  ||  |  | |   ||||||||            ||||    ||||    ||||||||

As you can see, the first cable gets slowed down at the same time, so you can get the exact same reading of 110100001110100110010010100011000101011 by comparing the two cables instead of basing the reading on time intervals.

 

Now, you might get problems in situations where the connection is sped up if the sensors can't read the flashes when they are coming in 10 times as fast. But you'd also be able to find solutions.

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This fails to account for the fact that time bubbles affect whole objects (as determined by their cognitive/spiritual aspect). You could screw up the timing between two separate computers, but a single computer would either be entirely sped up or slowed down.

As for data transfer between computers, my knowledge on data transfer protocol is shaky, but I don't think there would be any effect since time bubbles don't change the spacing between voltage pulses/photons. A carefully placed bubble might be able to add a phase shift to two signals that need to be synced (by effectively reducing the path length for one of them), but again aluminum shielding would hopefully become cheap and common by the time that computers become widespread.

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I believe aluminum shielding would be cheap enough to prevent any problems.  How much would be necessary?  After all, aluminum foil is widely available on earth and relatively inexpensive. 

Alternately, I'm not sure that a time bubble would have much effect on an internet connection (other than annoying the person in the time bubble waiting for the response).  Sanderson seems to try to have his magic systems adhere as much as possible with scientific rules and in this case, the change would likely be a slight Doppler shift.  The speed of the light signal (assuming relativity still applies) does not change.  Perhaps someone more versed in fiber optic cable could give more information, however, I doubt that a slight shift would be able to change a 0 to a 1 or vice versa.

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There's already no Doppler shift on the photon level (confirmed in world and by Sanderson, who won't say why). I don't see why there would be any Doppler shift on signals based on light. I could see the scattering at the borders of a time bubble resulting in some noise or distortion of signals (similar to the faint rippling seen by characters in time bubbles), but you have to realize that any effects that would screw with computers (beyond the fact that the apparent processing speed of neighboring machines has drastically changed) would also be noticable by humans looking out of the bubble, which are known not to be present.

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I'm not so much worried about the speed of light, as much as the capacity of the computer to read the data. What happens when you are getting data sent to you 10 times as fast as normal? Can the sensors/readers grasp all of it? I'm not familiar with how the technology works, so forgive me if this wouldn't be a problem after all.

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