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A portal opens in your room allowing time travel- do you go in? And to when?


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Machu Pichu during its heyday. I'm kind of adventurous. I wanna see what they did and how they lived. I'd really hope that when i jump through the portal I'm uber healthy though. My current health means I'd probably be wheezing at that high altitude.

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Its hard to know what Id ACTUALLY do if a rift in time and space actually tore a hole big enough to walk through in my bedroom. It'd be up there for most unexpected/shocking/turning-the-world-upsidedown event ever. It'd be up there in the formative/landmark experiences along side being abducted/invited by Aliens to another planet.

 

Id LIKE to think I could stroll through the portal without much hesitation, natural curiosity and a sense of adventure over taking me. But then a jedi craves not adventure or excitement. Maybe Id cower in the corner of my room until the mind blowing phenomenon in my room disappears?

 

Having said all that.....

 

Id be curious to see ancient Egypt. Nice climate, their civilization must've been pretty amazing (to say the least) to have left an impact until now. Plus their dress sense and open sexuality seem rather idillic, and I would perhaps find out just who built the pyramids. Simple people with simple tools, chisels and the like, but with a fuck-ton of slave power....or extra terrestrial overlords from another dimension. Laugh if you will, but I did just step through a rift in the time/space continuum.

 

Language is probably gonna be a bit of a barrier. But I reckon immersion will force quick learning. Maybe 6 months and Ill be fluent? (Im assuming Im not coming back through the portal). My pale skin, blue eyes and straw colored hair is gonna be a dead give away Im not local though. So hopefully providing they don't kill me on the spot out of xenophobia maybe I can wow them with something revolutionary. I could show the hieroglyph writers and artists contrapposto. Or you know... an alphabet or something. But more likely I'll be able to offer them absolutely nothing, and Ill be awestruck that they've already figured out harmonic levitation and building the pyramids was a walk in the park. But at least I'll have some answers.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

 

So my safe/boring/typical plan would be to go back to the late 80s or early 90s and invest that $10k of local money into stock options with a tech start up that I know will do well (like Apple for example) when they go public down the road. Return home, and cash in.

 

 

Dammit! I was going to say something like that! I'd be the mysterious silent partner and invest my $10,000 to get in on the ground floor of Microsoft in 1975 and/or Apple Corp in 1976, or any other business that is now worth billions. But since you've already said it, I guess I would have to settle for travelling to 2065, and getting that copy of Gray's Sports Almanac 2015-2065, converting it to PDF, save it to a USB drive, and hold it in my mouth before re-entering the portal back to present day!

 

Then I set my greed aside. I wondered what it would be like if I went back to an important in history or archaeology that has been disputed by scholars, and observe to know the real story. Then I would come back and write about it. However, I started thinking about that, and without actual proof, my account might not be accepted, anyway. Considering how bureaucratic and slow to change academics are, especially when it comes to history and archaeology, when something else is already accepted as the undisputed "truth." I'd probably be considered some crackpot, and laughed out of the building, anyway.

 

But then, I started thinking what would I like to change. And then it hit me. The thing I would most like to do is go back to August 13th, 2013, at about noon, and wake up my mom, to keep her from passing away in her sleep. But then I wonder if this should be done. What if I saved her that time, only for her to pass away later on, and then suffer doing it (like lingering in a hospital, which is something she wouldn't have wanted)? Hard decision to make. :cry:

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I would probably go far enough forward in time where I wasn't alive anymore, probably to where my kids couldn't be alive, either. 100, 150 years? I would want to see if we're all still stuck on this rock, scientific and technological advances, etc. But only if I'm guaranteed to come back (assuming I don't do something stupid like step in front of a hover bus). My family would probably be pretty pissed if I didn't come back.

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After reading all the rules on the portal, and considering all the dangers, I'm estimating it would take me some time to decide if I WANT to jump in the portal at all. My own desire to stay alive and not create paradoxes where i would prevent my own birth would prevent me from going back to any time before I was born, which basically flies in the face of the cool power of traveling through time to observe awesome moments in history. So as much as I'd love it, no ancient Egypt, Rome, or Athens for me.

 

I would spent at least a few minutes in real time trying to find a safe time and place for doing this. In that time, if the portal were still open, I would probably convince myself to simply travel back in time a mere two minutes, high five myself (who was expecting me) and remind him not to forget to jump into the portal. WOW! Thanks for the easy $10K Carrie!

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Still seems risky to me. Refer back to my discussion with Axis on this, on the last page. You have no way of knowing how your previous self will react to seeing a future self. Axis seemed to think he'd be completely fine, and maybe so, but it's just a huge risk. No one knows exactly what a person's emotional reaction to seeing that would be. It could be relatively nothing, but it could also be shock-inducing, causing your old self to be driven into insanity.

