I hate air travel.
I hate that, in order to get to the airport as early as they want you to, you have to leave your house so early that it’s too early to even check to see if your flight is on time before you leave, because the plane (sorry, the “equipment”) hasn’t even left the place where it’s coming from yet.
I hate airports. I hate the security lines and taking my shoes off and the people who don’t wear socks even though they know they’re going to have to take off their shoes. I hate the amount of time you end up having to sit in the terminal next to that couple who lets their kids run around loose and the woman who’s gabbing loudly into her cell phone even though it’s six in the morning in the Eastern time zone so who the hell could she be gabbing to? I hate the “don’t leave your bags unattended” announcements they repeat every five minutes because, really, my natural inclination would be to leave my bag on its own in the middle of the Jet Blue terminal at JFK if you didn’t constantly remind me not to. Better they should occasionally remind that couple sitting next to me not to leave their children unattended.
I hate planes. I hate that they charge you for everything that used to be free. I hate the guy who clunks me in the head with his carry-on as he goes by. I hate that everyone on the plane knows when I’m on the way to the bathroom and that I have to hunch over once I’m in there. I hate the person who books the middle seat next to me. I hate that “high-powered executive” who keeps barking orders into his cell phone even after they tell us to turn off our cell phones. (I hate him for myself and on behalf of whoever he’s barking the orders at.) And when the plane lands and finally gets to the gate, I hate every single person between me and the door, especially the ones who take their sweet time getting off, not to mention the one idiot who’s trying to swim upstream because they stored his carry-on behind him and he doesn’t want to wait until everyone else gets off.
I hate the amount of time it takes to get anywhere good.
That’s why, with the new Star Trek movie out, my thoughts turn, as they often do, to teleportation.
I’m really looking forward to public teleportation. How great is that going to be? No airports, no planes. You’d just go to your local teleportation center (I’m guessing it will be next to a Starbucks, or possibly in one), step into the booth, and–poof!–your molecules will be deconstructed and reassembled at the destination of your choice. I do hope these teleportation centers won’t be run by airlines, though. Considering what they do with your luggage now, I’d hate to see what they’d do to your molecules.
Scientists have not exactly taken great strides toward making teleportation a reality. They have managed to transport stuff as far as 10 miles, but the stuff involved was “quantum information.” Big deal. I transport information every day, whenever I send an email. Of course, it’s less quantum and more “look at this cute video” information, but it’s still information. These same scientists say that actual Star Trek-type teleportation is nowhere on the horizon.
I beg to differ. Please, please let me differ. Not only will we have teleportation soon, I submit that we have it now.
For my side of the debate, you need only look at what they’re doing with 3-D printers these days. They can print actual useful objects like a 3-D Yoda head! They’re printing breathing aids for saving people’s lives, guns for ending people lives, bikinis, bicycles, jaw bones, guitars, even toy soldiers!
Toy soldiers–can you imagine!
You simply design something on your computer, say a pencil holder, and send it to your 3-D printer which you purchased for only $1,500, and–poof!–you’ve got an incredibly distorted pair of eyeglass frames because, seriously, dude, you’re a lousy designer.
Also, not so much on the “poof!” part because it can take hours or even days to print things out. Longer if someone in your office is printing 500 copies of a 3-D resumé because she got yelled at for doing personal stuff on company time and needs to “get out of this fascist hellhole.”
But here’s the thing. They not only have 3-D printers, they also have 3-D scanners. So why can’t I scan something into my computer, see it rendered with 3-D modeling software, and then send it electronically anywhere in the world for you to print out on your 3-D printer? That’s pretty close to teleportation, isn’t it? In fact, it’s even better because you’d end up with two items–the one in my scanner and the identical one from your printer.
Think of the possibilities! I could take my plastic Justin Bieber mask, scan it, and send it to you to print out so that we could SKYPE together as twin Justin Biebers!
OMG! That would be so awesome.
Better yet, I could scan myself and send the CAD 3-D image of me to someone who could then Photoshop me down about 50 pounds and print me out and, um, well I’m not exactly sure what the person would then do with the plastic statue of thin me that would then exist.
I guess just put the Justin Bieber mask on it and call it a day.
See you soon.