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Old 07-13-2009, 04:27 PM
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Default Time Crime?

If time travel were possible, and someone went back in time when a substance or item that is now illegal was legal, and bought a bunch of it, and brought it back to our current time to use or sell, would they be guilty of a crime? For instance, Bayer introduced heroine as a cure for morphine addiction, and for a brief time, it was perfectly legal and bought over the counter like any kind of patent medicine. Say someone had a time machine and went back in time and bought a ton of heroine when it was legal and brought it back to our time where it is a controlled, dangerous substance, could they be prosecuted for buying something that was completely legal when they purchased it? For that matter, say someone used a time machine to go back before the civil war and buy slaves. When they got back, because slavery was legal back then, would they be allowed to keep the slaves and force them to perform menial labor for them? After all, they purchased the slaves within the letter of the law, they just used a time machine as a vehicle to take them to the auction, even if the auction did occur in 1845. My whole point here is that time travel could be as fraught with unforeseen complications as transporter technology. In other words, just because you can, should you?
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:33 PM
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Are you serious?

I think the current law would be the one any time traveler should worry about. Just because you bought something when it was legal, does not make it legal now. Same thing applies right now. Things are legal in some countries, but NOT here. Try arguing with a customs agent that you bought it legally and that you should be allowed to bring it home with you!
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:40 PM
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Serious? Actually I was just wondering about it. I didn't realize being serious was a prerequesite to receiving a reply to one's query. However, you do have a point about customs agents. If we ever do actually invent time travel technology, we should appoint temporal customs agents to deal with this sort of thing. That is a very valid solution. Thank you for your input.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:42 PM
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Well first off I think some sheriffs wouldn't be impressed by a "dandy time-machine" story. But, with things like heroine, I think in most places possession is just as illegal as purchase, so you really wouldn't win. Same think with slaves - I know that it's completely illegal to own people, no matter if you bought "it" in 1830. I must say with temporal disturbances due to time machines that I hope that J.J. Abram's theory is correct, that each time line keeps going regardless of time meddling. Otherwise it'd be almost impossible to rectify the "true" timeline, but more importantly it'd be impossible to know that the timeline had been meddled with in the first place!

Okay, speech over. I'm tired
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:41 PM
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I think it is pretty simple. When you buy a substance which is legal in country A and then travel to country B where it is illegal, you don't get arrested for having bought it in country A, but for possessing it in country B. Same in a fictional world where time travel is possible, possession right now right here is illegal, no matter when or where you bought it.

I guess that time travel would lead to very different and more dangerous types of criminal behaviour, not unlike ENT portrayed it.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:01 AM
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Um... you have a time machine... and the best use you can make of it is to run drugs from one age to another? Really?

How about altering the timeline to create the best of all possible worlds?

Or even something as simple, stupid and profitable as winning every Powerball lottery, ever?

Honestly, have YOU really thought about this?


Pick up a copy of Gerrold's "The Man Who Folded Himself" to get some idea of the possibilities.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:35 AM
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Don't listen to fanwriter. Get yourself to India circa 3000AD and bring back whatever they're offering up to Siva and share it with moi.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerhanner View Post
Don't listen to fanwriter. Get yourself to India circa 3000AD and bring back whatever they're offering up to Siva and share it with moi.
Just what exacty were they offering up Jerhanner? Anywho, this thread was originally meant to be speculative on possible misuses of time travel. Fanwriter, I never said I wanted to be the one to misuse it, I don't. I'm not interested in profit or instant riches and I am not and never have been a criminal. If I did have a time machine, I know exactly where and when I'd go, and it wouldn't be for any illicit purpose and it would be a mite further back than pre-Civil War America.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:44 PM
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I'd go way back in time to the dawn of man, and wait until every little chimp was asleep, then sneak in this huge black monolith thing, and see what happens when they wake up. Oh, and before that I would travel back to the 70's, bring Stanley Kubrick with me, let him watch, take him back, and watch him create a kick-*** movie.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffs79 View Post
I'd go way back in time to the dawn of man, and wait until every little chimp was asleep, then sneak in this huge black monolith thing, and see what happens when they wake up. Oh, and before that I would travel back to the 70's, bring Stanley Kubrick with me, let him watch, take him back, and watch him create a kick-*** movie.
Don't forget to play inspiring music and to hand one of the monkeys a big stick.
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