Not signed in (Sign In)
    • CommentTimeAug 19th 2013
    This topic pokes a nerve for me so I'll try hard and probably fail not to be obnoxious.

    If even one percent of the people I've heard make this complaint actually spent their lives doing research or engineering, made careers raising capital to fund massive, transformative technology projects, or otherwise did anything other than gripe that someone else has neglected to hand them free of effort a ticket to a moon colony maybe one or two of these things would be closer to reality.

    Comics, music, writing are all wonderful pursuits. But if you (not any specific you, this is the rhetorical you) are going to take a pose of entitled affront regarding your lack of a fucking jetpack, I'd ask what exactly you have done since you absorbed the expectation of wonders to make them come into being.

    My observation of most people who say this kind of thing is, not a single useful thing.

    My direct experience of actually working on large, complex technology projects is: they are massively expensive, subject to uncountable failure conditions, dangerous and often can only be achieved if the people working on them are willing to destroy something, either people, the environment, valuable social contracts, etc. - in other words, none of these clichéd tomorrowland fantasies have failed to materialize for silly reasons. They've failed because no one can afford them, no one was willing to be guilty of the human or environmental crimes required to produce them, or they just can't practically be achieved in a world governed by physics and chemistry.

    Maybe some day some of them may be achieved by people willing to put in the work to overcome the many real and substantial obstacles to jetpacks and flying fucking cars so that a crowd of nincompoops can hurtle out of the sky into our houses and faces in some Brave N00B World.

    Just probably won't be the same people complaining that their boy's own adventure bedtime stories weren't issued to them fully fleshed when they turned 18.

    Drops mic.

    Or, what he said (at then end of this clip):
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2013
    The thing that always surprises me most is how people latch onto specific sci-fi tech and say 'when we have this, we will be in the future!' and then forget things like the fact nearly all of us in the west carry around with us a pocket computer and communication device that makes the one in Star Trek look like a Commodore 64.

    The future is always arriving, a little bit at a time, and sometimes you only notice it when you take a step back. If I showed some of the tech things I own to the me of just 10 years ago it would blow his tiny little mind.
    • CommentAuthorRed Deathy
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2013 edited
    It's in New Zealand, and fully licensed for flight:
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2013
    That thing is a jetpack in the same way that a horse is a backpack.
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013
    Possibly the reason no one goes on to develop jetpacks after complaining about the lack of them is that shortly after the complaint they realize that a jetpack in every home would be a terrible idea.
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013
    Considering how many idiots are driving around in cars, harming themselves and others, I do NOT want to see these people take to the skies.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013
    @Magnulus - I'd rank personal jet packs in with county fair bungee jumping, mini-motorcycles, and Segways: mankind's technological attempts to further the species by weeding out the foolish.
      CommentAuthorJohn Skylar
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013 edited
    Well, a few weeks ago I might have said something else, but the SpaceX went and invented it.

    So I'm gonna go with "teleporter."

    Not just because of transport (though that would be huge). I also think teleporters would have AMAZING medical applications.

    Pregnant but don't want to spend hours in labor? NO PROBLEM, we'll beam that baby out in two shakes.

    Inoperable Cancer? NOPE. Beam that shit out.

    Organ transplant too risky? NOPE. Beam out the bad, in with the new (with some nanobots to make the connections).

    Shrapnel can't be removed? NOPE.

    Appendicitis? Have it cured and be back at work in thirty minutes.

    It goes on...
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013
    @John Skylar - Shrapnel can totally be removed, you just need a big enough magnet like my friend's Vietnam War vet father found out when the hospital docs didn't see on his charts the note that he wasn't supposed to go anywhere near a MRI.

    On the bright side, he doesn't have shrapnel in his legs anymore...
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013
    RenThing: Holy shit, that must have been quite an experience for him!

    Teleportation has always been a bit weird to me... In fact, I think Badger was talking about this in Breaking Bad just recently and he echoed precisely my weirdness about it: To teleport something, you have to destroy it completely and then create it anew at the destination. It's implausible (to me) that we'd be able to move a person's actual molecules to the destination, so the solution must be that you murder a version of yourself and assemble a new one every single time you teleport. So people are out of the picture. Right? RIGHT?! Exciting concept for teleporting objects, though.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013
    According to my friend it was like his legs exploded. He had to spend a few more days in the hospital but ended up ok.

    It's implausible (to me) that we'd be able to move a person's actual molecules to the destination, so the solution must be that you murder a version of yourself and assemble a new one every single time you teleport. So people are out of the picture. Right? RIGHT?! Exciting concept for teleporting objects, though.

    This is a theme that's been used in fiction, The Prestige and Kraken by China Miéville also touched on it.
  1.  (586.52)
    I'd say the ability to teleport and download stuff into my brain. Not that I'd actually do it (not without a huge amount of proof that everything involved is safe and painless), because I'm a total wimp, but the idea of it seems nice. I have no expectations or whatever of it happening, it's more like the old "if you had a superpower, what would it be" question. I just want to go to interesting places, meet interesting people, and learn cool things and have it be something that would be easy. So I guess my input is more about a fantasy than anything else really. John Skylar has a way more sensible approach to the whole teleportation thing. And oddbill is right, much of this stuff won't happen without a huge cost somehow. That said, Brunelleschi's dome was designed and made with minimal adverse affects to the workers (I think lowest fatality/injury rate of the time). But we don't know much about his family either so... anyway.
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013
    I do love the idea of downloading information into and from my brain. If I can end my natural life by becoming a mechanical monstrosity or part of a worldwide mainframe of minds, I will be happy. :D
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2013
    I for one am deathly ashamed of how stupid I was five years ago.

    I'm off to go hide in a corner and forget everything.
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2013 edited
    I haven't weighed in here yet,

    I like to think that the future will be full of possibilities, maybe not things like fucking jetpacks and tossing cars, but I don't believe what we currently have is there only because we have exploitation, that can increase the speed in which we get there but it will always result in exhaustion.

    The main resource that created our current technological expansion is fossil fuels, and we will eventually have to live without this, if we don't handle the transition away from our current lifestyle carefully, that will be or single biggest failure.

    Our ability to learn for our mistakes and pass that knowledge on is something that our future technological achievements will depend on. What our achievements will be in in the future, I don't know. How we get there is important, because we have made some pretty big mistakes, lets hope that we can learn from them.

    David Graeber: On Bureaucratic Technologies & the Future as Dream-Time / 01.19.2012 @ SVA