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Convince Your Friends You're a Time Traveler

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When John Titor first showed up on IRC chat in October of 2000, he was enjoying a neat kind of double billing - as his 38-year-old self sat downstairs in the kitchen, typing away, a two-year-old version of himself lay sound asleep upstairs in bed. The elder Titor had been sent back in time by the U.S. Army, which needed him to fetch some legacy computer hardware from the 1970's, and he had a sort of layover in the year 2000. So like anyone with time to kill, he went online.

Titor arrived in Florida in a 2036 model Corvette (later sold off) outfitted with a 500 pound military-grade time travel device that he photographed and posted online, complete with manual. The reason for his visit was utilitarian - he had been sent back to the 1970's to fetch a model IBM 5100 computer, "because Unix has problems in 2038", and the 5100 had an undocumented feature that made it highly desirable to programmers working on the Unix bug. Apparently the Army of 2036 knew enough to build a time machine, but wasn't able to fix a word-size error in a legacy operating system.

That bit actually made the whole story sound plausible to me.

While waiting for his connection to the 1970's, Titor paid a number of visits to IRC and message boards, answering questions and giving people an idea of what the future held in store. Because he kept his story internally consistent, offered a high level of detail, and didn't much seem to care if anyone believed him, Titor naturally convinced boatloads of people that he was the real deal.

The world of 2036, as Titor describes it, will be a strange place (and you don't want to drink the water). The capital of the United States is in Omaha. The whole world has been through a nuclear war, part of an agrarian/urban conflict that dates all the way back to 2004 (Titor calls it the Second Civil War). People are living in smaller communities, and have moved back to the land. Today's libertarians are all proven right. In many respects, the pace of technological change has regressed. Except, of course, for the bit about the time machine.



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Know your audience

Do you really want to face down a discussion board full of paranoid libertarians and tell them that 2025 will see the birth of world government, universal health care for everyone, clean energy and a reduction in Third World debt?


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It's an interesting story to be sure, and he made some good points. But as there hasn't been a second civil war yet, I'm kinda doubting his story.

Yay paradox. Since he came back in time, and brough it up, isn't it plausible that he changed the course of history just enough to either:

a. Avoid it


b. Cause it to happen later?

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Okay, I don't mean to do the olololol old thing, because that's stupid, but you're JUST finding out about John Titor? It's been old news for like 5 years.

It's an interesting story to be sure, and he made some good points. But as there hasn't been a second civil war yet, I'm kinda doubting his story.


Schroedinger's cat is dead.

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