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Top 10 Sci Fi Inventions that Should not be Invented

Mystern . . . Comments

There are tons of awesome inventions in sci fi movies and books. Things like faster than light travel, force fields and bionic implants. There are also some things that, on the surface, seem like they would make life easier and simpler. This is a list of sci fi inventions that seem great, but are really more trouble then they are worth.

10. Flying Cars

Flying Car

Imagine being stuck in traffic. It sucks right? Now imagine that you could flip a switch, and suddenly your car would begin to rise into the air. You fly over all those suckers stuck in traffic, gloating. Now that you’re flying, imagine running into a tree. Next, imagine getting into a fender bender with another flying car and plummeting toward your death in a flaming heap of twisted metal.

Flying cars would undoubtedly solve a number of problems. The only thing is, they would create a whole new world of problems. To keep from running into every single power line and radio tower we would need to create laws dictating where you could drive. Kind of like creating flying roads. Of course, as soon as you get enough flying cars, you get a traffic jam on the skyways, thus negating the purpose of having a flying car.

9. Cryogenic freezing


Cryogenic freezing actually exists today. Every year, dozens of people elect to be frozen in the hope that medical advances will progress to the point where they can be thawed and cured of their diseases. Despite obvious risks and expenses, this process has been around for decades.

Now, let’s assume that medical science advances to the point where it is possible to thaw the frozen bodies and heal any diseases which might have occurred. Suddenly, you can just go freeze yourself and thaw yourself at some point in the future. The question is then, what happens to the population when people who would have otherwise died, are brought to life in the future? Talk about overpopulation.

8. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Movies and literature are chock full of robots. It’s quite possibly one of the most cliché objects in sci fi media. Despite this, robots are very real today and AI is not far off. Wouldn’t it be great though, to have a servant who will do anything you ask? Or perhaps a lover who never ages? What about a machine that completely supplants all menial laborers?

The answer is no, it would not be great. AI is a common theme in sci fi and usually it causes more problems than solutions. If you don’t believe me, think about the facts. The current trend is that every two years processors double in speed, halve in size and halve in price. Assuming this trend continues, in 20 years you’ll be able to purchase a computer the size of a postage stamp that’s smarter than the human brain, for about $1. Now who’s the superior species?

7. Prediction of the future

Time Viewer

Wouldn’t it be great to stop murders before they happened? How about wars? What about knowing next week’s lotto numbers? Worthwhile goals, all of them. And entirely within reach with a time viewing machine. Imagine how many problems would be solved. No more war, famine or pestilence. The complete utilitarian society, right?

Wrong. So let’s say, hypothetically speaking, that the US has a time viewing machine; this machine then predicts that China is going to attack Los Angeles. To prevent this from happening, the US issues a preemptive strike, thus starting a war in which China launches a missile headed straight for California. Thus becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is true of any major man made catastrophe.

6. Teleportation Device


Imagine a world where you can travel to New Zealand on Saturday, then stop over in Denmark for quick visit on Sunday, before you have to be to work on Monday. No longer do we have to use precious fossil fuel to travel. Terrorism in travel is a thing of the past. Until a terrorist teleports a bomb into the White House.

First, let’s assume that there is some sort of safety protocol in place to prevent things like that from happening. Technically, a teleporter breaks down all of the atoms in your body and sends them to the destination, where they are then reconstructed. The only problem with this is the actual transmission of the atoms. That’s where information age comes in. It makes far more sense to just transmit the blueprints of your atomic structure to a reconstruction device. Essentially, a teleporter is just a fax machine. The problem arises in the early use of such devices. Have you ever made a copy of a copy of a copy? Even using the highest quality copy machine, the quality degenerates rapidly. At first, it might not be noticeable. What are a few atoms from a hair? Or a fingernail? Or your heart? We’re not sure what even the smallest change in your atomic structure would do.

5. Nanobots


Cancer has been cured! The human lifespan numbers in the centuries. All degenerative diseases have ceased to exist. Major injuries heal within seconds. Recreational drug use no longer has any negative effects. Hangovers are a thing of the past.
Nanobots have cured the world. These self replicating robots are now injected into everyone as a natural immunization. To describe the horrors of these machines, here’s a quote from Eric Drexler’s book Engines of Creation:

Imagine such a replicator floating in a bottle of chemicals, making copies of itself….the first replicator assembles a copy in one thousand seconds, the two replicators then build two more in the next thousand seconds, the four build another four, and the eight build another eight. At the end of ten hours, there are not thirty-six new replicators, but over 68 billion. In less than a day, they would weigh a ton; in less than two days, they would outweigh the Earth; in another four hours, they would exceed the mass of the Sun and all the planets combined – if the bottle of chemicals hadn’t run dry long before.

Part of the appeal of nanobots is that only a few need be injected and they can replicate in the human body. This also describes the danger. To put it succinctly: We are the Borg. Lower your shields. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance if futile!

4. Weather Control

Weather Control

Welcome to the future. Global hunger has been solved. The world community lives in utopian tranquility without hurricanes, tornadoes or floods. The human race can now turn its gaze to more worthwhile things like space travel and beer.
The problem with weather control arises when we unleash specific weather on delicate ecosystems which cannot exist except under certain conditions. If this hurdle is overcome there is no reason we shouldn’t have a weather control device. Until it breaks. Then a world lulled into complacency by good weather is suddenly thrown into a natural disaster. Or, in a worst case scenario, a hostile foreign power takes over our weather control devices and unleashes storms of unimaginable power and magnitude against us.

3. Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering

Perfect humans. Engineered from before birth to be the best of the best. What could be better than having the perfect child, with no possible risk of inherited flaws? All without the use of those messy nanobots. I think the movie Gattaca (1997) says it best:

We want to give your child the best possible start. Believe me, we have enough imperfection built in already. Your child doesn’t need any more additional burdens. Keep in mind, this child is still you. Simply, the best, of you. You could conceive naturally a thousand times and never get such a result.

The danger arises not from any physical aspect of genetic engineering, but rather the social aspects. When you begin to breed perfect humans, you create an entirely new social class. Bringing discrimination to new levels, the class you belong to will not be determined by social status, income or the color of your skin, rather, the build of your genes.

2. Holodecks


After a stressful day at work, what could be more relaxing than coming home and relaxing in a nice peaceful meadow? Perhaps going for a relaxing drive in your flying car? With a holodeck, you can go anywhere, be anyone, or do anything. With the way videogames are heading, holodecks are not too far off. Imagine that you can have anything you want. Any fantasy you have is possible. And there is the danger.

It’s the perfect drug. Why would anyone bother going dealing with their crappy wife and kids when they have the perfect life in the holodeck? Why would anyone bother dealing with reality? You want to be Emperor of Rome? Sure! You want to be Blackbeard the Pirate? Why not? You want to have sex with Marilyn Monroe? Whatever you want is possible with the holodeck. It’s been jokingly put forth that the holodeck would be the world’s last invention. The thing is; it would be. Why bother inventing anything else when you’ve already invented the perfect world?

1. Replicators


Replicators are the solution to nearly every problem the world has. Imagine no more world hunger. No longer is there any energy crisis. Never again will there be a shortage of medical supplies. The perfect world where you can have anything you want.

Until the complete and utter collapse of society. You see, the replicator would make work obsolete. There would be no need for money. As a matter of fact, you would only need one large replicator and you could replicate another one. You could make anything from fresh pizza to a molecule-for-molecule exact reproduction of the Hope Diamond. The last day of the world will come when anybody can make anything.

Bonus: Time Travel

Time Travel

Though not actually possible, time travel would create incalculable problems. Imagine going back in time and you meet a nice girl and take her out and things happen and you go back to your time and nine months later, she gives birth to your father. You kind of have to ask yourself, “What?”
The slightest change in the past would create ripples into the future. Only you would know about those ripples, because to everyone else, that’s just the way history turned out. Then let’s say you go into the future and copy the blueprints for some fantastic machine like a replicator. You bring it back to your time and invent it and somewhere along the line some knave steals your blueprints. Oh wait! That knave was you! It just doesn’t work.

Contributor: Mystern

  • Anthony

    Being the complete Sci-Fi geek I am, I find myself disagreeing completely with any of these not being invented. Still, well written and a joy to read. :D

  • Harsha

    To Mystern : Please next time post an original list. Its nice that about half of it is yours.The rest…well its from, the articles are almost identical, except the fact that cracked tries to make it look funny.
    Here, see how obvious it is :

  • Atom

    I’m all for most of those and think they would actually benefit mankind.

    Especially cryogenic freezing, genetic engineering, and nano bots. Even ethical philosophers agree that the benefits of these outway the negatives.

    And as for AI not being far off, you’re very wrong. Sci Fi is awesome, and I love it, but it has givin the impression that we will have fully self-aware and intelligent robots soon. It’s not going to happen soon. Not when we barely understand how the human mind works and while we’re still trying to grasp what conciousness is. It’s possible we’ll have very advanced scripts that mimic AI, but it’s still going to be scripted behavior.

  • Shadow

    I disagree only with the replicator and time travel. While it would seem to be the end of the world if people could have anything they want, it wouldn’t be. People will always find ways to adapt to new things.

    As for time travel, it is possible, just not at our current level of technology, at least that’s what the ubiquitous “they” say…

  • Hitesh

    Worst. List. Ever.

  • King of the Horizon

    not to mention the terrorism that will come from a flying car.we have trouble dealing with terrorists on the ground as it is but then when you give them an extra dimension to use it will be almost impossible to deal with

    scientists are already doing dodgy things with technology they dont really understand.for example some scientists are trying to make a bacteria that can break down plastic.if it gets released by accident it makes plastic a great deal more useless because the fact plastic cant be broken down makes it so usefull.then there is the fact we can recycle plastic quite easily and their is no need to break it down

  • King of the Horizon

    we already know time travel is impossible because if it was we would meet people from the future

    • Flavor of life

      And how do you know that some people you have met were not from the future ??? You see.. we might as well been visited by futurepeople…no one can say for sure. Time travel is a Headache subject.

      @ Mystern: Your vision and understanding of the future is limited at best. The social implications of life extending technologies are great, they would bring about population control discussions. Also bare in mind that the world of tomorrow is not the world of today. Future tech in the hands of present people is not a great idea. It is clear that humanity isn't ready for these kind of advancements. I respect your opinion but next time you want to form one…get more info on the subject at hand and make an EDUCATED guess.

    • a kid person

      actually time travel is currently possible just some are worring that when they turn it on they will recieve too many objects sent from the future and………well you get the idea.

    • Tom

      You haven't met people from the future because we haven't invented Time machines here in the present yet. You can only travel back to when time travel was made possible.

  • SlickWilly

    King of the Horizon:

    Ever heard of John Titor? :)


    just sayin

  • Mathilda

    I like this list; the only one that I disagree with is the Holodeck. Anyone with a good imagination can already go anywhere they want to, whenever they want!

  • Stacy

    Hey King, how do you know you never met anyone from the future?

    I think Time Travel is possible and it’s been said so by people who have more brains then any of us have collectively. However, I don’t think future people can meet us here and now because that is assuming the future is already written. That what’s going to happen to me tomorrow is already predestined no matter what. However I think you can one day go to the past and that can screw up the present.

  • King of the Horizon

    hey stacy.

    in all honesty i think about subjects like these so much i change my view on them regulary.i mean theres a possiblity they end up in a parralel can we control that we end up in our own dimension

  • Mystern

    Harshaw: Thanks for posting that. I simply felt that the list at Cracked was a bit wordy and could use some additional items.

  • Kelsey

    Great List! I completely agree that the AI and the Time Machine are bad ideas, although I also do not believe that time travel is possible.

  • romerozombie

    Best list I’ve ever read on this site.

    PS. Does anyone know, if you’re able, how to submit a list?

  • Mystern
  • killerAngels

    In regards to the teleportation device, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle makes it physically impossible. So if you were ever able to get them to teleport, the chances of you ever reassembling them, are low. And the chances of them reassembling in the correct order to form a functioning human, are well, very slim.

  • romerozombie

    “And the chances of them reassembling in the correct order to form a functioning human, are well, very slim.”

    Yeah, we all saw The Fly.

    Thanks Mystern. :)

  • HandyMandy

    Good List! It’s fun to think about some of this stuff. But I agree with Mathilda, if you have an imagination you can go anywhere, or be anyone you want.

  • Eric

    The biggest problem with flying cars is accidents. Many people already cannot handle driving in two dimensions – the # of accidents that would occur adding a 3rd dimension (elevation) would be gigantic.

    Replicators and holodecks – I don’t see it. somebody has to know how to make and repair these things, and the energy usage of these devices would be enormous – I don’t see society collapsing because of these devices.

  • King of the Horizon : Current speculations in time tavel indicate that tiem travel can only occur within the time that a time machine is created. Which since one hasnt been created yet, time travel doesnt exist yet. Explaining why we havent met anyone from the future. I personally dont think time travel will ever happen, not that i wouldnt like to see it but the complications and paradoxes it would create are just mind boggling to think about.

    AI already exists maybe not to the extent that movies and science fiction make it out to be, but i see no reason why it wont. IMO it is the most possible and likely item on this list.

  • SubliminalDeath666

    That list is not even original!! The original one on is funnier. Whoever made this list sucks total ass!!

  • Mystern

    Eric: The idea is that the first replicator invented would signal the end of society as we know it. It may be true that society would not collapse completely, but certain things would no longer matter. The idea of labor would have to be completely redefined as well as copyright and wealth. I agree about the enormous power the replicator would take but the simple fix is to replicate more simple energy types, like hydrogen.
    As far as holodecks go, they might not destroy society all together, some people might prefer the challenges of real life. Others might not.

    • Energy doesn't work that way. The very concept of a replicator would be that it would use energy to either 'create' matter (which would follow E=mc squared in terms of using energy to 'make' matter) or it would use up energy in converting matter from one form to another (fusion/fission, changing atoms into the right elements and then arranging those correctly, etc). Even assuming a perfect conversion rate (i.e. the machine doesn't lose energy in the form of heat, the interface doesn't use up any energy, etc) the ammount of hydrogen you create could be converted into just enough energy … to make up for the hydrogen you created. It would be impractical to "make" energy sources with a replicator, outside of converting excess energy into a form that is easier to transport/store.

