Friday, October 12, 2007

Air Travel

Modern air travel prepares us well for eventual teleportation. You go into a local node, are made uncomfortable for some hours, and pop out in another node somewhere. Despite our observance of planes in flight from the ground and of things that look like a terrain beneath us when we are ourselves flying, it feels rather mocked up. Though we can relate a map to real distance, we are not built to think of the world from above. Even people like me, who are at the far extreme of imagining states and countries in terms of their overhead map, as if Italy actually did run from some upper lefthand corner to a lower righthand one and looked like a ruffled, spiked boot, do not naturally make the jump from looking out at the horizon and multiplying that visually by a thousand and intuiting California.

I think that's the Mississippi River over there. But it could be just a clever graphic out my window.

In science fiction, such as Star Trek, you get disassembled in one place and reassembled in another. That will likely have some unpleasant side effects. But we'll be ready for it, having waited in tedious lines for bored bureaucrats to place us into cramped containers for hours in order to "arrive" at some more desired place. Our stomachs, sleep, and joints are inconvenienced. Teleportation is going to be any easy switch.

3 comments:

Larry said...

I wish I could find a record of an Art Buchwald "thing" that documented in a speech that "they" walk you through tunnels for a while, seat you in a room for a while, do the "safety drill", "drinks cart" etc, then let you out where you walk through more tunnels to where they said your luggage would be, and sometimes is.

(We used to record all those sessions, I wonder if he signed a release for that one--and if I bouthg the tape.....)

akafred said...

Teleportation is going to be any easy switch.

As a frequent business flyer, all I can say is "Beam me up AVI." I'm ready for it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

akafred - I was thinking of you the whole time.