I was thinking recently about science fiction. Some people hate sci-fi because they are too stuck in reality and wonder why anyone would bother with things that don’t exist or may never be possible. I find the whole deal of sci-fi fascinating. Sometimes it would be nice if some of those things existed, like the food replicators from Star Trek or time travel, not unlike Back to the Future or Star Trek IV. The only downside of time travel would be to alter some significant historical event, like JFK’s assassination, and completely change the course of history.
If there was one thing from those science fiction movies and shows that I wish really did exist, it’s the ability to teleport. As it sits, it’s not possible, except in theory. Scientists have been able to transport a spot of light a short distance, but to do that with humans over long distances is still improbable. Also, teleportation currently says that a person is basically killed, disintegrated into light particles, and then reassembled at another place. Think of the “Wonkavision” contraption from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Let’s assume, for a moment, that teleportation were possible, and that somehow, the person was left intact. One big benefit would be to get somewhere immediately. You wouldn’t have to get up way early before working and worrying about traffic. The roads would be cleared up, because cars would be unnecessary. Without cars, we wouldn’t need gasoline or other fossil fuels. The environmentalists would be tickled because that would mean less carbon burning, so that would be a win for the environment. Another huge advantage would be that long-distance relationships would not be a thing anymore. Two people who are madly in love with each other would be able to be with each other in moments, rather than one or both sacrifice their time and money to drive and meet up with each other. The longing to be in each other’s presence would be non-existent and they’d be happier.
Now, due to the unknown nature of teleportation, I imagine it would not be without its fair share of bugs to work out and “guinea pigs” that would be sacrificed in the name of innovation. What if power failed turning transport? Would that person’s signature be stuck in limbo, or worse, lost forever? Would it be possible for two or more people to get crossed in the same signal? If two people were to re-materialize in the same place, at the same time, would they get scrambled into one unrecognizable form? Would there be a queue to wait in before they reappeared? What if destination coordinates were incorrect? Would they reappear in a solid object, like a wall or a floor, or perhaps smack in the middle of a busy highway, just to get run over by a vehicle driving 80mph? There are so many variables and what-ifs right now, that I’ll pass on teleporting. For now, I’ll stick to my gasoline-burning car and make my carbon contribution to the atmosphere and further the depletion of the ozone layer.
“The mysteriousness and mystique of space is such, that science fiction attempts to tantalize you by telling you a story that could possibly be out there and that’s the appeal of science fiction.”– William Shatner