Let us assume humanity, in the near future, acquires the technology to look and listen into the past without being able to change any of it, but it is very complicated and even more expensive, so, for instance, this can not be used to solve crimes. Would any historic events actually be investigated? If so, who would pay for which research, e.g. would the Christian churches invest a fortune in trying to get actual proof of Jesus of Nazareth?
To narrow it down, assume a cost of
- up to a trillion bucks (in today's dollars/pounds/euros) over ten or more years to set up the initial global system,
- a billion bucks over a year or so to set up each recording and
- at least a million bucks for postprocessing every minute of raw recorded data.
The result would be like a video filmed from the sky with TV quality of the 1980s. The resolution would be good enough to identify individuals as far back as c. 2000 years but degrades with increased temporal distance.
Since basically no single state or other entity could finance the initial system alone, but even some individuals could pay for recording a single event, the question is really twofold:
- Would the system be build at all by international cooperation, like the ISS or ITER?
- Who would have an interest in specific research and the resources to fund it?