      • The economy would be built around two elements at that point, energy production (harnessing solar energy, wind energy, etc … and possibly finding sources of existing fuel like oil, coal, etc) and also in terms of content generation. Someone needs to come up with the stuff you can replicate. Assuming there is no trasporter technology, you need to find out how to make something. And there can always be new things to make, which then needs to be produced. Once those things are taken into account, you also have other issues (A replicator alone doesn't solve issues of travel, vacations and the like. Service industries would still be possible).

        • The holodeck has a similar issue. It would require energy, and thus would be more like a subscription service than a one time payment (plus it doesn't solve your food problems). A holodeck and a replicator could end civilization … if you had some infinite source of energy that was not only limitless in terms of renewability, but also in terms of the ammount that can be used at any given time. And then you'd need to have every possible thing you could ever want programmed into the holodeck and the replicator. If civilization falls, no one would have ever designed those things. And to have all that information you'd also need an infinite ammount of memory to be able hold all those possibilities. And of course, to make the holodeck experience truly meaningful, you'd also need AI included otherwise it wouldn't be able to replace real companionship. Even in Star Trek: TNG, they had issues with the AI of the holodeck [the natural conclusion of sufficiently advanced AI being that it becomes effectively sentient and wanting to have, at the very least, the same rights as a human being).

  • Mystern

    Subliminal: Thanks for posting that again. Please read comment number 13.

  • Allan

    @ – Eric

    I suppose you could just replicate your own energy supply eh? But then I guess that turns into a chicken or the egg dilema.

    As far as flying cars go though, yeah that would be a total [email protected]#t storm.

  • SubliminalDeath666

    Mystern: Sorry lol. XD Your version of the list wasn’t so bad either though.

  • DiscHuker

    we all think differently. when i read the title for this list, my first thought was “well, i bet holodecks and replicators aren’t on this list”. i see the conundrum that you present, mystern, however the holodeck has always been the most intriguing part of the Star Trek universe to me. and then once you get done, to be able to walk over to a machine and say “filet mignon, medium rare with mashed potatoes and a nice beverage” is just the cherry on top.

    being that we are dealing with the fantasy world here, why not a list of the top 10 cool things to use a replicator/holodeck for.

    leave all this realism at the door, of the holodeck that is.

  • Mystern

    DiscHuker: Yeah they’d be convenient, but the would also change nearly every aspect of society.

  • Eric

    Re Mystern

    Hyddrogen is not an energy source – it’s an energy carrier – some form of energy production be it fusion, solar, etc. is required to produce free hydrogen to use as an energy transport medium. The topic is things that shouldn’t be invented – I wouldn’t put replicators or holodecks in this category. Certainly they would dramatically change society, but so did many other inventions. That doesn’t mean they are/were bad. Plus any real replicator/holodeck will have limits and/or a price on it’s capabilities that will limit their impacts as well.

  • Mystern

    Eric: I concede those points. Well said. My intention was to present the dangers they might cause. I certainly don’t have a time viewing machine to tell you what would actually happen.

    • MJP

      Thats like saying the danger of drinking a glass of water is that you might drowned

  • Eric

    Real functioning holodecks and replicators would dramatically improve the ability of humans to travel in space. Rather than the Star Trek type uses though, imagine a spaceship that takes years to make a trip at non-relativistic speeds. Thing is, you can deal with this. A couple of replictors on board means you can make any spare parts/modifications, food etc. while on the trip. A large holodeck means that the human occupants can endure the trip by spending the time in an environment that won’t drive everybody insane.

  • Cat Skyfire

    Two thoughts.
    Flying vehicles: Think about how much trouble we have traveling on a flat plane. Could you imagine really trying to navigate vertical as well?

    Weather control: The worst aspect of weather control is that some of the natural weather phenomenon are good in a long term sort of way. The flooding of the Nile was how Egypt became an agricultural and world power. Hurricanes, while destructive to man, often work things out in a nature way. And while watering deserts sounds nice, the destruction to the eco-system would be vast.

  • King of the Horizon

    im not that afraid of replicators.i mean they took care of them in stargate right?

  • Mystern

    LOL @ King of the Horizon

  • King of the Horizon

    a thought about holodecks


    imagine yourself walking across a long sandy beach.the day is beautiful,the sun is golden-hell you can even feel yourself see a very scantily clad woman in the distance.hey she seems to be beckoning at run over but you suddenly are rooted to the ground.then in a genric pornstar voice she states why it would be practicly free to joing 14 sites all at once for only $8 dollars a month.

  • HandyMandy

    Point well made about weather control. -Cat Skyfire

  • The lolster

    Holodecks remind me of the machines in Pendragon, lifelight i think? Anyway it ruined their society

  • its not cool that you didnt even credit the website you copied exact text from, i had come to respect you and this website but you have lost a lot from me, not if it matters to you but at least post a source page

  • SocialButterfly

    Besides the fact that I do think time travel will be possible, I thought this list was great… Most people only ever think about why something would great. Thank you Mystern for showing us the other side.

    “From great power comes great responsibility.”

  • Mystern

    Butterfly: glad you enjoyed it.

    Chris: Sorry to disappoint but I repeat my previous statement: Please see comment 13

  • DiscHuker

    butterfly: why do you think time travel will be possible?

  • wetsocks

    Time travel to me doesn’t seem that farfetched. Going backwards in time, however, doesn’t make sense. Aside from the many paradoxes that you could create, how could you go back to a time BEFORE your time machine was even created?

  • SocialButterfly

    DiscHuker: Honestly I have no technological or scientific theories to back my thoughts up. I am just a movie geek who would love for Doc Brown to be right. :)

  • Andie_Girl9

    “Oh wait! That knave was you!” Classic!! But what should be invented is the technology to erradicate useless media whores like Paris HIlton or Britney Spears. It will happen. In due time. In due time.

    -Andrea Carlena Beauman

  • andrew

    awesome list.

  • King of the Horizon

    to settle it once and for all time travel is possible and i have proof!!!

    its called we live we travel forward through time at a very slow rate.we can make time travel seem faster by doing enjoyable activities such as wactching tv or reading listverse(sucking up=])

  • I say we need a way to deactivate the “Bubble of Stupid” around minivans. Or a way to harness the Dryer Vortex. Free Energy by way of buttered toast and a cat. I could go on, but I think our heads would explode.

  • Blogball

    This was an entertaining list Mystern. Thanks for submitting it. I have actually thought about the practicality of many of these when I used to daydream in grade school… OK high school too…OK college also and I still do to this day. Are you satisfied now?
    I am thinking about submitting a list in the future. I guess one has to be prepared to roll with the punches and defend and explain every word that is written. I guess that’s one of the things that makes this site so enjoyable.

  • Lots of food for thought there. However, I do like the holodeck idea. Although as a woman, I really don’t care to have sex with Marilyn Monroe.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • Fallenangel

    This was just a great list and fun to read thanks hun :)

  • ?

    Mathilda – your comment reminded me of this article:

  • islanderbst

    i hate to think about senior citizens driving flying cars. i doubt theyd drive fast enough to stay off teh ground

    btw the 1 thing i want invented is a hoverboard like “back to the future”, it’d be sweeeet

  • Hmm…interesting idea, but poorly executed I think.

    Besides, no Death Star?

  • chsrocket47

    i think that genetic engineering should be #1 for the same reasons you have already listed. social discrimination would be on an entirely different level. i’m pretty much repeating what you say but yeah it’s a pretty good list.

  • Brian Moo

    Could’ve sworn I same list on one of the hot link sites a while back.

  • deep

    I want all of these to happen. lol. it’ll be great! :)

  • Altron

    Time travel has already arrived, it’s been here since the dawn of man. You simply turn off the lights, lay down on your bed, and close your eyes. Before you know it, it’s 8 hours later!!

  • Dr. Frobischer

    I’ve always had a problem with time travel. You see, it implies space travel as well. Imagine I made a horrible mistake six months ago and to rectify the problem I build a time machine to go back to that fateful point to set things right. Unfortunately, when I turn it on I go back in time six months and realize I have travelled through time but not space. The Earth was on the opposite side of the Sun six months ago and now I’m approximately 180 million miles from my objective – and a nice source of oxygen. The mathematics and computing power involved in plotting the path of anything to a point where you could land safely is what will keep this idea purely on the fiction side of science fiction. Of course, one should never say never so perhaps the cosmos is filled with time machines – but they are all floating in the interstellar void and filled with people frozen in death with a look of “D’oh” on their faces. Come to think about it, maybe that’s where all the dark matter comes from…

  • amoondoo

    “To put it succinctly: We are the Borg. Lower your shields. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance if futile!”

    Start trek quote~! :-)

  • vmars

    What a bunch of nerds.

  • davo

    i agree with the holodeck.
    No one wants to confront Atilla the Hun and his techno space babble

  • thanks mystern, i skipped over your original message becuase i thought you were jfrater… name change or something?

  • Mom424

    I thought the list was great
    re: time travel,, the latest consensus seems to be that time travel back in time is impossible, but forward and back to now may just be….
    check this out
    ps: this is a great site, its in my hot links,,(after LU of course)

  • Mom424

    by the way,,,anybody out there that can explain string theory in a way that I (fairly intelligent but not quite mensa, well maybe
    can understand would be appreciated….

  • Sorry, but most of these are not very well reasoned, and the arguments against several of these technologies (e.g. eugenics — positive eugenics is not the same as negative eugenics) have been disproven by respected futurists.

  • dusty bottoms

    I’ll take a little of number 4. Houston weather sucks. Who cares if the ecosystem dies. It can’t be any worse than the one we have now(speaking of houston)

    Let’s assume time travel will exist some day(it won’t) Where will be the first place everyone goes?

  • Chestica

    Awesome! Freakin awesome and I’m not even a sci-fi fan.

  • rigbydog

    poorly justified…where IS Jfrater??

  • Cyn
  • I come and read this site on a daily basis. The fact that they would allow someones article to stay up even though the person admits to stealing it completely pisses me off. Mystern, you are an idiot.

  • 20Fan20

    I have always enjoyed the idea of time travel.

    Dr. Frobischer brings up a new and interesting idea. Of course if you have time travel ability I assume you have some pretty stout computing power to begin with. But I am not sure it would be needed. Moving through time also includes moving through space. I thought they were connected in the space time sense. For example, the fabric of space continues to expand. We, and all matter such as planets etc. do not expand with it because the strong nuclear forces holding our atoms together is stronger.

    The arguement against time travel becuase we would have met time travelers is not completely true. It assumes that the time travelers want to come to our time. They may not. It assumes you can time travel and return to your time and reuse the machine. I don’t imagine a whole lot of time travelers in the future taking one way trips, then again you never know.

    There is not reason a time traveler did not come back in time and we never found evidence of it.

  • Mom: Great info on String theory;

    A beautiful piece, It’ll take you awhile if you’re not familiar. It was so good I bought it twice!!!

  • Drogo

    A problem with flying cars: You’re cruising along, but then you get stuck behind some 90 year old woman who’s flying too slow, with her UP turn signal blinking.

  • fishing4monkeys

    Teleporting a bomb into the white house?

    It could just be set up like an airport except without planes and each gate would be a teleporter…not like a teleporter in every house or office building, people would get alot fat(er) and would never walk anywhere haha.
    And why is time travel a bunus? By the logic you used with #7 traveling back in time would be redundent! Anything that has happened couldn’t be changed by traveling back in time as what has happened is a result of said time travel. “A person travels back in time and does something thereby fulfilling history and leading to the invention of time travel and that person traveling back in time and doing something which in turn…” and so on.

    Yeah I really think out my theories haha

  • Baron Samedi

    I disagree! One thing – bear in mind that I am here answering on that “…should NOT be invented”. I will present counterarguments why this STILL should be invented (since positive feats of these inventions beat negative). Also, I must apologize for my English, I am not an English native speaker. I will do my best to be clear as possible. And brief. ?

    10) Flying cars – when the car was invented, there were speculations that it will mean the end of people, since guys with cars would feel a tremendous power and would start hitting till they die in car accidents. True, car is today the biggest man killer, but still apocalyptic speculations didn’t happen. My guess – when we invent flying cars, we will discipline ourselves, like we disciplined ourselves not to sacrifice children every time a lighting struck a house.

    9) Cryogenic freezing – all true, but author does not take in account that we will maybe make colonies on other planets, so overpopulation will not be a problem.

    8) AI – unlike us, who are slaves to passion, and the urge of being “big baddasess” drives us to beating minors, kicking animals etc, AI will know, by pure logic, that there urges are counter-effective. Therefore, I have no fear that “Terminator syndrome” or “Matrix scenario” will happen. After all – passion for freedom is still a PASSION.

    7) Prediction of the future machine – it should not be invented since it is purely impossible to make it! The future is combination of ALL possible factors, no matter how small and insignificant. Just for example: Hitler assassination from Von Staufenberg. The placement of the bomb (just behind the table leg) SAVED Hitler, although all calculations showed that Hitler could not possibly survive the bomb blast so close to him.

    6) Teleporters – I have no problem to be faxed. :) First of all, if you have a problem that the teleported person will not be you, than you NOW have a very big problem. Unknown to big number of people, scientists discovered that ALL cells in your body die and regenerate in the same time. They even went so far to state that “A body on 31st of December is not the same body of that on 1st of January, although it is the same person”. In the process of that dying and regeneration, SOME cells do not regenerate, and that is, combined with free radicals from our environment who destroy cell structure, called AGING. So – since my body is never the same, I have no problem of “copy/delete” function, if it will save time, costs, environment, etc. About terrorist threat – isn’t that an American of start 21st century looking at technology, social status etc in – maybe – 22nd century? If I recall, there WAS NO TERRORISM in the beginning of 19th century? So, you CAN’T know if there will be terrorism in 22nd century.

    5) Nanobots – That scenario applies only if you program the nanobots to self-replicate in eternity? If you are not working in a Hollywood studio, why would you do that? The aim of nanobots is to perform a certain helping function in a human body (patch up a blood vessel, clean fat, break the blood-plug to prevent infarctus miocardii etc), and not to entertain a doctors in self-replicating killing spree. This argument “Do not invent nanobots since they will kill the body and make grey-goo apocalyptic scenario” is similar to one “Do not invent scalpel, everybody will kill with scalpel”. We forget that nanobots are STILL a –BOTS, what means that we program them.

