I love old-timey stuff. Jesus, sometimes it seems like that’s all I friggin WRITE ABOUT. But I’m also a dreamer and sci-fi addict, so my eyes are always on the horizon. I love it here. And by “here” I mean, of course, the future. I like the fact that I have access to all the old-timey stuff (I made chainmail once. True story. I also own an M-1 Garand which was manufactured in the spring of 1943. I looked it up) and still get to play Skate 3 with my kids on the ol’ Xbox 360. It really is the best of both worlds. Yessir, no doubt about it: this is the best time that’s ever been. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the future.
“BULLSHIT!” you scream at the cold, unfeeling monitor. “AIN’T NO FLYING CARS!!” An excellent point, and the one that everyone uses when they wish to express displeasure at the quality of life in these modern times. And my counter-argument is that there will never be cities full of flying cars. Never. Films like “Metropolis” and “Fifth Element” aren’t going to happen. They aren’t. Why? Because technology is going to make flying cars obsolete. Remember when Doc Brown tells Marty that where they’re going they “don’t need roads?” In the coming century (yes, it will happen within a hundred years) you won’t even need cars. Instantaneous transportation is going to change everything. How do I know?
It’s already been done. (Kind of.)
This article from Scientific American is already four years old, and a decent Google search will bring up more recent experiments, surely. But the gist is this: scientists were trying to see if entangled particles could communicate faster-than-light. Under our current physics model, this is impossible. However, when they created two entangled photons and separated them by about eleven miles, they proved (again) that entanglement is fucking spooky. When they’d tweak one particle, the other responded instantaneously. With our primitive measuring capabilities, they weren’t able to prove that this sort of communication is infinitely fast. They were able to measure that at the very least, data transfer was happening at 10,000 times the speed of light.
Let me say that shit again: TEN THOUSAND TIMES THE SPEED OF FUCKING LIGHT!!
The applications right now are obviously limited. But it’s safe to assume that someone will one day soon build a pair of transmitters that include entangled particles. When one is switched on and off in a pattern like, say, Morse code or Binary, the other gets it immediately. No lag. No waves traveling through the air, no bouncing off satellites. A guy in China knows what’s happening in Nevada at the exact second it happens. And like our own communication systems that have gone from telegraphs to telephones to radios to Skype and Wi-Fi, you can imagine that this is just the beginning. And even better; entanglement theory is part of the grander, broader world of quantum mechanics. Mark my words: we’re on the verge of figuring out how to actually either fold time-space what we’d call “Warp Drive” style propulsion (which is kind of a misnomer, since you’re not actually propelling anything…you’re moving space-time, not the object itself) or a “transporter” of sorts. Build a bubble of entanglement or probability (or whatever spooky shit they call it) here and another one somewhere very far away. You step into one, you come out in the other. Seriously. This is going to happen. And most of the world has no idea how close we actually are. It’s moving beyond theory now, into actual applied science. This proximity to amazing breakthroughs literally give me goosebumps. We live in the future, but our grandkids are going to live in the FUTURE!!!
Louis C.K. points out that right now, at this time in Human History, everything is awesome. And it is. He also points out that nobody is happy. His assertion is that we take so much for granted. We don’t appreciate things like the miracle of flight. he has some valid points. But if you think you’re spoiled now, just wait until you can have a real-time holographic conversation with your pal who’s going to school at the Martian Colony…or step into a terminal in New York and step out in Berlin in less than a microsecond. It’s sort of staggering, but it’s coming.
And I can’t wait.