I’d Love to Change the World
Everyone has a list of “man, I wish they’d make•” items floating around in their head. Some are practical, others selfish. While world peace and a cure for pain don’t seem to be coming down the pike anytime soon, perhaps a few smaller ideas might stick.
Large amounts of the world’s population live and die in areas without fresh water. In fact, lack of fresh water is one of the main factors contributing to deaths in less advanced countries. So why hasn’t someone figured out a cheap, easy way to take the salt out of ocean water? Some sort of filtering system that would make the Atlantic Ocean potable, hell, even if only for irrigation, would be a major boon for the world.
Next, the world (parts of it, at least) needs a truly intelligent computer. Not faster, not bigger, but smarter. I want to be able to actually talk to a machine and have it send e-mail. I want it to be able to understand my speech by learning it over a period of time. Instead of reading a list of prepared phrases into a bad microphone, you would wear a small device for a week or so that recorded your speech, and noted what actions occurred when you said something. Then, each night you’d download the day’s information into the computer, and it would analyze it, and begin to build a database of you on the machine. The wearable device would also be a transmitter, allowing you, when stuck in traffic, to e-mail a friend telling them you’re going to be late.
Develop an enzyme that eats all non-organic matter. Metal, coffee cups, “to go” boxes from Chinese restaurants, all of it. Spray it over landfills, dirty parking lots, you name it. Give it a week, let it reduce the junk to dust, and blow away. Of course, some jackass might load a C5 transport plane full of it and soak New York, but that’s a chance we’d have to take.
Someone needs to create a drug that allows, for brief snippets of time, one person to meld with another person’s mind. Imagine how great it would be to know why your child is crying, what your elderly parent is really trying to say, or what your girlfriend ACTUALLY wants you to do. Granted, this could get overused very quickly, and most likely would result in people feeling really rotten about what others think of them, but the pluses outweigh the minuses, in my view. Our judicial system could be overthrown in a fortnight, for example, just by asking the accused, “Did ya do it?” Of course, our Constitution protects persons from giving testimony that might incriminate them, but we’ve ignored the Bill of Rights before, no reason not to now.
Finally, invent some cheap little doohickey that creates a field of ambient sound that drowns out car stereos, your roommate’s TV, and idle chatter in restaurants. Equip emergency vehicles with a special tone that penetrates it, of course, but otherwise, allow people to live their life without aural pollution. My life would be much less stressful if I didn’t have to endure drum n’ bass rattling my teeth at two in the damn morning. Or the natterings of some yutz at the grocery on a cell phone.
Maybe none of these ideas are practical — who knows? But hell, somebody out there with some free time on their hands, get cracking! The world is waiting!