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star trek becoming reality

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User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23

Since we have quite some star trek fans here, I thought I'd tell you about this.

Do you remember in the movie The Voyage Home, Scotty gives away the future technology "transparent aluminium". Well, here it is: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123012131

IIRC it was said it would take about 15-20 years before it could actually be produced. The movie is from 1986, so "present" in that movie would also be the 80s... Remarkable, isn't it? But I'm not sure about that detail.

User offline. Last seen 12 years 48 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-09-18
Re: star trek becoming reality

Transparent alumininium indeed sounds like a material from future. About the US army engineers discovering it - I find it sad that in many (probably most) cases war was the force that pushed technology forward. But, at least the Bad Thing has some Good Outcomes :-).

About The Voyage Home, I got its subtitles, so here's that part of the dialog you were talking about. They are in 20th century:

- How do we plan to convert this tank?
- Ordinarily, I'd do it with transparent aluminum.
- You're a number of years too early.
- I know. We've got to find the 20th-century equivalent.

It doesn't say anything about 20 years, but later in the movie they give the formula of transparent aluminium to a scientist, who says it would take years to figure it out. "Years" sounds pretty close to 20 years (he didn't say decades), so yes - Star Trek was pretty predictive here.

This is all from the subtitles, which don't have to be completely exact.

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User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Re: star trek becoming reality
Quote:

stojic wrote:
Transparent alumininium indeed sounds like a material from future. About the US army engineers discovering it - I find it sad that in many (probably most) cases war was the force that pushed technology forward. But, at least the Bad Thing has some Good Outcomes :-).

Yes, but I don't think that without wars we wouldn't have the kind of progress that we do, especially considering that while wars seem to push progress they are also very destructive to it. Think of all the people killed. Some of them might have been genious engineers who'd greatly contribute to the progress of technology. Think of all the countries wrecked that could have, instead of spending a decade of effort on just getting over the war, spent all that effort into research and development of new technologies their country will be proud of. Our own country Croatia comes as an example. We have alot of innovators, and yet these innovations didn't come from war, but from peace and all we really want is to be recognized for these innovations, we don't want to be recognized as the next world force.

But we can't change what happened and if some of the things developed through war can be useful in peace, than we should embrace that particular technology.

Quote:

About The Voyage Home, I got its subtitles, so here's that part of the dialog you were talking about. They are in 20th century:.......

I think I remember that conversation. They had to build something "from the future" but only had 20th century resources to do it. Actually, I think this kind of situation happened more in star trek and later series, not just the Voyage Home. :-)

Transparent aluminium is actually only one in the row of technologies which were either inspired or predicted by star trek (or both).

Apparently, mobile phones as we know it were produced under the influence of star trek and its communicators. That's according to what I read recently: Tech Troubles? It's Captain Kirk's Fault. How William Shatner Changed the World

Sure I don't think it was star trek producers and actors who made up *all* of these ideas. I'm sure some came from real scientists. But in any case star trek served (and still does) as a channel through which these ideas became so much more inspiring and through which they were transfered to the masses. In that sense, science fiction can actually be seen as the crucial part of technological progress. It is like a string attached to the future that makes us climb it and then see it as reality... Almost everything first has to become science fiction if it to ever become just real science. :-)

Cheers
Daniel

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User offline. Last seen 14 years 5 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-10-15
Re: star trek becoming reality

Wars do in fact push progress, but so do periods of peace during which science is fostered, even periods of competitive international tension such as the Cold War have historically pushed progress. It just seems to keep chugging along.

I agree with the above that sometimes even fiction can push technological advances, and while Star Trek does cross the line between Sci-Fi and Fantasy, it surely has provided inspiration...

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User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Re: star trek becoming reality
Quote:

genesus wrote:
I agree with the above that sometimes even fiction can push technological advances, and while Star Trek does cross the line between Sci-Fi and Fantasy, it surely has provided inspiration...

I see fiction playing a logical role in scientific progress. You first have to imagine to be able to even think of bringing it to reality. And imagination is fiction. So it's actually *always*, not sometimes. Some science fiction plays the role better than the other. There's alot of so called "science fiction" out there of which good deal of it is just mere fantasy or at least percieveable as such in the first place, in other words, not believeable.

Star trek is obviously good science fiction. It does indeed crosses into the realm of fantasy sometimes arguably maybe even too far, but the context in which it is all presented makes you take it more seriously and think about it instead of just dismissing it as nothing but a mere fantasy world. It is believeable and it dares and therefore inspires forward thinking.

Thanks
Daniel

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User offline. Last seen 13 years 17 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-01-16
Re: star trek becoming reality

Well, I'm sure disappointed! When I was a kid,(back in the 60's) they told me by the time I grew up we would all be flying around in personal hovercrafts on autopilot, people would be living on the moon. We would have robots to do all our house work. Computers would be running the world, And poverty would be a thing of the past.
And the closest I got was food cooked in an instant (microwave ovens)
portable communications (cell phone) hundreds of TV channels (they didn't tell me there wouldn't be anything good on) and the roomba.
And, I still think my digital watch is neat idea.

User offline. Last seen 14 years 8 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-11-10
Re: star trek becoming reality
Quote:

by the time I grew up we would all be flying around in personal hovercrafts on autopilot

Well, we are almost there... Have you heard about the M400 Skycar? Here you can see about it:

M400 Skycar

And here:

Moller Skycar M400

Thank you,
Andre

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User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Re: star trek becoming reality

There you go! Unbelieveable, but apparently true.

All I can say is welcome to the future!

Thanks
Daniel

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