Future Tech 1
I read an article recently about a man who
invented a phone that you wear on your wrist, like a watch or a "What
Will Jesus Do" bracelet. The interesting thing about
this new device is that you listen to it by sticking your finger into
your ear! The wrist-o-phone, as I call it, vibrates your hand slightly,
and those vibrations climb their way up your hand, through your ear
canal and into your brain! As if this wasn't amazing enough, the
inventor is also working on a wearable television. The receiver is made out of
metal foil and is worn like a hat, and the video is viewed by pushing hard on
both eyes with your thumbs. Truly, at no time in the history of humanity
have we been closer to living in the future!
And yet, with all these advances, from computers to
animatronic fish to wrist-o-phones, some answers continue to elude us. For
instance: scientists still do not know what the square root of seven is. The
square root of two was known to the ancient Egyptians, and Sir Isaac
Newton invented the square root of three more than a century ago. These
days, even social scientists know what the square root of four is.
However, ask the tallest physicists in all the land for the square root
of seven, and you're likely to get a blank stare, or at best a
computer-generated "estimate" that runs to thousands of digits and still
isn't correct. What you won't get is a straight answer, and we're no
closer to finding one today than we were the day before yesterday.
Congressional funding is non-existent, and the fickle public eye is
trained on more glamorous sciences, like pornology and sub-atomic
sandwiches. Until we as a nation get our priorities straight, the
square root of seven will likely remain out of our reach.
When faced with a seemingly senseless mystery such as this,
most people respond with cliched confusion. "If we can put pizza on a bagel," they
say, "why can't we figure out one simple square root?" Old people (and
Brendan Frasier) who don't know that we modern humans can eat pizza any
time, are likely to reference the analogous feat of their out-dated era:
"If we can put a man on the moon," they begin, and that's all the
incentive I need to start ignoring them, if I wasn't already. Why?
Because the moon landing is a joke.
You know those fake prize giveaways that police departments run to
catch dangerous criminals? The moon landing was just such an event,
designed specifically to fool the kooks and crackpots across the country. Whether
it really happened or not is meaningless, as long as all of us normal folk know the
truth. Every time a new Geocities web page reveals "the truth,"
a buzzer goes off deep inside the fake mountain that houses our REAL government,
and another sucker is added to The List.
To close out this high-tech essay, I'd like to
list off some ridiculous inventions that by all rights we should have in this
crazy modern world, but do not.
Most of you are hoping that I'll include the one about creating anti-gravity
with a cat and a piece of buttered toast, which is one of your 'favorites.'
A few of you were thinking of something else, but now you too are
hoping for the Amazing Cat-Toastamatron. Unfortunately, you are all
about to be disappointed, because I categorically refuse to include even
the slightest mention of such an old joke. No, were I to make such a
list, it would consist entirely of clever new witticisms, the likes of
which the world will never see. In a hundred years, when you're being
downloaded into your new electronic brain, you'll consider all the
advances of the past century and the things that
never came to be, and then you'll think of my list. Then you will
think of the toast-cat, and you'll chuckle to yourself with a cold
rasping laugh that echoes through the empty place where your soul once
was. Then you will say, "Does not compute!" or "What is this
'crying'?", and then some kid will teach you how to love.