Business Insider Finds Your Futurist Sci-Fi Tech Dreams Hilarious, You Silly American People
Business Insider has breaking news: Americans believe crazy shit about science. Just think of the 18% of people who believe The Flintstones was loosely based on a true story. The National Science Foundation must have wept when they realized their funding was regulated by people who couldn’t a pass sixth grade science class.
This new Pew Study on American perceptions of the future of science and technology could have provided a beacon of hope, a reason to keep believing, proof that the American public is aware of how hard science has been rocking it out lately. Instead, Business Insider insinuates that it is further proof of our collective insanity.
But the examples Business Insider talks about aren’t actually that crazy. Unless you're using "crazy" to modify "crazy awesome."
- People believe that scientists will crack the mystery of teleportation in the next fifty years. Which does kind of sound nuts, but quantum teleportation is a real thing that we can do right fucking now. Sure, it’s a little more complicated than Scotty beaming you up, but scientists are working on teleporting information from one bundle of atoms to another — it gets all crazy complicated, but it’s kinda like 3D faxing. And just FYI, 50 years ago, pretty much only one company in the world (Xerox) thought faxing would be a thing and the packet switched network that underpins the internet didn’t exist, so how insane does teleportation sound now?
- The second example of crazy ideas we'll believe: instead of having to harvest organs from the dead, we might be able to grow them in the lab. Or, print them with a 3D bioprinter LIKE WE ARE ALREADY DOING with ears, bones, (non-functioning) kidneys and, we shit you not, vaginas. We guess Business Insider hasn’t been watching that bastion of awesome medical facts, Grey’s Anatomy, or even reading their own posts about Organovo’s 3D printed liver — being used RIGHT NOW for drug testing and research.
- Finally, it turns out Americans believe in Newt’s dream to colonize the moon. Or, other planets. They just don’t want the colony to be named Newtville. And, why wouldn’t we believe that in fifty years we COULD be entertaining the idea of colonizing another planet? What do you think NASA's been researching for 45 fucking years? You know why the ISS has a shower?
Because people can’t spend 9 months flying to Mars without taking a shower. The ridiculously sophisticated space toilet? Same principle, with a little added urgency. Not to mention Biosphere 2 – where we locked people in a dome for two years and it failed miserably. And yeah, there are lots of additional benefits to all of these projects (particularly for astronauts who need to poop in space) but all overtly used deep space exploration to justify their relevance. We’re more into the whole “explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations” plan than the “build a dome on a random planet” plan, but the gist of the question seems pretty solid.
So, while we understand that predicting the future is fraught with pitfalls, predicting the present is way fucking easier and all of these “crazy” possibilities have actual, for-real scientists working on them. So, on behalf of the maligned Pew Study participants: Wake up and smell the quantum computer, Business Insider – the future is now.