In an earlier thread, there was a discussion about whether or not, assuming you had a time machine, you should stop Adam Walsh from being kidnapped. Adam Walsh, as I’m sure you remember, was the little boy who was kidnapped and killed after wandering away from his mom at the store. His father, John Walsh, decided to do something constructive with his grief, and became instrumental in advocating for missing children and in fighting for crime prevention. It was largely thanks to his efforts that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children came into existance, and he was the creator and is the host of America’s Most Wanted, which publicizes the names and faces of people who are wanted for horrible crimes. It’s thought that at least 1000 criminals have been taken into custody due to the efforts of the show and its viewers.
In that thread, a lot of people said they would save Adam Walsh, even though that would probably stop John Walsh from starting his crusade, and could stop the abducted child database and the TV show from coming into being.
So, I’m raising the ante. I give, for your consideration, the Black Death, which was a virulent form of bubonic plague that broke out in the 14th century. It killed about 75 million people worldwide, and wiped out from 30-60% of Europe’s population in the 14th century. Of course, the Black Death also led to numerous social and political changes, and probably helped lead to the modern world.
So, I’m giving you a time machine, and a virtually unlimited amount of penicillin and rat traps. What do you do? Do you go back and wipe out the Black Death or not?