The date is July 14, 1986. Herbert Benson wakes up early, goes down to the kitchen and makes himself a peanut butter sandwich. This is a seemingly trivial incident that happened nearly 30 years ago.
How do we know today that this sandwich-making incident actually happened? Is there any kind of time-space record of it?
Making a nighttime sandwich is a seemingly inconsequential act, but what if Mr. Benson later committed some heinous act like killing a young girl, blowing up a bridge, or shooting the President? In these situations, whatever precedes an extremist act becomes critically important.
Was he alone in the house? Was he making sandwiches for more than one person? Did he add poison to the peanut butter? Why were there sandwich fragments at the crime scene? All of these details are critically important, but will this kind of information ever be accessible?
When we look into space we are actually looking back in time. This is because we are looking at old light traveling towards us at 186,000 miles/second.
We already know that if someone is watching us through a large telescope on the moon, they’re seeing events that happened 1.3 seconds earlier because that’s how long it takes light to get from the earth to the moon.
Similarly, if someone builds a giant telescope on Saturn, they will see things that happened 75-85 minutes earlier, depending on the orbits, because that’s how long it takes light to travel from the earth to Saturn.
Using this as a very crude proof, we already know that information does indeed transcend the here and now, but can we ever access it and reassemble it into a useful form?
From what we know today, it’s not reasonable to think we could send a probe 20 light-years away from the earth just to see what happened 20 years earlier. But there may be other ways to reconstruct these fragments?
If people in the future somehow gain the ability to view past events, how will that change the way we live our lives? What changes would you make if you knew someone from the future might be watching you?