Aside from the nature of reality being damaged by all the different (and paradoxical) strings that Jake/George had created, I think it also had to do with the harmony (and disharmony) of history causing actual waves or vibrations. I think there was a passage about wavelengths being thrown off by large changes that theorized on this a bit. There also seemed to a sense that history has a system of checks and balances, so if a significant event like the JFK assassination was prevented, there had to be another bad event to balance things out.
This was basically how I understood it. That having too many strings was too much for the Yellow/Orange/Green Card Man to keep track of, and reality was getting sort of "tangled." What I didn't understand, then, was how going back again and resetting (most) things was supposed to fix it? Wouldn't that just add yet another string to the mess without actually untangling anything?I thought it had something to do with the Yellow Card Man saying that if Jake messed up too many strings, reality itself would cease to exist.
I think by going back to 1958 and doing nothing to change the future, and then immediately returning to the future, that weakens (or even erases) all the other strings and strengthens the original string that would have happened if you had never gone back to the past to begin with.
Hmm good theory bro
I thought it was down to the butterfly effect,and also by saving JFK the Vietnam war didn't happen and time being obdurate the non loss of life had to be made up somewhere.Hence all the deaths from earthquakes
I thought of the timeline as a string stretching from the beginning to the end of time.
You are at a point along the string which is 2013. If youu go back in time, the green-yellow-red card man has to 'save' the time so you can go back. Sort of like tying the string around a peg. The more you change things in the past, the harder it is for the green-yellow-red card man to keep the string on the peg.
Jake changed the past and the string popped of the peg causing the earthquakes. Jake returned to a future that wasn't 'his' future since the string had moved.
When he returned to the past, the new orange-card man was able to put the string back on the proper peg.
Does that make sense?