I love science fiction in general and I love tall tales about time travel in particular. As I’ve mentioned on previous occasions, some of my favorite stories of this genre are The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov, By His Bootstraps by Robert Heinlein, A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury, and Millennium by John Varley.
Although I don’t like to boast, I’m a bit of a time traveler myself. In fact, I’m traveling into the future as I pen these words, but I’m currently taking the scenic path at a relaxed pace of one day every 24 hours (give or take).
I also spend an inordinate amount of time pondering what trade goods I should take with me if I ever get my time machine working and decide to take a few days of vacation in the past. Obviously, I wouldn’t want anything of a technological nature that would get me burnt at the stake as a witch or anything of a culinary nature that would get me flogged as a Frenchman. If I were to go back to Roman times, say the year 65 in the middle of the reign of Titus Flavius Vespasianus, for example, then I think boxes of safety matches, stainless steel sewing needles, and small vanity mirrors would go a long way to making friends.
Having said this, to be honest, I’ve never really pondered the situation posed in a recent post to the Science and Math Geeks community of Quora.com, which read as follows: “You’ve traveled back in time 65 M years with no way to return. What evidence can you leave to ensure future humans will know of your existence?”
I wouldn’t have even known where to start until I read the detailed response by Dyjamerson Freire Campos. I find it hard to fault any of Dyjamerson’s reasoning, although the thought of having to chop off my little finger brings a tear to my eye. How about you? Do you have any thoughts you’d care to share on any of this?