Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teleporter Spam

I wrote a piece today on "The Miracle of Email," which as we know quickly became clogged up with spam, and in large part the miracle became a nuisance. Now they've pretty well got the spam held at bay -- at least I don't see much of it anymore. But it illustrates perfectly the double-edged sword to technology, that anything that brings a blessing also brings a curse.

One of our favorite futuristic inventions is the teleporter from Star Trek, as the crew of the Enterprise, whenever the thing worked, were able to beam themselves to and from a planet. But don't get us started on the thing not working, which, however, wasn't usually the fault of the teleporter, but more the advanced blocking abilities of the others the crew met up with.

But actually having a teleporter, it's not hard to imagine how fast it'd be abused. Terrorists beaming themselves in and out of the country, into buildings, nuclear power plants, etc., is one of the worst things I can think of. Then it's not too hard to think of other terrible things, right down to the nuisance it'd cause for all of us, like burglars appearing and disappearing from our house. We'd need anti-beaming hardware on all our houses and have to hope the crooks wouldn't be able to beam it away, then come in.

They wouldn't even need to appear and disappear, now that I think of it. They could just beam out a houseful of possessions and pick through it at their leisure back at the hideout. It'd be terrible. Then crooks would be walking around the mall, beaming your wallet out of your pants. You'd need some kind of lead-lined pants, or an alarm hooked to your belt that detected beaming signals. Can you imagine? We'd have a whole new level of paranoia, thanks to this blessing. Some blessing!

And how about this? What if you had blackmailers, prostitutes, pimps, beggars, and long lost relatives beaming themselves in and out of your place? Can you imagine being a Congressman. You're at a fancy hotel and a prostitute beams herself into your room (probably scaring the one that's already there) and there's a right wing blogger with a camera beaming himself in at the same time? And speaking of right wing bloggers. They could just beam a miniature camera into your pants, take a picture of your privates, beam it out, and there'd be another scandal.

No matter what technology we come up with, there's always someone there to ruin it.

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