 

I think pavonis gave one of the best answers on the last page. You don't want to necessarily go into the future, since the uncertainty is too high. The past is probably safer, but there's a very narrow window that's ideal- far enough back that you wouldn't be expected to carry around certain documentation (IDs and the like), but not too far that you'd be completely out of place and unable to survive (in terms of language, culture, etc.) and at risk of serious diseases and what not. Basically that window is sometime in the late 1800s to about 1930 or so. Pav's plan of 1900 New England is probably similar to what I'd end up doing.

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I once read somewhere that if you ever saw yourself in person you may not recognize yourself as we only ever see ourselves in photographs and mirrors. I don't remember where I read this or know anything about the validity of the claim, but I think the idea has merit. Plus, throw in a few decades of aging and weight changes and I can totally believe someone might not recognize themselves from the future. Recognizing your past self is obviously a different story.

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Still seems risky to me. Refer back to my discussion with Axis on this, on the last page. You have no way of knowing how your previous self will react to seeing a future self. Axis seemed to think he'd be completely fine, and maybe so, but it's just a huge risk. No one knows exactly what a person's emotional reaction to seeing that would be. It could be relatively nothing, but it could also be shock-inducing, causing your old self to be driven into insanity.

Perhaps, but consider the mind set of Dana 2 mins past. He's sitting in front of a time travel portal, considering ways to not explode the space-time continuum by having two uber-handsome men occupying the same universe at the same time, and how to make the time-travel opportunity work for him. Then, Just as he's considering short-range time travel, and probably getting undressed, Dana from 2 mins future pops out of thin air with the $10K, and starts explaining. What happens next is anybody's guess. Considering Dana 2 mins past has, at least partially, wrapped his head around the idea of bumping into his future self, he should be able to work out who this other stud is without going insane. He is a little spooked, but knows what he has to do and jumps into the portal. He's gone. Dana from 2 mins future, is spooked about the last few minutes, and may have a nightmare tonight. But you know what? $10K buys a lot of ambien and klonopin. I bet he'd get over it.

 

Or not. Who knows. At least I had the stones to jump in. Besides, I'd miss my wife if I went into the past and made her non-existent .

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Still seems risky to me. Refer back to my discussion with Axis on this, on the last page. You have no way of knowing how your previous self will react to seeing a future self. Axis seemed to think he'd be completely fine, and maybe so, but it's just a huge risk. No one knows exactly what a person's emotional reaction to seeing that would be. It could be relatively nothing, but it could also be shock-inducing, causing your old self to be driven into insanity.

 

I think pavonis gave one of the best answers on the last page. You don't want to necessarily go into the future, since the uncertainty is too high. The past is probably safer, but there's a very narrow window that's ideal- far enough back that you wouldn't be expected to carry around certain documentation (IDs and the like), but not too far that you'd be completely out of place and unable to survive (in terms of language, culture, etc.) and at risk of serious diseases and what not. Basically that window is sometime in the late 1800s to about 1930 or so. Pav's plan of 1900 New England is probably similar to what I'd end up doing.

Pav's idea is the safest? He's totally changing history! What if he starts a chain reaction that allows the Nazis to get the bomb in 1938 and they win WW2? We'd have to go find the Guardian of Forever, go back in time through it, and kill Pav to set history right again.

 

However, if you go into the future, instead, you are only changing the past of people who have not yet come into being. So who cares about them.

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Though the conditions say paradoxes are possible, the laws of physics are logically consistent and paradoxes don't arise. So if the portal connects two points on a fixed, immutable timeline, my appearance in 1900 with knowledge of nuclear physics (though not nuclear engineering) shouldn't change the sequence of events that lead to nuclear weapons being developed.

 

If the portal leads to another point on a mutable timeline, then I promise to avoid discussing nukes with people who have German accents.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Though the conditions say paradoxes are possible, the laws of physics are logically consistent and paradoxes don't arise. So if the portal connects two points on a fixed, immutable timeline, my appearance in 1900 with knowledge of nuclear physics (though not nuclear engineering) shouldn't change the sequence of events that lead to nuclear weapons being developed.

 

If the portal leads to another point on a mutable timeline, then I promise to avoid discussing nukes with people who have German accents.

http://io9.gizmodo.com/5591796/physicists-reveal-how-the-universe-guarantees-paradox-free-time-travel

 

Based on that article, I hear what you are saying, but I remain unconvinced. Especially the thin explanation that the universe will somehow "take care of it" when it comes to the Grandfather Paradox (at least with the way the article reads it sounds too much like a hand wave of God to be a theory based on science), and Lloyd's failure to send subatomic particles into the past only prove he's doing it wrong.

 

And who is to say that by NOT consulting anyone with German accents is the answer, anyway? Maybe THAT is the cause? :p

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I wonder if everyone here understands how easy it would be to mess stuff up by traveling back in time and doing ANYTHING that involves human contact with ANYONE. Your mere presence may give someone pause, turn their head, and throw off their day by a half a second...which is more than enough to change the landscape of the world. Suppose that person was supposed to have sex later on that night, but because his day was off by that half-second, a different sperm were to cause fertilization, completely changing the identity of an important person, and every generation after that?

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