  • Baron Samedi

    4) Weather control – I doubt that we will have sufficient weather control systems before we colonize other planets. And then, we will not need these. And why is that I think that we will have flawed junk? Because, again, weather is not just “press the button, and a cloud pops out, and the rain starts”. There are such things as ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE, that creates WINDS, who, in turn, bring CLOUDS over some area. And when there is ENOUGH clouds, the water particles combine, become heavier than air and fall down as rain. So, for a sufficient WCS, we have to have these pressure “lowerers/riserers” that are strategically spread through entire globe (since you can put pressure down in USA, pull winds and clouds and make rain, but if lower pressure is over Europe, sorry, the rain will fall in Atlantic, since there will be clashes). That in turns gives birth to COOPERATION between the states (“you rise pressure so we will drop it for a month, and then vice versa”) etc. And that means that no mean Iraq will have rain for themselves – cause it CAN’T!

    3) Genetic engineering – I COMPLETELY AGREE, this should not be invented. BUT! FROM EVERYTHING author mentioned, this is NOT THE FUTURE, this is PRESENCE. We already mapped good portion of human genes. How large is the step between “knowing what is it for” and “using”? I see the natural rights and “all men are created equal in their rights” as something that should counter it by all means possible. ‘Couse this is not the future – this will be done even by 2020.

    2) Holodecs – I used to think this was for a longer time, till I found out that there are people that use Internet – and go out! And have fun! And that there were unsociable people before the invention of Internet. I don’t know about you, but EVEN THIS ARTICLE – in which an author is making a statement of his attitudes, and comments below, where we reflect on it – is a FORM OF INTERACTION between living creatures. You all forget that in Holodeck you can kick Chuck Norris’ ass – but you cannot talk about beauty of a moon, how a movie tonight was great, how a great ass has your 20 year old neighbor… Again, do not forget – similar argument about “death of socialization” came rising in birth of computer and again internet. And guess what? Socialization is alive and well!

    1) Replicators – If I am not mistaking, ending famine and diseases, as well as most of human problems, is a goal we all wait? I mean, look at RELIGION – they wait for a guy who will end famine, poverty and diseases, as well punish the wicked? In Xtianity, it is J.C. In Judaism, it is Meshiah. In islam, it is mahdi. So, the concept of having machine that will help people totally is VERY WELCOMED for me. BUT! Replicators will not bring an end to a sorrow because your wife is cheating on you. It will not bring an end because your child died in a crash. It will not bring joy when you see a birth of your first child. All things that plague us and rejoices us will still be here, life will still have color. You could replicate a Jenna-Jameson-like vagina for a momentary satisfaction, but you will not be able to replicate a caring and loving woman who will be here for you. And that is what, in end, counts…
    Oh, yeah,. Reflect on something – you will have replicators. WHO WILL REPARE THEM? WHO WILL MAKE SPARE PARTS? WHO WILL INSTALL THEM? WHOSE SOFTWARE WILL BE ON IT? ? There WILL be work after creation of replicators. If for something, for a technology that would enable us to leave Earth, so overpopulation would not occur.

  • #10: You don’t know what failsafes will be in place by the time flying cars are invented (which is a possibility – watch “2057”). As for sky traffic jams, there will undoubtedly be multiple layers of traffic, as well as road traffic still existing for short drive and other reasons. More layers means more cars being able to drive around, means less traffic jams and tie-ups. As for accidents, there could be built-in failsafes, or emergency failsafes in existence on land to prevent horrific fatalities like the ones described here.

    #9: Overpopulation is a very valid point, and I agree, this would be a problem if it suddenly became a widespread fad or practice.

    #8: I don’t see the problem with AI helping us in our everyday lives. Superior species? Sure, there are ways to make AI think for themselves, learn, adaps, etc. But having them turn on us maniacally is something saved for the movies.

    #7: Again, I agree. Self-fulfilling prophecies are also a theme in some time-traveling movies/stories.

    #6: Considering atomic teleportation (like that seen in Star Trek) is physically impossible, this isn’t an issue. There are quantum issues to deal with in regards to transporting atoms and molecules.

    #5 was very vague. We are the Borg? I get the reference, but who’s saying we’ll be taken over by these nanobots? There would undoubtedly be programming to limit replication. The thing is, computers are perfect… the humans that program them are not.

    #4: Hah, I agree with this one. Imagine a thunderstorm causing a state of emergency simply because rain came with it. RUN!

    #3 is one I highly agree with. Genetic engineering should be outlawed immediately, like it is in the Star Trek universe. The good does not outweigh the bad by any means.

    #2: I’d imagine that the programming of holodeck characters wouldn’t be perfect; users would know the difference and it just woudln’t be the same as reality. Sure, you could have sex with Marilyn Monroe… and it would only be a computer program, with stale responses and noticeable repititions. Sure, it would satisfy some people, but not enough to consume the entire world. I’m sure some would even be against their use and shun them completely.

    #1: Replicators would NOT make work obselete, by any means. There’s still the service industry to consider. Assuming holograms and/or AI haven’t replaced humans in the service industry. But replicators along wouldn’t make work meaningless. There are people who work, not only to provide for their families, but because they have a need to work. There are people who work after retirement because they’re just bored and need something to do, and hobbies just don’t cut it. There’s also the entertainment industry. Basically, replicators would only make one type of work obsolete: production of goods and materials.

    Bonus: What you’re describing only relates to one particular theory of time alteration. I subscribe to the theory that, if you go back in time and alter the past in any way, once you travel back in to the future, you’re traveling to the future of THAT timeline. If you kill your grandfather in the past and “return” to the future, you will find that nobody knows who you are. You created an alternate timeline where you never existed, and suddenly you’re out of place. There are no paradoxes with this theory.

  • JLo

    “Wrong. So let’s say, hypothetically speaking, that the US has a time viewing machine; this machine then predicts that China is going to attack Los Angeles. To prevent this from happening, the US issues a preemptive strike, thus starting a war in which China launches a missile headed straight for California. Thus becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is true of any major man made catastrophe.”


    Sorry, couldn’t resist a Simpson’s connection.

  • Sidereus

    Well, I think most of these are quite plausible. The reasoning behind avoiding these technologies doesn’t quite convince me and will probably be no less than laughable when in the future these technologies actually exist. Of course they will have their problems, as all things do. That doesn’t mean they won’t still be hugely beneficial and worthwhile.

    Flying cars will be used by the public someday, it’s more an issue of fuel efficiency. Cryogenic freezing is a useful technology, but I think it’s stupid to freeze people with the hope of thawing them out in the future. It’s not overpopulation that’s the problem since these frozen people would only be a tiny part of the exponentially expanding population. It’s that people of the future, assuming they DO have the technology to thaw safely, would have no motivation to do so.

    AI will definitely play a major role in the future, though I don’t think we need to worry about machines “taking over.” After all, robots will be designed to perform specific tasks and those alone. Full out androids will be rare.

    Prediction of the future? Well, we’ve already got meteorologists and the CIA. Of course people are always trying to know the future before it happens. This is one “technology” I don’t think will ever be perfected.

    Teleportation devices have been in Sci-Fi for a very long time, but still no one has any idea how they might work aside from essentially killing someone and then piecing them together again. This method is obviously too dangerous to be used on humans. I suspect that teleportation will first be used on shipping material, and then later someone will come along and invent a human-safe version.

    What’s wrong with nanobots? They wouldn’t “weigh you down.” If they replicated, it would be using materials available, not creating atoms out of nothing. Also, suppose they were programmed just like human cells to stop replicating at a certain point. I really don’t see the issue here and I hope exciting technologies like this go mainstream soon.

    Weather control. Well, we destroy delicate ecosystems anyway, so that’s nothing new. And it’s silly not to build a facility because there’s a chance it can be taken over. By that logic, we would have no government, no airports, no gas stations, basically no organized civilization. I think weather control is within our reach and will someday make devastating hurricanes a thing of the past. Maybe we’ll also have a system to control tectonic plates and prevent earthquakes.

    I’m not really sure about genetic engineering. There are definitely some issues here that will have to be resolved in the social and economic playing fields. I think the technology holds promise, though.

    Holodecks… ok, I’m not sure about this one. I’m too blinded by this day’s concerns to be able to see the light of this in tomorrow.

    Replicators that use a stock of blank material to create something useful are pretty cool, but imagine replicators that create things out of nothing, or at least not anything from this dimension. Now that would be awesome.

    I sort of think that only forward time travel will be possible. If backward time travel will someday be possible, wouldn’t we already know?

  • Randall

    No offense, Mystern, but this has to be one of the most pointless lists I’ve seen on this site. Giving your personal opinion as to why some sci-fi technology shouldn’t be allowed to come to pass seems a bit… well… masturbatory to me.

    Besides which, your arguments aren’t even that good, nor are they terribly logical. So even the entertainment level of this list is pretty low. Sorry.

    Your argument against flying cars is similar to arguments that were raised when *ordinary* cars were first being built, for example.

    You may deny being anti-technological—but this entire lists smacks of it. And being anti-technology is such a waste of one’s personal energy–it’s rather childish, really. Future technologies will come if there’s a demand for them, and if they can be made to work. What’s really wrong with flying cars, for instance, is that in the context of current technology, they really would simply be personal airplanes. And if we could all have our own personal airplane, the number of accidents and collisions and resulting deaths would skyrocket. Making harsh rules and laws for flight wouldn’t be the answer. The answer would be developing technology that takes “flight” out of the hands of the pilot/driver and makes it entirely automatic. And we’re nowhere near that sort of computer-capability as yet–we don’t even have it for the road, let alone the sky. But surely that capability has to come first, before we take millions of currently accident-prone individual drivers and give them carte blanche access to the heavens.

    Few of your other points seem valid to me; rather it seems like you were reaching for things to react to. Again, there’s a great lack of logic in most of it.

    Try again.

  • Mom424

    Baron Samedi,,,well thought out and intelligent comments,very optimistic, good job.
    But you forgot one point…if there is a possible way for humanity to f*@! something up they will. Maybe humanity is too broad, Bureaucracy and self interest will insure that there is terrorism for the foreseeable future. Until there is either a concerted effort to truly share the wealth or the evolution of man insures it (personally I believe this is what will happen, as education levels increase globally and birth control becomes more wide spread, standards of living will even out), there will be have and have-not societies; therefore terrorism….It’s hard to justify being a suicide bomber if you’re trying to save enough money to take the family on vacation to Disneyland.
    ps: your English is very good

  • Mom424

    Mystern; I believe that there is a physical consequence to genetic engineering as well as a social one. Any decrease in the genetic diversity of a species if of concern. Us included. Its been recently discovered in other species that redundant or seemingly harmful genetic combinations are actually a benefit in certain environmental situations, and actually insured the survival of that species during environmental upheaval. Curing genetic disease is admirable and necessary, but start screening for other attributes and we will soon become very homogenized. That is truly scary.

  • King of the Horizon

    i disagree with baron samedi on one will never ever be able to kick chuck norris’ ass period.

  • Rocky

    Mystern, you can say “see comment 13” all you want, but that doesn’t explain why you didn’t even bother to cite the source you took the list from.

    As for time travel the reason it is impossible and not just plausible for the future is that in order to travel through time one would have travel faster than the speed of light and that is something that man will never do. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, we have approached the speed of light yes, but going faster than it, no. The same principle is why we will never have “warp speed”.


    It’s pretty sad that you nerds flock to this stale site just to chat in the comments. Go to fark or somewhere jeeze.

    BTW, if you have enough$ to go on a month long vacation you should have someone updating your site. Period. Plus, you are still taking time to respond to comments and update us on your vacation… yet the site sits.

    Stealing cracked’s list is just dumb.

  • evan

    lol your pathetic justin. why are you still here?

  • Ashyja

    To be honest, there’s one more thing from SciFi movies that I’d fear: Changing or enhancing parts of your body with bionic things. I guess everyone would like to have an enhanced brain, being able to make huge mathematical calculations in less than a second, accessing information at a mere thought… this would even remove the problems with genetic enhancements or flying cars. Who needs better genes, if you can improve yourself with something that’s a thousand times better than any gene could provide you with. And “driving” a flying car would be absolutely easy if you are connected to sensors at the car and are able to react to them without the need of any time loss due to muscles, for example.
    And now… think about viruses, for example. Viruses in your brain, to be more exact…
    Not a nice thought, to be honest.

  • Epex

    Okay I completely disagree with everything here…..

  • SlickWilly

    On time travel: 2 words…..”John Titor”

    An elaborate hoax, yes, but very engaging and vastly entertaining. And whoever this Titor guy really is, he has some ver intriguing things to say about the nature of time travel.

  • Du

    isnt time travel technically possible?
    as long as you travel at a speed that is faster than the speed of light, theoretically, you would no longer be traveling in an XYZ dimention, but rather, WXYZ, where W is a measurement of time?
    now, it has already become a general consensus in the scientific community that attaining a speed that is at, or faster, than the speed of light would require an infinite amount of energy, which is currently impossible for the human race at the moment.
    Now, traveling into the future is a completely different concept. it involves the idea of time dilation. It IS indeed possible to travel in space, away from earth, and have time slow down in your frame of refrence, so when you return back to earth, the time on earth would have extended beyond the amount of time that you have experienced.
    yea im really bored, dont mind me xD

  • Avi

    I would love a Holodeck! who cares if the world is ending, as long as i have my asian harem i couldn’t care less.

  • avi

    i didn’t write comment 91!

  • excogitate

    Don’t walk to the end of the Earth. You might fall off. It’s flat, remember?

  • Ben Heitzman

    Time travel is hypothetically more possible than teleportation.

  • Mom424

    du, slickwilly, and all you time travel geeks,,,take a look at the link I posted earlier in the comments,,,,answers the time travel question
    backwards = no
    forwards = big maybe

  • Rourke

    I disagree about nanobots and genetic engineering. First, with nanobots: the danger of “gray goo” isn’t likely at all, because it takes A LOT of energy to break things down into their chemical components, but (assuming that nanobots derive their energy from the ambient environment) most of the energy the nanobots acquire from the environment will be spent on powering their systems, meaning that not a lot of energy is left, meaning further that a given nanobot takes more work to manipulate molecules, which basically means that (in my prediction) nanobots would work too slowly for the world to be covered in “gray goo” before people could just shut off the nanobots.

    And as for genetic engineering–yes, the possibility of social discrimination based on genetics definitely needs to be taken into account if we assume that convenient genetic engineering will eventually be possible. But are we sure that the kind of discrimination that’s depicted in GATTACA will necessarily be that extreme? I mean, it’ll be a social issue to deal with, but does that mean that the technology has to be abandoned simply because of that?

