Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thank-You, Mr. Roddenberry

         I for one look forward to the advent of a Roddenberrian society. This would come to pass with the invention of the “Replicator” which in the Star Trek universe was a microwave oven like device which could create anything you wanted out of thin air. Simply give it a voice command, and a few seconds later you could open the door and remove your chosen dish. Whether it be a chocolate milkshake or some slimy Klingon delicacie still writhing around in the bowl.  I’m not sure why they never used the technology to create dylithium crystals or other parts for the ship’s engine; since that thing was breaking down pretty much on a weekly basis.
           Given recent speculation about the existence and nature of sub-atomic particles a replicator should be possible… beyond science fiction. I am a humanities geek, not a science geek so my understanding of such things is very basic. Everything in our universe is made up of molecules; different molecules combine to make different substances. Molecules are made up of atoms (protons, neutron, electrons etc) which interact and/or react in particular ways, resulting in the afore-mentioned multi-variant molecules. Theory has it (I don’t know if this has yet been established) that atoms are made up of something smaller and less defined, which for want of a better term is being called a subatomic particle. The subatomic particle is assume to be a single entity; this is perhaps untrue and simply a limitation of human imagination and our scientific equipments' ability to observe anything smaller. When we do finally get down to the smallest possible level of material existence we should be able to arrange those entities into their fore barer of choice. Basically arrange the subatomic particles into an atom of our choosing, and then arrange the atoms to create the necessary molecule, bring a series of these molecules together resulting in the desired object. Voile REPLICATION….Thank you Gene Roddenberry.
         I actually didn’t come to talk about replicators so much as what replicators would mean to us as humans. Of course, most importantly would be my personal and unlimited supply of Lindt milk chocolate, lol. But on a more general note there would be no need of money… everything we need to survive and thrive would be at our finger tips. Beyond simple food production, dish style devices could replicate homes, even entire communities. My friend and I were discussing this last week and she asked, “If there is no money, who would live in the big houses?” My response was, “The person who feels the need  for a big house”.  A house would no longer be a status symbol or an investment; it would very simply serve your personal needs. It would be a reflection of who you are and how you see yourself.
         In a Roddenberrian society everyone would be doing work that they love. Artistic people would spend their days creating art. Mechanically inclined people would design and build new things. Healers would heal through their chosen medium. The scientific mind would explore unknown truths. Adventurers would go out and explore our physical universe. People are NOT lazy, shiftless or unmotivated by nature. As a species we desire more than anything, to be productive contributing members of our communities. Sadly very few people get to do the thing they love (and would do best) because of practical considerations. With no need of money everyone is free to be who they are. Fear, greed and ego (not to be confused with self-esteem or pride) would all evolve out of existence because no one would have anything to prove (except to themselves)…. That is my perfect world  
          O.K. science geeks…. Get on that will you. Start building a replicator! First order of business is to replicate the replicator. Have a joyous day my friends and dare to dream.

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