While merging on the freeway yesterday, I began to think about the promises made to us by science fiction about the future, and how the d-bag in the Prius could have killed me much more efficiently in a Flying Car than he could with his mere two-dimensional crappy driving.  Sure, a flying car would be cool, but given that my Chrysler’s brakes are grinding and squeaking like the cell doors at Azkaban Prison, I’m certain my theoretical flying car would be equally ill-maintained and hazardous to life and limb, balancing any George Jetson thrills with the occasional plunge to Earth.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) wants to get it up to 88 and show you some serious $#!+, asking:  What other future technology would be utterly disastrous and awful in practice?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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11 Comments

  1. Georgedubya
    June 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    Eternal youth/life

    Seriously, without a TON of other advancements in technology and society, the ability to live indefinitely would cause so many problems.

    • June 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm — Reply

      You took my answer, darn it. Even a normal lifespan feels too long sometimes.

    • Ryan 'Halite' King
      June 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm — Reply

      It essentially destroys any hope for wealth distribution to shift.

  2. Frank
    June 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm — Reply

    Self aware robots. You could go Asimov’s way or Skynet. Given the level of human stupidity out there, it will probably be Skynet.

    There is currently concern over putting guns on drones that patrol the U.S. Southern border….

    • Ryan 'Halite' King
      June 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm — Reply

      Personally I have a few arguments against this being an issue

      Self aware robots of high quality of intelligence would have to be treated as equal to humans, or at least an elevated status (dogs have more rights than ants). Why make a hyper intelligent robot to send it into a mine? It’s not cost effective.

      Humans are too selfish to let robots become smarter than us, we will inevitably combine the parts of superior computational speed and power of machines into ourselves.

      Computers as they are will likely be limited to a different type of intelligence since they are computationally based instead of pattern based. We have to use very complicated systems and software in order to get a computer than can accurately do the sort of things a human 2 year old can. My son rattles off about every passing car, its color, its type, recognize the similarities in trucks… he multiply huge numbers, or process 1million credit card transactions though. I personally feel that we should re-brand current ‘artificial intelligence’ as ‘simulated intelligence’

      • Ryan 'Halite' King
        June 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm — Reply

        Missed a can’t in there, he can’t multiply

      • ikdks
        June 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm — Reply

        Read I, Robot. One day robots will build robots that will build robots, and once we get through a couple of iterations, the robots will get too complex for human minds to understand. Its called emergence, the idea that simple forces can create patterns more complex than themselves. Niagara Falls is just gravity and water, the Grand Canyon is water wind and time.

        Then there’s life’s instinctive need to create life. The world is full of potential Geppettos and Frankenstein’s that are only held at bay by limitations of the technology of their time. Once that is lifted, people will be building children, friends, and of course lovers. It’s inevitable. In fact, we may see it.

  3. Ryan 'Halite' King
    June 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm — Reply

    I’m going to take issue with Star Trek.

    Teleporters are an evil technology that I think would have to work like the one in the Prestige where a clone is created and the original destroyed. Not to mention their potential for abuse. We could simply shoot enemies into the center of the Earth.

    Replicators destroy the economy and pretty much destroy the innovative drive. Need a new Enterpirse, let’s replicate it!

    Not just Star Trek, but another BttF issue as well. Backwards Time Travel. I don’t want to know what horrors could abound from that.

  4. Russ Catt
    June 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm — Reply

    Time Travel.
    Seems like a great idea until you think of the ramifications of people from multiple points in time traveling back to a fixed point.
    I don’t remember the bible mentioning that the crucifixion involved stadium seating for thousands of attendees whose number would only increase as more people in the relative future decided to travel back to that point.

    Plus, then someone steps on a butterfly or somesuch and then the future is ruled by insects :)

  5. B.V.K.
    June 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm — Reply

    Lightsabers, there would be soooooo many severed limbs of teenagers that did stupid stuff with them. However I guess that would not technically be future technology since it happened a long time ago.

    • June 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm — Reply

      My guess is that by the time that kind of tech becomes portable, there would also be some sort of protection field or lower grade “practice” models that are nothing more harmful than nerf bats with a slight sting (think the lightsaber batons on Futurama or even the Star Wars Expanded Universe practice lightsabers). Sure, there would still be plenty of severed parts, but fewer than there would normally be since most people would probably go for the cheaper low power practice model.

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