    And last but not least–only nanotech, cryogenics and genetic engineering have the slightest chance of ever occurring. Time travel, weather control, teleportation, all those other technologies involve breaking one or more physical laws. If we ever succeed at breaking someone down into individual atoms and then send them somewhere…we’ll probably end up killing the guy who volunteered. If anything, there’ll probably be just a pile of fine subatomic ash where his body should be, because the ability to reconstruct every atom of a given body involves the power to identify the locations of every single atom, and that’s impossible according to quantum physics.

  • Rourke

    Well, actually, I forgot about the holodecks–those are technically possible. But I agree that such technology would be bad.

  • Rourke

    Dang, I forgot about AI–my dad and brother are programmers, so I know from personal experience and many conversations that “strong AI” is nothing but a myth. Fundamentally, computers lack volition. Computers can be made to do very smart things–and even, perhaps, have the appearance of “intelligence”–but it’s impossible for a computer to *want*, to have desires, unless you program a computer to. So a crazy scientist might *tell* a bunch of robots to go conquer the world, but a computer will never, ever, ever just spontaneously decide to on its own. A computer is nothing but programming and the hardware that allows it to run.

  • 20Fan20

    Actually we (Germans I think or maybe it was in Germany) have succeeded in teleporation. They teleported 1 atom across some river between two dectors. It was based on entanglement and the atoms spin. This was not the first time this was done just the farthest distance. Pretty crazy that they could do it with even 1 atom. If you want more details please google away or send me a ton of money so I can change to a physics major! :)

  • 20Fan20

    avi: I wonder why we are not required to use unique names. I can see duplicate names becoming a problems some day.

    Of course it is most likely my duplicate from the future doing it!

  • Smiles

    If you don’t think AI would be good, go read some Asimov stories. Seriously.

    Prediction of future – impossible… chaotic functions and suchlike.

    Teleportation – someone above explained why it would be so impossible pretty well.

    Nanobots – materials don’t just come from nowhere. Did you know that one red blood cell can turn in to two red blood cells. Ever notice how the world isn’t covered in red blood cells? Yeah, kinda like that.

    Weather control – yeah, there would have to be some people to make sure we weren’t idiots about that. But we probably would be idiots about it. People are idiots en masse.

    Genetic Engineering – Gattica is a very good movie. I honestly can’t decide for myself whether it would be good or bad. There are many pros and cons. I’m inclined to say it is good because I believe in scientific progress.

    Holodecks – Some people would get addicted, some wouldn’t. They would be like very expensive, very good video games and porn combos.

    Replicators – you can’t make something out of nothing. You would need gold molecules to make gold. Gold molecules are expensive. They would just be a decent assembly technique, taking a bunch of assorted materials and making a finished product. Probably a pretty decent thing, but unlikely to set up something too complicated.

    All the others I don’t really care about.

  • suzi

    I think this is an excellent list for inspiring comments.
    I disagree with the conclusion drawn by the writer at least 50% of the time. The reasons given for considering the inventions to be undesirable are very one sided and simplistic. There have been some good points made above.
    Bottom line, most of this is just supernatural speculation, which is a joy to debate and intellectually stimulating, but not viable in the real world.

  • Shabab

    weak list…..this was on as Harsha points out…you should atleast mention on the list somewhere that u got parts of it from….cant wait for Jamie to return so the daily addition of quality lists resumes….

  • Shabab

    PS: i did see comment 13….its just that u didnt point that out urself….someone else did….shame shame…

  • Mystern

    Wow, cool comments guys. I was sick yesterday so I wasn’t able to respond to any of them (sorry) so here’s a few general points.

    For all those arguing for the creation/possibility of these technologies, this list was simply to point out some of the dangers. I personally would love to see most of these come to fruition. I kind of agree that humanity in general creates things before extensive thought into the subject. That’s why we have most of the technology we currently have. Humanity has generally decided to deal with the consequences as they come up, which is fine. Perhaps I’ll write another list as to why these things should be created.

    On the subject of time travel. There are tons of valid points here. Thanks. Time viewing though could be possible considering the curvature of space. Check out the Wikipedia article:

    On the note of certain technologies destroying society: Society will survive no matter what. The question is in what form? Perhaps it would be a good thing to destroy society as we know it.

    In response to a few specific comments:

    Ashyja: I seriously considered placing Bionics on this list but it lost out to Genetic Engineering.

    Randall: Let’s, you and I, not get into another philosophical debate here. I personally think that humanity needs another great war. Reason being, all great technological jumps have come about due to adversity. We need better technology, that’s true.

    Smiles: I love Asimov. But even he goes into some of the dangers of AI in a few of his books.



  • Mystern

    Justin: Hey guess what? This isn’t JFrater’s job. It’s just a side project. If you don’t like it, leave.

  • Randall


    When have you and I *got* into a philosophical debate before? Refresh my memory, because I don’t recall.

    As for your statement about how humanity “needs” another great war–first of all, you’re joking right? You’re not serious.

    And second of all, what does that have to do with what I said?

    Thirdly, if you’re trying to make the point that we get greater technological leaps out of war–sorry, pal, but wrong again. This is a sophomoric historical fantasy that a lot of people weave. *Military* technology often advances from wartime, but those technologies rarely then crossover into practical uses in ordinary life. The technological advancements of the 20th century, up to today, have come far more from peaceful, market-driven sources.

    “Great” wars do no one *any* good, Mystern. They’re horrid, godawful tragedies and are to be avoided at all costs.

    I can sense the argument you or someone else might make about this… so let’s dispense with it forthwith: The technological advancements of the Second World War can be said to have brought us A) atomic power, which, however, was used for destruction and has threatened us ever since with obliteration… yes, we get energy from it as well, but not the greatest tradeoff in human history…and to negate the argument, it’s certainly true that in time atomic power would have been developed anyway, since experimentation was underway with it in the 20s and 30s. B) jet engines for aircraft–admittedly a boon to travel, but again, the technology would have been developed in due course anyway–it was already being experimented with in various countries, well before the war— C) Radar–admittedly another boon, but also, again, something that would have been developed in time, regardless of the war. It was a natural consequence of radio/electronic experimentation that was being pursued well before the war.

    The war sped the development of these things a bit. But hardly by leaps and bounds.

    Some might try to argue that because the British constructed the world’s first computer (Colossus) to help break German codes, we therefore owe modern computers to the war. Bullshit. Colossus was a completely secret project and was never exploited publicly and later all copies of the machine were destroyed. The technology, as a result, did not issue from the development of Colossus. The “birth” of computer technology remains the American ENIAC, built well after the war… even though the Brits did it first.

    WWII in fact put a number of advancements in technology on hold. Television, for example, was well on its way to fruition in the 30s and had the war not come along and stunted it, we would have probably had TV in the early 40s, instead of nearly 10 years later.

    The argument that war brings leaps in technology is, sorry to say, one that falls flat. It can bring leaps mainly in the technology that allows us to kill each other more efficiently. That’s about it.

    The great bulk of technological advancements in modern history have come from people wanting something and science and the market then providing it.

  • Mystern

    lol @ Justin


  • Randall


    So…. I take it we won’t be hearing from you again, here? That’s good. Whatever bug is up your ass about this site, it’s nice to know you’ll be taking it with you, where it’ll continue to eat you up. Sounds like you deserve it, pinhead.

  • Mystern

    Randall: Okay. You win. I don’t feel like getting into it. As for the debate you and I got into, sorry, I was wrong I was confusing you with someone else. You participated in the conversation but I wasn’t debating with you.

    Also, nice comment to justinw

  • Randall

    Mystern: oh yay, I win. So easy when they just roll over and pretend to play dead.

    As for justinw, he’s clearly an idiot. Thanks for the compliment, though. It’s one thing when people have something to say… even if what they say is mostly retarded. But when people just pop on to a site in order to badmouth the site itself–I mean, that’s just bizarre. Some life needs to be gotten there, I think.

  • Blogball

    Hey everybody, I found a perfect site for JUSTINW that will satisfy his update obsession.

  • SocialButterfly

    LOL @ blogball!

  • Dan

    One of the best lists I’ve read. I agree with all of them. Any chance of a part 2 or top 10 sci fi inventions that should be invented?

  • Mystern

    Dan: JF suggested that as a topic and if he doesn’t write it I will.

  • Mystern

    lol @ Blogball

  • Mom424

    blogball; ha ha ha good one
    justinw; obviously holidays infuriate you, your need to shout and bitch shows that. is a purely commercial site, with publishers etc,,not just one guy and a few buddies….
    And this site is way better than cracked,,,lots of mistakes on cracked, very few here and its 1 guy,,,
    grow up

  • SlickWilly

    To Randall:

    I think your argument might be a little exaggerated. It sounds like you were incensed at the suggestion of war being a boon of technology, and were lashing out at what you perceived was someone complimenting war.

    The fact of the matter is, corporations love war, because they get huge, and I mean HUGE r&d grants from the defense budget to develop technology. It is first developed for military use, but corporations arn’t stupid. If a new technology comes along thanks to war spending, they WILL exploit it in the commercial market. No question. Corporations love nothing but money and they will adapt and exploit any new technology that people are willing to pay for.

    There are quite a bit more technological developments that came from WWII then you list there; you have to admit that your list is oversimplified. I’m not saying war is good by any stretch of the imagination, but to say that the government spends money in the private sector to develop technology and the private sector will not explore that technology with their own budget to adapt it to commercial use is just naive.

  • Mystern

    Yeah Randall, what he said.

  • copperdragon

    here’s a couple i was expecting to see:

    Interstellar travel: basically flying cars taken to the next step. i know we have the shuttle, etc. but i’m talking millenium falcon travel. sci-fi uses it all the time as a fact that civilizations on different planets across a galaxy or universe ALL developed space travel at roughly the same time.

    How soon in real-life? as soon as someone invents a cheaper way to escape earth’s gravity. propulsion in space is as easy as letting air out of a balloon.

    Laser swords/guns: Lasers exist now, but how soon till we can shoot a short laser pulse rapidly? or limit its length into a solid, viewable stick? hopefully soon, but they would probably face the same weapons-restriction laws we have now…only worse.

  • Mystern

    Copperdragon: Wait, you want to see those on the list of things that should not be invented? I was thinking those things might be on the list of things that should be invented.

  • copperdragon

    mystern: i was just hoping they’d be on the list for discussion. personally, i’m in favor of space travel (lets see whats out there), but not laser weapons (you think gangs are a problem NOW.)

  • Mystern

    Copperdragon: Ah. Well I’ll write a follow up list over the weekend and be sure to include them on the list. Thanks.

  • SubliminalDeath666

    Wow I thought comments were supposed to COMMENT the list and are supposed to be a SHORT sentence. I find it amazing yet really stupid when people spam info from wikipedia. Idiots.

  • copperdragon

    i know i indicated that i hope laser weapons would happen soon. i’m changing my mind.

    here’s why i think laser weapons would be bad…
    imagine an easily concealed knife with a 3 foot blade thats as hot as the sun. by Sony.
    a sawed-off shotgun sized pistol that shoots 2-foot long hi-energy sun-hot plasma blasts. unlike in the movies, the beam would not stop because it hit a piece of metal or plastic. it would go right through, and through what was behind it, and behind it, until it ran out of energy. by Glock.

  • copperdragon

    SD666: anyone in particular? or are you just jealous someone else might have beat you to it.

  • mistere

    The plagerism on this site has gotten so out of control. Like others have mentioned, this is the exact same list on If you copy a list from another website at least cite the source where you’ve taken it from.

  • Randall


    Name me three… JUST THREE technological advancements that came out of WWII that wouldn’t have come out within 10 years of 1940 *anyway.*

    That’s the point I was making—it isn’t that war doesn’t sometimes bring advancements—but it’s influence on technology is way over-exaggerated.

    Almost all of the technologies brought to us out of WWII were in fact already in development *before* the war, and would have been achieved, no doubt, by 1950, if not earlier, anyway. I invite you to refute this with at least three examples.

  • SubliminalDeath666

    copperfaggot: Dude, I type on what I feel or think about the list, that is my definition of a comment, ok?

    I don’t do this:

    It says so here in wikipedia:
    *Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info Random Wikipedia Info*

    P.S. Why would I be jealous of some idiot spamming the comments with their worthless information!? Dumbass.

  • avi


  • SubliminalDeath666

    He’s making fun of Sherri Sheperd who made a stupid mistake of not knowing whether the Earth is flat or not. If you ask me she probably still doesn’t know! lol! How can you not know if the Earth is flat or not!?

  • Anyone else thinking this is getting entirely too far out of control?

  • NoName

    StewWriter: Absolutely…how about people just keeping their gobs shut if they haven’t anything constructive to say!

  • Blogball

    Kind of reminds me when I was in 4th grade and we had a substitute teacher for a month.

    Actually I take that back the 4th graders acted more mature than what I see here.

  • NoName + Blogball: You guys are so far on the money with this mess I must commend you on your collective genius. Look guys -everyone here- Jamie was away, we all understand that. Everyone needs and deserves a vacation and none as much as Jamie who has, more or less for the most part, been running this sight on his own. Sure, he relies on the kindness and submissions from users and viewers, me being one who has done many, but he still has to go over each and every list, convert it to the code he uses for this site, and post it: it TAKES TIME. All you guys need is some patience and some understanding and to all just take a collective breath and ease up on the poor guy. He’ll be back in a matter of days and things will return to normal. Yes, for a few days things haven’t updated here, and there may have been a better way to handle things in his absence, but he chose his own way and we all, as readers, need to respect that. In my humble opinion, if those of you who insist on bitching and clogging up the comments with your shitty attitudes can’t find a more constructive place to vent your issues, you need to turn off your computers and find something else to do. If one list irritates you, find another that doesn’t and move on with it. Okay, I feel marginally better. Now let’s just chill and be a Listverse Family once again. I feel like i just ended a Brady Bunch Episode… criminy!

  • Stormy617

    One of the things that I have enjoyed over the past month or so since I found this site is the interaction between Jamie and the members/commenters on this site. That is the great thing that sets this one apart from other sites. This is in fact the first and only place I have ever commented on. I don’t understand why people can’t be a little more understanding and let the man enjoy his holiday with his family without complaining that they are not being entertained enough.

