where \/ is a man who was not born yet appearing out of no where and /\ is a man disappearing into no where. So, the question is: How can a man who has not been born yet appear at some point in time. And if he can't appear then how can be ever be born?
But if we take the view of time as stations along a train track, as Anthony discusses in ITLAD, then you have something more like the following (and look at the whole picture at once):
So, you can see that it makes more sense. The man goes back in time and is capable of being a father and meets a woman and they have a baby. That baby happens to grow up to go back in time and is capable of being a father ... Cause and effect are removed from the equation because all the pieces are there, always will be there, always have been there. This would be the view that time is an artifact of our perception. Nothing really changes in this view. Things happen and it's harder to assign cause and effect to the various pieces.
Now think about events where death was averted (such as in not taking our usual train because of a strong feeling that we should wait and the train crashes). To say that we avoided death or that our life was changed implies a linear time concept with cause and effect. What happens now changes what happens in the future. But if we think about the events in our life as static and we are merely tracking through them, then what we do now does not alter the future because the future has already been mapped out. So, we chose not to take the A train and thus avoided the fatal crash because that's what we do -- present tense.
I realize this all seems very boring and deterministic and does not leave room for free will, chance, randomness, whatever. But I've been thinking about our BIMAX and what if the recording was made at the Big Bang? What if the flow of time REALLY is an artifact and our DVD has always existed and we are simply watching a pre-recorded recording? I'm not quite finished ITLAD yet but Anthony spends quite some time on the nature of time and I'm wondering why since all the BIMAX, Many Worlds, etc. pieces seem to rely on time moving forwarded with the future unknown.
If any of this makes a lick of sense to you, comments are appreciated. Thank you and "I know you are going to say that" ;-)