Scott Adams is a trekkie

duck (
Mon, 11 Aug 1997 09:20:57 -0700


Life Will Not Be Like Star Trek
> -------------------------------
> There are so many Star Trek(tm) spin-offs that it is easy to
> yourself into thinking that the Star Trek vision is an accurate
> of the future. Sadly, Star Trek does not take into account the
> stupidity, selfishness, and horniness of the average human
> Allow me to describe some of the more obvious errors in the
Star Trek
> vision.
> Medical Technology
> ------------------
> On Star Trek, the doctors have handheld devices that instantly
> any openings in the skin. Imagine that sort of device in the
> of your unscrupulous friends. They would sneak up behind you
and seal
> your ass shut as a practical joke. The devices would be sold in
> novelty stores instead of medical outlets. All things
considered, I'm
> happy that it's not easy to close other people's orifices.
> Transporter
> -----------
> It would be great to be able to beam your molecules across
space and
> then reassemble them. The only problem is that you have to
trust your
> co-worker to operate the transporter. These are the same people
> won't add paper to the photocopier or make a new pot of coffee
> taking the last drop. I don't think they'll be double-checking
> transporter coordinates. They'll be accidentally beaming people
> walls, pets, and furniture. People will spend all their time
> apologizing for having inanimate objects protruding from parts
of their
> bodies. 'Pay no attention to the knickknacks; I got beamed
into a
> hutch yesterday.' If I could beam things from one place to
> I'd never leave the house. I'd sit in a big comfy chair and
just start
> beaming groceries, stereo equipment, cheerleaders, and anything
else I
> wanted right into my house. I'm fairly certain I would abuse
> power. If anybody came to arrest me, I'd beam them into space.
If I
> wanted some paintings for my walls, I'd beam the contents of
the Louvre
> over to my place, pick out the good stuff, and beam the rest
into my
> neighbor's garage. If I were watching the news on television
> didn't like what I heard, I would beam the anchorman into my
> room during the commercial break, give him a vicious wedgie,
and beam
> him back before anybody noticed. I'd never worry about 'keeping
up with
> the Joneses,' because as soon as they got something nice, it
> disappear right out of their hands. My neighbors would have to
use milk
> crates for furniture. And that's only after I had all the milk
crates I
> would ever need for the rest of my life. There's only one
thing that
> could keep me from spending all my time wreaking havoc with the
> transporter: the holodeck.
> Holodeck
> --------
> For those of you who only watched the 'old' Star Trek, the
> can create simulated worlds that look and feel just like the
> thing. The characters on Star Trek use the holodeck for
> during breaks from work. This is somewhat unrealistic. If I had
> holodeck, I'd close the door and never come out until I died of
> exhaustion. It would be hard to convince me I should be
anywhere but
> in the holodeck, getting my oil massage from Cindy Crawford and
> simulated twin sister. Holodecks would be very addicting. If
> weren't enough holodecks to go around, I'd get the names of all
> people who had reservations ahead of me and beam them into
> walls. I'd feel tense about it, but that's exactly why I'd need
> massage. I'm afraid the holodeck will be society's last
> Sex with Aliens
> ---------------
> According to Star Trek, there are many alien races populated
> creatures who would like to have sex with humans. This would
open up
> a lot of anatomical possibilities, but imagine the confusion.
> hard enough to have sex with human beings, much less humanoids.
> wrong move and you're suddenly transported naked to the Gamma
> to stand trial for who-knows-what. This could only add to
> anxiety. You would never be quite sure what moves would be
sensual and
> what moves would be a galactic-sized mistake.
> Me Trying to Have Sex with an Alien
> -----------------------------------
> Me: May I touch that?
> Alien: That is not an erogenous zone. It is a

> separate corporeal being that has been attached to my body for
> hundred years.
> Me: It's cute. I wonder if it would let me

