Like most physicists, I have zero formal experience in this. It honestly doesn't feel like a topic for a physics journal even though a reliable positive result would have profound implications for physics. In the same way, I wouldn't expect a technical article reporting measurements of carbon flow in the environment to be published in a political science journal, even though climate change might have profound implications for global politics. [Discussion note: the validity of climate change has nothing to do with my point here.]
All that being said, I also don't find their negative result to be particular compelling. If their two search terms were "Pope Francis" and "Comet ISON" as described, well, Comet ISON was a dud (and thus won't be much of a topic in the future), and it's easy to imagine scenarios in which future time travelers would not have a particular interest in Catholic history. And that's quite apart from the possibility that time travelers would make some modest effort to avoid asking their neighbors about future events. Maybe that's all accounted for in their paper in a compelling way, but I honestly don't see any way they could ever argue for more than a very limited negative result. And I'm not convinced that's publishable in any sort of competitive journal.
I'm not a physicist, but certainly saying that such a journal does physics is a bit of a stretch? Ignoring the fact that he hopes such a journal could accept hard sci-fi (of which I am a fan), how could such a journal be maintained properly if it was driven "BY public interest, instead of IN THE public interest"? The general public is ignorant about science, especially deep science -- which is absolutely fine. Funding agencies (as I understand them) are here to help us decide what to do so that not all of us have to go through graduate school to get an idea about the state of science.
Moreover, it sounds to me that he wants a more "democratic" process of science. Democracy makes sense in politics -- we vote on politicians because they have the power to change our lives. But scientists, especially physicists, are powerless to change Mother Nature. Regardless of who we choose, as long as the physics is done half-decently, we're going to get to more or less identical answers.
Such as this time travel paper: Clearly it capture public imagination, even if the result was negative.
What was he hoping to accomplish beyond that? Is this about getting another entry on the peer-reviewed publications list in his CV? The paper probably isn't worth that, at least as work in physics. But he's welcome to add a section to his CV about "public outreach" and talk about it there: he'd probably have a lot to say.
Though I didn't see him talk about it at length in the blog, I can see that he might have meant that such a journal would be good for interesting future generations in science. But is this really a good idea? They would come into physics, or whatever, with the expectation that such research actually constituted hard science. It is not.
Interesting future generations about science is hugely important, but this is just a dishonest way of doing so.
And also, this may sound a bit harsh, and I might be out of line here, but I think the point of the paper was really to get some attention. And personally I think there's a trend of this happening in physics' interface with the public -- scientists wanting attention for themselves, apparently for the sake of future interest in the field. There seem to be a lot of popular science books these days, many written by genuinely brilliant scientists, who seem to be trying to sell their own theories as truth, like the various string theories and other GUTs. While I am sure that the authors don't really mean to say that their theories have passed the sniff test of science, and that we can put their theories on the same shelf as GR and QM, my observations from friends and people on the internet tell me that a lot of them just gobble it up as truth.
PS: Not saying that the GUT formulations are in anyway comparable to Nemiroff paper.
Which was pushed by "public interest" into a lot of fringe silliness and ads from outright con artists selling pseudoscience.
Isn't this what the Discovery Channel or a show like Myth Buster's does?
Because knowledge of out-of-domain journals to which an out-of-domain paper might be appropriate is neither the role nor general competency of a journal's editors (OTOH, general familiarity with the published work in the area in which you are attempting to publish, which necessarily includes some familiarity with the venues in which works in that field are published, is part of the role and presumed competency of a researcher in any field.)
Much like how Sokal criticized Social Text for not recognizing when something was a question for physicists.
For all we know from this story, the rejection letters might have suggested trying a non-physics journal. But even then, the result reported here just provides weak evidence supporting an overwhelmingly expected null hypothesis ("time travel doesn't happen"). I wouldn't expect physics journal editors to be good judges of whether a possibly novel method would be publishable in another discipline when it did not lead to a noteworthy result.
The latter is (perhaps) good judgment; the former, a poor understanding of the limits of one's expertise.
