Here’s an odd twist on the time travel genre: Suppose you could send a single bit of information back to yourself in the past every so often — say, once a month. This is just enough information to tell your past self the answer to true/false questions.

But even this little bit would be an enormous superpower. The you that is in the past could frame questions such as “Will Google stock go up this month?”, and instantly learn the correct answer. To make this all work, the you that is in the future would simply need to make sure to send the proper “true” or “false” answer back in time.

But here’s the kicker: If you screw up even once — if you ever send the wrong bit back, or fail to send any answer at all — then your particular time line would cease to exist, a victim of paradox.

There might still, perhaps, be an infinite number of other versions of you off in parallel universes. But the one with your unique memories and life experiences would vanish. We’re talking existential retirement with extreme prejudice.

Would you want such a superpower? Or would it be too nerve wracking? I’m a bit conflicted myself.

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