I was watching Stephen Hawkings’s Universe on TV the other day. This part of the series was about time travel, which I found very interesting. According to Stephen Hawking traveling in time to the past is not possible due to the paradoxes (risk of killing your own grandmother par excellence), but he does believe in time travel into the future.
I was disappointed, really, because the method of time travel that he discussed was relying on well known phenomena like the fact that time slows down in proximity of a black hole or for a person is accelerated very close to the speed of light. So, practically, it's not the time travel that would make any sense to me, because it's only one way and only to the future and above all, it's not instantaneous, like the time travel that I got used to think about due to all the SF movies and books. You hop on a impossibly massive ship, travel for five years near a black hole and come back 10 years later. The fact that 10 years have passed on earth while you were gone and only 5 for you just doesn't seem to be enough. As well, the other option with the near to speed of light travel: just reaching the speed will take an awful lot of time, and then while it would be just a week until a hundred years pass on the outside of the ship there's the problem of slowing down, of course, and perhaps coming back to the same spot you started at. I mean, light speed, right? Easy to land on Jupiter instead of Earth by accident.
This just simply is completely impractical, or at least I can't see a practical application of time travel like this.
With perhaps one exception.
Say you go on time travel for ten years and in the meantime twenty years pass on Earth. All the girl friends are 10 years older than you and you come back with a beautiful completion, perhaps done-in-the-meantime fake tan and a degree. None of the waste of the ten years later stuff. You go on the high school reunion and look fab and everyone envies you.
This does seem like an awfully shallow way of using time travel into the future, but hey, I can't see anything better.