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Everybody kills Hitler on their first trip
March 19, 2008 5:34 PM   Subscribe

If Metafilter did time travel, it might end up like Desmond Warzel's Wikihistory. It's a short piece in the latest issue of Abyss and Apex and features snippets from the WWII subforum of the International Association of Time Travelers. Takes only moments to read but might amuse for hours.

[via I Wish I Knew]

I know this has never been submitted before, because if it had, surely someone from Metafilter would travel through time to prevent me from posting it.
posted by squink (46 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
I already laughed at this, n00b!
posted by Dizzy at 5:41 PM on March 19, 2008


That was very funny. Thanks!
posted by pombe at 5:43 PM on March 19, 2008


Point of order: Discussons on the doubleness of this post, if it were a double, would go in MetaFilter.

Further point of order: The above point of order belongs in the Counterfactuals Forum.
posted by DU at 5:47 PM on March 19, 2008


And to think, MeFi has almost been here before. Or has it?
posted by squink at 5:47 PM on March 19, 2008


/me travels back in time, changes "MetaFilter" to "MetaTalk" as well as other minor modifications to comment to make it funny
posted by DU at 5:49 PM on March 19, 2008


I was about to post this when a future self shimmered into being and told me sternly not to or the U.S. economy would be destroyed and there would be an endless occupation of some godforsaken foreign country irrelevant to American interests.

*looks at news site*

Damn you, squink!
posted by languagehat at 5:51 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know who else I traveled back in time to kill, only to be thwarted by the mods?

THAT'S RIGHT, RON PAUL
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:52 PM on March 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


And I would have noticed that it was the previous issue of A&A, not the latest.
posted by squink at 5:54 PM on March 19, 2008


I saw this in the Metatalk thread about music favorites being out of chronicle order, read it and thought it was great, so I donated to Abyss and Apex.
posted by misha at 5:55 PM on March 19, 2008


Brilliant..
posted by unSane at 6:03 PM on March 19, 2008


The crazy part is, Michael J. Fox plays all the users.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:24 PM on March 19, 2008


Permit me to sum it up and save you the trouble: no Hitler means no Third Reich, no World War II, no rocketry programs, no electronics, no computers, no time travel. Get the picture?

If traveling back in time and killing Hitler were to render the advent of time travel impossible, wouldn't it then be impossible to travel back in time and kill Hitler?
posted by regicide is good for you at 6:47 PM on March 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


The first thing they do when they discover time travel is post all about it on metafilter...
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:58 PM on March 19, 2008


Very well. I shall return in mere moments, the savior of millions!

I am so using this in my next board meeting.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 7:03 PM on March 19, 2008 [3 favorites]




Whew, hey guys, I just got back from posing as a thin-skinned discussion board troll to provoke quonsar back in MeFi'03. Apparently that thread was a butterfly-hurricane moment which, through a series of implausible coincidences, each crazier than the last, cascaded into political events that triggered the Iraq War. Crazy, huh? If I hadn't gone back the war might never have happened, and then where would we be?
posted by brownpau at 7:11 PM on March 19, 2008


I just went back to 1995 and switched a few things around. Altavista Ron Paul if you don't believe me.
posted by maxwelton at 7:19 PM on March 19, 2008 [21 favorites]


LOLtavista.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:52 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I, uh, went back to Monday and umm, wore that green sweater, instead of the khaki one....It's just that it fits a little better around the shoulders and I KNOW that, but I still...... I'm.. I'm not really utilizing the machine all that well, am I?

Sorry
posted by jalexei at 8:10 PM on March 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Did somebody write that story again? Crap. Now I have to go back a couple hundred years and knock up Hong's mother so the ending makes sense.
posted by forrest at 8:15 PM on March 19, 2008


Last month I went back to 1984 and watched myself walking to junior high, a backpack full of books drooping from my shoulders, a look of undimmed hope in my eyes, and got a little melancholy.

I'm very sorry that this gave Patrick Swayze pancreatic cancer.
posted by dyoneo at 8:29 PM on March 19, 2008


When I time travel, I just run around shooting dinosaurs in the foot. You won't believe some of things that have happened.
posted by sleslie at 8:39 PM on March 19, 2008


You know what would be cool?

Not killing Hitler. That's n00b stuff.

No, go back to the year 1945, throw him in the time machine, bring him to 1997 and put him on Jerry Springer.

That would be cool.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:20 PM on March 19, 2008 [10 favorites]


See, I told you that FPP next year was a double.
posted by obvious at 10:12 PM on March 19, 2008


Hitler? Ron Paul? Hong Xiuquan? You guys think way too small. I went back and killed William Henry Frickin' Harrison a month into his first term! Whaddaya think of that?
posted by ErWenn at 10:31 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I suck at scientific notation. I wanted to go back to 2003 to prevent myself from eating that raw chicken, but went back 5 billion years. I took a dump in a warm puddle, I hope no one notices.
posted by Dr. Curare at 11:29 PM on March 19, 2008


I'm going to start randomly accusing people of ignoring Bulletin 1147 in Metatalk.
posted by flashboy at 2:22 AM on March 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I could go back in time I would fix all my typos. That is all.
posted by srboisvert at 3:39 AM on March 20, 2008