  • Daniel

    Wow, so JF is away for personal vacation and he’ll come back to this mess…

    Anyway, about the list;

    My first thoughts were, “Haven’t I seen a similar list somewhere else?” and when I saw the comment about Cracked I remembered. I do like how Mystern fleshed out what Cracked created as purely humor/entertainment into a thoughtful (yet sometimes disagreeable ;) ) list.

    Ever since I saw Back to the Future, I dreamed of having my very own hoverboard! Make sure that’s on the list of things that should be invented!

  • ben

    I apologize if someones said this before me, i skipped ahead. First, the idea of nanorobots really isn’t an end-of-the-world armageddon after all, because chances are by the time we get nanobots to the point where they can be used we will have means of programming or simply preventing them from multiplying. The nonobots would probably work much the same way our cells work. If you left bacteria in a perfect environment with food and absolutely positively no predators, that bacteria could take over the earth easily. But thats never happened, has it? As for the idea of timetravel, dismissing it as irrational based on physics is also wrong. Theres a theory, don’t remember its name, saying the universe we live in is one of countless alternate ones. Every decision ever posed to every person, ever, creates a new branch of an alternate world. Time travel could exist, just not in the branch of the dimensions we live in. That said, it is a far out idea. Finally ill take a poke at someone who said teleportation couldnt exist. Well, we’ve done it. Not with people, not even with multicellular organisms, but we have teleported a strand of 36 carbon atoms 45 feet across a labratory.

  • albert0

    I can’t see what would be wrong with the Replicator device.

  • 20Fan20


    Where did you find the 45 carbon atom deal? Not in a “prove it” sense but I want to read about that. I had read about 1 atom being teleported but not a chain. That is pretty cool.

  • SlickWilly


    I’ll grant you that most of these significant technologies were already being developed. However, when you realize that these technologies were developed, tested, and commisssioned BEFORE 1944, how can you say that war does not have a tremendous influence on technology? According to your stipulations, technologies that would not have existed until 1950 were being developed and put into practical use in half that time.

    And it’s not just the major significant technologies either. Each of the ones you mentioned gave rise to many different kinds of technology to adapt those three major ones to many different useful situations.

    And let’s not forget, just because the technology was being developed before the war doesnt mean that it would have made it to fruition without the massive war spending. Many good ideas with the potential for major technological change are never realized because there just arn’t enough private companies that are interested in it.

    Sure, they may not have been invented throughout the course of the war. But without WWII, many may not have made it off the drawing board, and those that did might have taken decades at the pace they were going to be fully available for practical use.

    War has a TREMENDOUS impact on the advent of technology. No exaggeration needed.

  • I am guessing JustinW has a site that is not particularly popular and he is annoyed that this one is. Unfortunately for him he can no longer access the site – just as I am about to revert to our old system of regular updates! BTW: I am back from holiday and will resume working on the site tomorrow (I have jetlag to deal with today!)

  • Mom424

    jf; hah, hah, hah,

  • Andrew

    Teleporters topics always assume people will be moved.

    First, the military would move weapons, then FedEx and UPS would open teleportation centers to move packages, then Microsoft would donate teleporters to move medicine/food to third-world countries.

    Moving people would probably be LAST on the list. Whatever, it’s ALL cool!

  • Sayhuh78

    i wish i could take the time to argue and set your title article on the right path. forgive me.

  • Randall


    Go back and re-read what I wrote. I did *not* say that war has no influence over technology. Rather, I was saying that it is a myth that war is the best way or even one of the best ways of spurring technological advancement. The technology most advanced by war is *the technology of war*–i.e., weapons technology and so on. Some applications for war technology do indeed find their way into civilian life, but this not the rule, it is the exception. In fact, peaceful development of technology, driven by the market, the desires of the public, and often the far-sightedness of private and government researchers and investors, brings us far more in the way of advancements. The Space Race, for example, did far more for modern technology than WWII ever did.

    The mistake you and others make is thinking that because there was an outgrowth of technology in the wake of WWII, that war itself is responsible. In fact, what brought us the myriad advancements of that period was a revitalized *economy*—not the war.

    I disagree with all of your statements, therefore, that WWII itself and war in general has some “tremendous impact” on technological advancement. *You* cannot say how technology might have advanced had there been a world at peace during that entire period, which could have devoted resources to the very kind of advancement we’re speaking of, instead of wasting them on war.

    To prove my point, look at this way—post WWII, we had, certainly, some advancements in technology. But the FAR more complex and advanced technological world around you is largely the development of the last 30 years or so, which has been (with the exception of relatively minor scrapes like the Gulf War, and so on) a period of PEACE. This period has seen the development of advanced computer technology (as a result of the invention of the microprocessor chip), cell-phone technology, advancements in ultra-light materials, aviation, etc. etc. etc. None of these things were off-shoots of war technology—they were the developments of a peaceful period when markets and economies were strong.

  • John

    So THIS is what Michael Crichton has been doing lately…

    Technophobia has seriously gotten out of hand.

    “Don’t ever invent anything again! What if something bad happens??”

  • SlickWilly


    *sigh* Look, you seem to be overlooking the fact that technological development is the direct result of the concentration of money into research. War technology is the most advanced during war time, for obvious reasons. But there are so many other needs that need to be met during wartime outside of weapons technology, needs that are more effective and less costly when supported by modern technology (i.e. transportation, living necessities in strained environments, communications technology, issues of hygene and cleanliness in often deplorable conditions, medical technology, etc. etc.). It takes money to develop this technology and during wartime, the U.S. spends more money every year on developing said technology that many countries have in their entire national budget. You use the Space Race as an example of the development of techology during peace time. This is blatantly incorrect and given how well-argued your points are, it kind of shocks me. The Space Race was a direct consequence of the Cold War, which happened directly following WWII and lasted until the early 1990’s, and which IS considered, in fact, wartime and not peacetime.

    The mistake YOU make is not seeing beyond the little scope of technological proliferation you have constructed for yourself. “In fact, what brought us the myriad advancements of that period was a revitalized *economy*—not the war.” — You. Hmm, interesting point. Are you aware that before WWII, this county’s economy was suffering from a little thing called the Great Depression? The most economically dismal period in this country’s history? WWII created a demand for jobs, production of goods, essential government services and not only pulled the U.S. out of the depression but launched us as the pre-emininent superpower of the world, which was a direct result of the wealth that the was acquired as a direct result of WWII. You are looking at the argument backwards. The economy may have spurred technological proliferation, but at that point in our history, the economy was entirely the responsibility of the war.

    And the last 30 years, sir, have NOT been a period of peace, as you claim. Overlooking the Cold War, for a moment (which, again, lasted from the end of the 40’s until the early 90’s; and which also rapidly sped up in the last 30 years, the obvious effect that had on technology, not withstanding), you still have: Under Reagan: the Lebanese conflict of 1983, the invasion of Grenada in 1984, Iran-Contra scandal of 1986; Under Bush: the invasion of Panama of 1989, the first Gulf War between 1990 and 1992; Under Clinton: Operation Desert Fox of 1998, Operation Allied Force and the invasion of Yugoslavia of 1999; Under Bush Jr.: the War in Afghanistan of 2001 to the present, the War in Iraq 2002 to the present.

    “This period has seen the development of advanced computer technology (as a result of the invention of the microprocessor chip), cell-phone technology, advancements in ultra-light materials, aviation, etc. etc. etc. None of these things were off-shoots of war technology—they were the developments of a peaceful period when markets and economies were strong.” — You

    What?!! Are you daft or can you not read the writing on the wall?! The invention of the micro-processor chip was influenced by many things, not the least of which was a need for compact computer technology that is portable and effective for use on the battlefield in active combat situations. Cell-phone technology arose both from space exploration technology and satellite-phone technology that was first used explicitly for military communications. Advancements in ultra-light technology arose, again, for a need for durable, portable and effective materials that aided in quick-mobile combat operations under duress. Aviation speaks for itself, I shouldn’t have to explain how that fits into the combat landscape.

    Randall, I appreciate what you are trying to do, but it appears to me that you have a narrow scope of the way these different aspects interact with one another. Therefore, I disagree with your opinions, as they do not seem to be supported by the facts.

  • Damien Tanaki

    this is a rip off of’s (more funny) post on Scifi inventions o-o

  • Randall


    I overlook nothing, pal. I’m well aware of the importance of research money in developing new technologies. You, however, seem to be blowing off the great importance that the market plays in these matters.

    Your statement about the Space Race is asinine. Yes, it was an outgrowth of the Cold War in the sense that it was a competition between the US and the USSR, but the Space Race was hardly akin to war or combat itself, butthead. And excuse me—how was the period you’re talking about there considered “wartime” and not peacetime? Are you referring to the Cold War? Be more precise. Because sure, I’ll grant you, the Cold War brought more military technological advancement. But if I’m getting you correctly (which isn’t easy to do) I take it you’re using this to support YOUR belief that war technology is the ultimate source for civilian technology. And again, I’d say, prove it, buster.

    And don’t try to “prove” it by lecturing ME on how the period from 1950 – 1990s was actually “wartime.” I was there, “slick.” I’ll grant that the Cold War had its own terrors and nastiness—but actual war it was not. That’s why we called it the COLD war.

    AND yes, “sir,” in fact the last 50 years (not JUST the last 30) HAS been a period of peace. Do you think I’m not aware of the minor conflicts you list? Or of Viet Nam? We’re talking about GLOBAL peace here, not minor bush wars and small regional scrapes. There is a HUGE world of difference between wars like WWI and WWII and conflicts like Iraq and little Grenada. Come now. You know this. We all know it. Or are you trying to tell me that our technology today hinges on conflicts like the invasion of Panama? By your logic, that’s what you’re saying.

    And yes, “slick,” I’m well aware of the Great Depression and the role WWII had in pulling our economy out of it. But again, you fail to make a coherent point—or in fact any point at all–though you think you’ve made one. So I’ll turn the question around on you–yes, we’ve all heard of the Great Depression, smartass. We’re all aware it was a terrible period, economically and otherwise. Are YOU aware that PRIOR to the Great Depression, prior, indeed, to WWI, that there was an economic boom in America? That the period around the turn of the century and just before (except for a brief economic turn-down in the 1890s) was an economically strong one? And that aside from the very brief and relatively minor Spanish/American war, it was a time of nearly unbroken peace for this country? And that during that time, technological advancements came along at a huge pace?

    YOU, you see, are confused by the rather unique situation offered to America after WWII. Yes, war spending had helped bring the economy out of the Great Depression. But *more importantly*–MUCH more importantly—the US was, at that time, the only great nation on earth that had not suffered materially or physically in ANY way. Japan was wrecked, Europe was in a shambles. The US was untouched. It’s no surprise, then, that economically we came out of it tremendously strong, and that we dominated the markets of the world for decades after. Note the uniqueness of that situation. You’re arguing, in essence, that war brings economic strength, and that technology issues from that. Well, wrong again chump—because I hasten to point out to you that Viet Nam did the economy no good—it can largely be blamed for the terrible economic malaise of the 1970s (along with the increase in the price of oil and some bad monetary policies) and we are certainly seeing, now, that the idiotic mess in Iraq is doing our economy no good.

    And now you’re telling me that we have a need for portable computers in battlefield settings to thank for the microprocessor chip? And you’re calling ME daft, moron? And the military to thank for cell phones? Go smoke some more of that stuff, “slick.” We have Motorola to thank for cell phones—because they saw a niche in the market that wanted portable phone technology. They developed it and marketed it, and here we are. Go tell the engineers and researchers responsible that they have the military to thank for their wisdom. They’ll laugh you clear out of here.

    And don’t start with me on aviation, either. You have no idea who you’re talking to. Just for starters I’m the son of a career pilot who flew bombers in WWII. Aviation goes back in my family over 80 years. *Military* aviation in WWII owed, in fact, a GREAT deal to PRIVATE, peacetime aviation experimentation and racing competitions BEFORE the war–in fact, the airplane wasn’t even recognized as a viable weapon UNTIL the private, peacetime guys, between the two world wars, developed aviation technology to a point where the military had to sit up and take notice. It was PRIVATE, peaceful investment in overwhelming numbers that brought about the development, also, of the airliner–the most famous of which being the DC3—and that had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with military technology. It was a market opportunity that visionary men saw, and they took it.

    In closing, “slick,” be careful of accusing me of arguing sans facts. In all your rant I saw not ONE supportable “fact” that supports your view of this topic.

  • SlickWilly


    Excuse me, but what did I do to personally insult you? Several times in your last post your reverted to calling me names. Why? I was simply pointing out the common sense of my argument that you seemed to be overlooking. I am open to your point of view, as I am to intelligent debate, so why do you feel the need to attack me personally?

    That being said, let me point out the things I saw as incorrect in your last post.

    First of all, yes, the Space Race came from the Cold War. Meaning that the attitudes in our country at that point in history (mostly the 60’s) reflected that the country THOUGHT IT WAS AT WAR. (Vietnam not withstanding.) Whether or not any actual shots are fired in this situation makes no difference. When the Soviets launched Sputnick, a wave of fear washed over America. “Oh no! Our enemy is getting the upper hand! We must do something about this!” Hence, the billions of dollars poured into space exploration, in a bid to outdo the Soviets and prove that we had the upper hand. This mission raised many technological challenges that had to be solved through innovation. You seem to be missing the point here. We WERE at war with the Soviets, if a mental once and not a physical one. Both countries trying to outdo the other in terms of military technology and power. That was why it is called the Cold WAR. (That’s also why the Soviets lost by the way; they threw so much money into military innovation that they bankrupted the nation.)

    Since you seem to have a tough time grasping my point, I’ll simplify it for you:

    Technology needs a reason to exist and resources to bring it about. When we are at war, there is both a reason and the government is willing to spend more money. The gov’t puts a lot of pressure on researchers to develop technology quickly so it can be adapted to the battlefield as soon as possible. So research and development of technology speeds up when the U.S. is at war. It’s as simple as that. And you seem to be twisting my words to suit your own purposes. I NEVER said war is the ultimate boon of technology. I am arguing that it has a much bigger impact on technological development than you believe.

