More running, more storms, more ethics of time travel

It’s a bit repetitive, but today was somewhat similar to yesterday. I did a 2.5k run. I had online ethics classes at 11am, 6pm, and one to come shortly at 9pm.

I’m really loving this time travel topic in my classes. At one point I go through a series of scenarios for how you might make money if you invented a time machine.

  • You could send the winning lottery numbers to yourself last week, so that you win. Most kids think this is unethical. Many describe it as “cheating”.
  • You could send your past self instructions to buy Bitcoin, or Apple shares, or whatever when they were cheap, so you make a lot of money on Bitcoin/the stock market. A few kids considered this “cheating” as well, but about half were okay with it.
  • You could go to the future and bring back some tech that hasn’t been invented yet, and claim to have invented it. Most kids thought this was unethical because it involved lying, and a few called it stealing as well, as in stealing someone else’s invention.
  • You could get some furniture made in an old fashioned style, go back a thousand years and hide it, then retrieve it in the present. It’s now genuinely a thousand years old, so you could sell it as an expensive antique. Nearly everyone thinks this is perfectly okay.
  • If you invented the time machine, you could go into business producing and selling time machines. This one is so far universally considered the absolute worst idea of all! The kids all said if they invented time travel they’d do everything they could to keep it secret, because they’d be afraid of other people messing up history. The idea of time machines being widely available horrified them.

And the weather… yes, it’s been thunderstorming again this afternoon. The morning however was fine and sunny. A very rare occurrence lately – I don’t know exactly but it feels like we’ve only had two or three days where the sun has broken through the overcast in the last 3 weeks or so. We’re supposed to get more rain and storms tomorrow, but then the weekend might actually be rain-free. Let’s wait and see.

The annoying thing is everything is just so humid, all the time. I hate it when you dry off after a shower, and then when you have another shower 24 hours later, your towel is still damp. Ugh.

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2 thoughts on “More running, more storms, more ethics of time travel”

  1. Florida is that humid all the time. (I grew up there.) However, air conditioning is universal except for the poorest of the poor.

  2. ways to make money by knowing the future – sell your knowledge as a fortune teller, although that does require some showmanship skills – if you just go around telling people when they’re going to die, someone might start to think you murdered them yourself. Also – most people don’t actually want to know their future – they want to be entertained.
    For bonus points – see the movie Yanki In King Arthur’s Court…
    The other option is to go to the past, see what actually happened at an event, and come back to the future and sell that knowledge to the police or the lawyers or whoever cares enough to pay. Smart way to do it is to get recording devices and not actually be at the scene yourself – if it’s a murder scene, it could be dangerous.

    Keeping the time machine a secret from the general population is important – people would go mad trying to change the past at cross-purposes. You can still do a tourist business, but probably not – there hasn’t been a croud of time-travelers at any hystorical event so far – the paradox means either it’s impossible, it’s being strictly controlled by the future (for ever?), or any time travel is indeed opening up an alternate universe.
    Giving yourself lotto tickets or stock tips is also probably not happening in real life for the same reasons. Hiding furniture is impractical, hiding smaller trinkets may work – but consider the piramids – somebody was stashing a huge treasure for a future time, and it got found and robbed pretty fast.
    No – it’s unlikely that anybody went to the past and actually gotten anything physical to wait for him in the future. Information is the only thing that can be gained.

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