What would you do with a time machine?

Here’s the rules: You have a time machine. You can only use it to visit the past. You can’t change any past events – if you try to stop Booth from shooting Lincoln, something will get in your way and you will fail. But you can gather information and artifacts. You could, for instance, visit ancient Rome or Greece and buy copies of long-lost books. You could visit the Library of Alexandria with a pocket scanner and make copies of everything. You could go back the 50s, head straight for a newsstand and buy every comic book on the rack. You could film the Battle of Hastings. You could witness the crucifixion of Jesus and find out what happened to his body afterwards.

What would be first on your list?

I’d want to smoke a joint with Jimi Hendrix.

And I know I’m not the only one.

I think the Library of Alexandria would be near the top. Along with the Aztec and Inca books before the Conquistators got them, and the lost Shakespeare, and the early-twentieth movies that were destroyed when their film decayed (or exploded), and the computer data that can no longer be read, and…

Yes, lots of job-security for archivists in the future, why do you ask?

Oh, and I’d want to get video of certain prophets, too.

I’d like to go back and see my grandparents as young people. My grandmother is less than two months from her 100th birthday, and she loves to talk about her life, and we love to listen.

The LoA, as has been mentioned. Or maybe see how the great pyramids were really built. There are several conflicting theories as to building methods.

Not sure that this is not against the rules, but as I stated in a different “time travel” thread, I would bring radically out of place artifacts from the present and leave them where I knew that future archeologist would dig. You know, things like plastic Star Wars action figures left in the ruins of Pompeii, or color photos snuck into documents that were hundreds of years before photography. Basically I would use it to play pranks.

Elizabethan England, ca. 1580. Seamstresses’ and tailors’ shops. Me and a digital camera and many notebooks for notes and diagrams. Oooh, and a big trunk so I can haul back all the clothing I can manage to have made for myself. I think I’ll bill myself as from Atlantis, since there’s no hope in hell I’d have a believable Elizabethan accent. After England, I’d make pitstops in all the European countries I could possibly get to. So, I’d probably be spending at least ten years in the 16th century.

My second choice would be Lead Rush Wisconsin. 1830s-ish. After that, I’d like to be with my dad’s side of the family when they came to Wisconsin in the 1840s. Just to see what they were like – and to figure out what part of England they actually came from. C’mon, guys, is it Cornwall or Yorkshire?

And then off to the country formerly known as Prussia!

No your not. But there area others that I would like smoke a joint with :smiley:

I will assume this is a one time thing. I don’t know what, but it would be some thing trivial I wouldn’t try to fine the answer of life and everything (that is 49 = 6x9 according The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

See the sun sent In Athens or Roam and smoke a joint :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

To hell with comic books; I’d go back to the day before the last $200 million powerball and buy tickets.

If I could be invisible, I’d love to go spy on Edwin Stanton just before the Lincoln assassination or LBJ just before the death of JFK to test some old conspiracy theories. I’d also love to find out where Alexander the Great’s tomb was and map its longitude/latitude, take photographs of the Mausoleum and or the Temple of Diana at Ephesis and or the Hanging Gardens, videotape one of Sarah Bernhardt’s plays in her prime (ca. 1870s/1880s) or the crucifixion. I’d like to climb aboard the Mary Celeste on its last voyage to see what happened, see if it really was Hauptmann who kidnapped the Lindbergh baby, follow Jimmy Hoffa from the time of his last recorded actions.

Can I talk to anyone? I’d love to take my Palm Pilot back to the '40s just to blow Alan Turing’s mind.

I’d try to answer some of the questions that remain unanswered such as:

Was Bruno Hauptmann really the kidnapper of the Lindbergh baby?
Was there a shooter on the grassy knoll?
What happened to Glenn Miller, Amelia Earhart, and Jimmy Hoffa?

I’m unclear on the rules, here. If I can bring back artifacts, can I bring back people as well? Why not? If it’s the history-changing part of it, how about if I pick up someone mortally wounded (but who could be saved by modern medicine) and leave some other disguised corpse in his place? Because I’d kind of like to rescue Archimedes.

For other uses, I might point interested readers to Asimov’s short story “The Dead Past”. This device is a lot more versatile than most folks realize, but I won’t spoil how.

Heathen! It’s 42. (But it’s still 6x9)

um…Ok its 42 I wish I could edit :smack:

I would send people who post in the wrong forums off on a one-way trip aboard the Lusitania.

You can talk to people, but know in advance nothing you do or say will change the course of anyone’s life or thoughts in the slightest detail. What happened, happened. (I’m imagining a universe where time travel works like it did in Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love, not Ray Bradbury’s “Sound of Thunder”.)

You can. See above.

Maybe if you had a time machine…

This has been moved to IMHO? I thought sci-fi speculations belonged in CS.

Actually, Sampiro, the only reason I didn’t post that one first is because I realized that my buying a ticket for that jackpot would change the amount won by the winner already on the record. That breaks one of the rules of the OP.

I would have bought shares in Microsoft back around '82. Or Walmart for that matter. That and changed some of the choices I have made in my life… but that’s another thread.

Like leaving a modern fire extinguisher in 19th Century Maine? :smiley: