...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

March 28, 2005

Time Traveler Busted For Insider Trading

This story reminds me of a very funny Kevin Nealon skit on Saturday Night Live.

Sources at the Security and Exchange Commission confirm that 44-year-old Andrew Carlssin offered the bizarre explanation for his uncanny success in the stock market after being led off in handcuffs on January 28.

'We don't believe this guy's story -- he's either a lunatic or a pathological liar,' says an SEC insider.

'But the fact is, with an initial investment of only $800, in two weeks' time he had a portfolio valued at over $350 million. Every trade he made capitalized on unexpected business developments, which simply can't be pure luck.

'The only way he could pull it off is with illegal inside information. He's going to sit in a jail cell on Rikers Island until he agrees to give up his sources.'

. . .

Carlssin declared that he had traveled back in time from over 200 years in the future, when it is common knowledge that our era experienced one of the worst stock plunges in history. Yet anyone armed with knowledge of the handful of stocks destined to go through the roof could make a fortune.

'It was just too tempting to resist,' Carlssin allegedly said in his videotaped confession. 'I had planned to make it look natural, you know, lose a little here and there so it doesn't look too perfect. But I just got caught in the moment.'

In a bid for leniency, Carlssin has reportedly offered to divulge 'historical facts' such as the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden and a cure for AIDS.

All he wants is to be allowed to return to the future in his 'time craft.'

However, he refuses to reveal the location of the machine or discuss how it works, supposedly out of fear the technology could 'fall into the wrong hands.'

The SNL skit was a parody of a Wall Street Week type panel show in which various experts talked about their secret to investing. Kevin Nealon, dressed in a silver jumpsuit, was one of the panelists, named "Future Man." When his turn came to talk about his secret to investing, he held up a line graph and pointed to it, saying that his method was simple: "buy here, sell here, buy sell buy sell buy sell."

i want to believe it could happen, though. Don't you?

Posted by annika, Mar. 28, 2005 |
Rubric: Science & Technology


The link to that story is broken. Maybe he came back in time and deleted it?

Posted by: Andy on Mar. 28, 2005

I'll bet his contacts were those same d*** meddling aliens from the 1992 elections, or maybe it was bat boy. Of course, it's a shame he escaped, since he probably knows how to stop the sun from blowing up in 2008.

Posted by: Ben Zeen (a pseudonym) on Mar. 28, 2005

Sheila O'Malley had a fun game at her site...if you had a time machine good for one round trip, where would you go? (Or should I say, "when" would you go?)

My modification to the game: You have an *unreliable* time machine, with a 50% chance you will get stuck forever..does that change your destination?

Posted by: David Foster on Mar. 29, 2005

I used to daydream in high school about how much money I could make if I had a copy of a Wall Street Journal dated I year in the future. Thinking about getting the money was more fun than thinking about spending it.

Posted by: Jake on Mar. 29, 2005

If the time machine was created 200 years from now, this guy's actions violate Einstein's causality principle.

This guy claims that he traveled through time in such a way as to hold all other cause and effect relationships constant over 200 years of history except the events directly relating to his stock trades.

Think of this example: If you go back in time and prevent a murder, then the murder ceases to exist for your future self to discover and decide to prevent!!

Elementary, my dear Annika.

Posted by: Jason O. on Mar. 29, 2005

i think that theory was debunked by the Terminator trilogy.

Posted by: annika on Mar. 29, 2005

X-actly! Freakin' brainiacs always have some kinda smartass answer.

Posted by: Casca on Mar. 29, 2005

The idea that time travel violates causality is just SO boring, Jason, and less and less substantiated: string theory says there are at least 11 dimensions and a potentially infinite number of parallel universes, so the Terminator example actually does make a modicum of sense: go back, change the past, and you create an alternate timeline universe, not a infinitely circuitous causal loop. So there. :-p

(Am I actually arguing about this?!)

Posted by: Dave J on Mar. 29, 2005

Where were you nerds when i was doing robot week? i could have used the comment love.

Posted by: annika on Mar. 29, 2005

Dave: Boring, but also the best available set of tools for this example. String or quantum theory is fascinating on a subatomic level, but a question like time travel is macroscopic, and that is still best assessed by relativity.

An analogy: Newtonian principles are perfectly fine (and are the preferred method) to study continuum (i.e.,macroscopic) fluid dynamics.

Posted by: Jason O. on Mar. 30, 2005