Imagine a world in the future and a true ability to teleport anywhere on Earth, anywhere at all. Let’s forget, for a moment, that this may not exactly be a feasible mode of transportation and focus on the scenario.
First of all, why might I (or someone else) invent a teleporting device? No, it’s not just because it’s epic, although that is a perfectly acceptable answer under other circumstances.
Logically, here’s a list of what a teleporting device could mean for humanity:
- Reduced commute times, or completely obliterate them.
- Reduced need for vehicles and therefore, reduced pollution.
- A (presumably) safer mode of transportation (no hi-jacking, plane or car crashes).
- More time to spend with family, and work on meaningful relationships for improved emotional and mental stability.
- Improved economics worldwide.
- Enhanced global attitude.
- Possible elimination of inner-city and poverty-stricken areas.
This is just a very tiny list of the immediate possibilities of such an innovation. The real question is: would we use the technology for those purposes?
Sadly, I don’t think we would use it to the best of its potential. History shows that we become greedy, among other things. How did humanity affect the future when it was handed the discoveries of Albert Einstein? Humanity created a weapon of mass destruction.
Businesses may decide that since we are saving time with our commute, we can get to work earlier and put in more hours during the day so they can grasp at more revenue. We would probably not end up spending more time with those we love, or fulfilling our dreams. We would simply spend even more time putting work first and juggling everything else around it.
I think overall we have improved over the years, but would it take long for someone to coordinate terrorist attacks using the teleporting device, or to show up in enemy territory with troops at the ready?
So I’ll ask again how humanity affects the future?
Humanity necessitates certain limits on innovation and discovery. How sad is that? We are our own worst enemies. We could probably eradicate poverty, starvation, and a good portion of disease with a kind of teleporting technology but we would need to ask ourselves what the risks would be, and if it would still be worth it to invent such a thing.
Would humanity be able to rise above petty differences for the good of all the inhabitants of the world? I would really like to believe that it is a possibility. Certainly it should be more of a possibility than ever to forge relationships across borders and cultures.
If it was your invention, would you take the chance, or would you lock away the discovery or innovation in your mind to prevent the possibility of catastrophic outcomes?
What would you do to change how humanity affects the future?
That’s food for thought this week. May everyone have a synapse-sizzling week full of potential!