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Author Topic:   What do you pack in your time machine?
Colonel Panic

Posts: 71
From: Des Moines, Iowa
Registered: Mar 2002

posted July 10, 2002 13:02     Click Here to See the Profile for Colonel Panic   Click Here to Email Colonel Panic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I wake up this morning and I find this note in my own handwriting written sometime in the future. And it describes how to build my very own time transport.

The note goes on to describe how I woke up one morning and found this note from me and after collecting the materials and following the directions, plus a little trial and error I got the darned thing to work.

It told me to stay away from the stock market, but was able to give me the names of a few horses to put money on to help finance construction. The note had some pretty depressing news about the future and suggested I get while the getting is good and set my sights on Tahiti in the 1600s -- of course that's after I take a moment to drop this note off to my past self on the way to the distant past.

It's going to take a while to build (one of the key parts won't be available on the market for another 8 months), but in the mean time I gotta figure out what to pack. Apparently, the machine is not that rugged and replacment parts get hard to find -- of course now and in the past as well as after the impending apocolypse. According to my note I'm limited to 30 lbs of baggage.

Any suggestions as to what to take?

Colonel Panic

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Cap'n Vic
Geek Larva

Posts: 23
From: Yukon
Registered: Jun 2002

posted July 10, 2002 13:27     Click Here to See the Profile for Cap'n Vic   Click Here to Email Cap'n Vic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tahiti....hmmmm.....bring a bunch of KY Jelly....those Tahitin girls really know how to "hip swivel".

I would also reccomend a few Texas Longhorns (M and F) so you never run out of beef and/or beef like products (They say coconuts have meat, but I don't buy it) . Any room left over should be filled with Jack Daniels and Coca Cola. Oh yes, one last thing....when will you be picking me up?

I used to work at a factory where they made fire hydrants; but you couldn't park anywhere near the place.

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Super Geek

Posts: 175
From: Denver, CO, US
Registered: Jan 2000

posted July 10, 2002 14:27     Click Here to See the Profile for Erbo   Click Here to Email Erbo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Extra plutonium, or whatever the hell your time machine uses for fuel. That way, you can always go back and pick up other stuff you need later. Don't be like Marty McFly in Back To The Future, where you have to improvise with a bolt of lightning. (And I don't think you can get a "Mr. Fusion(TM) Home Energy Reactor" yet. ) And as many spare parts as you can find.

(Hey, maybe that's why the spare parts for your time machine will get hard to find...because you will be going back in time to when they were plentiful and stockpiling them!)

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Super Geek

Posts: 122
From: Portland, OR
Registered: May 2001

posted July 10, 2002 15:47     Click Here to See the Profile for maxomai   Click Here to Email maxomai     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spare parts

Spare fuel

The blueprint, just to be sure, with annotations

Chorine tablets for the water

First aid kit

.22lr revolver with 3000 rounds of ammo

Favorite blanket

A copy of Feynman's QED; presumably you can do a good enough job explaining the rest of physics to your kids.

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BlabberMouth, the Next Generation.

Posts: 1746
From: Milton, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted July 10, 2002 15:52     Click Here to See the Profile for ZorroTheFox   Click Here to Email ZorroTheFox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
lots and lots of chocolate pudding, just in case I end up somewhere they don't have it. The necessities of course, and all the BDSM equipment I can fit in the darned thing...............Z


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Alpha Geek

Posts: 349
From: the heart of Cajun country
Registered: Apr 2000

posted July 10, 2002 17:18     Click Here to See the Profile for CrawGator   Click Here to Email CrawGator     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Definately remember to take a paper and pen to write the note to yourself so that you can close the loop

sun block spf45 since you are probably not used to being outdoors

canned food and an opener might also be good

blueprints and tech manuals on how to build key technological equipment

before you go, drop off a copy of the plans to each one of us so we can all build one and do likewise, {after all key parts are supposed to be hard to find}

We can all head for Tahiti, start a "geekocracy" and by this time, in the alternate timeline, our legacy and offspring of many generations will have taken over the world by means of superior intelligence and technological know how. Maybe the people of the alternate timeline will have enough intelligence and foresight to prevent the apocolypse that your note mentioned

A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. Douglas Adams Mostly Harmless

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Posts: 1305
From: Maryville, TN, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted July 10, 2002 18:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Steen   Click Here to Email Steen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple laptop computers, several sets of solar cells to run them with and CD and DVD copies of every encyclopedia you can find along with every other scrap of information you can burn before you go. 30 pounds of information is more valuable than 30 pounds of anything else you'll ever find.

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Alpha Geek

Posts: 306
From: Cyberspace, Delta Quadrant
Registered: Sep 1999

posted July 10, 2002 20:06     Click Here to See the Profile for Janeway   Click Here to Email Janeway     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Such as a wilderness survival guide, just in case you end up stuck in an uninhabited region. Also, a book on how to speak Tahitian, customs, etc, for the 1600s.

