Our first thought on reading that an Iranian inventor had devised a time machine that could project the user five to eight years into the future was that the inventor had got it backward and come up with something that projected his country, at least as currently governed, five to eight centuries into the past.
According to Iran's Fars news service, Tehran inventor Ali Razeghi, said to have 179 other inventions to his credit, patented "The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine" with the country's Center for Strategic Inventions.
Razeghi, 27, said he had been working on the device for 10 years. It fits into a personal computer case and can, by a set of complex algorithms, "predict five to eight years of the future life of any individual, with 98 percent accuracy."
The device, it is said, can predict wars, currency fluctuations, oil prices and preserve dictatorships, which he sees as a natural market.
Said Razeghi, "Naturally, a government that can see five years into the future would be able to prepare itself for challenges that might destabilize it. As such, we expect to market this invention among states as well as individuals once we reach a mass-production stage."
The machine, the inventor said modestly, "satisfies all the needs of human society," and the only reason he hasn't gone into production with it is his fear that the Chinese will steal his idea.
The story, as you might expect, quickly went viral, but the world's press, instead of embracing this fine invention, ridiculed it, often illustrating with shots of Christopher Lloyd as the mad scientist with his DeLorean time machine in "Back To The Future."
The time machine, as time machines are wont to do, abruptly disappeared from Fars' website. Maybe the embarrassed editors took it down or maybe it went off to visit 2022. In 10 years, we'll know.
Scripps Howard News Service