You got a one way ticket to 200 years into the future. Do you go?
You're guaranteed to have at least the same level of comfort and subsistence you currently have. Anyone in the present that depends on you financially will be taken care of. Other than that there are no guarantees whatsoever. You cannot go back. It's definitely a gamble. Can you resist the curiosity?
Before I met my boyfriend, I would have probably said yes. But if he can't come, then ehhh I think I'll pass.
Congrats on finding something better than a brave new world!
This is pretty much how I feel. I would want to go so bad, but I don't think I could leave my boyfriend either. I'd probably just feel sad and guilty every time I thought about all those years he spent missing me, how he's long gone now, all the moments of ours lives I missed out on, etc...
I am a very optimistic person when it comes to the future of the world and technology. The guarantee of having the same level of comfort and subsistence removes most of my worries. I would definitely leave. I just received some terrible news, and it's one more addition to my long list of failures. It feels like the world right now is rejecting me in every way it can. So yeah, I would gamble on the future being better.
I'm more naturally pessimistic about the future but I appreciate your optimism in the present. Please hang around. I think the world needs you.
And no, I wouldn't go, who'd look after my garden / dogs?
I think they said in the OP that any dependents you have would be looked after.
I used to be pessimistic as well, but it only compounded my natural laziness and I never got anything done. So I switched to optimism. My situation is still worsening, but at least I get things done now. Optimism gives me the hope that maybe if I fail enough times I might finally strike gold.
Looked after financially*. I'm kind of implying there's far more that goes in to keeping my dogs / garden flourishing that I don't trust the time-travel purveyors to provide.
I don't get things done. Always struggled with it. So I'm trying to really embrace failure instead. In retrospect, all the things that I'm proud of, I failed at the most. Maybe it's all semantics but there's actually days now I can say are better than the last. The pessimism remains though. I'm even a bit scared to speak of my joy publicly lest I break something and those better days stop coming.
I know how it feels to be afraid of expressing joy publicly. I can't imagine that much repression is good for our long term mental health. Maybe we will both get better at it.
I don’t think I’d be interested. I love my life right now, including my partner, friends, pets, and way of life. I’d be curious, but not enough to give up what I have going for me right now.
If I could bring my wife and kids with me, we'd go in a heartbeat. Especially now, at the (hopefully) tail end of COVID, where much of our social circles have been neutered.
Without them, hell no. They matter more than anything else in the world.
Imagine though getting to interact with all of your future generations, obviously I can understand why you wouldn't want to go just speaking hypothetically. It would be so interesting to see the legacy left behind by all of your descendents and getting to study all of them in detail.
One reason to leave family behind is that this would be a seriously risky enterprise.
True. But I figure it's either Mad Max, Fallout, or Star Trek. Either way, I'd want them with me. Even if only to hold the shotgun while I drive.
Yeah... taking a few shotguns is probably a good idea, just in case. They might be useful in every scenario.
I wouldn’t be able to resist.
The allure of the unknown of the future would be entirely too enticing to me. The chance to see what the future looks like, to see how humanity develops, what advancements in technology there are
I listen to a podcast where they asked the opposite question, which I think is informative to this one. They asked, if you could go back in time 1,000 years, 500 years, or 100 years and live like a king during those times, would you? The conclusion was that in almost all cases, living like an average person today is significantly better than living like a king in the past. Between better healthcare, better quality food, better amenities like refrigerators and heating and air conditioning, your life now is actually a lot better than it was for a very wealthy person even 100 years ago.
Given that, I think I share other peoples' views here — if I didn't have to leave behind my spouse and pets (we have no kids), I would do it in a heartbeat. If I had to, then no way.
I would consider going back, I am probably fantasizing it to an extent but life was pretty simple back then
Part of the appeal IMO.
Might not have Xbox, but you could have a servant to wipe your ass for you, and all the opium you can smoke.
Bold of you to assume we haven't destroyed the planet with climate change by then. I would absolutely not take the ticket, I am incredibly pessimistic about the current take on long term outcomes of humanity.
The vast majority of scientists argue that at worst climate change is not an existential threat but a massive impact to quality of life.
Interesting. Your comment got me looking around the internet.
It's on Nick Bostrom's list:
80000 hours has it as unlikely as existential, but recognizes it increases the likelihood of other extinction-level events
I feel like technological advancement is the opposite of what we want.
Less technology, less energy consumed.
Plant more, consume less.
We saw what happens with massive amounts of human emigration when Syria was gassing its own civilians. I do not want to live in or see this world. It may not be existential to you, but to me the pain and suffering I regularly see around me makes me extremely hesitant to bring someone in to a world that is nearly guaranteed to be worse.
