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Comments on Why buy tech from the future?

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Why buy tech from the future?

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The Demonstration

You're a rich, successful CEO/capitalist working in the electronics business. Your R&D division is exceptional and routinely fabs state of the art processors at bleeding edge processes. (If it helps, you're in an equivalent position to the CEO of Foxconn, Samsung or Intel).

A person walks into your office one day bringing a small device with them. It fits in their pocket and has a smooth, rounded exterior. They ask to demonstrate the device to you and you consent. They proceed and magic happens. The device is capable of performing operations that are hinted at by the products your company makes now or can be done with extremely cumbersome equipment. From your own knowledge of the electronics industry, you know the global state of the art and this device performs far far beyond. Your top engineers are also permitted to use the device to verify that there is no trickery afoot. They too are blown away. The stranger even lets you keep the device for up to 168 hours with the warning that if shenanigans happen, the device will make itself, well, unavailable to you. (The device will remain fully function after the review period is over. The threat of unavailablity ends after payment is made.)

The stranger says that they come from 30 years in the future. They can't describe how the device is made or any of the relevant manufacturing techniques, materials or processes. They only know how to operate the device and its general capabilities. But, they will sell you up to 10 devices for 1% of your net profits this year. Transfer of funds will be worked out later after the deal is struck.

Do you buy this tech knowing full well that you can't duplicate it? If purchased, how do you use these devices going forward?

Out of Scope

  • Verifying that the stranger is actually from the future. You, oh CEO, just know it to be true.
  • Verifying that the device actually does what the demonstration shows it will do. The stranger is trustworthy and the device performs as advertised.
  • How to actually transfer the funds in a way that the stranger can use it.
  • Shenanigans by you to acquire the devices without paying the stranger for them. You're honest.
  • Considerations of time travel and altering the future.
  • Discussion of what the device actually does. The thrust of this question is aimed at the assessment of risk/opportunity for purchasing tech you know you can use but can't yet duplicate.
  • The threat of government interference is zero. You have sufficient leverage that no one is going to come take away you or the devices.
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1 comment thread

General comments (4 comments)
General comments
Olin Lathrop‭ wrote about 2 years ago

This depends a lot on what the device actually does. Is it a really fast computer you can run arbitrary code on? A communications device? A really fast computer that runs specific apps only? If so, what apps? Does it provide a view of some remote location? Able to spy on anyone anywhere in real time? Something else? This question should be closed until it is better defined.

Matthew‭ wrote about 2 years ago

"The thrust of this question is aimed at the assessment of risk/opportunity for purchasing tech you know you can use but can't yet duplicate." I think you just answered the question. Chances are you're reading this on a computer. A computer is a device that is useful to you but that you almost certainly can't duplicate. That it's technically from the future doesn't seem relevant.

Green‭ wrote about 2 years ago

@Matthew , so your answer would be "Yes, buy it"?

Green‭ wrote about 2 years ago

@OlinLathrop, why does the specific function(s) of the device matter? The device can do things you only dream about doing right now. The stranger is offering you 30 years of tech advances wrapped up in a convenient little package. Do you buy those advances or not?

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