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Wednesday March 09, 2005
12:47 AM

Time Machines: Power or Money?

[ #23560 ]

A couple of New York Perl Mongers were discussing time machines today. One said he'd go back to 1998 so he could buy the right stocks. His whole purpose was to get the largest ROI. I said he should go back even further and buy something like IBM.

But, I also thought that simply getting a lot of money wouldn't be the right thing. What if you could do something else that didn't make you rich, but made the world a better place. Would you get to IBM right before Bill Gates sold them DOS? Maybe you'd show up at Xerox Parc and tell them not to talk to Steve Jobs but to do it themselves. You could convince DEC that the world market for computers was somewhat greater than 6. I could take Randal out for a beer and steak dinner on the right night so he didn't bother to get into trouble, or patch Perl 1 to have a switch statement.

What would you go for: playing the market or changing history?

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  • DMR alledgedly said:

    I'd spell creat(2) with an "e".


  • My plan, upon invetion of time travel, is to go back and give Alexander Graham Bell all my money. Of course I have to make a second trip to sell at the right time, too. And prevent everyone else from doing the same investing . . .

    As for changing history, I don't know. Maybe I'd go to the point in time that W found religion, and distract him with a beer.
  • This isn't really an either-or question, is it?
  • I'd go back an buy a lot of lot of land around where Vegas now is when it was dirt cheap. As well as a hidden underground bunker to hide from the mob. I figure with the money that would make, it would provide power. Clark County would be known as KM County!
  • Both are changing history. Mainly because in the past the current you did not sell the proper shorts and puts. Regardless of that point, I'd play the market like a fine violin. Our history is great just how it is now. Why fsck w/ what was?
  • There's a lovely card game which gives the same choice -- you can win by changing the grand flow of history, or sod that, grab the loot.

    Each player gets two random objectives, either one of which counts as their personal victory conditions. One is to restore the arc of time to the time-line they were born on (draw an ID card); the other is to collect 3 artifacts (draw a Mission card: General Merchandise - General Patton's chrome helmet, General Grant's whiskey, General Tso's Chicken [not a real example, o

    # I had a sig when sigs were cool
    use Sig;