TED Conversations

Lori Barber

Business Analyst, National Academy of Sports Medicine

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Time Travel Through History...

If you could travel back in time and observe history, where would you go and what would you see?

Here are a few things I would like to see…
• Ancient Rome – a day in the life in ancient Rome
• Egypt – building the pyramids in Egypt
• Ellis Island – a day in the life at Ellis Island in the early 1900s
• Berlin Wall – fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989
• Michelangelo – watch Michelangelo work on one of his magnificent sculptures
• United States Continental Congress
• Woodstock

0
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Jun 5 2013: I'd head to the very beginning of the universe, just to see it.
  • thumb
    Jul 4 2013: I'd enjoy laughing my head off watching Shakespeare acting in one of his comedies, from the pit at the old Globe. (Though I'd want to be able to get back quickly - the stench in that place would have been numbing to the modern nose.)
  • thumb
    Jun 22 2013: To once and for all settle on this one:
    Who layed the first egg and if it was a hen who did it ... :o)

    By the way are Darwinians able to travel further back in time in your thought experiment than Creationists or do both middle each other out somehow? ;o)
  • thumb
    Jun 5 2013: -Great Library of Alexandria before it burned.
    -Sometime when the primordial soup existed.
    -Watch DaVinci work.
    -Writing of the Bible.

    Not in chronological order (obviously)

    Cheers,
    Michael
  • Jun 5 2013: - the Aztec Empire (either at the pinnacle or when cortez walked the streets as an 'ally')
    - seen the truth about ancient 'barbarians'
    - watch Sun Tzu and seen what he was capable of
    - to witness the ancient druidic rituals
    - to view the building of all the ancient wonders and watch all ancient religions
  • thumb
    Jun 4 2013: Hi Lori why limit yourself to see human history only .If you allow me, I would like to see

    Big Bang.

    And you know with whom.The One who is responsible for big bang.
  • Jun 4 2013: I'd only go if you allow me to change one thing. If those are the terms, I'd make sure that FDR kept Henry Wallace as his VP so Truman could not have dropped the bombs on the Japs. It is not to save the Japs but to stop Truman from using the bomb to show the Soviets that he and his right wing handlers intended on reneging on the reconstruction aid FDR promised Stalin. Wallace was ahead of his time and his ideas would be great today--he was a true visionary and man of the people. But somehow history had him pushed aside and Truman started the arms race that led America down the wrong path ever since. There would have been no Vietnam War, No Cuban missile crisis, no Iraq or 9/11. The whole outcome of the holocaust could have and may have been much more cooperative and progressive had this bit of fate not happened. Yes, I watched Oliver Stone's Untold Story of American history and believe he nailed it. But time travel is nonsense--it's an anthropocentric delusion. In order for time travel to exist, matter would have to exist in two places at once. And the more time travelers you have the more duplications of matter that have to accommodate that. Time is space. You'd have to travel where the Earth was or will be at a certain time. You can't have it also existing in its contemporary state while people go through space to the Earth where it was or will be. It makes for fine sci-fi but it is fundamentally anthropocentric. I don't think we're TAHT important to the universe. It was around for 11 billion years before our sun formed and will continue on after our sun explodes without noticing that we ever existed. (But I would like to have the chance to save Jimi Hendrix from himself.)
  • thumb
    Jun 4 2013: Ancient India
  • Jun 8 2013: hey
  • thumb
    Jun 8 2013: Oh- good one- me too!
  • thumb
    Jun 7 2013: I'd like to see who shot president Kennedy.
  • thumb
    Jun 7 2013: Cool - thanks...
  • thumb
    Jun 7 2013: These are awesome, especially Aztec Empire and Sun Tzu!
  • thumb
    Jun 7 2013: Ah - you bring up a great related question... Where would everyone go if you could time travel forward?
  • thumb
    Jun 6 2013: And if I could go forward I know of a very nice diner at the end of the universe, I'd like to go there too.
  • W T 100+

    • 0
    Jun 4 2013: Hi Lori,
    I would have liked to have been there when the Indus script was being recorded, and known what it's message entailed.
  • thumb
    Jun 4 2013: Apparently, I believe science has postulated that time travel is theoretically plausible. Astronauts for example when in outer space age more slowly than people on Earth. They have put atomic clocks in the space capsule and when it comes back down to Earth its time is slower than Earths.
    I don't have at my disposal all the scientific publications on the area, however, I have read about it!
    Incidentally, all our ancestors have travelled thru all those periods of time that you have mentioned. I think in the not too distant future the gaming technology sector will come up with virtual reality worlds of our times throughout history that we would be able to interact with in an almost real way! :D
    • thumb
      Jun 4 2013: A virtual reality time travel game would be really cool.
    • thumb
      Jun 6 2013: Yes, space and time are interconnected, it's the basis of the theory of relativity. And the things that bends space is gravity hence the heavier the slower time flows. The speed at which you're traveling also affects your wiegh (the faster you go the more mass you gain), it is in fact impossible for any gain for matter to reach the speed of light because of this. That's why time goes just a little bit faster in space (and on the north and south poles for that matter) then it would here on heavy Earth. It's even slower on the sun and time freezes when you are being sucked into a black hole (because of the enormous gravity). Without the theory of relativity to explain it our GPS systems would in fact be off by several hundred meters because of the time difference.