There is a lot of technology that many of us want that just won't exist in our lifetime, most of it based in pop culture. Sure we got lucky with the iPad, which is basically a "Don't Panic" away from being The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but who other than Douglas Adams could have seen that coming?
Now, even though we know the great technological leaps probably aren't coming in our lifetime, we still hold out hope that maybe, just maybe they will. What most folks don't want to admit, however, is just how bad things would be if some of these bits of the pop culture future did indeed exist. It's easy to live with the romance of an idea when you know it isn't going to happen.
It's time we get real about the unreal. Let's start with a device back in the news because of a carefully crafted prank making the rounds on Facebook.The Hoverboard
Back to the Future Part II has to be in the top 20 when it comes to "films that have gadgets in them people wish were real." We want it all- the self-lacing shoes, the self-drying clothes, dehydrated pizza (which now kind of exists) - but it's the hoverboard that seems to be the most engaging. That would explain why the above video from Huvr is all the rage on Facebook right now; people really, really want hoverboards to be real.
As if there aren't enough devices that move us around already. Have you ever rolled your eyes at a Segway? Have you ever had to jump out of the way of a skateboarder? Do you hate Critical Mass? Now imagine all of that, but a foot off the ground. That's what you're hoping for- another thing to annoy you and your dog in public.
While we're on the subject of transportation, as cool as having a flying car would be, it would also be an absolute disaster for at least a few decades. Humans can barely handle driving on the ground and you want to make things more complicated by adding cars above and below us? Have you ever considered how much longer it would take to get a flying car license or go through defensive fly-driving? If you thought predatory parking lot behavior was bad now, wait until the first Christmas with flying cars on the road.The Lightsaber
Have you ever just dropped something? One day you're slicing tomatoes in the kitchen, the knife slips and you end up with a scar between your toes for the rest of your life. These things happen. They may not happen regularly, but they do. Hands fail unexpectedly, and yet you want to carry around a device that could remove a limb in one swipe? Sure, the lightsaber cauterizes the wound, so at least you won't bleed to death, but you're still missing a limb.
Plus, lightsabers are like fedoras; they sound good in practice but won't make you look cool no matter what you tell yourself.
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There's a reason time travel stories rarely end well: there are just far too many ways for things to go bad when you start using a time machine. I mean, most people can't be trusted to get their lives right the first time, so why should we expect them to get things right the 4th, 8th or 27th time? Yes, it would be cool to go back and see what really happened to JFK or Jesus or any number of people you saw on Unsolved Mysteries, but the last thing we need is to accidently give ourselves the ability to ruin things on this planet any more than they already are.
Unless, of course, we already have and we already did, and there's another, better timeline where we have all these things. Then maybe we should try and fix that. I mean, these devices would all end in disaster sure, but you don't want to live in the least futuristic timeline, do you?