    “AND yes, “sir,” in fact the last 50 years (not JUST the last 30) HAS been a period of peace. Do you think I’m not aware of the minor conflicts you list? Or of Viet Nam? We’re talking about GLOBAL peace here, not minor bush wars and small regional scrapes. There is a HUGE world of difference between wars like WWI and WWII and conflicts like Iraq and little Grenada. Come now. You know this. We all know it. Or are you trying to tell me that our technology today hinges on conflicts like the invasion of Panama? By your logic, that’s what you’re saying.” – You

    I’M not talking about global war and peace. I am talking about national war and peace. You think just because the world at large isn’t at war that our forces aren’t somewhere, doing something related to military combat? Combat that requires technology? Again, here you are, twisting my words. Our technology doesn’t hinge on these small conflicts (small to us, perhaps not to the victimized countries), but it does create a situation where new technology is needed to fight more effective combat and the government is willing to spend more money on it.

    “And yes, “slick,” I’m well aware of the Great Depression and the role WWII had in pulling our economy out of it. But again, you fail to make a coherent point—or in fact any point at all–though you think you’ve made one. So I’ll turn the question around on you–yes, we’ve all heard of the Great Depression, smartass. We’re all aware it was a terrible period, economically and otherwise. Are YOU aware that PRIOR to the Great Depression, prior, indeed, to WWI, that there was an economic boom in America? That the period around the turn of the century and just before (except for a brief economic turn-down in the 1890s) was an economically strong one? And that aside from the very brief and relatively minor Spanish/American war, it was a time of nearly unbroken peace for this country? And that during that time, technological advancements came along at a huge pace?” – You

    I’m going to overlook how you keep trying to bully me by using derogative terms against me, as I was under the impression that we could have an intelligent discussion. Just because you fail or refuse to see my point doesn’t mean I didn’t make one. My point is, you say that a strong economy is the foundation for technology development. I will agree that it is essential that a country must have a lot of resources to produce new technology. But the country didn’t HAVE a lot of money during the Great Depression. WWII created the necessary economical situation that spurred the boost in technological innovation that has lasted, for various other reasons, from WWII onward.

    And….you seem to keep making the point: “Yes, well, except for this war here and this combat situation there, we were at peace.” That, I feel is asinine. You keep overlooking my exact point, saying that except for the point I’m making, you’re point is the right one. That is not sound, valid, or even logical.

    As far as your point about Vietnam and Iraq is concerned. There is a much different social situation that exists (existed) with those wars than WWII. Whether or not they were a boon to economic growth, the U.S. had already AMASSED a supply of resources to fund technology, even when the economy began to fall to shit again.

    “And now you’re telling me that we have a need for portable computers in battlefield settings to thank for the microprocessor chip? And you’re calling ME daft, moron? And the military to thank for cell phones? Go smoke some more of that stuff, “slick.” We have Motorola to thank for cell phones—because they saw a niche in the market that wanted portable phone technology. They developed it and marketed it, and here we are. Go tell the engineers and researchers responsible that they have the military to thank for their wisdom. They’ll laugh you clear out of here.” – You

    Yes, you have the military to thank, partially, for the development of the micro-processor. Yes, Motorola saw a niche in the market and a technology, now listen close, that *already existed thanks to military funding*. The technology of satellite phones (and that’s essentially what cellular phones are; they use an antenna to relay signals to a satellite, which relays to another antenna and finally to your phone) was originally created…all together now: for the military. And…I mean, if you really can’t see that then you ARE daft.

    “And don’t start with me on aviation, either. You have no idea who you’re talking to. Just for starters I’m the son of a career pilot who flew bombers in WWII. Aviation goes back in my family over 80 years. *Military* aviation in WWII owed, in fact, a GREAT deal to PRIVATE, peacetime aviation experimentation and racing competitions BEFORE the war–in fact, the airplane wasn’t even recognized as a viable weapon UNTIL the private, peacetime guys, between the two world wars, developed aviation technology to a point where the military had to sit up and take notice. It was PRIVATE, peaceful investment in overwhelming numbers that brought about the development, also, of the airliner–the most famous of which being the DC3—and that had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with military technology. It was a market opportunity that visionary men saw, and they took it.”

    The son of a brain surgeon does not a brain surgeon make, and the son of a pilot is not an expert on aviation technology. (As long as we are on the topic, my grandfather flew cargo planes for the air force during WWII, and my father was a fighter pilot during Vietnam.) I’m not saying that aviation does not have much to owe from private experimentation, but the vast majority of the funding into aviation technology at the time came from the defense budget of the U.S. gov’t. As far as the plane not being considered a viable weapon until between the wars, that’s ignorant. WWI was HUGELY responsible for the airplane being viewed as en effective weapon.

    THE POINT IS: War and military operation requires technology, technology requires money, the U.S. has money and has many wars and military operations; when the country undertakes a war or a military operation, the gov’t uses money to fund private research into development of technology, and puts pressure on the researchers to do so in a timely manner. Thus, war speeds up technological development, and does so in a big way.

    Randall, I don’t appreciate you calling me names. It’s childish and immature, and if you respond to this post in kind, I will cease further discussions with you. If, however, you would like to keep it civil, then we can continue this interesting debate.

  • SlickWilly

    If you want some outside information that speaks to BOTH of our points, try this:

    I’m not saying that the market doesn’t drive technology. Absolutely it does, and in a big way. I’m saying that it would be wrong to discount the effect that war has on technology. As I said, technology comes from two things: resources and necessity. War creates both of these things.

  • Let’s put it this way.
    This list sucks.
    Yeah, I’m bookmarking it, yeah I read it.
    No, I don’t like it. It’s stupid.
    Why would flying cars get into traffic? How the hell would that be possible? I mean, we all know the sky is SUPER SMALL RIGHT? Wrong. It’s huge. There would be a shitload of space, and who would be stupid enough to crash into a tree? The guy who crashes into a tree today. Why would robots be wrong? Remove their feelings, and bam, we win. Teleporting would obviously be made for military shit and what not, but it of course wouldn’t be made after their are still glitches in it. Why are nanobots wrong? Are you telling me scientists who created it would be stupid enough to leave a bug that replicates itself rapidly without stopping? I mean, even if it DOES get big enough, it’ll blow up the body it’s in and simply using water against these ELECTRICAL beings would be efficient enough. With weather control, we would make it password protected, and it’s users would surely put the right weather in the right places. Building humans ground up…the problem is where again? I highly doubt we would make the social attributes of these…..creations in a non-sensemaking way. It would be the perfect world. You know….I’ve never…nah, I’ll post it on MySpace later, it’ll be like 3 pages long anways. But getting back to the holo-crap, why would it be wrong? Obviously it can be abused, but like cell phones, I’m sure the government or it’s inventors would allow a lock for it given to a mom or something. Talk about a nerd attempting to get a social life, LMAO. Your replicating viewpoint is the only one I sorta agree with. Talk about Bush creating the apocalypse.

  • Emily

    why is everyone getting so pissy about science FICTION? geez

  • Mystern

    Emily: I had no idea that this list would cause so much discussion. I kind of think that it gives people a vent to rave about something that cannot be proven either way. Like religion or politics.

    Snowkid: . . . I’m not even going to take the effort.

  • Randall


    I will answer your lengthy missive in due course.

    But I just had to say one thing real quick.

    I am damn sick of people taking some snide tone with me and then acting all shocked and offended when I answer them in kind. Your last post dripped of sarcasm and was swimming in a syrup of “My Opinions Are Oh So Superior.”

    I DON’T mind someone taking that tone, if they have the grey matter cojones to back it up (and I will grant you, you’re clearly not a dolt) but what I DO mind is when they THEN turn around and act like they’re freakin’ Pollyanna and I just pushed them into the mud puddle when they weren’t looking.

    You took some swings at me, I smacked you back, “Slick.” That’s the way it works with me.

  • Randall

    One other thing. I’m sick of people taking me so damn seriously when I call them names like “butthead,” which is CLEARLY A FREAKIN’ JOKE. FOR CHRISSAKES… are you a guy, or not? If you are, don’t you and your male friends spend your time insulting and busting on each other? In my world, MEN DO. And you know why? Because it’s a tough freakin’ world and you have to have a thick hide to deal with it. AND ALSO BECAUSE IT’S FUN. It sharpens the wit, keeps you on your toes, and offers opportunities for MIRTH.

    If this was a goddamned presidential debate, you can betchyerass we’d be on a higher plane. But this is a WEB SITE for cryin’ out loud! If you’re gonna toss your opinions around in this open setting, then you damn well better be prepared to take a few on the chin and deal with it.


  • Mystern

    Randall and SlickWilly: I considered asking asking you two to play nice but after more consideration I think this is more fun. You both make excellent points and I also considered suggesting a more formal debate but that’s just because I love rules in debates. It makes things more challenging.

    I’d just like to applaud your arguments and willingness to post your opinions.

  • SlickWilly


    Fair enough, I concede that sometimes I let myself get carried away, so I apologize. I also apologize for any of the sarcastic bits in my last post; I often type some of those glancing comments without a thought as to how it might sound and I admit that is boorish of me. So, Randall, to you I personally apologize. I’m sure you have a lot of good points to share on this topic.

    As I feel that I have already stated my case, whether you feel it is weak or not, I’ll let you have the last word on the topic. I think I’ve hijacked this thread long enough trying to argue a point that, honestly, has little to with the thread itself.

  • Randall


    Save your apologies for the women.

    Now, I have to start with your comments on aviation, as they *really* burned me up.

    QUOTE: “The son of a brain surgeon does not a brain surgeon make, and the son of a pilot is not an expert on aviation technology. (As long as we are on the topic, my grandfather flew cargo planes for the air force during WWII, and my father was a fighter pilot during Vietnam.)”

    SO… you begin by arguing that when I cited my family’s history with aviation, it is in fact irrelevant, as said history does not make me an expert. AND THEN you turn around and cite your OWN family’s involvement with aviation—for… what reason? Clearly to counter me, but if your original point is that it means nothing, then YOUR citation means nothing also.

    For crying out loud, “Slick,” you’re not stupid, but you make some dumb mistakes, I’ll tell you that.

    In fact, I had originally said that JUST FOR STARTERS I am the son of a career pilot, etc. etc. This meant that there was more to the story, but you glossed over that.

    I’m not going to impugn your father or grandfather’s war effort. I will say “good for them.” I will, however, impugn YOU and what you’ve had to say, as you clearly haven’t learned anything from either of them.

    I never claimed to be an “expert on aviation technology,” but I know a good bit about it, and, as I said, my family has been *steeped* in aviation for 80 years or more. And you can damn well bet I know a few things about history.

    This comment of yours particularly irks me:

    “As far as the plane not being considered a viable weapon until between the wars, that’s ignorant. WWI was HUGELY responsible for the airplane being viewed as en effective weapon.”

    “Slick,” don’t ever call me ignorant, because I can guarantee you that that great WHOOSHING and SLAPPING sound is you falling flat on your face. And then I’ll be gleefully kicking you while you’re down.

    Now… YES YES YES, Captain Obvious, I am WELL aware that the airplane was used as a weapon during WWI. Duh. But an *effective* weapon? No, Slick, there you’re far closer to wrong than right. The most effective role the airplane played in WWI was in aerial reconnaissance. The fighter plane was little better than a romantic waste of time and resource, and the bomber was, to say to the least, ineffective as hell. The airplane in any guise and on both sides was relegated to an almost strictly tactical role, and treated with disdain even then. (I’m not talking about how PILOTS viewed their own efforts and their machines–I’m talking about how the military hierarchy viewed them). There was scarcely any thought of the airplane’s possible value as a strategic weapon that could actually turn the course of a war. It was often treated as little better than a gun with wings–simply a different way for men to shoot at each other or fling explosives at each other (literally–for a large part of the war, the “bomber” required pilot or copilot to actually hand-drop bombs from the plane).

    SOME (very, very few) prescient military minds saw the potential of the airplane, but they were voices in the wilderness until well after the close of the war. Ever hear of Billy Mitchell and his court-martial? I’m sure you have, but it doesn’t seem to have stuck in your head as relevant here. Unfortunately for you, it is. Mitchell was not alone in being treated with disdain and even official censure, either. Whenever aviators in the military tried to make the case for the airplane as a greater strategic weapon, they were at best ignored and at worst were made to suffer for their ideas. It wasn’t until evidence piled up over the course of the next 10+ years AFTER WWI that the thick heads in the militaries of the world grudgingly, and gradually, began to accept that the airplane could be more than just a tactical novelty.

    But the airplane’s record of service in WWI had nigh-on ZILCH to do with that eventual acceptance. During WWI the airplane accomplished little of value to the war effort despite all the romantic dog-fights and (ineffective) bombing runs made.

    And even when the airplane became accepted as a viable weapon, it still wasn’t allowed its full measure. Neither France nor Germany–for all its vaunted Luftwaffe–thought of the airplane as a truly strategic weapon. Its role was largely kept tactical—as support for what was going on on the ground. One of the reasons the Luftwaffe failed in the Battle of Britain, in fact, was because Germany had never developed a true 4-engine heavy bomber–they instead relied on light and medium 2-engine bombers that were not well-suited to a strategic bombardment role.

    The increase in civilian aviation between the wars came almost solely from private investment, fed by market demand. The great Douglas DC-3, for example (later picked up by the army as the C-47—probably what your grandfather flew—my dad flew a B-25 Mitchell bomber, by the way) was not developed as a war weapon originally. It was instead the invention of men who wanted to build the greatest airliner/cargo transport of their day–and they succeeded… and they owed very little to WWI in this venture, Slick.

  • SlickWilly

    You’re right about this point. I was shooting my mouth off, guilty as charged. As far as your comment about being the son of a career pilot, from the way you went about saying that, it seemed as if you were arguing that since you are the son of a pilot that you knew all about aviation techology. I know next to nothing about aviation technology, other than the bits and pieces I’ve read about and seen on the history channel and when I’ve actually been interested enough to ask my dad (which is why I was pointing out that I, also, come from a line of military pilots; not to try to prove that I know more about the subject than you.)

    Two things:

    1. The whole point of my posts in general was stated under “The Point Is” in the last long post. I’m NOT saying you’re WRONG about the effect the market and the economy has on technology. I’m saying that war funding did a lot for technological development, particulary in years since WWII.

