Your time machine will only go in one direction. Which way do you go?

You’ve invented a time machine, but due to a weird quirk of the physics involved, once it’s activated, it will only be able to travel in one direction - further into the past, or further into the future. There is no possibility of return to the present time (well, unless you visit the past, then wait).

The device is the size of an ordinary telephone kiosk - enough room for one, maybe two adults and a few belongings - the inside of the machine is a bit smaller than the outside - items placed inside the device will be unaffected by the travel through time (so you won’t age faster than normal if you go forward, and you won’t revert to a blastocyst if you go back).

Also, it’s a clever machine - it binds itself to the nearest large gravity well, and will not rematerialise in an immediately dangerous situation, such as an active volcano, the surface of what is now an ocean, under a mountain, or directly in front of a dinosaur, and you won’t jump back six months and find that the Earth isn’t here anymore. You’ll reappear in a fairly safe location as near to the geographical point from which you departed. (this might cause problems with travel back to when the earth was a molten ball, but let’s not get too complicated right now)

So your options consist of:

-Travel once or continually into the past in hops of any timespan you like, as many times as you like, until you’ve had enough and you stop.

-Travel once or continually into the future in hops of any timespan you like, as many times as you like, until you’ve had enough and you stop, or you reach the point where the universe explodes or something.

-Do nothing - stay at home, optionally sell the machine to someone braver than yourself.

I’d go back just a week with all the lottery winning numbers from then to now.

Destroy the machine.

…and just wait:D

Barring disaster here, I’d probably choose “do nothing”. Or wait until I was old ( or terminally ill ), then travel into future and hope that the future has and is willing to give an impoverished time traveller a cure.

The future would be cool, but what would I do ? I’d have few or no useful skills, wouldn’t understand the culture, may very well have nothing at all of value to re-establish myself. Except a one way time machine, which one way or not, if I try to sell it would probably get me arrested for fraud, or me and it shoved into a classified facility somewhere.

As for the past, as far as I can tell, the past goes from “unpleasant” to “hellish” the farther back you go. I’d rather shoot myself.

EDIT : Well, OK; chowder’s idea has merit.

What Chowder said. I’d place one mother of a huge accumulator at the local Bill Hill.

I agree - travel to the future and it might be interesting (alternatively, it might be hellish), but technologically, culturally, etc, you’re going to be a yokel.

But the past… The advantage there is that we know a bit about it - armed with the right knowledge and/or hardware, and travelling to a specific time in the past, you could be superman.

I think I’d succumb to the temptation to travel into the future. I’m more curious about that than the past. Plus it’d be a much more liveable era, possibly with extremely cool and amazing things to see and do.

I’d zip ahead 50 years at a time, and live a year or two at each stop. Or something like that.

Except that I’d still be in what I would regard as a hellhole. Being Emperor in the Bronze Age or whenever won’t get you clean water and toilet paper.

I do think that Guanolad’s travel a bit at a time plan would be tempting. You are much more likely to be able to adapt that way, although even 50 years may be too big.

I think that depends on how persuasive you are when you ask for it. Although as far back as the Bronze Age, it might be difficult to establish yourself as Emperor, due to communication difficulties.

Pop back a century or two, to an English-speaking location, with a good knowledge of chemistry, physics and perhaps medicine, and I think you could be quite successful.

I’m sure only of one thing; if I went to the past, I’d take a lot of cultured pearls, and a few nice cubic zirkonia’s with me. Those ought to buy me a decent living, away from any Black Plague centres.

OTOH, I might just sell the Time Machine Trip to someone with a bad case of “if only I could turn back time”-regrets. Someone who has found themselves in a crippling accident involving loved ones, for instance, or someone desperate to turn back a political or business decision that turned out to be a disaster.

If all else fails, I’d rather go to the past if I were on my own, and to the future if I had a welcoming comittee there willing to set me up there.

I think I would travel back to last night so that I could go to bed and wake up again to the sounds of Sonny & Cher’s I Got You Babe.

They can’t give you what they can’t produce.

And realistically, you aren’t going to conquer an empire with what you can fit in a phone booth. Throw your weight around too much and you’ll get stabbed in your sleep or shot from behind with an arrow.

True, but it’s still not a place I’d care to live.

Hmmm, go forward until there’s something to watch besides Reality TV, or go back and strangle baby Hitler. What a dilema!

Bit of a fruitless exercise considering you’ve travelled all that way back just to be executed as a child killer.

I mean, who is gonna believe you when you tell 'em the little bastard is gonna be responsible for millions of deaths.

My first suggestion is by far the best so far but then I’m just a materialistic bugger :stuck_out_tongue:

The only time I ever had a time machine, I was getting ready to step in and turn the dials backward when a slightly-older version of me burst from a hiding-place in my laboratory, knocked me over, hollered something about the tachyon streams, and jumped into the machine in my place. The whole thing disappeared and now I don’t know when I’m ever going to see it again.

Funny, I was just about to say how that was exactly how I encountered my time machine in the first place! It popped into my room, a double of myself stuck his head out, screamed something barely coherent about the madness of being forever adrift in the multiverse, and vanished again.

Well, how about this: “You know, Mrs. Hitler, you really should let me strangle that baby.” (Old Alois emerges and punches me in the nose)

While living on my lottery winnings, drinking bier & schlagobers in Linz, every so often I’d exclaim “you know, they really should strangle that little Hitler boy.”

(After 1932, contiinue making this remark, but at a safer distance)

1945: return to Linz. “Ya herr Slithy, you were right all along!

Forwards, of course. I’ll leave it late in life before I set off. Eventually I get to the point where science can rejuvenate me and also teach me all I need to know about the world of the future through nano implants, bio-computers and so on, and I’ve brought a priceless antique with me to pay for it all - a genuine, working, 21st-century time machine.

Or, in the worst case, I get to laugh at the hubris of my contemporaries who thought that all of the above would be coming true, and I’m nearly due to croak anyway, so what’s it to me if I choke out my last on a polluted cinder, the last representative remnant of my species?

This is a real dilemma - I’m torn between my love of other historical periods and my desire to not die from drinking water than hasn’t been boiled.

If it’s a one way trip then probably the future, on the grounds that it’ll probably be nicer there than here (I can practically hear everyone falling off their chairs laughing at my naivity). Hey, if Fry can make it in the year 3000 then so can I.

I’d go back to California in the late fifties and early sixties and get in on the ground floor of the computer revolution. Plus, I’d get to see the Sixties. :slight_smile:

:: mental note: become younger before doing this ::

Or even this:

“Mein Gott you really have got magnificent knockers Mrs Schicklegruber”

“Danke mein herren”

“Listen why not leave that old fart, Alois, and come live with me, I’m very rich you know”

“But what about dear little Adolf?”

“Oh bring him along, I’ll take care of him”

" Das is sehr gut herr chowder, I’ll getten mein coat und be vith you in eine minuten"

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: