- generate a set of random numbers between 31 and 127 (these numbers correspond to all the common ASCII characters).
- without observing the numbers, I copy them to a dependable long lasting location, probably some place on the internet.
- the location must enable the numbers to be edited otherwise anyone accessing the data from wont be able to change it.
- wait a period of time before observing the data, thus ensuring a large enough window of time for the data to be manipulated from the future.
Now there are several important things to keep in mind about this process. First of all, the numbers must be truly random otherwise it is theoretically possible to determine what the numbers are without even seeing them. Keep in mind that computers are completely deterministic machines with a finite set of operations. They can't generate truly random numbers, they just use algorithms which are so close to random we can't tell the difference.
We can only produce this undetermined wave-like state of the data if we truly don't and can't know what the state of the data is unless we actually measure/observe the data. So for this task we can turn to a service such as the one provided by random.org. This website provides true random data derived from atmospheric noise, which is completely unpredictable, meaning we have no way of guessing what numbers such a system will produce.
You may also be wondering how large the so called "set of random numbers" should be. Well it can be any size really, depending on how much space you want to provide to the message senders. Keep in mind that if you pick the length, that is something you have determined already, meaning that size can't change because it would create obvious discrepancies and alterations to reality, which would once again cause paradoxical situations.
While it doesn't seem absolutely necessary for the data to exist in a location where it will last long into the future, it probably is a good idea if you wish people from the future (other than yourself) to know where the data is going to be located at some point in the past, so they can go back and manipulate that data within the time window. If you store the information on your home PC only you know its location and it may be hard to establish a connection to that data from the future.
Putting it on the internet is ideal since it will last a long time and it can be stored in a way which allows it to be modified from anywhere in the world via only electrical and light (informational) signals. This may prove to be a crucial aspect of the conditions which are necessary for future people to manipulate data existing in the past. They may not be able to establish a direct physical line to the past but it's likely they will establish an informational line.
Keep in mind that the future person must also edit the data before it is seen by anyone in our present time. We have no way of knowing anything has changed until we measure the state of the data at least one time. Since they are starting with data which is in an undermined state, anything they do to the data during that window is something we can never be aware of, it's completely irrelevant because we only observe the data once the window has closed.
This is the most critical aspect of the operation, because obviously if the data doesn't provide a way of being modified then it can only be observed by the future people, in which case they wont be able to transmit any message because they will simply observe random text, just the same as we would observe if we were the first people to observe it. The real trick is that from our perspective it's impossible to establish that the data has already been observed.
It may as well be random for all we care, even if it does contain a message there's no solid way to establish whether that message is the result of pure coincidence or if it's because someone from the future observed and edited that data before we had a chance to observe it. There's nothing to tell us that reality has been manipulated by people from the future, and if there were such a method it would lead to the sorts of paradoxes I mentioned earlier.
We must also wait a reasonable amount of time before we actually take a look at the data because we don't have any idea how their time-bending technology functions. It may possibly take them hours or even days to tap into that window of time when the data is existing in an undetermined state. If we don't wait long enough and provide a large enough window then we may not provide them with enough time to work their technological magic.
Now you may be wondering if I have actually tried any of this and if it does work why would I even be talking about it? Of course I have tried it, I wouldn't post this thread unless I had tried it, and I wouldn't have posted this thread if it worked. I mainly posted this idea because I find it extremely interesting and I'd like to see if anyone has any ideas about ways in which this procedure could be optimized and refined, and possibly what I might be doing wrong.
It could be possible that I never get access to any technology which will allow me to send messages to the past, meaning I need to place the data in a location where it will easily be located by future people, thus telling them where to look for it in the past, and thus enabling me to receive a message from anyone in the future who has access to such technology. Or it could simply be we never figure out how to send messages into the past and thus this is all a useless exercise.
Another potential problem which I just though of, is that the random numbers from random.org are not entirely unmeasured by all observers, they are likely to be copied into a database on their server, which would indicate the numbers might need to be measured and modified at that location, but that's impossible without hacking into their database. I may need to use true random numbers which are discarded from all sources after I obtain them and save them at my chosen location.
I did, however, get some interesting results the first time I tried it. I established a "start" and an "end" character which would indicate the start and end of the transmission. That way I could know if the messages I received had been cut off or damaged in some way. If the start of the message began with the start character and ended with the end character I would know I had a complete message. The first time I did it the first character was indeed the start character.
However the rest of the message was complete gibberish. But that is basically a 1 in 100 chance that the first character was the start character. So I thought maybe I just didn't provide a large enough time window and my future self only had time to manipulate the first character, thus giving me a sign that it was working. Well it turns out that probably wasn't the case, because I've tried it a few more times now but I haven't gotten the start character in the right place again.
So anyway that's my interesting little experiment in sending messages through time and I hope someone else found it interesting or useful in some way. If you have anymore insight or ideas then don't hesitate to post them here, especially if it concerns the problem about isolated random numbers. This is a fascinating subject and I'm eager to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you have any other ideas about sending information through time I'm all ears.
edit on 30/7/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)