String theory, black holes, worm holes, relativity, movement at or near the speed of light, and the unimpeachable Back to the Future and Bill and Ted movies all suggest the possibility of time travel, or the reversibility of the arrow of time; but overcoming the technical and conceptual problems inherent in taking advantage of these insights could take centuries, millennia, or forever (whatever that means).
That, however, isn’t stopping MIT graduate student Amal K. Dorai, 22, from inviting guests from the future to gather and groove in the here and now – well specifically at:
The Time Traveler Convention
May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)
(events start at 8:00pm)
East Campus Courtyard, MIT
3 Ames St. Cambridge, MA 02142
If you are NOT a time traveler, and you have not already RSVP’d, then kindly buzz off (“to infinity and beyond”), however, because their event “can only hold so many people,” and they are reserving some space for the guests of honor.
However, you CAN still help:
- the World Wide Web is unlikely to remain in its present form permanently. We need volunteers to publish the details of the convention in enduring forms, so that the time travelers of future millennia will be aware of the convention … We need publicity in MAJOR outlets, not just Internet news. Think New York Times, Washington Post, books, that sort of thing.
…Great idea, I’d love to help! What should I do?
Write the details down on a piece of acid-free paper, and slip them into obscure books in academic libraries! Carve them into a clay tablet! If you write for a newspaper, insert a few details about the convention! Tell your friends, so that word of the convention will be preserved in our oral history! A note: Time travel is a hard problem, and it may not be invented until long after MIT has faded into oblivion. Thus, we ask that you include the latitude/longitude information when you publicize the convention.
You can also make an absolute commitment to publicize the convention afterwards. In that case, bring a time capsule or whatever it may be to the party, and then bury it afterwards.
Cool – how many parties can you publicize after the fact? On the other hand, “Unfortunately, we of the present (2005) don’t have time travel, and so we only have one chance at observing the convention,” writes Dorai. “If the time travelers don’t leave us their secrets, we won’t be able to go back in time and see our convention in all its glory unless it is publicized in advance.”
Good point, although my head is starting to hurt.
And if I am from the future and wish to attend? “Come as you are! No dress code whatsoever. We do request that you bring some sort of proof that you do indeed come from the future, and haven’t just dressed like you do. We welcome any sort of proof, but things like a cure for AIDS or cancer, a solution for global poverty, or a cold fusion reactor would be particularly convincing as well as greatly appreciated.”
Hey, sports scores for the next ten years or so wouldn’t be bad either.
“If you subscribe to alternative-world theory, then time travel makes sense at some level,” MIT mathematician Erik D. Demaine told the NY Times. “The universe is inherently uncertain, and at various times it’s essentially flipping coins to make a decision. At any point, there’s the heads version of the world and the tails version of the world. We think that we actually live in one of them, and you could imagine that there’s actually many versions of the universe, including one where suddenly you appear from 10 years in the future.”
Or not. Planner Dorai calculates the odds of a time traveler showing up at he party between one in a million and one in a trillion. But stranger things have happened: we all exist, don’t we?