Molly Jackson: Star Trek’s Broken Promise
Yesterday was the 49th anniversary of Star Trek’s television premiere. In case you are a first time reader, you should know that I #Star Trek. Serious love of the Trek here. But as we reach this momentous occasion, I do have one serious complaint about the franchise. And it isn’t J.J. Abrams.
49 years ago, Star Trek promised a future filled with exciting technology. Over the years we have seen a lot of it come into existence. Want a communicator? Buy a cell phone. Want a hypospray? They actually existed before the show! Basic tractor beams have been invented, as well as a basic phaser. Federation Starships have inspired engine designs and the Prius was inspired by a shuttlecraft. But through all of this, the technology I want still hasn’t made an appearance. The future is here, 49 years later. Where is my damn replicator?!
That’s right, I want a replicator. In fact, I go on this rant every time I have to stop something interesting to cook a meal because I am so hungry. (My roommate is really tired of hearing about it.) Actually, this post was even paused to cook dinner. After a lifetime of watching Star Trek, I am just disappointed that I still have to cook rather than enter a disk or speak my current craving and poof! There’s my meal, all hot and steamy.
Yes, I realize that TV isn’t reality but Star Trek has broken that barrier through its impact on the science and technological development of the world. My one hope is at least some people are trying. There is a company in Israel that has something you could refer to as the world’s first replicator. It sounds more like a Keurig for food than what I’m looking for but baby steps. Maybe in my lifetime, I could order my dinner instead of having to cook it, not to mention the added benefit of feeding the planet.
Many of today’s engineers and scientists were inspired by watching Star Trek growing up. While I didn’t take on a career in the sciences, you can tell it obviously made an impression on my world. Maybe we will see a breakthrough for the 50th anniversary. If not, then we need to get Star Trek back on TV to inspire a new generation of thinkers. You know, for the benefit of science, the future… and my stomach.