    2. I was trying to genuinely apologize to you. Knowing myself, I can say (/type) things that can seem pretentious, unknowingly ignorant, and condescending. It’s a personal flaw, but at least I recognize it. I love intellectual debates, and I beat myself up when I realize in hindsight that I contributed to a general lower level of dialogue. So whatever, you can tell me essentially to shove my apology up my ass but it doesn’t mean that I’m not sorry for pissing you off. Do I like to be pissed off? No. Do I like pissing other people off? No. Do whatever you like with my apology, but the point is, I took the time to try to extend my hand to you. You are obviously an intelligent person, so I know you can’t be that bitter about online arguments with strangers about trivial matters that don’t even mean anything, anyway. So what if you don’t convince me? I’m certinaly not going to convince you, so the worst thing that can happen is that we consider each other somehow dumber than the other in one regard. Doesn’t mean we are. :)

  • “Snowkid: . . . I’m not even going to take the effort.”

    Why because you’re putting up posts that pretty much make no sense? How the hell can you tell me flying cars would be a problem? I suppose we should stop the research AT ONCE! Call me Captain Obvious, but seriously….we would crash into eachother? Wow.

  • Randall


    I never told you to shove your apology up your ass. I said to save “apologizing” for women. Another joke, Slick.

    Honestly, you need a sense of humor. Or the one you have needs a good workout. It’s flabby and weak… your sense of humor is a girly-man. Get it into the gym and make it pump some iron for chrissakes.

    I have more to say, but must keep this brief now. Just a couple other things: A) Much as it’s neat and all, don’t rely on the History Channel (or television in general) for education. I realize you also said you’ve read up a bit on aviation, but if you’re interested in the subject, read more. Because of the family thing, I read voraciously about aviation, particularly WWII aviation, when I was a kid, and on up to today (though not as much anymore). Now, years later, when I see things on TV, be it the History Channel or the Military Channel or what have you, I’m conscious of small gaps in the material they present–rarely actual errors–but gaps that, in aggregate, tend to compromise the full story. Nothing can substitute for good books. Head and shoulders above all the books I’ve ever read about military aviation during WWII, for example, is “Airwar” by Edward Jablonski. Just to make a recommendation.

    I’m not picking on you specifically on this, but I also hear all the time, particularly on this site, how people rely overly much on Wikipedia. I stay away from Wikipedia as much as possible, myself. It’s more like entertainment to me.

    The other thing is—the origin of this argument was not that war can speed up technological development in some areas. Of course I know that it can. But that wasn’t the argument. The original argument was whether war is BETTER at encouraging and sustaining technological development overall—better, that is, than peacetime–and with that belief I cannot hold. I feel it’s a myth that many people have bought into because they simply don’t know all the facts.

    Mystern began this by implying, in essence, that we might have some of these really cool technologies in short order if we just had another big war. That’s what got me started.

  • Mystern

    Alright Snowkid, here are the first things that came to mind when I read your post:
    1. Vehicle collisions are far more common than they need to be. You are correct that the people who would get into accidents on the road would be the main people getting into accidents in the sky. That’s my point. People are stupid. Think of how many people talk on their cell phone while eating and driving. Guess which takes priority in their mind? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the driving.
    2. Removing feelings of robots would not work after they have already rebelled. Sure we could stop production of the robots. But that would do nothing to correct our mistake Now if you want to talk about never giving them feelings or self awareness in the first place, that is a viable option.
    3. Okay, first of all, the only danger represented in the programming is if someone screws it up. I agree that nanobots would not continue to replicate if they were not programmed to, by the same token though, all it takes is one wrong keystroke out of millions to cause a problem. Imagine if they accidentally programmed the bots to use carbon to replicate. The world would be gone in a matter of days. Secondly, how can you possibly think that using water against a nanobot would be effective? Considering nanobots are designed to enter the blood stream. This argument make far more sense against AI, and even then, it’s shaky.
    4. Yes, let’s password protect the weather control device. That way, we never have to worry about terrorists hacking into it or dismantling it to use for themselves. And of course the designers would only put weather where it is needed. Except that people are inherently stupid and would not know where it was needed.
    5. So you’re saying that just because we would be able to design the genes of a human, we would be able to design the personality? Even if this argument made sense, who do you think the older generation (the ones without genetic modification) would choose first for any job? Certainly not you.
    6. Holodecks. Okay, let’s say that your mom puts a lock on it. I’ll give you that. Once you move out though, you’re on your own. You can spend as much time in there as you want. And why wouldn’t you? If you could have the perfect world, why would you bother coming back to the shitty one? For that matter, why wouldn’t your mom spend all of her time in there with her perfect kids rather than you, the trouble causing one?

  • avi

    it wouldn’t be the end of the worldhumans are very adaptale creatures

  • uh60blackhawk117

    Dude, Mystern, this article was fantastic! you made several amazing points, like that of genetic engineering. Dude, you are so on! Technology will be the downfall of man as i see it!

  • Joseph

    Hey Snowkid32, first of all, i don’t think you of all people should be criticizing this list, i mean what type of screen-name is Snowkid?! It’s the dumbest thing i have ever heard of! Anyway Snowkid, getting back to my point,yes, there would WOULD be traffic if everyone had a flying car. This is due to the fact that these vehicles would be buzzing the skies at random patterns, assuming that the government doesn’t create “highways in the skies” and accidents are bound to happen. I am only fifteen years old, but i already have my pilots licence and fly small Cessna 172 planes, and i am also getting driving lessons. I can tell you this from personal expirience that flying is much more complicated than it look. If you think drivings complicated, then take a flying lesson. In a car, there is only left and right on the steering wheel. However, on a plane there is left, right, up, and down and many people do not realize how easy it is to forget. Let me draw up on a very bad expirience i had when i was fourteen and flying with my instructor. We were flying at about 800 feet above sea level. My instructor told me to pull up and level off slightly. When i went to pull the nose up, i absent mindedly pushed the yoke in and the plane began to nose down. At first, neither my instructor or me realized what was happening until we broke into a spin. Thankfully, my instructor who’s an ex-USAF pilot was able to come out of the spin and level off. If it weren’t for my instructor that day and if i were flying solo, you can pretty well imagine what would’ve happened to me. So Snowkid32, as you can very well see, its very simple to make a mistake like that and if cars begin to fly, people will fly just like they drive…shaving in the car, eating a burger, reading the sports page…so Mystern has a point with saying flying cars are not exactly a very safe invention. Oh, by the way change the screen-name. Its pretty retarded!

  • Polly Odyssey

    I have to add that Gattaca was an awesome movie.

    Anyway, I think some of these things are possible. Like Time Travel. I think Time Travel could be possible.
    Also, my friend recently wrote a short story about Genetically Altered humans. Very interesting.

  • Mount Teetar

    Maybe time travel isn’t possible using science that is centered around the combustion engine and perverted and marginalized by corporations, but when science and spirituality unite as one, anything will be possible. I mean there was a nuclear war 100,000 years ago(see hindu vedic scriptures) and it left sheets of glass miles and miles long, as well as assisting in creating the modern deserts of the world.

  • Stephen Wilkos

    worst list ever

  • Punjar

    1) The thing about a teleporter making a copy of you like that is would it really be you coming out the other side. It seems it would just be someone who thought he was you and was exactly like you in every way. Meanwhile you’d be dead.

    2) the comic guy “Worst.(insert joke here).Ever” line is the dumbest most overdone joke in the world. Seriously, it makes “I’m Rick James bitch” seem like comedic gold in comparison.

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  • Lite

    Good Debate to Both Randall and Slick,

    Wannae chip my two cents in, There are many fears that always relate to the suppositions created when viewing a future application into a current setting.

    Unfortunately this is like trying to predict Human Nature, all though we can use case studies and examples and cross referencing we can not know to full extent what any out comes could ever be. Which points back to suppostion 7 by the Opening Poster.

    Background Info: I actually do R&D for Technological Advancements, so thats my brief stand point, and no, i can’t say more than that, sorry.

    Looking past the Manish Boystering around, Randall, comes up top on this one I hold sway to Civil over Military.

    I’m gonna look this at the Third Angle, Economically.

    War does in part raise Funds for the betterment of existing technology to combat the would be enemy of that state/nation/power of the time, However there is always an opportunity cost; with war the cost goes beyond Deaths, Economys must reallocate current funds for future benefit, thus common people have their socio-advantagous merits removed.
    i.e. The Economy must use $100billion for War and $60 billion to sustain the Civil Sector, though the economy has only $80 billion, there will be heavy sacrifices to a civil and peacful society.

    Society will actually better itself without the driving factor of Wars, through the Good Willed Nature of the Few that have the Strength within; to combat existing situations to try and create an inheritally different future.

    Without this motivator You both would not be o out spoken with your views and oppinons, of which people would read and to see that actually they themselves may be apart of a betterment of society.

    When it comes to Civil Technological advancements, it takes many preople to come together to do so little to actually create and develop products, inventions and ideas.

    However I’m gonna try and keep context and go back to Opening Poster. I believe your incorrect my friend or haven’t been exposed to the some of the literature or knowledge to see the unfolding consequences of your actions. I aighn’t trying to knock you about.

    Here’s the way I see it from my perspective.

    Human Kind has unique Supra-problems engendered into our current climate, Over population is already taking its strain.

    Go watch it for a minute and have a look at oil consumption :)

    Transporation Devices and Replicators are the key to remodelling our whole existence, imagine the success of the internet because of a free-market climate of information. Now imagine a Free-Market of Matter.

    Where creation of goods and equipment is almost instantneous, Transportation costs are infinetly decreased and the usage of scarce resources diminsh.

    The use of replicators is already on the way and has a two fold effect, what you effectively assemble in micro-space to create a computer, you can use for the same reverse process to de-manufacture, the solution to enviromentalism, using existing ‘waste’ to create new matter for re-replication.

    Big Pro for Replicators.

    Flying Cars? Think we already have Helicopter, personally i see not much use for the whole driving populus to be in the sky, when you can use existing advancements in Telephony and Internet to effectively complete service/information based services 100% remotely with out the need for cars. the Technological Echilon can do far more work with less effort with far less relience on Cars and Transportation.

    the List you have created that you are opposed to is actually the key recipe to Mankinds eventually expansion of this planet to explore other planets, systems for more resources, there growing our economic boundarys.

    First Law of Economics: Unlimited wants, Limited Reources.

    Effective Utilisation of Current and Future Technology will allow us to Expand our Resources.

    Nano-Bots are highly advantagous for numerous reasons for spacial/high tech engineering. A complete Win/win.
    Weather Control understanding is completely needed to understand how to use Geo-Natural systems for Terra-Forming.

    I think I’ve highlighted my points, but I would ask that the Opening Poster perhaps redefine their out looks for our comments have little exposure to the masses then the article above that 99% will read then continue on their way.

    I hope this was helpful.


  • the editor of this post is committing Appeal to Consequences fallacy and not learned about futurism..Please read this book THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR by Ray Kurzweil or the shorter version one

  • Anon

    Can’t see how you’re thinking with the replicator. The whole point of it is to make money unnecessary. Money exist because we ain’t got unlimited resources and need to trade with are wares. :P

  • BBandC

    I can’t help but completely agree with why we shouldn’t have any of these things…..but another part of me knows that those great-grandparents we had telling us what things/life was like when they were young….that will be us one day. I am constantly amazed at how things have advanced the older I get (and I am still very young) and I am speechless when I think of the world my children and grandchildren will live in just as my grandparents never imagined the world I live in.
    there is no stopping what is ahead…..kind of a scary thought

  • SnowKid32

    Response 165, Mystern:

    1.So in any sense this matter has been taken care of. On to the next one.

    2.Robots cannot have feelings. To give a robot feelings is to give a robot LIFE. The “feelings” they would have would be nothing but a simple response or pre-programmed response. Dismantle that and turn it off. Unless a robot can think[the fuck is this, I, robot?]as in being able to remove and/or make it impossible to acces an automatic shutdown. OR emergency shutdown would be accesible by a remote, or possibly even voice.

    3.I will agree the water comment was retarded :) but who would make such a mistake? Plus would they not be revised? And even if it were to slip through, could we not dismantle and/or shut it down by some means of remote as in the robot argument?

    4.Terrorists? You mean CYBER terrorists bud? Quite a difference indeed. Anyways, I still think that such a thing wouldn’t happen. Mainly because of the odds working in our favor. But in all honesty, this is wiitarded. One, I doubt we will “control” the weather, and if WE WERE TO, do you really think that stupid people would be hired to do the job? In all honesty, I highly doubt it.

    5.I see. Do you normally insult people in debates? Idiomatic swearing. Happens so much nowadays. *sigh* But back to the point, do you really think brain cells couldn’t be modified? Or CAN’T be? Or especially WILL BE!? I mean, how stupid would a person be to change the genetics of ANY creation of there’s human or not, without a change of personality? Other than the fact that cloning is illegal here in the USA, how can you put down the ability to modify a clones personality? Feelings? Thoughts? Actions? Really? For christs sake, you’re reading a SCI-FI list. FICTION in other words.

    6.Well, homesickness. Go watch the giver or read Lord Of The Flies. A utopian society is bound to fail and always does. Look at the many african societys that reject certain infants. A minor utopia, but they fail in so many ways. Lack of resources, constant war, and countless other things present in any african country. And at the same time, go back to your previous comment, why would you? I agree. Think about it. If you can live in the perfect world and enjoy life to the fullest why would you live in this world? This world full of murder, faimne, war, depression. Tell me. Life is to be enjoyed. As Walter Hagen said:
    ““You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.””

    TO JOSEPH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:
    I’ve used this eName since I was 7. I’ll use this eName till I’m 70. I can see your point, and, from what I’ve observed, thank the lord you’re alive. But that’s my point. We will be trained. People said driving would be impossible and present WAY too many problems. It was easily accomplished. Who knows? This might be the same. I doubt it, but a possibility nonetheless.

  • rushfan

    I don’t care, I still want a holodeck.

  • Jordan Parker

    @ BBandC (comment i.d/number: 176) :

    I have too agree with you! As I am still very young as well. And I expect that one day I will properly be the same as my grand parents, Whining on about how they have it so much better than we did! But I expect that yes, One day mankind (or what ever higher being exist on earth) will push and push until we (they) invent something so… so… smart and futuristic it will end the need for money and jobs and robots (AI) will make and do everything. But I am talking in 40,000 years from now!

    @ Everyone else:
    Why worry just smile at everything that makes living that little bit more easy and fun. For we are far from world disasters like that at this day and age; And our memories will be longgggg gone.

  • Davo

    i can’t believe people are dumb enough to believe John Titor was a real guy from the future

  • Chamale

    I disagree with the idea that replicators will cause harm. As long as everyone has one, there’ll be no need for jobs to make food. There will be no terrorism, as everyone will be to happy to bother blowing each other up.

