Data from the future

A time traveler comes to you from the future (perhaps in a blue box) and offers you three sets of data. Which do you choose?

My choices:
1. Everything related to successfully bettering third-world living conditions.
2. The closing stock prices for each day.
3. A copy of every standardized test I would ever have to take, but without the answers.

I’m curious to hear your answers in the comments.

2 Responses to Data from the future

  1. Michael says:

    Hard to choose because of the conditions.
    Question is: does the future change because of my interacting in the present with future knowledge. For example when I choose “stock prices” will the data be sill correct in a month when I buy the right stock now and change the market. If not it’s useless. If it is, you can change the 3. world conditions by throwing money at the problem.

    Having the knowledge to bettering third-world living conditions is no good at all, if you can’t raise a buck to do so. Also: It is not that hard to figure out what will successfully help. The problem is that people are stuck in their intrestgroups and are not willing to change.

    Having the questions for future tests would be beneficial for a career, but not necessary for gaining intellectual benefit. It just makes it easier jumping trough hoops others provide.

    So depending on the conditions (future data will be obsolete trough my interfering in the present or not) the data would be (almost) useless or be the possibility to change the world.

    Much more interesting though would be asking the time traveler on what day I did die.

  2. jason swadley says:

    Thanks Michael, that’s interesting.

    I’m assuming here that one’s actions aren’t large enough to change the validity of the data – i.e. my trades on the market aren’t enough to shift the overall trends. (For some small stocks that might not be the case if I were investing a lot, but I’m thinking mostly large blue chip stocks).

    And you’re exactly right about the exams… but having the hoops gone would be nice. 🙂

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