Where Are All The Time Travellers?

With the billions of people who’ll exist in the future and have access to time travel — why haven’t you met one?

Kesh Anand
Oct 2, 2019 · 4 min read

In the future — Time Traveling will be used by three main industries:

  • Tourism: 4 Dimensional Capitalism. Hawaiian shirt-wearing tourists from the future visit various times and places in the past to check things out for a couple of weeks. It’ll be the same set of people you see in regular travel today: honeymooners, backpackers, and contiki-esque party people
  • Research: Historians, archeologists, and high school students on field trips will venture into the past to learn more about what happened and why — hopefully without stepping on a butterfly along the way
  • Crime Fighting: Law enforcement agencies will stop crime before it happens, as well as hide people in witness protection programs — not in safe houses, but in safe times

Over the long term — human populations on Earth will stabilise at around 9 Billion people. That’s a lot of potential users of time travel technology…which then begs the question:

There are five reasons for this:

№1: They’re not visiting your time period.

Look back on all of human history — what would be the most interesting time and place you can think of visiting? What about the top 10 times and places?

Be honest.

Do the years of your lifetime feature in that list at all? If it does— is wherever on earth you’re living the most worthy place to check out?

Thought not.

Chances are you’re just not living in a particularly noteworthy point in history, and thus have never crossed paths with a time traveller.

№2: They’re hiding in plain sight

Revealing themselves would create all kinds of buttery fly effect type problems — irrevocably altering the future. As such, your typical time traveller is likely kept on a very tight leash.

Revealing themselves would probably void their “Time-travel passport”, not to mention any fines or criminal prosecution they’d have to face.

Further — the time police would no doubt interject just as the recalcitrant traveller was about to reveal themselves.

In light of this and given they have technology that literally allows them to travel through time and space — they’ve probably got techniques to not draw the attention of the iPhone wielding neanderthals of the early 21st century.

It could be as simple as having clothes to blend into our time period, or cloaking technology to totally remain out of our sights.

№3: You think they’re crazy

Every so often — people come forward who claim to be time travellers. They seem out of place (wouldn’t you be if you’re walking around in a different century?).

We tend to laugh and dismiss them as mentally unhinged.

Well — what more do we want from them? They’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t!

Credit: HBO’s Westworld TV series via reddit.com

№4: People experience the past without leaving their own time

In the same way we can play open-world games set in different periods of time (Assassins Creed, and Red Dead Redemption come to mind) today — people in the future are able to explore the past in enhanced virtual reality, or by making visits to various theme parks (as depicted in Westworld).

Thus, they are effectively experiencing other time periods without ever leaving theirs

№5: Time travel doesn’t happen

It could be that we never get invent the necessary technology, usage of time travel is prohibited, or humanity itself has long since been wiped out.

Regardless of the reason — time travel does not happen, and thus we never encounter time travellers.

Have I missed any other reasons?

Let me know in the comments below!


where the future is written

Kesh Anand

Written by

An observer of history, politics, society, and the future



where the future is written

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