Robert Nemiroff and a team of grad students at Michigan Technological University have been searching Twitter for prescient content: Information that could not have been gained without knowledge of the future.
As Nemiroff and one of his graduate students, Teresa Wilson, note in “Searching the Internet for evidence of time travel,” travel into the future is a commonplace occurrence — you are doing it as you read these words. Even accelerated time travel into the future is “on firm scientific footing,” as demonstrated by “the twin paradox.”
Time travel to the past is “controversial, at best, and impossible according to conventional views of the laws of physics.” But both Special and General Relativity allow for the possibility, however impractical, of traveling into the past, and it is conceivable that our contemporary “conventional views of the laws of physics” may be contravened at some point in the future, thereby allowing for someone from the future to travel into their past, which would be our present.
Nemiroff and Wilson set out to search “for digital signatures that time travelers potentially left on the Internet.” In particular, they sought “content that should not have been known at the time it was posted,” and they referred to such information as “prescient.”
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