> have sex with it.
> Alien: That's exactly what I said six hundred

> years ago.
> The best part about having sex with aliens, according to the
Star Trek
> model, is that the alien always dies a tragic death soon
afterward. I
> don't have to tell you how many problems that would solve.
> Realistically,
> the future won't be that convenient.
> Phasers
> -------
> I would love to have a device that would stun people into
> unconsciousness without killing them. I would use it ten times
a day.
> If I got bad service at the convenience store, I'd zap the
clerk. If
> somebody with big hair sat in front of me at the theater, zap!
> On Star Trek, there are no penalties for stunning people with
> It happens all the time. All you have to do is claim you were
> possessed by an alien entity. Apparently, that is viewed as a
> defense in the Star Trek future. Imagine real criminals in a
> where the 'alien possession' defense is credible.
> Criminal: Yes, officer, I did steal that vehicle, and I did
kill the
> occupants, but I was possessed by an evil alien entity.
> Officer: Well, okay. Move along.
> I wish I had a phaser right now. My neighbor's dog likes to
> under my bedroom window on the other side of the fence and bark
> hours at a time. My neighbor has employed the bold defense that
> believes it might be another neighbor's dog, despite the fact
that I
> am standing there looking at him barking only twenty feet away.
In a
> situation like this, a phaser is really the best approach. I
> squeeze off a clean shot through the willow tree. A phaser
> make much noise, so it wouldn't disturb anyone. Then the
> little dog and I could both get some sleep. If the neighbor
> I'll explain that the phaser was fired by the other neighbor's
dog, a
> known troublemaker who is said to be invisible. And if that
> work, a photon torpedo is clearly indicated.
> Cyborgs
> -------
> Given the choice, I would rather be a cyborg instead of 100
> human. I like the thought of technology becoming part of my
body. As a
> human, I am constantly running to the toolbox in my garage to
get a
> tool to deal with some new household malfunction. If I were a
> I might have an electric drill on my arm, plus a metric socket
> That would save a lot of trips. From what I've seen, the cyborg
> concept is a modular design, so you can add whatever tools you
> you'd use most. I'd love to see crosshairs appear in my
> every time I looked at someone. It would make me feel
menacing, and
> I'd like that. I'd program myself so that anytime I saw a car
> salesman, a little message would appear in my viewfinder that
> 'Target Locked On.' It would also be great to have my computer
> into my skull. That way I could surf the Net during useless
periods of
> life, such as when people talk to me. All I'd have to do is
initiate a
> head-nodding subroutine during boring conversations and I could
> myself in my head all day long. I think that if anyone could
become a
> cyborg, there would be a huge rush of people getting in line
for the
> conversion. Kids would like it for the look. Adults would like
it for
> its utility. Cyborg technology has something for everyone. So,
> Star Trek, I can imagine everyone wanting to be a cyborg. The
> downside I can see is that when the human part dies and you're
at the
> funeral, the cyborg part will try to claw its way out of the
> and slay all the mourners. But that risk can be minimized by
> you have an important business meeting, so you can't make it to
> service.
> Shields
> -------
> I wish I had an invisible force field. I'd use it all the
> especially around people who spit when they talk or get too
close to
> my personal space. In fact, I'd probably need a shield quite a
bit if
> I also had a phaser to play with. I wouldn't need a big shield
> like the one they use to protect the Enterprise, maybe just a
> belt-clip device for personal use. I could insult dangerous
> without fear of retribution. Whatever crumbs of personality I
now have
> would be completely unnecessary in the future. On the plus
side, it
> would make shopping much more fun.
> Shopping with Shields Up
> ------------------------
> Me: Ring this up for me, you unpleasant
> Saleswoman: I oughta slug you!
> Me: Try it. My shields are up.
> Saleswoman: Damn!
> Me: There's nothing you can do to harm me.
> Saleswoman: I guess you're right. Would you like to
open a
> charge account? Our interest rates are very reasonable.
> Me: Nice try.
> Long-Range Sensors
> ------------------
> If people had long-range sensors, they would rarely use them to
> for new signs of life. I think they would use them to avoid
work. You
> could run a continuous scan for your boss and then quickly
> yourself out of the area when he came near. If your manager
died in
> his office, you would know minutes before the authorities
> him, and that means extra break time.
> Vulcan Death Grip
> -----------------
> Before all you Trekkies write to correct me, I know there is no
> thing as a Vulcan Death Grip even in Star Trek. But I wish
there were.
> That would have come in handy many times. It would be easy to
make the
> Vulcan Death Grip look like an accident.
> 'I was just straightening his collar and he collapsed.'
> I think the only thing that keeps most people from randomly
> other citizens is the bloody mess it makes and the high
likelihood of
> getting caught. With the Vulcan Death Grip, it would be clean
> virtually undetectable. Everybody would be killing people left
> right. You wouldn't be able to have a decent conversation at
> office over the sound of dead co-workers hitting the carpet.
The most
> common sounds in corporate America would be, 'I'm sorry I
> give you a bigger raise, but . . . erk!'
> And that's why the future won't be like Star Trek.
> ...........................................................
Written by
> Scott Adams, published in "The Dilbert Future" by
> HarperBusiness. Copyright United Media, 1997.

"Night fell again. There was war to the south, but our sector was quiet.
The battle was over. Our casualties were some thirteen thousand
killed--thirteen thousand minds, memories, loves, sensations, worlds,
universes--because the human mind is more a universe than the universe
itself--and all for a few hundred yards of useless mud."

-John Fowles [The Magus, 1965]"