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If you could change one thing in history, what would it be?

  1. Jul 14, 2003 #1
    Let's say "hypothetically" you could travel back in time to any specific point, and change it to what you wanted. But you could only go back for a single day, so you could only change one event, or series of events over the course of a day. And to make it more interesting, it couldn't be something in your own life. time causality prevents you from changing your past(grandfather clause, etc) So what would it be?

    What made me think of this was a twilight zone episode I saw. Where this woman went back in time kill to Hitler as a baby. She sucessfully posed as a nanny, and eventually kidnapped the child. The housekeeper sees her and chases her,and the rush to do the job, she jumped over a bridge and drowned with the Hitler child.

    What happened next was an interesting twist. the housekeeper turns to this homeless woman and her child, pays her for the child and passes the child off as the Hitler baby. the mother of this child is mentally lacking. This of course becomes the Adolf we all know and love. So in killing the REAL Adolf, she fulfills history and a mentally deprived hitler rises to power.

    So i guess my question is two-fold. What would you change, and how could you be certain that the event you changed, occured BECAUSE of your time travel, and not because you hadn't changed it. So you may travel back, change the event, and come back to find things the same, because in doing this, you completed the timeline cycle.

    Wasn't sure where to put this post, so here it sits
     
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  3. Jul 14, 2003 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    Well of course we really don't know the answers to temporal paradoxes; i.e. no working time machines around except for clocks, cars, planes and rockets, planets, black holes, and maybe worm holes. But assuming we have invented THE time travel, we have some potentially big problems if we go back too far. Imagine if I go back a billion years and kill a bug that is eventually responsible for the human race existing. To avoid some really profound problems like this, I would make it a short trip.

    Gees. After sitting here staring at the screen...I think would not tempt fate. Should I even go back and empty the world trade center on 9/11. Of course it seems like a good idea. But for all that I know, as an example, perhaps we stopped an attempt to sneak a nuclear device into New York because of 9/11. How do I know I won’t kill millions by saving thousands? It seems that even a short trip could be dangerous. Anything of significant consequence could be very dangerous indeed.

    I think I would make a plan today, act it out tomorrow, and then on the day after go back to tomorrow and really screw with my wife’s head. You know...walk away to the left and then return from the right. Keep calling her from both ends of the house. During dinner, I could sneak up and take the food off of her plate while she's looking at the other me. Leave the house and then call her on both telephone lines. Of course, I could really have some fun with cops!
     
  4. Jul 14, 2003 #3
    I wonder what would happen to the world if DaVinci, Galaleo, or Issac Newton had some of the knowledge of modern inventions such as electricity, computers, jet airplanes, radio, TV, the theory of relativity, etc. With the science of those beginning back then, would advancements much beyond those be capable today?

    I would like to take a modern encyclopedia to one of those guys, probably newton, because I think he was visionary enough to grasp the concepts and begin to expand them.

    The possible consequences would be the knowledge of atomic weapons falling into the wrong hands and destroying the entire world. Oh well, but if that happened I wouldn't have been around to bring the encylopedia back and everything would be fine, then I could bring the encylopedia back and...
     
  5. Jul 14, 2003 #4
    And what if you did empty out the WTC, and in doing so, enraged Al Quieda, which casued them to switch to thier alternate plan of detonating a nuclear device?


    Or what if you did go there and try to warn them, they brushed you off as a wacko, then by some strange twist of events you ended up dying in the WTC tragedy? Would you then be fullfilling your "destiny" if you did?
     
  6. Jul 15, 2003 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Ah...destiny.

    Personally, if time travel of this sort is ever possible, then I must lean towards the many worlds theory since this would resolve most if not all temporal paradoxes. By this, I would feel free to do as I please. So, I think I would give Plato a set of books covering math, physics, medical knowledge, philosophy, and economics. Can you imagine the impact of such knowledge. Also, the history of these books would surely be most interesting when you got home to your future.

    If I was only allowed to change one event, then I would stop the burning of the library at Alexandria.
     
  7. Jul 15, 2003 #6

    jb

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    strange, there was another twilight zone episode about this, and it also involved killing hitler. the man tried to warn the hiroshima police chief (i think) about the bomb being dropped, and they didn't believe him.
     
  8. Jul 15, 2003 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    This has been a recurring theme in sci-fi; this, and the idea that if you could change history, any change has unintended consequences. A subcategory of this thought is that the farther back you go, the more significant any change would be.
     
  9. Jul 15, 2003 #8

    Kerrie

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    i wouldn't change a thing...
     
  10. Jul 15, 2003 #9
    bahhh.. you're no fun
     
  11. Jul 15, 2003 #10
  12. Jul 16, 2003 #11
    Neither would i. I like the way i am today, each of the events which took place in the past helped to shape me into the person i am today. So i wouldn't change a thing, for fear that i would be a different person today. Yes, i'm slightly narssicistic.
     
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