I am pretty sure that when the physics journal editor rejects your paper, she isn't even actually saying "this can't be published in a physics journal", she's really saying "this can't be published in this physics journal" (unless she says otherwise, explicitly, of course).
Why not go with "they aren't even actually saying" rather than the faux-affirmative-action sexism of using "she" there? This really grates with me, even more so when used with traditionally male-dominated roles, such as physicists or system administrators. Yes, you're freaking out the squares with your right-on craziness, but it's really rather childish. If you (100% rightly) want to be non-sexist, use a gender-neutral phrase, such as in my example above.
Maybe I'm a girl and, try as I might to say "he" all the time (to avoid comments like yours), the one time it slips and I say "she" the Internet thinks it's all about some "femi-nazi" agenda of mine?
Chill out and talk to me about sexism/feminism/SJW when it's actually relevant (clue: not here).
My comment was on-topic. grkvlt's was not, regardless of what he thinks I meant with that one pronoun (which was wrong, anyway).
Maybe you should realise that sane women, just as much as sane men, don't think pronouns will "solve" sexism. If I'm referring to a specific person, I'll be specific. If it's some random imaginary person, it's none of your bloody business what pronoun I choose.
On a different note, I think you have the responsibilities of authors and editors mixed up: it is up to the author of a paper to select an appropriate journal and weigh their chances, the editor is only responsible for the quality of their own journal. Yes it would be great if they also gave you free advice about other journals, but it's really not their job.
I wholeheartedly agree with the vast majority of your comment. However, I take issue with this last sentence. A novel technique is worth publishing even if it is only used in a pilot study of questionable value. Now, anyone can take the technique and expand it to a far greater number of search terms. They can also attempt address potential drawbacks of the technique (as you have done) in future studies.
The other was merely "a reputable physics journal" (whose editorial board had to spend time soliciting papers), which sounds like a more reasonable target. I'm not saying he should have been trying to publish work like this in a journal that has no standards and will print anything, but I think it needs to be aimed at a journal whose rejections are primarily for lack of quality rather than for lack of importance.
And a non-physics journal at that level, in particular.
To clarify, physics papers about time travel are published from time to time. There was a group at the University of South Carolina that had a hobby of doing this.
a) Had access to that specific time
b) could get to his specific location
c) did not mind it being known they were time travelers
d) viewed his party was worthy of their attention.
Philosophically, but something vaguely based on physics, there's the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics. But as far as I know the "physical meaning" has no bearing on science. There's a good sci-fi novel about a universe where the MWI is true -- Anathem by Neal Stephenson.
"I should point out that most stock markets around the planet devote considerable resources to looking for temporally anomalous market behavior --- unusual trading patterns before significant news events. When found, such signals are not typically attributed to time travelers, but more prosaically to insider trading."
I agree! This is one reason why we did not look for evidence of time travel in stock market trading. Early on, our group had discussed (briefly) this idea. On one hand, I was glad that finally we had a real criticism to address, but on the other hand, this famous editor's comment indicated to me, once again, that the journal editors did not fully appreciate the novelty, power, simplicity, and falsifiability of our approach. Instead, they gave straw-man criticisms that really meant, in my view, that they did not want to consider a manuscript so unconventional. In my reply, I argued in detail against this criticism and again asked that the manuscript at least be sent out for formal peer review"
I think what the response meant may be - even if a tweet about Pope Francis before Pope Francis was pope was found, it isn't sufficient to prove time travel exist - the tweeter could have a uncle who is involved in vatican politics and the tweeter read some of his uncle's notes. The stock market example was an analogy.
That wouldn't explain knowing about the name. Of course it is possible that someone would have guessed at possible names for a pope. Since the name is inspired from the name of Francis of Assisi, it is not inconceivable, so a search would still not be proof.
But the name "Pope Francis" did not exist until Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as pope. Pope Francis has stated that he himself got to think about the name based on an encounter with another cardinal during the conclave. The other cardinal had whispered to him "don't forget the poor" when it was becoming clear that he was being elected. Unless he is lying about how he selected the name, one could thus assume that knowledge of the name prior to the start of the conclave would indicate time travel.
