May 06, 2005

Time-Travel Party Didn't Work Out, Tomorrow

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure Amal Dorai's bash at M.I.T. tomorrow is gonna be a good time. Top-notch physicists will speak, top-notch students will listen, somebody will spike the punch, to be sure. You can't stop those M.I.T. kids.

But nobody from the year 2770 will come. or 5990. Or really any time past 10pm on Saturday May 7, 2005.

Today, May 6, 2005, is apparently the time for me to come out and explain something I've theorized for years. And years.

Here's my statement, and I'll make it now lest everybody think I came up with it after tomorrow's bomb of an experiment.

Time travel to past points will never be invented / discovered / developed. Ever.

There. I feel much better.

Now, in case you think I'm being smug, and you think there may be some time far far in the future where I'll be proven wrong, just understand, I've already been proven right.

I've been proven right, in fact, every single day that has transpired in the millions of years since the earth first formed. This is really quite simple. If at any time, ever, ever, in the future, be it 90 years from now, or 90 gozillion years from now, if time travel to past points were to come about, then we would already have been visited by someone from the future. Last year perhaps, last millenium maybe, any number of times and places in the past "billions and billions" of possible moments that a future traveller would have landed in his or her past.

I mean, even if for thousands upon thousands of years the powers that be will thwart all attempts by unscrupulous individuals to tinker with the past, even to simply come and see it, don't you suppose that given enough time, eons maybe, that somebody would successfully commandeer a machine and zing back into the past? And that then in the ensuing gazillion years after that, then another one or ten or 50,000 trips would eventually be logged? You think that if time-travel becomes a reality, that in the vast limitless future, absolutely NONE of those theoretical time-trips would have been made to any point in time before Saturday May 7, 2005? Ever?


Wait till tomorrow night at 10 p.m., which is the time that Amal Dorai has selected as the moment when visitors from the future should come to East Campus Courtyard at M.I.T.

Oh, yes, forgot: latitude and longitude have been provided on the invitations(42:21:36.025 degrees north, 71:05:16.332 degrees west), in case the school doesn't exist in the far-flung future from whence these partiers will arrive.

Remember Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure? The scene where they're being hotly pursued, and they come up with a great idea, goes something like this: "This is important - Tomorrow, we have to remember to come back in time, to here, at 10:00 this morning, and hide a smoke bomb right behind this couch! Hey, look, here's the smoke bomb! Awesome! Dude!"

Well, this party is kinda like that. We can all spend the next 50 years creating lavish invitations and putting them in movies and books and on space-ships and so on, and simply supply the information for the May 7, 2005 MIT bash.

Many of Amal's friends have already been putting invitations on acid free paper and slipping them into obscure library books that may not be opened for decades or centuries. Awesome! Dude!

Funny, I'll have to dredge it up somewhere, but in 1993 or so I read a really cool novel set right here in San Diego (La Jolla actually), about some UCSD physicists in the 1980's who come up with a way to shoot some sort of particle at a time-space location where the earth had been in the 1960's. And they send messages back in morse code and hope that some grad student somewhere picks something up on a machine and recognizes the obviously intelligently arranged pattern in the static as a message. To test their experiment they suggest the recipient of their message put package at the post office in La Jolla to be held for Dr. Suchandsuch to pick up in 1988 or something. Then Dr. Suchandsuch simply drove down to the post office and, DUDE!, there's a package that some 1963 UCSD Intern delivered as instructed.

But back to my thesis. Tomorrow will forever disappoint anyone hoping for such a temporal miracle - err, not that I'm mixing religion and science here. Figure of speech.

And if I can't find that book any time soon, I'll just have to send a coded message back to myself in 1993 so that I will have put it into a lock-box at the bank down the street.

Funny, I don't remember ever getting a message like that.

The Time Traveler Convention - May 7, 2005


At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Mike Sheffler said...

I was pretty proud of myself when, in about seventh grade, I reasoned that we probably won't ever invent time travel, because otherwise the Zapruder film would be jam-packed with time tourists trying to figure out what really happened at the JFK assasination.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Don Sheffler said...

Shefflers are, simply, geniuses. Or is that genii? Damn, I'm a stupid.


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