HOLODECKS pt 2
So last week’s post sparked a conversation on with of my good friends, Dave Maciver who is also a SciFi fan, obviously. He took up the call and answered the question at the end of the post. The e-mail was so good, it had to be shared.
Response to PSYT 11 -Holodecks – By David Maciver
Where would you visit if you had access to a holodeck?
It’s a big question, but maybe not quite as big as you may think. You see, the Holodeck isn’t a time machine. It’s just a fancy video game. Any time travelling done in it is only as good as the programming. So while Data’s visits to Victorian London to play Holmes might SEEM authentic he’s only got the books to go on. It might have been nothing like that, or there could be bits missing. And you’ve only got whatever information we have to go on. It would be handy for collecting information on a subject and viewing it in an easily interfaced way though. If you put every bit of data together we have about, say, ancient Rome the archeologists might notice a few things they hadn’t before.
What if we had them right now though? Well like any technology people would have sex with it. It’s the first, well maybe not the first but close, thing we do with new things. The second thing ever printed after the bible was some naughty etchings. It took until Deep Space 9 for this to be hinted at on Star Trek, but you know that Reg had some fun with his Troy and Crusher models. That’s what every teenage male viewer thought when THEY saw it anyway. And if they had them when I was 14 I’m pretty sure I’d have had an Emma Valentine program (hi Emma if this comes up on a Google!).
On a more serious note, it could be very handy. I’m sure that making politicians sit in an accurate version of a hellish fire fight in Afghanistan would make them rethink going to war. Or at least to give the troops some flippin armour. In Japan we could have send in a couple of robots to do a scan and the scientists could have looked at the damaged to Fukushima DaiIchi and sorted things a bit quicker.
Thing is though, using it to fix the world’s problems probably wouldn’t be necessary. The technology used in the holodeck itself would negate this. It uses replicator technology to make the objects that you interact with. So we’d have all the food anyone could ever need, ending world hunger. It uses shield technology to allow you to interact with the fake people and tables and the like. So conventional combat wouldn’t really exist. A rocket propelled grenade isn’t so scary with a shield. Suicide bombers just make a messy stain.
Btw this is hazy memory so if it DOESN’T use the technology I’m stating complain to someone else. We’d need to develop it to get there anyway.
It uses transporter technology (I think) so anyone who thought that distribution would still be a problem even WITH replicators (which ARE a form of transporters) can shh. And it’s only possible with the massive amount of energy and processing power that they have on Trek. So we would have basically unlimited energy and super duper computers. World’s problems solved.
You can see that on Star Trek. Earth is an Utopia basically. We don’t really have wars amongst ourselves any more, there isn’t any poverty or hunger. Crime is more or less gone as no one needs anything that they can’t get anyway. There’s probably still the odd murder and the like though. And as a lot of people probably don’t have to work, holodeck addiction wouldn’t be that big a problem. You wouldn’t starve to death like people have playing WoW as the food in the deck is actually food. You don’t have to live in the real world as it’s not like you have to go to work or anything anyway. So there will be holodeck nerds, but it’s mostly harmless as long as everyone doesn’t do it.
Of course if all the above wasn’t the case I know what would happen in the current world. The holodeck would be owned by some big studio, probably Fox. They would make Transformers 4: Holodeck edition. It wouldn’t be all that much better and it would cost 5 times more. But it would make a bunch of money, so then everything would be a holodeck edition. You’d have “Teen Comedy 28” and “Crap Rom Com with J Lo 6”. The holodeck would become something extremely lame that no one does anything useful with. And the news edition would use it to make a holo Obama that says really really horrible things and admits it’s a Kenyan Muslim.
And you and I would never ever get to use it for what we want, as we’d be too poor.
Thanks for the post David! If you have a response to any of the articles I have written so far, send them over to LNicole@flyingislandpress.com