This is one of the reasons the name is a good thing to search for; as is the asteroid name. In both cases we have pretty solid knowledge of a cutoff before which the name was not known because it did not yet exist.
(Of course, the incidence of "pope Francis" in a search would not in and of itself be conclusive proof of prior knowledge.)
The stock market, on the other hand is a bad one because it is so simple to fool: Yes, markets checks for odd large investments right before major announcements. But there's no point in doing that, and the issue of checks for insider trading might deter a time traveler. If you know how the stock market will perform in detail far in advance, though, rather than sit on a single tip about some deal, you can do amazingly well by moving sufficiently small amounts into each of a bunch of shares sufficiently long in advance that it'd be just noise.
Does it? For starters consider that "Francis" was a new name - he's the first pope to use it.
He was also the first pope in a millennium to pick an entirely new name (John Paul I obviously was the first pope John Paul, but he picked two names that has a very long tradition, and that are obviously names with a very special connection to the church; consider also that some disliked that John Paul I broke new ground that way, even though it involved using two very well respected traditional names).
> I bet if you asked 100,000 Catholics to guess the next pope's name, > 0 would get it right. I'm actually surprised there isn't tons of speculation about it. Maybe it's not a "thing" or sacrilegious or this sort of speculation is not on the Internet?
[EDIT: The paper actually mentions that they did find one single mention of Pope Francis, which was then reviewed and found to be overtly speculative, so they did run into this]
Maybe. Maybe not. But there is speculation about pope names. A lot of it. And apparently despite lots and lots of articles that were written about it none of them got it right.
Of course not representative, but here's a poll that was conducted before Bergoglio was elected, with about 5k votes: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/02/poll-what-name-will-the-next-...
Of those, 694 picked the "???? the First" option, which was the correct answer. But most seems to expect a name with tradition.
Here is another example of speculation back in 2008, from before Ratzinger was elected:
And here is one gives the list of papal names _after_ Francis was chosen, and points out that his successor _could_ choose to do like Francis, but pope Francis was the _first pope to do so since the tenth century_, as mentioned above. So prior to Francis, there was a millennium long tradition creating a strong expectation that Bergoglio/Francis would pick from the list of past names rather than break new ground.
Here's one from before Francis was chosen, which speculates on names, and suggests the most likely names would come from the list of past popes, and gives some suggestions:
Here's a blog post reproducing a graph from The Economist with names, coupled with betting odds on the names:
Knowing, as we do now, that he was willing to ignore the list, many might have guessed Francis, but I'm much less confident they would before.. Especially given that from a few searches it appears that even now most appears to expect the next pope again to most likely pick one of the traditional names.
Here's another one:
This also lists odds from the bookmaker Paddy Power, giving Leo 3-to-1, Peter 2-to-1, Gregory 6-to-1, Pius 8-to-1. And he gave "Joseph" as his one new name.
One of the commenters then goes on to reference a CNN article on the name choice, that says amongst others this:
> Allen described the name selection as "the most stunning" choice and "precedent shattering."
> "There are cornerstone figures in Catholicism," such as St. Francis, Allen said. Figures of such stature as St. Francis of Assisi seem "irrepeatable -- that there can be only one Francis," he added.
Maybe others would feel differently - that Francis would be a good name exactly because of how important St. Francis of Assisi is to the church, but this is nevertheless an interesting reaction.
If, however, you consider the stock market to be a chaotic system, your small trades will change the market's performance.
They also often search for people (typically other professionals) predicting the opposite in order to embarrass them.
The conclusion that these searches, even if they had been found, (which they were not) implied "time traveling Internet savvy people from the future searching for events in their past" is a staggering leap.
Might as well theorize fairies from another dimension materialized into ours to poke fun at internet search analyzers.
I am surprised this thing was even published, given that it was based off a monumental leap that ignored Occam's Razor, did not find anything the authors hoped to find and was failure both on the theorizing and the finding front.
The system (flawed as it may be) worked for once.