Can't speak for Syria and other such countries, I'm in Europe.
I'd definitely go - the chances for space travel, immersive VR/AR, and longevity escape velocity are all rather high barring the kind of catastrophe that would prevent one from having the same level of comfort one enjoys now.
I'd also bring along a crypto brain-wallet, just in case.
Fuck yeah, in a heartbeat. It's kinda like rolling the die in life again I guess. I don't like how things have been going for a while, and am not particularly attached to anything so this would be a welcome adventure. It will be extremely interesting to see how music, technology, and cuisine will have evolved in 200 years! Maybe quality of life will have improved, maybe not :) Would we be able to witness how global issues have panned out? Or maybe on a scale of 200 years they turn out to be a blip?
Now I really wish there were a way to do this ha!
If you’re guaranteed to maintain comfort, there could be a scenario where you’re part of a despotic rich elite in a dystopian hellscape. Think Immortan Joe in the Max Max: Fury Road universe. In that world only rulers like him approximate my level comfort.
I would definitely say yes to this though.
Probably not, probably if I was convinced living in this one was no longer a choice for me. Adapting to a world which could be anywhere from a post-nuclear-apocalypse to a world that has outgrown human bodies to something else entirely sounds like a hard bet to make, and assuming that some part of that society recreates the human experience accurately enough to not be a living museum artifact/fossil. Perhaps imagining someone from 200 years ago traveling to today might make the prospect more encouraging, but otherwise no.
My personal preferred time travel range would be more like 30-60 years, 10-100 more loosely.
I would actually like to explore a world that has outgrown human bodies. It would be cool to see what sort of robot bodies we made, or if we all just live in servers.
Me too, but a one way trip means it might be like exploring in the beginning, but eventually I think it will resemble immigration, and for that you'd be at the mercy of those people to get you to understand their society, or for their society to understand you enough to do that (assuming they are that understanding), and accommodate you in the meantime, albeit the prerequisite that you will live in the same comfort could arguably makes this an auto-success. If 200 years from now is a trans/posthumanist society, those things are not made easy.
I get what you mean, but the difficulties you are describing sound like a fun challenge for me. I think it has to do with the fact that I have always felt alienated from other people, even my close friends. I have been described as a robot on a number of occasions. So there really is nothing for me to lose by trying again. The only thing I am worried is some sort of forced immortality. If I am getting a robot body, I want to have a way to pull the batteries out if I need to.
Curiosity would get the best of me; I think I'd go. But first I'd put some money into a savings account…
Building off the savings account perhaps buy a newly clear-felled area of forest. Plant some different species of trees. Then go and enjoy a nice non-monoculture forest!
Hm no, I'm not some pessimist who thinks the world is going to be ruined in 10 years or something, but there's just all sorts of uncertainties that I think are way too risky. Besides, can I even take my friends and family with me? If not, I don't think so.
Don't fix it if it ain't broken.
Yes, I would definitely take that gamble. It is entirely possible that I would live to regret this decision, but that's a decision I would feel compelled to make. I'm generally optimistic towards humankind, and there are way too many things I'm dying to know for me to ignore. Some of these things might be very disturbing for someone from early 21st century, but I'm willing to take the risk.
Some specific questions (and some guesses below on how I think things will turn out):
Plus: it would be wonderful to live in a world where mental illnesses are actually curable.
I'd be worried this would be some monkey's paw bullshit and the orbit of earth puts it on the other side of the sun 200 years from now.
(I understand that the OP is just a philosophical exercise, but...)
Spin-off discussion (aimed at all, not just OP): Do you believe time travel (for humans, not just particles or such) is or would ever be possible? Along the same lines: Is teleportation possible (again, for people)?
I personally don't believe either are possible. First of all: successful time travel implies successful teleportation. The planet Earth is rotating on its axis, and revolving around the sun. So, travelling into the future, but staying, say, in your house, means calculating and targetting the position of your house in the future, relative to the rotation and revolution of the Earth. And relative to the position of Sol in the Milky Way, considering its own revolution in the galaxy. And then the position of the galaxy in the universe. Second: there's the problem of considering existing molecules at the destination location. Do they get pushed out of the way, creating a vacuum to "make space" for your incoming self? Or do, say, the air molecules get inserted into your body? Do your lungs overflow or expand? Do the air bubbles cause blockage in your cardiovascular system? Or lower your blood pressure? If it's raining, do you experience mild drowning?
