Is Teleportation a Good or Bad Idea?
Teleportation: How good an idea is this?
Most of us watched Star Trek with amazement as Captain Kirk and his crew constantly used their transporter to move between the Enterprise and another world, an asteroid, another spacecraft and into an exact place in any of these locations. I know I was filled with visions of a future being able to teleport anywhere. Wow, just think of all the things that could be done here on earth with a workable teleportation device. A device that would disassemble all of your molecules send them through the machine and reassemble them at the other end exactly as they were originally, all happening in a nanosecond of time.
We could go to the mall or downtown immediately. We could be at that vacation spot anywhere in the world right now! If we were manufacturers, we could transport our products the same way and we could receive our raw materials the same way, on demand. Living in London, we could attend a business conference in San Francisco today and be back at home tonight or as soon as meeting was concluded.
There would be no need for Cars, Trucks, Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cabs and many other conveyances. What a GREAT IDEA!
Really?, wait a minute. Let’s take another look at this great invention of a working teleportation device. Ask yourself: How would this discovery affect the global economy? The quick answer is it could cause an absolute financial meltdown and the downfall of many countries. It could be as a part time philosopher, eternal optimist and positive thinker, it is highly unusual for me to look at the this topic from the perception of possible disaster but with every great invention/idea I think it behooves us to start considering the possible down side to what many see as a miracle invention with an eye to all of the ramifications, good and bad, of any new invention designed to make our lives easier.
A working teleportation device would, in effect, put millions of people out of work. There would no longer be a need for the automobile industry or any of the thousands of suppliers to that industry. The same would happen to the Railroad industry. Who needs to transport product and people by rail when you have access to a teleportation device? How about the Aviation Industry? Well, yes there would no longer be a need for planes, airports, jet fuel, luggage handlers, Sky Caps, Taxis, suppliers to that industry either.
Now let’s take a quick look at the impact on governments. Armies could be teleported in a split second to any place on earth. What effect would that have on Sovereignty or security? Bombs, ammunition, terrorists, germ warfare and other equally nasty things could happen. All of which would make owning and controlling the new invention an even bigger prize for any government. For whichever government owned and controlled the new teleportation machine would now control the world. Total Anarchy would prevail at first followed by an equally unacceptable world tyrannical dictatorship, the depth of which we have never witnessed. In a way it could be a real apocalyptic scenario or the epitome of opening Pandora’s Box.
These are just some thoughts on a technology that may or may not ever be realized. I think we need to truly be on guard as the pace of our technological society speeds along at an increasing pace. Stem Cell research, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, drones, fighting wars with no human pilots in aircraft and medical research all are designed to make life easier, safer, longer and erase disease. What will be the down side, if any, of all these wonderful discoveries?