  • Pamela

    woow,your comments were long. good list

  • flytch

    I think you missed the main reason for no flying cars…
    imagine getting only a fraction of a mile per gallon of fuel?
    Fuel prices would really go through the roof… a trip to the store would cost 50 times more then what it costs you to drive there now…
    Timothy Fletcher…

  • devildog

    mystern, are you seriously, like, serious? every single one of the problems with the inventions you talk about are two things: 1, they can also be said about nearly every major invention in the history of the human race (fire leads to longer lifespans which leads to overpopulation, cars lead to global warming which results in apocalypse, and other such bull shit), and 2, they are all based on your own failure to imagine solutions to the problems which you invent. sorry, but this is the first list that i have been really disappointed with. 0.0/10 for lack of imagination

  • Mystern

    Thanks for your opinion. If you had bothered to read any of the previous comments on the list you would see that your points have been brought up many times before. As I’ve stated earlier, this list is purely my opinion, there are many arguments for and against these items. I’d suggest writing your own list and submitting it.

  • random guy

    referring to number 3, if i may quote Syndrome from the Incredibles “If everyone is super, then no one is” and what kind of world would it be if everyone was at the peak of human ability?……

  • Firewater621

    I love this list! I agree with everything on it, but I would still want a holodeck. I’ve always thought genetic engineering and AI were scary. When they cloned the sheep, I was in high school (over a decade ago now) and even then I wasn’t impressed, I was terrified.

    Still want a holodeck. But imagine all the pseudo-sex you could have… and what a mess the deck would be afterward – the surroundings disappear, not the reality! There was one Star Trek where someone was being buried in a holodeck on nice rolling hills and blue skies and such – then they were leaving and the background disappeared and you see them, the black room and no coffin. Where the fuck did it go??

  • Firewater621

    random guy: Nice quote from The Incredibles, and it’s so true. But then I also understand the list and not everyone is going to be engineered, there would be much discrimination.

    However, let’s say that everyone had the money to “perfect” their children, imagine the amount of problems that would create?! Discussions about which child is more perfect, severe overpopulation, entire industries and doctors would be out of work…

    Nah, better to leave us as our wonderfully imperfect selves.

  • dr david newman

    You use a lot of very subjective reasoning here for your case against these inventions existing; there are just as valid reasons as to why they should exist, and you have not touched on these positive aspects in the slightest, hence this is a terrible list :P sorry

  • Jackaloo

    what about the doomsday machine? does that not seem scary enough
    a giant bomb or whatever that can wipe out portions of or the whole universe.
    what about the gravitons and gravioti?

  • Jackaloo


  • ihsanjr

    I disagree with this list. For example: Internet. When there is no internet, creator of this list would say: “Internet is a drug like a holodeck. Why people bothering to live? There is internet and you can create a perfect world. Or: “Terrorists can find places with this, very dangerous.” But there is internet and the world isn’t going mad. I think teleporter, AI, nanobots, genetic engineering is vieeery important. Especially holodeck game. Who doesn’t want to be the King Arthur, Max Payne, Aang the last airbender or the God. Reaaly good.

  • ihsanjr

    Sorry for my crappiesh English :))

  • randy belaire

    And we can’t forget to include the cell phone invented by
    Martin Cooper, which was inspired by Star Trek’s communication devices or voice biometrics
    (voice recognition software) also inspired by Star Trek. :)

  • fox

    Aren’t we all gonna die in 2012? Maybe the mayans r from the future

  • Shadow

    Cryogenic freezing

    Over population is not the issue when dealing with Cryogenic freezing. If a society can figure out how to prevent ice crystals from forming in the flesh and then thaw out an individual, cure them of their disease and who knows what else. What is left is a society that is already exponentially superior to us in technological advancement.

    Now, why would they thaw out more than one individual? The cryogenicly unfrozen would be a burden on their society and not for overpopulation issues. Any society that can bring back frozen bodies would have solved the population issue generations before. The problem arises with the issue of what to do with a cave man. If we found a frozen body of ancient man and brought the individual to life, what would we do? Test, sideshow for the media until it gets old and then what? We would have to build a special habitat, because no matter how much we could teach him/her, he/she would still be totally inadequate to survive in our society. Any advance society would have even more trouble than we would because they would not have homes for mentally handicapped individuals, they would have no need for them because the mentally handicapped would not exist.

    Who wants to wake up in an environment cured, but behind glass with a three year old pointing at you and an audio recording in the background explaining pre-enlightened man? Then realizing that the three year old has a higher I.Q. then you ever did. Welcome to the future.

  • CowzRppl2

    What, no perpetual motion?
    P.S. The book “Physics of the impossible” discusses pretty much all of these things and how they could work.

  • grandpa

    in response to #7
    time only shows us what happened, not why

    ahh think about that

  • picsom

    Monique, a Leaf fan, originate this plumb persistent to believe. Now, let me regarding out that this was in no way an undertake to official one pair is more wisely than the other. It was upright a core to glory two things.

  • trfan

    A holodeck would be awesome. I’ve enjoyed watching the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Star Trek series and their Holodeck episodes. Although the con points are valid, I would think it would be a great experience to experience a book, movie, or TV show firsthand by actually interacting with the characters. It would be an interesting experience.

  • SunnySide

    Holodeck would be horrible. The cons outweighs the pros. I would much rather be stuck in the reality than in a dream only to die because I forgot to sleep! Even now it is happening with so many mmorpg out there. The only people gaining out of these are the corporates.

  • Trekkerette

    ‘Scuse me, but I like holodecks. Be careful of holodeck addiction, which happened to Reggie Barclay and Seven of Nine.

    Replicators are good too. In the case that you don’t have much food left and have only a replicator, you’d HAVE to use it.

    ‘Course, though, I’d stay wary of nanobots. Who likes being assimilated? Raise your hand.

  • SunnySide

    @ Trekkerette: you are so naive…
    You give someone drugs and ask him not to get addicted? holodeck would would be the most perfect drug, a flawless escape from reality. once you are in you are never out.
    And replicators would just shatter our world in a blink, esp. in the hands of extremists. economy will collapse and there will be no balance.

  • FullTimeTwitch

    This list is stupid.

    If human ingenuity made (will make) such inventions, then I’m pretty sure human ingenuity will solve the inadequacies or errors we make when we use the inventions listed above.

    Heck, decades ago they said computers were evil – look what it provided us now ^^

    Humans Evolve… We always do.

  • guitarman57

    We are the Borg, Shuffelin crew. shuffelin on down, assimilatin you. (spelling intentional)

  • Guitarman57

    Holo decks or holo rooms since a deck is on a ship, would not be the bogie man this column would make them out to be. First, they would most likely, at least at first, be very expensive and only available to the rich or amusement corporations. They would use energy and you would have to come out to work.(Still need to pay electric bill) Some weak minded individuals would get addicted but that is no different than drug or alcohol or other kinds of addiction. Just a new and different form. And just as people recognise and can beat those addictions if they wish to, they ‘could’ beat a holo addiction just as Star Trek character Reginald Barclay beat his through intervention from friends and workmates, and counseling. To think that ‘most’ people would be an addict is rediculous. Also, Even most addicts to whatever, lead productive lives.(have a job, spouse, kids and such) To say that a person would go in and then never come out is just as rediculous. Addictions of any kind are not good but don’t deny technological advancements just because of the possibility af addiction. In the grand scheme, the addicted would be very few, just as they are with anything else. I might like to ‘visit’ with Marilyn Monroe but then, thank you maam, gotta go.I will stop now. I have to get in my time machine and go visit my favorite Holo room.

  • joker

    “though not actually possible” there is nothing in the laws of physics that prohibits time travel.

  • maximus

    just some extra thoughts,

    #10. ‘traffic jam on the skyways’ – doubt it, main benefit of flying cars is i guess the extra space and not having to weave around buildings, lakes etc.. widening roads would be straightforward or adding extra layers of traffic e.g. fifth element. plus id sooner fly a car with an ejector seat than worry about hitting a wall or tree

    #9 – ‘overpopulation’ – unlikley that a significant number of people can afford to be frozen.. im sure there would be laws created if this reached the masses.

    #8 – ‘robots are very real today and AI is not far off’ / ‘smarter than the human brain by 2020’ – …holywood would have you beleive! robots today are great at shaking hands slowly and navigate flat surfaces. modern artificial neural networks can provide pattern recognition – speech, handwriting, analyse stock market trends, play chess well, etc. thats about as far as weve got. its a far cry from conscious thought, imagination, emotions, etc..

    #7 – you mean the us launches a pre-emptive strike and china respond by attacking los angles! it wouldn’t be true if we used it to kill hitler in advance.

    #6 – im thinking of the turtles where baxter stockman turned into a fly!

    #5 – im sure the nanobots would require some material to replicate – if they outweigh the mass of the earth then where does the extra weight come from silly.

    #4 – useful to combat global warming?

    #3 – agreed, plus you’d be reducing gene diversity then we’d all catch a nasty virus only the now extinct spotty ginger kid had a cure for.

    #2 – good point!

    #1 – well i guess we could explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilisations….!

  • Karl

    Time travel is real. We are time traveling right now while we go on our daily lives. The problem is that we cannot harness enough power to go faster than the speed o light.

  • xeoz

    well… the time travel…

    Parallel theory breaks the ‘marry your mom’ or ‘kill Hitler’ theory.

    to put it simply, go back to 19xx and you kill young Hitler. Good. No WW2.

    But it only happens in ‘Hitler dead’ time. Not in your time. History books in your time still wrote Hitler.

    Same with ‘marry your mom’. You marry your mom in, let say 1985. When you go back in 2010, you still have a dad and your mom will not call you ‘my husband’.

  • Brainless

    Does time really exist? All I know is all molecules born, live and die. If I should turn back one second, I must turn back all biology and physical process of everything that happens in one second.

  • redhatgizmo

    If all teh ppl will be like teh mista list maker then all civilization still be living in jungles and eating nuts are you crazy must look around urself a bit whole world is running on risks preciously calculated risks every invention has it own downside but that doesn’t mean it should not be invented at all & many of the listed things will also be the biggest problem solver for all esp genetic eng. , nanobots ,Teleportation which has more potential for revolutionizing teh mankind then threatening it ….!!

  • Kenji

    i actually thought of about the problems time machine would cause, a lot of complications eh? those problems would probably screw a lot.

  • ganstawitnogun

    I looovvvve this list

  • Pete

    The freaky thing about teleportation is that although it might create a perfect “copy” of someone you basically die everytime you walk into one. No one else might notice the diffence but your actually dead!

  • Muscarios

    This is a ridicolous one. Everything you point out is debatable. Also, some of the things in this list MUST be researched at all costs. Example? Genetic Engineering! We stopped relying of natural selection 10000 years ago. Our genes are getting WORSE every generation. People with genetic diseases can spread theit faulty genes thanks to the help of other people (in nature, they would simply die in a short time). This has to be corrected somehow and the solution is only one: Genetic Engineering!

  • YamiX

    That's right! this things cannot be done never…it's just crazy to imagine the consequences

  • packetpirate

    Your view on replicators is flawed… have you even watched Star Trek at all? They still need the base compounds and materials to replicate the food.

  • leslie

    i dont care what this list says, i WANT a holodeck!

  • MJP

    This list is pointless. If you have any grasp on how physics works in this world you would understand how trivial the problems with some of these things are and how the others are impossible. Not to mention it seems like a 15 year old wrote this while they were not paying attention in class.

  • Seth

    Interesting read, but ANYONE who has done basic university level physics would know that time travel IS possible, but only into the future.

  • I have to assume that the author's conclusions were written with tongue firmly in cheek. Otherwise, what an INCREDIBLE pessimist!!! With very few exceptions, most inventions benefit humanity. But there is something else much more fundamental to consider: Whether or not you believe in a Universal Intelligence – a Creator, if you will – you must consider that our capacity to create is built into us as a species. It is NATURAL for us to create and invent. It could therefore be argued that even the most heinous of inventions from throughout the history of our species was, in effect, MEANT TO BE INVENTED. From that standpoint, it is much better that we continue to strive to invent and further develop such things as are listed here, and all others that aren't. If our reach did not exceed our grasp, we would never achieve anything. We would never evolve.

  • patrick

    Replicators are impossible. The Law of Conservation of Matter states you cannot create matter from nothing.

  • Hilah

    We all know what happens with time machine. You become your own grandfather, then you don’t develop the delta brain wave but rather cobble together a random assortment of other brain waves like a prom dress made of carpet remnants, and then when giant brains attack the world, you can save us all. It’s almost a cliche really.

  • Kad

    I need more informations. Like what inventions isn’t made yet?

  • hunt

    are you a Christian?

  • nbdynprtcular

    Back on August 27th, you published a list of futuristic inventions we should have now, and half of the items on THIS list are on that list as well. Make up your mind, are they good ideas or bad ideas?

    • sensei

      Some are :)
      Some are :(

  • Sensei

    Time travel iz awesome!

  • Sensei


  • nida

    if someone want to go in the past and want to make something correct then what is wrong in it.

  • lolscape

    on #8, it is impossible for a computer to be smarter than the human brain.a computer is only as smart as the programmer who makes it.

    • sttue

      This is not entirely true, If a programmer creates an intelligent computer with a purpose of taking in as much information about everything and mimic the human brain, i belive this computer will be not only smarter but superior to humans.

  • nards

    i blove your inventions

  • dr. fizz

    i realy like these topics

  • Every one of them was so true but people have already “time traveled” in a way since in space time goes slower because of the height

  • I agree

    I agree with Anthony.

  • O’neill

    Why a Stargate isn’t on this list is beyond me.

  • Richard

    Such a pessimistic article.
    Being such a huge pessimist, and sharing this to the rest of the world through this article sadly, won’t make the world any better.

  • Veyron

    NUMBER 7 obviously will NEVER happen because knowing thefuture will kill our Freedom. So then life will have no purpose and face it it would be kinda dumb to know the future JUST LIVE LIFE :)

  • Dillon

    The scenario described in #7 should have been the plot to an episode of that’s so raven

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  • Johagimm

    This is a stupid list.

    I doubt the auther has ever read any sci fi.
    Every thing you said is flawed

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  • Kip

    Creating these inventions will result on a paradox and possibly the end of the world. Cool!

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