A Time Traveler’s Guide to 2013
We all know that history is a chaotic system; small changes have a big effect and all that fun stuff. So, as a licensed time traveler, if you want to change history, where to begin? Some big events might turn out to have a negligible impact, and many small changes have a small impact too. Well, we’re here to help. Below is a brief guide to 2013 for the interventionist time traveler: when and where to go, and recommended activities.
- Book a flight on a red-eye from JFK to LAX on April 24th. Your added weight on the plane will affect the atmosphere in such a way (chronometeorologists dispute the mechanism) that the hurricane of fall 2043 will not make landfall.
- We recommend trying this one multiple times: go to haberdasher Frank Watson’s home in Denver on the morning of May 17th. If you deliver flowers to him at 11:04am, Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics. If you tell him his car is about to be towed, it will go to Toronto.
- Send an email to the President at 5:14pm on December 18th (the content doesn’t matter). The Police will have a second reunion tour.
- Stop the principal of Newton North High school from getting into his office on time on the morning of March 19th and flying cars will be commercialized in 2021. Otherwise, we will move to islands and commute via jetski.
- Go to the November 24th Bills-Chiefs game. For some reason, literally nothing you do here has any effect on the long-term pattern of history.
- Shovel the sidewalks on Telfair Road in Philadelphia on the morning of February 8th and Rob Corddry wins an Emmy in September.
Know of other activities and destinations for the time traveler coming to 2013? Leave them in the comments.
Samuel Arbesman is an applied mathematician and network scientist. He is a senior scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and author of the book The Half-Life of Facts. His research and essays explore how to quantify all aspects of society.
Follow @arbesman on Twitter.