Because my brain works in strange ways, the exchange between Jordan and Micky about possible marginal benefit arising from mass killings got me thinking about time machines, because the "classic" argument for the possible use of a time machine is probably to go back a few decades and, say, gun down the future leadership of the Nazi Party in 1925, or Lenin & Associates by 1910 or so, thereby presumably saving a whole mess of lives (better do both, since the two did a good job of crippling each other enough that the Free World eventually managed to prevail). Of course, we know from fiction that this never works,, but it raises the question: suppose we could make every physicist in existence cry like a baby by making a functional time machine, albeit one with certain limitations. What would you do with it? This diary asks that question, and invites responses.
Of course, we need rules:
1. The machine can send one person and as much luggage as someone going on an around the world trip could reasonably take with them. Once there, you will need to be able to arrange for the movement of the luggage by locally available means, meaning that overloading the suitcases beyond their normally intended capacity is not recommended;
2. You may take any item with you that you could reasonably obtain via purchase and obtaining appropriate permits--meaning that small arms are likely OK, but heavy weapons are not. Nuclear weapons are right out;
3. If you are discovered with anachronistic technology by authorities and arrested, your trip will end immediately. To compensate for this, you will not be subject to random searches within the borders of the country you arrive in--but customs will apply if you cross international borders, so any anachronistic technology or illegal items will be found;
4. You may obtain any specialized training you believe you will need for the trip (and which you honestly believe you have the ability to learn with time), but you must take the usual amount of time to obtain it, adding that amount of time to your current age to determine your starting age for the trip;
5. Time is assumed to be fluid enough that any changes you make will not wipe you, your friends, or your families out of existence--and if you try to do so intentionally your trip ends immediately (stop being a wise@$$!);
6. You may, within the limits of your ability to gather and deliver the means to do so, take one action that either kills people who otherwise lived or saves people who otherwise died (you can do this for an event only involving animals, plants, and/or major structures if you choose to), thereby ending your trip. If you die during this action, your trip ends at that point and events will proceed from that point without further interference--you will appear back at the time and place of your departure at the same age you were when you left with all of your memories of the trip and all of your possessions of the trip;
7. You may stay indefinitely if you confine yourself to actions that do not directly impact history at the time. You may (using technology available at the time, or with modern technology you brought back with you with the risk of discovery) duplicate books, take pictures, or otherwise store information and take it back with you when you go back. Again subject to available means, you may collect seeds or animal DNA samples to take back with you, but no living animals or plants (including bacteria, viruses, or other such life). You can either decide to go back voluntarily, wait to die of old age, disease, or misfortune, or wait until the moment you went to the past in the first place--any of which will result in you appearing at the time and place of your departure with all of the memories of your trip and all of your current possessions from the trip.
8. If you tell anyone in the past you are a time traveler, your trip ends immediately (might be useful if Gavrilo Princip is about to shoot you in the face and you'd really rather not deal with that).
Part of the fun of this, of course, is pointing out to me where I have left loopholes that will allow you to shamelessly abuse the process.
Good luck! (-: