Wish list of should have been’s, why haven’t they’s and wish they would’s.

A brief list of things that science/humanity/ “they” should have got around to doing, inventing, sorting or so on by 2011. Has science fiction been fibbing? Or are there just some things that will stay in science fiction. For your amusement:

1: A replacement for the internal combustion engine.

This to me is a no brainer. Come on… why are we still moving vehicles with a variation of 19th century technology? Surely someone out there has figured out a better way? I keep hearing stories about how “so and so” invented some magical engine which was then suppressed by “the oil and car companies”… True? Not true? I don’t know, but this throwback needs to be mothballed already.

2:  A replacement for Oil.

This one follows on from the last one pretty sequentially. Granted up until recent years oil has been so abundant and cheap that the incentive to replace it by those who can afford to incentivize it wasn’t there. Yet, if there ever was a time where it seems completely obvious that oil is more trouble than it’s worth now would be it. Imagine the world right now if oil was no longer a concern!

3: A cure for Cancer.

Seriously, just get it done already. This is one of those diseases where we get little teasers but don’t actually get the “big announcement.” How many times have we heard “possible new breakthrough in cancer treatment” only to never hear of it again? This is where those useful little nanobots so ubiquitous in science fiction plots could come in handy…

4: Fusion.

Ok, I know this is one of those cringe worthy subjects that comes up in science circles from time to time. That and it’s been given a bad rap in the past by those claiming to have achieved “Cold” fusion and then later being debunked.  But what’s not to want? Unlimited power with no harmful side effects… who could say no? If doing it cold isn’t possible, let’s do it hot. But, do it already.

5: Commercially viable massed produced solar power.

This one is infuriating because we technically have the ability to do it now. We just lack the political will. But really? Coal? Oil? Fission? Every time I walk outside in summer in Australia and the skin melts off my face I wonder why we just haven’t covered every roof in the country in solar panels. Expensive? Sure, but so was that little venture into Iraq… (Ouch, I had to go there didn’t I?)

6: Countries.

As in, let’s not have any. Crazy I know. But borders are tedious and often separate people who don’t want to be separated… then there is that equally tedious thing that happens when country A wants what country B has… (War).  When I hear conspiracy nuts go on about “world government” I honestly don’t think that’s a bad idea. I guess years of watching “Star trek” where somehow Gene Rodenberry had managed to get rid of “the nation state” in his fictional universe made me wishful. He never did actually say how that would work.

7: Cloning replacement Organs.

I need a new Leg/kidney/liver/heart/eye whatever… These are cloned at a biologically suitable time from my own samples, they are replaced, I move on.  I’m sure there is an ethical issue there somewhere but I’m not seeing it.

8: Low Orbital Passenger Aircraft.

I want to go to London, I’m in Sydney. I go up, I skirt the outer atmosphere and then land at Heathrow. Total travel time, somewhere around 45 minutes. With my replacement for oil and new fangled engine and possibly some super strong yet light construction material I think this is do-able. Farfetched? Well… granted, but I was actually going to talk about matter transference here.

9: Religion.

“Imagine” said John Lennon. Well, I am. It’s a big question… “Why do we still have religions?” Personally, I’m beginning to think more and more than these quaint set of dogma’s and superstitions are well past their use-by dates.

10: Ray Guns.

This is not at all useful. Especially if we are getting rid of countries and thus wars. (I know, it’s a bold idea.) Still, perhaps at some point we might encounter hostile life “out there” and quite frankly, science has been teasing us with “lasers” (Please say that as Dr Evil) for far too long.  We need to be out there brandishing beam weapons with coloured flashing lights instead of 13 round clips that Elliot Ness and Al Capone would have been carrying. Tsk tsk.


~ by benephobia on April 10, 2011.

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