Wow. One of the contributers to that site I used to smoke hashish with, and another one once contrasted me with Italo Calvino. Small. Fucking. World.
posted by Sparx at 4:43 AM on March 20, 2008


This reminded me of the Futurama where Fry does the "nasty in the past-y" and becomes his own grandfather. Ewww.
posted by popechunk at 5:09 AM on March 20, 2008


I just disabled my own account, but I'm not telling you when.
posted by Eideteker at 5:20 AM on March 20, 2008


I gave Matthaughey a Rubik's Cube and a "Boys' Book of COBOL" for his 12th birthday.
You're all welcome.
posted by Dizzy at 6:27 AM on March 20, 2008


11/15/2104
at 14:23:32, jonmc wrote:
So I went back to check out the Ramone's first British gig in '76 but I accidentally killed Joe Strummer. No biggie - the Clash sucked anyway.

11/15/2104
at 14:28:72, cortex wrote:
jon, you know about Bulletin 1239 AKA "your favourite band sucks". I went back with a defibrillator and brought him back. I swapped out his liver for a fresh one. Thankfully his heart seemed fine.
posted by GuyZero at 7:02 AM on March 20, 2008


And poor Dr. Sam Beckett would be doomed to an eternity of posting from behind a multitude of sock puppet accounts...
posted by Spatch at 7:13 AM on March 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just went back to 1989 and whispered something about Hypertext Transport Protocol in Tim Berners-Lee's ear.

So, you're welcome. Now none of you can remember how awkward it was to read that story over Gopher.
posted by adamrice at 7:14 AM on March 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I went back to tell my 1969 self not to drop that first tab of acid. But it doesn't seem to have had any ef
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:24 AM on March 20, 2008


Awesome. My wife and I often* get into these rambling discussions on what we'd do with a time machine/portal. These discussions usually end in her getting horrified at the reign of terror I would inflict on those ignorant savages of the past. She's shocked that I would lay waste to so much and enslave so many (I'd abduct thousands of different versions of the same stable of geniuses from a few milliseconds apart, bring them to my future, and set them to work on solving the world's problems). I'm disappointed that she would only use her time machine/portal to have Outlander-style adventures.

So then I point out that there would be no romantic 14th century Scotland or whatever because I would have taken over back in the pre-Babylon days. She replies that she will go back in time and stop me. Then I say I'd send one of my thousand Isaac Newtons back to stop her. She asks how I'd get Isaac to do that and I reply because she smells bad. She then threatens to go back in time to 'mess up your face - whoops looks like I succeeded!' And I say that was a pretty good burn and she nods modestly that yes, it was a good burn, and then we make frantic love on the kitchen table.


*We drink a lot.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:27 AM on March 20, 2008 [11 favorites]


Things I'd do if I could travel back in time:

  • Spoil every major pop cultural movie, book, and tv series that I can, so that only the ones that survive regardless of surprise, punch endings prosper.
  • Tell every joke before its time, ruining the careers of everyone who's funnier than me (or maybe I should just show up at their shows and become a stand-up comedian in my own right; The Famous Heckler)
  • Create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an infinite loop where I create an ERROR TIMECODE 0002 GENERAL FAULT

  • posted by Eideteker at 11:34 AM on March 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


    I love how people worry about all these other internal consistencies with time travel while ignoring the main one: if you go into the past to change something, that thing has already been changed in the present, and there would have been no reason for you to go back in the first place. It's an instant paradox from the get-go (unless you're talking about a fragmentary multiverse or something), all other mindfuckery aside.
    posted by tehloki at 12:24 PM on March 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


    > I just went back to 1995 and switched a few things around. Altavista Ron Paul if you don't believe me.

    Oh, god, not another conversation about Ron Paul. Time to close Netscape and get back to work, I guess ...
    posted by WCityMike at 1:37 PM on March 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


    That would've been better if I had used Mosaic. Dammit.
    posted by WCityMike at 1:37 PM on March 20, 2008


    if you go into the past to change something, that thing has already been changed in the present, and there would have been no reason for you to go back in the first place.

    But that's only true if you see time as one linear continuum and not a series of choices diverging into branches creating, for each branch, a different possible outcome, which then branches out into other branches, ad infinitum.

    We used to call this "different dimensions" when I was a kid. Think "Mirror, Mirror" from the original Star Trek series.
    posted by misha at 2:28 PM on March 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


    You mean the one where Spock is all Van Dykey and Uhura actually has lines?
    posted by Dizzy at 5:18 PM on March 20, 2008


    > You mean the one where Spock is all Van Dykey and Uhura actually has lines?

    I just had this vision of Spock walking onto the Enterprise bridge and stumbling over a ottoman which just happens to be in his path, all to the tune of jaunty music.
    posted by WCityMike at 9:20 AM on March 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


    Somebody has got to film that now, WCityMike.
    posted by adamrice at 9:38 AM on March 21, 2008


    Edith Keeler can be Laura Petrie! With the Horta as Rose Marie!
    posted by Dizzy at 11:09 AM on March 21, 2008


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