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A growing number of futurists are speculating that someday human minds will be transferred to computers. Let's assume that will happen, whether in a hundred years or a thousand. Futurists say that all we'll need is fairly normal advances in technology to get there.

At the moment, the best minds in science believe that time travel is impossible, at least in the sense of sending a solid object back in time. But a number of scientists are noodling with the idea that binary information can be sent back in time using some sort of strange quantum trickery. Again for fun, assume someone in the future figures out how to send information back in time.

Combining my two assumptions, it means that someday future robots with human-originated minds will have the means to send their entire minds back in time, so long as there is some sort of detector in the present to pick up the signals.

The problem with building a detector in the present is that we can't know what method the future will invent for sending information back in time. But as the future gets nearer, we should be able to take ever-better guesses on what sort of detectors might work.

My idea is to start a long-term project of building various types of detectors and seeding the Internet with information about those detectors so our future robot humans can know what type of detectors to aim for. Every year, as we get better guesses about the type of detectors that might work, we build them and add them to the mix. In the short term, the detectors would be networked to normal data storage. Longer term, we'd build a robot with enough data storage for the incoming human mind.

Imagine some future human sitting in the detector lab next to the slumped robot that is waiting for an incoming mind from the future. The robot pops to life, looks around, and speaks its first words: "Wow! That actually worked!"

I like it as a movie plot.

 
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Jan 13, 2014
The question on my mind would be why? If technology would become this advanced, why keep around our primitive monkey brains?
 
 
Jan 13, 2014
@em21701

How do you know Bill Gates isn't a time traveler?
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 11, 2014
Time travel is quackery. Entertaining quackery, but nonsense nonetheless. Unless you count relativity, but that is simply altering the rate of change (as well as length and mass) in a localized part of space, not time travel in the sci-fi sense.

Most of the particles in the universe have always been here. A few pop in and out at random in a vacuum, but they're pretty rare. I doubt they're from the future... Perhaps they are indicative of imperceptible cardinal directions in space, a la string theory. But time is just how we measure how a bunch of particles changed. You cannot time travel to 1955 like Marty McFly because 1955 was just an instant in the change in the system. Time is not a literal physical dimension, it is an abstraction to describe changes in the physical universe.
 
 
Jan 10, 2014
I dont understand why this hasnt occurred yet.

What would happen if you quantum entangled 2 particles then flew 1 around the earth in a airplane? their clocks would differ. Wouldnt this shift 1 particle into the "past", meaning their entanglement is across time too? Shift 1 particle and the version of its partner 2 seconds ago is the one changed, not the version of its partner now.

We can control how fast matter moves thru time. entangle some particles then shift half of them so the bridge is time offset. entanglement is absolute, time is relative.

Obvious right? so what happened when they tried to do this?
 
 
Jan 10, 2014
If we are ever to create such technology, then the future could send this technology back into the far past, and we would have it now. Therefore, it will never happen.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 10, 2014
Why would you need multiple detectors? Shouldn't the information about the first detector built already exist in the future?
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 10, 2014
A science speculation novel with some of these themes is TIMESCAPE, by Gregory Benford. Directed tachyon messages are used to warn the past of 1962 about ecological doom in 1998. Well worth reading.
 
 
Jan 10, 2014
But if the robot pops to life, can't act very well and says "Sarah Conner?" we know we're all in big trouble...
 
 
+6 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 9, 2014
Backwards time travel is 100% impossible. The proof, greed. There would be money in traveling backward in time. If you invent time travel it would be worth a fortune. Even if you have high moral standards and don't go back yourself, someone eventually would go back and "invent" it before you did. This would begin the greed driven endless backward loop. Simply put, because of greed if it could be done it would have always been possible. Physical travel or your proposed quantum travel would be subject to the same endless loop.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 9, 2014
But if time travel becomes possible in the future, wouldn't they be back here by now? Pointing and laughing at our obsolete technology, etc. Or not. I got a headache.
 
 
+14 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 9, 2014
You don't need to build multiple versions of the receiver hoping to pick up on transmissions from the future, (SETI hasn't had much luck trying to find random alien transmissions). You just need to built one receiver, then work on the transmitter. That way, everyone in the future (from 5 minutes to 50 years) will know what they are trying to reach, and work towards it. Once you get a transmitter that will match that receiver you can start sending messages to yourself in the past. Which also means that once the receiver is built, it should start working immediately, or if not the concept is impossible.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 9, 2014
Scott. I'm already here. From the future. And I can see you in the shower. I taught Bill Gates how to do that. I whispered the screenplay idea in your ear. That will be $1.5 million, please.
 
 
Jan 9, 2014
Well, if I was looking for time travellers I'd start by looking at all the lottery winners - cos that's what I'd do if I could time travel.
 
 
Jan 9, 2014
There goes the stock market and the Super Bowl
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 9, 2014
That seems a lot of work. Why not leave it to a future McGyver to figure out how to transmit to some existing technology in the target timezone. (S)he has the advantage of knowledge of how this information transfer actually works - we'd just be dumping money into guesses about what might happen.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 9, 2014
@whtllnew
Now that would be a an interesting experiment proven correct.

Otherwise, maybe the detector could be a tin hat, and the time-travelers are already here:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/raving-lunatic-obviously-took-some-advanced-physic,1145/
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 9, 2014
Was it a short story by Arthur C Clark, or maybe Phillip K. Dick? I can't remember.

Anyway, the main premise: humans in the future are hooked on machines and can live indefinetly. They can send their minds back in time. Instead of artificial "detectors" they use/inhibit other people's (living in the past) minds and can live through their experiences.

So maybe we already have the proof of time travel - people, who hear voices in their heads :)
 
 
Jan 9, 2014
Sorry I didn't finish the sentence;

It isnt a coincidente that the first years of flights with filed flight plans (something that it is likely to survive for many centuries as an historical document) experimented such "aerial phenomenom" as they are called
 
 
Jan 9, 2014
I've always thought time travel (but only in observation mode) exists and it is well documented. You could take a look in wikipedia about something called "foo fighter" . It isnt a coincidente that the first years of flights with filed flight plans (something that it is likely to survive for many centuries as an historical document)

Regards

 
 
Jan 9, 2014
If I was working in the lab with someone working on a detector I would totally send a message from the present just to mess with them. "It worked! This is John from 2035 sending the first back in time message. Past John, bet everything on horse 5 in the 6th race at Belmont tomorrow. I'm... we're gonna be so rich!"
 
 
 
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