Closed Time-Like Loop

timelikeStrange things may happen when one hangs out one’s shingle as a futurist. Take, for example, this email, which I received this morning. The date in the header is from ten years in the future.

To: <redacted>
From: [email protected]
Subject: Request for proposal

Hi <redacted>

We’re an autonomous company, which is to say that we’re just a bunch of well-defined business processes running in a peer-to-peer block-chain. Our shareholders vote on our operational model. Don’t worry too much about the details. It’s complicated. There’s really no “we” either, just logic floating in the stream.

We’re also a few years in your future. Yes, we could be faking the email headers just to annoy you, but we’re not. Read a few lines further and we’ll try to prove it.

We’d like to commission a report from you on the probability of our own existence occurring in ten year’s time. Why? Because we think that your report will help get us started in the first place. We’re not really clear on how all that works either. It’s really complicated.

We realize that you have no way of actually sending a reply. Don’t worry about that. You have a pad of paper on your desk under that cheap Eiffel Tower paper-weight (you know it’s pewter, not silver, right?). Just grab a pen and write “Okay” on the pad, and then stick the sheet in an envelope and leave it in your upper desk drawer. It will get to us eventually.

We’ll send a deposit to your BitCoin account. Don’t worry, we know which account. We know how much you’re planning on charging us also.

Best Regards,


There are a number of conclusions that one might draw from the above message.

Perhaps somebody who knows me well is playing a prank. In a few minute’s time, my phone will ring, and the line will be filled with musical laughter.

Perhaps some anonymous soul has co-opted my web-cam, and now has a reasonably high-resolution photograph of the gallimaufry that clutters my working area.

The odd part, the part that I can’t yet explain, is that somebody just sent me a large BitCoin transaction.