Flint and steel, rope, pocketknife, fishing hooks--there again, in case of emergency.

I'd take two or three dogs with me, too, for several reasons:
1. to provide company
2. to give protection and warn of intruders
3. food, if you can teach them to hunt; food, if they won't hunt and you're starving

Also, always remember this advice from the Two Great Ones:
"Be excellent to each other."
"Party on, dudes!"

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Alien Investor

Posts: 409
From: New York City
Registered: Jan 2000

posted July 10, 2002 22:01     Click Here to See the Profile for Alien Investor   Click Here to Email Alien Investor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First I would read US Army Field Manual 21-76, "Survival". I might bring a copy with me, but I am probably better off learning everything I need and the using to weight to bring other stuff.

In fact, thinking it over, I don't like the idea of "bring lots of books or a laptop stuffed with a library and then learn everything on the ground". I think I would be much better off getting all my training BEFORE I found myself on the ground in 17th century Tahiti. I believe that my training will be my #1 survival asset.


Wildnerness survival training
First aid / primitive medicine
Tahitian language
Tahitian history
Stone carving


Machete, compass, first aid kit, tent with mosquito netting.
Knives, fishing line, fishing hooks.
Water purification kit with lots of filters.
Fire starting kit.
Hand-cranked flashlight.
Aspirin, penicillin, sulfa powder, quinine, morphine.
Wind-up wristwatch.
Shoe repair kit.
Pith helmet.
Toothbrushes (but no toothpaste).
Fertilized chicken eggs, both male and female.
Beer brewing kit.
Stone carving tools.
Spear head.
Jewelry (stuff that looks good on Tahitian women).

I would not bring a firearm -- I would rather use the weight for something else. There are no large predators on Tahiti. When it comes to dealing with humans, if I have to use a firearm, then the local tribe will probably kill me the next time I sleep, anyways. I'll have to speak Tahitian and talk my way out of trouble.

Say goodbye to toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, sunscreen. These are all consumables and they would be consumed anyways. I wouldn't take any sunscreen because I'd tan myself before leaving. I might be able to carry enough toothbrushes to last me a lifetime, if I get really tough ones and brush my teeth once a week and take care of them.

Say hello to grubs and worms, these are going to be the staples of my diet for a long time.

I would have a choice of seeking out the aboriginal natives, or avoiding them. Part of my training would be making this choice. If I seek them out, I have to figure out some way to be valuable to them besides having simply having stuff that they can kill me for. If I avoid them, my life is likely to be perilous and short.

I've answered the question on its own terms, but I question some of the assumptions. First, given advance knowledge of the future, the stock market is the safest way to make a lot of money quickly. I bet if you took home $100,000 from a track in one month you would spend a lot of the other seven months dealing with the consequences, like police investigations. (BTW if you take $100,000 home from the options markets or commodity markets, and you have never traded before, the SEC or the CFTC agencies will be asking you a lot of questions and chewing up your valuable time). But this is just a quibble.

More importantly, I doubt that I would choose to come down in Tahiti. Just learning the language will take up much of my time. Then I have to learn how to get water and food and shelter before I die. I'd much rather come down somewhere where I speak the language and that is civilized enough that I can trade my special skills and knowledge and materiel for survival. I can carry a lot of diamonds and morphine in my 30-pound allowance. And if I kiss Sir Isaac Newton's ass hard enough, and let him put his name on all the mathematics that I know, then maybe he will see that I have a room of my own and a little food every now and then.

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Colonel Panic

Posts: 71
From: Des Moines, Iowa
Registered: Mar 2002

posted July 11, 2002 11:22     Click Here to See the Profile for Colonel Panic   Click Here to Email Colonel Panic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey, cool!

I was hoping there would be other geeks that would get into this.

Hey, alieninvestor, I stayed away from the market 'cause I thought the SEC and you ; - ) would get on me. I worked for a track in Kentucky and knew there would be some of that investigating going on, but still a lucky day is a lucky day, and without some kind of connection between me and the jockeys, folks wouldn't waste THAT much time.

I figured this would be an exercise in fun a philosophy that geek-minded folks would like to share. I like a lot of ideas I've read and have some of my own.

Like, why go back into a Christian culture? If they think you're a god they'll nail you to a cross. If you're too smart for them, they'll burn you at the stake. A lot of geeks got burned at the stake I figure: , "Mr. AlientInvestor, will you tell the clergy exactly why you think the earth is not at the center of the universe? And explain why Satan didn't teach you about high-level math? Ughhhhh!

A lot of Christian morals and moreys are based on scarcity. I'd prefer a culture based on plenty. According to many sexual anthropollogists, Tahitian's accepted unwed mothers because there was enough to go around. I like that.

I'm thinking a culture that was accepting and sharing is preferable to one that punishes stuff -- like having a Bible copyrighted in 1996 or something. "Burn him! Burn him!"

