Thursday, May 12, 2005

If You Were from the Future and Had the Ability to Go Back in Time Would You Go to a Party at MIT? I Didn't Think So

WHy is it I spend so much time pondering the unthinkable acts of nerds? Is it because, unbeknownst to me, while hanging out with my computer every day, I slowly became one myself? This story in via German Joel.

MIT Grad student Amal Dorai and this guy who he claims is his friend hosted the first ever Time Travlers Convention last Saturday. The event, which is alcohol-free and highlights MIT's hottest biomed co-eds, ended up getting some pretty remarkable press. Boing Boing, NYT, NPR and a Wired article here.

Basically, Dorai posted a website inviting people from the future to attend the gathering and bring some proof that they were not just some crazy person posing as a time-traveler. One guy showed up with a denim vest and claimed that in the future people only wore denim, he was kicked out, but then invited back because at MIT even people who were denim vests are considered cool.

The funny thing about the whole "convention" is that it is not entirely a joke. The event featured MIT professors and thinkers who pondered the possibility of time travel. MIT Professor Erik Demaine thought the thing had a chance: ''If you subscribe to alternative-world theory, then time travel makes sense at some level. The universe is inherently uncertain, and at various times it's essentially flipping coins to make a decision. At any point, there's the heads version of the world and the tails version of the world. We think that we actually live in one of them, and you could imagine that there's actually many versions of the universe, including one where suddenly you appear from 10 years in the future.''

At ten p.m. when the time tavelers were supposed to reveal themselves, students held each other in anticipation. Although no one from the future appeared Dorai says its OK because anyone from the future can come back and visit that moment for infinity, haven't you seen Donnie Darko, the guy from ER explains it all I'm too busy right now to go over the nuts and bolts of it.


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