Just to be clear, as far as I can tell this work wasn't ever published in a peer-reviewed journal. It was merely accepted as a preprint on arXiv.org, which requires little more than assurance that the author isn't an obvious crackpot (and it sounds like even they reclassified its subject area: almost like moving it into a journal with a different topic).
I guess this is another Bayesian vs classical statistics thing. In Bayesian thinking, absence of evidence is evidence (not proof, mind you, but it is information).
For example, serious people writing serious papers on the foundations of quantum mechanics used to have a hell of a time getting them published. To give a particular example (and I hope I'm not mis-remembering), I don't think Lucien Hardy was able to get this paper  accepted. (It now has 215 citations.)
 Lucien Hardy, Quantum Theory From Five Reasonable Axioms [quant-ph/0101012], https://scirate.com/arxiv/quant-ph/0101012
What's so sad about this?
For this methodology to really work, you'd need to look for mentions of someone like Hitler in the 1920s (and that's not even evidence of anything as Hitler was slowly ascending to power during the 1920s). But again, why would a time traveller talk about Hitler then? Presumably a time traveller would either be very, very cautious to not be identified, or not, in which case he'd likely get himself revealed through carelessness.
On the other hand, I find it odd that they brush off analyzing the stock market (or any market, really). A cautious time traveller wouldn't buy into the market just before a sudden movement, that would attract way too much attention from insider trade authorities etc. Identify "black swan" events (dot com crash, 2007 financial crash), and look at people who slowly offloaded their assets prior to it. Identify "underdogs" that became huge (eg. Apple in the 90s) and look at people who slowly brought into it during that period.
The problem is that they needed something to search for where we have a clear, well defined horizon before which people were extremely unlikely to mention the name at all.
Both of these meet the criteria because the names are now all over the historical record, but the names were new. In the case of Pope Francis, he was not only the first Pope Francis, but also the first pope in a millennium to pick an entirely new name (John Paul I was the first John Paul, but both John and Paul separately have a long history).
You are right that it might mean that they would miss time travellers. Who knows: If time travelling exists, all travellers might even be warned about this specific experiment.
But they in any case could not prove that we have not been visited by time travellers - all they could do was to pick terms that if they found them would give a strong indication that something odd was afoot.
They were also limited in that they were explicitly looking for something that could be researched cheaply, and by looking at the internet, and so an example like Hitler would not work.
> Identify "black swan" events (dot com crash, 2007 financial crash), and look at people who slowly offloaded their assets prior to it. Identify "underdogs" that became huge (eg. Apple in the 90s) and look at people who slowly brought into it during that period.
The problem is that you will likely find lots of people. People have all kinds of different reasons for investing, many of which leads to looking prescient after the fact.
For example, if time travel were created today, we wouldn't go back to 2000 and query about something that happened in 2001. We'd query about Lebron James or Obama.
They should be looking for queries about technology/people/events that are relevant/interesting in the era when time travel is done. Unfortunately, in order to know that you probably need to time travel to the future. :-)
The amount of information you could access would be limited to a transportable device (assuming an inability to communicate temporally--probably reasonable). You would have to supplement your knowledge with local information.
With the Internet, maybe perfect information is valid, but I suspect not.
Try hunting down what was once widespread knowledge about Visual Basic 6. Or anything which was mostly exchanged on NetNews. There is a lot of lossage already and we're only about 20 years from it.
The real problem is that you need a mediocre search that a time traveler would do. Something that would not be indexed in a portable computing device and yet would still be interesting enough to require using temporally local search capabilities.
 One might presume historical records are somewhat corruptible, and therefore someone from the future might not have perfect knowledge of when major events in the past actually occurred.
The former is a reasonable result, and although expected the research provides evidence to support the hypothesis. The latter is an extraordinary result and wise scientific practice would require extraordinary evidence.
(It also helps if you don't get disavowed by your own co-author and by other labs you say confirmed your results.)
However, it wasn't an identical attempt in terms of materials, process, etc...so I'm not sure it really counts.
I like to think that we're all time travellers, collectively collapsing the universe's wavefunction through will alone... And now I'm onto determinism so I'll shut up.
