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[mob] Time Travel convention

-------- Original Message --------
Begin forwarded message:
From: Paul Saffo <[email protected]>
To: Dave Farber <[email protected]>
Subject: Brilliant!


The Time Traveler Convention

May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)

East Campus Courtyard, MIT

42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W

(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)

What is it?

Technically, you would only need one time traveler convention. Time
travelers from all eras could meet at a specific place at a specific
time, and they could make as many repeat visits as they wanted. We
are hosting the first and only Time Traveler Convention at MIT in one
week, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Why do you need my help?

We need you to help PUBLICIZE the event so that future time travelers
will know about the convention and attend. This web page is
insufficient; in less than a year it will be taken down when I
graduate, and futhermore, the World Wide Web is unlikely to remain in
its present form permanently. We need volunteers to publish the
details of the convention in enduring forms, so that the time
travelers of future millennia will be aware of the convention. This
convention can never be forgotten! We need publicity in MAJOR
outlets, not just Internet news. Think New York Times, Washington
Post, books, that sort of thing. If you have any strings, please pull

Great idea, I'd love to help! What should I do?

Write the details down on a piece of acid-free paper, and slip them
into obscure books in academic libraries! Carve them into a clay
tablet! If you write for a newspaper, insert a few details about the
convention! Tell your friends, so that word of the convention will be
preserved in our oral history! A note: Time travel is a hard problem,
and it may not be invented until long after MIT has faded into
oblivion. Thus, we ask that you include the latitude/longitude
information when you publicize the convention.

You can also make an absolute commitment to publicize the convention
afterwards. In that case, bring a time capsule or whatever it may be
to the party, and then bury it afterwards.

Can't the time travelers just hear about it from the attendees, and
travel back in time to attend?

Yes, they can! In fact, we think this will happen, and the small
number of adventurous time travelers who do attend will go back to
their "home times" and tell all their friends to come, causing the
convention to become a Woodstock-like event that defines humanity

Unfortunately, we of the present (2005) don't have time travel, and
so we only have one chance at observing the convention. If the time
travelers don't leave us their secrets, we won't be able to go back
in time and see our convention in all its glory unless it is
publicized in advance.

Isn't time travel impossible?

We can't know for certain. The ancient Greeks would have thought
computers were impossible, and the Phoenicians certainly wouldn't
have believed that humans would one day send a spacecraft to the moon
and back. We cannot predict the future of science or technology, so
we can only make an effort and see if any time travelers come to our
convention. If you would like to read more about time travel, check
out our reading list.

I'm from the future, and I'd like to attend!

We're not sure how you're emailing us from the future, but we'd love
to have you! Come as you are! No dress code whatsoever. We do request
that you bring some sort of proof that you do indeed come from the
future, and haven't just dressed like you do. We welcome any sort of
proof, but things like a cure for AIDS or cancer, a solution for
global poverty, or a cold fusion reactor would be particularly
convincing as well as greatly appreciated.

I'm from the present, and I'd like to attend!

Great! We would also love to have you, especially if you have helped
publicize. We request that you bring refreshments if possible, as we
need to make this a great party for you and for the time travelers.
RSVP at [email protected], and then show up at the
designated place at the designated time! The East Campus Courtyard is
in between the two red rectangles on this map. If you plan on
attending, PLEASE check this page frequently for updates.

I'm from the present, and I'd like to attend, but I can't!

No worries! If time travel is invented in your lifetime, you can
always come later. Even if it isn't, we'll have pictures and video up
at this site within a week after the Convention.

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Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
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