For my final wish, I asked a genie to teleport me 2,000 years into the future, and 24 hours later, to transport me back to the present. I can bring only the cloths on my back and a smart phone with me. Aside from photos, notes, audio/video recordings or other data I could upload to the phone's memory, I can't bring anything back.

Also, I'm being transported relative to my point on Earth, so if you think it's wise for me to be at a specific location, I need to be there when the wish goes off.

The wish will go off in seven days.

The genie says this won't create an alternate timeline so things I do after I return will affect the future into which I am about to voyage. I'd like to get the most out of this trip, but I'm also a little worried about possible dangers. I'm looking for your general advice, what would you do if you were me at this point? What might I expect to see 2,000 in the future? It would be nice to be able to take back some useful information for my own personal benefit, such as future stock market performance and possibly get a message that I could leave for myself many years from now. But I don't know how to store and retrieve such a message for 2,000 years. I'm not even sure I'll be able to communicate with people in the future since there's no guarantee that English will be used when I land (hopefully there will still be land).

Do any of you have any questions you'd like me to answer when I get back? Or do you have specific areas of interest you think I should research upon arrival, and how? Finally, what do you think would be the best way for me to provide proof of my trip upon return? Or should I keep it a secret?

  • $\begingroup$ Why not just go for a week? Give yourself some time to see the future? $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Apr 10 '16 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ I was worried to it would be too dangerous to stay very long. I know I won't starve or die of thirst in 24 hours. $\endgroup$ – Glen Pierce Apr 10 '16 at 21:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I recall a short story where the traveller to the future was received with great fanfare by historians who prepared for hosting him by learning his language etc. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Apr 10 '16 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ Could close voters please explain how this is opinion based? For clarification purposes, because it does vary. Although this seems like it could stay open to me. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Apr 10 '16 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ One reason I see this question being a problem is that you aren't going decades in the future, you're going 2000 years in the future. Either this answer touches on singularity stuff, or this assumes a massive cataclysm that halt technological development within a century. More than a century (even that's really stretching it) in the future, and the answer depends entirely on people's opinions about transhumanism, and how likely we are to wipe ourselves out. $\endgroup$ – Vakus Drake Apr 10 '16 at 23:29

Often overlooked in time travel plots is plague. 2000 years from now, our most deadly infectious diseases are considered harmless childhood sniffles to them. However, if they so much as coughed on you, you'd be infected with disease from the future to which they already have antibodies. If you survived 24 hours, you'd carry the infection back here inside your body and cause a pandemic. If it is bacterial, then it would already be completely resistant to all current day antibiotics.

  • $\begingroup$ Hopefully a hazmat suit counts as "the clothes on your back", even if you don't have one use lots of hand sanitizer and wear a mask at all times, and gloves, and don't touch anything $\endgroup$ – Vakus Drake Apr 10 '16 at 23:22

Proof: Next week's stock closing prices. All of them. Encrypt and send to whoever you are trying to prove that you're a time traveler to. After the time has passed give them the decryption key.

What to bring back: As much as possible of whatever has replaced the physician's desk reference. (The whole thing would trivially fit your phone if they have it in a suitable form. If you have to take pictures it won't.)

Depending on the exact rules: Whatever can be done in anti-aging treatments in 24 hours.

Note that 24 hours will not protect you from the summer heat in many places. 24 hours in the summer outside the city I grew up in--survival would come down to what sort of shelter I could find quickly. No tools, no water--without decent shelter you wouldn't make it. The worst-case estimates for global warming are far nastier than this--even with water it would be unsurvivable.


Step 176 (when you first get then): Google yourself.

If anything notable happens to you after your return, you've got 24 hours in which to figure out what and be prepared. Unfortunately the stuff you're going to read about will also be inevitable, so you're not going to stay out of jail if that's what you find, if you ended up being convicted of insider trading, stock manipulation, or lottery hacking. On the other hand, if you get put on trial and aren't convicted, you'll already know what evidence will be used against you and what your defense was.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.