I like that. Though I would think it is not 'will' but 'life' that interacts with universal determinism, through physical expression of information over time. How that information will express itself (how gene-information will translate into physical realities in each moment) seems in the realm of the unknowable (like turbulent flow or other instances of Lorenz-y chaos in the Universe), and consciousness as one of those gene-expressions makes this even more loopy.
But I've wandered into Leary-esque fascination with faults of perception lately, which ought to stick to the human-describing world of psychology, so I should probably shut up too.
A new-reality model of time travel only affects the viewpoint of the time traveler.
Likewise, lots of time travel in fiction actually has the hidden assumption of a second time dimension. If a second time dimension existed, causality could be maintained along that dimension while seemingly broken in the time dimension we know and love.
And there's always the possibility that causality isn't a given and is simply how we experience the universe. Just because it has always been observed and it makes intuitive sense doesn't mean it is always true. :)
Really, this is good science; it has a low probability of working, but the cost is very low too (literally a hobby-time expenditure), it asks a lot of interesting questions, and has a reasonable method for finding answers. It could also shine light on the question of how time travel works, if it does. Science should include a healthy portfolio of such experiments. (As opposed to low-probability, very expensive experiments, such as I occasionally wonder about our fusion experiments.)
- Time travel as a phenomenon is not known to exist, while fusion is known to exist.
- Fusion experiments are trying to create human-controlled, energy-generating fusion reactions. We know that energy-generating fusion reactions are possible, we just don't know if we can create them under controlled conditions.
- Fusion-generated energy has the possibility to transform that world. Time travel will transform our understanding of the universe, but seems like playing with fire. Were we to discover time travel, we would now have to 'protect time' from 'evil' time travelers.
well, fusion is playing with fire (plasma) almost by definition.
Cards-on-the-table, my definition of success is full-on commercially-viable fusion, because little else justifies the enormous investments made into this technology. Any other "incidental" benefit you might want to cite, such as "better understanding of plasma physics", could probably have been obtained for orders of magnitude (plural and no exaggeration) less money.
(I also try to avoid the trap of seeing the word "science" and just shutting off my brain and throwing money at the problem because "SCIENCE!". Nonsense. Science is not immune to cost/benefit analysis just because it's shiny, and cost/benefit analysis is always probabilistic so yes, it can perfectly well deal with uncertainties of discovery too. See my previous comment about the value of keeping some cheap longshots in the portfolio. Just think, what other science could we have done with the billions of dollars it has consumed?)
It's as if computers were useless until we had a 6th-generation Core i7, and people were saying "bah, computers, haven't succeeded so far." We're not there yet, but we're getting pretty close.
It is true that early researchers made some over-optimistic predictions. But they conditioned those on a certain level of funding. For the funding they got, they said it would never happen.
We are not obligated to stop thinking about things because of how awesome the alternate reality where this all works like gangbusters would be. This is science, not politics.
Or, more accurately, ITER is politics, and not science, which is another reason I'm not holding my breath for this. It's not an experiment we're doing because the results are just so darned promising we had to carry on... it's an experiment we're doing because politicians have decided this is the way forward. We pour billions into this, and other approaches have a hard time getting single-digit millions. I do not care to follow along with the everybody-get-happy politics of ITER, I want fusion.
Might I further add that as this is science, should ITER succeed and produce a commercially-viable reactor, I will celebrate them all the harder for doing something I thought very unlikely, not try to argue it away. However, that is my bar for success, and I will not accept something sneaking under it under a cloak of pretty words.
I think even educated people have a few misconceptions about fusion energy. We have already created fusion, we can do it in our test facilities on command. The problem researchers are currently facing is getting the efficiency to a commercially viable level. Getting out much more energy than they are putting in.
The research they are doing requires 2 things; time and money (and lots of it). They're trying to get the plasma models "just right" to achieve the desired efficiency. And they're not shooting for the stars, their goals are incremental. That's important because there will never be a time where researchers will announce out of the blue "We've done it!". It will be a slow build up due to how their research is taking place.
