The question Why Coop doesn't control a pencil to communicate directly using gravity? reminded me to ask another similar question:

Cooper had a laptop. Why did he not try to send his messages through it? Pulling and pushing will allow him to open the lid and push the keys or buttons as well. And he can also send sufficiently cryptic message through a laptop more accurately than a wrist watch.



As much as I hate to say it, the answer is that he doesn't have any emotional connection to his laptop, which means he can't find it or influence it. Note that he also rules out writing a message in the books or somehow mucking around with lander.

“‘They’d have access to infinite time, infinite space,” he told Tars, gesturing all around him. “But no way to find what they need. But I can find Murph and find a way to tell her—like I found this moment…”
“How?” Tars asked.
“Love, Tars,” he said. “Love, just like Brand said. That’s how we find things here.” Love, like gravity, which could move across time and dimensions.

Brand had been spot on.
“So what are we to do?” Tars asked.
Cooper looked down the time dimension. The books? No, and not the lander. But the watch, on the shelf, as far as he could see…
“The watch,” he realized. “That’s it. She’ll come back for it.” - Interstellar Novelisation

  • 9
    And yes, I full appreciate that this makes zero sense.
    – Valorum
    Apr 12 '15 at 10:44
  • lol :)​​​​​​​​​ Apr 12 '15 at 13:56
  • 6
    I think "love" only explains why the tesseract took him to Murph's childhood bedroom (perhaps it was designed to respond to the subconscious wishes of the person inside it, since the tesseract's creators were too far removed from us to know where would be best to send a message) but not what particular objects Cooper could influence with the gravitational waves the tesseract sent back in time. That said, if the tesseract was "docked" to Murph's room, then if Cooper's past self didn't bring his laptop into that room, his future self couldn't use it.
    – Hypnosifl
    Apr 12 '15 at 14:41
  • 3
    ...and for evidence that the objects themselves didn't need to be something Cooper had a personal connection with, remember that he was able to manipulate random dust particles to send a message about NASA's location to his past self.
    – Hypnosifl
    Apr 12 '15 at 15:12
  • 1
    @Hypnosifl - I agree with this. The Laptop wasn't in a location he could access.
    – Valorum
    Apr 12 '15 at 15:15

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