Other philosophical discussion: Suppose teleportation were done the way it's portrayed in Star Trek: you're scanned and all your molecules/atoms are recorded as data, then all those same [kinds of] particles are created in the exact same positional configuration in another location. Is that really you on the other side? Or were you murdered at one end, and a clone was created on the other, a clone that is not really you you? Could the technology be used to clone people?
Assume teleportation technology could be made. Should it be made? Consider the social and political consequences: Theft. Weaponization (e.g. teleporting explosives). Alibis ("I was not there at 9:00 pm"). Crime facilitation and catalyzation. Privacy invasion. Outright murder (teleport a target to a lethal situation).
I don't see any problem with time travel to the future. You go fast enough or hang out near something massive enough and the rest of the universe will speed on ahead without you. Time travel. No need for teleportation, either.
There's a video game called SOMA that asks the same kinds of questions about consciousness. Except instead of arriving at those questions via teleportation, it just creates multiple instances of your consciousness directly. If your consciousness is copied into a new body, is that still you? The old body is still hanging around, too, what to do about that? Personally on that front I feel like the most sane response is "they're both you, it's up to you how to deal with two of you." In-game, the people are (usually) copying their minds into an idealized simulation. Some of those people will off themselves when they find out they're not the copy in the simulation. Sometimes that's just out of despair of being stuck in reality, other times it's strictly an intentional attempt to keep "continuity" between all copies of their consciousness. Others have their old copy live its life while the new copy goes on to other things.
It's pretty tidy in that game though, all the social ties and relationships between the characters caught up in all of this are severed by the events surrounding the game. In this reality, consciousness capers like that would all get 10x as complicated because of multiple entities with legitimate claims to single copies of personal relationships and resources. There's no easy way to deal with that.
I choose to believe FTL is possible, not necessarily for any rational reason, but because it gives me hope. FTL is kind of like religion for me in that sense. It follows though that if you believe some form of FTL is possible, that some form of time travel is also possible. It could very well be that 'time travel' in this sense could just be a form of time dilation which is already well understood and naturally occurring. But it could also be something entirely different. It's quite hard to say, because realistically we don't really have a solid grasp on what the underlying scientific principles of FTL travel would look like. Right now the best we have is warp theory, but it has many problems and unknowns.
Regardless, to address some of your concerns regarding teleportation: I don't think many people take the Star Trek interpretation of teleportation very seriously. It's an interesting concept, but it's innumerable problems have been talked about to death at this point. Not the least of which being that you technically die every time you use one. A more realistic way to think of practical teleportation is to imagine a boat being dropped into a body of water. Where does the water go when the boat appears? Does it go inside the boat? Does it disappear? The obvious answer is of course, no. The water is displaced;it's pushed out of the way and redistributed. If teleportation is at all possible, this is most likely how physics would take care of things. Except instead of water, a little bit of space time itself is being displaced.
As for the ethical concerns regarding teleportation, it doesn't seem unreasonable to imagine a global society where teleporters are treated much the same way as airports. They're bound to be highly sophisticated pieces of technology with high power requirements. So you're probably not stealing one or DIYing one in your garage. You can't even really DIY a modern x86 CPU and almost everyone in the world has one in their home or work computer. It's important to remember that the world is usually quite boring. We don't have Super Heroes or Villains inventing these things in their labs for nefarious purposes.
Moreover, there'd necessarily be tons of security at any given teleporter station, and they'd probably be restricted to well developed nations (just because they would be the ones able to afford it) and secure diplomatic areas. As for the weaponization of teleporters, this really only makes sense if teleporters are one way, or act like gates that can be dialed from anywhere. If not, it doesn't seem like much of a strategic opportunity. Even if teleporters did behave that way, most countries already have nukes, or the ability to make dirty bombs of some kind. People have long said even a large enough conventional explosion + nuclear waste would be a huge catastrophe were someone to pull off such an attack. But it hasn't, and I think MAD is probably a large part of that, but I digress. The point is, if everyone can just teleport a bomb to your desk, no one can.
There are other societal implications for teleporters beyond war and crime though. Larry Niven, though famed for being a misogynist, addressed this quite well in his Known Space series. It's bound to royally screw with tourism, and real estate for starters. Additionally, In much the same way that car and plane travel have eroded local cultures and smoothed out accents, teleporters are bound to have the same affect, but on a larger scale.
I feel like suspended animation for forward time-travel will likely be a thing first.
Same effect, but working with theoretically feasible biological means and not trancending space-time.
On that topic: https://existentialcomics.com/comic/1