Harnessing fusion power isn't just theoretically possible, the models are completely mathematically sound. Unfortunately for the scientists, superheated plasma is incredibly unstable, hard to predict, and hard to control. To figure out the best way to stabilize it to maximize efficiency, they have to run countless tests, review the data, then try a countless more tests. It's not impossible, we WILL have fusion power eventually, that much is not in dispute, what is up for dispute is the "when".
If fusion researchers had unlimited funds, we could have a commercially viable fusion plant supplying power to a public grid in less than 10 years. Fusion is likely the only area of science where you can literally throw money at it and achieve your goal of a viable working product. The problem is that nobody wants to spend billions of dollars every year for the next 20 years. Only governments are footing the bill, and they're notoriously unreliable when it comes to scientific research due to the shifting political landscape
There was a great thread on reddit right after the fukushima disaster where several experts were talking about this very issue. I wish I could find it, it was a fantastic read.
Other worthy projects: Sandia's MagLIF, MIT's levitated dipole and the Alcator C-Mod, UW's spheromak and FRC, polywell, focus fusion, fast laser, Helion, Tri-Alpha, and probably more that I'm forgetting.
If you want a cheap fusion experiment, the ultimate is focus fusion, which needs a million bucks to finish their breakeven attempt. They've spent $3 million so far, and right now have an indiegogo campaign to raise $200K for a new reactor part made of beryllium.
Perhaps. Perhaps not. The Supeconducting Supercollider drove superconducting magnet technology which then made its way into all manner of other devices. Would anybody have put that amount of money into superconducting magnets without the SSC funding? Doubtful.
If you want to see fusion work, it's quite simple--convince China to announce that they are funding fusion at billion dollar levels. At that point the US will fund it at billion dollar levels and we'll have fusion before 2020.
It seems like the science is good and promising, but the bureaucracy may be too much to overcome.
*1: $25 WikiReader Pocket Wikipedia
Something tells me time traveller from the future would have modernized equivalent.
I should stop being side-tracked from that project, last post made over two months ago ...
"First of all, the topic itself is a controversial one, as made clear immediately by the work's title "Searching the Internet for Evidence of Time Travelers" (Nemiroff & Wilson 2014). It is perhaps accepted common knowledge that people who believe in time travelers are crackpots and their ramblings are not to be believed. For the record, I do not believe that traveling back in time is possible, nor do I believe that time travelers are among us."
That opens up a discussion about the feasibility of such a simulation, but as far as time travel goes it wouldn't break any physical law (And yes, with that setting, you'd have plenty of other ways to freak people out other prescience)
What would they do if they identified the time traveller? Locate him/her? Use his knowledge to further their plans? The knowledge may be potentially world-changing; whoever finds the traveller will be in a very powerful position.
Script idea: Eccentric googler finds proof of this and the company secretly finds the individual. Wild goose chase ensues. State actors get involved. I'd pay to see that.
If this had already happened, would we even know?
But if you were a time traveller, what would you use Google for, and why?
I'm not convinced you're going to be Googling the future pope, because it's trivially easy to Google the current one.
The possible telltales are not obvious.
Frankly, can't wait. Despite all the editor conflict, Wikipedia is still one of the best inventions of the new millennia and if we eventually evolve towards having all SOTA research publicly accessible at our fingertips anywhere ... heaven.
- A lot of papers end up in a lot of different official journals in some form. Publishing slightly varied versions of the same work across 3-4 different journals is a time honoured tradition.
- Actual journals do effectively the same thing that arXiv does, but theoretically with more 'experts' and rigour.
- arXiv provides peer review, but in a distributed manner
- References to arXiv have become a thing, particularly for papers that existing journals don't think fits their niche.
- In several case, papers have been picked up by places like Nature after they appeared on arXiv and because of the exposure.
Personal optimistic bet is a decade, and journals will be dead in their current form.
> - A lot of papers end up in a lot of different official journals in some form. Publishing slightly varied versions of the same work across 3-4 different journals is a time honoured tradition.
Hm. Typically in CS these happens a different scales; e.g. a few papers with the same title (workshop, conference, perhaps another conference paper with a different application or an extension to the theory, ..., journal) but vastly different levels of detail/justification or significant extensions to theory/application. So same idea, but not the same paper and not presenting the same results.