I'm making my own list, borrowing plenty from other suggestions. Right now, air rifle & pellets for birds, laptop w/solar panel, mp3s & headphones, knife, flint, a few Bic lighters, water filter, a brace & bit, plus a good plane, and plans for a sail boat that can tack into the wind would set me up pretty in Tahiti.

The Tahitian had their enemies and a good modern sloop design would be excellent for defense and to wage war. Add a good cross-bow design and I figure that would keep me in mahi-mahi and TahitianT&A for quite some time.

I'm figuring if I have any weight left over for a few good pots, yeast and a wort cooler, though.

Oh, and a few basil, oregano, and tomato seeds, plus some garlic cloves and a grape root or two. Mmmm, and barley and a hops root, too.

Colonel Panic

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Alien Investor

Posts: 409
From: New York City
Registered: Jan 2000

posted July 11, 2002 12:20     Click Here to See the Profile for Alien Investor   Click Here to Email Alien Investor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, I bow to your racetrack experience ... if you could have a big lucky day there, then I take your word for it.

My point about the stock market is that you can make money by betting against stocks (short selling) as well as betting in favor of them (the normal way of investing). If you can figure out the "next Enron" then you can make a lot of money quickly. A lot of people are actually trying to do this right now. My money is literally on Computer Associates (CA). Since the market is so liquid, a short seller could probably take out $1 million or more without anyone noticing. In the stock OPTION market, there is a lot less volume, and people would notice $100k moving in a strange way (especially post 9/11 and the action in airline stock options that happened a week before).

Let's run with the seed idea. If we are going somewhere uncivilized, or even civilized, in the 17th century, then a whole lot of seeds would be good. Also fertilized eggs of several kinds of birds, and maybe some plant grafts and stuff. We're gonna be agricultural geniuses.

It might be especially helpful if we took 100 varieties of seeds, but only a few of each kind, and didn't label them, and lots of them were difficult about their planting conditions, which we memorize. Then maybe we could not get killed for our seeds, wherever we go.

I disagree with you about the Christian church in the 17th century. I just finished a book about this, Steven Shapin, "The Scientific Revolution". Scientists of the 17th century such as Boyle and Newton did not see their work as opposed to the church. They saw the world as God's creation, "The Book of Nature", and reading "The Book of Nature" was a means of gaining more knowledge about God. Mostly the Catholic church was comfortable with that. They did persecute Bruno and Galileo, but there was plenty of scientific exploration, including all the exploration of the New World, that did not challenge the perfection of God and was acceptable.

I would have to make sure I hook up with someone who was scientifically enlightened and politically connected, like Newton. I don't want to become a homeless crazy person spouting weird incomprehensible stuff like the Periodic Table with nobody listening.

And I suppose it would be a bit more prudent to take a 17th century bible with me rather than some random 21st century bible.

Maybe Tahitians were very mellow within their tribes. But how did they treat outsiders? I'm Caucausian, so even after I get my sunburn, I'm still gonna look different. I'm going to speak the language very poorly and strangely. I'm going to be alone. If I appear to have any strange powers or possessions, I'm concerned that a tribe is going to kill me to acquire those things. I haven't read a lot of anthropology material on pre-colonial Tahitians yet, but they did divide into tribes and they did have war.

So you prefer Tahiti, but right now, I prefer England.

Actually, my personal favorite time machine fantasy is England, 1952, modern weapons and vehicles, jailbreak, Alan Turing.

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Posts: 358
Registered: Mar 2002

posted July 11, 2002 15:47     Click Here to See the Profile for ilovemydualg4   Click Here to Email ilovemydualg4     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ahh..... here's what I would do....
(assuming that the machine can not only travel in time, but also in space)
once you are able to create the time machine go FORWARD into the future and find a time when there is some sort of better compression, so you could take more things in less space. then go back to a few hundred years before you would like to go to tahiti, if you really must, so that you can lay all of the seeds for civilization that you must, then go a hundred years forward from that old time, and assuming all went right, you will have huge fields of corn, potatoes, other vegetables/fruits, and plenty of game. If you ever had a problem, go back intime to the previous harvest and change the problem!

Since you heard that the future would be horid, find out what is wrong, and change the future. In doing so, you could make yourself become a god like figure, and you could live in the future better than in the past, as you would not need to learn a new languauge, or deal with anyone. If someone were to cause problems with your rise to power, simpilly go back in time and "influence" them to pursue something else, and if the loop is right, then no one would ever question you, and everyone would love you. Ya know, create an issue with some kid, where it looks like they will die, but won't, save them, do it a few times, make yourself look good in the public eye, muahahahahahahah

my geek code
Hazards: "There is an island of opportunity in the middle of every difficulty, miss that, though, and you're pretty much doomed."

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Super Geek

Posts: 235
From: Ossus
Registered: Jun 2002

posted July 12, 2002 15:34     Click Here to See the Profile for SpikeSpiegel   Click Here to Email SpikeSpiegel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
that seems too complicated.. why not make contact with aliens while your at it jon

"Get in my Belly! Im bigger than you im higher in the food chain!... Chili's Baby Back Ribs....."

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