Monday, February 19, 2007

What the World Needs Now

It’s 2007, and I’m certain that I’m not alone when I say that so far, the twenty-first century is, well, lacking in technological wonder. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go on about the jetpack and the flying car, because I know that the problem with these overdue wonders of science isn’t the technology, it’s the people who would use it. The problem isn’t making cars that can fly, it’s keeping flying commuters from crashing into your house at 600 miles per hour every time their cell phone rings. That’s a serious operational issue and the folks who are working on the jetpack and the flying car should take all the time they need to figure that stuff out.

No, the missing technologies I’ll talk about are not absent due to a lack of safety measures or even a lack of know-how: it’s simply a lack of vision, a failure of the part of the larger manufacturers to grasp exactly what would make out modern world more livable, and in that, more modern.

1. A Punchable Internet. I admit freely that the single most profound difference between our so-called enlightened age and the fire-lit past is the internet. The internet is awesome, beyond awesome, it is, to put it in the terms the kids use today, the bomb. But that said, the internet doesn’t always work. Sometimes it wholly fails to bring you what you want. Other times it just sits there, hung up on this or that. And there are those other moments, more common by the minute, where some malicious person somewhere seizes the internet and turns it against us, via worms, viruses and spam. It’s at these times that the only real response left to us is to beat the hell out of the internet for letting us down yet again, but right now, this isn’t possible. Sure, you can punch your monitor, but this makes about as much sense as assaulting your postman for bringing you your tax forms. It’s the internet that’s to blame, and the internet that should be punched, but sadly, this just isn’t possible, and since there no way that all those other problems are going to go away anytime soon, whoever makes the internet should get to work right away on a version we can beat the crap out of when it screws up.

Oh, and I know some of you already ‘punch’ or ‘slap’ or ‘pound’ or ‘beat’ near the internet, but that’s not what I’m talking about and you should be ashamed for bringing it up.

2. A Single-View FBI Anti-Copyright Warning. This is such a no-brainer. Instead of every DVD manufacturer having to put the same damn FBI/Interpol warning at the start of every program, we work out a system where viewers view the thing once, sign a form, and that’s it. We never need to see it again. Or, if the manufacturers are that worried about it, we could renew the signature along with our driver’s licenses.

This won’t stop people from making illegal copies, but the current warnings don’t either, so why not just make it easier on ourselves?

3. The Velociraptor Button. This would be a feature on your cable remote. We’ve had CGI dinosaurs since Jurassic Park was in theatrical release, and television is becoming more and more digital by the day, but so far, there’s no way for we, the viewers, to inject our own CGI choices onto what we are viewing. The velociraptor button would be the solution to this. Just press the button and several velociraptors leap into the action from off-screen, attacking whatever characters happen to be doing whatever they are doing in whatever you were watching. If some of the characters survive, the rest of the show becomes man-vs.-raptor adventure, and if all the people die horrible, messy deaths, the boring movie or show we were watching becomes a documentary where we follow the raptors around and see what they make of their new environment. It’s wonderful television and I can’t think of a program that wouldn’t be improved by it.

‘The Painted Veil’ not doing it for you? Need to spice up a ‘Night Court’ marathon? Still too much Jar Jar in that latest fan-edit of ‘Phantom Menace?’ One press of the velociraptor button and all your worries are over.

Oh, and I know when I say ‘velociraptor’, I really mean utahraptor or deinonychus but you’ve got to stick with the popular brand.

4. Someone Owes Me A Living: Let me see if I understand this correctly: It’s the 21st century, and five days a week I need to get up in the morning and go to work all day for some other person who will give me ‘money’ so I can ‘buy’ ‘things?’ What is this, the feakin’ middle ages?


ArsGeek said...

I am so with you on the velociraptor button.

Anytime my wife puts on 13 going on 30 or Steel Magnolias I'd be right behind her with that button.

Take that Glenn Close! MWahahahaha!

Pete said...

Hell, I would use the velociraptor button while watching Jurassic Park, or any of it sequels. Anything to help the dinosaurs get rid of the people quicker...