Publishing the same exact results in multiple venues is, afaik, a form of academic dishonesty and a serious black mark. Hopefully it works the same way in other fields.
> - Actual journals do effectively the same thing that arXiv does, but theoretically with more 'experts' and rigour.
I'd remove the theoretically qualifier; getting into top venues in very difficult. Although I'm sure many worthy papers are rejected, the bar is still very high.
For your last three points, I'll cede to your knowledge on the matter.
I agree that publishing the 'exact' same results is a no go, and that will usually get you a demerit (it's just too easy to discover these days). However, I would argue that the level of detail/justification that people change can vary dramatically. Some people are on the honest end of the scale, like you say, and change each version significantly. In fact, to step away from hyperbole, I would say that probably most trend that way.
However, I feel like the current system also incentivizes dishonesty, particularly with how brutal the associate professor and tenure tracks have gotten for many fields. For example, while CS is a relatively nice field, since its both new, and the job market for its PhDs is hot, others like Physics, Math, most liberal arts, ect... are awful, with 10:1 ratios in some cases between candidates and positions. In those, you'd better be perceived as a rockstar, or you're going to be flipping burgers. And the natural way to be seen as a rockstar? Publish. A lot.
Actually, now that I think about it, that would probably make a good sociology paper. Possible correlations of plagiarism, minor-edit multi-submissions, yatta... to the level of competition for professor spots.
1) A random guess.
2) Unintentional data storage (I.e., the search was made after the appointment but was stored incorrectly as happening in the past.)
3) Deliberate doctoring of data. I.e., a hoax.
And probably a few other cases I'm not thinking of, all of which would be more reasonable than 'It's a man from the future.'
You could do a number of things that are more subtle to establish ways for the investment to not be noticed, by moving the money around, etc., but I expect that your main concern would be how to fly under the radar while compounding works.
In fact, perhaps people in the time-travellers world who want to invest into their future would be chiefly concerned that time travellers in their future are coming back and dominating all the investments without ever plowing the proceeds back into their present ..
" On the money-wasted angle, when doing a Reddit interview about the manuscript, I respond to a question about how this research was funded with the fake answer that we used money left over from our study "Does Tax Payer Money Burn Any Better Than Regular Money?" (Nemiroff & Wilson 2014). In reality, this was an unfunded project."
> Do you believe in time travel? What future knowledge was posted?
> Fake answer: Yes, I believe in time travel. I myself like to travel forward in time by one second every second. I live in fear, however, of colliding with non-time travelers who stay fixed at one moment of time.
Now that would have been a refutation of time travel...
* Was for Carl Sagan's 60th birthday... was intended for serious audience of big time scientists but was intended to entertain.
Here, they reject a paper and refuse even to peer review it. They refuse to explain why they feel it unacceptable. It comes from a scientist who has already published, and in the relevant fields.
If they'll do this because of the slight risk of someone making fun of it, what will they do when the paper is politically inconvenient?
I read the paper. It's unacceptable because it's LITERALLY a "here are some things we Googled, and there weren't any time travelers" with a bibliography attached: there's no detailed explanation of experimental procedure, no detailed data. It's roughly equivalent to sending a middle-school book report to a literary journal.
If anything, I would expect that to invite stinging, painful criticism and sarcastic explanations.
They have also not factored in the obvious assertion that given the publicity of the paper, any 'time travellers' to this time obviously do not want to be detected and as such probably spend their time writing scientific papers debunking their own existence.
But then I realized that precognition has an alternate possible mechanism: rather than extracting information from the future, it could operate by sensing the initial state/initial wavefunction of the surrounding universe and integrating the equations of motion forward in time to predict the future state (perhaps probabilistically). That would presumably require some amazing new physics just as significant as time travel, but it wouldn't be the same new physics.
 http://xkcd.com/978/ - 'Citogenesis'
Or if these rights were non-exclusive Nemiroff could contact Doctor Who staff himself.
Something like that.