Internet search engines are not yet reliable enough to find evidence of time travelers — if that information exists and if it’s findable. That’s what this new study suggests:
“Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers,” Robert J. Nemiroff [pictured above], Teresa Wilson [pictured below], arXiv:1312.7128, December 26, 2013. The authors, at Michigan Tech, write:
“Time travel has captured the public imagination for much of the past century, but little has been done to actually search for time travelers. Although less well known than popular fiction, experiments designed to discover human time travelers have been conducted. In May of 2005, then graduate student A. Dorai at MIT publicised and held a convention for time travelers. No one claiming to come from the future showed up . S. Hawking did a similar experiment in July of 2012, holding a personal party for time travelers, but sending out the invitations only after the party. No one claiming to be a time traveler showed up. In this work, we report on a series of searches for digital signatures that time travelers potentially left on the Internet. Specifically, we search for content that should not have been known at the time it was posted. Such information is here referred to as “prescient”. To the best of our knowledge, no similar search has ever been published previously….
“Given practical verifiability concerns, only time travelers from the future were investigated. No time travelers were discovered. Although these negative results do not disprove time travel, given the great reach of the Internet, this search is perhaps the most comprehensive to date.”
(Thanks to @Markawriter for bringing this to our attention.)
Here’s video of Stephen Hawking discussing his Internet-search-engineless approach to the question:
BONUS (unrelated): “Nearly a year and four months have elapsed since I released my series of papers on inter-universal Teichmuller theory.” (HT Cliff Pickover)
BONUS (related to the aforementioned unrelated item: the good old days): Inter-universal Teichmuller theory, as things stood in 2011