Thought experiment: aliens contact us. They have been observing Earth for a very very long time, going all the way back to the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. They have detailed records of all significant events on or near Earth since then. They’ve got the evolutionary history of Mankind, and all other species now on Earth. They have the history of every human civilization. They have copies of all the great documents Mankind has lost, such as the contents of the Library of Alexandria. Basically, everything a historian or scientist with a time machine would want to go to the past to fetch or observe, the aliens have records of.
The aliens give us a choice. They are going to give us one gift. We can choose this gift from among two choices.
The first choice is to choose the past. The aliens will give us the story of ourselves. All that information they have gathered on us and our planet will be turned over to us.
The second choice is to choose the future. The aliens will give us their technology. Interstellar travel, cheap energy, the key to understanding life and intelligence, nanotechnology, faster computers, better communications, and the necessary physics to understand all this, and more, will all be ours. This will put us about 1000 years ahead of where we are now in technological development.
Question: which would you choose?